1. Believe in yourself and be true to your ‘Mummystyle’.
You’ve done newborn before and you can do newborn again. I know that when it comes to having children they say ‘one is one, but two is twenty’, but you will find your groove. You might not be second guessing; whether you want to breast feed or bottle feed, whether you want baby to sleep in a bassinet next to your bed or in a cot in its own room, or whether you’ll be pureeing everything or taking the baby led weaning approach.
But you might find yourself with a whole new range of questions. Have I given enough attention to my newborn today? Have I given enough attention to my toddler today? Do my children watch too much TV? Does it matter that my toddler has eaten cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner today? Have my household standards slipped? When will I find time to have one-on-one time with my husband?
Just like it took time to adjust to life with one, it will take time to adjust to life with two. You will find your way, just be true to your Mummystyle and don’t get caught up with what you see on social media. If you’ve never been a ‘crafty’ Mum then don’t set yourself a giant craft project week two of your newborn being home. If you’ve never been a ‘healthy food’ Mum don’t set yourself the task of making your toddler homemade muesli bars week three. And if you’ve never been an ‘early bird’ Mum then don’t set yourself the task of getting up at 5am to get in a load of washing, wash the floors and clean the bathrooms when you’ve been up settling and resettling your newborn and your toddler all night!
2. Don’t over commit yourself – some days it’s okay that everyone stays in their pj’s until Daddy gets home.
I like the idea of having all my babies close together, so that if I am having a bad day, we can all stay at home and be in our pjs until Daddy gets back to help. With two close together, you probably wont have to run other children around to school or preschool or after school commitments.
You might have made commitments for your toddler to attend a craft activities or music and story time at the library or Gymbaroo – and it is great to keep some sort of routine in your toddler’s life when baby number two arrives. But remember that the newborn stage is fleeting, so if you have to stay still and hibernate for a week or two in the beginning, everyone around you will understand.
3. Ask for help or accept help when offered.
A friend offers to make you dinner – say ‘YES’. Your Mum wants to pop around and mind the children so that you can have a shower or a nap – say ‘YES’. The neighbour from across the road rings the door to see if you’d like her to pick you up some bread and milk whilst she is down the road – say ‘YES’.
Think that anyone of these things would be nice when you are at home trying to learn the new task of being a Mum to two under two? Then don’t be afraid to ask for help!
We didn’t always do this job being so isolated. There is a saying ‘it takes a tribe to raise a child’. If you need help, ask for it. And if help is offered, accept it.
4. Pre make meals or snacks – I’m the queen of preparing dinner during afternoon nap times.
If you have the opportunity it might be nice to cook a few meals to have in the freezer when baby number two arrives. We all know that you’ll have ‘bad days’ and wouldn’t it be great to be able to not have to worry about cooking dinner on those nights?
Once you are in a routine with your little ones, I found it easier to prepare our meals or snacks whilst one or more of the children were sleeping. It was also great to have some one-on-one time with my toddler baking cupcakes or something for afternoon tea whilst the newborn was napping.
Here is a great nap time dinner prep recipe that is loved by toddlers and Mums alike: Veggie Frittata
5. Be grateful for the small wins.
You got a load of washing done today – take the win.
You managed to escape the house and have 30 minutes at the park with your toddler whilst your newborn napped in the pram – take the win.
You finally have everyone asleep. Well actually, you’re all in your bed and you’re reading this post on your iphone, and your other arm is asleep from being under your toddler – take the win.