Here we go barreling toward the due date for baby number two. There’s no time for denial: This thing is happening. Life will change…again. So it’s time to sit back, get dramatic, and look for a place for the baby to sleep.
I know there will be tears—baby tears, toddler tears, mom tears. My husband won’t melt down, but he’ll probably come close trying to put out all the fires burning around him. Beyond these facts, I’m not sure what to expect.
So I decided to get proactive and go to *my* Real Housewives of New Jersey (Donna and Kim) for some advice from the Garden State on how to handle the day when the second turtle finally arrives.
Donna is a dear friend who just had her third baby, so she can spout out tips for the second as easily as she can make chicken nuggets, drop kids off at swim class, and change a diaper all at once.
Kim is an awesome mom-of-two and blogger over at Let Me Start By Saying… who always has sage advice and humor to offer. I particularly enjoy the humor, but right now I need the advice more.
I know a number of moms who are pregnant or due with their second, or just thinking about a second some time in the future. This one’s for you, ladies! …and dads, too, because this is good advice for all involved.
Here’s what Kim has to say…
- Line up help, but set guidelines. Decide how many people can be in your home and for how long. Room for one guest or three? Allow your sister to come but not her kids? Want your mom to come stay at your home but your mother-in-law to stay close by and only visit during the day? Figure it out, be honest about your needs, and stick to them. Help should be actually helpful, not stressful.
- Have your help lined up to do these things:
- Feed you.
- Take care of kid #1.
- Watch kid #2 when you need to shower.
- Run errands for you.
- Clean up the house around you.
- Look at your partner’s schedule and then whomever is offering help. Make sure the days are covered for a solid month, if not more. If that means signing kid #1 up for camp or classes or daycare for a couple hours a day, just do it.
- Help kid #1 with the transition. He got all the attention for a long time, and a new baby will take most of that away. Carve out some special “You & Me” time with him every day—whether it’s bath time, watching a movie, reading a book, going to lunch…anything.
- Give kid #1 “important” jobs. For example:
- Bringing you the diaper/wipes/changing pad.
- Holding the bottle to feed baby.
- Selecting a special toy for the crib/car seat/playpen.
- Getting you water to drink when you’re nursing.
- Singing songs or reading books to help baby go to sleep.
- Making “artwork” to hang in baby’s room.
- Keep the diaper bag prepared. Out and about is much trickier with two kids. Don’t leave the house without something to entertain #1 (book, crayons, snacks, water, etc.) when #2 needs you (changing, nursing, feeding, crying, etc.). Always have at least 2 diapers on you, even when going to the corner store. The Rule is that the less prepared you are, the bigger poop disaster there will be.
- Remember that you are human, too, and have needs. Having two kids, especially if both are little, is very draining. You need to eat, drink, sleep, rest, and have some YOU thing each day. A recorded TV show, your favorite food, a girlfriend to come over and chat about something other than cracked nipples, a glass of really good wine, a trashy magazine to read while nursing…make it happen!
Stay tuned for Donna’s advice later this week…