When we found out we were expecting our second child I immediately started to worry about kiddo #1. Well I did at least, my husband doesn’t seem to worry about things until they happen, hey if I could be that way I’d sleep more at night and I wouldn’t be so gosh darn up tight all the time…..but hey, I am who I am. So I reached out to my Momma friends awhile back to ask them some advice on what they did with their # one’s when #two came along. What did they do to prepare, how did they speak to there #one, what things did they do once #two came to make sure #one still felt loved and special, that kind of thing. I got some great advice and when I mentioned these tips to my therapist she loved every single one of them. I thought I would share them because I currently have a handful of friends that are expecting child #2 or already have in the recent months. What I have discovered since becoming a mother is talking to other Momma’s and hearing their words of advice really does help me. I don’t have to take every piece of advice given to me, no one does. I’m not one to judge anyone or any Momma for that matter. I take it all in and really think about things, always remember what may work for you may not work for other families but it can never hurt to listen to others words of wisdom because you never know when something may work for you and yours. So here we go……
A blogger Momma friend of mine has two boys and is currently expecting her third baby!! A girl…..yay!!! Here is something she said to me that stuck out. “The day you bring the littlest one home, the meeting is interesting. Depending on how far apart your kids are. My oldest rejected me for a while, because of his little brother being loved and held by me. The boys are about 22 months apart. So pretty close. Now they are becoming friends. I’d say never compare your kids while talking to them. Never say “well your brother/sister does this why don’t you?”. It will pit them against each other.”
I would never want to be compared to my sister whether I was a year old or 32 years old, I’m sure it’s easy when your in the heat of the moment to say “Why can’t you be a big girl, look what a big boy Drew is being.” I’m sure it’s something that I will find myself fighting at some point or another!
Another Momma friend of mine I met through my local Mommy & Me groups had some great words of wisdom. “While I love having two and I want one more, it is tough at the beginning. I feel guilty because someone is always waiting for my attention! The lack of sleep thing is even less cool than it was last time because there is a toddler around to entertain. Getting everyone up and dressed and out the door is quite the production and I am fairly sure I will never straighten my hair again. Also, I long for a feeling of “normal” more than I did with my first (I think it’s because I was busy with new mommy hood) but I want everything back to normal…our schedule, my body, my sleep, my social life, etc. I think it’s because with a 2.5 y/o I know things do go back to some sort of normalcy, I’m just impatient for if this time.”
This is nothing I hadn’t already thought through my busy lil Momma brain since finding out about # two. I’m not good with lack of sleep. I found that out when Madison was born. Well, I could survive just fine on 4 hours of a sleep a night, but interrupted sleep, that’s another story! I know for me the feeling of normalcy hit me like a ton of bricks the first time around. I wanted nothing more than the familiarity of my life back. When your have raging hormones flowing through your body, fears of being a first time momma and lack of sleep on your side, I think back now and think it’s only normal to want what’s familiar back. I’m hoping the second time around since I know it does come back eventually that I won’t be longing for it so badly. Another plus I feel I have this time around is that Drew is due during the summer time. I’m hoping a little ol fashion vitamin D will help this Momma get back on her feet. Hey thinking positively helps!
Another Momma friend of mine I met through a mutual friend is currently expecting her third baby. “Prepare Maddie as much as you can, talk about baby all the time and tell her he’s her baby too. I think its a real advantage to know the babies name so she knows its a person and not just a baby doll. Include her in everything, picking out clothes/linens/toys for baby. Let her prepare the room and explain everything to her. I took the last couple of months to really work on Maxs independence. Walking down the stairs, climbing into the car, helping pick up his toys. Getting use to walking everywhere, so I wasn’t stressing at the grocery store when baby came.”
Now that I’m CLEARLY showing, we talk about Baby Drew all the time. Yes she kisses my belly and says hi to him everyday but does she really get it?? I don’t think so. Nor do I think she’ll get it until he’s actually here but when I read this piece of advice it really made sense to me. Every time I buy a little something for him, I have her help me put it in his closet and next month when I start the nursery I want Madison to help me as much as she can so she feels included. She really just wants to be involved in everything we do so why wouldn’t we involve her in this too. I’m also starting to explain more too rather than just say “where is Baby Drew?” I’m starting to say she will be the best big sister ever, that it’s a big job and she’ll love every second of it. I ask her if she’s going to help Mommy & Daddy with Baby Drew and she’s going to read him books and feed him. I will start to work more on the independence too but I think she’s great at that already, the child insists on doing EVERYTHING on her own already!
A friend of mine’s wife suggested something that I think works great with toddlers that are Madison’s age. “The older child just wants to help, help feeding, help changing, help with everything! once you figure out how to juggle it gets easier! The biggest adjustment was making sure the older sibling gets as much attention as the baby!”
Again this just reminds me of how much Madison just wants to help so hopefully I can incorporate that into our schedule once the baby comes. I want her to feel special and needed so badly. I know the lack of attention is what I worry about the most, I love that Madison gets 100% of our attention right now so it’s heart breaking to know she will no longer be getting that, but it’s perfect timing because now that we have two in-law apartments onto our new house my sister and mom are here and can help give Madison the attention she deserves, or take Drew so we can give her that uninterrupted attention.
A friend of a friend had a GREAT piece of advice that I will certainly try and I think everyone should because with toddlers it really makes sense to me. “Remember to tell the baby, out loud so the older child can hear, “just a minute baby, mommy needs to do (whatever) with (older child)”. It doesn’t mean much to the baby, but it’s good for the older child to hear you put him/her first. The older child will be told often to wait for his/her turn and he/she needs to hear the baby is being told to wait too!”
I would never have thought of this one on my own so again, another piece of advice that I’m taking in and making a mental note of (or who knows maybe I’ll need to look back on this article once Baby Drew is here, whatever works! If you have any other words of wisdom please do feel free to share it with me. I’m enjoying every second I can with my daughter before Drew is born, however I’ve been sick numerous times this winter, we’ve had numerous feet of snow, we’ve moved, we’ve started a new daycare, my husband now works 60 + hours a week, shall I go on, I’m pretty excited for Spring if you can’t tell. I’m just going through all the same fears every other parent goes through while expecting #two (minus my husband of course because remember what I said about how he doesn’t worry “in advance”. LOL 🙂 Hey it’s why I love him.
Left side is when I was 24 weeks along with Madison. UGH tan and fit!! The right is 25 weeks along with Drew, Eh not too much bigger I guess!!