I love reading her words. She is a passionate writer (or shall I say, published author!), with no holds barred opinions on issues that matter to her. She makes me laugh frequently with tales of mortifying faux pas like toilet paper hanging out of her jeans. She moves me to tears with gorgeously written posts like the one about her mother.
Most of all, she’s a loving mother two girls, Fiona and Ella (the latter frequently says the darndest things!). So who better to kick off my guest series this week on dealing with being a mother of two? I dare you not to love her, like I do
Thank you Ado, for doing this for me. xo
But it’s also a huge leap to become a mother for a second time.
A different kind of huge leap.
I remember being off-the-charts anxious about how I would be able to manage two whole children when I wasn’t really quite sure how to handle one. But two!
When I was pregnant, Fiona said: Are you going to love me just as much as you do now when the baby comes
Of course, I told her. Of course I will.
Before Ella arrived, I secretly wondered if my heart could expand enough to love another child since I loved the one I already had so much.
But my heart did expand. It’s hard to explain but every time you give birth I think your heart expands in direct proportion to the size of the baby, times infinity.
What I would like to tell Alison is: cherish this down-time with Monkey, your firstborn. You’ll never have the same kind of uninterrupted, one-on-one time again – just the two of you. The dynamic changes when the second one arrives – but you will adjust, and so will Monkey.
After I gave birth at the hospital, I was holding Ella, who had finally fallen asleep. She’d had a difficult time latching on and I hadn’t gotten much sleep, so I was frazzled. Fiona ran in – but she was no longer my baby Fiona, no! She was a giantess! Suddenly she looked enormous! I could not believe how much she had grown in only a day since I’d seen her. She promptly jumped onto the bed and woke the baby.
I snapped at her. The baby began to cry.
My husband and the giantess (who had a betrayed look in her eyes) left the room.
Not a great start.
Here are some tips that helped me:
- Make time for daily quality one-on-one playtime with your firstborn, while your newborn sleeps. During this time, follow your child – do what they want to do.
- Know that no matter how perfectly you try to do it, the adjustment phase will be imperfect and you will probably feel guilty. Frequently.
- It’s common for the firstborn to regress in areas of potty training, neediness, sleep, and other behaviors you thought they had mastered. This is normal – just keep giving ’em a whole lot of love.
- It can be scary to “go out” of the house for the first few outings with a newborn and a toddler. Plan it out in advance, and bring another adult with you. It gets easier.
- Enlist the “help” of your toddler with changing baby’s diapers ask them to hand you diapers, or wipes, or have them help you put the diaper on the baby), choosing the baby’s clothes, getting toys and so on. They love to feel responsible & helpful.