Nourish. Grow. Nurture. Thrive.
Many parents wonder if they could ever love another child as much as their first child and whether it is truly possible to feel those intense feelings once again. Can you really love another child like your first born child?
Absolutely! The love begins to grow when you see the very first scan.
And then when it happens and you meet your next little miracle for the first time, your heart melts and expands, opening up even further than you ever thought possible. Yes, there is definitely plenty more love to go around and your love doesn’t just double it multiplies! It is like an amazing kind of awakening inside that grabs and pulls at your heart strings like never before. These unique miracles of life that you have created are your greatest gifts to the world.
I sometimes have to pinch myself as I realise how damn lucky I am to have been blessed with my 2 little munchkins 🙂
Before becoming a 2nd time mumme I was well aware of what I was in for.
I had no romanticised view of having a newborn and what it might entail.
No, I knew exactly how it might be and just prayed for a happy, healthy, relaxed and sleepy baby!
BUT deep down I hoped for an easy baby…
I knew exactly what I was in for in one respect, but then felt a little confronted with the idea of dealing with a toddler and a newborn at the same time. How would I share myself and my time? I must admit I didn’t know how I was going to cope. I had suffered from postnatal depression with my first child so the fear of regressing was also a little scary but I found planning for the arrival of my next child and how I would deal with my son and my newborn really helped.
I knew that my son would be OK. He had identified from a young age with his daddy and at that time daddy was his world, his ‘superhero’ so I felt like the transition was going to be OK for him. There was no competition to fight for mumme’s attention if daddy was around.
The first few weeks rolled by very quickly. My son seemed to be doing really well and there was no apparent regression which can happen when the next baby arrives. He was coping well and we made sure that he felt a sense of control in many different areas of his life. He became very hands on as ‘mumme’s little helper’ getting nappies, wipes and toys for his little sister. We kept his world very consistent and predictable so it wasn’t a massive change for him.
By the time he realised his little sister was here to stay he had grown accustomed to her and enjoyed singing, dancing and reading to her as he had a very reliable audience. Now looking back we can’t even imagine life without our 2 treasures.
My daughter is very different to my son and the whole mothering experience 2nd time around has been different.
Is it because I have been there before and my child senses my confidence or is she an easier baby? Who really knows what the magic ingredient is…but what I do know is that the 2nd time seems to go so much faster than the first and I needed to be mindful and aware that my little princess was going to grow up way too fast.
Yes 2 children has it’s extra stresses and workloads. Generally by the time you are pregnant with your 2nd bubba you already can see glimpses of your old life in certain ways. You may have had a little more ‘ME’ time, you are hopefully getting more sleep and going out childless has become easier. However when your next bubba arrives it doesn’t take long to get back into the swing of it all again. The biggest challenges I experienced were dealing with my toddler and being confronted with the extra demands 2 children can play on your well-being.
What helps me (and I constantly remind myself of this) is putting it all in perspective. The newborn phase is fast, then you have the toddler phase and before you know it your baby will be off to school and there will be no turning back. I was mindful with my 2nd child and was well aware of savouring every moment we had together. Holding her, watching her, laughing with her and really sitting in the moment with her for I knew that these moments would change form and my little baby would grow up all too soon.
Reflecting on my mumme experiences so far, really helps me to stay grounded and in the present. I write every week in my journal about what I am grateful for and also reflect on what’s been going on in our life, what milestones my children have reached, funny stories about my son and what he has been up to or silly things he’s said. The feelings and emotions that are evoked when I watch my children interact together is beautiful and I cherish these times.
I do not want to forget these special moments and I want these memories to last a lifetime.
I wish all the 2nd time mumme’s or mumme’s to be out there the very best as you approach the birthday of your little miracle! I hope these tips will help your family transition smoothly from 1 to 2!
2nd Time mumme Top Tips!
1. FIND mumME TIME– (I also like to call it ‘Non Negotiable ‘me’ Time- NNT) plan ahead so it’s locked in (at least once a week)…as the impending arrival of you bubba gets closer try to think about ways in which you can give back to yourself. Like a date with yourself! It does not mean you need a lot of time or money it just needs to be something that will replenish and nourish your mind, body and soul (all 3 would be great!). Be creative with it!
I find a regular massage does me wonders or a HOT coffee out solo, or a relaxed meal eaten alone in silence. I also listen to guided meditations or have a long hot bath/shower and do absolutely nothing! Whatever resonates with you and is really going to give YOU a boost. Planning is essential so lock in the time and honour it. You will be amazed how good you will feel!
2. PLAN AHEAD! (at least for the first 12 weeks) Outsource work if you can (cleaning/laundry), ask friends and family to help out with meals/school or daycare drop offs/pick ups. Even taking your child out to the park so you can rest and focus on you and your baby. Be really creative and don’t be afraid to ask. Most people are more than happy to help out. If you can’t get extra help, let go of your expectations and prioritise. Communicate what you need and go with the flow!
3. YOUR BABY ARRIVES WITH GIFTS! Yes your newborn comes with a few gifts for your child. They do not have to be expensive. A colouring book and pencils would be all that’s needed. This worked a treat for my son…not only did it make him feel extra special and a happy big brother but it also kept him occupied at the hospital.
4. YOUR FIRST CHILD FINDS THE BABY! When your first child arrives to meet their baby brother or sister for the VERY first time in the hospital, make sure THEY find them. I made sure that my newborn was fed and she was sleeping in the crib when my son arrived. My attention was focused on my son and when he discovered his baby sister sleeping in the crib he was so excited, happy and proud to have found her. This made him feel very special!
5. FOLLOW YOUR MUMME INTUITION! Put down the books and follow your heart and your mumme sense of knowing. Your baby is unique so get to know him/her, read your baby’s cues and enjoy each moment you have together. Stay present, mindful and let things flow. YOU know exactly what is best for your baby.
6. COCOON YOUR BABY WITH WHITE NOISE! It can be a constant battle trying to keep your first child quiet while your baby sleeps. They can be super excited about the new visitor and want to wake up their little baby brother or sister to play. On the other hand, you desperately need your baby to sleep so you patrol the nursery like a hawk to make sure there are NO intruders. And you dream of having some rest at the same time! Well this might not happen exactly how you wish but there is hope…right from the start I made sure my son and daughter had a nap at the same time. Even if I got only 30mins of ME time it was worth it! So, use white noise to drown out any outside noise (aka…your first born child) plus it also makes your newborn feel safe and secure by recreating womb like noises. Yay…Win Win!
7. CREATE A SPECIAL TOY BOX! You may have started to wonder how you will manage to keep your child occupied when you need to feed your baby and give them some 1 on 1 attention without your other child having a complete meltdown as you aren’t available to meet their every demand.
What can help is creating a special box with special toys that ONLY come out when you are feeding or caring for your newborn. This can not only help to keep your older child occupied but also distract them from noticing your attention is diverted to another little one, outside of their world.
I also gave my son a doll to bond with before my daughter arrived. We talked about how we would look after the new baby and this helped plant the seed, so to speak and my son became quite excited about looking after ‘his’ baby and the baby that was due to arrive inside mumme’s tummy.
8. PLAN ‘SPECIAL’ TIME WITH YOUR NUMERO UNO BAMBINO! Plan special time each week with your child to make sure you have some 1 on 1 time together. It doesn’t have to cost anything nor be away from home the only essential ingredient is that they have your undivided attention! (best to switch off your mobile and avoid any other possible distractions).
9. MAKE THE NURSERY A NO PHONE ZONE! Life is even busier with 2 kids and it can be hard to shut off the outside world BUT you do have choices. Multi tasking may be a great way of getting jobs done BUT it can mean you do not focus on the task at hand. Your mind is elsewhere…possibly somewhere in the future and on being productive. Unfortunately the price you pay is huge! You can miss the ‘priceless’ moments that occur in the most mundane times. So, make your baby’s nursery a sacred space 🙂
To all the mumme’s out there doing the most incredible job in the world, please share your OWN mumme tips on how to transition from one to two or what has helped you on your mumme journey!
Don’t forget SHARING THE LOVE can help us all, as we strive to do our best each day and enjoy this remarkable mumme ride!
Love n life