I have your attention now.
So, the last time I blogged, I desperately wanted my child out as
complained described in Is This Going to Last Forever? Well, it didn’t last forever. In fact, less than a week later, he made his grand entrance into our lives.
My fingers are a bit achy, for they haven’t written in a while. Part because my newborn hasn’t gotten the memo that he no longer [literally] attached to me. I can’t stay mad at him. Just look at this little face.
So, this is what all you moms been warning me about, huh? Well life: I see two kids and I raise you an IUD.*
I remember the days when we brought Mariyah home.
Oh the joy … and under eye circles.
There was a lot of staring at her, making sure she was breathing and plenty of cuddling. Not to mention, I had a jumbo hand sanitizer on the coffee table, in which I made sure I deliberately stare at as soon as someone asked to hold her.
Nowadays … how am I going to put this … well let’s just say, if you’re walking in through the door, i’m handing one of the kids right over. Hand sanitized or not. There’s barely any time for a cuddle-fest. Unless you count smothering as a form of cuddling. I’m constantly pushing Mariyah off of her newborn brother. Like literally, holding her head at arm distance, just like my older brothers used to do to me after I charged at them for giving me a nuggie.
I can’t tell if she is INSANELY in-love with her little brother or if it’s all an act and she is waiting for the second I take my eyes off of him, so she can poke his eye out. So far the worst she’s done was use his head as leverage to pull herself up. No worries, he barely even flinched.
But I must say, I’m pretty darn proud of myself. I’ve come a long way since the first couple of days. I don’t think i’ll ever forget the look on my mother’s face when she walked into the door, and there I was; hair frazzled, baby at breast and … why again was I wearing mismatching pajama pants and shirt? Can you say train wreck?
I had to get a hold of myself. I needed structure. Stability. Control.
Who am I kidding? Since I became a mother, those three things aren’t in my vocabulary, unless it’s me asking Google to help me get those things.
But I do need routine. For my sanity and for my children’s safety, we need routine. Here is what I found is helping me stay… what’s that word … normal.
1. Set a realistic to-do list.
This is a habit that I created a while back and has honestly made me happier as a person. There is something about making a list and crossing things out that makes you feel empowered; as if even if all around you is a chaotic mess, crossing something off your to do list feels like you’re [somewhat] in control. The key is to make the goals attainable. So for instance, reading an entire book is not on the list. However, reading 10 pages is realistic and is something I am able to do. Another thing on my list may be doing a load of laundry and if I happen to fold it, kudos to me.
2. Get ready as soon as you wake up.
Better yet, aim to wake up sooner than your children do. Not only can I drink [some] of my coffee hot, but it’s the calm before the storm. The storm meaning, both kids waking up throwing things at you; demands from my toddler and spit-up from my newborn.
Also, everybody knows, when you look good, you feel good. It’s really true.
3. Begin cooking as soon as you can.
Even better, prep at night; chop the vegetables, thaw the meat, etc. As soon as your baby goes to sleep, start cooking. Stick to easy meals; hearty soups, one pot pastas, and crock pot recipes are great!
P.S. Don’t be afraid of leftovers.
4. Don’t expect any free time.
This is the number one thing that scares mom-to-bes.Well honey, i’m not going to sugar coat it. It is highly unlikely that you will have time for yourself or to better put it, enough time for yourself. Because there will be a window of opportunity to relax, but your mind is racing with things you still have to get done. Even when you’re out and about, you’re thinking; I wonder how messy the house can get while i’m gone or I wonder how long I have until my phone rings.
The key is to MAKE time. For example, my husband comes home; plan is in motion. I whisper to my toddler to go tell daddy how happy she is for him to be home and give a look to my husband that screams, I need a “minute”. He gives you the nod and you’re in! Nap or shower if that’s what you need. Or grab your remote and catch up on The Bachelor. That, is what I need.
5. Sleep when you can.
This HAS to be the number one advice everyone and their mama will give you. I didn’t listen the first time around, but this time, I made sure I did. HOLY … what a difference it made! I understand that it may be hard to nap, however, if you are able to shut down your running thoughts for an hour, it’s a must.
Chamomile tea with a hint of Lavender. Yes, I just went there. It just does something for me. Yours may be reading, meditation, or a jog. Whatever it may be, find it … soon.
7. Choose your favorite kid …
and get rid of the one you can live without.
What I mean is, it’s hard when both kids are crying at the same time. Your newborn wants to eat and your toddler wants juice. What to do, what to do! Choose the kid the needs you the most. Juice can wait.
However, toddlers hate to wait. Worse is the actual word, wait.
If it’s possible, do what you have to do to keep the toddler calm, so it will be easier to focus on your needy newborn. For instance, I like to make sure her sippy cup is full, snacks are in it’s bowl and Sesame Street in one click away.
8. Create a toddler emergency activity box.
YES! YES! YES!
As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what is keeping miss diva busy as I write this post. As most of you already know, breastfeeding a newborn is a 24/7 job. It’s already hard if it’s your first child, but your second AND a busy toddler? I needed a miracle.
Many of the activities allowed me to nurse while also verbally interacting with Mariyah.It’s a win-win.
9. Don’t stress the small stuff.
And when I say the small stuff, it may be big to you. In my case, I mean, understanding that newborns cry. And they cry a lot! They’re needy and selfish.
Another aspect of this is, if you haven’t mopped in days or your laundry is piling over, it’s really okay. Put you and your children first. Don’t skimp out on the kisses and hugs. They don’t stay this small forever.
10. Take time for yourself.
This is esspecially hard when you have a newborn whom soley relies on you for nurishment, so pull out that pump and start storing away as soon as 2-3 weeks. Leave the house and go! In fact, I intentionally look for long lines at the grocery store. That in itself, with no kids of course, is a mini vacation for mothers. Target is a glorious place for a mother who needs a break. Glorious for you, not your bank account.
All in all, the last month has been a blessing. Both my children are healthy and happy. What more can I ask for? I would love to hear what advice veteran moms have for surviving the first few months of a newborn and other siblings.