This month, my blogging pals over at the Irish Parenting Bloggers group are throwing a virtual baby shower to welcome two new babies to the group. This post is dedicated WITH LOVE to our gorgeous Lisa at mama.ie who is soon to be welcoming a delicious baby girl, and Aine at andmybaby who celebrated the birth of her baby daughter in January. Hurray! Go Mamas!
We are meant to be giving Lisa and Aine our pearliest pearls of parenting wisdom, to help them on their journey as mums-of-two.
When it comes to parenting excellence, I don’t know much. I do, however, give a good line in cunning ways to make it a little bit easier.
So. Here goes:
1. Put the baby down
This is the biggest thing with number two. I wore my firstborn like a cashmere cardigan for the first year of his life. I felt his life depended on it, actually. When number two was a month old, one day I found myself heaving around the house, carrying both boys (one, a large and rangy seventeen month old) and singing ‘restful’ lullabies, I realised things had to change. I put the baby down in this newfangled thing called a baby chair. It vibrates and plays music. It saved my life. I highly recommend that you get one, place it on the kitchen table, and go about your business.
2. Embrace your alpha female
A strange thing happens to men when the second baby arrives. It’s like, since the first one was born, they become experts on all things child rearing. This is annoying. While with the first baby, you are so clearly the one in charge, on number two, you may find yourself having to justify your parenting decisions. Knock it on the head as early as you can. It’s no good for anyone involved.
3. Get your box of tricks organised
Feeding the baby in the first few weeks can be an assault course when there is another small person involved. I was pumping, followed by bottle feeding for the first two months, and one feed seemed to bleed into the other. For this reason, my mother suggested I get a box o’tricks. In my one I had:
- popcorn and crackers
- special picture books
- a few favourite tractors
- bottles of juice
For every time I fed the baby, the box came out and the toddler was plonked beside me on the couch with his box. We still use it today. It works. A. TREAT.
4. About to lose it?
Look, we’ve all been there. I feel like I am about to explode about seventy nine times a week. During those times I employ the “is everyone safe? can i escape?” rule. For me, now that the kids are two and nine months respectively, this means, tying them into their high chairs, putting Peppa Pig on and running out the back door for five minutes and four seconds of peace. Yes, I stare at them through the glass doors, but at least there is something dividing us for those precious five minutes.
5. Always remember the most important thing:
Right now, you are getting to experience the coolest thing. You are getting to see on the most intimate level, what it is like to welcome a new person into your family, through a child’s eyes. This, my darling friends, will be what will get you through the next year. It is amazing, tiring, blissful and aggravating, but above all, it will rock your world like nothing ever has.
Finally, I will give you my pearliest of pearls. When we had number one, we became a unit. With number two, we became a family. This, really, is how much I know.
For more posts from the virtual baby shower, take a trip over to the Irish Parenting Bloggers Facebook page
Today’s Mystery Letter is U