You Should Know…
It will be easier than you think. This was a welcomed surprise. I was so worried about the exhaustion, juggling both schedules, feeling like I couldn’t give enough attention to each child, or having enough patience and mental stamina to get through it. I must say, I even surprised myself with how well/smooth I made the transition. I’m not saying we haven’t had difficult days or moments because we have (I basically cried all last week!), but I think already being a mother to one and in “mommy-mode” so to speak, helped to ease the transition a little.
Your second baby will live in the carrier/sling so invest in a good one (or two…or three!). I kind of feel guilty (just what we need right?! MORE GUILT) that Malia takes most of her naps in the carrier but it just has to happen right now. She loves to be close to Mommy, she naps at least 2 straight hours twice a day and more importantly - I NEED TWO HANDS! I want to be able to play with London and get things done around the house; the carrier allows that to happen. We used the Baby Bjorn until recently when we made the switch to the Ergo 360. For a sling we use the Wildbird slings…they’re cute and functional!
You’ll have some pretty high highs and also some low days too - and that’s ok. You can go from feeling like supermom one minute, to incredibly deflated the next. It’s so up and down the first few months but cut yourself some slack; you’ve welcomed a brand new human into the world and your family dynamic has changed drastically. Understand that like any major transition (and it doesn’t get more major than a new baby!), time is your friend - and eventually you’ll get to a place where there are more highs than lows.
If there’s ever a time to meal prep and stock the freezer, it’s now. Actually, while you’re at it, just stock up on EVERYTHING; toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes, pads (for that lovely postpartum recovery), Ibuprofen, toiletries, etc. Anything you don’t want to be running to the store for, grab now! Also, if you aren’t an Amazon Prime member…now is the time! I have done groceries maybe twice since Malia was born (she’s 12 weeks old). I’ve ordered from Amazon Fresh at least twice a week and I highly recommend!
Your heart actually will grow another size. All the time spent worrying about this will seem silly when you hold your baby for the first time; it all just fades away. I felt like my heart could burst the moment they placed Malia on my chest. It was just as beautiful and special as the first go-around with London. I personally spent WAY too much time stressing about this - so if you’re about to welcome baby number two, just trust me on this one; it will be WONDERFUL.
Take FULL advantage of leaving the house with just one child and do ALL the things. I mean it…do ALL the things. I will say, we lived it up this summer. We hit the beach numerous times together, had lots of Mommy + Me dates, and took a few weekend trips as a family. You’ll quickly realize what a treat it is to leave the house with just one child when you take your first road trip or really even your first Target trip. Like anything though, getting around with two in tow quickly becomes your new norm and you’ll manage just fine :)
Asking for help or rather, accepting help that is offered should ABSOLUTELY be done. I was better prepared for this after we welcomed baby number two. I have met wonderful people here and haven’t been afraid to lean on them for support. I’ve had friends drop off meals, groceries, come by for a visit just to give me some adult conversation or keep me company, and neighbors who have offered to snuggle Malia so I could spend quality time with Lo. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept help but it’s necessary to keep your sanity, so don’t be afraid to ask when you need it or accept it when it’s offered.
The bond you have with your second baby may feel different than your bond with your first…and that’s ok. I remember feeling guilty at the very beginning that I didn’t feel “as connected” with Malia as I did London. I voiced this to my husband who quickly calmed me down and assured me that the bond would grow as time went on. Now I feel kind of silly for even thinking that was a “thing” at all. I mean, of course you’re not going to feel as deeply connected to your second born in the first week of their lives as you do with your first born. Be gentle with yourself and your feelings..It’s totally normal and fine to feel that way. (Also, shout out to my amazing husband who always listens and calms my soul - LOVE HIM)
“Sleep when the baby sleeps” can’t ever happen now…so do it as much as you can when you’re pregnant. I wish I did this more because guess what, even if I wanted to take a nap when Malia is napping now, it’s a lost cause with London running around. I will say, I took lots of naps to survive my pregnancy and the tiredness that comes with it…so I like to think I took advantage of that saying a bit while I could.
There’s plenty of love to go around. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of it. There will be more love than you can even imagine…a million moments that will make your heart melt and you’ll find more reasons to love your spouse and your first born. You can be worried and stressed about a lot of things - but please don’t stress about this one. There will be no shortage of love in your heart…you’ll be overflowing and it will be the absolute best.
I mean…how could my heart not just BURST when I look at this muffin?! It’s like she was with us all along…
I love you all, and if you’re reading this and you’re expecting your second, or third, or fourth…I hope this helps even a little!