Tuesday 11 August 2009

Double the love.

Friends, who are parents of one and either contemplating or incubating a second, keep asking me, ‘Is it hard, having two?’
The short answer is ‘YES.’
But it is also wonderful, rewarding and fun.

Double the love, double the smiles, double the cuddling.
Double the nappies, double the mess and half the sleep.

So here are my tips for those of you contemplating or expecting your second (says she with a whole eight weeks experience):

Routine. Let me just say that again. ROUTINE. Help the older sibling to get into a regular nap and bedtime schedule before the new baby arrives. This makes things so much more manageable.
Go easy on yourself. You can’t be and do all (I know, I’ve tried). If you have to leave one cry for a minute or two while the other needs immediate attention, it’s ok. They’ll get over it, you’ll get over it. Do your best.
Train a helper. Crazypixie loves to get me things while I’m feeding or changing tinyelf. They may not be exactly (or even remotely) what I was looking for but it does keep her amused and interested in her sister.
Let your toddler play mummy. Baba, crazypixie’s dolly, is changed, rocked to sleep, burped and breastfed. Hours of fun!
Stagger getting up times, naptimes and bedtimes. In the morning I give crazypixie her cuddles, get her changed, dressed and have the porridge on before bringing the sleeping tinyelf downstairs. I always ensure tinyelf is napping or happily playing before bringing crazypixie up for her nap.
Be a grownup. Have a least one adult conversation a day. Give yourself little snatches of grown up time, be it phone conversations, blogging, online shopping or snuggling with himself – whatever cranks your tractor.
Get out. After the first few times it’s not that difficult to get out and about. Go visit friends and family; give everyone a change of scene from your own four walls.
Remember the priorities. Leave the mess sometimes and just hang out with your kids and your partner.
Enjoy. Do what you can to make sure you all enjoy some of this special time and not just survive it.

Did I mention routine?


mammydiaries said...

you forgot one! Take up a hobby: Drinking comes to mind.

Claire said...

LOL @mammydiaries! Thanks for this Jen; we are doing some serious "contemplating" just now ;) and it's nice to know it can be done, even with an age gap as close as your two! And thankfully we have the routine down pat now - so much so that I think I must be mad for wanting to go back to sleepless nights!

Irish Mammy said...

Good post! Now what happens if you have a boy who has no interest in playing mammy? My 2 year old likes to body dive on top of his 7 week old brother, if not that he is trying to insert something inappropriate in his mouth and/or taking the dummy in and out of his mouth just to annoy him. Oh the joys, and YES it is difficult having 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SandyCalico said...

I agree with all of your tips (and I have 49 weeks experience)! It does get easier and I am now at the stage where they both have their afternoon nap at the same time. Woo hoo!

Maternal Tales said...

Don't do it. Don't do it!! Oops, sorry - it's a bit late. Hee hee. Naughty me. No, you're right - it is amazing having two, but crikey it's hard work. I founf the transition from none to one much easier than from one to two. But yes, totally agree - routine, rotine, routine...for your own sanity's sake! x

JennyMac said...

Routine is king for us and we only have one!

And mammydiaries comment cracked me up.