Dear Mommy to baby nr 2,
You’ve taken the leap and added to your brood. You’ve been told that the 2nd time around is easier than the first as you know exactly what to do. FALSE! You think you know. You think you’ll know what to expect; from those early contractions all the way to why baby is not settling. Let me tell you now. You don’t. They’re all different. And most of all, I think all those 1st time experiences are hidden far deep down in your mind – buried by sleepless nights, exploding nappies and vomit-stained clothing. So is it slightly easier, yes, in a way. But do you always know exactly what to do? No. Is it doable? Yes. Is it worth it?
IT IS PRICELESS!
I remember being afraid that I wouldn’t love Monkey as much as I love Bunny. But a friend once said, that when you see your 2nd newborn for the first time, it’s like a second chamber of your heart opening up, a chamber you never even knew was there, empty and waiting to be filled. She was so right. From the moment I saw and held Monkey, I could not have imagined my life without him. And in those first few precious minutes where it was just him and me; I knew that I could do it just as well as what I did with my first.
So how is it different from the first?
Well, it’s another being with his or her own ideas of how to do things and how to behave and having their own personality. For example; whereas Bunny loved it that we sing for him, especially to calm him down; Monkey hates it. Do not even try. The tears will start rolling down. And I know my voice isn’t that bad!
The biggest thing that I’ve learned is to just go with the flow. That’s the best thing that I have learned from the first – leave the clock and what the book says should happen and just go with it. And that has made things a lot easier for us.
We’re still finding our feet at home, getting into a routine where we can’t just take a nap with baby, as guess what; there’s nr 1 who also needs attention and play. Having to now have divide time, love and energy is quite tricky, especially to also still get a bit of “me time” in there somewhere. But we do the best we can.
Bunny is learning to play more independently. Yet, when he asks those 5 words of “Mommy, please play with me”, then I set aside those house chores or that tempting 15 minutes of free time where I just wanted to sit and do nothing and I spend it with him. It’s only 15 min out of the 24 hours. And it’s sometimes all that they need (yes, depending on what age they are). And don’t get me wrong, I don’t always play with him – I’m not that super mommy.
Bear walks passed you while you’re maneuvering about trying to get supper ready before the baby calls and he just wants to give you a hug; well, stand still for a minute and just give that damn hug. It won’t take long but it certainly will mean the world, for both of you.
The main thing is to balance it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your significant other. One can bath the kids while the other finishes off making supper or ironing or whatever. Remember it’s a partnership and like I’ve said in Part 1, it’s all 50/50.
The other big factor to keep in mind, especially when it comes to your marriage is that; what you do today, will set the course of where you’ll be once the kids are out of the house. And talk, talk , talk… not moan, moan, moan. But really communicate. Find out how each one of you is feeling. What the other one’s needs are physically but very importantly emotionally too. Listen to understand, not to reply. And do not assume. We all know that phrase: Assumption is the mother of all f-ups! And when was that not true!
You don’t have to put your marriage on the back seat because you can’t get in the car at the drop of a hat to go on a date. All you need, is to be a little more creative. There’s nothing wrong with having supper and just sitting there chatting and chatting about the good old days. And that creativity will be of great value soon, as you’ll need those creative juices soon enough to keep the kids busy while on holiday or maybe when they have to do an assignment…
It does get easier. Do take it one day at a time. And most of all, try to relish it all. And if you do happen to plan on adding more to your brood; then well, apparently it does get even easier. As for me…. we’ll have to see about that!