Tuesday, June 17

bootstraps

You know your day is going to be interesting when one of the first tasks you attempt is trying to put the lid back on the cinnamon sugar and the container goes flying, spilling the contents evenly throughout the kitchen...and that reduces you to tears. The sobbing, gasping, uncontrollable kind of tears. While your toddler looks on in stunned amazement.

I mean, c'mon, pull yourself together, lady!!

Yes, folks, the pregnancy hormones are in FULL SWING. One nap later, I am able to laugh at myself. I tell you what, hormones are a crazy, crazy thing.

I have an OB appointment today, and midwife visit on Thursday, so I'm looking forward to those reports of progress! I can't believe it's a mere 11 weeks until I am considered full term. I am thinking welcoming thoughts to encourage our child to come whenever the time is right.

I was talking to a local friend yesterday, who recently added child #2 to the family, about things that they are adjusting to with baby #2. I asked her, and I'm asking you - what adjustments did you NOT expect? What were you surprised by? What words of wisdom can you offer?

I know you can never be really prepared, as each child and family dynamic is different. But I would love to hear from all you moms with "2 or more" experience about some practical ways to make the adjustment smoother. Things you wish you had done, things that worked well, etc.

4 comments:

Kara said...

Rachel was 15 mo. when Adam came home from the hospital. I was NOT expecting so many temper tantrums to suddenly come from my perfect first born! At least that only lasted a couple weeks, and now they are inseparable. :)

Heather said...

11 weeks till you are a mother of 2!!! Exciting!! When Logan came home with us Victoria was 14 months old and so many people looked at me like I was crazy!! At first I probably agreed with them. Our lives were a bit hectic till i got into the swing of things. I just had to stay organized and knew that if I needed to venture out just me and the kids it wasn't going to be a lazy stroll through walmart looking for all the best sales kind of stroll it was going to be a quick get in, get what i need and get back home.

I eventually learned how to manage my time and my ENERGY with two small kids.

Now, I look back and I am so happy that we have the two of them at such close ages. They are so fun and Victoria is such a mommy to Logan. She looks after him and takes care of him in ways that amaze me.

Tim & Richelle said...

Hmmm, well, where to start... I was just thinking that come December, we'll have 8, ages 13 and under.

First, each adjustment to a new child has been different, so there have always been some "unexpected" things, positives and negatives.

Some things that I've found worked well with each new one though:
1)Observe your child closely in those last weeks before the new one arrives to see what is most important to him - try to keep that the same and special for him. In other words, if he has a favorite chair where you read to him, don't have that become the chair you are always sitting in when you nurse the baby and can't read to him (am I making sense?).

2) I've always preferred to nurse laying down when I'm home, so I'd pull the other one or ones right onto the couch with me/bed with me for a cuddle so they felt they were a part of it.

3) Find fun little things for him to do to help with baby or give him his own "baby" (our boys chose dinosaurs) to take care of and mimic you.

4) Be consistent and keep to rules you already have established for him, but remind yourself not to frustrated if you see him regressing some (needing longer naps, having accidents, spilling or dropping things more often, resistant to picking up when he's always wanted to before, etc.) and remember that it is ok to sometimes show grace if "disobedience" can more accurately be attributed to confusion, frustration, wondering where he fits in now...

5) Make sure you have a few plans/ideas for those hormonal moments after baby comes home, when your world suddenly seems more than you can handle. Perhaps a video for Aaron and a favorite CD that rights your perspective, a friend you can call who will pray with you or who can come over for a quick cup of tea, etc. Frankly, my strategy has almost always been a hot shower where I let the big one play at my feet and I just cuddle the little one in my arms and let the water wash all the cares away.

6) Don't be afraid to ask for help, especially those first few times you venture out on your own. And when you do go out and survive successfully (I remember a trip to Lansing to see my parents a few weeks after #3 arrived - and stopping at a Burger King with all three by myself), go ahead and celebrate!

I think my biggest surprise is how flexible kids are and how they take many of their cues off of mommy. So, when I'm relaxed, accepting, patient and willing to let some things slide during that adjustment period - so are they. I try to expect/demand a little less from them and they extend the same grace to me. I LOVE coming home from the hospital and having all my gang with me, just relaxing and enjoying those special first few days.

Probably more than an ear/eyeful, but fwiw, there you go...

Treasure these weeks with Aaron - he won't be your one and only much longer. :-)

Katie said...

Hm, one piece of advice that Laurie Priest gave me that I followed was for when Luke first came to the hospital to meet Simon. I made sure that I wasn't holding Simon, but that he was laying on the bed when Luke came in, so that I could give Luke a big hug! I think it was more important since Luke was so old - we had had 3.5 whole years just to ourselves (Mommy & Luke).

One thing that I didn't expect was feeling so emotional about Luke that first night in the hospital. Actually, I really missed Luke and wanted to hold him and be at home putting him to bed, etc. (Now I think I would actually appreciate a night off - even in the hospital! :) I was sad that everyone else was taking care of him and wished someone could care for Si so I could be with Luke. I felt a little bit guilty, but found myself being a little scared about the changes about to happen. I knew Luke might be jealous of the new baby, but didn't think I would be! I wasn't sure how life would be with two, and in a way was sad that my time with just Luke was over. Of course, now I can't imagine life any other way except with my two boys.

I never did this too much - much to my disadvantage - but I should've prepared snacks and such ahead of time for Luke to be able to get while I was nursing Simon or otherwise unable to get something for Luke. Not sure if Aaron is old enough for that one.

If people ask you if they can bring you a meal, or help with Aaron, or do whatever, say, "Great! How about xxx," instead of just thanking them and saying you'll set something up or let them know. People forget - they meant so well - but nothing ends of happening. You think about those offers when you feel like you're dying. :)

Everyone says, "Every baby is different," but somehow I'm still surprised when Simon does some things COMPLETELY opposite as Luke. This mostly applies to things that aren't as easy. Luke adapted to a schedule and all of the lovely principles from Babywise so well. Simon is very laid back, much more so than Luke was, but he doesn't seem to care very much about following my plan. :) Sigh.