Motherhood, a subject that can only be taught by experience. Before I had my first born, I bought libraries of books, listened intently to anybody who answered to the name Mummy and scoured the internet for any of information which would give me the keys to motherhood….then baby number one arrive and I bought more books, spent more hours on the internet and formed alliance with the sleep deprived, who would spent their lives hanging out in coffee shops with their newborns and their overstocked changing bags. The first few months was a blur but two years on, I look back fondly, blanking out the sleepless nights (to be fair I only suffered for 9 weeks), the painful nipples and the pangs of guilt I would experience if I spent a minute apart from him. It was a doddle. Roll.on.baby.number.two!
Then baby number two arrived and I couldn’t be more in love, not just with my beautiful daughter but with my family. I felt so lucky and I still do, life couldn’t get any better. Gosh how gushy do I sound? Fast forward three months and the blurry memories of angst with baby number one have begun to resurface, we were experiencing the four trimester and in addition now I have a toddler who would give Usain Bolt, Albert Einstein and Mr Maker a run for their money. Plus, six weeks postpartum and Finley decides he wants to be potty trained, which was strangely around the time that we decide that the naughty fairy had lost his dummy. I still remain hugely in love with my little family but having two babies is definitely different to have one.
I am now days away of reaching the four month milestone and I can confidently put my dark shades away. I have survived. If I can pass on any words of advice this would be it;
- Be organised. This means, plan ahead, from lunch time to bath time. Being organised in the first few months is the key to your survival. Remember to stop being so hard on yourself and let it go. The only one judging you is you. So what if you haven’t attempted the washing in weeks or the cheerio stuck on the kitchen floor has turned a funny colour. Your not Wonder Woman; the housey stuff can wait. Just focus on getting through the day.
- Accept all the help that is offer. Now is not the time to be proud. If someone is offering to do your washing, cook you a meal or look after baby number one for a few hours, take it! Guilt goes out of the picture when your trying to survive. You can say thank you later.
- Hand baby number one over to Daddy/partner/family/close friend.
- Have your bestie on speed dial. I have winged constantly to mine and she’s still around.
- Accept your body shape, you have the rest of your life to get the dream body. If your baby is born in the summer hide your figure under a maxi dress, oversized shirt or your maternity clothes. If your baby is born in the winter, enjoy the benefits of baggy knit wear, your maternity jeans. Fashion gave us maternity wear so abuse it. I love nothing more than my skinny maternity jeans. God bless H&M Jeans!
- Eat well and drink plenty. The key to establishing a good milk supply is fuel. I order 1.5ltr pack of water from Amazon and carry a bottle around with me wherever I go. Yes it does mean I’m using the ‘Squeezy Time’ NHS pelvis floor app a little more than usual but it’s worth it.
- Acquaint yourself with the likes of Cook. I like nothing more than making a freshly cooked meal but this amazing establishment creates the most amazing meals, freeze them and deliver them to your door.
- Get an Amazon account. If getting out the house with two is a daunting thought then take advantage of the same day or next day free delivery options. Amazon not only supply all thing baby but they also sell groceries
- Routines. I was obsessed with routines with baby number one so when baby number two arrived, I was so keen to do the same. I would reread Gina Ford and tie myself up in knots that baby number two wasn’t doing what Gina Ford suggested. Baby’s have an natural algorithm and will soon fall into their own feeding & sleeping pattern. Remember all babies are different. If you get pass the four trimester and things haven’t settled down, consultant a maternity nurse. We did and life become instantly easier.
- Ouchie nips; your breastmilk is a natural antiseptic. I did two feeds with the nipple shields and hey presto healed boobies. Nipple confusion doesn’t come into the equation when your in pain.
- Get a cleaner….and one that is willing to iron. You won’t look back.
- If you aren’t able to get help from relatives or friends, get a nanny for a few hours per week to help out with baby number one.
- Get a baby carrier or sling. You’ll be surprised how mobile you become. You can even breastfeed without anyone knowing.
- Don’t listen to any one and don’t compare your baby to anyone else’s.
- Try the dummy. You can get rid of a dummy at any time. Promise.
- The cliche of never finishing a cup of tea/coffee becomes reality so get yourself out in the fresh air and head to your favourite coffee shop.
- Don’t be afraid to use formula.
- Do everything at your own pace.
- Include baby number one, with everything…playtime/bathtime/changing time/bedtime of baby number two. It’s the quickest way to get both children to bond.
- Factor in me time. Yes, I know this sounds impossible but taking thirty minutes each day to do something for you, will do you the world of good. Even if it’s taking a shower.
- As time goes on, it gets easier.
- Enjoy every precious moment as they grow up so quickly.