As a mum of three, I can honestly say that I love the joys of motherhood.
I also know there’s always time to have a laugh at its messier moments!
Ladies, if you find yourselves about to transition from the routine of baby #1 to welcome baby #2 into the world, let me share how you’re about to become a master of military operation and the General of your household with a little survival guide to help you handle the newest addition to your family (and hopefully it gives you a good giggle along the way!).
Get ready – life’s about to change forever. Again.
Trips to the shops
Sorry, did I hear you say you say you need to quickly grab something from the shops? I don’t think so! Quickly anything is never going to happen again with two kids – let alone a trip to the shops.
Here’s what to do. Brace yourself, pack snacks, nappies, wipes, games, more snacks and attempt to get two kids in the car without one of them losing their s**t. Then, drive to the shops as quickly as you are legally allowed to. Find the closest parking spot to the entry, and give your oldest child instructions on what ‘shop etiquette’ is – no yelling, screaming at mum or baby, pulling food off the shelves and opening the play doh tub to create a monster.
Put the baby in the pram, or sling, hold the other child’s hand and off you go. I’ll see you in an hour – was it just some milk and bread? Yes, I’ll see you in an hour. That’s only if you didn’t need to stop for a breastfeed along the way.
Visiting the park
Now, this can be fun if planned like a military operation before leaving the house. First, think about what time you are planning on going. I would highly recommend feeding the newborn first, and then putting them in the car and driving straight to the park.
Then, pack enough food to feed a small army as your older child is going to be hungrier than they ever are at home; and will demand food, your attention, and pushes on the swings for hours! Be prepared!
Finally, pack nappies, wipes, a changing mat, sunscreen, change of baby clothes, wraps, more wipes, a hat, and any scooter-type device your older child many need. Don’t forget anything! As the one you leave at home will inevitably be the one your child wants. And with a newborn in tow, ducking home quickly isn’t an option.
Okay, so you’ve packed everything but the kitchen sink, you’ve fed the baby and you’re ready to go. Here is where your older child can help. To prevent the inevitable ‘falling asleep in the car’ syndrome, ask your child to entertain the baby on the way to the park. If all else fails, play music, very loud!
Hopefully, you arrive at the park, put the baby to sleep in the pram, and hey presto! You’ve got an hour of undivided attention for your older child. Or, at least 5 minutes.
Going to a cafe
Aah, remember the days when you could take your little one to the local café and enjoy a nice cup of coffee, while they sipped happily on their babycino? Keep hold of those sweet memories, hold really tight, before they slip into the past like those girl’s nights out you used to enjoy.
You can still enjoy a trip to the local café with your little ones, just make sure you’re prepared. The key here is to make your older one feel special. Tell them they’re the big sister or brother now, maybe order them the next size-up from a babycino, and make sure you pack plenty of toys to keep them entertained while you inevitably have to tend to your newborn.
Did I say plenty of toys? I meant every favourite toy of theirs, plus crayons, paper and anything else they can do. Will they need it?
Your baby, who has just been fed, had their nappy changed and is feeling ready for a nap, is about to scream blue-murder until you feed them again and do the world’s largest poo, which is leaking all over his or her clothes, needing an instant nappy and outfit change. And will then be so restless they just need to go home.
A nap on the couch anyone?
It’s birthday time!
So, your newborn is about to turn 1. How exciting! Where did that year go? Oh, that’s right, you have no idea where that year has gone as you’re so sleep, rest and adult-time deprived that you don’t even know what day it is!
Now it’s time to plan that all important First Birthday. What day is it again? Right, who did I invite to number one’s First Birthday? Holy hell! That many people? What was I thinking? No way!
My advice is, keep it simple. Invite immediate family and closest friends only, buy cupcakes and use the decorations from baby number one’s birthday. Yes, you kept them!
Now, my number one tip is this – buy your first born a really big present! Wrap it with lots of paper and ribbons, so they can spend ages unwrapping it while number two enjoys his or her haul of gifts. Well, let’s say it’s a small pile of presents reflective of the small amount of people you could be bothered to invite.
But it’s all good.
Holiday anyone? Really, really far away?
All jokes aside. Welcoming baby number two is a delight and one you will treasure every day. Remember to laugh at the messy moments – we’re all in it together!
Enjoy, General! We salute you.