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Saturday, September 26, 2015

mom to 2 by Chelsea Proulx

Thank you to Chelsea Proulx for sharing her experience of going from having one child to two little ones around. Great ideas here!

Images shared from Chelsea Proulx

How did you try to prepare yourself before baby number 2 arrived?
I felt much more relaxed about the arrival of baby 2. To be honest, I feel like we were so busy and preoccupied that we didn't prepare enough! We brought out the bassinet, car seat and swing which were in storage and pulled out some newborn clothes but the gender was a surprise so I didn't go crazy washing and putting away all the outfits. I also made sure to buy an infant carrier (the Ktan which I loved) because I knew I would need to wear baby a lot. 

How did you try to prepare your first child for his little sibling?
My son was only 17 months when the baby was born so we talked a lot about the new baby with him and he would occasionally point to my belly and say "baby" but overall I think he was too young to really understand what was about to change. 

What are some of the biggest changes with going from one to two children? 
With the second you just don't have the same amount of time to spend focusing on either of them. Life doesn't stop to revolve around the baby like it did with the first. I couldn't just sit down nursing and relaxing with the baby, I had to keep up with my toddler and all the household duties that come with having a toddler. But I also couldn't give the same attention to my toddler that he was used to getting and I lost my patience much quicker.

I remember feeling at first like there just wasn't enough of me to go around!

What has surprised you about being a parent to two? 
How easily we have all meshed together as a family. The kids adore each other- my oldest is always looking out for my youngest and now that the baby is getting older he sits and watches his brother and just giggles, all the time!

Although it is crazy busy, and sometimes overwhelming, we have finally gotten into a groove and it feels natural. 

What are some of the greatest things about adding another one into the mix, making two better than one? 
Watching the kids "play" together is so heartwarming. My husband and I are both close with our siblings so it's really cool to see their relationship as siblings develop. My oldest loves to help out and is always looking out for his brother.

I initially felt guilty about how much less one-on-one attention my second got than my first did as a baby but I think it's actually good and healthy for him- he is very independent and able to entertain himself if left alone. I also think it's good for my oldest to have someone else to care for and he is starting to understand that sometime he has to wait for Mommy's attention! 

What did you do with your first child while you were in the hospital with baby number 2? 
I went into labor a week before my due date so my mom came over and stayed the night so we didn't have to wake my oldest. My husband stayed at home the next night which worked best for all of us (he is a man that needs a good night's sleep to function so even I preferred that he go home!). I actually spent most of the hospital stay alone with the baby because he was born in the middle of all the bad snowstorms in February but I totally loved and enjoyed the quiet time with just me and baby. 

What is your advice for moms who are going to have a second child? 
I am very much a type-A personality that likes to have everything on my to-do list done before going to bed at night. I hate a messy house. I hate when I run out of time to make dinner. With my first I felt like I always had the time to still get everything done, even working full-time.

The hardest adjustment for me with number 2 was simply not having the time to get to everything I wanted to do. My advice would be (and most of you have probably already learned this)- it's okay if you can't get to everything. 

For whatever reason I feel like the workload more than doubled by adding a second child (probably due to the toddler- toddlers are not easy!!) but I am learning that I need to take a step back somedays and just get through the day- As long as everyone is fed and safe it's a good day!! 

How was it when you were pregnant with baby number 2 with a toddler running around, was it a different pregnancy? Any advice for those pregnant with a toddler? 
The second pregnancy was way easier for me in a lot of ways- I wasn't worried about and focused on every little symptom, the morning sickness was less and easier to deal with the second time, it was winter and not the middle of summer and overall I just felt way better. My toddler was walking by time I was really showing and really feeling pregnant and the few times a day that I had to lift him into the car seat or high chair it was okay. My second was also 2 lbs smaller at birth and my belly didn't get as big and I wasn't anywhere near as swollen so that helped!

My advice would be to get creative- if they want to be held and you really can't lift then try to distract or make a game out of going up the stairs next to each other, etc. 

Can you share any silly or funny moment between your two kids or your husband and you when baby number two came that shows what it's like? 
I packed the kids into the car and drove to the grocery store when the baby was still really new- it took about an hour to get everybody fed and out of the house and dressed appropriately. By the time I got to the store I had 45 mins to an hour before the baby would need to nurse. I get the baby in the baby carrier only to find out the he had a massive blowout which is now all over him, me and the carrier and I don't have extra clothes for any of us. So we pack back into the car without groceries and my toddler cries the whole way home because he's "all done!" 

Think back to all the things you worried about before and after baby number 1 came along... did you worry about those same things, or lighten up a bit and worry about different things the second time around?
Overall I think I've lightenend up a bit- I don't over-analyze every little thing with the baby this time around. With the first everything was a big deal! But the typical mom worries are still there (safety, illnesses, the fact that they are active boys that will someday want to ride dirt bikes and play football!)... One day at a time!

Name 3 things you could not live without having a second child- 
Baby carrier (I liked the K'tan and then the Bjorn), coffee, my husband. 

How has your relationship with your first child changed by adding a second one? Do you try to put special time in for your older one, mommy and son time? 
Because we don't have as much one-on-one time, when we do it is more special. I try to take a few minutes to give him my undivided attention when the baby goes down for a nap and my husband and I alternate putting him to bed so he gets our full attention there. We also each try to take my oldest out on various errands here and there if the other parent can be home with the baby.

What is your advice to a new mom of two as she prepares, and as the baby is here? What works? 

The beginning is the hardest. Take all the help that's offered and don't feel bad about it- when people ask how they can help, tell them! It was nice to have meals prepared and frozen ahead of time. 

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