Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Preparing for Life After Our Second Blessing Arrives

In a few weeks, another little life will join our family. I'm due in early-to-mid September and as most new moms do, I've fretted over how the new addition will be welcomed by my oldest, and until now, only child. I've worried about how I will handle two children, and on top of that....I've worried about other life circumstances. Shortly after the baby is born we will be moving from Texas to South Dakota. My husband will be starting a new career field which may or may not include working swing shift. We will be in a new place, far from family and not knowing very many people. I'm only slightly panicked.

What to do, what to do. So, I've prioritized.

First things first, there is a baby coming and I'm going to help my child through this as best I know how. We will focus on the move and daddy's new job (possibly new schedule) after we welcome the newest member to our family.

I've taken advice from moms who have more than one child, and listened to their words of wisdom and encouragement.

To help prepare for baby's arrival, Andrew and I have read some books and watched a few videos. I've explained to him that mommy will spend a lot of time sitting and nursing the baby and holding the baby and we won't be able to do a lot of the same things we use to do.....at first. I'm not sure how much this he "understands" but we continue to talk, daily. My concern is mostly for *AFTER* the arrival and we slowly begin to get into a new routine.

Below are just a few ideas I've had in order to help my son, myself and our family get through this transition. When my son was born it took me a good six-seven months to feel like I had things under control. I fully expect it to take at least that, if not longer. Hopefully some of these things will help me not lose my sanity.

-Snack box/fridge in bedroom. Right now I have a snack box in my bedroom, Andrew knows he can ask for his snacks whenever he needs them. Shortly after we move we plan to get a small mini-fridge for our bedroom. My son wants to eat AS SOON as he gets up. I don't know what the baby's nursing pattern will be like but if he/she is anything like Andrew, they will be nursing immediately upon waking up! Having a snack box available within Andrew's reach, full of healthy (and some not-so-healthy) snacks will be a great way for me to help tide him over till breakfast. The mini-fridge will have bottles of water for me, juice and milk for Andrew and probably a few Monsters (yeah, take away the crunchy card) for my husband! Our new home has two stories and it makes so much sense to me to make things available *IN* the bedroom verses having to trudge downstairs with a baby attached to my breast and a whiny toddler. Also seriously considering a coffee maker on the nightstand. ;)

-Book baskets. I've been looking at Hobby Lobby and Garden Ridge (a local home decor store) and the Dollar Store looking for wicker baskets that I can keep around the house. I plan on keeping one beside our bed, one on the couch, and one beside the computer desk. The "idea" is that while I nurse or rock the baby, I can keep Andrew entertained nearby with reading and looking at books together. Honestly, Andrew is really good about entertaining himself. He plays VERY well alone and his personality doesn't require constant interaction. But I know these things can change.

-Daddy Time. We aren't quite sure of my husband's work schedule but we have discussed having time each week for Andrew and daddy to leave the house and go "explore". My husband is big into the outdoors so he is thrilled that we are moving to South Dakota. Hopefully we will arrive and have time to settle in before the snow arrives, giving Philip and Andrew time to get out and enjoy the outdoors! Of course, even if there is snow on the ground I'm sure they will be outside in it anyway. Me? I'm going to sit inside with a book and nurse the baby.

-Housekeeper. Since finding out we were pregnant (and knowing we'd be moving shortly after the baby arrived) I've been saving a little bit, week by week, to hire a housekeeper for about 4-6 weeks after we move and my parents leave. This is kind of a splurge for me because I like to clean and I don't like to waste money. But as I try to get on top of things with a newborn AND a busy three year old AND unpacking, learning a new routine, meeting new people....I'm not seeing having a housekeeper as a "waste" of money. It's going to be a huge help to keep me sane as I figure out being a mommy of two.

-Minimal expectations. I know, seems silly that I just listed out these things I plan to do to make life easier and then say "I have very few expectations." I really don't. I expect to have good days and hard days and that's about it. You can't plan how another human will act when they come into your life, you can really only plan for your reactions to them. I feel the best thing for myself to do is to have no expectations of leaping right into super mom mode, no expectations of cleaning or cooking, no expectations of handling everything without any problems. I want to comfort my baby, cherish my three year old and encourage my husband. If those expectations are met, I'm calling it good. I have time to be super mom later on.

As a planner it helps me to say "This is what I want to do", but another part of my personality is that I'm pretty flexible and able to think on my feet, so when things change, I can quickly jump into plan b, c, d, e or pretty sure there is "no plan" anymore. I'm hoping that serves me well....we have a LOT of changes coming up soon!

What did you do to prepare for the arrival of a second (or third, or fourth, or tenth) child? Did it help you to have a plan in place? 

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