For those of you who don't know me, my name is Aliya and I live over at Double the Fun, where I recently also just popped out Babe #2 less than a month ago... much to my surprise on my son's first birthday. My blog ramblings now consist of raising two kids exactly a year apart, my McDonald's Sweet Tea addiction, hoarding of any and all beauty products, and trying to keep my sanity while wrangling my toddler away from electrical outlets and at the same time have a newborn hanging from my boob. Yea, I should pretty much change my blog name to "Three Ring Circus...."
Anyways, I digress. Meet the bossmen who I report to everyday:
Also known as Hubs, Kyran (1 year old), and Ariana (1 month old)
Since I had Baby #2, many people have been emailing, gchatting, Facebooking, etc... and asking me how I'm doing "this time around." Are things harder with two kids? Easier? What struggles have we faced so far, etc...
Funny thing is, I think Ariana is about 10% of the work that Ky is at this age right now. Yea, she needs to eat every 3ish hours, and when she's wet and needs to be changed, she lets you know with a blood curdling scream that would make dogs whine... But, other than that... she pretty much just sits there. I don't have to keep 1.5 eyes on her at all time to make sure she isn't flipping over our dog's water dish, about to throw a toy down the vent ducts, make a beeline for the front door, or slam a finger in the entertainment cabinet. Yes, these are all things my first born attempts on a daily basis.
With that said, there are a lot of things I did right off the bat seeing as how this is my 2nd baby and I would like to think I learned a lot last summer from my 1st one. One would hope, at least. I know a lot of you are either new moms or moms-to-be so here are my Top 5 pieces of advice for surviving NewMomHood without ripping your hair to shreds.
1. The Pack-and-Play is your friend.
We keep our P&P on our main level and Ariana stays in it most of the day. This way, she's out of Big Brother's reach, I can see/hear her at all times, and it saves me from having to run upstairs every two seconds when she needs to nap and/or be changed. I also change her diapers in there, and I keep a little tote box by it that has plenty of diapers, wipes, hand-sanitizer, etc... for both kiddos. The less running around you need to do, the better!
2. Sleep when the baby(ies) sleep...
Easier said than done. I didn't listen to this sound advice last summer... When Ky was a newbie, as soon as he was asleep I was running ragged doing laundry, showering, prepping dinner, etc... this time, I basically gave myself a "get out of chores free" card, for the first month at least. Especially two with two kiddos (and a toddler who is up at the butt crack of dawn...), sneaking a nap or two in when you can is mandatory. Surprisingly enough, the laundry really can wait... for the husband :)
3. Don't Be A Hero
No, really. You're only hurting yourself. It's ok to ask for help. In fact, it's more than ok... especially if you have family/friends around who are willing to help. The first few weeks of post-partum recovery can be rough, BFing can be exhausting/taxing (if you chose to do that), and your body is basically adjusting to becoming "you" all over again. Take time for yourself when you can. Say thank you instead of "don't worry about it" when a friend offers to drop by a meal, or watch the baby while you take a long, relaxing shower. In the end, you'll be glad you did.
4. Mama Knows Best
No one can tell you how to raise your baby but yourself. AND, no one knows what works best for your family better than you. Of course, doctors are there to tell you about health benefits/risks, etc... I'm not saying you shouldn't listen to the doctors... but there are so many "judgey" moms out there who love offering unsolicited advice about how you should parent because it's what worked for them. I say? Do what you want. And listen to your gut. Just because Granola Jane next door breastfed her kid til he went to Sleepaway Camp doesn't mean you have to feel that same pressure, even if she does give you the side-eye.
5. Get out, get out, get out!
Staying in your house (as beautiful and homey it may be) CONSTANTLY with a newborn can drive a crazy man nuts. I recommend getting out and about as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so... even if it's just a short walk around the block, a quick trip to the grocery store, or even an hour at the mall to snag that Auntie Anne's pretzel you've been craving... (What? Just me?) Believe me when I say that putting on regular clothes, dressing your baby up in a cute outfit, strapping them in their car seat, and taking them out of the house gives you a whole new sense of independence and freedom. While it may seem intimidating at first (and it is), the sooner/more you do it, the easier it gets. I truly believe most post-partum stress and depression stems from cabin fever. A fresh, new environment is healthy for you and baby... you won't regret it.
I hope these little tidbits help some of you out there who might be overwhelmed with the idea of bringing a real-life human into your home. I for one was shocked when they let me take home one baby, let alone a second. It's hard, and it's scary, and its intimidating... but it's also wonderful and incredible and amazing... and with a little bit of help, a whole lot of work, and a subscription to the Wine-Of-The-Month Club, it's totally do-able :)