It's been about two months since I gave birth to Isla. And my eldest nugget, Ava, just turned two. Here's what I've learned so far:
1. Some days are bad. But not everyday will be bad.
This simple bit of wisdom was handed down from my mom who is the queen of "two under two" (sis and I are 16 months apart!). And she's right. When I called her on what was my worst day, the next few days were kind of great.
Some days you will feel like a rock star, others you will just try to survive, and some days you may hate it. But just muscle through the bad days and know that a good day is right around the corner.
2. Find a carrier you like and wear your newborn. All. The. Time.
Seriously. I put my Boba Wrap on as soon as I get dressed and it doesn't come off until I get in bed at night. Isla sleeps there, I can nurse her in it, and I will throw her in if she's fussy and just needs to be close. This allows me to keep up with Ava and be hands free most of the day.
(Check back for an article about carriers. I've tried them all...)
3. Give your toddler some focused mama time everyday.
This was a tip from a friend. When Isla is napping, I ask Ava what she wants to do and I do it. No questions asked. She directs, gets to feel in charge, and gets mama's full attention.
I could use the time to clean, cook, etc. But I think this little trick has gone a long way to smooth the transition for Ava, and to make her feel special.
4. Make your toddler a helper.
Ava will "help" me change diapers, hand me bibs, sing to Isla if she fusses, and help me carry things if we are out. I talk about Isla as "our baby" so she is a part of everything we do.
Ava helping me nurse Isla...
5. Ask for help!
I've gotten pretty good at this. It helps that I have an amazing group of mom friends. Some of them took Ava for play dates after Isla was born, which was amazing. And a few of them will help run after Ava and keep her happy while I'm trying to nurse Isla in the middle of a walk on Forbidden Drive
We all need help, so ask for it, take it when it's offered, and pay it forward.
I've still got a lot to learn, but these couple of things have kept me (mostly) sane for the past few months. What worked for you?