If you are expecting your second child and full of doubts on how you are going to divide your time, don’t. Reason being, love burgeons. With proper time management, you will not fall into the trap of “I didn’t do as much with my second child as I did with my first”.
I read stories of how mothers are less attentive/worrisome to succeeding babies. These children have lesser swirl-and-dance sessions with mommy, they are looking more dishevelled from wearing mis-matched hand-me-downs and they are left to cry longer in their cribs.
I am not saying your energy level will stay the same as before. Age plays a part as well but as long as you embrace your new life, daily routines can be surprisingly manageable and rewarding.
And yes! It is not difficult at all to be fair. Just make a conscious effort and your second child can enjoy everything your first born had.
Just like her older brother, I document her life
They say subsequent babies get lesser and lesser pictures because mommy got lazy and overwhelmed by chores. Uh-Uh. Not true! Ewan had 68 pictures taken in June 2012 and Faye had a hundred for the month of June! All of which are properly saved in chronological order with filenames that states the date and age. No, I am not ready to be labelled “Unfair”.
Just like her older brother, she has her own room
We spent a lot of time putting together a nursery for Ewan. Shipping decals from the states and shopping for months to put together a cozy themed bedroom. Faye is an individual. She isn’t an extra so she deserves the same. We moved out of our 2-bedroom apartment in search for extra space so that she can grow up in her butterfly and pony room.
Just like her older brother, she spends all her time with mommy
Sending Ewan to full-day school gives me all the time in the day with Faye. She gets to hear me sing. She dances with me. She listens to dramatic stories I tell. She is showered with hugs, kisses and lots of love. She is enjoying her mommy as much as her older brother did.
Special Note: Does that mean Ewan significantly lost time with his mother? Yes and No. He is growing up and is looking to be highly stimulated. School is doing a better job than me for the moment. So yes, lesser time with his parents but more qualitative time together. I came to realise that the quality spent with him is a more consequential than quantity. This isn’t bull crap or an excuse to save myself from being judged. You need to be in it to find out for yourself. The time spent after school over dinner, in the bathroom and in his bedroom is amazingly significant. Tell your child that this is your special time without interruption by his sibling and let him decide how he wants to spend this time with you.
Just like her older brother, she has her own embroidered quilt
“Whatever you have given Ewan, make sure you give the same to Faye”, says the Daddy. So even though Ewan did not use much of his custom-made quilt from Pottery Barn Kids (because of our weather), I had one made for Faye as well. I would hate to hear her say “Why does he have everything nice and new while I have everything old and tattered”.
Just like her older brother, she had a just-as-big first month party
How can she not deserve a party! She is my little Faye who fought her way to stay healthy during our difficult pregnancy. No matter how tiring it had been from being confined in a hospital bed for a month, Meyer and I contracting HFMD during my confinement and nursing a bronchilitis-strikened Ewan at the same time, Faye deserves a first month party. Even if it meant we had to postpone it to a week later. It is something I will not let pass.
Just like her older brother, I watched my diet very closely
Almost everyone I knew relaxed a whole lot with their diet the second time round. With our firsts, we made sure we had no coffee, no raws, no deep-sea fish, no deli meats, no soft cheeses and unpasteurised milk/juices. I even checked with the barrister on the milk Starbucks used for my Hot Chocolate whenever I ordered them. With number twos, some steal in a little caffeine and what harm can a Subway lunch do? No No No. I made every effort to tear away from listeria-causing bacteria and high mercury levels in my bloodstream while I was pregnant with Faye too. Same goes with watching my diet during breastfeeding. If I didn’t take any colic-causing food with Ewan, I shall do the same with Faye.
Just like her older brother, we attend to a crying Faye as soon as we can
We tried and tested crying it out with Ewan. We have decided that it is the last thing we want to inflict in our children. We wanted a high self-esteemed, confident and secured child. One who will grow up to have trusting, lasting relationships and seek out social support. All these characteristics needed to be trained from young. Love and comfort is our love language. When our babies cry, we comfort them immediately. I am talking about babies who cries to communicate. Do be mistaken by those tantrum-y toddler cries.
So see? It can be done. Just shift your mindset from the “norm” that had been drilled into all mothers’ minds – that life will become a whirlwind of inattentiveness after your firstborns.
In fact, I find us handling Faye better than Ewan. She hasn’t been dropped (Ewan was a couple of times) and I will make sure that doesn’t happen.. She hasn’t had a single scoop of formula milk while Ewan did in his first month. She gets two bath times a day while Ewan used to have one. Best of all, I never have to stand and gobble my food now. I still gobble but I sit and gobble. *hehe*
To be honest, I find myself more energised, less needy of naps, much lesser a complainer and more efficient as a mother. All my worries about having to divide my time is uncalled for. All mothers have to do to achieve this is to embrace
and take pleasure
even in watery, messy poop.
A stay at home mum, blogging to widen her social life. We want to echo the sound of love through our lives to inspire other mothers alike.
p.s. I am a SAHM but not full-fledged. I have part-time help twice weekly to clean the house and iron the clothes. I don’t cook but rely on grandparents for dinners. My priority is time with my children. I want to be part of their play, their growing up and gosh ya.. even their tantrums.