Bringing Home Baby to Your Baby

2012-07-29_1343594928This was a post requested by the lovely Katie Krongard. She is preggo with #2 and wanted to know about bringing home that second kid. I also have 3 of my 4 bridesmaids pregnant with their firsts so I figured there are some general nuggets of info they would like to know as well about coming home in general.

Speak Up

Bringing home a baby is a form of mental Olympics whether it is 1 or 4 babies. There needs to be adjustment. You have to find a new routine…it’s a challenge for all. But this is where I say you gotta speak up. Don’t over do it. If you feel awful, tell someone. Most people will move mountains to help. Your job is to heal and feed a baby. Everything else is gravy but you have to put on your big girl panties (you know the mesh ones from the hospital? those.) and speak up. You would like a sandwich. You would like your mother to do the laundry. You want to run the errand to get hemorrhoid cream to get out of the house for 10 minutes. Say what you mean. This isn’t a time to pussy foot around. You usually have an army of friends and family asking to help. LET THEM HELP but decide what level you are comfortable.

If you want to hold the baby all the time and let them do other stuff, tell them that. If you want to get outside, tell them that. Tell dad to take the big kid grocery shopping. It’s hard to read our minds on a good day but now slam that full of wacky hormones and people don’t know what you want. This is like your free pass to be bossy as hell…use it. That army isn’t gonna be waiting around forever.

“Kristi from Facebook: Say yes to any help offered regardless of who it comes from and no drastic changes to #1’s routine.”

Less Attention for Everyone

child eczemaMost moms are really worried about the fact that their precious snowflake won’t be  getting as much attention. Well they aren’t. Can’t lie there BUT my piece of advice is STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT. It isn’t something that you can perfect and make better with more planning…nope. It is sheer amount of minutes you have now has to be divided. Make that mental jump and come with me. It’s ok. Big kids don’t need your undivided attention all the time…I see that as unhealthy and going to lead you to a mental break down at some point. I already make the case for independent play no matter if you are bringing home more kids or not. I know that comes from being a working mom and knowing he is sharing and playing with other kids the majority of his day…he needs down time. It’s fun to watch their imagination blossom and independent play is ground zero for that.

And let them watch TV(ya know…if you do that). Stop feeling guilty about it. When you have had 3 hours of sleep and a sleeping baby on your chest, SCREW PLAY DOUGH AND PAINTING. This is TV time. It won’t be like this forever. Promise. Right now, you survive. I can’t stress enough to let the guilt drip off. You will feel guilty about other crap in the moment…you don’t need this part. It’s a phase. Life will resume.

Take Care of You

Some of your already have a problem with this with just the 1 kid. Just because you birth babies doesn’t mean you aren’t still a person. You have needs and wants. Denying yourself things “for the good of the family” often backfires. You get touched out. You get short with the people you love.

It’s ok to be selfish.

I_need_a_nap_time_playlist._What_would_you_put_on_yourIn a world where EVERYONE needs you, you need you. I have to speak generally here since I don’t know YOUR situation but if you have a partner, they need to help out. Just as I noted above, don’t beat around the bush about what you want. Be up front. “I think we need a date night.” “I would really appreciate it if you could take both kids out for a few hours so I can take a nap” “Can you be on night duty?”. For 1 or 10 babies, you need to think about yourself. Some spouses are going to take this differently, so be proactive. Start talking BEFORE the kid comes home. They are gonna have to put on their big boy/girl pants.

And to point out Ryan’s tweet above, let Dad have alone time too. Let him play video games while holding the baby. The baby will be fine and he releases some tension. You go for a walk. Openly discuss ability to “go out”. An hour to have dinner with a few friends can recharge anyone. Be gentle with one another when you can. Tensions are high a lot…build in some cushion.

I also found making a goal for myself to be helpful. “This weekend I am going to go to Target alone.” or “I would like to run/walk for 30 minutes.” You can’t really plan girls nights and such with a fresh baby so make little goals. It gives you something to look forward to when times get overwhelming. Sometimes that is just waiting for your husband to get home. It worked for me some days..even if that was “wait until there is another adult in the house so you can drink”.

Practical Ideas

Now I can say these overarching themes but until you bring that sucker home, you can only theorize and remember those. Some of you are just as type A as me and you want SOMETHING I CAN DO NOW. I get it.  So here are a few:

  • Buy a freezer, I asked the internetz what they thought and freezer meals was priority #1. Now you may be saying what I was saying when people told me that “Um I don’t have room to store that”. If you have the space, I highly recommend getting a small chest freezer. They can be pretty small. We cleared a spot in the garage and put ours. BEST DECISION EVER. We actually got ours after Ollie was born so we didn’t use for meals as much as breastmilk. This was crucial when my friend gave me 900oz of hers. That freezer is still awesome now. I now can buy extra meat on sale and keep it. I can keep 14 bags of broccoli because my children are broccoli monsters.
  • Put meals in the freezer. Now you have a freezer, stock that shit. Make casseroles. Buy quick TJ meals. Get everything easy you can. Then, if you have awesome friends like me, they will want to bring you food. to go along with my Speak Up section above, tell them what you do and don’t want. If you want casseroles to freeze, tell them that. Some of my friends would bring one hot meal and one freezer. I had everything from lasagna to vacuum sealed pulled pork. Stock up. You won’t want to cook…or if you do, make it easy. Those quick Trader Joes things made me feel like I was still providing for the whole family even if it was easy. Bonus with them, they heat up quicker than a whole lasagna.

  • Don’t Over Schedule Yourself – It’s hard not to see maternity leave as a little bit of freedom for working moms. I think it was almost more important to remember this with #2. I KNEW what it was like and I wanted to maximize my time at home. I think I did well and did what I wanted when I wanted but don’t start making play dates and such without knowing how to be UBER flexible. Some days it will be too much to get out of the house. Don’t schedule people to come over unless you REALLY want them. Don’t feel guilty calling and saying “today isn’t great”. Once again, be selfish.`{Thanks to Molly, for that one}
  • web2012OliverHospital14Get the big one a “gift” from the baby – So when Landon met Ollie the first time, it didn’t go as storybook as one would hope. He was shy and timid. Could have just been off time or whatever but he just didn’t care. Womp. The next day he came to the hospital, Kevin’s cousin had brought Landon a stuffed Lightening McQueen. Instead of saying it was from her, on the spur of the moment we said it was from Ollie. He LIT up. “Oh Ollie! Thank you!” He immediately started talking to him and giving him kisses. He told everyone his little brother got him a present. He was 3…he didn’t understand to question that concept. Older kids might have a harder time with that.
  • Don’t make it tit for tat – Now with the above suggestion I also caution everyone bringing something for both kids. Kevin and I are strong in the opinion that everything doesn’t have to be equal. Just because one kid gets something doesn’t mean the other has to by proxy. At this young it isn’t a big thing but that can spiral out of control in a few years. Landon doesn’t get presents at Ollie’s birthday and vice versa. They are individuals…not always a set.

  • Take a shower and “get ready”  everyday
    – It’s not gonna be easy but do it. Arrange your day to allow it to feel better. Feel human. For me, it was just getting up when K got up before the kids and do it then. “Getting ready” would be slapping on concealer under my eyes and maybe some mascara. We are not talking the full deal but I felt tons better just having accomplish that every day. I even did this in the hospital with Ollie (because my recovery was so much easier..pace yourself). I showered within hours after he was born. It wouldn’t have been possible with Landon but know that you have a team of people to help in there…USE IT. {Thanks to Lindsey for reiterating this one}
  • Don’t listen to Mary Sunshine – “Isn’t it a blessing?” “Isn’t it the best?” “Sleep when the baby sleeps” All those made me STAB STAB STAB. You just pushed a human from your vagina. You might feel AWFUL and it’s ok to say “nope! This is kinda terrible. I mean the baby is awesome but I feel like shit”. DO NOT LET THESE PEOPLE GET INTO YOUR BRAIN. This can start some PPD. People mean well…I totally get it but if your frame of mind can’t take that right now, it’s like a poison.  So many people have made it to my blog because I told this side of motherhood. The part only some talk about. I have heard too many times “I thought something was wrong with me”. Know what is normal and not feeling like mary fucking poppins after birth is one. That shit ain’t the norm, yo.
  • And while this is a list for other people to get you, take a look. Menus from local takeout places, gift cards to drive thrus….this is about as practical as it gets.

So there we go. A round of knowledge I am pulling from 20 months ago (YOU GUYS MY BABY IS 20 MONTHS!!!!) so help fill in what I am missing, seasoned mamas.

6 Comments

  1. Ollie is 5 months older than my second and I remember reading all of your posts leading up to his arrival and for months after. I was super nervous about bringing a second baby into the mix but seeing you get through it and reading about how you handled certain situations was so nice! These are great tips and I hope there new moms or moms adding to their brood that can make good use of them. At times it can feel like you are simply surviving but if a mom can find some clarity to give these tips a try it can make a huge difference.

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