Some days I look around at my life and think, how am I a mom of TWO boys?! That saying, “the days are long, but the years are short” could not be more true. Any parent knows that raising children is not always easy. Some days and periods of your child’s life can be so hard, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it.
I wanted to share a few words of wisdom for any new parents—whether you’re a first time parent, or second time parent, hopefully these things will ease your worries and allow you to enjoy this phase of life.
Words Of Advice For New Parents
Enjoy the Newborn Phase
When you are sleep-deprived and exhausted from nursing, it can be hard to enjoy those early days. With Owen, I remember wishing those days away at times, but now that I’ve been through it once, I know how quickly those days are gone.
So, try to not worry too much about the schedule, or all the things you think you should be doing. It’s okay to cluster feed, it’s okay if your baby stays up longer than he’s suppose to, it’s okay if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night at 12 weeks, it’s okay if your baby takes a nap on your chest. Those first few months go so fast, and this time around, I’m just doing what feels right because this is our last baby.
There are so many experts out there, and while there’s plenty of good advice, I always think it’s smart to just trust your instincts. No one knows your baby better than you.
Don’t Forget About You
When you’re caring for a newborn, self-care and doing anything for yourself can go out the window. I’m not perfect about it, but I do realize that I’m a much better mom and wife when I have time to fill my cup.
Take the time to do a little something for you, and when someone offers to watch the baby so you and your partner can go out, by all means, say YES! Date nights (or day dates!) are few and far between, but whenever we get the chance, we both realize how much we both needed it.
One thing I really struggled with early with Owen was thinking that I should be able to do everything—feed the baby, go to the grocery, cook meals, clean the house, etc, etc. I had more meltdowns than I care to admit, and most of them were because I failed to communicate to Rob that I needed help. Once I started asking for his help and telling him where I needed support, everything changed!
Spend Time for your Older Kids
For second time parents, you already know the drill, but now that you have two kids, you’ve got to split your time, and that can be tough to navigate. Trying to pay attention to Owen while also breastfeeding or rocking Jack is hard for Owen. I get it—he had us all to himself for 2.5 years!
I’ve found that setting aside time for me to do something with my oldest by ourselves is so good! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy—a walk, playing in the backyard for 30 minutes, going on a little mama/Owen date! Not only does he feel extra special, but he gets my full undivided attention, which is so good for both of us. When I started making this a priority, I find that he’s less likely to act out and generally more helpful around the house.
Put Your Phone Down
I’m 100% guilty of looking at my phone too much. Whether I’m on social media, or answering and email, it doesn’t matter. I hate when I catch Owen catching me on my phone. It makes me feel so guilty. I’m by no means perfect, but I’ve gotten so much better about letting emails and catching up with DMs wait until nap time or night time so that I can give my kiddos more of my attention and focus while they’re awake.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
With everyone sharing so much these days, it’s so easy to get caught up in where your child falls in terms of development and socialization. But, here’s the truth and maybe my best piece of parenting advice—every child is different and unique. They grow at different rates, have different interests and learn at different speeds.
Some kids will talk early, but take a little longer to take those first steps. Some will be great at fine motor skills, while some are better at the gross motor skills first. No kid hits all the milestones perfectly, so let it go. As long as you’re seeing improvement and your doctor isn’t concerned, you shouldn’t be either. Let them learn, explore and figure things out on their own time.
When you let go of all those small things, you can fully enjoy their childhood and see how miraculous and magical it all is!
Whether you’re a first time parent or have older children already, I hope this helps ease your worries. You’re going to be an amazing parent, don’t get too stressed about it, and enjoy it!