Welcoming a new addition to a family of any size is always an exciting experience. If you’re the parent of a newborn and older child, it’s likely you’re excited about watching your children bond, grow up together, and share memories. At the same time, it can be overwhelming to try to adapt to a house with more than one child. Even some of the most comfortable with motherhood often admit being surprised at how much more work multiple children can be versus one.
The great news is that there are many simple ways to juggle a newborn with an older child if you put your mind to it and take some great planning steps. Whether you’re a brand new parent, familiar with motherhood and multitasking, or a new mom looking for any advice she can get on how to balance children, read on for some things to consider.
Taking Care of Older Child’s Needs First
Mothership instincts naturally take over when we bring new babies into our homes. It can be easy to overlook a toddler’s needs when we’re juggling breastfeeding with getting to know a new baby’s personality. However, if you take some time during your pregnancy to plan ahead, you might find that juggling kids can be easier than you think.
Maybe you’re finally over morning sickness and in your second trimester. Perhaps you have your older child up to date with the pediatrician and are now looking into public schools versus private schools. Whether it’s that you need the perfect babysitter, daycare, or a plan for your older child’s education, making decisions now will go a long way in keeping stress down when the baby comes. For example, if you live in Oregon and have wondered about enrollment in Oregon charter schools for an older child, your pregnancy is a great time to do your research. Instead of waiting until the new baby’s here and your attention’s drawn elsewhere, do what you can to come up with a plan for your first child. This will give you peace of mind now and down the road.
Using Online Resources and Handy Products
A quick Google search for mother groups and parenting advice will lead you to TrulyMama. A fantastic site for anyone looking for information on products that can make parenting multiple children easier, this site is sure to help out. Not only can you find product reviews, but you’ll also be able to get information and network with others in your same boat.
Creating a Personal Support Network
Having a personal support network is extremely important for any new parent, but especially a new mom of a second or third child. Think about reaching out to friends and family that you trust now so that you know who to call on when days get hard or sleep isn’t coming. These supports will help pull you through the initial transition.
Consider using time off provided by your personal support network for self-care activities for the sake of your mental health and overall quality of life. You’ll find that motherhood and the challenges of more than one child are a whole lot more manageable when you’re rested and happy.
At the end of the day, whether your only mission is jugging children or you’re balancing being a new mom with a master’s degree program or a job with the Department of Education for your family’s financial stability, you’ll feel less overwhelmed if you take some time to plan, reach out for help, and stick close to your personal support team. Congratulations on your decision to add to your family. You’ve got this!