It’s wild how the internet figures out you’re pregnant and then proceeds to throw all the most emotional content in your face. The amount of times I’ve opened the app and come away minutes later sobbing is too many to admit. Those videos about cherishing your last days with your first child. Memorizing every inch of them, their little wrist wrinkles and chubby cheeks, because before you know it, they will be the big brother or sister and will no longer be your little baby anymore… It’s heartbreaking and devastating and also so joyful to think about the prospect of having TWO babies.
As I approach my due date, I have begun to move into major nesting mode. This increased need to get everything “just so” before baby arrives can be so intense. I wanted to share how I am preparing for baby number two, and the things I am doing differently the second time around.
Trust Your Mama Instincts
People say we have natural instincts as mothers that kick into full gear when our little ones are born and even before! But I remember the first time around thinking, I don’t know what the f*** I am doing. I can’t trust myself. I constantly relied on texts and calls from my sister, mom, friends and doctor to give me the reassurance I needed. I still of course rely on all of my people when it comes to taking care of my child and I am so thankful to have such a wonderful support group of people that love us and help take care of us. BUT I will say that this time around, I am going to trust my instincts and that deep knowing inside of me. I know I can do this, I have done it before and when it comes down to it, I know when something is not right with my child. I know when it’s my anxiety and I know when it’s a real concern. Round 2, I know I will have so much more confidence and will be able to (hopefully 🤞) move past the little things and take the big things in stride.
It’s Just a Phase
Everyone says this and I remember being annoyed by it thinking, well, even if it is just a phase, it feels really f****** big right now! Having lived through so many phases (teething, sleep regressions, tantrums, fevers, etc.) I know that everything is temporary with kids and although it may feel like the end of the world, it WILL pass and it WILL be okay. Parenting is so hard, taking one thing at a time is so important, but also having the perspective to understand that it won’t last forever and there are more joys and hards ahead, is so imperative to staying sane.
Keep Things Simple
I was laughing the other day thinking our my entrance into the hospital when I was laboring with my son. They opened the door to let us in (fun COVID protocol) and I was mid-contraction on the floor and my husband was draped in luggage, enough to keep us clothed for a month long trip. The nurse looked at us in shock like, are you moving in for the year? I did not open my meticulously packed hospital bag once while in the hospital. I literally lived in my hospital gown and the underwear they provided and let’s be real I was mostly just nude, because at that point you could care less who sees you naked. I remember thinking that my labor and delivery depended on me packing the perfect hospital bag. If my bag had everything I could ever possibly need, than my experience would be perfect. Womp, womp.
This time around I’m going to keep things simple. I know we have the essential things we need for our baby girl– diapers, clothes, bassinet, blankets and if everything else isn’t just so, that’s okay. It’s amazing how things always come together. You can drive yourself mad for months trying to prepare everything perfectly, but the truth is there is always going to be one more thing. You will never feel fully satisfied. Accepting that “good enough” is enough is the best way to take some pressure off yourself.
Let Go Of Control
One of the most challenging things about pregnancy, birthing and parenthood is how little control we have. We want so badly to plan out everything to the “T” but truly there is no way to know how things are going to go. The unknown is scary and it can send us for a loop. The more you can accept that things will go the way they will go and there is not much you can do about it, the better off you are. The more you try to control a situation that cannot be controlled, the more miserable you will make yourself and everyone around you.
Instead of focusing on what you can’t control, focus on how you can learn and grow. You can educate yourself about all different types of births to help prepare yourself for different outcomes. You can talk to your friends and family and hear their stories and wisdom. Knowing you’re not alone in this is so helpful!
I Am Enough
I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. Say this to your reflection in the mirror 10 times every morning. As moms, we constantly feel this need to do more. Like what we’re already doing is never enough. When you find yourself overdoing it in parenting, take a step back and ask yourself who is this serving? Is it really making your kids life better or is this simply fulfilling your need to be a “perfect” mom. Be easy and gentle on yourself. Being a new parent is hard and incredibly demanding. If you do just one thing a day with a newborn that’s a success. And showering totally counts. Take care of yourself, take care of your baby and know you are always enough. You are doing great.
Embrace the Quiet Stillness
I remember feeling antsy with my first child during those newborn days. I felt trapped and like I couldn’t escape this hamster wheel of nursing, sleeping and waking that we were living day after day after day. This time around, I am so looking forward to that stillness and peace. With a toddler that is always on the move, I have a new appreciation for those early quiet days. I also think the perspective that it won’t last forever and there are so many exciting stages ahead, is such a helpful piece to remember. I am so looking forward to just sinking into that peace and stillness and being present with my new little one during those early days. It is such a unique and rare opportunity to be disconnected from the world in this way and I think I see the beauty in that now.
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