While pregnant with my second son, I somehow felt as though I'd already failed my first.
Let me back up. The love that I felt when my first son was born was absolutely immeasurable. It was that soul-sparking, heart-exploding, can't-feel-your-face-you're-smiling-so-hard feeling. But when I found out that I was pregnant for the second time around (when my first was just shy of 1 year old), let's just say that I felt... a lot of feelings.
Elated? Yes. Terrified? Totally. Wrecked with guilt? Completely. I already felt guilty about loving another baby, as if it took away some amount of the love that I had for my first baby.
The one who made me a mom.
I wish I could go back in time and force myself to just relax in that [very delicate] time and space where I was a new mom all over again. I'd tell myself, "He knows that you love him. Let him see you love his brother, too."
It is an understatement to say that going from 1 child to 2+ is a huge adjustment. The work multiplies, the exhaustion is amplified, and the alone-time is scarce. The good news is... you've done all of this before. You may not remember being in the trenches, mama, but you were!
We believe that you're already an amazing mom. Your FIT4MOM village only makes you greater.
We asked our village to share their tips on becoming a mama... Again.
"I relaxed about all of the CHOICES. In part because I simply didn't the have time to stress so much (shout out to all of the mamas whose 2nd+ kid's first food was "a Cheerio, I think?"), but mostly because I had confidence that everything would be okay, as long as we loved our kids and did our best."
"Babies sleep when they want to (and don't when they don't). There was very little that I could do to change or control the situation, so I tried to roll with the sleeping situation a lot more."
"By the time your 3rd child comes around, all of the things you cared so much about seem to fall to wayside. I still keep bedtime strict but everything else is more go-with-the-flow. (I feel like my 3rd is the most easy-going for that reason!) Also, make sure your partner is sharing the load because there is no other way to survive this time than with support."
"Just roll with it. What may be good for other people, may not be good for you (and vice-versa). Remember that ALL of the things that we stress about when they are young are so temporary, so try to laugh. Also, the more kids I have (pregnant with baby #5), the more I realize that I have no earthly idea what I’m doing!!"
"I found that the transition from 1 to 2 (and then 3) was pretty easy for me, but that the 2nd child really rocked my husband’s world a little because he suddenly had a lot more responsibility with my [then] 19-month-old. Make sure you talk openly with your partner about any expectations that you may have when baby comes."
"Say 'yes' to anyone who offers help in any form. Food off the floor (except for restrooms / doctor's offices / etc) is actually fine. And grant yourself plenty of grace."
"I had more confidence with my second baby and the way in which I parented. I listened less to what other people said and more to what I felt was right. Don't worry as much about schedules or rules or cleaning or ANYTHING. Just take care of yourself and your family's emotional and physical needs... and the rest will fall in place!"
"DO NOT stress about making your own baby food!! Buy jars and pouches and get on with living your life and loving those sweet kids!! Why did I wrap up value in that?! When you know better, you do better!!"
"There are things that are gross, and things that are dangerous. With numbers 3 and on, you just avoid danger... "Gross" becomes a shoulder shrug!"
You've got this, mama.
Between our Mommy & Me Stroller Classes (Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre) and our Prenatal Fitness Class FIT4BABY, your village is always here for you. We can't wait to meet your new baby, to sing silly songs for them, to hold them when they're cranky (so that you can get a few more high-knees in), and to share a coffee with you, incredible mama, after class.
Whatever season of motherhood you're in, just know that you are the best mom to your baby. #youdoyou
A fellow mama with #AllTheFeels,