While going from one child to two is certainly easier than going from none to one, it's not always easy. Sure, you know what your doing this time, but you also know just what someone means when they mention "colic", "teething" and "terrible two's".
When I had my Einey, I didn't know that leaving the house would take ten times as long. No longer could you grab a purse and hit the road. Now you need to grab a diaper bag, make sure it's stocked - diapers, change of clothes, food, toys, ect. Dress the child, strap the child in the seat and grab the seat. And oh, wait, look, your older child completely undressed and lost her shoes while you were getting everything done. One thing I learned quick (and something I'm passing onto you ladies) is keep a stocked diaper bag in your car. Have dry formula packets (if you go that route - also good for backups and emergencies), a bottle, liners, diapers, wipes, a change of outfits, crayons and books for you older child and some crackers (or other dry individual snack) and juice box for you older child. Just make sure you check stock if your Husband is the last one out with the children. I can't tell you how many times Husband "forgot" to tell me he used the last diaper in the bag! But keeping it in your truck (or under a seat in your van) saves you from lugging one in and out of the house all the time. I still have two small bins, one with snacks and one with clothes for each child under the seat in my van. You never know when you (or a friend) may need some!
Also, if a friend (or group of friends) offers to bring you food after you have your baby. Take them up on the offer. Do not turn it down. It saves you from needing to think of making meals. Also, don't be shy about asking them to space it out. I know when my friends brought me meals after the second and third girls, they brought enough for 2-3 meals. So don't be shy about saying, hey can you bring in Monday and you Wednesday. The food last longer.
If you can somehow manage to get them on the same schedule - it's easier if you try to get the baby on the older child's schedule - lay down and take a nap. Who cares if your dishes wait a little longer, or laundry takes another day or two to do. Get some rest, you'll need it. If your taking said nap, turn the phones off and hang a sign on the door saying "do not disturb". Because chances are, if you lay down to take a nap, that's when someone will ring the doorbell, waking everyone up.
Try to bring a small present to the hospital with you for your older child. We gave each girl a small gift and said it was from the new baby. Also, if you can remember, bring a few pieces of paper and crayons and some small snacks (lollipops are great) for your older child when they visit you. Let's face it, it can get boring visiting in the hospital, even if there is a cute new baby there.
Oh and the best advice I can give, if your doctor says the day after you give birth, your ready to go home if you want, or you can stay the full two days, stay the full two days. And feel free to send the baby to the nursery with the nurses. They're not going to remember and you can catch up on some much needed rest!
And really, it's easy with two, once you get the rhythm down. It's three that throws you for a loop!
This post is for Her Bad Mother, Mrs. Chicky and Mrs. Chicken who are all expecting new arrivals to their families soon. Share the love and offer these ladies your own advice. Tell them what you wish you knew!
In time, you kids will be best of friends. Or worst enemies. Or both.
Love the girls at Whirlwind!