Welcoming a new family member is a huge change for everyone, not only for mom and dad, but the big sibling too. Those first weeks are a high emotional time for everyone involved. More frequent wake ups through the night (aka less sleep), more of your time and attention to split, and more responsibilities and people to love on in general.
However, with a little more intention, you can find a way to thrive as a new mom to multiples. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning) now as a new mom of two. (Hint: Most are geared toward navigating the emotions of your older child, which will also help you keep more of your sanity in the long run too.)
Have a schedule
I have to have a schedule. It’s mandatory for my personality and duty as a stay-at-home mom. Our days are more successful when there are routines. The kids love it, and I’m better able to tackle the to-dos on my plate. I’m better able to compartmentalize and carve out time for intentional play. I thrive better. The kids thrive because I’m thriving. Schedules are just a win-win. And it doesn’t have to be rigorous. Just a rough idea of this is clean up time, this is play time, this is nap/quiet time, this is bath time, etc. You get the idea.
Have a plan for your oldest
Different from a rough schedule, I notice that when I have a plan for my oldest, our day goes by incredibly smoother. Unlike when I just had the one, I can’t revolve my stay-at-home mom days around the baby’s nap schedule. With two, I have to be intentional and have a plan ready for my oldest so she can anticipate what the day will bring. More than a schedule, this is more specific like, today we are getting groceries or are washing the dog. At three-years-old, she’s at the age now where she’s learning about the differences in the days of the week too. So I noticed that having a plan for what we will do that day gives her something to look forward to and helps us curve any angst or irritability that creeps up from boredom.
Get out of the house
That’s another thing too. Little kids have tantrums and attitudes and get moody when they’re bored. Or at least mine does. At three, they’re developing their own level of independence and have so much energy that needs to be burned outside. With two, a simple stroller walk while the older rides their scooter or rides their bike is a great way to get both kids outdoors and give the older the much needed time spent outside and for active play. Mine also usually plays with the neighborhood kids if we run into them during our walk as well. It’s a way to get social interaction on the days she’s not in preschool or doesn’t have a playdate.
Kiss on your older more
It’s not that I’ve totally neglected loving on my older child. I’ve always kept up with daily hugs, goodnight kisses, and the occasional cuddles and hand holding, or back rides. However, I noticed that I’m constantly kissing on my new baby, snuggling with him, smelling his hair, the whole nine…only because he’s new, haha. But I found that being a little more intentional kissing on my older or giving her more physical touch immediately causes her to light up. This is especially true if we start our day off this way. I know she’ll always be my baby and at three, she’s still basically a baby, but evidently she actually appreciates being loved on like she’s still a little baby too. I noticed that she especially does better when I’m more intentional around extra levels of physical touch on top of our norm.
Give everyone one on one time
Now that I’m a mom to multiples, my hands are super full with the kids (and dad). I’m learning to carve out time to have not only one on one time with each kid, but dad too. It’s important that everyone still maintains their own unique relationship with me (and you, if you’re a new mom of multiples). Even if that means reserving one day a week to do something special with just the older one, with just the new baby, and special time with just my partner where we’re not talking about the kids!
Taking care of others all the time can get weary. However, it’s still important to do things for yourself, even if that means staying up during one of the middle of the night feeds to do something you enjoy or waking up before everyone else to love on yourself first through prayer, meditation, and getting yourself together mentally before putting on the mom or wife hat.
What I like to do is block out time in the morning to get ready for the day before everyone wakes up. I’m a morning person, but prefer the kids to wake up while I’m cooking breakfast versus wake up while I’m still in bed. One way I make sure this happens is to get up and get ready for the day before everyone else. Another way I empower myself is by booking appointments monthly to get my nails done, get a massage or facial, and go out in general while my husband watches the kids.
It’s easy to get lost in motherhood when you’re a stay-at-home mom, especially if you’re a mom to multiples. However, by being intentional, it’s easier to gain some control in the chaos. This blog post really serves as a note to self, but hopefully it helps you discover ways to better manage what’s on your plate if you’re a new mom of two or if you desire to be.