This post is particularly long, so to all my new as well as regular Bubbly Blogcast readers, please bear with me through it :). I have dedicated this post to all mothers out there who are thinking about taking the plunge into motherhood a second time around, already pregnant with their second bundle of joy, or who have just given birth to their second child.
My younger son is 8 weeks old today. Raising a child is hard and has countless hurdles we need to cross, however raising two has its’ own challenges as well. How ever much you prepare yourself for motherhood, you never know what hit you until it actually rolls around. Being a new mother is terrifying and confusing, not knowing whether what you are doing is right or wrong. I remember receiving enormous amounts of information from my family and friends on what I should and should not be doing. I made my life more complicated by Googling every small doubt which more often than not, contradicted what I had already been told. But over a period of time I felt myself get clarity on the various do’s and don’ts of motherhood. I finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
The thought of being pregnant a second time was even scarier than being pregnant with my first. I was confident when it came to the day to day activities like diapers, feeding etc; after all I still had the experience from my first. Putting aside my crisis in confidence in my ability to care for two young boys, what kept me up at night was whether or not my elder son would accept the new addition to the family. How would he treat his younger brother?
My mom raised my two sisters and me during a time where nannies were almost unheard of. However I think we all turned relatively normal. I salute my mother. A close friend of mine has three children and I always tell her that she is a super star. Looking at her calm and composed exterior, one would not even think that she has any children at all. I realised that maintaining that peace is an acquired trait which not everyone can accomplish. Many mothers have a head full of grey hairs solely from trying to prevent any tantrums from their elder child around the new baby. This was my biggest fear.
I was lucky enough to have friends with multiple children who were able to guide me on how to handle the dynamics between my elder son and baby, based on their own personal experiences. I owe them my sanity!
There is alot you can do to help your elder one adjust to a new baby in the house without there being any jealousy, hitting or regressive behaviour. Here is a list of measures I took to ensure my elder son did not lose the feeling of security he had –
So to all you rock star mothers our there pregnant with your second child or have just had your second child, don’t be afraid and don’t expect only negative and regressive behaviour from your elder ones. Hold their hand and stand by their side while they get used to the idea of sharing their mother with someone else.
I hope my post has been of some help. I know I couldn’t have done it without some help from my own family and friends.
Marriage and parenting are two of life’s biggest commitments. Every girl is ‘expected’ to grow up, get married and have children. Every married couple sets their own timeline in terms of when they want to take the plunge and become parents. For some, that is sooner than later. There is no right or wrong time to have children. Whatever those timelines are, the reality is such that balancing marriage and parenting can feel like a constant struggle for many.
My husband and I took a conscious decision to wait a few years before adding a child into the mix. Apart from not being even remotely ready to have another tiny human be 100% dependant on us, we also wanted to take the time to get to know each other again in a new setting. What do I mean by that? In India, the concept of living together before marriage is almost non-existent. I think most of you will agree that a relationship pre and post marriage is not the same. To be completely honest, some relationships change for the better and some for the worse. Getting to re-discover each other in the new environment and each other’s living habits takes time, energy and complete dedication and focus. I don’t believe that I would have been able to achieve that with a baby around so early on in our marriage. In short, we wanted to live life as only husband and wife for some time, and not as parents.
It is extremely easy to put your marriage on the back burner once a baby arrives, without even realising it. Many people believe that having children ruins a relationship. My view is that it definitely does slow things down a bit but it doesn’t knock you out. You can bounce back. It is a mother’s instinct to prioritize her child over everything else in her life; sometimes to the extent of letting the role of a parent take over her entire life. For some, being a parent becomes their main identity since taking care of a child is all-consuming.
For me, my marriage has always come first. I am a proud mom of two healthy and happy boys who take up most of the space in my heart and head. They have a good amount of structure in their lives and are content children. But would they be happy and content if their family life at home was not? My first thought would be no, they would not be and it would have a profound impact on them.
In most homes, the husband usually bears the brunt of an exhausted mother. I won’t lie by saying that I have never taken out my irritation towards my son, on my husband. In spite of there being multiple shared responsibilities between my husband and I, there are still moments where I am the only one who can provide my children with what they need. Occasionally, you need to walk away without saying what you really want to say, stemming from the irritation or situation with your child. Being a parent isn’t easy, and sometimes there is no point in bringing up some annoyances which could lead to dredging up other things, which in reality isn’t really bothering you at the moment. In other words, pick your battles.
Having been married for 8 years now and 3 of those as a mother, I have learned that there are many ways to maintain the closeness in a marriage while being a parent. Date nights (try to talk about things other than your little ones), weekend getaways and spending some quality time with each other lying in bed and watching TV are only a few of the many ways to give your marriage some much deserved attention. I also make it a point to go out with my friends and WITHOUT my husband! Friends night is as important as date night. I strongly believe that space is key in any marriage and being glued to each other 24/7 is never the answer. The point is to re-discover who you were BEFORE you had children.
If there are mothers out there who feel enormous guilt in putting your marriage and life ahead of your children, it’s OKAY! We need to keep reminding ourselves that happy parents make happy children, and happy parents come from a continuous nourishment of the marriage.
One of my all time favourite quotes is by Howard. W. Hunter, who said “One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother”. There is a reason the quote says father and mother, and not husband and wife.
Hi! I'm Antara and I was once a 'let's get the party started, consume a bottle of Rose Champagne on the weekend' kind of girl. Now at 33 and a mom of a teddy bear looking 2 year old boy (with another little bundle on the way), I am still that 'let's get the party started, consume a bottle of Rose Champagne on the weekend kind of girl.'