Two weeks have passed since I became a mother of two. With this second baby, people refer to me as an ‘experienced mother’. Although I certainly can make use of some experiences gained the first time around, I have often felt like a newbie again. Here’s some newly learned lessons from the last weeks..
Having been a mom for almost three years now, doesn’t make me feel like an expert at parenting at all. I am a ‘mother to Henrik expert’ by now, and am now hoping to become a Stella expert too. Fingers crossed they have lots in common so this process is easier :-). Most of my first lessons from the last two weeks could be the ones from a first time mom. Because I haven’t had a whole day on my own with both children, I can’t really share major insights on that aspect yet. Nevertheless, looking at them, I feel like with this being my second child, some lessons I learned are definitely influenced by my first time experience:
Time flies: Days with a newborn are long and fly by all at the same time. You’re busy all day but at the end of the day you wonder what you’ve actually done all day. With Henrik, I sometimes longed for time to pass, for him to be bigger and being able to interact more. A newborn seems so helpless and other than crying, they have little instruments to express their needs or emotions. As cliché as it sounds, time flies though and as I now know how crazy fast Henrik’s first year seemed to pass by, I enjoy the now a lot more. Stella’s first smile will come soon enough. And so will all her other firsts. So I hold her close, feel her softest hair and smell her baby scent as often as possible, now that she still allows me to do so :-).
Go with the flow: Just like with Henrik, I note down when Stella drinks and sleeps, hoping to figure out what her daily schedule looks like and how I can fit my plans round it. So far, no day has been the same though, and I learned that the best way to handle it is to just go with it. At this point, I feel there’s not much to do about it. Time will show what our daily routine looks like. While I’ve been waiting for the quiet moment to come that I can sit down with my laptop and type a post, I am going with the flow as I write this. With Stella napping on my chest, I am typing this post on my phone with the WordPress app.
Sleep is better than no sleep: While Henrik slept in his crib most of the times straight away during the day, Stella has her ups and downs with it. Reasons varying from cramps, reflux to just feeling most comfy on top her mom.. While I definitely aim for her to sleep in her bed, I rather have her sleep with me and sleep well than stick to the crib with the result of a baby who sleeps less for now. Because a tired baby means a fussy baby who also loses her feeding rhythm. I bought this baby wrap, Stella loves to sleep in it and it’s ideal to use inside the house, e.g. when cooking, having dinner (thank goodness it’s washable!) and doing bedtime routine with Henrik.
Priorotize: With a newborn, every spare moment feels like it could be used for a hundred things. With Henrik, I never put myself first during such moments. Now I know better: eat something or fold the laundry? Duh, Food!! Pump milk to build a stash in the freezer or take a shower? Duh, life feels better when freshly showered! And so on. With every spare time to myself, I try to prioritize and choose the option that will make me a happier mother who’s up for the next round once baby is awake again.
So much for my first lessons with newborn Stella. I am sure more will follow!