Tips for coping with two children or more
Asking yourself – how will I manage with two? Read Anna’s sure-win tips to help you cope as your family grows.
Like most women, when I was pregnant with my second child I spent a lot of time pondering all the how-on-earths and how-the-hells. Like…,
- How on earth will I breastfeed a newborn and entertain a toddler?
- How on earth does anyone cook and clean when you have two children?
- When the hell will I manage to have a sneaky day-nap?
- And how the hell do you bath and put two small children to bed at a reasonable hour?
That last one was the big question for me, I just couldn’t fathom how that juggling act would work. But it just did, along with everything else. Somehow (and I’m still not sure how) things just kind of happened. I managed to find enough time to feed my new baby, whilst playing with a two year old and (mostly) managed to have a decent dinner on the table at the end of the day.
For me, it was all about finding moments of peace in a house with an energetic toddler. So along the way I developed a few little tricks that helped to buy me that extra precious time and save my sanity in the process:
Not exactly a new or exciting tactic and it won’t win us any mother of the year prizes, but my goodness TV can be helpful in those early days. A quick episode of Fireman Sam or Toy Story in the DVD player could mean the difference between settling your newborn without a toddler jumping on the bed or feeding in relative peace without said toddler wanting in on the action. And you know the biggest thing about using TV in this way – DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT.
Secret toy stash.
A box of new (or just old and long-forgotten) toys that can be brought out of the cupboard at any much-needed moment can be so useful. Put them away as soon as you’ve finished doing whatever you’re doing and they’ll stay interesting for weeks to come.
Snack time treats.
It’s worth keeping in a few extra special foodie treats to occupy your toddler. This doesn’t have to be junk, just whatever it is that gets your toddler excited and ideally something that will keep them entertained for a while. Fiddly yoghurt coated raisons in a box or an orange they can peel themselves means they will sit and eat quietly while you feed the baby or change a nappy.
Most toddlers have their eye on something they’re not usually allowed to touch. If you’re desperate for five minutes of quiet time, but have used up all your tricks, whip out said something and they’ll be more than happy. This might be your mobile, iPad, make-up bag, whatever. But they’ll be more than pleased that they’re playing with it and the responsibility will make them feel extra special and grown-up in the process.
This might sound strange but if you’re having a bad day and you’re on your own at home, calling your Mum, Sister, Dad, whoever on Skype is brilliant. They can play doting virtual Grandparent and read your toddler a story while you bath the newborn or cook dinner. Plus you get someone to chat to in the process. Win.
What’s your tips for coping with more than one? Share in the comments below.
Image: cscott2006 @ Flickr