If you’ve been reading my Pregnancy Diaries, you know that getting pregnant so quickly with this baby boy was a total shock to me. I was super excited when I saw the pregnancy test, but it didn’t take long for anxiety to creep in. Not only was I worried about whether the baby would survive or be healthy, but I instantly started thinking, “but what about Lily?”. I know ALL moms think that their children are something special but I REALLY feel that way about my Lily. Sure, she was a little devil the first 4 months of her life, but to see her now is incredible. She is SO smart, so funny, beautiful, social, charming and loves her mommy and daddy. Our pediatrician told us she was the smartest 18-month-old that she has ever had in her office! Maybe she was pandering, but I believe her! There’s also the fact that her and I have been through SO much together and have an unbelievable bond. She taught me what being a mother was all about and was patient with me while I figured it all out. This bond her and I have feels so special and unique, how could I have something like this with another child?
It turns out, that fear is echoed with tons of other soon-to-be second time mommies. I had always heard other people ask those questions and just thought “of COURSE you will love your other child,” but I never really understood the anxiety until I was faced with it myself. So, for me, it started off with the fear of not loving baby #2 as much. Then it snowballed into feeling like I was taking something AWAY from Lily. I remember how much of my time was spent just nursing her and putting her to sleep in the first 6 months. The thought of doing that all over again, sleep deprived, with a toddler who I love and who needs me makes me want to cry. I have sacrificed so much in my life to be the best mom to her and I feel like I will be almost abandoning her when the new baby comes. The reality is, I am NOT super woman. I can’t just easily handle a newborn baby (especially if he is anything like Lily was) AND give an energetic toddler the same amount of my energy all day long. I don’t want to get back into that place of depression and exhaustion where I end up not being able to care for ANYONE, especially myself. I truly believe in my soul that having a sibling will absolutely be good for Lily long term, I am just absolutely terrified about the transition, especially the first 6 months.
When I shared some of my fears on Instagram I got an overwhelming response. So many mommies direct messaged or commented telling me they had the exact same fears. I thought to myself, this is a perfect opportunity to get some expert mommies on board to talk about what it is actually like to have more than one child. Is it as terrifying as you think? Can you handle all the chaos? Will your oldest child be okay? Can you really love two children with the same intensity? I have NINE incredible mommies who took time out of their hectic schedules to answer my questions about having multiple children. They are all as unique as they are wonderful and their advice has already started to shift my focus. I actually cried when I started editing this because I realized that women being honest with other women can change the narrative and make us feel so much less alone.
Meet my mommy experts:
@MelissaBryant3 Is a mommy to 8, yes, 8 children! Melissa is married to the Atlanta Falcons kicker, Matt Bryant. I have always admired her ability to manage all of her children, her husband’s career, have her own work and to look beautiful and stay kind through all of it. Melissa and Matt lost one of their children to SIDS at 3 months old and are big supporters of March of Dimes. Her first child was a boy and her second boy was born 2 years later. I feel SO grateful to have her wonderful advice to share with you all!
@LilySophiaPhotography Lauren is a photographer specializing in maternity, birth, newborn and family photography. She shot our birth photos, newborn and Mother’s Day photos! So, she has seen me in my most vulnerable moments! She is married to a police officer and has 3 children ages 6 1/2 , 4 1/2 & 2 ½. Her first two children were girls, the second was born 22 ½ months after the first. Her sweet boy was the final addition to the family. She has been a wealth of information for me and is always willing to help! She is no nonsense, straight to the point & I know you will really enjoy her laid back honest answers.
@LeeAnnLevitre LeeAnn is Andy’s aunt! She has 5 amazing children in a wide age range. Her first was a boy and second was a girl born 3 years apart. Her last two boys were born only 14 months apart and are both college age. LeeAnn has also been a step-mother to 3 boys. She was able to handle her blended 8-child crew with grace. I’m super glad someone in our family was willing to share her experiences. She has really seen it all & is also a grandmother of two!
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Meet Maggie! She is an awesome fellow mommy blogger. We met in Nashville while our husbands played together on the Tennessee Titans! Maggie is a wife and mother of 3 children, her first was a boy and second was a girl born 21 months apart. Her third is also a girl! She is sweet as apple pie, a Martha Stewart in the making and strong in her faith. Soak in all she has to say!
@CarolineWalter01 I also met Caroline in Nashville when our husbands played together on the Tennessee Titans! She was a close friend of a friend of mine and I could tell immediately she was kind, fun loving, and sweet! She is a mommy to three children. Her first was a girl and her second was a boy born just shy of 2 years after her first. She has SO much fun with her kids and her husband as you can see on Instagram and still makes time to work out and take care of herself! I love her responses because they are honest and definitely from a woman who wants to help other women succeed!
@SaraLoveStyle Sara is also a fellow NFL wife! Her husband is Ziggy Hood, a defensive lineman for the Redskins. Sara a beautiful mommy of two boys, 8 and 7. Her boys were born 18 months apart. She is an autism mother and advocate. If you look at her Instagram page she is full of life, love and positivity! So grateful to have a mommy of a child with special needs here to help us understand a different side of parenting!
@Alexa.Gumm YAY! I am so excited Alexa was able to be a part of this. Alexa is an angel sent to this earth in the form of a birth doula and childbirth educator. She was my doula and I am telling you, my experiences would have been SO different without her. She not only helped me find the right people to have in my birth community but also helped postpartum both with Lily and my physical and mental health. She is a wife and mother of 4 beautiful girls. Her oldest daughter was 3 when her second was born. The oldest two are both in high school now with the youngest two in elementary. I would trust her with my life and her advice will be invaluable to you, too!
@TheySayParenting Lauren is a school counselor turned stay-at-home mommy and writer. She is also a fellow mommy blogger! She has 3 children ages 5, 3 and 7 months- girl, boy and another girl. She believes in go-with-your-gut parenting because mama knows best! So glad to have someone who worked with other children for a living as part of this little panel!
@Kelsey_Edwards07 Kelsey is truly one of the kindest hearted, most caring women I have ever met! Another fellow NFL wife, she is also the mother of 5 children! Her oldest is a girl who was 4 when her second, a boy, was born. She now has a total of 2 girls and 3 boys! She is very involved in her church and is a strong woman and a loving parent and wife! She is always honest about her life and the ups and downs that come with raising children. I’m so excited to learn from her!
Before you had your second child, were you worried that you would have trouble loving your second one as much as your first?
@MelissaBryant3 Of course, I believe it’s human nature to wonder if you could love another human that much. The heart grows and expands in motherhood in my experience. Seeing and loving your baby is truly seeing and loving a part of yourself.
@LilySophiaPhotography Nope. I can’t honestly say that thought crossed my mind. I was more concerned about how I was going to logistically handle getting out the door with two kids 2 and under.
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Not at all. I am writing a book and I just wrote about this topic. The premise of that chapter is that through pregnancy, we find that every part of our body stretches to new capacities and that includes our hearts! With each child, we learn that we have SO MUCH MORE love to give! The chapter is loosely based off of a blog post http://www.thebaileybunchblog.com/2015/01/09/stretched/
@SaraLoveStyle When I was pregnant with Jeremiah I definitely worried if I would have enough love for both and would I have enough love for my husband or myself? Josiah required so much attention, I wondered if there was enough of me for both. How could I love Jeremiah as much as I loved Josiah? I was so attached to Josiah he never left my sight how could I possibly do that with two?
@Alexa.Gumm Yes! I was. I think it’s because I was an only child. That kind of colored everything. I didn’t have siblings, so I didn’t know how that worked. For me, I was worried about how I would share my focus. It’s the unknown that’s scary.
@TheySayParenting It seemed impossible to fit the amount of love I had for my first in addition but it happened easily!
How did you prepare your first child for the new baby while you were pregnant?
@MelissaBryant3: We would let him talk to the baby in my belly and explained one day you will have a baby brother. I was told by a psychologist that it’s better to make the older children feel like they are completely a part of the experience while sparing them from anything that would make them think the new baby is hurting mommy. I would ask lots of questions, like what do you think “your” baby will look like? What would you like to play with your new baby brother? I even let him pick a special present to give the baby on the day of the birth. I remember him looking so proud as if it was his accomplishment. To make my oldest feel a part of this experience was easy, now subsequent children took issue with yet “ANOTHER” child coming. I always emphasized that they were going to be their very best friends, a lifetime friend that no one can take their place. I read so many books, it’s funny to think my oldest son was born before it was common to have a home computer. That’s really telling of my age! There’s so much advice out there that it can make you dizzy. I tried to always trust my gut on what was right and wrong.
@LilySophiaPhotography I did nothing. My plan all along in a nutshell: “Here’s your baby sister, she’s never leaving, congrats.” It worked.
@TheBaileyBunchBlogI just tried to talk to him about it, to which he would respond “no baby!” My husband and I also fasted from all Social Media (except for my Blog) so that we could spend one-on-one time with our son with no distractions and savor those last days of it just being the three of us!
@CarolineWalter01 I actually didn’t other than saying “you’re going to be a big sister!” However: I did hire a night nurse for baby #2 so I was not too exhausted during the day (during the football season- my kids were both November/December babies) to take care of my older child- best decision ever!
@SaraLoveStyle I introduced the concept of a sibling through play. I have found by introducing new concepts, food, traveling, whatever through play simplifies the idea in a way that they can understand, but also FUN. So, when the sibling arrives, it’s second nature.
@Alexa.Gumm This is really important to me. I heard people talk about “jealousy”. We never used that word in front of our oldest. We always said its “your” baby. When is “your” baby coming? Are you excited to meet “your” best friend? She was so excited when my mother brought her in to see the baby, she actually said “thank you” because she believed it was a gift for her. She is still grateful for her little sister!
@TheySayParenting We played with baby dolls and practiced caring for a baby.
Was your bond with your second immediate when he/she was born or did it take a while to build that?
@MelissaBryant3: For me, the bond was instant for the second child. It was my fifth I felt a disconnect, due to a lengthy stay in NICU and having other children to care for at home.
@LilySophiaPhotography Immediate. She was completely different than her sister in many ways and I fell in love the second we locked eyes.
@LeeAnnLevitre Immediately! I was so excited to be a mom!
@SaraLoveStyle My bond was immediate. My sweet Jeremiah, simply thinking about him makes me smile and beam. His spirit is contagious. The minute those huge brown eyes and long lashes looked at me with that gummy smile and those beautiful dimples, I was done for. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but I’m grateful as mothers we are gifted a heart with abundant love.
@Alexa.Gumm I think it always takes time to get to know a new baby. There’s this little baby laying on your chest and you’re like “who is this little person?” But God gives you this natural mother’s instinct to feel this instant, unmistakable connection. I think most women get that and if not, they will, it just takes a little time. You don’t know the new baby as well as you know your other child but you will learn how to divide your attention with two. To help get everyone ready, we would call her by name before she was born so she was a real person before she even arrived.
@TheySayParenting It was immediate for me, I was also scared that I wasn’t going to be able to handle two at the same time.
@Kelsey_Edwards07 My bond with DJ was not immediate. I had an epidural with my first and 100% planned on an epidural again but didn’t get it, so I was NOT prepared. I was induced so it was extra intense and I was only 22 years old!
Were the first 3-4 months postpartum easier or harder with your second? Why do you think that is?
@MelissaBryant3 With each child it is both. Harder by way of being twice as exhausted from caring for multiple children, easier because you feel more confident and reassured because you’ve done this before. Each baby is completely different, physically and mentality. You have to constantly adjust to each child’s needs, strengths and weaknesses. Each day I learn more and I’ve been doing this for 20 years!
@LilySophiaPhotography Easier for me. I knew what I was doing with nursing the second time around and Violet was such a chill little baby that we just carried on as usual.
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Easier and Harder. It was easier because I already had a handle on what to do with a newborn. Though there were some things about having a newborn that escaped my brain, everything came back to me quite quickly and naturally. It was harder in the sense that now I didn’t have just one little person to look after, but two. It can be challenging for sure!
@CarolineWalter01I had terrible postpartum with my first, almost none with my second. I think it’s because I knew what to expect. I knew I didn’t have to breastfeed if I didn’t want to, I knew I WOULD, in fact, be able to leave the house alone again and I knew no matter how tired I was or how I felt that one day soon I would feel like myself again.
@SaraLoveStyle I would say the postpartum stage was okay. I suffered from postpartum depression after Josiah but I didn’t know I was because no one talked about it. I didn’t know anyone that had been through it. I was in the middle of nowhere Pittsburgh 2,500miles from home, smack dab in the middle of training camp. So, with Jeremiah I was aware of the signs. I understood when to ask for help. Also, I can’t say this enough to all moms: IT TAKES A VILLAGE. The amount of guilt I felt if I left them out of my sight for 2 minutes was unhealthy. My parents stayed for 3 weeks, and my mother in law lives close now. She travels with us. Moms, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t feel guilty for taking some R&R.
@Alexa.Gumm I think it’s easier in some ways and harder in others. Easier because you’ve already done this! You know how to feed and you feel more confident. Harder, though, when your partner goes back to work, you’re outnumbered. You have a toddler and a new baby that need you to survive. It was the only time I cried and felt a bit of the baby blues. My husband would leave and now I had to protect two children by myself. That’s why women are awesome, we can multitask! It’s your new normal and it does get better with time. Any time you bring a new child in, there is a change in identity in the family. It’s a different kind of hard now because although you have had a newborn before, your older child is going through new stages that you’ve never experienced before.
@TheySayParenting I thought it was harder because I had a difficult time adjusting to having two at first.
@Kelsey_Edwards07 Postpartum was much harder for me because Dwan had just got drafted by the Ravens and we moved to Baltimore where I had no family and hadn’t met any friends yet.
How did your first child acclimate to having a new baby in the house in the first 6 months?
@MelissaBryant3 Oh, it’s is some of my fondest memories. They were so sweet to one another, unlike some of these teenage years. Daniel loved his baby brother, Jacob. He wanted to help me with everything! I let him feel like he was a part of helping and he thrived on it.
@LilySophiaPhotography She lit up when she met her and was nothing but sweet to her. We didn’t experience any jealousy issues at all. They tandem nursed and would hold hands while they did. The knock-down, drag-out fights didn’t happen until they were older!
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Amazingly! I really feared he wouldn’t as I had mentioned, he would say “no baby!” any time I tried to talk to him about the baby before she came! But from the moment he met her, he was as sweet as could be to her. He never once showed signs of being jealous of her. Now I did experience a bit of regression from both of my kids once the babies were here. Both regressed a bit in their potty training. We had way more accidents from both of them for some reason. Also, Beau refused to give up his bottle and Greta refused to give up her Mimi (pacifier). I was later able to use the baby as an example to get them to stop using these items, but they clung hard to them in those first months!
@CarolineWalter01 My older child was fine, almost amused by the baby. However; she constantly stole his pacifier and put it in her mouth. Even though she never used one! The result was having my first child rely on a paci from ages 2-5!!!! And my second never using one because he never had the chance lol!
@SaraLoveStyle The first few months were hard juggling two boys. It took about 3 months to get into a routine that worked well for us. I find it interesting that kids don’t want to get on the same schedule. I’m convinced it’s like a secret pact amongst siblings haha. But once the routine happened it was fine.
@Alexa.Gumm I think it depends on the age of the child. It depends on their capability to reason. If they’re young, they may act out because they don’t understand why they aren’t on mommy’s lap all the time. If the child is older they tend to understand what’s going on. Most kids don’t want to share their food and they definitely don’t want to share their mommy. But, its normal and they will learn. We’re selfish by nature so it’s totally normal for it to take time for them to adapt.
@TheySayParenting Definitely went from so much love and wanting to literally squeeze them to throwing things at them…yikes! And wanting a “different baby now”.
@Kelsey_Edwards07 Kaitlyn was totally unbothered by having a new baby in the house. But, again, she was 4 and was always kind of in her own little world anyway, LOL.
Did you do anything special for your first child after the second was born, like gifts, special mommy& me time, etc.?
@LilySophiaPhotography Nope! I made sure to snuggle and read with my oldest when the baby was napping. I also let the baby cry sometimes to attend to something Lily asked for so she would know that I didn’t always put her sister ahead of her. She learned sometimes she would have to wait and other times the baby would have to wait.
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Yes! We ALWAYS have a Birthday Party for our newborn, complete with party hats, dessert, and presents! When Greta was born, she gifted Beau some Thomas jammies and a Thomas Lego set to keep him busy while I was with baby girl. When Lilybelle was born, I got them both big sister/big brother books and personalized “Super Big Brother/Sister” Super hero capes and masks. Also, because we didn’t find out the gender and Beau wanted a brother so badly, I ordered a “Boss Baby” onesie from Etsy. This helped immensely! We dressed Lilybelle in it and she gifted them the movie. Beau, who loves to play dress up, thought it was SO COOL and only then started to warm up to his new sister! He said, “Lilybelle is a really good gift giver!” Haha! Also, I was told to not be holding the baby when your child enters the room to see you for the first time. You want your arms to be open to them first and then introduce the new baby…in a perfect world this happens 😉 I was able to do this when Beau met Greta for the first time. When Lilybelle was born, both Beau and Greta were in the delivery room because it happened in the middle of the night! Haha!
@CarolineWalter01 I did not do anything specifically special but I did get a part-time nanny to stay with the newborn so I could take the oldest to school; pick her up and go places with her etc.
@SaraLoveStyle I think what really helped with acclimation was because I had my family and my in-laws, both the children received ample attention. So, no one felt left out. Even though my attention obviously needed to be on the newborn, any time he was napping or resting I gave Josiah my undivided attention. So, at all times both children were receiving love and care.
@Alexa.Gumm Yes! And I think it’s very important. Give them something new or do something exciting to celebrate them becoming a big sister or brother. Don’t make them focus too much on the baby either. If they are done looking at the baby, they’re done and that’s okay. They are toddlers that are going to want to run around be toddlers. Make sure daddy is giving the older child lots of attention the first few weeks and then when mom feels better she can have more one-on-one time with her oldest.
@TheySayParenting We tried to spend time together with just big sister and mommy and daddy and find a sitter from time to time. This helped greatly!
@Kelsey_Edwards07 She definitely got plenty of extra attention, especially from her grandparents before we moved to MD. And yes, she got gifts from everyone, which I think is sweet!
Were there a lot of baby-related tantrums from your first child in the first 6 months after your second arrived? If so, how did you handle them & did anything seem to work to stop them?
@LilySophiaPhotography Zero. She loved her sister and didn’t have any jealousy issues whatsoever. I think tandem nursing had a lot to do with that.
@TheBaileyBunchBlogNot really, just the little bit of potty regression and the bottle and paci attachment that I mentioned before.
@CarolineWalter01 No, but I do remember always asking her to ‘help take care of the baby’ to make her feel important and older.
@SaraLoveStyle We didn’t have much in terms of tantrums, but like I said I really believe we can attribute that to each always having attention. Now, does jealousy happen? Yes, of course. I believe always reassuring them helps. Especially because we have a child with special needs that requires a ton of attention, both my husband and I make sure to always reassure both of them how much we love them. How special they are. How proud of them we are.
@Alexa.Gumm No, but she was already 3 years old. The tantrums had nothing to do with the baby, just that she was 3. She went to pre-school and that was something she started before the baby came, so that was her normal. It was so nice because I got time with the new baby and got to do things like Mother’s Day Out and then spent time with the oldest when she got home.
@TheySayParenting Not so much.
@Kelsey_Edwards07 She did not have tantrums after her brother arrived, but again she was just kind of unfazed by him!
Were you able to spend a lot of time with your first child in the first 6 months/year after your new baby was born?
@LilySophiaPhotography Yep, during morning naps we had our time and I’d take just Lily to do activities/errands sometimes. I didn’t make a huge effort for one on one time though, because that’s life!
@LeeAnnLevitre I was a stay at home mom because we needed money and couldn’t afford daycare for 3 kids. So, I had a daycare in my home for 10 years while raising my kids. They had many playmates!
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Yes. I made sure I still spent special one-on-one time with him, and I still make sure I do that today with all three of mine. I’m definitely spread thinner now, but I try to make sure that the only one affected by that is me, not my children. I’ve embraced an all-natural look. Never in my life have I gone so many days without wearing makeup, but my kids love me makeup or no makeup, so I choose to spend my time that I would have spent on me, with them instead. I’ll have plenty of days in the future to do my makeup! Today, I’m choosing to spend time with my kiddos!
@CarolineWalter01 Yes. Kevin and I ‘split them up’ sometimes, but mostly we all just did regular stuff together. Honestly, from almost the beginning she wanted to always include the baby in what we did
@SaraLoveStyle One of the things Ziggy and I do and we have been doing it since they were babies is DATES. So, each week (we do once every two weeks during the season) I take each child separately on a day date. Ziggy does the same. Then Zig and I together take each child on a date, could be ice cream, Chic-Fil-A or target, whatever. Then, once a week we do a family day. It’s hard to do consistently, but it’s so worth it.
@Alexa.Gumm Yeah. The first month or two is tough but then when baby starts sleeping more you can give more of your attention to your oldest. It’s just a season and it will pass.
@TheySayParenting We tried to find one-on-one time a little each day which was helpful!
@Kelsey_Edwards07 Yes, I was able to spend a lot of time with Kaitlyn after DJ was born. But when we moved to MD I really didn’t know anyone and Dwan was busy with football, so it was just the 3 of us hanging together most days.
Did you feel guilty at all that the new baby took you away from your older child? If so, how did you deal with that? If not, how were your able to avoid that feeling?
@LilySophiaPhotography None. She didn’t take me away from my older child. Plus, Lily had me 100% to herself for 22.5 months with zero “competition”. Subsequent children will never have that.
@TheBaileyBunchBlog No, because I made sure to include him in everything I was doing with her. If I was feeding her, I’d invite him to snuggle up and watch a show with me while I did so. If I was changing a diaper, I’d ask him to get me a diaper or throw her dirty one away for me. I always wanted him to know that his little sister and I both needed him!
@CarolineWalter01 I did not. I’m not sure why? I think I was more inclined to leave the baby with my nanny to do stuff with Sienna rather than the opposite.
@SaraLoveStyle Oh gosh the GUILT. Oh yes! It hurt, but I had to keep focused and reassure myself that it was okay. Again, having support helped a lot. In the first 6 months, it can be difficult, but I am a cuddler and a nurturer, so I kept Josiah close. Plus, I’m pretty sure moms are given some sort of supersonic hulk strength because I could hold, cuddle, cradle, and rock both at the same time. Any time Jeremiah napped, I would play and give Josiah my undivided attention even if it was at the expense of the dishes, laundry or a shower. I knew the time I spent with him was more important. Everything else could wait until after bedtime.
@Alexa.Gumm A little bit, but I’m a pretty black and white person. Long term I knew to give her a sibling was the best thing I could ever do for her. It may be hard in the short term, but long term this would be the greatest gift.
@TheySayParenting Absolutely! So much mommy guilt, but in the end, my daughter also gained independence and I think that’s such an important quality.
@Kelsey_Edwards07 Yes, I sometimes felt guilty that DJ took my time away from Kaitlyn, especially since it was just her for a little over 4 years! Mom guilt sucks and unfortunately it never really goes away!
Did you nurse your first child? If so, for how long? Did you nurse your second child? Was there a difference between the two?
@lilysophiaphotography Yes. For a long, long time. Years. More than two. I’ll leave it at that. Nursed my second (and third!) also. First baby, I had painful nursing issues that were resolved with tongue clipping for her at 6 weeks old and then it was a breeze. Second and third babies had zero issues and it was easy.
@LeeAnnLevitreI nursed all my kids at least a year, except the first, Andrea, was nursed 2 1/2 years, so even while I was pregnant with Alyssa. Andrea has a chromosome problem so I wanted to give her the best she could have under the circumstances and nursing was all I could do for her!
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Yes, but he never latched on, so I pumped and fed for 10 weeks. By the second bout of mastitis, I was ready to be done! Now, Greta latched on immediately, and it was super natural. I had two completely different nursing experiences! Lilybelle followed in her big sister’s footsteps and was a natural as well.
@CarolineWalter01I tried to nurse my first baby. It did not work well. She was not gaining weight. It was an ongoing struggle and quite frankly I hated it. I was guilt ridden. The lactation consultant at the hospital convinced me it was vital to her survival, the ladies at the breastfeeding store treated me like a criminal when I went in for cabo-cream. However, my pediatrician and my OBGYN, who also saw my mental state, said ‘just stop! She’ll be fine! She needs a healthy mother more than breast milk!’ It was a weight off my shoulders. So, although it felt like two years it only lasted two weeks. With my second I decided to try to pump. That also lasted two weeks. The difference was that this time I didn’t let anyone guilt me! Both babies were healthy as could be!
@Alexa.Gumm I nursed my first child for 2 years and my second child for 18 months. I think the youngest saw her older sister eating solids and being independent and she wanted to follow along.
@TheySayParenting It was harder to nurse my second at first because I had to provide activities to keep the oldest near me and safe, but I found activities and it ended up working out even longer. For my third, we had so many medical issues we couldn’t nurse more than 6 weeks, but I’m okay with that! Fed is best.
@Kelsey_Edwards07 I nursed Kaitlyn but only for 3 weeks and, again, mom guilt, I didn’t nurse DJ at all. However; I did nurse the last 3 of my children and was so proud of it!!
Do you have any other children (more than 2)? Did things get easier, guilt-wise, the more you had? Does your first child ever feel like they don’t get enough attention?
@LilySophiaPhotography Yep! I have three. I didn’t have guilt and still don’t. Each of the kids will ask for “mommy time” when they want it and we do our best to make it happen. Sometimes it’s just chatting, snuggled up in bed and other times it’s a trip to the bookstore or to Starbucks.
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Yes, Lilybelle, my third, is 9 months old. As I mentioned, I don’t feel guilty because I invite my kiddos to help me with everything pertaining to the baby. Beau definitely gets his share of attention! I make sure I spend special one-on-one time with him. I tell Greta “you have to stay in your room, this is Beau’s time, you’ll get the same when I finish with him!”
@CarolineWalter01 I have 3 children now. My first is just fine. Truthfully, she prefers to be with her brothers rather than one-on-one with us. In fact, sometimes when I try to do things alone with her she begs for Vince (middle child) to come. They are best friends. Having more children was a gift to our oldest in my mind. I truly don’t feel like any one of them is lacking any attention.
@Alexa.Gumm Yes! I have 4. I never felt guilt, I would say I felt transitioned. I think having siblings is a normal part of life. I thought it was a positive thing. I think when you have a family there is always is a squeaky wheel, but who that is can change daily!
@TheySayParenting. I have 3 now. I still experience so much mommy guilt, but I have learned that I need to focus on the things I’m doing right and focus on loving on my kids and if I am showing them all love, that means I’m winning!
@Kelsey_Edwards07 I have 5 children total. Again, maybe it’s just me, but I think the more children I have the more I feel guilty. I’m working on it though! Thank goodness for Cigna health insurance and counseling.
How do your children get along now?
@LilySophiaPhotography They’re a little band of three who love each other and defend each other fiercely. They also beat each other up sometimes and destroy my house. I wouldn’t have it any other way. They’re the best little people.
@LeeAnnLevitre I had a total of 10 pregnancies and lost 5 of them. What I have learned is that even though I love each of my children they all have different personalities and I get along better with some more than others but my love for them is equal. A mother’s love is very deep and forever! Funny thing is, as adults the kids all get along! All the cousins and kids have such a respect and love for each other! They all turned out to be good people. I think even though the parents split, as long as they knew they were loved by both they turned out great!
@TheBaileyBunchBlog They all get along pretty well! Beau likes to tease Greta a bit, but both have been nothing but kind to Lilybelle! We call her our “Queen” because they will drop anything to attend to her! And she absolutely adores her big brother and sister! They put a smile on her face that Patrick and I can’t, and. it’s so special as a parent to see this sibling bond growing at such a young and tender age!
@CarolineWalter01 They are a little clan that gang up on me, mostly;) The best of friends. Don’t get me wrong they FIGHT like animals but love every second!
@SaraLoveStyle My children get along great! The best part about having two children especially so close in age is they have a built-in playmate. So, I am not the only source of entertainment. It helps me be productive.
@Alexa.Gumm They have days when they fight but they love each other and they say “my sister is my best friend.” They know how important one another are.
@TheySayParenting They get along great! They have their moments but all in all they love each other. Watching them love on each other is my favorite part!
@Kelsey_Edwards07 I think my kids get along relatively well, especially because we moved so much for football. At times they were each other’s only friends until they made new friends at their new schools.
Any more advice for soon-to-be second-time mommies?
@LilySophiaPhotography Don’t overthink it. Kids are resilient and it’s not going to affect them as much as you think. You’ll likely have a way harder time than they will. Learning to share and not have instant gratification are important life lessons that everyone needs to learn. A new baby in the house will teach them that. Life isn’t always fair, and they might as well learn that at home with you! When my third child was born, my first was not yet three and my second had just turned 2 just two weeks prior. My two-year-old was pretty much disinterested in her brother until he started interacting with her (grabbing her toys, smiling and laughing at her). We didn’t push it and just let them develop the relationship at their own pace. My oldest was and still is a second mama to her brother. When she went off to kindergarten is when the younger two really became close.
@TheBaileyBunchBlog Sync up those nap times! My pediatrician was surprised to hear that Lilybelle is already down to one nap per day at 9 months but to me, it’s so much more important that she takes one long nap rather than a few short ones. Also, try to have your child potty trained before the new little one comes along. Even though we regressed in this, it was so nice to have a head start as it’s a process and takes up A LOT of your time that you would otherwise be spending with your newborn! Lastly, I would advise to not worry about it…worrying about it only takes away from these last days you have with your only child!
@CarolineWalter01 Get HELP! Get a nanny, get a night nurse, hire a clown! Whatever! It takes a village. If family isn’t an option hire a trustworthy nanny. Just as an extra set of hands. Even if she just does the laundry some days. It makes all the difference. Also, let go of the guilt. Take time for you, too. Happy mom=happy babies! They are going to be just fine! 🙂 And drink alllll the wine 😉 😉
@SaraLoveStyle My advice for second-time mommies is first just enjoy it. Live in the moment create memories for yourself, your spouse, and your babies. Don’t compare yourself to other moms especially on social media. Do what is best for you and your babies. You have a PHD in your children. Trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t wait until you’re over your head to yell for help. Don’t be surprised if your break from your children occurs in your closet or pantry. It may be the only source of peace you’ll get but you’ll secretly love it! Haha. Yes, you’ll feel guilty for a variety of reasons but it’s all going to be ok. I promise. If you’re a perfectionist like I am it’s time to LET IT GO. Children are the greatest piece of humble pie on the planet. Be perfectly imperfect, it’s a gift. AND DONT FORGET to take care of yourself. YOU MATTER. When you are at your best, you’re the best partner and mom you can be.
@Alexa.Gumm Be gentle on yourself and your expectations and take it one day at a time!
@TheySayParenting Hang in there because it kind of rocks your world at first! But as time goes on it gets easier and easier until you realize you got this mom-of-two thing down!
@Kelsey_Edwards07 I’m going to sound like a hypocrite because I want to tell you DON’T feel guilty!! You will have many days that you do. Don’t feel bad asking for help. Pay someone to help you clean, do laundry or run errands for you!