Related Posts with Thumbnails

Strategies for a toddler and baby

Back in July I shared the first part of an interview with Lisa, preparing an older sibling for the new baby. Since then my blogging thoughts have been taken up with completing the True Woman review by September 1! Now I would like to share the second part of the interview. I was encouraged and convicted as I considered Lisa's thoughts, and I hope you will also be blessed. Please feel free to add any advice you have in relation to these questions! (The cute picture is from Wikimedia Commons).

What strategies did you put in place for the early days of having a second child at home?

We were blessed to be able to have Nathaniel take off time following Abigail’s birth. This helped a lot! In addition, we tried to make things simple…no fancy meals, paper dishes, low expectations for chores, etc. I had made a couple of make-ahead meals and we were blessed by our family and church with a few other meals. Having realistic expectations of what is NOT going to get done was helpful for me and allowed me to rest a bit more.

How did you ensure that the older child was content and happy during feeding times for the new baby?

Because my husband was home for the first week, this was an issue that we were able to ease into. Daddy helped teach Abraham some techniques for keeping Abigail awake during feeding time such as tickling toes and happy songs. Once Nathaniel was back to work, I would have Abraham help me with Abigail as he and Daddy had done the week before. I also told Abraham stories, instructed him, and interacted with him from my spot about toys and ideas for his playing. Lastly, we ensured that, to the level he needed, the house was safe for him to be in with less supervision than prior to new baby coming.

This is another area where I had to make sure that I had realistic expectations. Abraham was the only child before and was now one of two. I had to make sure that I helped him adjust with a lot of patience.

Do you have any tips for remaining in harmony with your husband and ensuring he remains a number 1 priority?

Communicating and planning allowed my husband and me to remain connected throughout our adjustment to having more than one child. Even now, we find that if communication or planning slip, it is far easier to tag-team parent/divide and conquer, which we do employ occasionally, but try to avoid. We eat dinner together each evening. We are teaching the children that there are times when Daddy and Mommy are talking that they may not interrupt. We make a point to spend time together after the children go to bed. We pray together each night, for our family, for each other, and for others. And we try to make the most of spontaneous moments of affection and enjoy each other’s company.

How did you continue to draw strength from God and his word during those busy early days?

Prayer was the primary element I used to draw on the Lord’s strength that I could not have done without. I found that this was easier than reading my Bible as I was able to do it with the lights out or pray out loud for the kids while I nursed and Abraham played. I asked for wisdom about how to pray and I would pray for God to bring memorized Scripture to mind. God is faithful when we cry to him and oh so gracious in providing strength for the tasks that he has called us to when we rely on him as the source of that energy.

Without really planning it, we ended up singing one specific hymn over and over during the early days of both Abraham and Abigail’s life (‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus and My Jesus I Love Thee, respectively). I believe that this was from the Lord, but I also plan to repeat it for any future babies. I love the rich words of hymns and the snippets of Scripture throughout the songs.

I also tried to take advantage of short moments of time in the Word. It was very difficult and still is today to use my time wisely and to make that choice to read the Word rather than to do something domestic with a short block of time, but I would ask God to help me prioritize it and use the few lines in my day to make me more like Him—even if it didn’t meet my expectation for what “time in the Word” should or had previously looked like.

In hindsight after going through the stage of having a toddler and a new baby, is there anything you would do differently or wish you had done?

I wish that I had just rested and enjoyed our family in all its newness. I put too much pressure on myself to have this “new” become “normal” too quickly. Huge changes are allowed to take a little bit of time. I didn’t need to show off to anyone how quickly I was able to resume my prior activity level, but I had a bit of that in my motivation.

Thankfully, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. I’m still learning how to be the mother to two children and I think I’ll always be learning as a parent—it’s hard not to when things change so quickly. I’m learning a lot about being content in what God has called me to in being a mother and I’m grateful that He doesn’t leave me to my own devices, but provides support, encouragement, and strength to me in my precious role as Mommy to Abraham and Abigail.

Bron  – (September 6, 2010 at 10:25 AM)  

Thanks for these! Lots of great advice :) I'm still apprehensive about having a 21 month old and newborn but have been collecting lots of wise advice which helps!

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP