My maternity leave officially started on Monday, even though Miles is now 2 weeks old. I have been a stay-at-home mom with 2 kiddos for 3 full days. I will admit that this was the thing that scared me more than anything when it came to having a second child. I just remembered how “difficult” it was when MacKenna was a newborn… and then realized how much harder it is now that she is a three year old. How was I possibly going to be able to handle a newborn in addition to a toddler?!
I think the best parenting advice I have EVER gotten was from our pediatrician at Miles’ 1 week checkup. Immediately upon walking into the room, she asked us how MacKenna was doing. To me, it is so obvious that we have completely turned her world upside down. She strives for our attention all day long and it breaks my heart when I have to tell her that I can’t help her with something right away. She has been a tad more defiant than usual and it’s been hard on me especially not to get frustrated with her easily.
Our pediatrician’s advice: Take care of MacKenna’s needs first, then worry about Miles. Obviously, there are times where I have to worry about him first, but MacKenna really is the one who needs our attention because she knows when she is not getting it and needs to be shown that love and affection more right now than he does. I wish I could say it was easy for me to do this, but again, I find myself getting frustrated with her if she’s not listening or not wanting to do what I want her to do or wants me to do something immediately when I’m in the middle of changing a diaper or feeding the baby.
But, we are adjusting. MacKenna is starting to pay more attention to Miles and I absolutely love how she interacts with him (most of the time). She’s still not really to that “big sister” stage, but I think wants he becomes more fun to interact with (smiling, cooing, giggling, moving, etc.), she’ll warm up to him a little bit more.
I am also really working on trying to keep her entertained during the day without having to rely on the TV or iPad. Like I mentioned the other day, I am reading The Happy Mommy Handbook to get ideas to keep her occupied during the day. On Monday, we went out and bought a cheap plastic shoebox and a bag of rice at Target. I gave her 2 leftover Bubble Guppies cups and a spoon to play with and showed her how to scoop and pour the rice. She literally played with it all day long and begged to play with it instead of eating her lunch (another thing I’m working on while I’m off with her). Who knew $2 could provide so much entertainment for a 3 year old?!
Now that I can drive again, I’ve also been trying to get out of the house in the morning. Monday we went to Target and yesterday, I took both kids to the mall to get some indoor walking in since our treadmill isn’t hooked up yet and I can’t always trust MacKenna’s nap times. I don’t have a double stroller yet, so I put MacKenna in the jogging stroller and Miles in the Ergo carrier and walked the perimeter of the mall for about 40 minutes. It felts AWESOME to not only be out of the house, but to be doing something active again! I’m having some pain/pulling around my incision, so I am trying to take it easy – and I felt sick to my stomach after doing some pelvic alignment exercises the other day, so I’m backing off of that a little bit as well.
As far as Miles goes, he is such a good baby! Right now, he is sleeping most of the time and has his days and nights confused a little bit, but otherwise, he is making life with a newborn seem simple. Our parents have both taken MacKenna for a few hours and left us with just Miles and I swear I have no idea what to do with my time besides just holding him and staring at him while he sleeps.
I really never thought that I could love another baby as much as I love MacKenna, but it is definitely so true that your heart is never full. I love this little baby more than I ever thought possible and am certainly LOVING being a mom of a boy! I’m trying to cherish every single second with him since he could possibly be my last baby, but I am looking forward to all those milestones again! Life is good. I am so blessed!