How to Deal with the Stress of Raising Two Kids

A big thank you to Murris from familyhype.com for sharing this piece with us! We all know how stressful one child can be, and these tips for coping with two are great!

Having a second child on the way can be amazing, but it can also be the most stressful time of your life if you’re not prepared. Here are some ways you can deal with the stress and have the best time of your life.

Tell Your Child About the Sibling

Sibling rivalry is a trope that doesn’t have to exist. Inform the sibling to be about what is going to happen. You can show them books, videos, or other information about the child, and perhaps they can think of what the child’s name is and help with the room for the new baby.

For more information on how to tell your child about it, go to familyhype.com.

Obviously, they may be jealous, and their feelings are valid. Just make sure that they realize they will be loved just as much, too. If they express jealousy, don’t guilt trip them, but ensure them that everything is gonna be okay.

Also, the firstborn’s opinions may change. At first, they may love their baby brother or sister.

However, whenever the baby grows older and becomes more independent, there may be some challenges. For example, the toddler may take toys or mess with the sibling in different ways. Be vigilant.

Teach Your Firstborn to Be More Independent

Preparing the food and making the beds of two kids can be a challenge. If your firstborn is old enough to be in school, they can learn to dress themselves, prepare snacks, and be more independent. Teaching your child about adult tasks is always a good idea, but besides that, it can help make everything so much more easier.

You as a mom need to make sure that your mental health is also at the forefront too.

Teach The Sibling to Be Protective, Not Jealous

As the older sibling, they should learn how to protect their baby sibling against any danger.

The child is now the caretaker too, and they can help feed, burp, rock to sleep, and take care of the baby in general. Don’t let the child feel like they aren’t being treated equally.

Budget

Laying out a budget is a good idea for any situation, but especially for having a second kid.

One kid is costly enough, so when you have two, that is a bit of problem. Think about the cost of everything and set aside even more money to cover it. Make sure you have all expenses paid. Eliminate any unneeded expenses. Cook more at home. It doesn’t take long for you to set up a good budget that works for you. Find that budget, and you’ll feel much better afterwards.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

With the firstborn, there is often overprotection and perfectionism. Everything has to be completely safe for the baby, and there shouldn’t be anything that goes wrong. However, as you give birth to the second baby, some parents realize that they can be more lax on their second born. You don’t have to worry as much. With that said, you shouldn’t be lazy, but you can relax a little more.

Make Sure to Take Care of Yourself as Well

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to take care of yourself. No one is going to take care of you, after all. Stressing is natural, but too much stress can hurt you. Instead, take some time to wind down. Work out a little. Get outside and take a walk. Make sure you’re sleeping and perhaps have someone else help with the chores. Take some time to yourself too and work out any stress you may have.
Perhaps you can go out for the weekend and have your parents watch the kids. This may seem like a cop-out, but not only do the grandparents love watching their grandkids, but you need time to recover from the stress. While some stress is good, too much can hurt you in the long run, and it’s something you should avoid at all times.

Enjoy Parenting

One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to take care of yourself. No one is going to take care of you, after all. Stressing is natural, but too much stress can hurt you. Instead, take some time to wind down. Work out a little. Get outside and take a walk. Make sure you’re sleeping and perhaps have someone else help with the chores. Take some time to yourself too and work out any stress you may have.

Perhaps you can go out for the weekend and have your parents watch the kids. This may seem like a cop-out, but not only do the grandparents love watching their grandkids, but you need time to recover from the stress. While some stress is good, too much can hurt you in the long run, and it’s something you should avoid at all times.

Parenting is a part of life, so why not make it fun? Show new places to your children. Play games. Make memories. Don’t spend most of your life stressed if you don’t need to. Parenting with two kids doesn’t have to be a challenge; it can be the start of an even bigger family that can go on many adventures.

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Moving house with a little one? Here’s 5 top tips to keep your sanity

It’s all go here in the Piper household as we’re just about to move house. Given that this is our third house move in 2 years, you’d think we’d be seasoned veterans by now, but moving with our little one is SO much harder. She needs constant attention, which makes getting the packing done much more time consuming, and I constantly feel like there’s something huge I’m forgetting! With that in mind, I’ve come up with 5 top tips to stop you pulling your hair out on move in day.

1 – Get some help

By this I mean childcare, whether that is letting Grandma look after Little One for the day, or having an extra family member/friend/extra pair of hands around to look after them in your new home. The first is preferable, as it can be dangerous for little ones to be underfoot with big boxes being moved about. If you have to have your little one in your new place while you’re moving, try and keep them away from all the action – it’s safer for everyone, and you’ll be so busy getting boxes and furniture in to your new place and directing people as to where you want them to put things down, it will be so much harder if your baby is on you like a limpet all day.

2 – Make a box of necessities

Pack a box of all the things you are likely to need for your baby in the next day or two. Things to remember include:
  • Nappies, wipes and wash things
  • Clean clothes
  • Toys
  • Bottles (if formula fed) and food if baby is old enough
  • Any security items, like a dummy or favourite teddy
Mark this box as important and make sure it is one of the first things delivered to your new home. You’ll be grateful later down the line that everything you need for baby is in one easy to find place.

3 – Unpack baby’s room first

Make unpacking your child’s bedroom a priority to give them a better sense of security in a new place. Having your little one’s room ready first gives you a safe place to let them play while your’e unpacking, a comfortable and familiar place for them to nap and sleep, and peace of mind for you that at least one room is done – you can keep unpacking while baby has gone to bed!

4 – Stick to baby’s schedule as much as you can

Move in day isn’t just stressful for you, it’s stressful for your little one too. The difference is that you know exactly what is happening, but your little one doesn’t. Moving house can be especially stressful for toddlers who often feel the loss of a safe environment. You can read more about helping your little one through this transition here. Try your best to keep meal times and nap times to your usual schedule. This will be easier if you’ve followed tip 3 and have baby’s bed ready!

5 – Take a breath

Moving is stressful. Psychologically, it is only outranked by loss of family members, and is rated more stressful than divorce and loss of employment. Moving house can be a huge upheaval, which is all the more reason why it’s so important to just take a breather. Make everyone stop working so you can all eat together, or ask a friend to put the kettle on.
You’ve got this mama.

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Bath boohoos to Bath wahoos!

We lived in a flat where we didn’t have access to a bath, only a shower. So my daughter was stuck in her baby bath, probably longer than we would have liked. When we moved, the big bath tub came as a huge shock for her, and she didn’t like it. Not one bit! No sooner would we put her in the bath tub, then she would stand up and try to climb back out again. When we would wash her hair she would get hysterical and was grabbing at me to get her out. It got to the point where I was dreading bath time and was feeling anxious about it because it seemed more like water torture than fun!
We made some changes and Imogen looks forward to bath time. We struggle to get her out of the bath now!I really didn’t feel like we were going to get to this point. What a relief.

The number one thing I had to bear in mind when making these changes was that the more stressed I was getting, the worse the situation became.

I looked online at some helpful blogs and Mummy chat pages and felt more reassured. So this is why I wanted to share what worked for us with you lovely mummies.

We had a non-slip mat in the bath but I don’t think my daughter felt very comfortable and confident standing on it. The mat wasn’t very big and I don’t think the grip on it was very good. We got the Munchkin Dandy dots bath mat because it is long, almost covering the whole bath base and has bug rubber spots which have good grip for little feet.

We previously tried washing my daughter’s hair out with a sponge, with a jug, splashing it on with our hands… Nothing seemed to make the process quick and less upsetting. We got this though and this next item was a game changer for us.
The Moby waterfall bath rinser is a jug that gives a gentle flow and has rubber which allows you to press it to your child’s head. A couple rinses and a bit of distraction and the hair is washed very quickly!

We had toys for the bath previously, but Imogen wasn’t too bothered about them any more. When we got her a water book and letters however, she found these lots of fun to look at and they’re a good distraction!
The ‘Who’s Playing?’ outdoors magic book has animals in it that change from white to a colour when they go in the water.

The Welecom 36 pieces alphabet comes with an organiser which sticks to the side of the bath or the bath tiles, which is always handy. It means we can spell out words and stick them to the bath tub now that Imogen is taking an interest in letters.

Have you had any similar bath problems and do you have any tips on what you used/did that helped? We’d love to hear about them!

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Mental Health Monday: 5 ways to cope with stress!

Stress!

The one thing we parents seem to have in abundance! Unfortunately, I haven’t yet discovered how to live a completely stress-free life, so instead, here are my top 5 tricks on how to cope with stress!

1. Copious amounts of tea

Ever heard the saying that none of the world’s problems cannot be solved with tea? Well, I am a firm believer! Particularly if your problems are stress-related. I know it can be hard to drink a hot drink while it’s still hot these days, but make sure you grab the opportunity when it presents itself! There’s not much else that’s better than enjoying a hot, caffeinated drink and putting your feet up for a minute while you do!

2. Play dough

This may sound daft, but this is ridiculously stress-relieving. Come on, mummies, whose kiddies do not have play dough lying around somewhere? (If not, you can check out the way to make your own here!)

If they do, and if the colours aren’t all mushed up together in some form of absolute ANARCHY, then I seriously recommend just twiddling it for a while and feeling all of your stress leaving your body as you do!

3. Yoga

Again, I know that finding time is difficult, but it could actually be the best thing you do that day to get out of the house and going to a yoga class! If not, you could easily pull up a youtube tutorial for some yoga breathing exercises. It’s incredibly calming and whenever I’ve done it, I LITERALLY feel lighter having done so. You can physically feel the tension being lifted and the positivity seeping back into where it used to be, once upon a time.

4. Classical music

I know what you’re thinking. “She’s gone mad”, “how old is she?” etc. etc.

But I am serious! Music defines our emotions so much more than we think. If all you listen to is high tempo, upbeat pop music, you might feel happier but it’s still energetic and active. I’m not suggesting you listen to Bach, Mozart or Beethoven (I mean, you can if you want to), but just go onto Spotify, pop your headphones in, and stick on a classical playlist.

My favourite contemporary classical composer is Yiruma – a Japanese artist. His music is just hauntingly beautiful, and I always feel calm and relaxed when I listen to it.

This tip could probably apply to any music you find relaxes you, but if you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend listening to a bit of pure piano magic.

5. Scream into a pillow

You really do think I’m mad now, don’t you? But I’m serious… In the same way that sometimes you need a good old cry to just get it out of your system, sometimes releasing all of that pent-up anger, upset and frustration is best done by burying your face in a pillow, and screaming loudly. You’d be surprised how much better you can feel afterwards!

So there you have it, my 5 TOP TIPS to cope with stress, and make life just a little bit more manageable!

Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips that you swear by to keep your cool!

Mummies Waiting

Coping with New Year Blues

‘Happy’ New Year.

January is a time that people make changes to their lives and make promises to themselves to be better, do better and feel better. It’s no surprise then that ‘happy’ new year can be anything but happy. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves only to slip up in the first few weeks can set us up for a really stressful time. Of course that’s not all; think of the energy lost over the festive season, the persistent cold weather and very obvious lack of sunshine – it’s no wonder January feels so blue.

Personally, I tend to find no happiness from boxing day right through to the first sunny day in February or even March most years but I am trying to cope a little more effectively and so far, I am feeling more positive than I was expecting.

This year I started taking the Christmas tree down early, which might not seem like a huge deal but it has been significantly less stressful than in previous years. I did it for a couple of reasons: I was able to do it in stages and the gradual change was meant I had no ‘thump’ back to reality a week into January and honestly? Clutter. Christmas made my house look even more cluttered and it felt so closed in that it was a relief when we took it down.

We have adopted a ‘one in, one out’ rule for things like shirts, toys, novelty mugs… basically anything that we end up with more of than we need. As a stay at home parent, excessive clutter that has no home is a huge source of stress for me and I have been at breaking point with it more times than I care to recall. I am determined not to let it get the better of me anymore. Although we haven’t completely followed through with this yet, we have sorted and stored the things we want to take to charity shops or sell online.

Set realistic goals and set them when you are ready. I am in a position where I have been my  ‘ideal’ weight and gained from there and I know that I need to lose around 4 stone to reach that healthier weight and that is daunting, so I am aiming for my pre-baby jeans first. The timing is important, too. I find the ‘from New Year’s Day’ thing really intimidating for some reason. We still had Christmas food in the house for the first couple of weeks of January and there was no way I could have started dieting with all that temptation around – I would have failed miserably and given up.  So my main aim for January was to make healthier choices in the supermarket, and change my portion sizes because I know I’m an over-eater.  I have since started a popular diet now that the temptation of Christmas cake is gone.

If you spend a lot of time at home like I do you will know that it can really get you down if you don’t have anything to do all week and then getting motivated to do anything can get really tough. I am trying to find things to get involved with without over-committing. I’m not great at meeting new people but I want to change that and start going to coffee mornings and maybe join a walking group. If that really sounds like the worst thing ever then make plans with yourself, just write down a time and place and go there, you’ll be glad you did.

Take this new year one day at a time – January is almost over now and if it hasn’t been great so far that doesn’t mean that the rest of your year will be the same. If you aren’t up to New Year’s resolutions just yet, or if you’ve already slipped up, then just make them again on 10th February or 3rd March… whenever you’re up to challenging yourself and NOT when other people expect it of you.

Happy New Year

Super inspiring healthy food
Here’s a super inspiring picture of some roasted veggies.
 

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