Tips to Help You Cope
To help manage the added responsibilities of a second child, try these tips before the big day comes:
• Stock the house with dry foods or quick, easy dinners. If you feel up to cooking, make double portions and freeze them, because finding energy will be harder once the baby is born. Keep some menus of take-out food restaurants handy, including a few that deliver.
• Reorganize your laundry room, using one hamper per family member or a basket for each child so it’s easier to sort and fold clothing. Laundry is usually the biggest complaint of new parents — it seems to quadruple when another child arrives, so now is the time to prepare.
• If possible, use items you already have (or that family members can share) rather than feeling obligated to buy all new things. Hand-me-downs such as cribs, bassinets,strollers, high chairs (as long as they meet current safety standards), and clothes can help save time and money.
• Treat yourself to a few new DVDs, but don’t watch them until the baby is born. They’ll help get you through those late-night feedings.
• Stock the car with a diaper bag filled with all the necessary extras so you’ll always be prepared. Many moms keep a toy bag in the car for older kids and a diaper bag with diapers, wipes, and an extra blanket for the baby.
• Keep a book or toy bin handy in your bedroom, family room, and even the bathroom or laundry room, to keep kids busy for a few precious moments if an unexpected problem crops up.
• Ask a family member to spend time with you right after the baby’s birth, if you feel comfortable doing so. Not only will he or she enjoy it, but you may be able to get some much-needed rest.
• Use For Kid’s Sake for childcare for your older child or a housekeeper, if possible, for a month or two to help you with chores that are too strenuous and exhausting.
• Look to your community or place of worship for support. Countless programs and classes are available that offer activities and social support for families with young kids.
• Don’t forget to take care of your own needs. Pamper yourself, even if it’s something as simple as a haircut or a bath with candles and music to help you relax after a trying day.
Once everyone gets used to the reality of another child, you can all enjoy the many positive aspects of a larger family.
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