Kim Kardashian and her husband, Kanye West, are shown in a file photo. (CNS photo/EPA)
Congratulations on your new baby boy!
I’m not going to do anything silly like ask how much sleep you’re getting or whether you’re cloth diapering or whether little Saint has his own fur coat—though I am a little curious about that. I won’t even bother to ask how breastfeeding is going and act shocked if you’re not nursing.
What I would like to do is offer a little advice on being a mom of two. Because, let’s be honest, that’s the real adjustment here.
You’ve done the mom thing. You know how to feed and bathe and clothe this little one. What you don’t know is how to do it for two at once.
Oh, how well I remember. I was in your shoes once…well, not really because mine are much cheaper, less fashionable ones that match and aren’t too scuffed up on a good day. But I have been in that New Mom of Two role. And I remember feeling blindsided. I wasn’t parenting one new child; I was parenting two new children—a new child and one who was acting in new ways because his world had been turned upside-down.
So here are a few tips as you navigate these new waters.
1. When they both need you, help your older child first. Then ask North to help you help her baby brother.
2. Spend one-on-one time with each of your children. Even if you can only promise North 10-15 minutes a day to count on for her very own, let her know it’s coming. And make sure she can count on that time with her dad, too. You don’t need to go out for ice cream or a pony ride. Just play a game or read a book. It’s important for her—and you’ll realize also for you—to know that time is coming every day.
3. Remember that your older child’s entire world has changed. And yes, it has ultimately changed for the better. Having a baby brother is wonderful. But this is a huge transition for her, too. She doesn’t really understand what happened. She needs to know how loved and important she is.
4. Help North see how grown-up she is. Notice every little kindness she shows the baby—even if some of them might be imaginary. “Look how you made your baby brother smile!” Let her do big important things like run to get you a fresh diaper or take a blurry picture of you and the baby or call Grandma to tell her that Saint just sneezed five times in a row. Give her big-girl jobs and let her shine.
5. Be gentle and understanding when disciplining North. This is not a good time to use time-outs (unless you need them for your own peace of mind). It’s a better time for time-ins and making her feel included. This is also a time for reward over punishment. Try to set her up for success.
6. Be easy on yourself. Being a parent of an infant is hard. Being a parent of a toddler is hard. Being a parent of both requires super-human abilities, which, thank goodness, every mother has. But she doesn’t always discover them right away—or ever. Even if you have help, I bet when your children need you, they both need YOU, not someone else. Try to enjoy that. But also take time for you now and then.
7. Use paper plates. It’s the only way to survive new parenthood.
8. Enjoy every minute. Or every other minute. Or the minutes you post to Instagram. Or the ones in between. Find something to enjoy and know that the memories will be almost all rosy and beautiful, even if there are some less-beautiful ones right now.
Being a mother of two can be so challenging, but it’s also such a wonderful gift and blessing. Congratulations again.
Another Mom of Two