Yay! It’s great to be back, and I’m so sorry to anyone who has missed me. A new baby, massive computer meltdown and university assessments put the stoppers on blogging for a few weeks!
There are lots of tips out there for new parents, most starting with ‘enlist support’. Great advice, and I’m sure having a supportive network around is wonderful, but what if it’s not an option?
I’m the proud Mumma of two beautiful girls (aged 21months and 5 weeks), living in an isolated area in outback Western Australia. Our nearest family is over 600km away, we have very few friends in the area and my husband works 14hr days, including a week of nights every month. As a result, I’ve learnt a few little lessons in how to not only survive, but thrive with two children under the age of two.
I’m going to buck with the prevailing theory on this one and argue that it is absolutely vital for you to get out of your pyjamas (and make the bed) each and every morning. Sure, you may have had a rotten sleep, have no plans to leave the house and let’s face it, anyone who judges a new Mum for being in their jarmies is not worthy of your time anyway, but getting dressed is the single best thing you can do to start your day on a positive note. No-one feels great being in their PJs at 1pm!
Take care of you
(Did I just quote Pretty Woman? Shame!)
Unwashed hair? Dodgy toenails? Haven’t shaved your legs in six weeks? I get it, you’re exhausted (as someone who accidently wore their underwear inside out all day today, I understand exhaustion). However, rather than slumping on the couch when you finally get munchkins to bed, try to spend 5-10 minutes taking care of you. Relax in the shower and tidy up those toenails. You’ll feel so much better!
Take care of you (part two)
Return to gentle exercise as soon as you are physically able. Now is not the time to start training for a marathon, but a gentle yoga workout or a walk with the pram will do wonders for your mental and physical health. *Always check with your doctor before returning to exercise after childbirth.
Reset to zero
Each and every night, reset your house to zero. Toys away, dishes away, sinks and benches wiped, clean washing away and (if you have the energy) floors swept. It’s not always easy, particularly when one child is refusing to go to sleep and the other is experiencing the dreaded witching hour, but it’s SO worth it in the morning.
Embrace the Nanna Nap
Hopefully you mastered the art of a good Nanna Nap when your first child was born. If not, now is the time to start. If your eldest still has an afternoon nap, forget the housework and put those feet up.
Invest in a sling
A good quality, comfortable sling is an absolute godsend when your hands are full with a toddler. Your baby can snuggle in comfort (and even breastfeed if you’re really clever), while you play outside, go for a walk or even do housework.
It’s a really simple equation. The less stuff that you own, the less time you have to spend taking care of it, leaving you with more time to enjoy your cheeky toddler and beautiful new bundle of joy.
Your children will not always be this small. Take the time to cherish your toddler’s quirks and just sit and marvel at your baby.