Happy Friday Everyone!
It’s been a while since I checked in with a post about my boys, but I thought I’d give you an update in the form of a little list on what to do and how to handle two very young children. Rupert is now 2 years old and Jasper is just shy of turning four months. It’s actually incredible how fast it’s all going. But being a mum to these two little rascals can be quite a handful so I decided to share with you how I try to be an awesome mum to them while trying to remain sane in what can become quite a crazy household.
1 Give them an equal amount of attention
This can be quite difficult to do, especially since the baby will inevitably require more attention if you simply take more feeds and nappy changes into consideration. That aside, there’s also an endless amount of comforting and carrying that needs to happen. I can almost guarantee that the toddler will become a bit jealous. So what do I do? I make sure that I give Rupert lots of cuddles and affection while Jasper is sleeping. I get involved with his activities too, whether that’s drawing, colouring, playing with play-dough, or simply watching cartoons together, I make it a team effort. Too many times I would try and work while Jasper is asleep thinking that Rupert can just get on with his activity on his own, but it’s not fair on him and I’m trying to be way more “present’ than I was a couple of months ago.
2 Involve your toddler with the baby’s activities
Rupert loves it when I ask him to throw away Jasper’s dirty nappies. (Of course it’s sealed tightly in a nappy bag.) It makes him feel involved and a part of what’s going on, so he doesn’t just have to sit on the sideline and watch like a spectator. Lately, he’s been joining in on giving Jasper his dummy and I simply get warm and fuzzy all over when Jasper smiles up at his big brother for helping him out.
3 Encourage your toddler to play with the baby
This isn’t always easy as your toddler will need lots of supervision, but it will help the siblings to form that special bond. Lately Rupert has taken to “reading” to Jasper, as you can see in these photos. He just lays there and looks at the pictures in the books and shouts out everything he recognises on the pages, but likes to give Jasper cuddles and kisses while he’s doing so. He engages in other imaginative play as well. For example, he’ll pretend to place Jasper into his cot and will tuck Barney, his stuffed dinosaur in next to him and say all sorts of cute things. This really warms my heart and makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
4 Give it time
It can all become very overwhelming, as it did for me right after Jasper was born. In my head I knew it was going to be tough for Rupert as he was used to being the only child and getting all the attention. He never had to share mine or Michael’s attention before and suddenly this tiny was baby there, crying all the time and attached to me for the most of the day. He hated the situation in the beginning. But all the tips above really helped. And above all, time was the main contributing factor. The special relationship that is now starting to form between them couldn’t happen overnight. I had to give it time and I’m now starting to see the fruits of all our encouragement.
5 Spend some time away from your children
This is so important and a lot easier said than done. Trust me, I know this. For me this is usually over the weekend when Michael will take the boys out for the morning and I get some time for myself to either sleep, catch up on work, read my favourite blogs, or just do whatever I enjoy doing. Other times I’ll trawl the shops and treat myself to whatever I want. When I get back to my boys (Michael included) I feel relaxed and “ready” for them again. Taking the time out to recharge is imperative.
So there you have it: my 5 tips to being an awesome mum to two young children, now also known as The Barkes Brothers. Do you have any words of wisdom to share that I and anyone else reading this can benefit from? I’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments down below.