Life Lesson for Mommy #38:

omera&haytham2

It’s Easier the 2nd Time

Other mom’s always told me that things are easier with the second child. Makes sense. Because you already know everything from the first. What kinds of poops are normal, when to worry about a fever, what foods to start feeding, how to nurse etc  With my daughter, I reacted to everything. She cried for a second, I’d respond a second later. I read tons of baby books, went online to research like a maniac about all the things I could do to give my daughter the best possible start. Breast fed as long as I could, organic homemade food, no sweets, taught her sign language, Mozart playing all the time, piano lessons, vacuumed everyday, organic clothes- the list freaking goes on. I did a lot so she would benefit. Took care of her so precisely because that’s usually what first time parents do- do things so meticulously for your precious first baby.

After hearing these mothers who said it was easier with the second, I relaxed a bit, thinking that it wasn’t going to be as hard, or emotionally and physically draining as the first, because I already know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. It wasn’t going to be a whole new learning process.

LIES! All lies!
It doesn’t get easier with the second- actually it gets harder. Because now you have a newborn who needs constant attention (boob feeding, diapers, skin time, more diapers, more boob feedings) but you also have the toddler- who is also in need of constant attention (love me, pay attention to me, look at me, let me hold the baby, is this a power socket?…) hahaha?

Dear God, what the hell have I done. It’s like in these last 3 years since my daughter was born, my mind suddenly forgot the every hour breast feedings, the never ending epic diapers, the constant worry about if he’s breathing, if he’s okay when he’s gassy… NOW on top of that, picture a toddler bouncing around, trying to kiss the baby, hold him, anxious about getting the kind of attention she’s used to. To top it off, my anxiety of getting him circumcised, the lack of sleep, and of course that toddler bouncing around- ignoring what I ask her to do, testing the limits of discipline, pushing all the patient buttons I have. Argh, who are these people saying it’s easier the second time? What kind of children are these women popping out that they think this is easier the second time around? Because I’m not seeing it, it’s harder then when it was just my daughter. Dear God, so much harder. I feel like I’m stretched thin, so is my mind, body and nipples; all of it just wilting away wondering why is this not easier. Sometimes I find myself curled in the corner facing the wall saying to myself ‘they said it was easier, they said it was easier’….hahaha?

The truth is, it’s not easier when you have a second kid, it only gets harder, more complicated; and more stressful. I’m having to rely on my support system greatly. Things like home cook food for my daughter flew out the window because I’m so tired. Now if she skips dinner and wants a cupcake, after explaining to her why she needs to eat dinner; after she’s thrown a tantrum waking up her baby brother, I give her the damn cup cake. “Put away your toys” has become just please move the toys to a corner so I can walk. All the things I worked so hard to do with my first, literally went out the door. I imagine as my second child grows up, and he becomes a bit more independent it will get easier, but until they both get into school, this is going to be my life, a whole lot of crazy.

My vacuuming the floor every second day, turned into whenever possible. My home cooked meals became semi home cooked with things thrown into a pot and left to cook itself. My freshly folded laundry is now live out of the basket of clean clothes tossed in it. My me time has become play with my daughter while breast feeding my son time. I can’t tell you what’s happening to my mental well being because I haven’t had the time to think about if I’m mental or not. And this is only 22 days in since I gave birth….

So listen up second time preggo’s, it doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. REAL HARD. But somehow you will get through it, somehow you will keep your sanity. The moment your kids fall asleep, you will gaze upon them with loving eyes and realize that yes this is hard, real hard, super horribly hard, but wow; you made these wonderful little human beings. And they are a piece of you, the best piece of you.

So stay strong! And the next time you hear someone telling you it’s easier the second time around, shake that person and scream LIES!!!! But you’re ready for it. And one day, 3 or 4 years down the road, you will forget all the trouble of raising 2 kids, and stupidly think you want a 3rd or 4th….until that time, enjoy these moments now. As hard as it is, you’ll miss them when they grow up and no longer need your constant care.

And it’s not so bad, especially when my daughter cuddles me and tells me she loves mama; or when my son looks at me. I think to myself, nope, this isn’t too bad at all.
Good Luck!
😀

The Potty Re-Training Lesson

squatty-potty-potty

Potty Training Regression

I was very happy with my daughters achievements going to the potty. But one bad nightmare one night and somehow the potty turned into her worst enemy!

I can only guess what she saw in her bad dream, but all I know for sure is that she hated the potty suddenly the next day, and for the next 2 weeks it’s been a battle to get her back on.

With first time training for potty, I did alright and things weren’t bad. But re-training a regressed potty trained toddler is much harder. And the same techniques weren’t working.

For example, awarding her stickers and clapping for her to pee usually made her excited, this time around- not so much.

Potty regression can happen up to age 4- especially if there is a young sibling at home who is using a diaper.

So here are some tips on what NOT to do.

1) DO NOT shame them. I put Omera in her panties despite her not wanting to go on the potty. Hoping that the gross wetness will encourage her to tell me. And while that did work, obviously there will be accidents. When the accidents happen, kneel down to her level and tell her it’s okay and that it’s just an accident. But to remember to tell mommy or daddy next time. I reminded her that it feels wet and doesn’t feel good so if she does the pee pee on the potty, she won’t feel like this.

2) Positive but constructive encouragement. Clapping your hands and being silly might work when you’re first time training, with a regressed toddler it doesn’t so much. I instead, lead her to the potty and slowly finally with distraction got her on it. But doing all sorts of silly things like handing out stickers to her if she pooped or pee’d, wasn’t working. Clapping overly enthusiastic didn’t work either- which baffled me. And then I realized from a post I read from a pediatrician that I’m making this a big deal- which isn’t a positive thing to her, it’s actually bringing too much attention to what she’s doing. I spent all that time distracting her and now I’m reminding her that she’s doing something huge. When it should be a more normal experience. So I had to switch to being positive but being constructive. No more pee pee dance, but instead, good job Omera you did pee pee in the potty, now we can say goodbye and flush the pee pee away. She needs to understand what her body is doing, is a normal everyday act, not a gold star achievement.

3) Stickers and toys for every small step. This I felt was the worst thing I did when I was trying to get her back on the potty that first week of regression. It set up a bad expectation of she gets something for doing something she should be doing normally. Stickers and toys might work when you are training the first time, but it doesn’t on a regressed toddler. It only makes them feel entitled to something for each potty session. Instead, I gave out 1 sticker every time she did either poo poo or pee pee on the potty, and only if she told me first. If she didn’t tell me she had to potty and I took her on my own judging by how much liquid she had, then no sticker. This way it encouraged her to earn the sticker by first telling me, and then doing an actual ‘deed’ in order to get that 1 sticker. Do not hand out a new toy for each time- this is just bad advice and I don’t know why some sites encourage giving toys or stickers for even just sitting on the potty. It sets up a very selfish behavior and in the end of the day, didn’t work at all.

4) Do not put on her underwear for her/him. I always helped Omera into a fresh pair of underwear after she pottied each time. I learned after, that I was taking away her ownership of her potty and her body. So even though I was nervous, I let her try to put on her own underwear, even if it took 15 minutes. I would help when I would need to, but I never did it for her, not even helping to put her feet through the holes of the underwear or pulling it up. She needed to have ownership of her potty sessions and me putting on her panties for her, was taking away her potty independence.

5) Don’t use pull ups! This is the worst thing invented! It actually doesn’t work at all and it leads the parents to think it is. It’s not. Pull ups are just training your child to think diapers are like underwear, and that’s not a good thing in their line of thinking. The extra stuff like cooling sensation blah blah blah, isn’t effective, it’s more just a ‘hey you can pee in this and it’s fine, it doesn’t feel gross’. You need them in that underwear to let them ‘feel’ the wetness and to associate a ‘sensation’ of their body having to pee or poo, and if they have that accident, it becomes a big process of cleaning up- which is annoying as hell for them. It’s gross and it’s a bit annoying too, but this is really the best way to get them on their way. This tip works well with first time trainers as well- as this was how I got Omera potty trained the first time!

6) No yelling, no shaming, no pushing. Encouraging and pushing can be a thin line away when you’re hitting the wall with very little improvement or spurts of improvements. And you are going to get frustrated because this is a simple thing to do in your mind. But for a regressed toddler it’s not a simple thing, it’s a emotional thing as it is a behavioral thing. Going to the potty is one of the first things they start doing on their own other then eating on their own. They need to take ownership of their own body. So pushing them, getting frustrated and yelling or shaming them will only make them think that this potty thing is not a good thing but scary and a BIG DEAL! Like with constructive encouragement, you want to be constructive in your pushing. Hold their hands to the potty, but let go of their hands right away and get them to open the lid of the potty, or to grab their potty top. Let them try to climb up on their own and even let them wipe etc. There is a lot of things you can get them to do for themselves which gets them excited about the potty. And feeling like “I own this’ is very healthy way to get them back on their potty.

Hope these work for you!

Good Luck!
😀

Is Having a Baby Worth it?

Carolines babe

A life terrorist, is a way I would have never thought to describe my daughter Omera. But when I read the article, I found myself nodding to each and everything the author was talking about. LOL

Read the whole funny article and decide? Is it worth having a life terrorist- I mean baby?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-beaulieu/is-having-a-baby-really-worth-it_b_5119535.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

Life Lesson for Mommy #10:

Routines.

You might be tempted to give your toddler the freedom to wake up whenever they want and do whatever they want when they want. But as I learned very painfully, that they crave routines!

Structured days, structured activities and structured lives is what they want and it is so good for them. It’s important to give them creative freedom, and mental freedom is also essential, but you must have a good routine in place. This will keep their lives in order, and their behavior from being all over the place.

For example, when they wake up, when they get their naps, when they sleep at night- those are the important things to have it routines.

Everything else in between those is flexible, but having a time for reading, a time for watching a tv or playing a computer game, learning an instrument should be also be at a specific time- so they get used to it like they would have to at preschool or kindergarten.  And of course don’t go overboard, if you’re late 20 minutes to give your toddler reading time, it’s no big deal, let them be in some control of what they want to do. What they want to read, what they want to draw or colour, how they want to play with their toys; that’s all them, let them express and imagine.

So if you don’t already have one, start a routine.

Of course things change. Sometimes we go out, sometimes she goes to the park or mall so we don’t always do everything on time and perfectly. We are flexible with our lives because our toddler is not a robot and she’s expressive and full of energy- and of course life happens 🙂

The key is to create structure, let them know what you’re going to do today, or what’s going to happen next so they get an idea of how to plan their day as they grow.

Good Luck
😀