Parenthood is an incredible journey, but it can also be challenging, especially when you’re trying to balance the demands of a growing family, other work and responsibilities. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re constantly juggling, especially when you have a newborn on the way and a toddler or other children to care for.
However, with careful planning and a few strategies, you can successfully balance parenthood and make it an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for you and your family.
Strategies to follow
Start preparing your toddler and older children.
Start preparing your toddler and older children for the arrival of their new sibling before the baby is born. Explain to them what it means to have a new brother or sister.
Involving them in the preparations by letting them choose some items for the baby or helping decorate the nursery can be a good step. Read books or watch videos about being a big brother or sister and take in their feelings and questions regarding this topic. You can also let them feel the baby kick or listen to the heartbeat.
Plan for childcare and household chores.
You will need some help in the first few weeks after the baby is born, so ask your partner, family members, or friends if possible. Make sure that person knows the children’s routine so as not to alienate them.
You can also hire a babysitter or nanny to assist you with caring for your children and yourself. Ensure you have enough supplies of diapers, wipes, formula, food, and other essentials, so you don’t have to run errands too often.
Set aside time for the other children.
Even if it’s only 10 minutes, try to give your children some undivided attention and affection. Play with them, read to them, cuddle with them, or do something that they will enjoy. This will help them feel loved and reduce jealousy or resentment towards the baby.
Be flexible with your work schedule.
Talk to your employer about your options for maternity leave, working from home, or adjusting your hours. You might need some time to adapt to your new family situation.
Be flexible with your children.
Expect some changes in your routine and mood as you adjust to having a new baby in the house. Your toddler and older children may act out, regress, or become clingy as they cope with the new situation. Be easy on yourself and them if things go smoothly at first. Remember, this is a temporary phase, and things will improve with time.
Don’t be afraid to seek others’ support.
Seek support from others who understand what you’re going through. Join a parenting group, talk to a counselor, or reach out to friends who have been in similar situations. You don’t have to do this alone.
Balancing parenthood can be daunting, especially when preparing for a newborn while taking care of your toddler and older children, managing work, and other responsibilities. However, careful planning allows you to give your children undivided attention and affection. So go ahead and enjoy the wonderful journey of parenthood while maintaining the balance!