I’ve been thinking about what life will be like in less than 4 months when baby #2 comes along and I’m thoroughly terrified! haha So I decided to start asking my Mama friends with 2 or more if they had any tips and advice for me. These are so great, I thought I’d pass them along.

Give the older child jobs. Especially if it includes the baby. It will give them a sense of responsibility and guard against jealously. For example, when giving the baby a bath, let your older child gently rub her legs with a washcloth. They will love being Mommy’s helper.

Distract the older child by keeping a basket of special toys that only comes out when you have to feed baby. Puzzles, playdough, and art supplies are great items for this.

Enroll your older child in a big-kids-only activity with Daddy or Grandma. This allows child to have one-on-one time with someone special and allows you time to focus on the baby.

Keep an extra bin full of essentials in the car at all times. When that diaper bag forgets to get restocked, this is a life-saver.

Lower your expectations. If you expect it to be completely awful when baby #2 comes and then it is just a little hard, you’ll feel like you are conquering the world!

Learn to be okay with help. If your husband or parents offer to watch the kiddos on a Saturday afternoon so you can go the coffee shop, or take a nap, or get your hair cut, or WHAT-ever, don’t feel guilty. Take it. Thank the person. Bless them. It’s okay.

Prioritize date night. It’s easy to put your relationship with your hubby last but the whole family will function better if Mommy and Daddy get time alone.

Get a shower AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in the morning or take one at night after the kids go to bed. Otherwise it simply won’t happen.

Give baby to Daddy as much as possible. Then go a step further and leave the house for a half hour. He can handle it and you need it.

Join a Mommy’s group like MOPS. You will become fast friends with the women there since they are going through the same things you are. Plus it’s a nice break with other adults and the best part: free childcare!

Plan meals ahead of time. It’s work up front but worth it when it’s an hour from dinner time and there’s no food in the house. Even if you only plan starts to meals like taco meat for example, you can throw the rest of the meal together a lot easier. Also plan snacks – cut up veggies and fruit beforehand and have them ready in the fridge for hungry little stomachs.

Order groceries online especially when it’s cold out!

PBS Kids App. Enough said.

At the end of your rope, strap them in their car seats and go for a drive. While they snooze, you can recharge. On the way back, hit the drive-thru for coffee; it can be a godsend when your patience is shot!

Let go of the little things. Like meals on a perfect schedule, clean laundry always done and put away. Give yourself grace.

Let them cry. If one kid has to wail for a minute while you tend to the other, remember: This is where kids learn life lessons like how to share and wait their turn.

Two words: Bath time. They will rock your world. I have yet to hear of a toddler who didn’t like a good, long, bubbly play time in the bath. You can feed the baby in there, apply some makeup, clean the toliet, and it burns the little one’s energy!

Realize everything will take longer than you think. You are raising live, wild, and wonderful human beings so realize you need double everything. But there’s another thing you will also double, without even trying: the size of your heart, the depth of your love, and the absolute thrill in your life!

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