I have been spending a lot of time thinking about Dawson’s 2nd birthday which is less then a month away. For me, it marks the end of his baby years and I am not sure I am ready for those years to end. With these thoughts in mind I wanted to share a three part blog post: One on how to prepare for Baby #2, a second on his adorable nursery (that I brought to life on a budget), and finally the best way to celebrate Baby #2 (trust me it’s not a “Sprinkle” AKA smaller shower). So many friends have had new babies recently and I may or may not get be getting serious baby fever so these posts will be my little way of curbing that fever (for now!).Truth be told, I am not covering how to prep for your first child because I feel like I am too far away from those exciting/nerve-wracking days. Prepping for your first is a totally different mindset focused on gear, a birth plan, and learning how to care for the baby since it is ALL new. For baby #2 you focus more on figuring out how to simplify life, get support, and in essence care for yourself. You know long nights, early mornings, and chaos are ahead so you prepare in a different way. These things are important for #1 as well, but I just don’t know if I was in the correct head-space to apply all these lessons at that time; so take what you can if you are prepping for your first, leave the rest and flag for a feature read.Since this is your second child, you already know the breakout of who will do what with the baby, that said, if you are nursing you will automatically be tethered to the new Baby and your first child will need to get used to Daddy doing most everything. I would start this transition for your first child 3 months ahead of baby arriving especially if Dad is not (ahem) as hands on as he could be. Luckily my husband is very hands on with the boys so there wasn’t much to do on this front but PLEASE please the division of work does not get easier with two. If you both feel like you are giving 80%, then you are probably doing it right…it never feels like 50/50 when it comes to parenting.For us we looked at all the weekly non-negotiables and figured out who was taking care of what: Laundry, Dishes, Cooking, Cleaning, Trash, Lawn Care, Driveway maintenance, etc. etc. Write them all down and go over them with your spouse. I am a laundry/Dishes/Tidying kind of gal, Bob enjoys cooking, home improvements and doesn’t mind managing the trash.The next step is where the help comes in because it takes a village. For the things you don’t enjoy you look to find yourself help. Maybe a parent could come in for the first few months to help with Cleaning OR you hire someone. The way to determine if you can afford to hire someone is to take your annual salary, for simple math let’s say you make $50,000 per year. Remove 3 zeros from your salary and divide by 2 and that is your approximate hourly wage. So in this case it would be $25 per hour. I personally cannot stand cleaning so I told myself as long as I can find a cleaner that charges an hourly fee less then what I am making it is better for my mental health to have someone else do it for me. I WILL caution you to make sure you love your cleaner, I had one for over a year that consistently caused me stress by not showing up or being late and that is NOT worth it.We also have someone take care of mowing and plowing – not because Bob couldn’t do it – we just knew with two kids there were other ways we wanted to spend our time. Sometimes I feel self conscious that we can’t do it all ourselves but then I have to cut myself some slack as we both work full time.You can apply the same hourly rate methodology more broadly to other things in life too. Think of birthday parties and making the cake vs. buying one. For me I LOVE making a fun cake but for others it takes forever and does not bring enjoyment, find those things that do not bring joy and outsource. A mother once said to me “I didn’t make those cupcakes, I Made them Happen.”Two other random things we did in preparation for Baby #2 were to put up a mailbox and set up trash collection. We previous had a PO Box which meant an extra daily trip to get the mail and we took our trash to the dump each week. I just knew we wouldn’t have time for that once #2 arrived so we put up a mailbox at the end of our driveway and arranged for trash collection. Two easy ways to simplify life, I am sure you have something like that in your life that you do just because so make a change before #2 comes to SIMPLIFY!
The last thing we did was to prepare was make 6 freezer dump meals, if you check out my Preparing for Baby #2 Pinetrest Board you can see those recipes along with other fun ideas: Preparing For Baby #2
Please comment below with what things did to prepare yourself for Baby #2?