Baby on the Way: Preparing for Changes in Work-Life Balance

by Melanie Edwards on October 27, 2010 · 11 comments

in life

Balanced Rocks

Just when I started feeling like I had a bit of a handle on this work-life balance thing, I will be needing to redefine, readjust, and re-prioritize, well everything, in the coming weeks. Our second child will soon be here and come early December, the balance in our house will be thrown out the door. At least, until we’re able to come up with a new routine and schedule for the various aspects of our lives.

I am fully aware that life will be changing in many ways now that our family of three will be a family of four. But, I don’t think that anything can truly prepare you until you’re in the midst of it and able to assess just what adjustments need to be made. It’s much like when you have the first baby – people can tell you their experiences, advice, and tips for how your life will change, but you don’t really know until that baby is in your house.

However, with a business to run, two blogs, and oh yeah, a family and house to manage, I can’t help but try to prepare myself ahead of time. If anything, it at least gives me some peace of mind to know that I tried. That counts, right?

My plan?

  • Business: I am doing as much as I can now to line up plans so that I am in a good spot for taking a few weeks off. Once I’m past the initial period of adjustment, I hope to come back to pick up right where I left off with minimal catch-up needed.
  • Blogs: I’m trying my best to write extra posts that I can schedule for the coming months. I am also seeking contributors that I can highlight with guest posts, in order to keep content running while I’m on maternity leave. (Email me if you’re interested in contributing with a guest post, or two, or three.) And, of course, I’m trusting that all of you will fully understand and stick with me if there’s a slow down in posts during that time.
  • Family: We have already been preparing our baby girl with several talks and mentions of a) how she can help when her baby brother arrives and b) that there may be times we will not be able to rush to cater to her need at that moment. I know that family members will also be around to help – I’m lucky to live near my mom. So, between my husband, myself, and the help of family, I am confident that we’ll be able to adjust to the new dynamics with minor adjustments.
  • House: Since our baby boy will be here very very soon, we are in what we call “crunch time mode.” My husband has been working hard to get the house clean, rearranging and reorganizing certain areas, since my very pregnant self is of no use these days and can barely bend at this point. I also intend to work out a menu plan with my husband, full of easy meals he can cook if need be and meals that can serve for two or three dinners (perhaps with some re-purposing).

I know that all of this planning doesn’t mean that our life after the baby is born will undergo a smooth, worry-free, and uncomplicated transition. I realize there will be unexpected circumstances and changes. Still, I hope that some of this planning will ease some of the transitions and allow us to deal with the unexpected without needing to worry about those aspects of our lives that we can, in fact, control at this moment.

Do you have any tips to share for transitioning and welcoming a second child into the family?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marcela Beatty October 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I know everything will turn out perfect! You are so good at managing your time now and staying organized…I think all of this, family, plus a new baby will all fall into place!

I think one big thing is not to be scared to ask for help, if friends and family ask you if you need anything say “yes”, “would love if you can make me dinner one night”, or “do you mind if I email or text you a list of grocery items we need”. Seriously, they will want to help!!

I always do things like this for friends. I feel good about myself and I know it help s new moms just a little bit.

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2 modernmami October 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Thanks, Marcela. I will try my best to ask for help and accept help. It’s so hard sometimes, but you’re right. It will definitely help.

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3 Rachel White October 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Although I do not have any recco’s since I only have one child as of now, I think the guidelines you have set forth are going to work wonders. I wish you all the best!

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4 modernmami October 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Thanks so much Rachel!

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5 Latinaish November 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Sounds like a good plan – and I’m not sure why, but I found that the second child didn’t complicate things that much for me. I think I was just more prepared and being a mother for a few years already with the first had taught me a lot about priorities, efficiency and multi-tasking. Not to mention, the older child is such a HUGE help. My older son used to love running to get things for me and it saved a lot of time. He’d run and get me a fresh diaper from upstairs or whatever the baby needed.

The only thing I remembered struggling with was finding time to nap. With the first baby, you can nap when they nap. With the second one, your oldest will be wanting to spend one-on-one time with you and play when the baby is put down mid-day…. If you can’t get your oldest to take a nap with you, see if they’ll agree to watch a favorite movie with you, (and you can fall asleep next to them, though they’ll wake up up every couple minutes. LOL.)

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6 modernmami November 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for the tips! I’m hoping I’ll find the same to be true, though at this moment, I feel like I don’t remember much about taking care of a baby. LOL

And I do imagine my baby girl will be a big help as well.

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7 Roxana A. Soto November 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Mel,
It will definitely take some adjustment getting used to having a baby in the house again after all these years, but I agree with what everyone else has said so far. I KNOW your baby girl will be SO much help, like Tracy is saying. My daughter has been since the day her brother was born 14 months ago.
I also agree that it’s much easier the second time around. Even if you feel like you’ve forgotten, once you hold him for the first time, everything will come rushing back. I found that I was able to fall back into my “normal” life much quicker the second time around. You’re not a rookie anymore, so I guess that makes sense!
I can’t wait to “meet” your little man and I’m sure after the initial shock of having a newborn at home again wears off, all will be fine!

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8 modernmami November 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm

It’s so great to hear all this! I am feeling better about it already. You
guys have to help make sure I get back to my “normal” life quickly. ;)

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9 Amanda November 18, 2010 at 4:49 am

Mel, it sounds like you’ve got everything covered. =)

Baby Girl is going to be a great help, I just know it! It’s easier when the older one is “old enough” – old enough to be independent, and old enough to be helpful. I do recommend, a few weeks into the “adjustment” process, spending some mommy-firstborn time with her. Leave the baby home with hubby and take her out for a bit, even if it’s just for ice cream or to run an errand. I did that with my big guy a few times, even if it was just having him accompany me to the grocery store while hubby stayed home with a napping baby. They have you to yourself for a little while, just like “old times”.

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10 modernmami November 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Great advice, Amanda! I do realize how important it is to be sure she has
some 1 on 1 time after the baby arrives. Thanks!

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