How to Manage a Newborn with Older Children while Recovering

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! I am blogging about how Babywise has benefitted our family already in our transition to three kids over at Childwise Chat! Today Rachel, from A Mother Far From Home, is guest blogging here about a well timed topic for me. Here is her post titled: How to Manage a Newborn with Older Children while Recovering.

Well… that title is a mouthful. And honestly, recovering
while nourishing a newborn and taking care of your older kids is a handful.
It’s doable, but it’s a handful.

Whether you’ve had a particularly hair-raising birth, a
caesarian, or one that went easy peasy, you’ll still need time to rest and
recover. I never feel better immediately after having birth since I find
pregnancy very uncomfortable, but I always feel like a zombie for the first few
weeks postpartum.

Since Emily is busy snuggling with her newborn and still has
two older children to tend to, today’s post is on finding realistic ways to
recover while finding a new normal.

moodiness… from everyone.

You are tired, your husband is tired, and your other
children will be adjusting to a new season. Even if they are so excited for a
cute sibling to cuddle, you may find them acting out in odd ways. Perhaps it’s
crying, outright disobedience, or clinginess, just be prepared for a little
emotion. Knowing this will happen can help you react in a helpful way.

You may be high as a kite on cloud 9 or already feeling the
baby blues, so give yourself permission to be moody too. It won’t last forever,
it’s only a season, and part of recovery is resting.

to keep schedules stable.

Of course schedules and routines will change with a newborn,
that’s inevitable. However, when you establish a new routine try to stick with
it. Adding a new member to the family will bring a certain insecurity to the
children until they’re used to it, so trying to keep their world as consistent
as possible will help them to adjust to the new family norm. It will also help
you find your new rhythm.

when you can.

Gone are the days of sleeping whenever the newborn sleeps…
unless all your other kids are at preschool or school. If they aren’t, then
you’ll need to make sleep a priority. Maybe you put an older child in
independent play, the baby to sleep, and take a quick catnap on the couch with
your monitors.  Perhaps you try to
coincide afternoon naps together in the afternoon (I’ve written all about how
you can get all your kids to nap at the same time
) so you can rest for an
hour or two uninterrupted.

Whatever you do, get yourself in bed early each evening for
a while. Even if the dishes sit in the sink or dishwasher. Even if the laundry
remains unfolded for a day or two. Even if you have a full inbox or a backed up
TiVo, go to bed!

ignore yourself.

Sounds a bit silly, right? How can you ignore yourself?
Trust me it’s very possible and I guarantee many of you devoted mothers do it
without even knowing. I believe we are created spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess.
5:23) and it’s all inter-connected. If your spirit (think your essence) is
down, your soul (think mind and personality) is disturbed, or your body
(self-explanatory) is hurting then this distress may manifest itself in many

Watch your moods. I don’t mean navel gaze, but note if you
are feeling very down and it doesn’t lift. If you feel so exhausted you are
getting desperate, get someone else in there. Love and serve the ones God gave
you, but don’t martyr yourself in the process.

for help.

Whether it’s for a meal, for a nap, or for help running
errands, get over your fear of asking for help. Most people would be thrilled
to help and if you can get over the initial hurdle of asking, they’ll jump at
the chance. Whether it’s your bible study, ladies’ group, friends or family,
sit down and think about your real needs and don’t be shy to ask.

You can always pay back their generosity when you are
feeling better. Or just let them cuddle the baby. That’d be payment enough for
me J

I hope that any new mothers struggling to find their new
normal amidst hormone changes and school starting will find encouragement here!
Best of luck, sweet mothers, you’re doing a great job!

Rachel blogs at A Mother Far from Home giving tips and insight for no-nonsense mothers in nurturing and loving homes. Come on over and get her Top 5 Tips to loving your life at home and having obedient and peaceful children

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