Managing Back to School and Pregnancy/Newborn With Easeby Elizabeth MacDonald
The school year is here! You have filled the new backpack and started packing lunches again. However, this year is a bit different because you are expecting a new baby any day now. What if your water breaks as you are walking your sweet ‘big’ kid to her class? How will you possibly sit through the carline with a screaming newborn in the backseat? Will you even remember to pick your older child up in the brain fog that comes with having a new baby? Are the worries adding up and keeping you from enjoying this season of parenthood? We’ve polled the masses and come up with the greatest ways you can learn to take a deep breath and embrace it all without stressing out day after day.
It’s interesting how fast life seems to speed up with each new baby you add to your family. Your first child taught you to treasure those little moments, but your second? It’s as if the moments fly by without even blinking. It is easy to get lost in the days and stress over missed moments. So, how can you find a balance? How can you survive the final days of pregnancy while starting a preschool or kindergarten school year?
There are three secrets that calm, seasoned moms have that you need to know:
Schedule, Back-Up Plans, and Grace.
Managing Back to School and Pregnancy/Newborn
Put it on paper. Play with earlier bedtimes, earlier dinners, and easier routines. Make sure you have YOU time in each day. The pregnancy is almost over, and you need time to mentally prepare for this new baby.
This may be a good time to put any extra-curricular kid activities on hold, or share the responsibility with your partner. Spending extra family time together will help the transition go as smooth as possible.
Prepare lunches (and breakfasts) ahead of time so mornings are as calm as possible. Keep the backpack by the front door, have clothes laid out, and take time to talk to your oldest about her thoughts on the day ahead.
Once you find a good schedule, stick with it.
Labor will happen wherever and whenever. This means that you need to have plans and back-up plans. Your older child needs to have a trusted family member or friend of the family to pick them up from school if you are unable. Make sure this person is registered with the school so no issues arise in the moment.
If labor takes place over night, you need to have plans for someone to take care of your oldest. Some families choose to stay together, others choose to have older siblings wait elsewhere.
Make sure the school knows you are pregnant and due soon, so they are not surprised when you do not show up.
These plans need to hold true throughout the first 3-4 weeks after having your baby. Missing school is not an option for more than a few days, so ensure your oldest has a ride (bus, your partner, carpool).
Loading up the car with a newborn and a young child only to sit in a carline for 30+ minutes can be stressful. Pack diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes in the backseat, and plan to feed the baby before you walk out the door. It will not always go smoothly, but you will get to and from school mostly sane. Don’t forget your older child’s lunch, water, backpack, and sneakers!
This is the number one thing seasoned moms say is needed to manage this time period of motherhood. You must give yourself grace. You are growing a human. You are a wonderful mother. You love your babies. If you are late, so what. If you are in your pajamas, so what. If you need to get a coffee and it earns your child a 5 minute tardy, so what. In the scheme of life, the important thing is that a happy and healthy mom creates a happy family. Let go of expectations and give in to yourself. You are amazing.