Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And Baby Makes Four? Could it be more different the second time around?

Elyse Eberstein, CLE, MSW and her kids Lilly and Zach

It was truly like night and day. When our firstborn, Lilly, came along, we didn’t dream of venturing out of the nest for at least a month. We sequestered ourselves with our teeny, tiny little human and marveled at her.

Fast forward to nine days after number two, little brother Zach came into the world.  It was a cool January morning. While wearing Zach out at the beach playground, my husband and I chased after Lilly, who was running gleefully around. It simply wasn’t possible to keep this little bundle of toddler energy sequestered in the nest!

While walking at the playground, feeling dazed and tired, I ran into one of my mommy friends who had older children. She smiled warmly and asked how things were going. I chuckled, shook my head and confided, “I think I made a mistake...I think Lilly was meant to be an only child. She’s so used to having my undivided attention. We have such a special relationship and I just don't know how I'm going to make this work.” My friend put her hand on my shoulder and said, “It's going to be a hard year but you just gave your daughter the best gift ever.”

I held on to those words of advice during that challenging 1st year of Zach’s life.  Being a second time mom is so different from being a first time mom. You have a certain confidence that makes it all so much easier and then there is the GUILT.  What the guilt stems from is the simple fact that there is not enough of mom to go around.  Not only does it feel like there’s not enough time and attention for the new baby, but inevitably there’s not enough for her older child, husband or herself.  There’s always somebody crying, needing a nap, missing a class and it just feels endless.  It’s just different the second time around but it’s also wonderful and so amazing. 

Does any of this sound familiar? Well you’re not alone. The exciting news is that The Pump Station and Nurtury™ is now offering a Second Time Moms’ group based on the curriculum of our popular The Wright Mommy & Me™ classes. Second time mothers will have an opportunity to ease their transition through honest sharing and exploration. The group gives second time mothers a chance to raise concerns and look at issues in a safe space. The group will approach each topic and developmental stage from a mindful parenting perspective, which is essentially a slowed-down, less reactive, more intentional and reflective process. Some of the topics addressed will be:

• Helping your first child adjust to the new sibling
• Sharing practical information to help families raising more than one child
• Find new ways to improve your time management skills
• Make time for yourself and your relationship/partner
• Develop practical strategies for balancing work and home life
• Learn to feel good about yourself and your body
• Meet other second time moms in neighborhood!
• Explore ways to nurture the relationship between your children
• Review what you may have forgotten about baby care, sleep, food etc.

As a mom of a 6 year old daughter and 4 year old son I know about the joy and guilt that come with having two children. Some days are amazing as you watch your two children together and other days you will find yourselves sitting on the floor all crying together. I look forward to a group where mommies can develop new friendships, support each other and learn as they maneuver the challenges and joys of parenting a second child.

My friend at the park 4 years ago was absolutely right. My kids have a very special relationship. They care deeply for each other, play well together and have a hard time being away from each other.  Despite the challenges, my husband and I did give Lilly the best gift ever – and it didn’t come from a store!

Elyse is leading is leading a Wright Mommy & Me for 2nd Time Moms Group
8-Week session that meets Tuesdays from 9:30am-11:00am in our Santa Monica location. Email to sign up or call 310-998-1981.