Becoming a parent for the second time

Becoming a parent for the second time is very different to the first time.

Like all second-timers, we wondered how we could possibly love baby two as much as we loved baby number one.  In the first fifteen months of her life, Little Lindop One had been a lot of hard work – how were we going to find double the time and energy? I wasn’t too worried because I knew that we’d muddle through somehow, because we always do! What was bothering me was this : was I crazy thinking I could run a business and care for a baby and tiny toddler?

Little Lindop Two is now four weeks old and although life is very busy indeed, it isn’t as hard as I expected. The fact that I’m sitting here writing this is proof that I can get a little time away from the little ones, and that feels like quite an achievement! Two babies aren’t twice as much work as one for a couple of good reasons, firstly we actually know how to care for a baby and aren’t on the white-knuckle learning curve we were last time. (Should she be making that noise? Is that a rash? Is she still hungry? Have we packed everything we need for a trip to the shops? How does the pushchair fold up?). Secondly, and this is the big one, we don’t have the massive culture shock of becoming parents. Until baby two arrived, I hadn’t realised just what an impact this shock had on me last time. But I do remember looking at my 24-hour-old first child wondering how my life was ever going to feel normal again. I didn’t even know what normal was going to be, oh god, I’d need to work out a whole new normal.

Looking at my 24-hour-old second child, I just knew he’d fit into our family and our rough-and-ready plans for the future. This time I could change a nappy in the dark or on the back seat of a car, I knew what baby eczema looked like and what to do about it, my changing bag was already packed and I could fold most brands of pushchair. I’d only been a parent fifteen months, but what a change those fifteen months had made to me.

At work, I’d handed in my notice, been offered a temporary contract, put my eight-month-old daughter in a nursery, taken her out of the nursery four months later and then gone on my second maternity leave. I’d researched many options for running my own business and started my own website. All of which has given me a huge amount of confidence in coping with babies and work. As a Mum I know I’m still wearing my ‘L’ plates, but have a feeling that I can cope with whatever the world of work throws at me.

Most days, that is. I still have regular tired days when I’ve done three nappy changes in a half-hour, both babies are crying at the same time and I haven’t been out of the house in days (I had a c-section so couldn’t drive or push a double buggy. Nightmare). But everyone has a bad day now and then, tomorrow is always better.

So can I run a business around two very small children? The simple answer is that I still don’t know until I try, but the future is looking bright from where I’m standing. Keep reading to see how I get on.

Oh, and we needn’t have worried, we can love baby number two as much as we do baby number one.

Business plus two babies!

My baby is due this week, so I won’t be posting as much as usual for a short while (hopefully just a few weeks). Apparently the secret is to learn to breastfeed and type at the same time…

I’m hoping Mr L will help out and do a bit of writing from a Dad’s point of view, but he’s likely to be pretty busy with the little ones too!

I’ll be back as soon as I can…

Invent something new

Having a baby can bring a burst of creativity for some mums – Louise Guinda is mum to a one year old boy and is launching her new product in September. Louise has had a steep learning curve as she’s had to work out how and where to get her product manufactured (UK or overseas?) as well as learning about marketing and international importing.

Louise is writing about her journey on her Mum Inventor blog. If you’re thinking of launching your own product it’s well worth a look…

Getting started as a mumpreneur – how am I doing?

You might remember that I had a breakthrough in deciding which business to run when I realised that I must do what I want to do instead of what I could or should do. (If you missed it, you can read more about this here.) I said I’d let you know what happened next, and with a week until my baby is due I’m in a reflective mood, so now seems like a good time. And I don’t have the energy to do much other than type these days!

I worked my way through Paul and Sarah Edward’s book ‘Finding Your Perfect Work’ and it felt a bit like going back to my careers adviser at college, except it was easier because I know myself so much better than I did at eighteen. If that sounds like a drag, it wasn’t really. Maybe it’s the coach in me, but reviewing your progress, likes, dislikes, achievements and even failures every few years can only  help you move forwards.

At the same time, I was starting to get some really positive feedback from my blog. I discovered that one of the themes in my working life was pulling together confusing and complex information then delivering it in an easy-to-understand way, so I wondered if I could change my main method of working from training to writing? After all, I had written a lot of training courses and manuals over the years. I seemed to be doing pretty well so far with my blog and it was a good way of exercising my writing muscles.

Reading Antonia Chitty’s book ‘Commercial Writing’ has opened my eyes to the paths I could follow from here. I’ve got too much to think about at the moment to decide on exactly which path, but I’m going to gently mull things over during the coming night feeds.

I was planning to move from my freebie WordPress blog over to my own domain name in a few months time, but  what was the point in encouraging people to visit a blog that was going to move? It made sense to move over sooner rather than later. So with lots of work from the fantastic Sally at Squashbox Media and my equally fabulous part-time web designer husband, we got businessplusbaby.com up and running last weekend.

Looking back, I’m surprised at how much progress I’ve made in the last month or so before my baby is due. During the last month of my previous pregnancy I couldn’t do much other than sit on the sofa watching TV. Which just goes to show how much motivation you can get from doing what you really want.