“All those cliches, those things you hear about having a baby and motherhood—all of them are true. And all of them are the most beautiful things you will ever experience.”—Penelope Cruz
When motherhood is on the agenda of life, so many things change for so many people. To those directly involved, it’s an intimate look at who you actually are and who you’d like to be. Our family is growing to 5 people very soon and unbelievably, I’m just as vulnerable and feeling unaware as I was with the first two.
Something incredible happens when you prepare for a new child. Your mind sort of imagines what is soon to come. And, as a mother to two already perfectly crafted children, it’s hard to imagine another little person coming into the mix.
For me, this time around has been more painful, exhausting and mentally draining. While I’m dealing with the aches and pains, I’ve learned to rest and give myself grace and that it is actually okay to do absolutely nothing. That idea still boggles me but when your body aches either way you move it, sometimes it’s best just not to move.
This pregnancy has been a safe one and the baby is perfectly healthy so I know it’s just my age, my own lack of motivation to move around and wrapping my head around crafting new space for an already full life.
So, I’ve jotted down what I’m doing and I hope it helps all those who are expecting a baby, whether you’re currently pregnant or not, to have a strong idea of what it’s like to live in expectancy of a new addition to the family.
Mentally prepare to have a new dynamic of your family
While I am sure there are several women who are great multitaskers, crafters, homemakers and all the things… I am still trying to wrap my head around the practicality of adding another human into this mix. I already don’t enjoy cooking, laundry and cleaning but I do so enjoy spending time with my babies. So, I am looking ahead to all the firsts with the new baby.
With my other kids, it brought me so much joy to watch them learn new things, pickup what I teach, experience different pieces of life and explore new places. That, I am excited to watch a new person I love do. The new baby will have a first Christmas and learn to walk, learn to count and read and learn to speak. All of those things make having a new baby exciting, at least for me.
So mentally, I dwell and pray on the safe and memorable times like those. I am ready to watch what is now inside me, come into this work and do all that God has called them to do. Watching my children grow and learn has been such a privilege. And on top of that, when they excel at something I’m moved to tears! It’s one thing to accomplish a goal but it is quite another to watch your own children achieve great things.
Financially prepare to have new costs
Car seats, healing care items, formula, diapers, clothes, and so much more are on the horizon and going from a family of 4 to 5 has us planning for new cars and a new home. Children are expensive but God provides. So, to prepare financially I have eliminated having a shower and sent a registry to our closest family and friends. Whatever is not purchased for us, we’ll make a budget to purchase ourselves.
This saves time and money in the long run since we have a good idea of what we will actually use. The spontaneous costs come once baby’s preferences start to form. Will they like this type of swing or bottle nipple? Who knows but once those things are ironed out, a new budget is then set for monthly expenses as the baby grows.
Save as much as possible has never worked for us but setting an actual amount and writing it down, always does. So, we’ve created a registry that is not only within our families budget but also our own. Whatever is left to get is already budgeted for. This makes it so much easier to enjoy baby and not be stressed about getting the exact crib I want.
This is just one of those things and going back to finances, I’ve planned to have the laundry sent out every week instead of putting it all on my shoulders to do. My mother and mother in law will be staying with us for the first month that the baby is here and I know I won’t have to worry at all about the house being clean, meals being cooked or laundry being done but once they leave, I’ll be supplementing their presence as much as possible by outsourcing!
I can’t keep up with the 4 of us now when it comes to laundry so I won’t even pressure myself to fail when we add on another. I’m going to have everything, but I certainly don’t have to do everything. So, the cleaning and laundry will have to be budgeted for and will start once the baby is around 2 months old and I’m comfortable having someone come into the house other than family.
As far as work is concerned, I’m not actually taking a maternity leave or taking a break from my clients. I’ve been very transparent about what’s going on in my life and they have honestly been so accommodating and understanding. They know that they will still be taken care of even once I go into labor.
For my company, I have setup certain plans for each client so that our working relationship won’t suffer even if I’m absent on our weekly calls. I don’t plan on doing very much once the baby arrives but I will still show up for my clients and if I need assistance I’ll have someone on call who understands my business and can step in and handle things with ease and not too much cost.
Plus, I also made sure to limit the number of clients I take on and so the months that the baby is still very young and I’m not sleeping much, I will have very limited clients that I see.
I love to plan things out since it gives my brain room to actually breathe and process. So, adding a new baby into the mix added a new level of planning that I have to do. Every summer we take the kids to Florida for a few weeks and enjoy the parks and family that’s close. This year since the baby will be so young, I’ve had to think through if we should even attempt to take a trip.
I decided that since I can stay in a nice hotel, have my mother and mother in law, have all the things I need to feel secure with baby then the older kids shouldn’t have to miss out on the summer fun. We will still take a family vacation at some point and baby will be in tow, but I may hang back while they kids, my husband and family explore without me.
We decided that when people are going in and out that they’ll have to shower, have hands washed and even wear a mask before coming into the room with he baby. I mean most of that we were doing anyway since being out all day in the Florida heat almost begs your body to bathe it when you get back to the AC. I don’t think it’ll be a problem to stay safe when we travel but as always, we will be taking every precaution and I’ll be staying in most of the trip.
Faith + New Prayers
My daily routine of devotion and prayer is pretty inconsistent since I am waking up at all different times. I’m really great at it when the kids are off to school and my husband is off to work but when everyones home and we’re sleeping in on the weekends, I rarely get to my devotion. I do always make time in the morning to pray. That obviously doesn’t take a big notion to do. I pray as soon as I open my eyes, when I brush my teeth, change my clothes etc. I’m praying and go in and out of talking to myself and the Lord before I’m with the family for the day.
I know that when baby arrives I’ll be waking up all through the night and at no set time in the morning for at least the first few weeks. So, because of that I already know to give myself grace when it comes to being intentional in growing my faith. I will get a routine solidified but baby comes first and my rest and recovery are very important. I will be praying throughout the day and also listening to sermons still but I won’t beat myself up when I fall off track from the routine of daily devotion.
There it is friends! The 6 main things I’m doing to get ready for baby. I’m sure I’ll think of more but at the very least, I’ll have some good plans and thoughts around these. Do you have anything to add to the list? Comment below!