Our second child is due this summer-- existing daughter will be 4ish at that point, and home except for a two-hour preschool 3x per week. My partner is a great and active parent, but I'll be home doing most of the daytime childcare for at least the first few months.
With Daughter, we took full advantage of the wealth of internet advice on first-time parenting, and thanks to that info, I feel like we did get the hang of things fairly readily. This time around, though, I've been surprised (and a little freaked out) by how much less information seems to be available on the practical details of adding a new baby to an existing family system. Not too worried about the emotional aspects of adjusting, etc.; but I am pretty perplexed about the logistics of things-- like, for example:
- First time around I used baby's naps to do housework and catch up on desperately-needed sleep of my own. Now that there's another kid to be looked after while the baby sleeps, will I just never sleep, and never get any housework done?
- Standard preschooler naps (early afternoon) are timed in precise opposition to standard baby naps (late morning, late afternoon). If, at any given point, somebody (not me, ugh) is always napping, then how is it possible to ever get out of the house for shopping, air, etc.?
- Daughter has always been an ultra-light sleeper-- we currently do a lot of tiptoeing while she's sleeping, and she still wakes up in the morning when our (quiet) alarm goes off in our bedroom down the hall. With a new baby who may him/herself be similarly disposed, how does one avoid the apocalyptic scenario where somebody's always waking somebody else up, so that nobody ever gets back to sleep?
- IIRC, nursing/changing/dressing the baby was a fairly big production every morning-- like, 30 minutes of solid occupation. Dressing Daughter is much less of a production now, but still requires periodic management. How are multiple high-maintenance morning routines to be made compatible with the cooking of breakfast, so that Spouse can get off to work on time?
And so forth. Basically, I know this has done zillions of times throughout history, but I'm still having a hard time getting my head 'round it; so if anyone has insights/ anecdotes/ hacks/ suggestions on coordinating simultaneous full-time parenting of baby + kid, I'd love to hear them. Recommendations for other resources would be wonderful, as well, if there's stuff I'm missing out there. Thanks so much!