If you're a second mom, you know some of the unique challenges that come with the role. You may feel like you're constantly playing catch-up, trying to figure out how to best help and support your family.
While there's no roadmap for this parenting journey, there are some things you can do to make it a little bit easier.
Start by reaching out for support from other second moms – they'll likely understand what you're going through and can offer valuable advice. And don't be afraid to ask your husband for help too. But realize you both have your own stuff to deal with and may be a bit close to the issues to see each other's point of view very clearly. With a little bit of hard work and lots of support, you can make second mom-hood feel like a truly rewarding experience.
I understand that it might be difficult to feel like you're not the "real" mother. You may feel as if you're always playing catch-up. You may feel guilty or conflicted about who you spend your time with - your children, your spouse, or taking time for yourself. You may believe yourself to be left out or excluded from family activities and occasions. It can be hard to find a group where you feel understood and welcomed at times...or the energy...if you feel weighed down by the need to be incredibly organized and efficient in order for everything on your plate to fit together. Whether you work outside the home or not, you may feel incredibly tied down.
Do you sometimes get the feeling that the people closest to you really don't have a clue what it's like to be a second mom?
No matter how you try to explain, the unique challenges of being a second mom simply evade them. And it's not necessarily their fault.
You might like some input on how to manage the extra stress and workload.
But you're afraid they'll think you're complaining...or you don't want them to think that you think you made a mistake in taking on this child (or in my case children).
If you're in a blended family you might crave tips for bonding with your stepchildren but feel like it's something that should come natural, and fear you're not a "real mom" after all, or that you'll be seen as a failure for reaching out on something so basic.
And sharing your feelings about being left out or excluded either end up in a spat with your spouse or you holed up and eating junk food...or both.
Some other challenges that second moms may have that are different or more intense than others:
You may NOT be blowing things out of proportion. Details matter and one kid's tantrum might be a lovely reprieve for a mom who's child has frequent melt-downs or explosive behaviors.
- You may have to deal with two different parenting styles. Even the past parenting of absent parents may compete with yours in the eyes of your child. Like we don't get enough competition from media these days...
- You may feel left out or like you're not doing enough. This feeling can be more intense due to the additional issues your child is dealing with, and feelings of needing to prove yourself.
- It can be hard to find time for yourself. Of course this is something most moms can say and to a degree it's very true, especially during certain stages and ages -- and for some it's truly a big issue but this difference of degrees of intensity can make it harder to feel heard and get needed support...or even look for it.
- It's easy to feel guilty about anything and everything. Once again that "mom guilt" is thrown around and watered down so much that it can be hard to get real support when needed. But the need to prove yourself is often stronger among the second mom community (Yes! you are part of a community! Welcome!)
- There's a lot of pressure to do everything perfectly. Annnnd....."perfectly" is subjective and an ever-moving target!
- You have to balance your own needs with those of your partner and child. There are no magic wands. This is an adjustment that can be hard, harder, or hardest. And often it's hardest on...mom.
There are other mothers out there who know exactly what you’re going through and can offer valuable advice. Our private Facebook community is one place where you can find support from other women in your shoes.
If you still need some individualized support, private coaching sessions may be the answer for you, either from me or someone else. Contact me today if you're ready to get started on this transformative journey. I'd be happy to help guide you on your way to becoming a confident and joyful second mom.
No matter what challenges you face as a second mom, know that you are not alone. Utilize resources like our Facebook group or private coaching to help you navigate this role with confidence.