Second Time Mum in London and Over 40 – the Essential Survival Guide

Being an over 40 mum isn’t the oddity that it used to be; there’s three times as many of us as there were 20 years ago and believe me, London is full of yummy mummies. It can be tough at times, but being older and wiser when you have your second child often has its perks; we’ve got years of experience on those poor first time mums, and native Londoners find it easier to brave the hustle and bustle of the big city with a pram by their side. If you’re looking for pointers or just a bit of friendly support, check out my top tips; it’s London living, family-style.

mum & baby in pram

With a child of your own, you’ll be no stranger to a bit of noise; however, living in one of the world’s busiest cities can make even the sturdiest of mums feel like the chaos never stops. In fact, I’m not sure which is worse; coping with a toddler’s temper tantrum or braving the tube during rush hour (my heart bleeds for the poor mums who’ll have to do both at the same time). The key is to make sure you’re prepared to cope with the daily stress of living in the capital. There’s no problem that can’t be solved by planning ahead so take a deep breath, bullet point your goals for the day and keep a level head.

When expecting, your first thought is obvious; where are you going to have you baby? There’s a lot of choice out there but since it’s your second time around you’ll already have some birthing experience. If you’re looking for a hospital, there’s likely to be dozens within your labour-night travel radius; your best bet is to visit a few beforehand, ask any friends for recommendations or take an online tour. If you’ve got the money to go private, take a long hard look at what’s included in your care package; the last thing you want is unexpected costs with your new baby.

Unless you’re Dr. Spock, everyone could use a little help with their parenting. Even those of us who have raised a child already know that it’s not just a case of copy and repeat. Angelsandurchins.com has some nice tips on modern courses and websites that may not have been around when you had your first child. Speaking of which, it’s time to talk nannys. For many, the cost of a full-time nanny can exceed a monthly wage. If you’re got a spare room, my personal advice would be to hire a live-in nanny or an au pair. London is one of the most Europe’s most desirable cities and you’re bound to find a lot of interest if you live in a decent area.

Now you’ve freed up a bit of time, you might be looking to head back to work. If you’re feeling a little out of touch, try writing down a list of what it is you want from a job. You can also write down a list of what skills you feel you’ve accumulated at home, and how these could relate to a new job. If your CV looks a bit sparse, do some volunteering to bolster it up; there’s lots of part-time work out there and job shares can be a great way of working on your own terms if you’re not looking to commit to full-time work. Try Workingmums.co.uk for some specialist help in re-starting your professional life.

While you’re considering heading back into the world of work, it might be a good time to start thinking ahead for your little one. Choosing a preschool can be difficult; check out online sites or information packs from the local council, library, health visitors or ofsted for a list of local schools. Private schools and nurseries operate their own admissions, and often have a much longer waiting list; get ahead of the game and book appointments to view at least two years in advance to beat competitive mums and avoid disappointment. Happy parenting!

This post was written as a guest blog post by mum’s mall – a niche comparison website that offers a complete range of time-saving baby shopping in one convenient location, with its specific focus on baby products, toys, gifts, children’s clothing and maternity products from more than 50 reliable baby & kids’ online stores. Find mum’s mall on Facebook and Follow mum’s mall on Twitter.

Photo credits: Ian via Flickr

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