With your first child, you wait patiently to meet your sweet little miracle and your whole life is consumed with keeping them alive, and making sure they could sense that you love them with every fiber of your being. You literally obsess over every detail involving their care. I remember those exhausting blissful days. Trying to make sure everything was perfect, that everyone wore a burp cloth so my newborn’s skin wouldn’t touch their filthy clothes that were exposed to who knows what, and that everyone dunked themselves in a vat of Clorox before even stepping foot inside my home. Cue the second kid, and all that quickly went out the window. It was about survival mode! I was focused on how to make things easier, and yes…still letting our new daughter know we love her to the moon and back.
Here are some things I did differently the second time around:
- I didn’t count every breath. With my first daughter I would stay up in a zombie like state watching her chest rise and putting my finger under her nose to check that she was breathing. I was paranoid that if I took my eyes off of her for one second that something bad will happen. I was already sleep deprived and this didn’t make it any better. We also had an Angel Care Monitor under her crib mattress that detected her breathing. With our second daughter, I just tell her “see ya in the morning” and have yet to turn on that monitor. I let the little noises she makes at night let me know she’s ok in there and just sleeping noisily like most infants do.
- I don’t sterilize bottles/pacifiers etc. after every single use. Yup, with my first daughter I sterilized every single bottle after every single use for a whole year. Can you tell my OCD was in full effect? With my second daughter, I call it a success if I can sterilize some of her bottles once a day. I know, I know, even once a day is a feat at 6 months old! I think she will be fine without sterilizing at this point, but I digress.
- I meticulously made sure that my first daughter’s laundry was done with only the best and most expensive baby detergent I could find, because that meant I was doing what was best for her. Every little item of clothing was inspected thoroughly, pre-stain treatment was applied if needed, and only the gentlest cycle would do. Now, I throw everything into one load and hope for the best. If I come across a bad stain I toss it, ain’t nobody got time for that.
- With my first daughter I prepared all of her food, and God forbid if it was not organic! My sweet child would spontaneously combust if non-organic food would touch her mouth. I do sometimes try and make my own baby food for my second daughter, but in reality those food pouches are just as good! Extra bonus points if they say organic. Take that baby bullet!
- With my first daughter I made sure to be home FOR EACH NAP and that the environment was always conducive to suit the most perfect nap my daughter could possibly have. I made sure to never book any activities that could possibly interrupt my sweet little angel’s sleep. Cue to my second child, naps will happen where they can. She is used to napping anywhere we go, and noise levels don’t phase her.
- Cleaning- With my first daughter I had to make sure that every toy was put back in it’s place daily (after being properly sanitized of course). I was obsessed with making sure to avoid clutter or any hazards that could possibly cause my little angel to trip or hurt herself. Now, with my second daughter I have just accepted that their toys are part of our home décor. I call it kid chic, get on the bandwagon with me here. If you just accept it, your stress levels will reduce enough that you can just cry about it once in a blue moon.
All in all, having my second child made me realize that I needed to let go of perfection. My time is best spent enjoying my babies and not stressing about the little things. As we all know, time flies and they grow up within the blink of an eye. I have learned to be a more relaxed mom, and as a result I am a happier mom. Our kids are always teaching us lessons aren’t they?