I don’t have to tell you that when you have a baby, your life changes completely! Suddenly everything around you fades away and you are completely focused on that little person that you’ve just brought into the world. You worry about every little thing, especially since you probably have no idea what you’re doing! When my daughter was sleeping too quietly, I’d check to see if she was breathing and when she screamed in the middle of the night, I wondered why she wasn’t sleeping. Was she eating enough? Why would she eat for the “food therapist (yes, there is such a thing) and not for us? Should I take her to the doctor with a temperature of 99.7? Worry, worry, worry!
Whew…so glad that’s over! Not that I don’t ever worry anymore but now that I have two kids, it’s completely different! By the second child you sort of know what you’re doing (MAYBE), and begin to chill a little. Here are some of the ways my parenting style changed when the second one came along…
1. Birthing classes? HA!
When I found out I was pregnant after all the years of trying, I was so excited that I signed up for birthing classes, infant CPR classes and took a tour of the hospital before I even had my baby bump! When I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, I just stopped drinking wine!
2. Get me out of this hospital!
After my oldest was born, I was way too scared to go home! How in the world was I going to figure out what to do??? I had no idea what to do with this tiny human thing! After my second child, I was begging to be released as soon as they wheeled me back in the recovery room. Now I had this mommy thing down and I did not want to spend two days eating hospital food and sleeping in a tiny bed. My husband actually had to tell me to quit harassing the nurses to let me leave early (but it worked…they probably couldn’t wait to get rid of me).
3. Baby book? What baby book?
I now regret all the hours that I spent on my first child’s baby book! You know the one I mean…you fill out pages and pages of information about important topics as the popular song of the day and the cost of a gallon of gasoline. I did go so far as to buy one of these books for my youngest. I think I may have even filled out part of the first page! I figured if she really cares how much gas was when she was born, she can just google it!
4. Please don’t start crawling just yet!
Isn’t it so incredibly exciting when your first baby finally starts to crawl, then takes his or her first steps!!! Yay, we thought it was the greatest thing ever!!! Oh wait…now we have to keep track of this kid! We were in no hurry for our second one to do that. It’s so much easier when they just stay in one place!
5. I’ll miss you… but I’m outta here!!!
When my oldest was 10 months old, we went with some friends to the Dominican Republic for my birthday celebration. I was so excited to go and couldn’t wait to relax on the beach with a nice cerveza! On the ride to the resort, my husband bet me $1 that I would cry sometime that day because I’d be missing the baby. Are you crazy? We were only gone for a long weekend…no way was that happening!!! I’d been looking forward to some “me” time for a long time…hmmm, probably about 10 months now! Anyway, I totally lost that $1 because when I called Grandma to check on the baby, the tears started flowing.
Fast forward to our first vacation after the second child. Remember that commercial where the parents pull up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, practically throw the kids at them and then speed off? Yup, that was us! My husband didn’t even bother to make the $1 bet again because even he knew he’d lose this time! Yes, of course I missed the girls…but sitting on the beach relaxing with a nice adult cocktail certainly helps ease the pain!
6. You’re fine!
I wasn’t as bad as some parents but I did probably make too much of a big deal when my oldest daughter sustained minor injuries. Yes, if she was gushing blood, she certainly needed my attention. However, sometimes I jumped in too quickly when she took a little spill and when children see you worry, they worry too. Now when my youngest fall down (or runs into a door because she’s just like mommy), I ignore her and wait to see what she does first. Sometimes even if she does cry, all I have to say “You’re fine” and she actually believes me! Most of the time she just jumps right up and yells “I’m okay!” before I even do anything.
7. Maybe you DON’T need a doctor visit
A temperature of 99.9 requires a doctor’s visit with your oldest child! The youngest just gets some children’s Tylenol and a cartoon!
8. Maybe not ALL the cartoons have to be educational
My oldest only watched Sponge Bob when daddy was home because I only let her watch “educational” show like Super Why and Team Umizoomi. I’ve finally realized that it’s not the end of the world if my girls want to watch a little Tom & Jerry or even…gasp…Sponge Bob. The funny thing is that now that they’re actually allowed to watch it, they both have zero interest in Sponge Bob!
9. Sure, wear what you want
I was so excited to have a baby girl that for years my oldest had to be dressed to the nines, even for a trip to Publix. While I still like to dress them up (it’s even more fun with two girls), I actually let my three year old pick out her own outfits when she wants to. Sometimes they even match! That’s when she wears actual clothes…last week she wore her Cinderella dress to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I guess a princess doesn’t mind being a little overdressed!
10. Time for your weekly bath
I remember my friend being surprised when she found out that I gave my oldest a bath every night (she already had two kids). I was surprised at her surprise…didn’t everybody do that? Fast forward a couple years and now I get it! As long as they don’t look like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown, they’ll be fine for one more day!
If you just have one child right now, you probably think I’m a terrible parent! If you already have two, you’re probably drinking a glass of wine right now and trying to count how many days it’s been since bath day. It’s okay, they can bathe tomorrow!