I swear my second born child should have a sticker attached to the front of her that says “Meh.” Nothing more. Just “Meh.”
Not that I don’t care about her, but, the things that once worried the crap out of me with my first born, really, well, they are just “Meh” the second time around.
“Your child is eating dirt.”
“The baby didn’t have a nap at day care today.”
“Your child is drawing all over herself.”
How I raised my second born child, who from now on will be affectionately referred to as SecondBorn is so much different than my first born, who will now be called FirstBorn. For one, I am just so much more relaxed. Things just seem to click. So below are some of the things that magically changed when we made the transition from one baby to two:
Speed Dial a Doctor – I swear I spent more time in the Doctor’s office with FirstBorn than the nurses that worked there. Now, every sniffle doesn’t result in a trip to the doctor’s. Rashes? They’re usually gone by the next day. And any time SecondBorn falls over, I don’t automatically run to Dr Google to see what I should do. I just pick her up, dust her off and we’re on our way.
Goodbye Brand Name Nappies – Turns out, the home brand version works just as good and are a lot cheaper! So, unless the brand namers are on special, it’s home brand all the way.
Hellooooo Hand Me Down Clothing – Everything was new with FirstBorn.
New and clean…until 12 seconds after I put it on him and then he would vomit all over the place. Lesson learned. SecondBorn owns a wide range of hand-me-down clothes, many of them from her brother so therefore embossed with bikes, cars and diggers.
Matchy Matchy – Almost all of FirstBorn’s clothes were a set.
Complete with the hat and the matching shoes, the co-ordinated pant suit and vest, the romper and corresponding animal beanie. SecondBorn is lucky if her socks match.
Successful Sleep Habits – How many hours did you put in trying to get your FirstBorn to sleep the magic amount of time?
I swear I spent months learning the techniques to “self-settle.” And if Firstborn didn’t sleep, then it would be stress overload trying to figure out why. SecondBorn still doesn’t sleep. But, hey, she will….eventually.
Day Care Drop Offs – Neither of my kids handled day care drops very well.
Both resorted to tears and tantrums but, while with FirstBorn, I usually ended up in tears as well, with SecondBorn, it’s a lot easier to just walk away, knowing she will be fine as soon as I’m gone!
Fussy Feeding – FirstBorn followed a very strict routine when it came to introducing solids.
Everything was made from scratch and we introduced one or two foods each week for months on end. That was the plan with SecondBorn too, but she got into the picnic food at six months and devoured fruit cake, cheese, egg, carrot, strawberries and tomato all in one go. We adapted the baby led weaning (aka: ‘Meh’ routine) from then on in.
Milestone Tracker – Baby comparison was all the rage with FirstBorn.
Is your child walking yet? How many words can he say? When did he get his first tooth? Is he advanced? Is he behind? The second time around it just didn’t seem to matter. SecondBorn walked. SecondBorn talked. SecondBorn grew teeth. Was she ahead of the average baby? Was she behind? Honestly, I don’t know. And I couldn’t care less.
The Schedule Nazi – FirstBorn had such an intense routine that nothing would stand in its way.
When it was naptime, it was naptime. End of story. SecondBorn never got this luxury. From Day One she had to learn to adapt to her older brother’s already established routine and activities. And, guess what, she managed just fine.
The Mistake Maker – And, finally, perhaps the thing that changed the most is that, as a Mum, I realised that I don’t have to pretend to be perfect all the time.
And I don’t have to raise perfect kids. Mistakes happen. Kids get hurt. Kids don’t sleep. Kids get sick. Kids refuse dinner. Kids get lice (seriously….how awful is lice?).
We learn from the choices that we make and we come to see them as lessons, rather than mistakes.
From all that stress, all that worry, all those nights Googling, we come to our “Meh” moment in parenting. And this is a great place to be. SecondBorn is more chilled, more adventurous, more adaptable and definitely more resilient than her big brother.
I can’t wait to see what ThirdBorn will bring!
Guest post written by Jenna Gallina.