I decided to jot down a few differences of my parenting style between my first and second baby, and how I have changed. Maybe ‘evolved’ would be an appropriate word.
First baby: I checked every single food I put in my body on my app to see if it was safe. I didn’t even eat any pepperoni pizza. Who was I? No caffeine either. Paranoid.
Second baby: I ate anything I wanted. I drank my sweet tea. I don’t even remember if I checked to see what small fruit my tiny baby was amounting to. Much more relaxed the second time around. Don’t lift heavy objects? Heck, I was carrying in groceries with a toddler on my hip.
First baby: Room was done and decorated. Name was picked. Clothes were washed and ready. College and career paths were planned.
Second baby: No name. Still used the “baby’s room” as the “clean laundry you throw in a large pile that need to be folded” room.
First baby: Stressed. Anxious. Nervous. Excited. Totally shocked when my baby came out covered in hair. (The nurse literally saw my and Daniel’s face and said, “Don’t worry, the hair falls off.” Ok cool. I knew that Mexican side was hairy, but I didn’t know I was going to give birth to a baby wolf.”)
Second baby: Still nervous, anxious and excited but much more relaxed because I knew what to expect. Not so shocked when my baby came out as a little hairy wolf.
First baby: Freaked out over everything. Wrote down each time she peed, pooped, blinked. What side did she nurse off last? Is she getting enough milk? Why is there so much spit up? Does this poop look bigger than quarter sized? Must lay on back. Must swaddle.
Second baby: He pooped. He’s good. Let’s just let him sleep on his belly.
First baby: Documented how long she nursed, what times she nursed. She must have exactly 4 ounces at each feeding. Monitored what I ate. I can’t drink this, I can’t take that.
Second baby: And what’s the name of this wine again?
Washing of Things:
First baby: Deep cleaned all bottles. Sanitized everything! There’s a small amount of spit up on her onesie, change her. Gave her a nice, loving and relaxing bath with lavender scents at set time in the evenings. If the papa (pacifier) fell on the floor, wash it! All family members knew to wash the papa with soap and water immediately. (Sorry for being so extra, fam.) Food fell on the floor? GET THAT OUT OF YOUR HAND!!! Don’t eat that, it’s dirty!! She’s gonna be sick!
Second baby: Ehh, it’s just a little bit of spit up, he’s fine. I’m not going to change him. Papa fell on the floor? It’s fine, give it back to him. Build his immunity. Papa falls on dirty restaurant floor? No worries. Daddy will put it in his mouth to lick the germs off. Food falls on the floor at the house? Ezra, come here baby, clean this up. Oh shoot, it’s past bedtime and you haven’t had a bath. I’ll just wet a paper towel and wipe your face. Clean enough.
First baby: Must take a picture of every.single.thing. I’m going to make a memory book documenting every single second of her life. First time sitting on this square inch of the couch, snap it. At least 243 pictures a day. A video of her just staring at me. Look, did you see how this smile is different from yesterday’s smile?
Second baby: How many months is he this month?
First baby: Only organic. No processed foods. Homemade baby food. Must have a balanced nutrition. (A lot of that has changed now that she’s a toddler and loves pasta and cheese.)
Second baby: You are going to eat what we have, bubba. Old cheerio you found under the couch? I’m not going to freak out. Enjoy it. The kid can bite meat off a rib. I ain’t worried.
First baby: She needs this Rock-n-Play. She needs this Mamaroo. She needs this bouncer. She needs this specific brand of swaddle. The sheets need to match her room. She needs the plethora of toys that she is only going to twice.
Second baby: He’s got a crib, and sister’s toys. He’s good. Oh and an old TV remote, and miscellaneous house items he shouldn’t have. His favorite is taking out all of the plastic containers out of the cabinet. Cost me zero dollars. Why keeps things organized? My house is a maintained mess anyways.
I could keep adding to the list!
Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of times that overprotective, obsessive, helicopter mom comes out, but I am definitely more relaxed. I’m just as obsessed with this second kid as I am my first. I still stand by his crib and watch him sleep and make sure he’s breathing, all while admiring his pure perfection. Even when there are avocado remnants in his hair, and he ate the food his sister spit out or spilled on the floor for dinner.