I’ve been a mum for nearly two years. I have a three month old girl and a 20 month old boy. And wow, what a rollercoaster ride motherhood has been so far.
I’m pretty proud of myself. My babies are happy and healthy. I’ve adjusted okay to being a stay and work at home mum. I love my kids more than anything and am in awe of the little people they’re becoming. I’m happy with how my husband and I are raising them.
But, I wish we’d done a few things differently.
There are a few things I regret not doing with our firstborn, things we’re rectifying this time around with our baby girl, some because of circumstance and some deliberately.
More baby wearing
Feeling a wee babe’s heart beating on your chest as you carry them around is one of the best feelings, and holding them close is so good for bonding. We did a bit of this with our first, but are doing a lot more of it with our second (plus, it leaves our hands free for toddler wrangling!).
We worried about every little cough, sneeze, skin blemish and developmental stage first time around. These days, we’re going with the flow a lot more. Yes, this could have something to do with the fact that we’ve “been there and done it”, or that we have next to no time to google it.
We followed a routine for our boy, and it worked really well. However, I was quite obsessed with it. As in, down to the minute. Yes, he was sleeping through by four months, which was brilliant. But because I stressed about every little detail of his schedule it drove me (not to mention my husband) up the wall.
So with our girl, she’s on a routine, but I’m a lot more blase about it. Plus, she has to just go with the flow, to some extent, because of daycare dropoffs and other activities for our toddler. She’s flexible and that’s the way I like it!
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When I was pregnant with my first I was told “don’t cuddle your baby too much, it’ll create sleep associations”. So, the first time around I didn’t let our little guy sleep on my chest for long in case he started needing it all the time to sleep.
Well, I say what a load of sh*t. Just as a baby learns a habit, things change overnight and they’re onto the next problem to solve. Babies need to feel that you’re close by and there for them. So this time around, I’m enjoying ALL the cuddles. There is nothing better!
I now know just how fast they grow, so I’m buying less than I did before. Okay okay, that’s a little white lie – who am I kidding, I had a girl this time so I’ve bought a lot of pretty girly things (even though her brother’s hand me downs would have done). However, it’s what I SHOULD be doing. We have minimalised our house and gotten rid of a lot of the baby paraphernalia that we just didn’t use the first time around.
Soak it up
Time flies way too fast, and before you know it they’re turning one. So this time I’m doing my best to cherish every second (as hard as that is with a toddler wrecking ball in the house!).
Taking one last kiss before popping her down for a sleep, one last cuddle before bedtime, and making more time for play.
I’ve learnt to really lower my expectations about how much we can achieve in one day. As they say, less is more and I’m trying to slow down. After all, my most important job is keeping them happy and healthy - the housework, emails and shopping can (mostly) wait!
What are you doing differently second time around?