I can't believe how different things are with the second child. If I knew with my first what I know with my second, it would have been smooth sailing. But, experience brings knowledge, so it was only natural entering motherhood completely blind and learning along the way. And trust me, I'm learning new ropes with each new day, each new stage, and each new child. And it's absolutely wonderful.
With your first child your whole world is turned upside down. You buy every baby item on the market, transform your home, change your lifestyle and morph from a couple to a family. It's an enormous life change - the biggest you can experience.
With your second child, your new life with children has already been established and lived, so you just add them to the mix, and there's not a "shock" to your reality. You know what it's like. You already have the baby necessities and you know what you like and what you don't like, what you'll need and what you won't need. And if your experience is anything like mine, you scale WAY back in the "stuff" department. Turned out that eighty percent of the stuff I thought was vital for survival with my first child actually wasn't. Hmmm! Go figure! My advice for new first-time Mommy's is to hit up Babies R Us with horse blinders, because if they're anything like me, their cart will be filled to the brim with every new trinket on the market! I knew better with my second. My closets, junk drawers and storage shelves thank me.
You know what they say, you live - you learn!
With my first child, I ran to his beck and call with every whimper or chin quiver. No, literally. I did. He was in my arms twenty-four seven and I had to rock him to sleep until he was almost two years old because he was so dependent on me for sleep. I can honestly say that I loved every single solitary minute of rocking and loving on him, but I do feel like I did a disservice to him and his sleeping patterns. And that was selfish on my behalf. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was. And when it came time to sleep train him at TWO YEARS OLD, it was torture on all of us. I cried. He cried. Husby shook his head. Oops.
With my second child, I've learned that it's okay to let him cry for a bit before I run to him. Actually, it's nearly impossible NOT to since I have another child that needs me too, and sometimes at the same time. I've realized that I can still hold him all the time and rock him, too, but that I should lay him down before he starts to sleep. Little Ezra has made this SO easy on me, though, because he prefers to fall asleep in his crib. He loves to be held and cuddled during wake times, but when he's ready to go to sleep, he squirms until I put him in his crib. Then he's out like a light. I know this is better for him. Also, it's vital for me because I simply don't have all the time in the world to rock him like I did with my first child. I can't believe how much easier this makes my life.
Living and learning. I'm doing it every day!
With my first child, I remember getting a knot in the pit of my stomach when he would cry. I think I had some anxiety that I didn't even realize I had until I would hear him cry. It was as if my heart would drop into my stomach and I absolutely hated that feeling. It lasted for a couple months and it wasn't pleasant.
With my second child, I have yet to feel the anxiety. I'm telling you, it's like night and day. I was paranoid with my first, and I feel at ease with my second. The difference is astounding!
With my first child, I could not envision loving any other soul like I love his. I worried about expanding our family because I worried about my feelings and his feelings. I felt my love had boundaries.
With my second child, from the moment our eyes met, those boundaries exploded into a zillion pieces. I realized there is no limit for a mother's love. I do not feel my love is shared - I feel my love is multiplied. I simply can not imagine life without our second born baby and I can not explain the depth of what I feel for him. You can not explain this phenomenon of a mother's love - it simply must be experienced to understand.
Again. I live, I learn.
I am by no means a "pro" at mothering, but I definitely feel I'm becoming seasoned as a Mommy of babies. I went into the second round with a confidence and knowledge that has equipped me, and I could not have done that without the experience that my first provided me with. Those precious little firstborns are such jewels for all they teach us about ourselves. I'm just so grateful to be experiencing two rounds of motherhood with our two children - double the trial and error, double the teaching and discipline, double the hugs and the kisses, and double the incomparable love.
What have you learned about yourself as you grow your family?