Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The First and The Second.

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?





12 comments:

  1. I still nurse my seventeen month old to sleep. Bedtime. Naps. And, every two hours through the night as she wakes. I can't do sleep training, just don't have it in me. Just waiting for her to grow out of it. She is my only one so while I am exhausted I know the phase won't be long in the grand scheme. However, if I was having another I might plan differently. You are right though, I wasted so much money on stuff I thought we needed but never used. Including a crib!

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  2. My second child was very sick her first year so it was a little different once we knew there were issues. She was also a different gender than the first, so I was nervous about what to do with cleaning her versus. Boy, diaper changes, etc. But once I figured it out quickly...smooth sailing! Aw yes, too much stuff that didn't get used with the first. The love more than multiplied. But I must share that when we were blessed with the third, the love exploded again. Oh, the more children the more my heart grew in all ways. Time was stretched but it didn't matter, God provided. When I would feed her, instead of feeling rushed I felt relaxed. I was amazed with every little aspect of her. Pure heaven. Had I not gotten sick, I could only imagine what more children would have brought into our hearts and home. Of course, our girls were worse sleepers than our first...but well a little less sleep was a small piece to pay for the blessings around us. Oh, by the third I realized that tons of clothes were not necessary and sometimes pjs were okay to be worn by them past 9 am.

    So excited for your family. And if your mom ever offers mommy camp, I wanna come! She's one awesome lady.

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  3. I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 7 month old, so am in very much the same situation as you. Completely agree with all that you wrote! Especially with the sleep and crying, and with the decrease in anxiety. It's hard this time around just because I now have two, but I'm so much more confident and at ease with the baby!

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  4. Love, love, love this post!! And I completely agree-it is soooo different with the second child!

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  5. I needed to hear this. We want to add a second child to our family, but I get so nervous thinking of how it was with my first baby. I panic at the thought of being able to split my time and give every one the attention they need. Reading your experience makes me feel better.....more confident that it can be done.

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  6. Great post! While I haven't had my second yet (still several months to got) I already feel more relaxed with the one I have. I used to drop him off at Sunday School with his huge diaper bag, several bottles, paci's, diapers, loveys, etc. Now I send him on his way with one, single diaper:) Sweet freedom! And I haven't struggled with the thought of dividing my love up between 2, because I have seen it time and time again from my mom and her love of me and my seven siblings. I know that love abounds and I am eagerly awaiting that extra love with baited breath! What a joy and blessing motherhood is!

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  7. I can relate to this post so much! I have a 3 1/2 year old and 10 month old and what you described reminds me SO much of me. I had the anxiety when my firstborn cried. I rocked him to sleep his entire first year. And his sweet little self totally rocked our world. Ha! But when baby boy #2 got here, we adjusted quickly and felt more natural and confident and relaxed. We're still busy and overwhelmed at times but things just seem easier the 2nd time around. And, my second born also falls asleep in his crib, not in mama's arms. =)

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  8. I love reading your posts about being a mother to 2 as I prepare for the same transition in just a matter of weeks! 5 or less, to be exact!!! You've calmed my nerves so much, thank you!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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