Apr 20, 2016

What I Know Now

I have learned a lot since my first go around with this parenting thing. I definitely don't know everything. I actually even learned that I don't know much more than I knew the first time, which isn't completely true but I definitely feel like that. Add a second kid into the mix and you can feel pretty clueless.

But the truth is there a few things I know now that I didn't know the first time around.

Being relaxed (or relaxed as possible) can make a big difference. The first time around we were so clueless. We were stressed and learned that babies could sense that kind of thing so she was a bit stressed too. The first couple of months she was really fussy. Some of that fussiness was because she wasn't getting enough to eat (breastfeeding didn't work well for me, read about it then herehere, and here; and about it now here). Some of it was our own fault of being so stressed and stressing her out. Connor is the complete opposite. He really isn't fussy (he's also getting enough to eat). He's very laid back and easy-going. We aren't as clueless so we don't really feel like we are screwing everything up and Connor just chills through all of that.

Tummy time counts when he's on us too. With Addison I was obsessed with giving her 20 minutes a day on the floor of tummy time. I never thought the time she spent on us looking at us lifting her head screaming at us counted as tummy time. But now I know better. I wish I knew better then because Addison hated tummy time on the floor. Connor doesn't mind tummy time on the floor so much but spends just as much time on us looking around, holding his head up. He's much stronger than I remember Addison being at this age (but then again it was three years ago). But I don't obsess so much about tummy time on the floor, I take him using his neck muscles any way I can.

They aren't as fragile as they seem. With Addison I was almost afraid to touch her. I was afraid to change her clothes. I was afraid to do anything. I worried all the time about breaking her. And although I know you do have to be careful with them because they are little and need a lot of care, dressing a baby isn't as scary as it seemed. I'm not even going to mention how frightening bath time was to me with Addison.

Not every baby fits into a box. I don't mean an actual box. I don't put my babies in boxes - nor should you. But I remember with Addison doing so much reading and trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do and what they are supposed to be doing by a certain age. I was obsessed with knowing where she was supposed to be compared to other kids her age and figure out what I'm supposed to do with her all day long. This time around I let him do things as he wants to do things - not that I had any control with Addison. I just let him be and not even compare him to where Addison was at his age. I sometimes look at her milestones because I get curious about when she did something but they are each doing things in their own time and I'll let them be without obsessing. Plus even if you've had a kid before, each baby is very different. Addison loved the swing and slept in it all the time for the first four months. Connor hates it and only wants to nap if I'm wearing him. You pretty much have to figure it out as you go with each baby.

When we got pregnant with Addison, I was scared to death. I had no idea what I was doing and worried I was going to do something wrong. Even after taking classes and doing a ton of reading, I was sure I was going to do something to screw her up.

How was I going to know when she was hungry? I had never changed a diaper in my life. How do you get a baby to sleep? Do they even sleep? How do you bathe a baby? How do you soothe a crying one?

I was constantly worried. Then she was born and although I struggled a bit, I figured it out. That didn't mean we were constantly stressed and anxious because we definitely were. But we figured it out as we went and Addison seems to have turned out okay.

So this time I wasn't as worried about what I was going to do with a baby once I got him home. I worried about going into labor in the middle of the night and having to wake Addie to go to the hospital. I worried about the effect on Addison once we got back home. There was part of me that was a little worried about having a newborn in the house again because it had been so long and I was out of practice. I didn't remember all the ins and outs of having a baby but hoped it would all come back to me.

And truthfully it mostly has. There are some things I don't remember as clearly as other things and other things I have forgotten about all together. I guess that's part of being a second time mom.

xo, B

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