Thursday, October 31, 2019

Being a Mom for the Second Time

I took Jack to his first baby storytime at the library this morning.  It brought back a lot of memories from when I used to do this with Scarlett, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be back there again.  I was actually inspired to write this post from a woman who was sitting next to me on the children's circle-time rug.  I had put Jack on his stomach a few times on the rug so he could see the other babies there.  Some of the babies crawled to him and were interested.  I didn't make a big deal about this at all but appreciated the interest the babies had in my son.  This is also a wonderful way to socialize Jack and have him be aware of the world.

The woman next to me was impressed at the fact that I wasn't extremely overprotective over Jack's well-being, but was relaxed enough to sit back and have him interact with the children.  She mentioned how relaxed I was and that that was very uncommon as a first time mom, which she thought I was.  I explained I had an older child and knew what to expect.  I can guarantee that four and a half years ago with Scarlett I would have picked her up to get her away from the older babies who were curious.  

Since I'm now raising my second child, I have a rough idea as to what to expect down the line.  I know what's ahead of me with solid foods, crawling, sitting up, walking and talking, and much more.  Since I have another child, I also know what works and doesn't work and what I can do differently this time around.  Occasionally I will reference Scarlett's old baby book to see what she was doing at the age that Jack is just to make sure he's on a similar track.  Jack smiled at seven weeks while Scarlett smiled at six.  That doesn't mean anything is wrong, it means that each baby develops differently and that's ok.  Each child is unique and does things at their own pace.  

When Scarlett was a baby I did everything by the books.  If she was supposed to hit a certain milestone at whatever age it was, I was always making sure that it was happening for her.  Some milestones she hit earlier or later than others, especially talking.  I'm sure I asked the pediatrician a ton of questions.  All first time moms don't have any previous examples to work from and everything is new to them.  It's expected that you'll be concerned and worried.  As a second time mom, having the prior experience is really fantastic and lets you have some relief.  I would say that life is a lot less stressful when you don't feel on edge about everything your child is doing or not doing. 

I feel that I'm much more relaxed and at ease with Jack, and I think that makes for a happier baby and mom.  There are certain things that I want to carry over from when Scarlett was a baby like no screen time for a baby as young as him.  That's something that I feel is non-negotiable.  A two month old doesn't need to watch TV, but sometimes he is around when Scarlett is watching a show and that can't be avoided.  Obviously I wouldn't actively stick him in front of the TV though.  

I think it will be interesting to see the difference in their personalities as Jack grows and changes.  Since I had four and a half years alone with Scarlett, she and I are very close as we spent so much time together.  Once she goes to kindergarten in September 2020, I will have a lot of free time with Jack to take him to do activities.  I can't wait for our special one-on-one time together.

Whether you're a mom for the first or fifth time, parent the way you feel is best.  They grow so fast! 

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