How Motherhood Is Different This Time Around
I was never worried about adding another baby to our family. I know some people really struggle with that and stress about how they could love another as much as their first. That wasn’t my worry. I knew that I would love them both the same- I wanted another baby so, so badly and waited so very long for her that I was not stressed about her coming in the slightest.
The one thing that I did think about though was the dreaded and oft joked about “second kid problems”. I thought about all of the time that I spent with Abigail one on one and all of the things I did with her that I wouldn’t get to do with Mabel. I thought about the routine and the schedule and the newness and the “firsts” of it all with Abigail, that wouldn’t be the same with Mabel. I thought about her getting the shaft in some ways- and that was the sort of thing that bothered/worried me.
Then I read a post about why second babies are the lucky ones and it started to change my mindset- one of the points being, if you could be the parent you are NOW or the parent you were when you brought home your first baby from the hospital- which would you rather be? Answer. Easy. Me now of course! So, then I started thinking of all the benefits Mabel would be receiving, instead of the things she might miss out on.
And now that she’s here? Oh y’all. Second time(and I’m going to go ahead and assume third and fourth and so on) is WHERE IT IS AT.
The learning curve this time around? Ain’t nothin but a thang. I worried about the 4.5 years between my girls. I hadn’t changed a diaper in years! Nurse a baby? Would I remember? All of it, came right back. It was as if I’d been doing it all this time. And not only that, but it was SO MUCH EASIER than the first time.
Things that would have been earth shattering and upsetting to me the first time around? Not even a little this time. Things that I would have stressed over? Nope. I don’t. Things that I was so specific and particular and regimented about the first time? Eh, she’s a baby. Don’t push it.
Abigail- I read the books. I had the plan. I was constantly checking the clock and moving around that. It was all a quest to get her to her own bed. To get her to nap the proper amount of time in the proper place.
Mabel- Haven’t picked up a book, I just follow her cues. I’ll happily hold her for every nap and I’ll even pull her into bed with me at night. AND I LOVE IT.
Abigail- I worried about supply and the holy grail- a freezer stash. So, I pumped and pumped between feedings and ultimately built up a stash that was never even used. I also dealt with engorgement and constant leaking. (Also, let’s briefly mention the hell that was getting her to latch and the weeks and weeks of pain that ensued because of it.) (Also, also, she was the pokiest eater in the land. An hour later she might finally be finishing up) I nursed her on a schedule and considered it a disappointment if she wanted to eat “early”. No nursing in public. EVER.
Mabel- Haven’t pumped once. No engorgement, no excessive leaking(though, no freezer stash). I feed her whenever she wants, whether it’s been an hour or four. We run errands, go anywhere and do anything and I’m not stressed by the clock because I can and will feed my baby anywhere and everywhere. All hail nursing in public. Annnnd she is done from start to finish in 15 minutes. You win this round, Mabel Elizabeth.
Abigail- In the pack n play. NO CO SLEEPING. BAD. To her bedroom in month 4? 5? I can’t remember. In a constant quest to get her to sleep through the night. Disappointment when she didn’t.
Mabel- On our chests for the first few weeks. Then the RNP + my arms/chest. Still in our room with zero intentions of moving her into her adorable nursery anytime soon. Sleeping through the night? Meh. I kind of love seeing her face anytime and I know that those nighttime feedings help boost my supply and her chubby thighs. So, I’m all about that.
Abigail- What’s that? I mean, I have two arms?
Mabel- In the solly. THE SOLLY. Love it. She loves it. Just this week she has been taking multiple hours long naps in it. It’s the best and greatest ever. Wear those babies!!
Abigail- Bath every single night as part of BEDTIME ROUTINE
Mabel- *sniff* eh, she’s still good. Also, I can’t remember when her last bath was.
Abigail- Refuse to put her in there until she is at least sitting up on her own.
Mabel- Refuse to put her in there until she is at least sitting up on her own.
Abigail & Mabel- Love them both so ridiculously much that my heart might just burst at any given moment.
If you have more than one kiddo, what are some things that you did differently? Or, if you have one, what would you change next time?
I never wore Connor. Well, maybe a handful of times but he was the only one and like you said, I have two hands so why wear him? I wish I had thought for the experience.
I think that as you experience motherhood with Mabel you'll see that while things are different they are as equally awesome because you are enjoying it with a whole new person.
I have three (10, 8, 4). I think you do relax more about certain things with each child–schedule, cleanliness (bath), and germ exposure were less important to me along the way. Perhaps it was because by the time I had the third, the other two were in school so I had to be more flexible.
I think the one thing I would change is knowledge about food allergies. My oldest has them, and I think if I had known what I do now, I would have altered my diet in order to protect him from them (I did with the other two, and they don't have food allergies). But hindsight is 20/20, right?
Okay, I love this. I feel like we have very similar mama hearts. Sigh. Live in CLT, please? 😉
Oh the bath situation is the same over here! Liam gets a bath nightly… Finn maybe twice a week… It's just that he is always asleep before Liam gets in! Second child problems for sure.
I love this!!! I swear I thought I was doing everything right the first time around. And it's not that I wasn't, but I would definitely do things differently if we had a #2. Baby wearing? Yes please! What was I thinking?! Being so schedule regimented, freaking out if the pacifier hit the floor, and all the other first time mom worries… no thank you! I mean, I'm sure there's still things I'd worry about, but there's so much I'd change too!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That is all.
Great post! I have a feeling it will be similar for me the 2nd time around too. The first time, you're trying to get your kid to sleep well, eat well, and do everything the 'right' way. I wonder if parenting styles affect children's personalities and how the 2nd born are usually more laid back 🙂
I love this. SO sweet.
well this didn't make me cry at all.
i hope i skip the first kid thing and am just super laid back and do all the awesome 2nd kid things first. hahha. i'll probably freak out like crazy though, but that's the way i guess. i'm happy you're so confident in your parenting, i mean, obviously you're doing a fabulous job with both girls!
This is so sweet, and I can relate 🙂 🙂
This was so fun reading I almost (almost) wanted a 4th. 🙂
Preach it!!! I almost feel like Im too lax when it comes to some things (Brielana eats sand, I do not even bat an eye) lol. Definitely prefer second time motherhood!
I do find myself worrying about the clock as far as feedings. I am trying not to worry about it, but first-time mom over here! 🙂 I'm glad you're enjoying 2 so much. Although honestly right now I can't imagine wanting another ever again. Labor was not my friend.
So true. All of it. It's so nice the second time around because (as far as the baby goes) there's so much less stress.
I love this post so much. I am pregnant with my third after dealing with secondary infertility for years. My second and third will be about the same spacing of your girls. I have feared that I forgot all the infant stuff, but you have reassured me that it will all come rushing back.
I'm pretty fresh at this whole multiple kid thing, but my gosh I'm so much more relaxed. While I like the idea of a schedule I'm not going to worry about what the clock says. Two days ago I was asked how Julia's schedule was coming along. I point blank said, "she's four days old – there is no schedule."
Love this and couldn't agree more! We are sooooo much more relaxed this time around & I am convinced it's made her a better baby!
Love these comparisons!!! Your girls are lucky to have you 🙂
This is great!
I am a first time mom and feel I have done the in between of what you did for Abigail/Mabel for my child now. So that is promising that our 2nd will definitely have #secondkidsyndrome. lol
May I ask your reasons behind not putting them in nursery prior to sitting up? We put our child in 3-4 months, when he became a tad too nosey in church. I ask just to see if it's something I would consider for next ago around. TIA.
Our church is really small so allll of the kids under 3/4 are in the same room. So I like for my kiddos to be a little less helpless before they get left in there 🙂 I also usually feed her during the service, so until she spaces out a bit more it's just easier to keep them with me!
Lovvvvve this post! My husband & I both have been a ton (like a ton, a ton) less anxious and overly paranoid this time around which I feel has totally played into how happy of a baby Ben is!
I think I'm a bit opposite of you. We co-slept with Ellie (actually still do…) and while I LOVED it, now I would really appreciate her just sleeping in her room most nights and our bed as a treat. So baby #2 will be learning to self soothe and sleep in crib much earlier on in their life. We will still co-sleep no question about it but I will be more encouraging of self sleeping next time around.