“Hmm, sounds right,” I replied. And then I thought how different this pregnancy, Baby G’s, has been from Little G’s. For starters, I knew to the day (and corresponding fruit or vegetable) how far along I was with Little G. With Baby G? Not so much. (Although in case you’re curious, 30 weeks pregnant = baby the size of a large cabbage. 🙂 )
Probably my approach to parenting Baby G will be a little different from how I parented Little G, too, at least in the beginning. Here are seven ways that I THINK this second rodeo will be different. For those of you with two or more children … please “Leave a Comment” to share your experiences! I’m excited to hear from you.
So, this time, I THINK …
1.) I’ll be more prepared. At this point, I have some experience with diapers, car seats, pediatricians, white noise machines, and nursing/breastpumping/formula feeding. There won’t be such a big learning curve.
2.) I’ll be more focused on Baby G. Little G will be three and a half years old when her little sister is born. I’m very conscious now, in a way that I wasn’t then, of how time really does go by in a blink. So I’ve stocked up on takeout menus from our favorite restaurants. Found a new cleaning service. Told my writing clients that I look forward to catching up with them again in the summer, maybe fall. Because I’d really like to make the most of this new “blink of time” with my daughters.
3.) At the same time, I’ll be a little less attentive. Whenever newborn Little G whimpered, or stirred, or coughed, I darted over to her. Friends … I fine-tuned the reflex training of a Navy SEAL! I know now not to respond instantly, to let Baby G have a moment to try and settle herself.
4.) I’ll be less concerned about everyone else. While at the hospital in labor with Little G, I remember checking with a nurse about blankets for my mom and mother-in-law, who were cold in the waiting room. Now, I love both these ladies very much. But I know that everyone can take care of themselves, while I take care of myself.
5.) I’ll be more relaxed about food choices. When Little G started solids, I made her food myself, struggling to puree sweet potatoes and the like on roughly three hours of uninterrupted sleep, often when my hubby was traveling for work. Since then, I’ve concluded that packaged baby food is a wonderful time- and sanity-saving alternative. 🙂
6.) I’ll be less “activities” oriented. Little G and I began attending a weekly library story time when she was about six months old; we signed up for a mommy-and-me swimming class around 10 months; and we coordinated play dates with other mom/child duos at least once a week until she started preschool at age 2. At the time, these experiences were enriching, and we especially cherished (and still cherish!) the sweet new friends we made. But now, I feel as though we’ve been lucky enough to nurture a close enough community of friends through all of these activities, as well as our church and Little G’s preschool, that we can casually get together whenever works best for everyone, rather than scheduling formal lessons and events.
7.) And from Baby G’s perspective, I think she’ll probably be a little more laid-back and independent than Little G was, based on how I act toward her. Last year, the Huffington Post published this article about birth order and its effect on personality. I’m not a scientist, but I do think this article, and others like it, have some truth to them. This quote particularly struck me: “I know that no two children have the same set of parents, even though they live in the same family. Why? Because parents are different with each of their children, and no two children ever take the same role.”
Another revealing read is this one from Scientific American, “How Birth Order Affects Your Personality.” I thought the section on “Size Matters” was especially interesting—something I never thought about.
And, check out this funny article from Parents about “Raising Your First vs. Your Second Child.” Last up: I loved this article from BuzzFeed, “10 Ways Having a Second Child Is Different From the First.” No. 3 about fitness completely resonated with me: “First Child: Queen of Prenatal Workouts! Second Child: Life is your cardio.” YES! 🙂