Have you seen that Luvs diaper commercial first kid/second kid?
The mom is at a birthday party with her first baby when a preteen looking girl asks to hold the baby and the mom pulls out a ridiculously large sized bottle of hand sanitizer. Then it shows the same mom with her second baby, and that baby being handed to a mechanic while the mom rummages through her purse. That’s motherhood in a nutshell. It’s totally normal to be pyscho with your first kid. By the time you’ve had your second kid, most parents have settled down and learned to enjoy parenthood. I speak from experience because having my children back to back helped me become a happier mother.
A couple months before I became pregnant with my oldest child, I had a miscarriage. The whole experience left me feeling guilty and somewhat traumatized. This caused me to take an overly strict, by the book approach throughout my first full term pregnancy. Make matters worst, my OB placed me on high risk status. Talk about being paranoid. No exaggeration, I was cuckoo for coco puffs. If my OB told me to do something, I did it. You know that whole I say jump you say how high. I did anything and everything to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
After my first child was born, the crazy really kicked in.
You have to hold her this way. She only likes this pacifier. She only falls asleep with this blanket. Every sentence out of my mouth began with, “you have to…” And let me tell you, it was exhausting trying to be the perfect parent (obviously, I now know that perfect and parent don’t go together). Then when my daughter turned 6 months, I was hit with a major curveball. I found out I was pregnant with baby #2. And thank God because this was the wakeup call I needed to change my pain in the ass ways.
The further I got into my second pregnancy, the less I cared about the little things.
Your cheerios fell on the floor again? Go ahead and gobble those babies up. You want cheese and only cheese for dinner? Alrighty then. You want to wear a parka in the middle of summer? Why not. See where I’m going with this? All these romantic ideas of the kind of mother I wanted to be slowly began to chip away until I was a mother who just wanted her kid to be happy. Thats it.
Once my second child was born, life was merely about survival. Did I shower today? Brush my teeth? Eat breakfast? Did the kids eat? Nap? Did we play outside? Yada yada yada. Even though I now had a 14-month-old and newborn, life was stressful (because it was nonstop) yet peaceful. I finally learned it wasn’t about the things I should be doing, it was about enjoying what I was doing. It’s true what they say, the goal is happy and healthy children. Fun fact, baby #3 arrived 18 months later.
Having children close in age can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining. But the silver lining is that it taught ME to sit back and smell the roses.
With each child, I became less rigid and more myself again. I’m sure if you asked my husband he’d tell you I’m still difficult, but in the words of Vince Vaughn, “I know my truth.” By no means am I an easy-going, spontaneous kind of mom. Never will be, nor do I want to be. I’m a full-blown planner who loves schedules and thrives on organization. However, learning to let the little things go has made me a happier mom. I’ve learned to stop fighting the constant chaos and just embrace the mess (literally and figuratively). I’m sure one day my living room won’t be consumed with LEGOs, stuffed animals and every Disney princess known to mankind. Until then, I’ll just sit back, smile, and enjoy the constant craziness that has become my new normal.