Seriously. I think Jonah and Lyla have two different moms, and I feel a little guilty about it. I always laughed when my mom said that I was the Guinea pig, the oldest child, but now I see what she means. Having a second child is also like a second chance at parenting an infant. While the first child did get what I like to call the “star treatment” – you know what I mean, all new clothes, an actual changing table, pacifiers that are washed off with soap & water when accidentally dropped on the ground – the second child seems to get the calmer, more confident parent.
So I’m having a bit, and only a bit, of mommy guilt lately. It really struck me as I was perusing the parenting section of the non-fiction books at the local library today. As I readily scooped up two more books by Dr. Sears (The Baby Sleep Book and The Attachment Parenting Book) along with a Better Baby Food book, I thought, “Ah, man. All I read for Jonah were the What to Expect books.”
I was just so freaked out with Jonah. I’d never had a baby before even though I’d been around plenty of them. Having your own is not anything like taking care of other people’s kids. With Jonah, I was always second guessing myself. I was also five years younger and really unsure even of who I was as a person. With Lyla, it’s like she has a whole different mom.
This mom is definitely more chilled out, more patient and better read. This mom doesn’t freak out when the baby cries, spits up or keeps her up all night. This mom enjoys being a mom more.
Then again, I can thank Jonah for helping to shape thismom. While we are instrumental in shaping our kids,they shape us too. For all Jason and I did wrong with Jonah, we did a lot right too. Surely a sensitive, loving, smart kid couldn’t have happened by total accident, right?
So be enouraged moms – first time, second time . . . fifth time. Moms are like good cheese or a good wine – we just keep getting better!