Becoming a mother for the second time isn't as scary as the first time. While it has its own set of fears too, you also feel so much more prepared the second go around. Who needs fancy baby registries and who needs to worry about whether or not your baby has enough newborn clothes. You'll manage just fine because now you know some important things about motherhood that mean much more than fancy baby gadgets and how many receiving blankets you should have.
Things I Now Know...
I will know what to do. When we are becoming a first time mother, many of us often have that fear that we won't know what the heck to do when we come home after having a baby. Everyone says that "when it's your baby you just know what to do" and we now know that it is definitely true. While we still won't have all of the answers, we aren't going into it scared of motherhood.
I'll hold my baby as much as I please. Everyone tried telling you that if you held your baby too much that you would "spoil" them. Well if you're anything like me you probably didn't listen, but you may have always had it in the back of your mind. Well now that you realize just how fast time flies by, you know that you'll hold that little bundle of baby cuteness as often as your heart desires.
All babies sleep differently. If there is anything that I have learned about motherhood is that each and every baby is different. Some sleep all night at an early age, some don't. Some wake to nurse frequently just because and some other breastfed babies just don't. Some sleep like crap during teething and some could care a less about what's going on in their mouth. I've read enough articles and books to assure me that I should never feel any less of a mother just because my baby doesn't sleep through the night. Sleeping through the night is not actually expected; it's just luckily achieved for some and wished upon for others.
Grandmas, mothers and mother in laws aren't geniuses. Sure they raised babies that turned out pretty dang good (I think my mom did a pretty dang good job) but times change; research changes and old wise tales go out the window. I know what's best for my baby and I also have the power of Google; I don't need a village to tell me I should start solids at three months old when all of the research is there to show just how bad that is.
Use your gut. It's hard to stand up to doctors, to voice your opinions and to stand up to those insisting on keeping your kid overnight when you're just not ready. Here's to hoping you worked out those issues with the first and will
Babies and toddlers cry for reasons. I'm still learning this as I go. Nothing feels more awful than being annoyed that your two year old kept you up all night for what you thought was their version of an all night party only to realize that the next day they were sick as can be. Growth spurts, mental leaps (The Wonder Weeks), teething, belly aches, sore throats and just a regular ole desire for comfort can make any good baby or toddler a handful. They have bad days for reasons and unfortunately they can't tell us why just yet. Patience and understanding is key.
Everyone believes in different things. From parenting choices to snack choices, each and every mama believes in something different. Just because I don't do CIO and others do, doesn't make one way right or wrong. You do you and I'll do me and we'll all raise each other up!
Toys are nice but really not needed. I remember the day my daughter started sitting up and playing on the floor. I thought I had to run and buy a few toys to help engage her. I now know that a few wooden blocks, a doll or two and a stacking ring would have beat the battery toys that are now sitting in an electronic toy hell because they don't work anymore. Less is more.
Your house will not always stay clean. Infant days are easy peasy for keeping your house clean. Aside from an extra load of laundry and some bottles and pump parts to wash, there's not much mess going around. However once you have a walking, talking and independent little toddler, you realize that you pick the same toys up four times a day on average. And now there's another living room destroyer on the way.
Sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes you lose patience and may yell a tad bit louder than you wished you had and sometimes you may wake a sleeping baby to please others. Sometimes you give in to your toddler and sometimes you stand firm. You have days where you totally rocked motherhood and days where you feel like you failed. Perfection during motherhood is hard, yet the job is so perfect.
Your heart now beats outside of your body. My heart is in the child running around jumping from the sofa, running in the dirt and climbing on the table. She is my heart and based on the love I have for this unborn child already, I know my heart is about to be split into two little human beings. I know longer own my heart, they do.
You'll love deeper than you can imagine. Becoming a mother introduces you to a deeper love than you would have ever imagined. While it is crazy to think at times of loving another person as much as you love your child, you know that having more kids just means that your love will grow and deepen into each of them. I am mom and my heart is endless for the children I created with the man I love. My heart will grow, love and ache in ways I never knew possible and my life will be even more complete when this new baby enters our family.
I am mom. I may not be perfect, I may not have all the answers but I'm doing a good job. I love endlessly and steal kisses frequently.
And that's what I've learned about motherhood so far.