One long ago day b.c. (before children) my husband, J, and I went over to some friends’ house for dinner. They put their 8 month old on the floor and scattered cheerios around him to buy some time while they finished prepping dinner. J and I tried desperately not to show how horrified we were by this action. Later, once we had left, we talked about how we would never feed our child anything off the floor. Heaven forbid!
Then we had our first child.
As the months wore on, we learned to eat our “We’ll never do that”s with gusto. Since having our second child, we have learned that parenting gets even more flexible. Here are some differences I have found between first child standards and second child standards.
With our first child, I:
- disinfected everything.
- found the first few months a bit boring with all the sleeping and just staring at each other.
- read 5 million “raising a child” books (don’t know how I had time- maybe when he was sleeping?).
- was all about milestones. I was very watchful and aware of them and meticulously recorded all new skills on the calendar.
- was appalled when my hair falling started falling out. I remember thinking, “This can’t be normal. Is there something wrong with me?”
- scattered cheerios on the highchair, the exersaucer, the bumbo tray, any clean surface.
Now with our second, the rules have changed again.
- There is a 5 to 30 second rule in play regarding food or toys on the floor depending on the situation…and depending on when I notice the problem.
- I blinked and Q was 3 months old. Blinked again and she was 6 months and so on. And this time around I am thankful any time Q sleeps because it allows for a bit of breathing space and for one-on-one time with C.
- Childrearing books? Haven’t even opened a book.
- Q seems alert and strong. I no longer remember when all the milestones “should” be reached, and I figure she’ll get to it when she gets to it. There are a couple of notes on the calendar…if I can find a pen…
- This time when the hair started falling out all I thought was, “Ah, this is nothing. There are no drifts of my hair on the floor yet.”
- Bring on the cheerios on the floor or any relatively cleanish surface! If it keeps them happy for a minute or two, I’m game!
For all these differences and more, there are some crucial similarities of course. Feelings have not relaxed. The overwhelming love, the awe at the fragility and delicate nature of Q’s fingers and tiny toes, and the swell of happiness when she smiles at me when I pick her up, and the joy of being a mom are all the same, if not increased for the both of them.
In terms of standards, though, I do wonder, what happens if you have a third? Imagine that Duggars’ family with 18 and counting children…never mind a 5 second rule, they must have a three day rule in play by that point!
What are some “I’ll never do that”s that you have taken back? If you have more than one child, any differences between how you’ve raised them?