Before I had my first child I knew nothing about kids. I had held…maybe…one baby before being handed my own. I was as inexperienced as you could get, so I’ve learned quite a lot the hard way. New mamas, mamas to be or even mamas who are playing with the thought of having number two: It get’s easier…and harder in different ways (I won’t sugar coat it), but mostly it is easier.
5 Reasons Parenting is Easier the Second Time Around
The shock that your time is very rarely your own has worn off. The hardest thing for me the first go around was simply the fact that I couldn’t plan my day in the same reliable way as I once could. To-Do lists were going unchecked. Basic needs were barely being met. I was never alone! I, personally, need a good dose of alone time to remain sane. Motherhood makes that difficult. By the second time around I had figured out ways to squeeze in the important stuff. I took the hours no one else wanted to do my own thing even if the house looked like it had been completely ransacked. In fact, I got over the guilt of my house not looking perfect. As long as cups and bottles are clean, clean clothes available (read: piled into a tall laundry mountain) and we have food to eat I consider it a good day. Some might call that settling. I’m fine with settling. It’s better than being stressed or worried. Time with my kids, my husband and myself will always rank above a clean home.
You worry less. Did anyone else feel like everything was a life or death decision as a first time mom? Buy the right car seat or…death. Don’t leave them in the swing all night even if it’s the only place they will sleep because…death. ALL those rules people tell you in passing as you are expecting and carrying around the tiniest child, you eventually learn to take them with a grain of salt. The fear of judgement subsides quite a bit. You realize your child is stronger than they appear. And, most importantly, you begin to trust yourself.
You adjust easier. You get comfortable with rearranging plans. Any parent realizes that you never know what the day will hold. Sometimes things just can’t happen. You figure out the best times to do stuff and know when absolutely not to even attempt anything. You know when it’s okay to let the rules slide and when it’s time to stop everything and be the rule enforcer. Plans are interrupted and to-dos might be left unchecked, but there is a slight possibility that you might just kill it tomorrow…or next week. Managing expectations was a big hurdle for me.
You know nothing lasts forever. The saying “The days are long, but the years are short.” is very true. Whatever behavior issue is driving you crazy today, won’t be around next month. On the flip side, those little chubby fingers will also be a little longer and thinner next month as well. You learn to cherish the good moments and to somewhat gracefully get through the rest.
Confidence returns. Having two plus years of parenting under your belt (or even less for you crazy folk…kidding.) makes a huge difference the second time around. You stop double guessing yourself. You stop constantly asking for everyone’s advice. And surprisingly, you stop getting a lot of unasked advice as well when you have more than one. You’ve worked out so many kinks by the second go around and while multiple children do increase the crazy factor, you realize you are equipped to take it on!
So, if you’ve been on the fence of having number two…just do it! 😉