I hadn’t originally imagined we’d wait so long after our first two children were born to have our third, and in fact for the last 3-4 years I didn’t even think we would have a third. But plans don’t always go according to schedule and while I was once nervous about the age spread between the kids and starting all over, the excitement over becoming a mom again now, in this stage of life, supersedes all of those nerves because in all honesty, I think this time around I may be able to do it a bit better, or at least differently.
Let me explain what I mean. I’m not saying I was a bad mom the first two times. I just think this time, I’m older and ahem, a bit wiser and I think I will be a different kind of mom. What does different mean to me? Well, more relaxed, less structured, more flexible. But also more knowledgeable and less likely to be influenced. Less likely to have to seek out advice every time I feel nervous or scared. Trust my gut more. There’s a few areas I think I’ll be different, right off the bat:
- Sleeping Babies – I didn’t hold my babies enough when they were sleeping the first two times. I was always so worried about getting them used to being held in my arms versus learning to sleep on their own in their bassinet/crib. The many sleep-training books I read referred to holding your babies when sleeping as a “crutch”, so I settled them to sleep in their crib or bassinet 99% of the time. Not only did I waste a lot of time and cause myself a lot of stress, but I missed out on a lot of precious moments holding my sweet smelling newborn babies. This time around I vow to hold my sleeping babies more.
- Crying In Cars – Oh my goodness a crying infant in the car is one of the most stressful sounds, don’t you think? Whether I was driving or not, whenever my babies cried in the car it drove me to tears of stress and frustration. And the worst thing was I assumed it was just my babies that hated cars and car-seats and asked why I had been cursed with these car screaming babies. Five years, and experience with countless newborns later, I now know that most infants scream in the car, at least for the first few months and to just relax a bit. Yes, this one may still scream in the car, but at least I now know it’s completely normal and somewhat out of my control.
- More Flexibility – I don’t imagine I’ll ever be one to ignore a sleep routine completely, but I do think I’ll be much more flexible this time around. I recently spent some time with an old friend and her first child, and they are completely tied to the schedule, and boy did I forget what a drag that can be! While a growing baby needs rest to grow and develop, I also hope to try and be more flexible, and have baby #3 adapt to our schedule a bit more, than we adapt completely to his/hers.
- Follow My Gut More – I imagine whether you’re a mother of 1 or 10, you will always seek out advice when in doubt, but I think overall I’ll be less likely to run to google every time a fever arises, or consult my pediatrician if Baby is only saying 25 words instead of 30. I caused myself a lot of stress the first couple of times by worrying and fretting over every sniffle and milestone. If this pregnancy is any indication, this time around I think I’ll be able to trust my gut more and follow my motherly instinct.
- Get Out More – I did write some helpful tips on working around baby’s nap schedule a few weeks back, and my main motivation for writing that piece was so that I could follow my own advice! I don’t wish to be a slave to a schedule and I am going to make a solid effort to get out more with this baby. The kids and I both love being social, and being cooped up in a house all day makes for a grouchy mom and grouchy kids. I think I’m finally ready to throw caution to the wind a bit and get out more with this one.
So what did you, or would you do differently with your second or third babies? Or do you feel good about how you handled it all and wouldn’t change a thing?
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