When I was pregnant the first time, I read baby books, meticulously counted the days and weeks and knew how far along I was and how much time I had left every single time someone asked. I obsessed over baby stores and bought too many things. Fast forward 8 years to when my fourth child was born and I showed up to have her with the nurses asking if I didn’t know I was in active labor for a while, granted i was already 6 cm dilated. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t wait to have her, to hold her and to welcome her to our family. She already had a clan talking to her through my abdominal walls everyday and as a result, had a far larger baby name selection compliments of her siblings.
However,I was looking and listening to a first time mama friend today and I couldn’t help but smile and remember that time of my life. While I validated and acknowledged every word she spoke and cheered her on from the sidelines, the truth is, i’m SO glad i’m over it…and here’s why:
1) Diaper Bag- with my first child, I had a few, for different occasions, in different colors and brands and I still felt inadequate. For my fourth baby, I have pampers, wipes and a changing pad in the glove compartment of my car. I have never packed a diaper bag for this baby! As stated above, I keep things stashed in my car. When I feel the need to seem organized and impress someone, which isn’t often, I tote around the supplies in my purse. 🙂
2) Baby Clothes- i’m pretty sure my first had a different outfit for almost everyday…complete with shoes and hat and a bib to match. When my second son was born and I started pulling out things I saved, I stared myself in the mirror in utter bewilderment. Now, I’m realistic and i KNOW how quickly everything gets grown out of and seriously, spit up and diaper explosions ruin the best of every outfit anyway!
3) Routine- I DID NOT leave my house if it was my child’s naptime… and no matter where I was, i HAD to be home before his bedtime. I think the idea that you need to do this contributes to the depression and “baby blues” women encounter shortly after a baby is born. My 4th baby naps on the go, transfers easily from carseat to crib and just rolls with us as we go thru life. Her siblings have extra curricular activities during her nap time and while they are offended she isn’t awake to cheer for them, she naps. Here’s what I’ve learnt: babies are more resilient than we make them out to be and the human body is designed to do exactly what it needs to do.
…And you want to know why i’m SO glad I’m over that first time mom phase? Because focusing on the small, mundane things leads to this ideal of perfection which is unfortunately impossible to achieve. Failure to achieve that led ME to feelings of disappointment, anger, frustration and stress.
ps. If you’re reading this and think…I’m a ‘mediocre’ mom, its ok because my kids still tell me i’m the best mom ever, every single day! 😉