Becoming a Mom of Two so soon after being a First-Time Mom has given me a unique perspective on the experience because I remember the first time around so vividly. After all, it was only about a year ago that the same things were happening with Hannah’s growth and development that I’m observing with Audrey. Only… I’m not really observing them. Not only did Audrey get the short end of the stick with a generic baby book and a meager photography collection, she is also going through milestones on her own. The first time around, I eagerly anticipated each email from the Bump in order to keep up with all of Hannah’s new skills. In contrast, the other day I realized that I hadn’t even taught my kid how to sit on her own. I don’t think she was really suffering from oodles of time in her carrier sandwiched between belly-time. It was just that I started to notice other kids her age sitting up and it dawned on me that I never sat her down on her bum.
Things have changed a lot since the first time. I Mother in a completely different way and sometimes I even feel like a new woman. We could attribute that to the hormones, but the fact of the matter is that what I did the first time around wasn’t going to cut it for the challenge of raising two babies. I was focused on using ‘things’ to help with the difficult task of raising a baby instead of bearing the weight on my own. Now I understand that this is hard work, but it’s good work. It is work that I want to do each day. My house is full of happy chaos. All things considered, I feel like we’re doing great. We’re all really happy for about 85% of the day, which is good enough for me. It’s a higher concentration of happiness than I’ve experienced at any other point in my life and it all happened when I stopped looking for milestones and started living in the moment.
Audrey is going to be 8 months old this week and we’re breastfeeding because it makes us both happy. I wear her all the time since she’s content to be carried and it allows me the freedom to chase after Hannah. She wears PJs because they’re comfy for her and they prevent me from having to wash baby socks. If the girls don’t want to relax in their beds at night, they sleep in mine. When Audrey fusses during meals, instead of feeding her a puree, I let her hang on to an apple slice for entertainment. All of these normal, natural parenting activities didn’t come naturally to me. At some point in my life I heard conflicting advice to each one of them that led me to believe this was the wrong way to care for a child. I’m not saying that this is the right way or the only way to raise babies, but it is right for us.
These days, I’m missing milestones left and right. Audrey may hold a cup of water before she ever holds a baby spoon. She might never figure out how to blow a ‘proper’ raspberry. I don’t know if Hannah will ever give me a chance to lay her down for a nap in her crib. But, I know her better than I know myself. She’s happy and so am I.