Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Different Mommy, Different Kid ( PART 1)

Getting ready to be a mommy again... I knew I loved being a mom more than anything but I was open to loving it even more!!

So as promised, I wanted to blog about being a mommy for the second time. I want to remember these feelings for myself. I want to record these feelings for any first time moms to read (if they are wired like me) and for any soon to be second time moms who might share this new road with me. I am also curious to know if you already second time moms are experiencing this same phenomenon.... I remember myself as Baby Ivy's mommy but I am not the same at all?!?! Tula has a different mommy!
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With every experience we grow and change. The me before children liked order, structure, and predictability. So as I prepared for Ivy's arrival I read books, polled other moms, and got ready for this adventure. BEFORE she arrived I typed up a schedule for my unborn child (I kid you not). I was ready. Then Ivy came. My emotions were out of control but I was IN CONTROL because I could train my baby. I would have her on my schedule and we would be able to go and do. Ivy was a good baby and hopped right onto the routine but not without a little training. The training process involved some crying (for both parties). The training process was hard work because we all know right when we "figure out" what their day should look like... things change. (That schedule I typed out... well it was trashed and re-typed about 100 times!) I remember my mom telling me, "Sarah, parenting is trial and error? You are always going to be changing things to make them work for your baby." And I thought, no this baby is going to work for me. And this IS how it will be done.

I have to say Baby Ivy was very much on a schedule.... my schedule. But that meant sleeping only in the crib and a war would break out if she wasn't in the bed the moment nap or bed time started. It was so unfortunate when I didn't plan my days just right because a melt down was a coming. And trips-- nope, those weren't pleasant either. The carseat is a far cry from the crib. So Baby Ivy wasn't too thrilled with sleeping in the car. Going to late dinners with friends or celebrating on holidays really through Baby Ivy (and mommy) for a loop. A schedule was hard and it proved to be very stressful.

Working my first year was TERRIBLE. When I say terrible, I mean it made me physically sick. I cried every day and night. I didn't work a 5 day week from January to April (I couldn't do it). I wasn't in control if I was at work. How could I ensure that Ivy would be the way I wanted if I wasn't her caretaker? The evenings were spent putting her back on a schedule instead of just spending time with her and then.... it was back to work, with tears of course, because I had missed precious moments with my baby.... again. I thought I had to stay home and be with her and working was the problem. But over the course of working part time and Ivy growing from baby into toddler I learned that being with her all the time wasn't the answer.

In fact, I enjoyed going to work because that was a place that I could have more structure and it worked! I was also more organized at home when I wasn't here all day. I also decided to give up some of my power and let other people help with Ivy. And as Ivy grew and I parented with more flexibility, I looked back and thought of all the time I had missed.

Last January, I learned I was expecting Baby #2! I didn't read pregnancy updates and I didn't look at my parenting books... not once. I was busy with a toddler and just in awe of my belly growing. I prayed for the new baby and I prayed for Ivy. I gave my plans to God and asked Him to help me be the mother of 2 while working full time and going to grad school. I knew I would need him to help me let go and let Him. Tula was born and my love doubled instantly without any work on my part and I made a couple promises to myself and Tula:
* I would remember she is only a baby once.
* I would let her be flexible.
* I would love her and keep her safe and the rest would fall into place.

So now Tula is 4 months and what does this different Mommy look like? Come back to find out... there is a hungry baby waiting for me!


4 comments:

  1. Are we the same person?! I found myself nodding my head with each word I read. I was so uptight and rigid with Colin. I got upset if my mom didn't put him down for his naps at the exact same time I did. We stayed at home on the weekends just so he could stay on his sleep schedule and eat at home. We didn't go out much because I didn't trust that anyone else would be able to do "my" routine. I was a sleep Nazi!

    Now poor Sawyer sleeps whenever and wherever he can. He's only slept in his crib a handful of times but he's just as happy as a clam. Looking back, I wonder if some of Colin's colicky behavior was a result of how uptight I was. I hope I didn't permanently scar him!

    Looking forward to post #2. I'm sure I'll be nodding in agreement all over again. Thank goodness we're more relaxed this time, I'm not sure I could handle the same emotions as the first time around.

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  2. You are such a good mommy--both times. Baby #2 is great for taming our need to control!

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  3. My first experience was much like yours. I think a lot of first time moms try to be the one in control, but that is not the case at all. It is so much better for everyone when we realize things do not have to be just like the books tell you :)

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  4. You are just the sweetest thing. I am sitting here with Billie Jo in Florida, and we were just talking about you last night. You seem so happy and at peace with those precious girls. xoxo

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Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!