A lot can happen over the course of eight years and four kids worth of parenting. The mundane day-to-day things I used to worry about when I had my first baby don’t even register on my radar now as something to even concern myself with as a 4th time mom.
Looking back, I think I sweated the small stuff for two reasons.
1. I was a younger mom (26 years old), and lacked confidences as a parent. I had never been responsible for a baby before, how the heck was I suppose to know the right way to care for a baby?
2. I had time to obsess. When I became a mother, I quit my 70 hour a week job as a corporate interior designer to focus completely on my new baby. To say that it took time to adjust to the pace of my new life would be a gross understatement. I had time on my hands, which meant that I started to obsess about each and every parenting decision I was making.
Looking back, so much has changed. I’m a completely different mother than I was when my journey began eight ago.
9 things I use to obsess about with #1, but don’t with #4:
I don’t need the most up to date baby gear. 1 of 9Sure, I love new stuff. But I've realized that babies grow out of their gear so fast that it's not worth investing tons of money in gear that has a short shelf life. I bought this exersaucer (used, off Craigslist) 8 years and 4 kids ago. It still entertains!
Mild fevers don’t bother me. 2 of 9In the beginning, mild fevers would really worry me. I now know to keep an eye on the fever, but not let myself get paranoid.
I don’t need expensive baby outfits. 3 of 9With my first, no matter what the weather, she had on a complete outfit. Onesie, pants, hair bow and shoes. Now we're good to go with just a onesie (and a hat, if we need a bit of sun protection).
A crying baby is OK. 4 of 9I use to not be able to deal with a crying baby (especially in public, or in the car), and my anxiety would skyrocket. I've grown to realize that sometimes, babies just cry for no good reason. Crying babies don't phase me anymore.
Baby Cleanliness. 5 of 9My first baby would get a bath every night as part of her bedtime routine. Paul gets 2 or 3 a week, if he's lucky.
I don’t care what other mother’s think of me. 6 of 9I used to feel like I need to keep up an "image" so other mothers wouldn't judge me or think less of me. As a seasoned mom to four, I now feel confident in my parenting, and don't care what others think of my choices.
Schedules are dumb. 7 of 9With my first, my day revolved around nap time. I've now learned that if I stay home every time someone needs a nap, I'll never get out! I've learned that babies are pretty flexible creatures, and often will nap on the go.
I’m not ashamed to breastfeed in public 8 of 9At first, I was really nervous to breastfeed in public, and would avoid it at all costs. Now, I don't care what strangers think, if I need to feed my baby, I'm going to feed my baby.
Holding the baby “too much”. 9 of 9I was once told by a family member that I was doing harm to my baby because I held her too much, and she was growing too attached to me. At the time, I really questioned if this statement could be true, and almost quit babywearing.I now know that it was a bunch of bad advice. I'm going to hold my baby as much as I want, and I know it won't hurt her!
How about you? What are things you obsessed about with #1 that you don’t give a second though to anymore?
More Babbling from Emily…
- Paul’s 5th month in Snapshots
- Paul’s First Trip to the Beach
- Creating an Emergency Diaper Kit for the Car
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