by Lea Ramapuram
As a first-time mom to an utterly perfect, happy little girl, I didn’t think my life could get any sweeter – until my son showed up and turned me into a better mom. Here’s how my life turned around when a second child and a budding career entered my life out of the blue
As a first-time mom to an utterly perfect, happy little girl, I didn’t think my life could get any sweeter. My daughter was an absolute dream – she started sleeping through the night at just 11 weeks old, was completely fuss-free when it came to eating her meals and was an adorably expressive child. We were inseparable for nearly two whole years; we slept together, woke up together, had our meals together, read together, played together and spent every waking minute in each other’s company. We were, quite literally, joined at the hip.
Then one rather random Saturday evening, I took another pregnancy test, and when those telling two pink lines showed up, the first thought I had was that our days of having our worlds revolve around each other would soon be over. Sure, I was excited that our little family was growing, and knew deep down that a sibling was exactly what my super social baby would appreciate more than any toy or book I could buy her – but how could I ever love another child as much as I loved my little girl? It felt impossible.
But my heart proved me wrong. The love and joy we shared as a family of three multiplied more than I ever imagined it could with the arrival of my son, (my son – the phrase is still so alien on my tongue!), and I found that I became a better mom to two, than I was to one!
Here are four ways I changed as a mother, all of them for the better:
I Experiment, Less,
With my daughter, I felt like everything I did was one big experiment. From sleep training to the kinds of solid food I started her on, I was so unsure of what I was doing that I took advice from anyone who offered it. This time around, I’m slightly more sure of myself. Thanks to the failures I had the first time, I now know for certain what works and what doesn’t. Barring the differences that children come with as being their own unique, individual selves, I can say with certainty that you must not force a baby to eat more than she wants to, that you cannot give a six-month-old a whole boiled egg, even if it is pureed, and you would do well to not stress about sleep training, period.
My first wobbly steps into motherhood taught me to trust my gut, and I am certain both my children will benefit from having a mother who does.
I Make Smarter Purchases
Having a baby girl the first time round sent me into a tizzy buying shoe, hairbands, and clothes. If she had blue shoes, and I saw another pair that was similar but had yellow flowers on it, I would be convinced she needed those too. I had no idea how many toys or books a baby needed and so spent a mad amount of money on those too, with no regard for them being age-appropriate, or necessary.
Now I know so much better. I know how many clothes and shoes a six-month-old needs (not a lot, they’ll outgrow them in a month anyway!), I know what kind of books to buy a toddler, I am aware that children don’t need every kind of sippy cup available on Amazon.
Now that I know what their needs are, I’m able to buy my kids the right kind of things, at the right times, and even put away a bit of spare cash for their future.
Time With My Children Is More Mindfully Spent
When it was just me and my little girl, I had taken a break from work and didn’t have to be mindful of how much time I spent with her. She was an extension of my being, and I spent every moment of every day with her by default. But that didn’t necessarily translate to all of that time being spent fruitfully.
With the arrival of my second born, I’ve had to make an effort to get “quality time” with my daughter, so the time I do spend with her is a time of pure joy – I’m aware of how precious this time is, and notice all the little ways in which she’s growing into her own little person. When I read to her, I’m not rushing through the story, I’m watching her eyes widen in surprise, enjoying the giggle of amusement.
By becoming busier than before, I’ve grown more appreciative and mindful when I get a free moment, and I’m a much better mother for the improvement.
I’m A Happier Mom
With two children, my heart has grown fuller, my hands busier than ever before. Having less to worry about in terms of all the small stuff, being surer of my footing as a mom, and having a budding freelance writing career has made me a happier mother this second time around.
I don’t worry about not doing enough, I don’t worry about not being enough – I’m happy where I am. And if I thought my life was sweet with one child in my arms, my baby boy has made it ever so much sweeter, this time, for all of us.
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