I wholeheartedly believe that once you become a “seasoned” parent (read: Have more than one kid), rigidity and rule following go right out the window. With your first baby, you follow everything to the letter. You read every book you can find. You watch “A Baby Story” on TLC and take notes. You hang onto every word that comes out of your pediatrician’s mouth. But let me tell you, after the second or third child, your parenting style becomes more…Lax. You begin to realize that your incredibly fragile bundle of joy is actually very resilient. You begin to loosen up a bit. In my case:
- THEN: I don’t think I slept for the first six months after Deuce was born. Every cough, gurgle, sigh, and fart made me rush to his bedside. I’m even guilty of holding a mirror under his nose to make sure he was still breathing.
- NOW: I’m not getting up unless I hear that telltale “I’m about to puke” dry heave.
- THEN: My baby had a different outfit on every time we left the house, even if it was just to make a quick run to the corner store.
- NOW: Why waste your money on a ton of baby clothes? Buy some onesies, a couple pairs of pants to match the onesies, and some sleep sacks and you’re all set! Besides, you’re gonna be PISSED when that barf/poop stain doesn’t come out of the expensive clothes.
- THEN: I was very strict and picky about what I gave Deuce to eat. Everything had to be prepped, cut, and fed a certain way.
- NOW: Hell, give ’em the food and let ’em go for broke!
- THEN: I cried like a baby and was extremely embarrassed if Deuce cried while we were in the car at a stoplight. I just knew that EVERYONE was looking at me and judging my ability to be a good mother.
- NOW: Eh, a little crying is okay. As long as there’s nothing wrong, let ’em cry for a minute. It strengthens their lungs.
- THEN: Those chubby little feet and toes are IRRESISTIBLE! I could tickle them and nibble on them all day.
- NOW: DUDE! Get your feet out of my face! I don’t know what you’ve stepped in today. Bleck.
I’m sure I could write a hundred more, but I’ll save those for another post.
Has your parenting style changed since having more kids, or has it stayed the same? Let me know, leave a comment below!