When you have your first child, parenting is like a new job. You want to excel at it, you want to do it perfectly. You are convinced that if you mess up in any way you will be theoretically fired, or shunned, or at the very least talked about. When your second child comes around, you are like the employee that knows where the real sugar is hidden instead of the sweet-n-low and you know how many days off you can take before they will fire you. You are an expert. You know that with your second child, you got this, and if you don’t it doesn’t matter because the people that might have judged you on your first are now dealing with their own child-rearing adventures.
So, in the spirit of celebrating the knowledge you have come to acquire, here is a list of things that have changed between kid 1 and kid 2:
With your first kid, you covered up as much as possible while breast feeding. Struggling with a cover and the baby and trying to get her to latch and not wince when she bit down with her gums, all while trying to look like you were looking at a menu was a daily battle. That battle didn’t exist with your second kid. The nerves you might have felt over feeling your child in public are now gone. Your body feeds another human, and you are proud!
With your first kid, germs are everywhere and they terrify you to no end. Everyone needs to be as germ-free and clean as a doctor after scrubbing up for surgery. Heaven help us all if your first kid eats something that fell on the ground! By your second kid, you are still slightly afraid of germs but you are pretty sure your own spit can clean anything. People can now hold your baby without needing to slather themselves in sanitizer or soap.
Leaving the House
With your first kid, you pack everything. A 30 minute trip requires at least 15 diapers right? Not so with your second kid. You are lucky if you even bring a purse when you leave with your second kid.
The thought of your baby around any animal- even your beloved pooch- made you nervous with your first kid. Your second kid? Sure let the dog lick the food off his face! Free cleanup! You know your puppy and your baby need to bond this time.
With your first kid, you were concerned about every single thing they were eating. You never wanted to let them splurge when they were toddlers on anything remotely unhealthy. With your second kid, you are still a health-nut, but you know they will not typically die from one splurge food every now and then.
With your first kid, especially as they age, you don’t know what to expect so they will test you. They will try to stay out late and you will have a hard time figuring out how to bust them when they are trying to pull one over on you. With your second kid, you know the routine and you can spot a lie, or a “tee-waddy” as my mother calls it, in a second. You know what to expect, and you adjust your expectations accordingly.