My Second First Born
My older son was 7 when I gave birth to my younger son. While this age gap has it’s own short comings, it’s an age gap that allows me to have a second chance at raising a first born, now being an experienced mom, and try to avoid all the mistakes I did last time.
Now that my older son doesn’t wake me up at night, gets organized on his own in the mornings and no longer needs to be fed at dinner – I have enough time and energy to redo everything, but now knowing what I know now.
So what did I do differently, and advise new mothers on their first time around?
1) Trust myself. When my first son was born – I was completely lost. I turned to get advice from people – and everyone was happy to supply very determined opinions – that completely contradicted one another. I was confused and frustrated, and did different things against my better judgement – just because people insisted that it was the right thing to do. I realized that I never mindfully thought about what I should be doing, what kind of parent I want to be, and what are the things that are important to me as a mother raising my children. Now that I know what’s important to me – I find it easier to accept the constant criticism, without guilt, and change my behavior when I feel it is justified, and only then.
2) Have fun. Now that I know what I am doing, and not feel as stressed about what I should be doing – I can genuinely have fun with my baby. I mindfully look at him, play with him and let him fill my heart with calm, joy and love.
3) Start early. I do believe that it is super important to stimulate babies and give them as much opportunity to learn and explore when their mind is growing the fastest. Research shows that the more you talk to your baby – the faster she learns how to talk. So I read, talk, walk with my baby, teach him numbers, sign language, Stimulate his vestibular system and constantly show him new things. Now that I know better – I only do it in a fun manner, when he is happy and content, change the activities according to his feedback and stop before he is bored – always keep his asking for more.
4) Relax. Our children are much more durable than it seems. While starting to save for the psychological treatment he will eventually need – I just do what I can, and it’s good enough. Apart for feeling better – I also find my milk flow is easier and my baby is more calm when I am calm. I also find that I can do more things and be more creative when doing activities with my baby. I make sure there are a few quite times during the day – without too many people or stimulations – to allow my baby to wind down, and to make sure that I don’t rush myself between activities and people.
5) Keep it simple. One of the mistakes I made with my older son was to get him too much stuff. Not only that it made him not appreciate it as much – it also made him confused and overwhelmed with the choices he had. Even if I have a lot of activities – I put it away, and put out 1-2 things at a time – making the nursery is clean and organized, and keep my baby curious about his new things. At the end of the day, you will find that most babies prefer the package to whatever there is inside – so there is no need for those fancy complex toys – just a few blocks, different texture pads or bottles filled with colorful water are enough to do the trick, or just sitting on mommy’s lap – reading a book, or exploring a flashlight’s light.
As long as you keep your baby safe and healthy – you know that you are the best mother she will ever have, and all you can do is your best – so make the most out of it