There are some funny parenting truths out there that ring true for most parents. One of them is how your parenting style/habits change as you add children to your family. I grew up as the 4th child in a family with 8 kids and LOVED it! Around age 9 I asked my Mom what time I was born, I was shocked that she had to consult my baby book to remember what time I was born. I remember thinking to myself, 8 kids birth time and days shouldn’t be that hard to remember, when I have my own children I will ALWAYS remember something that simple. Here is a family picture, I will let you guess which one I am based on these hints: Find the girl with the WORST hairstyle the 90’s had to offer, not “holding anyone on my lap” and the biggest glasses…that one is me! *shudders* Now that I am a Mom with 4 children of my own, I honestly have NO idea what time my 3rd child was born. I recall going into the hospital at 6:30 pm and at 11 pm my water broke and the rest of it is kind of a blur It was at some point in the early early morning, maybe 2 am maybe it was 4, I don’t know I was just glad when it was over and I was holding her. 🙂 I looked it up just a few weeks ago on the card the hospital sent home which I then put in a “safe place” that I can’t find. The worst part, I haven’t even made a baby book to consult like my Mom did! How on earth did she find time to do that with 8 kids!? We are all grown up now with kids of our own. I noticed the other day at the grocery store how much I’ve changed over the course of my 4 children, can you relate to any of these?
1) The how old is your baby question
Nice lady at the grocery store: How old is your baby?
Response with 1st child: She is 8 months, 5 days, 3 hours and 26, no 27, 28 seconds old. So, almost 36 weeks, she is getting so big!
Response with 3rd+ child: Ummmm, eight, no nin…Let’s see, she was born in August, and now it’s April…Aug, Sept, Oct…..March, April, 9 months, she is 9 months, she is getting so big!
2) The great sleep debacle
Sleeping routine with 1st child-It includes bath time, book time, snuggle time, lullaby time, feeding time, and finally laying down in crib for sleepy time. You read every sleeping book ever written, consult all your friends, talk to your pediatrician, take out the crib bumper, never let them stay asleep in the car seat, don’t let them sleep in the swing, try to find the best plan.
Sleeping routine with 3rd + child-Oh my word I just need to sleep! I don’t care if she falls asleep in the car seat, the swing, the floor, in my bed with me, sleep in my arms, have to go out for a drive, with the help of essential oils, white noise machine, I will even turn on the vacuum if needed, please just LET ME SLEEP, I have to function in the morning for everyone else in the household! If the baby is napping, you issue a general warning….”IF YOU WAKE HER, YOU TAKE HER!” I’ll admit-deep down even if I have 1,000 things to do, I really do like this part where she refuses to sleep anywhere but in my arms. 😉
3) TV time
TV time schedule with 1st toddler/preschooler child: You may watch a 30 minute show at 10:30-11 while I make lunch. Then again from 1 pm -2 pm to get you settled for nap time. All other times we need to work on letters, numbers, colors, and more. (This was seriously my 1st daughter’s schedule!)
TV time schedule with your 3rd+ toddler/preschooler child: Mom, can I watch a show? Sure. Once that is over, Mom, can I play the computer? Sure. After she gets bored with that, Mom can I watch a show? Sure. Mom, Can I watch another show? NO-we’ve had enough entertainment today, go find a toy to play with. Plays with toy for 2 minutes, Mom can I watch a show? No, Now? No. Now? No. Now? No. Now? SURE! (Anyone else relate to this please say yes!)
4) Weekly updates/Photo taking
With my 1st child I was diligent at sending out weekly emails with an update of every exciting thing she did. We lived far away from most of our family and friends and with my dial up internet low speed, Facebook wasn’t an option and Instagram didn’t even exist! (whoa-that dates me-actually Instagram didn’t launch until 2010…so I am not THAT old!) If I would have had Instagram with my 1st child it would have gone something like this:
Instagram daily use with 1st child: You have added 54 new photos today of your child.
Instagram daily use with 3rd+ child: You haven’t added a new photo in 54 days. You did have another child right?
I did however send out 2 emails with the birth of my 4th child, once when she arrived and once a few weeks later for an update. I’ve spent the rest of her 9 months of life trying to keep up with her and the others! 🙂
5) The dropped pacifier problem
Pacifier drops on the ground with 1st child- AHHHHH, quick grab it, wash it with super hot water and soap that you will get stuck inside for at least 3 days. Pacifier drops on the ground with 3rd + child- Wipe it off on your pants and stick it back in!
6) Leaving the house
Leaving the house with 1st child: Everyone has their hair done, dressed in clothes that actually match, and you remember the diaper bag that is filled with everything you might possibly need or want.
Leaving the house with 3rd+ child: You arrive at your 1st errand only to realize your 3rd child’s hair looks like this: I am pretty sure we brushed that before we left, or was that my 1st and 2nd kid’s hair I did this morning? Wait, did I brush my hair, did I even look in the mirror? You also realize you forgot the diaper bag child #4 has a dirty diaper. Of course. So you head home, unload everyone out of the vehicle, brush that wild hair down, change the baby’s diaper, load back into the vehicle, get back to your first destination for the 2nd time only to realize your 3rd child had a wardrobe change…..
…cowboy boots and a swimsuit…awesome. This is a real story from my real life!
7) The stairs
Baby won’t stay off the stairs with 1st child-Baby gates EVERYWHERE!
Baby won’t stay off the stairs with 3rd + child- May as well teach them how to do the stairs now rather than try to keep them off the stairs or fight an in the way baby gate for the next 9 months! My 4th had going up and down the stairs mastered at 7 months old.
8) Handling Spit up/blow out diapers
Handling spit up/ blow out diapers with 1st child- EWWWW! Almost every outfit has a blow out stain on it even after the wash. Good thing they are so cute!
Handling spit up/ blow out diapers with 3rd + child- Whoa, did you see this? She just spit up on my sleeve and it looks like a smiley face! That blow out was a 5 wipe task-that was a bad one, but I bet you feel better! You have a pile of rinsed onesie next to the sink because you finally have figured out if you wash them with soap and water immediately, the stain is less obvious after it goes through the washing machine. It is fun to look back at when each of our daughter’s joined our family and the ways we have changed what is important, what used to bother us, and what in the end, really does matter! I hope this post today brought a little smile to your face, because despite all the hard work and effort it is to be a parent, IT IS WORTH IT. That is one of the greatest parenting truths of all!