Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Baby Syndrome

Being a first time mom is definitely different than being a second time mom. There are positives to both. I've been noticing this especially recently as I've seen many girls in my ward become new moms. I love the magic that comes with becoming a mom for the first time. I love how every little thing the new baby does is such an experience. You can really see the light in the new moms eyes as she simply adores her little bundle of joy. There's nothing like it.

There's also some funny things about raising your first child...I am still experiencing them as I am still raising Zoey obviously. I think it's funny how every mom has such different opinions regarding the right way to raise children. It's funny how competitive we are with our first children whether it's sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, potty training, knowing numbers etc. It seems like that's all moms want to talk about is how/when/why they are doing the things they are doing with their kids. I don't think any mom can consider herself an expert on any parenting subject and many will be the first to admit that they don't know what they're doing. Other moms act like they have it all together when we all know they don't :) One girl in my ward said I was super mom which I immediately laughed at telling her that she needed to come look at my disaster of a home (I knew she was a pretty organized person, so I figured that would give her a taste of how un "super" I really am.) Anyways, living in an area where there are lots of girls my same age and in the same circumstances as me, it's hard not to notice how eager we all are to do things "just right." Every mom wants their child to do things better and earlier than the "average" child. Personally I don't like that feeling and wish we weren't so competitive. I admit that I naturally find myself feeling this way with Zoey. When she didn't learn to walk at 12 months I was embarrassed. Try as we may, we cannot get her to learn her colors and to be quite frank, I am a little embarrassed about that too. It's a good thing we have a second child to teach us what we don't need to worry about.

I really enjoy being the mother of a second child. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED having a first child too. It was seriously magical, but a second child really taught me something I didn't learn with the first. I guess the biggest thing is that I really get to enjoy everything about my child instead of comparing and contrasting them with other children. I don't even think twice about what age they are doing certain things compared to what age other children have been doing them. I don't count the time that my child gets tummy time nor do I "train" them to stand up or sit up. I love being able to let their little brains work things out on their own and figure things out when they're ready. I don't mind that they aren't up to par with the other kids their age and I feel like this allows me to relax and enjoy life more.

It's a funny thing, that first baby syndrome. I don't quite get it but I think we all get it to some degree. To all you first time moms out there, I would just like to say that children are precious and special no matter what their developmental skills are. It's fun to count down the days until they are doing a certain thing, but when all is said and done....does it really even matter what age they start doing something? I feel like things are already getting better with my third child on the way. I don't mind at all that I'm showing drastically more than I was with my first two. I don't "think" I'll mind if my baby comes late or if he's 10 pounds. I know that may cause some stir, but I really feel like I honestly won't care what others think. These children are all Heavenly Father's children no matter their size or abilities. They all deserve the same amount of love and support. I am truly grateful for my children.


Tara and Andrew said...

SO funny you wrote about this, i'm ALWAYS thinking about it! (first time mother syndrome). i'm trying to come to terms that colby just takes his time to get things... once 6 months hit and he still wasn't rollling over (at all) i was worried, but also decided not to compare and just let him get it when he gets it. as far as crawling goes, i think it's a lost cause. it's hard not to compare, but i'm trying! andrew has to keep reminding me not to compare, glad it seems to go away with each child though :)

oh and by the way... you are super mom. you're kids are SO good, so even though you may not know what you're doing - just know that i'm somehow trying to do what you're doing. you're SUCH a good mom.

Michelle said...

Loved your post. I didn't necessarily compare my child, but I had a certain family member who constantly compared Jack to a niece of mine. It drove me nuts. Yes, she was doing sign language. Yes she walked later than he did. Yes she talked faster. Yes she can hold on long conversations while he was still talking in two word sentences. Oh my gosh it drove me nuts. It got so annoying that I decided to just take him to a speech/developmental therapist to get her off my back and he was right on target with his age group. This went on for at least half a year to a year and I think thats something that people need to realize too - don't get mom's paranoid!

Just because a baby isn't walking at 12 months, or crawling at 6, or rolling over, or sitting up, or talking - leave them alone. If they aren't worried about it leave them alone. Unless the parent is really in denial I don't think its anyone's place to constantly nag that the child is lagging behind.

I think its still hard not to compare somewhat, even with 2nd children - but I compare Elena to Jack a lot more than other kids just because I think its interesting to see how different they are. Elena didn't crawl or walk as early as Jack, and definitely couldn't climb or do the crazy things he did at 8 months and she's 18 months+. She just learned how to climb up on the couch and can sometimes get on our bed on her own, and Jack was doing that at 8 months before he could walk. But she also is talking a lot more than him, using sentences not just words, and just other developmental things. Its pretty fun to see how different every child really is.

That's just my 2 cents.

Sarah and David said...

this is so great! That is something that I'm really not looking forward to about having kids, the whole competitive side of it all. It is not necessary and just makes you loose sight of how awesome it is that you child is learning how to do what they are doing no matter when it happens.

Laura said...

You ARE amazing! It's funny the things we learn about our children and about ourselves...thanks for putting it out there so clearly!

Levi and Marissa said...

You are still a super mom. No matter how messy your house is! :)

Alisa said...

Beautifully written. Dan and I always look back at how we were and laugh. I love watching new moms too but I also giggle because I know they will look back someday too and giggle at themselves.

Kaybay said...

I know this is super late but I just had a chance to read your blog (which I love by the way I wish I had more time to create a blog) I completely agree. I almost feel guilty because I was trying to get Katia to do things so much, or just waiting for her to meet her next milestone instead of just enjoying her. I enjoy the little moments much more with Gabriel. I think it is because we start to realize how fast it actually goes, and stop worrying that our kid wont meet the milestones and have def learned patience!