All Things Mommy: Doing things differently the second time around

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They say practice makes perfect.

‘All Things Mommy’ columnist Sonya Thorne is taking a different approach to raising her second son, Camryn, as she did with first-born Aiden. 

The same idea applies to raising children. From raising your first child you discover things that you won’t do on your second one. In some ways, your first child is like a trial run or test drive.

Of course I am not a perfect parent (if there is even such a thing), but I am much more confident and less stressed raising my second son.

I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. Like laundry. Aiden’s baby clothes received extra care. I bought special laundry detergent and washed his clothes separately.

Little Camryn’s clothes, however, get thrown in with everything else. He is 9 weeks old and has yet to get a skin rash, so I assume all is well.

I still worry about germs but am not as paranoid as I used to be. I remember if Aiden ever dropped his pacifier, no matter where it fell, I would sanitize it in boiling water for five minutes. If Camryn drops his pacifier, on our couch or in his car seat for example, I do a once over to make sure it isn’t visibly dirty and I pass it back to him. It appears the 10-second rule also applies to pacifiers.

I have also come to terms with the fact that punctuality is no longer a guarantee with me.

Not when a baby needs to be fed and dirty diapers need to be changed. Pre-baby, if I had a 10 a.m. appointment and arrived at 9:57 a.m., I would be stressed and embarrassed. Now with a toddler and a baby in tow, if I arrive at 9:57 a.m., I am patting myself on the back for being early.

What is a guarantee is the red face I’ll have when I do arrive. Getting two kids dressed and ready, put in the car and taken out again, all while holding a sippy cup, diaper bag and a handful of toys is tiring.

So please excuse my red face when I do arrive, hopefully three minutes early.

One experience that was drastically different and less stressful the second time around was vaccination day.

When Aiden had his two-month needles, I was full of anxiety. Before I even saw the needle going towards my son’s body I was shaking, sweating and crying. It was more traumatizing for me than for Aiden I am sure.

When Camryn had his needles this past week, I almost felt guilty for not feeling the same way I did with Aiden. Having been through it before I knew the pain was very short lived and it didn’t need to be as bad an experience as I had made it for Aiden.

Camryn got just as many snuggles and kisses but this time the only tears were his.

Me being more carefree on my second child is not to be mistaken for me being careless. It just means that I have gained some experience as to what things deserve stress and what things don’t. I am using this knowledge to my advantage.

I could say I wish I knew then, during the first year of Aiden’s life, what I know now so I could have enjoyed more and stressed less. But if I had just sat back and enjoyed the ride instead of being an annoying front seat passenger, I definitely wouldn’t be the mother that I am now to my two beautiful boys.

 

Sonya Thorne sits at home in Newfoundland with her two-year-old son, Aiden, and newborn, Camryn. The Thorne family expanded on Dec. 16 with Aiden's little brother.

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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  • Mary McKay
    February 24, 2014 - 11:14

    All so very true Sonya. Wonderful article I really enjoyed reading it.