I was thinking the other night how different I am as a parent with my second child than I was with my first. When my first son was a baby, I used to listen for him in the monitor all night long. Was he breathing? Was that a cough I just heard? If I didn’t hear from him for a while I would sneak up the stairs and peek into his room to make sure he hadn’t evaporated or something. I was on constant guard.
Before he was born I read every baby book I could get my hands on. I bought the safest car seat (which he hated), the most ergonomic baby carrier (which he was too big for by 6 months) and the most educational baby toys (which the dogs chewed up). I sterilized EVERYTHING.
I was a postpartum bundle of anxiety. When he cried, I cried, then felt guilty for making both of us cry. I danced him around for hours to get him to fall asleep before letting him nap in my arms for hours. I watched a lot of tv.
I wanted to do everything right. I still thought there was such a thing as the right way to raise kids. I still had time to debate whether or not there was such a thing as the right way. It was a simpler time.
Fast forward three years.. . CONTINUE READING