Becoming a new mom twice in two years was a surprise – SHOCK – to me. My husband and I just might need a sex-ed class, but we were blessed with two baby girls who have inspired me to keep life fabulous despite the chaos that is motherhood. Now that I just had my second, I look back at the way I handled my first and notice an extreme difference. Most moms recount how gentle and unsure they were with their first baby and then laugh about how cool and carefree they acted with their second. Turns out, I’m BACKWARDS.

With my first baby, I was cool. And carefree. She was born aware and awake, staring at me with eyes wide open the second she was delivered. This chick is going to take it over, I thought. She’s been a firecracker from the very beginning (still is). She’s independent and SPICY. I think I just kinda followed her lead in the way I handled her. I was tough. I did nighttime duties like a rockstar. I started blogging and took on new projects right after delivery. I didn’t worry about keeping socks on her tiny feet. I let her roll on the ground (even when it wasn’t clean). I moved her out of our bedroom at 3 months old with no insecurity at all. I’d put her pacifier back in her mouth without washing it after it dropped on the floor. Of course I was (am) in LOVE with her, but I was very matter-of-fact about the mom-thing. No chaos. No drama. No prob. I was not the first woman on Earth to have a baby. I have no idea why, but my first baby made me feel like I could handle anything. W-E-I-R-D.

Then came baby number 2… or who I like to call my ‘SUGAR.’ She didn’t open her eyes for 2 days after she was born as if to say “No worries… I’ll get to it.” She smiles just looking around and seems thankful for anything you may do for her (I know I sound crazy, but I swear it’s true). She’s peaceful. She’s gentle. She’s sweet. Although I’m juggling the day-to-day pretty well, I feel DIFFERENT from the first time around… and I think it’s because of her. I’m sensitive. I’m more cuddly. I feel like I’m nicerNow I feel like a NEW MOTHER. Let’s put socks on her. Let’s wash that pacifier. Let’s put a blanket on the grass before we lay her down. Let’s talk in an itty-bitty-baby voice… ALL the time. I just want to hold her. I even shed a tear when she outgrew her bassinet. I’ve turned all gooey. It’s totally cliche… and totally sickening. How did I get this way and where is that old me?

Have my kids’ demeanors shaped the way I react to them, or are my own internal range and change of female emotions (and  my own growing maturity) affecting the way their personalities are developing?
How did you handle your first baby versus your second, third, etc… do you feel like you shaped their personality, or did they shape yours?
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3 Responses to Backwards mothering skills and my kids’ personalities

  1. This is a fascinating article. I have a 3 1/2 year old and am currentlyy 4 months pregnant with my second child. I went through post natal depression directly after the birth of my first son and it finally, slowly went when he was around 8 months and I feel that that had a major impact on the relationship between my son and I in a number of negative and positive ways. The pregnancy this time around is already soooooooooooooo different; I am much more confident, feel much more in control, know what I want/don’t want and I wonder if this is a sign of things to come once this baby is born and how different things will be in the early days were I to not get post-natal depression this time around which I am of course hoping I won’t. I am looking forward to finding out. Thanks for the post.

  2. […] (Although, who knows if I’d be able to pull it off with LilMiss should I ever need to… I treat her soooo differently than the way I treated LadyP.) I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far, so good (unless you check back […]

  3. Thanks for this insightful post. My husband and I are trying for our second, and I’m curious about how it will be with a second baby. I hope to be more relaxed but I guess only time can tell 🙂

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