Dear Second Child: What I’ll Change and What I’ll Do the Same
July 5, 2017
Dear Second Child,
I originally wrote this letter just after your sister’s first birthday, before I was pregnant or even thinking about it. Now, you’re a name your dad and I can’t agree on and a little figure I can’t wait to see, who kicks my insides in some creepy ways day and night. I’m glad I wrote this because something happens to the mind: no matter how many things I’ve forgotten in the past, I think I’ll remember more in the future. It doesn’t work like that. There’s a lot I’ve already forgotten about Haven’s first year and she’s only in her second. So here it is, the things I’ll try to do differently with you, and a few things I’ll do the same.
Here’s what I’ll do differently:
Try to chill out.
This is number one for a reason. I was so high strung when I had your sister. I remember driving to the store alone one time and realizing I had never been so stressed in my life; Haven would only nurse when she was sleepy and she wouldn’t take a bottle, which meant I had to race to her as soon as she woke up so she would eat. The truth is, I didn’t have to be like that. I got anxiety when someone woke her up from a nap, or the first time I had to buy formula because I wasn’t producing enough milk for her. I felt anxious about not losing enough weight or not getting enough house cleaning done. With you, I want to chill out. I know it will be a challenge, but a Mama must stay sane. Even if things aren’t perfect, you’ll be okay. You’ll figure out how to drink a bottle. You’ll still thrive if I haveto start giving you formula. You’ll walk someday, even if it’s not by your first birthday.
Try to teach you to fall asleep to noise.
When you come around, you’ll have an older sister who I’m sure will still love the sound of her screeching voice, so this probably won’t be an issue. But I WILL work my hardest to teach you to fall asleep to noise. I’ll vacuum around you, I’ll let your sister sing her version of “Wheels on the Bus” while you snooze on the floor, and we’ll probably get a dog just so it can bark right outside the door while you’re napping.
Not make you go out when you’re super young.
Oh man. This one is really for me, not you. I understand that you might cry a lot—it’s what babies do, especially in the beginning. The first few months of Haven’s life, we took her to parties, dinners, restaurants; when she was three weeks old, I even took her on a four hour road trip with me. Driving was fine, but evenings just weren’t her thing. When you come around, I’m going to get really comfortable with the word NO. I know people will want to see us and you, but they can wait a couple months or come visit you during pleasant hours.
Here are a few things I’ll do the same:
Share the responsibilities with your dad.
It turns out, dads are totally capable of taking care of babies too. I think a lot of times moms feel like they have to do it all because they were born to, but I also think it’s unfair to rob dads of those experiences and moms from a little bit of fun and freedom. I’m proud of how your dad and I shared responsibilities with Haven, and I want to do that with all of our kids.
Try to teach you to fall asleep on your own.
My family means the world to me, and I love being a mother, but I need some time too. When Haven was young, I spent soooo much time rocking her to sleep, only to have her wake up when I set her down. When she finally learned to fall asleep on her own, I felt free. I had time. I could eat breakfast and even take a shower.
Try to appreciate every stage.
It’s easy to always want to look forward to the next step, but I want to appreciate every stage you’re in. I don’t want to spend your early days anxious for when you roll over, to then only anticipate when you’ll crawl, then to lament that you’re not walking yet. I’ve worked hard to appreciate every stage Haven has reached, and I’ll try to do the same with you too.
Can’t wait to meet you someday, kiddo.
What are some things you’ll do differently or the same with your future babies or kids? I’d love to hear! Comment below!