Bringing home my second son wasn’t very different from bringing home my first. Snuggles and nursery rhymes, late nights and gummy smiles all remind me of times before. It feels much the same, having a baby around again. The same smells, the same sounds. In four years’ time, having a baby hasn’t much changed. But I’ve realized, I’m different.
Somewhere in the process of having my first child, I learned to trust my instincts. Though a small change, it’s impacted so much else. I’ve both become more confident and also learned to relax a little. I’ve only had my firstborn for four short years- not very much time experientially. But it was time enough to show me that in general, my gut is more reliable than any late night googling.
This short time with my first son also gave me a base of knowledge and experience to pull from. I learned the hard way that babies cry, they tumble, they bump, they sometimes sleep poorly, don’t eat well, or have mysterious diaper activity. All of these things can happen, and there still may be no reason to wring my hands or speed-dial the pediatrician.
I’ve learned to roll with the punches of this first year. The teething, the growth spurts, the sleep regressions all sometimes seem like a relentless onslaught. But in being less concerned that every shift is a sign of doom, I’m able to take it as it comes. In fact, I’m willing to try whatever works, without regard to specific methodologies or philosophies. I don’t have a rigid system that I’d like to adhere to, outside of “keep baby safe and healthy.”
Because I can trust my instincts, fall back on that small amount of experience, roll with the punches of baby, and resist the urge to box myself into a formula, I’m no longer afraid that I’m doing it all wrong. I found out there’s no playbook. Baby and I, we just need to make it through this rough little stretch of adjustment together.
I know this year of ups and downs, of endless decisions, of sleeplessness and acclimation will eventually end. That’s something I didn’t quite understand the first time around, and I so wish I had. It would’ve been so much easier to endure. Now, I can rest in knowing that we have this under control. This hard newborn time goes so quickly. In fact, I can even savor it while it’s still here.
About Liz Moorhead
Liz Moorhead is a high school teacher turned work-from-home mom. An illustrator and writer, she blogs for a top wedding site and shares her own personal experiences on her blog Happy Sighs in between walks to the park with her toddler son - all just outside of Philadelphia.