We are very pleased to have the lovely Rachael from Lukeosaurus and Me guest posting for us:
Things I Plan To Do Differently With My Second Baby
I remember when I was pregnant with my first son, Luke – boy did I do everything by the book! There’s a great pressure that parents put upon themselves with their first born child; they need to be absolutely perfect in every way. Realistically, that’s never going to happen because your life is being radically altered and you’re entering a world you know nothing about. You’re never going to be perfect, but you try your best anyway. I remember obsessing over the smallest things and being conscious that everyone was watching me and judging my parenting skills.
Now that I’m in the third trimester of my second pregnancy however, I feel as though I’m going to be a completely different type of parent to this baby than I was to newborn Luke and here’s why.
Preparing Myself For The Baby’s Arrival
Before he’s even been born, I’ve already adopted a different tactic to preparing myself for this baby’s arrival. With my first baby, everything was brand new and very expensive. I borrowed a few items from family like clothes, toys and a cot, but every other item was bought brand new and boxed from the shops.
This time around, almost everything we’ve bought has been second hand. Strangely, admitting that on the internet still gives me a small bout of ‘the mum sweats’. I just know that someone, somewhere, will criticise my decision and declare that I’m a terrible mother for not wanting what’s best for my baby. But let’s just stop and think about it for a second. How many families have had their younger children wear clothes that their older siblings wore before them? How many kids have duvet sets on their beds that you’ve had since you were a youngster? What’s the difference between buying a baby bouncer that has been used for 6 months and is in perfect condition and buying a baby bouncer that’s in the same condition by comes in a box? I’ll tell you what the difference is: about £30!
You know I said I was completely 100% ‘by the book’ with my first pregnancy? Well for some reason, I had the idea in my head that dummies or pacifiers were the Devil’s work and by giving one to my child, I’d be giving them an ‘addiction’. Yes, I was quite the dummy snob. Now that I am expecting my second, I can see that, for my situation, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I still wouldn’t give my child a dummy just to shut them up – I’m a firm believer that your baby is crying because he/she needs something. But, for that ten minutes in the evening when the baby needs a feed and my 4 year old needs to go to bed, I feel confident that allowing my child to use a dummy won’t ‘give him an addiction’ and if anyone tries to tell me otherwise, I’ll politely smile and then ignore them.
Outings and Activities
When I gave birth to Luke, I was 21. When I was in hospital, I was treated like a child and none of the professionals really instilled the confidence in me that new mums need. I thought that if the midwives and consultants thought I was too young and immature to be a mother, the rest of the world must think that too. I know that my age has nothing to do with my ability to be a good mum, but the lack of reassurance left me feeling deflated and suffering from a serious case of PND. It meant that I shied away from baby groups – something that I seriously regret. Not only did I miss the opportunity to create new mum friends, but I also didn’t give my baby the opportunity to socialise and learn from other children.
This time around, I am adamant about joining in some form of baby group! I’m still anxious about walking into a room full of people I don’t know, but guess what – you’re not the only person in that room that feels that way. You don’t have to be a social butterfly, but it’s great to bond with your baby and get to know some new faces – it definitely beats sitting at home on your own. As well as baby groups (I’m thinking baby massage!), I’d also love to try some form of baby swimming class. Yes – I’m all about beating those nerves! I’ve gone from being scared to go outside by myself, to signing myself up to chilling in my swimwear in front of a bunch of strangers!
My Advice To Mums Everywhere, Whether It’s Your First Baby Or Your 5th!
My fear of being judged as a new mum to my first baby was so intense, that it made me guarded and worried all the time. I was constantly thinking that people were looking at me, criticising me, or that they were going to say some sort of hurtful comment – and some people did! At 21, I found that very difficult to deal with. However, here I am, expecting my second baby and do you know what? Let them judge! I know that I have done a great job raising Luke and he’s adored by everyone he meets. He does well in school, has lots of friends, is extremely polite and, for the most part, he’s a delight to be around (tantrums aside!).
My advice to you, whether you’re a first time mum, a second time mum, or even if you’re about to have your 5th baby, is to forget what everyone else says, ignore any unwanted comments and to trust your instincts. You hear it over and over again through your parenting journey, but hearing it and doing it are two different things and it’s definitely a skill that you need to learn! You need to do what works for you, as well as for the baby.
Rachael is a 26 year old mum from Hampshire. She lives with her 4 year old son, Luke and her boyfriend. The family are expecting their 4th edition in July with the arrival of another baby boy! Rachael writes a family lifestyle blog called Lukeosaurus And Me and can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.