Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Baby

With every new baby, your life changes, and parenting takes on new form. This was my experience~
  • Baby #1 ~ Shock or Baby Boot Camp as my husband called it. You are brand new at being a parent and applying all those things you read in books to actual life, is not quite as easy as you thought. If you left your job to stay home, your identity completely changes. You go from using your brain to feeding, wiping, rocking in a never ending cycle. Learning on the go is stressful, but being on the mommy team is wonderful. Your first transitions you to a mother.
  • Baby #2 ~ Mastering the Art of Multi Tasking. Your have all the experience from number one, so it is less stressful. However, the second still bring a big change, and brings parenting to a whole other level, aka you lose the rest of your independence. There seems to be much less time, but twice the work. You learn to be more flexible and hover less. The second brings the sweet pleasure, and occasional pain, of sibling relationship.
  • Baby #3 ~ Treasured. By now you realize how quickly babies grow up. Those middle of the night feedings turn into a precious times in quiet peace, just you and your baby. While sleep would be wonderful, the lack of sleep is not as traumatic as with your first or second. You feel sad that your 3rd does not get to do all the things your 1st had experienced, but they get to experience different things. The older siblings entertain the baby, so they do not need you to always play with them. If you weren't born organized, you learn now out of desperation. Then you will wonder why you did not do it sooner. If you are a born organized, ducks in a row person, your 3rd will throw you for a loop. However, you will recover with an added simplicity to your lifestyle, which is a good addition.
  • Baby # 4 and more ~ ?????? Since I have not experienced that change the 4th child brings, I can't say. I do assume it changes the family dynamics. Also, I have a feeling I will get much better at training and expecting my children to share in the household work, as well as making them more independent. I will hover even less, and become even more simplified. There is so much I have learned about parenting, it will be nice to have a chance to use it.
Spacing is an important factor. If you have 2, less than 2 years apart, the demands could be very stressful. All of mine are 2 1/2 years apart, and it worked out well. My friend said having a space between your 3rd and 4th will help you from feeling overwhelmed. The most physically demanding time in parenting is when you only have young children. Then the younger ones grow up and can help when a new one comes along, or at the very least, take care of themselves ( i.e. dress themselves, pick out their clothes, etc.) If you do have many little ones in a row, remember it is only a season. It will change.

Also, anytime you have a traumatic event or trial, like losing a parent or serious illness, or even a traveling husband, postpartum problems or lack of sufficient help, it can make the new arrival very overwhelming. I have to say personally, my 3rd was born at a very dark time in my life. My husband had just had 2 strokes, and was in the very early stages of recovery. However, the baby's coming birth gave me hope when we had very little hope for my husband's health. I made it a conscious effort to bond with him, and it worked. Even still, we both have a very strong bond. He became my little light of joy during a very sad and stressful time. He was just what I needed and God knew that.

What changes did each baby bring for you? The changes are different for everyone. Did they fit with my descriptions or where they different? Do you want to add another, but worried how it will change things?


  1. Forgot to add that time passes more quickly with each additional child.

  2. I agree that Baby #1 was a shock to our system. They really do change EVERYTHING and it took us a few months to get adjusted and feel like we were achieving some kind of "normal".

    Baby #2 was a wonderful experience. We knew what we were doing (for the most part!) and Big Sister transitioned so well to our new arrival.

    Baby #3 is due in 8 weeks and I'm excited to compare this new transition to the other two. I'll have to write a post about that this Fall!!