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Things I want to do Differently

All I ever wanted was to be a mum. So when my first baby came along I threw myself in head first. It was like a weight was lifted off of me and I saw the world in a new way.

I adored my baby and most of the time I didn't mind they were a total barnacle (iykyk). But by the time they were 1 I was totally burnt out. The constant mum guilt, feeling not enough, feeling like I had to be 110% present all the time. Something had to change.

two babies having morning tea

So I started painting again. I started finding things that weren't my baby that could also bring me joy.

And when our 2nd baby came along I decided I wanted to do things differently this time.

In typical Bodhi fashion, this hasn't come easy or gone how I'd hoped.

I hold a lot of guilt around the idea of doing things differently with my 2nd baby vs my first. But realistically, it's never gonna be the same.

And logically I know that working on me will mean I'm a better parent long term.

Anyway, these are a few things I want to do differently this time around.

Stress Less

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a stress head. Constantly worrying about something.

And in parenting there's always 100 things to worry about.

My biggest stressors first time around were toileting, sleep and food.

We did elimination communication from birth (see ec blog) and I threw myself into it headfirst. I obsessed over cues and timing and how best to support them for future independent toileting.

This time around we've taken a much more relaxed approach. And even though my brain still says go go go, my reality is that there's just not enough of me to be that focussed on elimination with 2 kids. And that's ok.

At 4 months my eldest dropped a few percentiles and we were encouraged to start solids. We wanted to do baby led weaning so we started with finger foods. It was sloooow. And I was constantly concerned they weren't getting enough of what they needed. I didn't trust that my breastmilk was enough and that it was ok for them to take their time to explore food. (Btw, they're an excellent eater now. Completely independent and aware of their bodily cues for hunger and fullness). This time around we're expecting the slow and not trying to rush it. At 6 months, our 2nd baby is still quite floppy and not sitting very comfortably. So we do short stints in the ingenuity seat and give them food to play with. We've been doing this for about 3 weeks and something has clicked recently and they're beginning to bring food to their mouth independently.

Sleep! Now this really ties into my next point but sleep has been a huge issue for us.

My toddler has woken every 2hours for most of their life. After we night weaned in Jan 22, we had a few months of 1-3wakes. Then back to crap nights. Several times I reached out to sleep consultants to find someone to help us but every time I was met with - "stop breastfeeding" or "put them to bed awake". I knew in my everything that this wasn't the solution (also my eldest would've screamed the house down if we put them down awake, no thanks).

Recently we've discovered my toddler has sleep apnoea and it's likely that the regular waking is because they stop breathing long enough their brain panics and wakes them. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. As a parent you know your child. This time around I've put a lot less pressure on the idea of sleeping through and I've trusted my feelings that there's more going on (my baby also has sleep apnoea- pending further investigation).

Trusting my Instincts

My babies have ties. Tongue and lip. With my eldest i was told by multiple health professionals they are a fad and not to do anything. My baby couldn't move their tongue. I waited til 3months to get them treated and I will forever feel guilty. Having the ties lasered was the best thing we did. And for our 2nd baby we had them done at 2weeks and don't regret it.

Constant Entertaining

I struggled to get anything done with my eldest as I felt like I had to be constantly entertaining them. In hindsight this might also be related to their temperament. My eldest was one of those babies that would cry if you put them down or tried to leave their sight. So baby wearing saved us. Despite this they're very good at independent play (co-dependence breeds independence).

Our new baby is totally different. From day one they have been happy to watch and play from the sidelines. I feel so guilty when they do this even though they're having fun on their own. But I can enjoy the moments my toddler plays independently. Weird.

Me Time

This is a big one for me. And very new. Making time for me. In the first year of my toddlers life I did very little without them. And usually if I was without them I was doing something for someone else and stressing about my baby. For ages I didn't see it as a problem. I looooved having them on me all the time, I loved involving them in all my errands and tasks, I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Then I started to get burnt out. I needed a break. When my eldest started daycare at 15months I slept for the first month. I'd drop them off, come home and sleep. Then baby number 2 came and I no longer had days just for me. But this time I knew I needed to do things differently.

blonde  womxn smiling at camera

I'm still working on this. I'm working on having time for me - going to the gym, getting my hair done, painting. And I'm trying to meet new people so I can go out and have grown up time with others (not easy for me). And next year I'll be going back to work in some capacity. Because I'm ready.

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