When your second baby arrives is when you realize how much pressure you had put on yourself as a new mum. This is so normal because as a new mom, you get to learn a lot on the job; notwithstanding the fact that you have read numerous parenting magazines and articles. While every pregnancy and baby is unique and ends up bringing a different experience, some of the lessons you learnt from your first child stick with you. Here is how having my second son changed what I did as a mum.

Buying clothes

If an older mom had caught me shopping for my first child she would have laughed her heart out. I wanted to get my son all the tiny cute clothes I saw in the baby shops. The small shorts, stockings, sweaters, you name it. Fast forward to when baby came and the shock on us when it baby less than two months to outgrow all the small clothes. Had I known, I would have bought the cuties in batches, better yet, distributed the sizes. With my suitcase full of unused clothes, I still had to go and shop for bigger outfits.

With this vital lesson learnt, I was more careful to avoidpicking all the small cute clothes I saw when shopping for my second baby. In as much as he used his elder brother’s hand-me-downs, I still made effort to get some new ones. Only this time, in increasing sizes. Boy, don’t they grow up fast!

Being more innovative during playtime

Try to tell a new mum not to buy that Elmo doll or the new Lego set and you will be disrupting the balance of the universe. Don’t get me wrong. Toys are definitely good for stimulation. Having my second child however helped me realize how much outdoor activity and creative play stimulated the kids better. I could not help but notice how my first child seemed to enjoy himself better because he had a live playmate in his little brother. Therefore, I no longer felt the urge to buy toys. This was not only because they would be broken or lost in minutes, but also because experiences better shaped their minds. I have hence challenged myself to taking them to the outdoors more, to places like the zoo, the garden, the farm to harvest fruits, and more.

Being deliberate in taking family photos

Do you remember how you could not keep yourself from taking pictures of your firstborn child? It was so surreal and you wanted to record every minute. It was the same for me. However, with my second child, you can actually count the number of pictures I have taken of him. I now have to remind myself to take photos of my child. The overwhelming fatiguethat comes with handling two babies would probably explain it, or maybe let’s just say that the picture-spark disappears. The boys are always running around anyway and it can be kind of hard to get a good shot. Once in a while I take some videos, and then remind myself to do it, two months later!

Dirt is good

I was the super clean one. I still am, only without the super. With my firstborn, I washed and wiped every dirty surface clean with disinfectant. He was not allowed to crawl without mittens and got cloth changes nearly every hour. I soon got tired of the cleaning and the constant disturbance this caused to my baby. I would interrupt his play only to change his fruit-spilled T-shirt. With time, I decided to change this. Nowadays I let them play, pile dirt all over and I clean later. I made peace with myself and I even tell my guests so that when they visit they are not shocked to see food spills here and there. I am thankful to declare that this strategy has even helped me save on laundry.

Minimalism all the way

I wish someone would have given me this hint earlier with my first child. I wonder whether I would have paid attention to it though. My house was crowded with furniture I did not let go of, decorations here and there and so many electronics. After several attempts by my mum cautioning me to child proof my house without my action, my son breaking my favorite chinaware hurried the process. I was so attached to the things I had before baby to the extent of even filling up his nursery with unnecessary things. These days, I am quick to remove everything that is not of use. My house looks more like a plain playground now where the kids can kick a ball and it does not break a vase. Not only did this free me space, it freed my kids’ spirits. I also have lower pressures in maintaining a certain standard of luxurious living as I save that for later.

Having a second born has made me mature in many aspects. It has not only grown me enough to love two mini versions of me equally, it has also changed my perspective. You will have to share some items and you may have more conflicts to solve,but the fun comes in double measure too.

Rachel is a mum of two boys, blogger and a lover of writing all stuff inspirational. Anything to inspire women and mums and you'll find her there. Check out her family's YouTube channel too @presentfatherhood

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