I’m in total disbelief that my second son – my newborn – is just days shy of becoming a ONE-YEAR-OLD!
As moms we do things right, we do things wrong – there’s no real guidebook to get it right every time. I don’t want to focus too much on what I did wrong, but I do want to spread the word – don’t make these dumb, silly mistakes!
Here’s what I did in the first year that I would take back if I could.
MISTAKE #1 – No Video of the First Moments of his Life
No, I don’t mean the yucky, covered in gunk moments. I mean the first movements, the little sounds, the eyes opening to lights that are too bright.
I missed it.
My first video clips of ‘Big G’ alone are when he’s several days old.
Ugh, it makes my heart hurt when I think about it. It puts a pit in my stomach.
I brought the video camera to the hospital! Why didn’t I use it?!
My thought was I took SO MUCH video of my first son in the first days of his life. Later on I thought, why do I have all of this video of a baby laying there?
So when the time came, I didn’t think I needed the video of a baby just laying there.
Oh, how I regret it.
I’ll never get those moments back – the squeaks, the newborn cry, the deep sleep with an occasional smile.
Take video of your baby “just laying there.”
You can never have too much.
MISTAKE #2 – I Let Friends Hold Him
Hear me out. Of course I’m glad his immediate family held him – grandparents, aunts, uncles and even close friends, but next time I’ll draw the line there.
The reason – he caught RSV, a dangerous respiratory virus.
Here’s what happened: When ‘Baby G’ was a month old we went to church. It was the same timeline I followed for my first son. The difference – the first time around I didn’t let a single person touch the baby. With baby #2 – I was out to prove I wasn’t a paranoid crazy mom. I was letting people hold him left and right (okay, maybe not – but more than zero people). Inside I was panicked at every cough, sniffle of the nose, but on the outside I was cool. Hey y’all I’m cool, totally normal mom with normal fears. I don’t think that cough and sniffle are lethal to a teensy tiny baby. Oh you just got off an airplane, hey – no big deal – I’m an easy-going mom of two.
Well turns out – my real fears inside came true when my poor guy got RSV. He was sick for days, in and out of the doctor’s office to check oxygen levels.
So here it is – it pays to be crazy. It pays to have that sign on your carseat that says “don’t touch me I’m a preemie” even if it’s not true. It pays to put little mittens on those baby hands to protect them from the people who think it’s okay to touch baby hands aka – baby pacifiers.
Be crazy. Feel good about it.
MISTAKE #3 – Skip Sleep Training
Sooo about this. My cute little son is so cute (did I jut use the word cute as a noun and adjective?), but boy he does not sleep well.
My first son was to-the-book sleep trained. He did pretty well for maybe the first two years. After that – the constant bedtime battle of “I’m thirsty,” “I have to go potty,” “I’m scared” – made it feel like the sleep training wasn’t worth it.
So I skipped it.
I efforted it maybe four days in the last 356 days (ah – 9 days until he turns one!).
My thought here? He was so tiny (especially compared to that huge 3-year-old thundering around). He was just so snuggly and I just took a moment to enjoy rocking him to sleep.
I don’t regret it when I think of those moments. I do, however, regret it when he’s screaming and hitting me with his wild and crazy flailing arm.
MISTAKE #4 – Cut Maternity Leave Short
I cut my maternity leave short by two weeks.
I was trying to show what a hard worker I am. Look at me! I’m a mom, but that’s not all! I can juggle a fish, while I stand on a book (wait – that’s Dr. Seuss and not even good Dr. Seuss, I’m sorry) I’m not even going to take all of my maternity leave because I love my job so much and I’m a great team player.
When I got back to work it was clear no one was going to cheer me on for taking two fewer weeks.
If you can have it, take it. You will never regret working less, you will always regret not spending enough time with your kids.
Big sigh of relief now that I’ve unloaded all of that. Now to focus on the things I did right… Hmmmmm. Well I did mention my cute baby is really cute.