Parenting: The Second Year
The other day, I came across a list of “20 Truths About First Year Parenting vs. Second Year Parenting” on Babble. I chuckled at a few and found myself agreeing with most. As we approach Liam’s second birthday and I’m reflecting over the past two years, I’m amazed at both how much he’s grown and how much we’ve grown as parents. Of course, part of it is things inevitably got easier as Liam’s gotten bigger, but I also think we’ve become more relaxed and self-assured about parenting. We trust ourselves more. Here are a few of the things that I’ve come around to in the past two years of parenting:
1. We don’t live “by the book” anymore. And by the book, I mean any parenting book we could gobble up. I was so nervous to do something wrong in the early stages of parenting that I read as many parenting books and articles as I could get my hands on. Now, I still read up on different parenting philosophies but I’m much less reliant of them to dictate what’s right for my kid.
2. Grandparents (and aunts and uncles) are the best. I totally related to Jessie’s post last week about feeling anxious about the expectations of grandparents with the arrival of a new baby. I was too. It took a while to settle in for everyone but now I feel so blessed that Liam is surrounded by people who love him and just want to spend time with him. I’ve never appreciated my parents, in-laws or siblings more than I do now.
3. There isn’t one right way. Nursing vs formula. Working vs staying home. Co-sleeping. CIO. Attachment parenting. Baby-led weaning. Discipline. I always felt like the “there is no one right way” chorus must be lip service. There has to be a right way to parent, right? Otherwise, how do you know what to do? If I’ve learned anything it’s that each set of parents and each set of kids are different and what’s best and what works for one family may be totally different than what works for another. I still have to remind myself of that but as time goes by, I believe it more and more.
4.) This is my favorite stage. When Liam was a newborn, I couldn’t imagine ever thinking he was cuter or loving him more than I did right then. I felt the same as he started giggling and squirming around. And then, of course, walking and talking. Now as we approach two, I’m still saying this stage is my favorite yet. Every stage has it’s challenges, but with it comes some pretty awesome new stuff (seriously, when did he get so funny?). I hope I always feel that way.
- Online Community: Reflections of Motherhood — Advice for New Parents
- Online Community: Biggest Tip for a Mom-to-Be