Parenting

3 Things I'd Like to Do Differently with Baby #2

4:38 PM


I've been a mom for more than four years but it was only recently that I have attended a parenting workshop on breastfeeding and newborn care. Yes, only recently. Before I gave birth to Little V, I had all the reasons in the world not to attend a seminar: I work in the night shift, the venue is too far, the schedule conflicts with another important event, yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn't even bother to surf the net during that time because we didn't have a steady internet connection yet. So what kept me (somehow) sane during the first year of becoming a first-time mom? A book about baby care. That's all I had.

I am thankful that although I spent the first 2 months taking care of my son without help (my mom and mom-in-law visited us a few times), Little V had been a very good baby. There were only a few times when I got rattled by his crying. In just a few weeks, we were able to establish a routine for him and he was able to sleep at night on his own while I play his favorite music.

I can't say that life was easy all the time when you have a baby at home. There were so many days that I felt clueless and helpless. There were even days that I question myself if I am a good mom. I know that once our Gotham (that's the nickname we picked for the little darling inside of me) arrives, I'll be back in the war zone again. And I need to have all the ammo to equip me. 

For not-so-first-timer parents, have you ever felt that you'd like to do something differently when you raised your second (third, and so forth) child?


Exclusively Breastfeed

I imagined to have the perfect birth story. A natural birth, hear my son's first cry, and hold him for the first time after all the exhaustion from labor. But everything changed when the doctors decided that I get an emergency C-section. I was unconscious during the whole operation, did not hear Little V's first cry, and did not experience the "first embrace." I saw him for the first time when I was wheeled from the recovery room to my room-and it was really brief. He had pneumonia and was in the neonatal intensive care unit for more than a week. The first time I held him in my arms was a couple of days before he got discharged. And if you are wondering, it wasn't my milk that he tasted first, it was formula. At home I pumped and Hubby had to bring my milk to our son at the hospital before he goes to work. So by the time that we brought our son home, he has been used to being fed through a bottle. 

Whenever I saw him opening his mouth and I gave him my breasts, I felt great joy. It was my one of my favorite bonding time. As much as I wanted to exclusively breastfeed him then, we had to mix-feed him. I wasn't producing enough milk and it frustrated him which in turn frustrated me even more. After a few weeks, he stopped feeding from me. It broke my heart to pieces.

I was clueless. I didn't know what to do. Did I latch correctly? I was taking malunggay capsules and yet I don't have enough milk? 

 Image courtesy of Jomphong , at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This time, I want to try it again. Exclusively as much as possible. I am hoping that with Gotham, we can succeed.

I am thankful that I learned a lot from the seminar I attended and there's a ton of information available online about breastfeeding. There are also more entrepreneur moms who are offering products that would help lactating moms increase their milk supply. In addition, you can find a number of support groups that advocate breastfeeding. These, I believe will help me in this journey.


Cloth Diapers

In 2010, when Facebook was still known for its games and not for a platform for business, there were very few sellers of cloth diapers. I found one at a mall but it was too costly that I decided to use disposable ones. Now, cloth diapers are more available and you get to choose a lot of types and brands. I still have a lot to read about these before deciding which to purchase. They may sound more expensive at first but after raising a son who used disposable diapers and we were spending then hundreds of pesos a week for it, cloth diapers may be a good alternative to try. 

Maybe we'll start using cloth diapers when Gotham is already 1-2 months old. We don't have a helper in the house and I'd be getting another C-section so I need all the rest I can on the first month. Washing cloth nappies can be tedious since I prefer handwashing my baby's clothes. 


Cloth Diaper
"Cloth diaper gogreenpocketdiapercom" by Don.
Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 



Just be a Mom.

How many times have you felt incompetent in your parenting skills? How many times have you felt frustrated because you couldn't understand what is going on with your young one? How many times have you questioned yourself as a mom?

I know I could have wished to be a better mom with Gotham. Or perhaps the best. But, no. This time, I'll just be a mom.

All moms have felt guilt in their lives. I felt the guilt when I was still working. 

Why do I have to work and not be with my child the whole time?

I also felt guilt when I became a stay-at-home mom. 

Am I doing my best as a mom?

The guilt just shifts into  a new form. This time, all I want is just to be a mom. No guilt. No unnecessary stress derived from other people's perceptions (or my own perception of what's perfect) on how moms should be like. 

We moms should stop sweating the little stuff. We should always remember that we are doing enough (repeat to self 1 million times). That we shouldn't be comparing ourselves with others on how we raise our kids and how we run our households. Each child is unique and so is each of our families. There's no one handbook on parenting.

I need to remind myself that it's okay to make mistakes. 

It's okay to fail.

It's okay to feel frustration.

And yes, it's okay to have unruly hair.

With a new baby coming, I just want to continue living an intentional life one day at a time. I know that in my heart, my kids will love me no matter what. And that's all that matters. Not me being a super mom, but just being a mom to Little V and Gotham.


I still have a lot to learn about breastfeeding and cloth diapers. Can you recommend links to articles or products that will help me? Thank you!


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4 comments

  1. When I was pregnant with baby number 2, I felt sure it was going to be a breeze. Nope. It was just as messy and crazy as the first time! LOL But yes, it's okay to feel frustrated and it's perfectly okay to have unruly hair!

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    1. I am readying myself for world war 2. LOL! :-)

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  2. first time mom here to an 18 month old boy with special needs. I think all first time moms experience guilt one way or another and question our capabilities to become good moms. Guess we just have to always remind ourselves that we are doing the best we can and the best we know how and pray very hard that everything will work out fine :)

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    1. Yes, prayers do make wonders, Liz. We can do all things through Him :)

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