My husband and I were recently reflecting on how our parenting has vastly changed from child one to child three. I’m pretty sure this is normal for most moms, but it does make me wonder why this happens. Is it because I have a much more relaxed approach to this job than I once did? Is it because I’ve confronted the stark reality of time management and have had to truly prioritize what is really important? Or, is it because I’m tired? Very tired. Also, I now realize that they are going to grow up fast, so I’d better enjoy the ride because it’ll be over soon.
The truth is that my evolving views on parenting have shaped my children’s personalities. My type A first born son came from a mother who worried over every little detail and tried to make his baby and toddler life perfect. My second born son had a mother who was still trying to be perfect, but failed on occasion. My second born also had a playmate in his older brother that helped shape his personality. Now my third born child has a mother that is much more relaxed and is just trying to enjoy each day with her. I’m still a schedule and routine focused mom, but my overall anxieties and worries over every little thing have lessened.
At the end of the day, parenting is truly about survival. So, it is only normal that with each child, I’m just trying to survive. And with each child that we’ve added to this family, my parenting philosophy has slightly changed. Documenting these changes in philosophy has made me realize just how much I’ve changed.
Philosophy of Photography
Baby 1: Professional photography monthly
Baby 2: Professional photography every six months
Baby 3: The Iphone takes some pretty amazing photos these days
Philosophy of Feeding
Baby 1: No juice until age 4, a well-balanced meal at every sitting
Baby 2: No juice until age 2, a semi-balanced meal at every sitting
Baby 3: First Capri Sun at age 6 months to keep her from screaming at a birthday party and broccoli everyday because it’s the only vegetable she will eat
Philosophy of Pacifiers
Baby 1: I only gave him the pacifier for nap and bedtime. The pediatrician told me to take it away at his 18 month appointment, so we went cold turkey that week.
Baby 2: I only gave him the pacifier for nap and bedtime. Then I cut the tips off all of them right before his second birthday.
Baby 3: I only give her the pacifier every time she whines, screams, or asks for it. I’m going to make sure it is gone before kindergarten.
Philosophy of Safety
Baby 1: I was there for every step and stayed right next to him at the playground.
Baby 2: I gave him a little more freedom to explore and find his way with the help of his older brother.
Baby 3: She is so independent that even if I tried to be right there, she wouldn’t allow it. I now realize that toddlers are capable of climbing on their own and learning how to be a little more free at the playground. But I still always keep a very sharp eye on them.
Philosophy of Development
Baby 1: I recorded every milestone and made sure he was doing it at the exact month he was supposed to be doing it. I read What to Expect the First Year cover to cover more than once.
Baby 2: I compared every milestone to when his older brother completed it.
Baby 3: Each milestone will happen eventually, so why stress over it?
Philosophy of Temper Tantrums
Baby 1: There was only one toddler living in our house so we were able to meet his needs at all times.
Baby 2: Discuss the situation with the toddler and use a lot of time outs.
Baby 3: She’ll stop screaming eventually. Act as if nothing is happening.
Philosophy on Screen Time
Baby 1: The only TV allowed was Baby Einstein DVD’s.
Baby 2: The TV was limited to the Disney Junior channel for an hour a day.
Baby 3: Let’s be honest, cartoons are actually very educational these days. Plus, the Iphone and Ipad have completely changed the game of parenting
Philosophy on Love
Baby 1: Give lots of hugs and kisses daily, make sure they know they are loved!
Baby 2: Give lots of hugs and kisses daily, make sure they know they are loved!
Baby 3: Give lots of hugs and kisses daily, make sure they know they are loved!
Well, some things on parenting never change!
Are there any other moms out there who have experienced evolving views on parenting? How has your philosophy of parenting changed?