More Relaxed the Second Time Around – Mommy Blogger


More Relaxed the Second Time Around – Mommy Blogger


My name is Jen and I’m a mom to two beautiful boys (age 3 and 8 months). I love being a mom, which is partially surprising given I used to be the first to politely shake my head “umm, no that’s OK” when someone would bring their new baby to the office and pass them around the gaggle of women who couldn’t wait to have their turn. Now I’m that woman, currently on my second maternity leave, doing all the baby things and loving it.

For the first 6 months of my second son’s life, he didn’t really have a bedroom. The change pad was on our dresser and his bed was a portable play pen in our room. A clear plastic drawer unit was a make-shift dresser, but more accurately, his clothes were in piles on the floor, dresser, bed, and various surfaces around the house. Son #2 is a big guy and has been wearing his brother’s hand me downs since he was born. How I did things the second time around is very different from my first.

Other moms, especially new moms, might relate. How many of you had the nursery set up beautifully for your first child? A crib with adorable sheets that matched the curtains and the paint colour, inspirational wall quotes about the future, and perfectly folded clothes in each drawer. I remember being in full nesting mode before my first son was born and one day, I reorganized the entire dresser, trying to figure out which drawer would be most convenient for when I picked out perfectly coordinated outfits for my new baby. A dresser, I might add, that was perfectly matched to his crib, and that took my husband and I two days to assemble. Seriously, two days? Who has that kind of free time? Then I barely knew the difference between a onesie and a sleeper, and I was unaware that sleepers with hoods are useless, and snaps on baby clothes are the devil’s handywork.

Fast forward six months when my second son’s room also doubled as the guest room – a perfect getaway for family and friends. “And right here is a crib, perfect for hanging clothes. You’ll notice this box of wipes makes a great suitcase rack. Welcome to our home, the epicentre of chaos. It even comes with a crying baby alarm to wake you on the hour.” There are no pictures on the walls, no cute sayings in picture frames, no diaper pail… just a Costco-sized pile of diaper boxes and a plastic grocery bag hanging on the doorknob filled with dirty diapers. You might say, my standards have relaxed significantly this time around.

That’s just how it is when you have small kids, especially when the second one makes his appearance. I didn’t have time to get things organized and honestly, I didn’t really care this time. What I cared about more was playing and cuddling with my boys and collapsing on the couch at the end of the day, eating all of the snacks I dreamed about during the day and watching comfort TV, like Gilmore Girls, for the tenth time. (My husband secretly watches it with me, poking his head up now and then from behind his phone to say, What? Isn’t she with Luke yet?)

There were days when I felt overwhelmed by chaos and clutter in my house. The lack of space and order drove me crazy some days, especially combined with the cabin fever that comes with being stuck inside with a baby all day during a long Saskatchewan winter. I would try to tidy up, picking stuff up from one surface, only to realize there was nowhere to put it down because every other surface was also covered in stuff. I wistfully looked at my dresser, with the change pad on top and smears of diaper cream on the drawers and wish for a grown-up bedroom like the magazine pictures. Then, I’d have to let it go and get on with changing another diaper.

The other day I finally got to setting up my son’s room properly. Out went the guest bed, in went an old dresser we had in the basement (no assembly required), and in went all of his things that were formerly strewn around the house. It felt good to give him a room of his own, especially now that he is getting bigger and emerging as a real little person, not just a baby. And then, in the next moment, I looked at my newly cleaned and organized dresser, and I felt so sad. As if a stage was ending. My baby was growing up. And he was suddenly missing from our room, even though he is only a few steps away across the hall.

Every stage is bittersweet and being a parent requires constant adjustment. Each day I have to let go a little more, relax my standards and lengthen the invisible rope that ties me to my babies, knowing that everything is unfolding exactly as it should, one pile at a time.


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