If you’ve spent the last bazillion (aka 15) years having lots of kids, and I’m talking five plus here, all of the first vs. second or third kid lists you run across don’t hold a candle to the changes you’ve experienced. First of all, back in the dark ages when you snuggled your first born, there were no organic baby food pouches, sleep sacks, Bumbos, or Boppy pillows, so your first motherhood was a whole different animal than today’s. Here is a list of the ways not only your perspective on motherhood, but also the current decade, has probably changed the way you parent.
Then: Your mom gave you a Dr. Spock book and you read it cover to cover twice and frequently referred back to it for a couple of years.
Now: You long ago lost the book, but your memory went with it, so you Google things a lot to avoid dragging kids to the doctor. They will probably just catch something worse in the waiting room anyway.
Then: You thought the trick of switching a bracelet from wrist to wrist to keep track of which side you last fed from was completely silly and unnecessary. After all, what else could your mind possibly be needed for but keeping track of feeding and wet diapers?
Now: After trying to console the fussy baby for a few minutes, you feel your chest and realize it must have been yesterday morning that you are remembering feeding her while scrolling through Facebook! You think the feeding schedule app that pops up on your suggestion list is completely silly and unnecessary- like you would ever remember to put any actual information in it.
Then: You waited to shower until your precious little one was sound asleep, but he woke up before you could turn the water on the first three times. You lamented to your friends that you didn’t manage to shower until four o’clock in the afternoon.
Now: Either you just shower whenever you want and hope for the best (i.e. no blood-gushing head wounds), or you are too busy to clean up the messes made while you were in the shower, so you just don’t. No one really expects you to shower regularly anymore. Unfortunately, there have been no technological advances in personal hygiene.
Then: Your kid’s socks matched, and not just each other, they actually went with the clothes he was wearing! You thought mothers who allowed their children out in public wearing purple giraffe socks with a red and green Santa outfit were borderline abusive. Seriously, they may not even feed them when at home if they are so careless as to put non-matching socks on them! It didn’t occur to you that children might pick out and put their socks on THEMSELVES!
Now: You lived through the two different sock trend of ‘09. You are over it. You REALLY don’t care and likely won’t notice what socks anyone is wearing, especially on the feet of children you did not give birth to. You see some neat ideas on Pinterest for helping kids get outfits ready for the week and then you remember you don’t care. You are horrified when your four-year-old nephew asks you to put his socks on for him. You make him do it since his mother is expecting a third child. She will not have time for this nonsense anymore! On the up side, you have a great idea for a new CIA torture device: smelling children’s shoes worn repeatedly without socks or with three-day-old socks.
Then: You wanted to crawl in a hole and die when your child threw a tantrum in public and mostly worried about whether the lady in aisle 5 thought you were too mean or too nice, rather than if you actually handled it effectively because you had no idea anyway.
Now: When your child throws a public tantrum you take advantage of the fact that most people mistakenly assume you’ve got this mom thing figured out better than they do since you have been at it for eternity. Therefore, you are mostly worried about if you handled it effectively. You still have no idea. It all reminds you that there is a good reason you usually wait until his big sister is out of school to watch a movie in the car with him when you grocery shop.
Then: You taught them colors, numbers, shapes and letters before they went to preschool using books, and paper, and art projects.
Now: Thank goodness smartphones and apps have been invented since then! But you avoid anything that teaches colors like the plague, because you really need one kid to outgrow caring about what color his bowl is before another one starts caring what color his bowl is.
Then: You thought up (and completed) all kinds of cutesy crafts and activities all on your own because Pinterest wasn’t invented yet. You had to go to every school party and invite friends over to show off all you are did.
Now: You curse the invention of Pinterest. You hurriedly did one project once. And it turned out like crap. You are jealous that nowadays people with one or two kids can show off all they are doing without even getting dressed, but you are glad no one can see you give their pictures a big fart noise as you scroll through Facebook.
Then: When a little old lady told you to 'enjoy them while they are little because they grow up so fast,' you smiled and nodded and said, “I know.” But inside you kind of wanted to punch her in the face.
Now: You smile and nod and you really do know.
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I am the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, USA. I aim to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out. I am Christian, but not the really nice kind that is good at it. I am also conservative, but I promise not to be in your face with political agendas very often. I like to infuse humor into my writing, so don't freak out if you are offended or appalled by what you read here. There is a very fine line between serious advice and sarcastic hyperbole.
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