Monday 5 September 2016

Parenting a second time around

Everything I read when I was pregnant said that my second baby would be a breeze. I would know from experience of my first what to do, how to cope, read the cues of my baby.. I read it so many times that my initial fears of having a second baby died down and I began to feel a bit more confident.

Aria has been in our lives for 6 months now and if I'm totally honest.. I've never felt more lost as a parent.

I wouldn't change Aria for the world but it's been a hard 6 months and it has left be doubting my ability to be a mother so much.

I expected to feel like this the first time round but honestly with Sienna, everything felt easy. I remember everyone telling us how hard having a newborn would be, but Warren and I were in a bubble of love and it wasn't hard. 

She slept all the time, she rarely cried, she was always smiling and happy, she just fitted into our lives and was pretty much the 'textbook' baby sleeping through from 12 weeks. Everyone used to comment on how happy she was, how content she was just sat playing and that we must be such good parents. I felt like being a mum was what I was good at.

Aria is totally different and although I somewhat expected it, I wasn't prepared for it at all. Don't get me wrong.. we have still been in a bubble of love since having her but it has been tainted with so much self doubt.

Aria still doesn't sleep through at 6 months old, she still wakes twice a night for a bottle and she is generally quite clingy to me in the daytime, whinging if I put her down. As much as everyone tells me that 'every baby is different' and 'she will get there in the end', I'm constantly questioning everything I do with her.

Why doesn't she sleep through? Is she hungry? Has she ate too much? Is she unhappy? Is her cot uncomfortable? Does she need winding? Should I leave her to scream? Am I ok rocking her to sleep? Should I dream feed her? Does she feel unloved? Should I not let her drink her bottle in her cot? Should I try bath before bottle? Why won't she take a dummy? Is she ever going to sleep through? 

Why is she so clingy? Should I have not breastfed her? Should I have carried on breastfeeding her? Am I encouraging bad habits by picking her up? Am I giving her enough stimulation? Am I giving her too much stimulation? Why does she cry all the time? Do I need to spend more one on one time with her? Should I leave her with other family members more? 

Have I just done it all wrong the second time?
Am I just a bad mum? 

I know deep down I'm not a bad mum and I'm trying my best but I feel like it's hit me hard, the fact that I'm suddenly feeling like she is my first, not my second. I'm not used to feeling lost when it comes to motherhood and that's exactly where I am.

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