Monday, March 3, 2014

Mommy Konfessions: First Child Mistakes

When I first became a mom I read all the books and blogs about babies and toddlers and I thought I had it all figured out. I was still scared to death, but I really thought I had it all under control.

Well, there's nothing like some time and a second child to realize how wrong I was.

My boys

I've made so many stupid little mistakes with William that I am now trying to rectify with Jacob. Just to list a few:
  • Allowing him to watch too much TV
  • Letting him have a binkie for so long
  • Letting him have a bottle in bed
  • Not enforcing table manners
  • Not taking care of his teeth from the beginning
  • Letting him graze all day long
You know, stuff like that.

And at the time that I did, or did not, do these things with Will, it all made sense. He loved his binkie from day one. It kept him happy and calm. As he got older and could hold his own bottle, and then sippy cup, he wouldn't sleep without it. Letting him graze all day, in front of the TV and not really forcing him to sit and eat meals with the family made him happy.

But the bottom line here is, I was being partially lazy and just willing to keep him happy so that he wouldn't scream and cry all the time. This stuff starts so innocently. I worked during the first year of Will's life and hated it. So by the time he was a year and a half and I became a stay at home mom, I spoiled him out of guilt.

It just became easy to give him what he wanted. It wasn't until we were around other people that I realized that William was the person in control in our relationship. And then I had Jacob and I realized that my kids needed more discipline. And so I tried.

But it's still so hard during the first year of any baby's life. You can't really spoil an infant and they are so demanding, I just got used to giving Jacob, and Will, anything they wanted. It felt easy, at the time. Until I realized I was pretty much their slave, and I did not like that feeling.

Now that William is four and Jacob almost two, I see more and more the mistakes I made. It is so hard to try to fix those things, but it is absolutely necessary. So now, the TV is turned off at 3 pm everyday, no matter what. I've begun regulating their meal and snack times. We already broke Will of his binkie and then bottle-in-bed habits, but we still need to break Jacob of having milk in bed.

Damage has already been done to William's teeth, but we now brush everyday and so does Jacob. And I'm sure as time goes on, I'll find more stuff that I wish I had tackled earlier in their lives.

So to all my fellow parents out there, know this: You will make mistakes with the first, maybe even second, child. Those mistakes are fixable. It'll be a lot of work, but worth it. So just keeping working on doing what you think is best for your child.

What are some things you realize now that you could have done better when first became a parent? Leave a comment! Thanks for reading and have a great day!