first-time moms vs. second-time moms*

by ck on January 10, 2013

*Disclaimer: (See Bottom of Post)

FIRST-TIME MOM: Takes enough photos of her beautifully swollen belly to make a time-lapse video that she shares online with everyone in her address book.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Riiiiiight. If the second child is lucky, she will get one belly photo, taken right before she is born. In low lighting and only from the side. No one needs a reminder of what the front looks like at this juncture.

FIRST-TIME MOM: Takes the brand new car seat to the firehouse to watch the safety video and have the firemen install the seat correctly.

SECOND-TIME MOM: YOU take a toddler to a firehouse to watch some lame video when you’re 9 months pregnant. Besides, she’s pretty sure she remembers how to do it herself. Whatever. It always shook a little.

FIRST-TIME MOM: Cannot let the child cry. She tries, she plans how she’ll do it, she does it for a day, but then there’s a cold or teething or the baby’s hungry or why would she cry for 40 minutes if there wasn’t something wrong? She’s shocked to find that the reasons never run out.

SECOND-TIME MOM: I know you’re fine. You’ve eaten, you’ve burped, your diaper is clean. You’re fine. Wear out your lungs. I’ll see you in the morning.

FIRST-TIME MOM: Is obsessed with the nursery. What colors? What patterns? How much is too much to spend on a rocker? And what do you mean, will we get a matching ottoman? Of course we will.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Well, I want them to eventually share a room, so let’s just put a pack-n-play in the guest room for the baby until they’re ready.

…of course the first child (at 3 1/2) still does not sleep entirely through the night without crying for some random reason. So the second child, now one year old (and a beautiful sleeper), finds herself thinking that the empty, gray guest room is her bedroom.

FIRST-TIME MOM: Is in love with the crib. Oh, it’s just beautiful. Have you seen it? And look at the matching changing table and end table. And the railing is not a teether!

SECOND-TIME MOM: Put the crib up so late in the game that the second child won’t sleep in it. She’ll only sleep in the pack-n-play. Hello, Craigslist…

FIRST-TIME MOM: Is so into the “schedule” that the first baby was always in her crib at naptime. This resulted in the child refusing to sleep in the car.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Right. Schedule. The second baby is out and about all the time, because the mom is not stupid enough to think that they’ll be okay spending every cold day in the house. So the second child makes it into the pack-n-play for about 70% of naps. This also resulted in the child refusing to sleep in the car.

FIRST-TIME MOM: My child will not eat sugar until she is at least one.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Wait, wait, wait!  How’d your sister get a hold of your ice cream again?

FIRST-TIME MOM: My child will not watch any television until she is at least three years old.

SECOND-TIME MOM: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

FIRST-TIME MOM: We will not have a DVD player in the car. Ever.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Well, let’s see. What would you like to watch? We have Curious George, Berenstain Bears, Cinderella or Charlie and Lola.

FIRST-TIME MOM: Was sure she’d love the second child as much as the first, but couldn’t really picture it.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Is amazed at how much love she had tucked away in there.

FIRST-TIME MOM: This is so hard.

SECOND-TIME MOM: Why on earth did I think one kid was hard?

* This is a gross generalization. I’ve done absolutely no research, nor have I polled (or stolen) examples from other mothers I know. Part of me is happy if you think it’s about you, because that means I’m not the only one out there like this. However, please be assured that it’s not.






penelope October 26, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Definitely. And here’s one: “First Time Mom: Bottle falls on ground. Mother picks it up and discards contents of bottle since bottle nipple must be properly sterilized at home with boiling water. Second Time Mom: Bottle falls on ground. Mom swipes at it with her t-shirt and hands it back to baby.”

(Neither of mine will sleep in the car, or in a stroller, either. Dammit.)

faemom October 27, 2008 at 1:46 am

OMG! That was too funny! I totally laughed out loud over the TV. How about: “First Time Mom: Baby plays with ONLY age appropriate toys, no marbles, little legos, or Happy Meal toys. Second Time Mom: Get the marble out of your mouth!” How more second borns don’t die of choking I’ll never know.

evenshine October 27, 2008 at 9:10 am

First time mom: “Aaaahhhh! A tiny dribble of spittle has ruined the heirloom outfit that my baby is carefully encased in! Must change immediately!”
Second time mom: “I guess I should change her- um, I mean him. What day is this?”

Jalyn Henton October 27, 2008 at 9:18 am

I think I checked the box on all of them. Except for that whole, “not having a second child yet” thing. Child one pretty much does what second child would do. Sigh. Am I a bad parent? Nah, he’s still alive.

ParentingPink October 27, 2008 at 2:23 pm

This is so true! I think I’ve gone through every one of these stages! Great Post!

Becca Kipe October 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm

oh yeah…and you let them play with WHATEVER will keep them quiet…even “non toy” items…i can’t believe the stuff i let my boys chew on. grandmas and non moms are usually horrified…i know that they never (almost never) swallow the stuff, just chew :-)

faemom November 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm

I’m linking to this post. I hope you don’t mind. You just say some things better than I do.

Jessica January 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Lol I love this! I still have just one and can’t decide if I want more ;-) but I know I will be different with second. There won’t be anything new for sure! All hand me downs!!
And I cannot imagine life without a little tv- I would never shower or go to bathroom without it lol

Penny January 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm

And let’s not even write a what happens to the third child list….

Veronica January 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm

And then if you have a third, you realise that there’s even further to fall. Um, whoops.

Dawn @What's Around the Next Bend? January 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Yeah. I can check off all of these.
I addition – Child 1 – pacifier falls on the floor, you pick it up and have a spare till you can boil the first one.
Child 2 – You give the child 5 pacifiers to start out with so when one drops, they have extras AND when ALL of them drop… well… that’s when you lick one and stick it back in their mouth.

Child 1 – You wash all of their new clothes and inhale that sweet clean baby smell. You change them SO often because you would never get through all of those cute outfits otherwise.

Child 2 – You dig through the pile of clothes that have been stored away for the past 2 years hoping to find something that DOESN’T have some sort of stain on it and hope you don’t have to change their outfit more than twice today.

Thanks for the laugh today ck!! :)

faemom January 11, 2013 at 2:10 am

(How sad. I had to think about Aidan’s birthday and when this first came out.)
For the third child, the crib is late; you’re an expert on car seats; the car seat transition and bed tranistion are late due to waiting for the second child to move on up. Foods, small toys, and television are all introduced at a much earlier age. I personally have become lazier on changing dirty clothes (you’re a baby; no one cares if your shirt is covered in chocolate/snot/marker/jelly.) and wet diapers (hmm; it still has room for another piss.). Weirdly, there are more pictures and videos of this one, but I think that is due to the new phone. And this one is brighter and cuter, which surpirses me to no end.

piracetam January 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm

To the mom who is experiencing intense emotions around pregnancy with the 2nd child: I think you are well within the range of what is called normal. Your description of feelings reminds me of how I used to get when my hormones were high, low and/ or running amok, especially as during pregnancy. I almost felt as if I had been taken over by another being, which, in a sense, is literally the case, but I experienced it in a much more Sci-Fi kind of way, as if I were on Heavy Drugs. I believe that hormones do affect some (not all) sensitive women that way, and I have been one. Since I am a feminist, I don’t think I am being sexist, either, in reporting that some women do have lower thresholds for hormone reactions. I am a nurse as well, and it reminds me of some (not all) people’s sensitivity to drugs. I was the owner of a whacked out menarche-adolescence (bad depression, suicidal ideation), horrific PMS (the chain saw murders, cars off cliffs kind), a pregnancy that produced a mental state like waking dreams, an unbelievable 3 day home labor (and birth) that felt like repeated shotgun blasts to the abdomen for the duration, and years later D and C for which I was given Pitocin (oxytocin, the hormone that causes uterine contractions and is connected to lactation) and had florid hallucinations–the real thing– until the second it was discontinued, and a menopause that is like a train wreck connected to a fatal disease that I have described as PMS to the 400th power experienced while hallucinating on an LSD overdose. Other than these episodes, I have been fine and had a good life! I wish someone had early on given me an owner’s manual for this body! It even fooled a nurse.

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