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Lessons from a 3rd time mom

When I first had Truett, I was as uptight as a new parent could be. My life was a variation of the following scenarios:

“He was supposed to take his nap 3.17 minutes ago, now his schedule is all ruined it’s a disaster!”

“Why is he not drinking his milk, quick call the PD for a consult!!”

“He fell asleep on the baby swing? ANOTHER DISASTER – WAKE HIM UP NOW!!!”


Thanks to all the expert baby books, I had a lot of rules to follow. No rocking to sleep. No falling asleep while drinking milk. No pacifier. I had a strict 3-hour schedule to abide by, right down to the minute.

Then I had a second kid and decided to break some of the rules. Turns out, the world didn’t come to an end and the baby did just fine. I realized that while some of those rules were good, they’re supposed to help make my life easier, not harder. And having my panties all up in a bunch all the time wasn’t making my life easier.

Now with the third kid, I’ve learnt some lessons that I thought I’d share.

1. Every baby is different. 

Some babies sleep more than others. Some babies need more attention. Some babies love being rocked to sleep, some babies hate it. Some babies thrive on having a fixed routine, some are a little more flexible. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Do what works for you and your baby. 

There isn’t just one right way to parent. Be a helicopter parent or an attachment parent or a sleep-training commando parent or a combination of all of the above. If it works for you, don’t let anyone guilt you into feeling otherwise.

3. Sometimes, it’s ok to break the rules. 

It’s ok if baby misses a nap or stays awake for an extra 27 minutes. Be a badass and break the rules. Or be a badass and don’t.

4. Enjoy the process. 

It’s hard to enjoy the baby when you’re stressed out and frustrated half the time. Take a break if you can afford the time. Watch your favorite drama, take a long shower, have a cup of coffee – do what makes you happy, even if it’s just for a while.

I used to be so hung up over trying to be the perfect mom that I allowed myself no margin for error. But guess what? This whole parenting process is one of trial and error. And I’m fine with the fact that I’ll never be a perfect mom.

As long as my kids think I’m a rockstar, I’m think I’m ok.

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  • Reply Susan September 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    3rd time mom should make you a pro by now. When you’re a happy mom, you’ll have happy kids. So do what works for your baby and your family.
    Susan´s last post ..Motivational Monday – Don’t Waste Today

    • Reply Daphne September 27, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Not really a pro because every kid is a different experience but you’re totally right about being happy.

  • Reply Notabilia September 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    My view on parenting, exactly!

  • Reply Jasz September 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Though I’ve only one child now, I came to realized the importance of being a relaxed mum after I found out what triggered my post natal depression. I was too uptight & simply freaked when my boy didn’t nap as much as other babies do.

    • Reply Daphne September 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      I think most first time moms go through the same thing – it’s like a rite of passage to be uptight. Then again, we only do it because we care right.

  • Reply Katriina September 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Brilliant advice. From now on I will refer all my pregnant girlfriends to this post!

  • Reply Abby September 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Hey great reminders. Thanks Daphne. I am going to bookmark this page so that I remember to re-read when the next one comes. I totally can relate to what you have done to Truett. I did exactly the same. LOL
    Abby´s last post ..How does Kah Yen say hello to a cat?

  • Reply Jayne September 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Very true, indeed, Daphne. Hope the kids are treating you well! :-)
    Jayne´s last post ..Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitary

  • Reply Elaine September 25, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Exactly! Whenever someone about to deliver or with a new baby asks me for advice I list out all the options I’ve read about and tried and end with “do whatever works for you and your baby”.
    Elaine´s last post ..Cooking Joy

  • Reply Lim yian September 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Great advice! I wish I read this prior to giving birth!
    I suffered 1.5 years but am on route to becoming a happier mom;)

    • Reply Daphne September 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Hang in there! :)

  • Reply Willyn September 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I could see it, great advice! I wish i could be a mom of three or four..

  • Reply Justine September 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Daphne,

    Congrats on your 3rd newborn son!! Not sure if you remember me.. We exchanged a few email early this year when I was expecting my 2nd bb. My bb boy is 18weeks now and we have sort of manage to sink into a routine managing my toddler boy and my bb though its still a struggle at times.. but at least I guess I manage to survive 18 weeks in and out of the blues haha..

    Just wanna say I totally agree with what you mentioned in your blog. When I had my boy, I was like super uptight and totally obsessive with timing and determined to follow what every baby book experts say.. When I eventually learn to let go a bit.. I realised what’s matter most is to bring comfort and security to your child.. that’s where I realise I need to be a mother again in order to be a more relax mother.. Of course we wanted to have a second child cos we felt that sibling bond is one of the most special thing in the world apart from your own parents.

    Now that I am a 2nd time mother, I didn’t follow any strict regime. I wasn’t bothered with his demending and choatic feeding time and neither was I too upset when bb needs to comfort suck to sleep. Bb not sleeping through the night at 3mths old – didn’t upset me.. in fact I just tell myself if he still needs to be fed or nurse at night then so be it.. I will just provide him.

    I guess learning to let go (like what you said) just helps me to come to term and cope with bb better.. Its like what my friend says “If allowing them to comfort suck can calm them down and help them fall asleep easier, why not just do it and Make Your Life Easier Too..”

    • Reply Daphne September 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Justine, yeah of course I remember! Thanks for getting in touch and congrats on the 2nd baby. :) Can’t wait for Finn to turn 18 weeks!!

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