Thursday, March 18, 2010

second time 'round

A funny thing happens by the time you have your second child:

You don't obsess about every morsel of food that goes into your child's mouth. Organic is a bonus but plain old food is fine. Clothes don't have to match and you welcome every hand-me-down and your kid doesn't need the latest innovative educational toy. You don't freak if they drink bath water or eat food that's fallen on the floor. You don't worry about putting baby to sleep on their back or making sure they have enough tummy time. Although you do your best to keep colds at bay, you realize that a few germs here and there is actually good for the immune system. You don't fret too much that your kid is crying when you drop them off at daycare because you know 2 minutes after you leave they'll stop. TV is not evil, your kids' brains will not turn to mush and that one hour buys you time to enjoy a hot cup of tea. You don't mind that they have a bit of sugar now and then.... ice cream and a cookie here and there is good for the soul. You don't give a crap that your neighbour's kid can read/write/sing opera because you realize that over-programming may not be the best thing for your kid. You don't mind that your daughter wears the potty on her head as a hat as long as it's been cleaned out first. And wipe outs? As long as no bones are broken or stitches are needed, I know they're fine. The best thing about a second child, is that you learn to relax. By the time the second child rolls around, you realize that despite what you do to create that idea of perfect image of a child, children will be who they will be and that you can't pull a tree by its roots to make it grow. And kids will develop drive because they want to, not because they're pushed.

My job as a mother is guiding my children to be happy, well-mannered and good people. Because we live downtown, I feel at this time it is more important for my kids to be streetsmart than booksmart. It is important for them understand how to read signal lights, cross busy intersections and know the difference between friends and strangers. And rather than stick Jacob and Maiya in every lesson that's touted to make them smarter/well-rounded/and have a head-start in life, my husband and I have chosen to take the time that they could be in lessons and just hang out. Jacob is happier for it. I find that especially important since my kids have 2 full-time working parents and we want to spend weekends off doing nothing in particular. And even though I can pull my kids out of daycare and spend my days off shift with them, I also know that it is good for them to have a life outside of the home. And good for me to have some time to balance out my life.

I know each choice is different for every family. This is what works for us. And I find the less I think and worry about the future, the happier we all are. And I am just drinking up this crazy magical time of childhood that goes by much too quickly to waste on worry. Because I am sure once they are teenagers the real worries will come and I will no longer be able to bribe them with a cookie or a rerun of Sesame Street.


  1. well said! Ben is like Jacob, the daredevil kind that nothing really surprises me anymore unless there is a huge amount of blood. He falls down, tells me it hurts, gets me to kiss it and then he is off running..

  2. yup! it's great having two.... I'm alot busier but alot more 'chill' in so many other ways.