Do you ever wish you could go back in time? What if you knew everything back in those first days of motherhood that you know now?
Here are a few of the things I would change if I could do it all over again…
1. I would not focus quite so much on my baby’s sleep patterns.
I was so fixated on trying to get my first baby to sleep through the night. I put a lot of energy into deciding which methods might be the best (least harmful) to make it happen. Looking back I realize that I was just scared I’d never get him to sleep through the night and therefore, I would never get a good night’s sleep again.
The funny thing is that he wasn’t even a difficult sleeper, just average. As a newborn, he slept about four hours at a stretch and then went to feeding once a night until I night-weened. But I spent so much energy worrying about it.
As new moms I think we tend to get a little obsessed about certain things and really we just need to admit we have no control over anything. None. There is an illusion of control but then your baby gets a tooth or a cold or he just wants to shake things up and then it’s time to begin it all over again.
2. I would not have obsessed about what crib to buy.
It’s embarrassing how many hours I spent researching and shopping online and in person for the perfect crib. I wanted one that would be convertible and I also wanted it to last through multiple kids and be beautiful and make dinner…
Finally I settled upon some overpriced boat called the Kalani.
The description on the website literally said, “It’s cool, it’s Kalani!” It was even made out of sustainably-harvested pine from New Zealand.
It arrived in about a gazillion pieces and took several hours to put it together. A couple weeks after we started using the Kalani, the cat jumped in and scratched it. Then our son chewed on it. Then we moved and it got damaged.
It’s cool! It’s overrated! It’s overpriced! It’s a waste of time and energy!
3. You’re not going to believe this but… I wish I had been more relaxed about screen time when our son was a newborn.
We used to lay my son in his co-sleeper and make sure there was no possible way he could see the TV while we binge-watched Mad Men. I wish I had spent that time holding him instead. Sure, he might have accidentally glimpsed the television but it would have been nice to just cuddle him while he slept through Don Draper’s marriage falling apart. But of course, I didn’t want him to get accustomed to sleeping on someone because – see number one. So stupid!
4. If I could do things over again, there’s one thing I would be more uptight about: I should have started watching what I said around him a lot earlier.
Because, wow, my son was paying attention a lot sooner than I thought he was. Now he sometimes pops off with something that really surprises me and it is almost always wildly inappropriate. Recently he told me that some guys outside must be “blowing (smoking?) weed because that’s just what mens do.” I have no idea where he got that!!
On the other hand, I am definitely responsible for the “Dammit Song” which is just the word ‘dammit’ repeated over and over and over again and sung with pure joy.
What would you change if you could do it all over again?