People told me when I was pregnant the second time around, I would feel like a professional and not stress near as much with this baby, but I was not convinced. Did they not know me? I, by nature, am a type A, anxiety ridden, crazy person.
Right before my second son was born I began reflecting and taking notes on all the things I did with my first son to try and prepare myself. Once I reached the end of the list, I could already feel the tightening in my chest from the anxiety. How was I going to keep up with all this and look after a toddler too? After closer evaluation I thought to myself: Is this a joke? What an idiot! Right then and there I decided it would be best if my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I – parted ways. Moving forward I would have a go-with-the-flow type of attitude, or else I knew I would drive myself straight to the grave trying to keep up. So far this attitude has been working. Not only has this approach minimized my anxiety, but I actually enjoy parenting a lot more this time around. Who knew?
Below are just a few obsessive behaviors I demonstrated with my first son that I have completely abolished with my second. I won’t be mad if you judge me for being the anal retentive person that I was. Please feel free.
- I had to have every latest-and-greatest piece of baby gear on the market. This is Chicago. Why did I fill my tiny condo with crap I barely even used, if at all?
- He ate every two hours on the dot. There was no veering from that schedule no matter where we were or what was going on.
- For two weeks after his birth, I made my husband take shifts with me where we would stay up 24 hours and watch the baby sleep to make sure he was breathing. The shifts were three hours each. Question: Why does my husband still love me?
- I sprinted to the ER for everything! Scratches, rashes, coughing, eye goop – you name it, I thought it was an emergency! I’m sure the doctors rolled their eyes each time they saw me come in.
- I dressed him to the nine’s – at all times. He looked as if he was attending an Oscar party just to go to daycare. What baby doesn’t need a sweater vest and designer jeans to finger-paint?
- I had four strollers! One for the car seat to snap in, one for walking, one for running and one for travel.
- I carried hand sanitizer and would make anyone who wanted to touch him douse themselves in it first.
- When he went to sleep – our lives stopped. No movement or noises were allowed. Maybe that’s why it took over three years to have another baby?
- Anytime I left the house, even if to only get gas, I would take the entire nursery with me along with a diaper bag.
- I had several outfit changes for him at all times. If one drip of salvia touched his outfit, I would change him.
- I dressed him like he was on the bomb squad just to ride his tricycle.
Helicopter moms: ante up! I see you and raise you by a million. While most of my friends would still say I hover more than the average mom, at least they would agree I’m no longer holding residence at the insane asylum.