I'm realizing just how different the second time is when mothering. My four months with Otis have been so different than Ingrid's first four months! As I sit here typing this, Otis is asleep in the Moby, as he would not be put down this morning. Instead of worrying that he "needs" to learn how to sleep laying down in a bed, I just popped him in and walked around to get him to sleep. And I'm enjoying listening to his little breaths and feeling his warmth up against me!
With Ingrid I felt rigid. Instead of going with the flow, I worried every time there was a change. I had to be home for naptime, I had to feed her at the same time, I read books that told me I had to start solids at a certain time, I had to have a bedtime routine, I had to let her learn how to soothe herself. I felt like it was this monumental job that I couldn't screw up on, or else there would be major repercussions throughout Ingrid's whole life. If I did something wrong once it was going to turn into a habit that could not be broken.
Ahhhh, how glad I am I'm not that way with Otis! I don't know if it's knowledge or necessity or a bit of both, but I just glide through our days without even thinking about things like that! He sleeps when he sleeps, he eats when he eats, if he's not happy I put him in a carrier and then he is happy. It just hit me that he's four months old in a couple days and I hadn't even thought about what milestones he "should" be reaching. Cooing, smiling, reaching for toys, grasping things, finding his toes, holding his head up, sitting, whatever he's supposed to be doing, I don't care! He does what he does. He'll do more as time goes on.
I wish I could go visit myself three years ago and tell myself to relax, take a deep breath, and look at the big picture. Now I see how fast the days and months go and I'm enjoying every second of Otis growing, instead of thinking of the next thing he should be doing or saying I can't wait until he's older and can walk/talk/sleep etc. He'll do all those things. In the meantime I'm going to laugh every time I hear his first giggles and stare at him while he sleeps next to me and wear him before he starts squirming.