Have you noticed the difference in parenting styles between a mom of one baby and a mom of multiple children? They have love for their baby in common, but many of their choices will be drastically different…..
The new mom is very concerned about doing things right. A mom of multiples is concerned with doing it, period! With multiple demands and mommy brain (it’s a real thing), accomplishing simple things each day can be challenging. Milestones are carefully researched and observed by the new mom to determine what the average child is doing at a particular age, and if her child is keeping up, (or better yet), surpassing them! An experienced mom will use these facts as a reference, but she has come to realize that each baby is different and they will do things when they are ready.
A mother of one child is able to focus individual attention on her baby and hug and kiss and love that baby to her hearts content; whereas a mother of multiples will try to sneak in those moments to snuggle and enjoy her baby, but she also needs to care for other children. The mom of multiples will also need to make tough decisions like whether she should console the hurt toddler, or go to pick up the screaming baby who just woke up from her nap. The choices of the seasoned mom may not always be what she wants to do, but what she feels that she needs to do.
As the mother of four children ages 2-8 years, I consider myself a fairly seasoned mom now, but not too long ago I was the new mom and most of these are from my own experience. I’ve been there! The good and the bad, I can relate to both!
This is for humorous purposes only! Every mom is different and of course I do acknowledge that my views may not be 100% accurate on every level! Have a laugh, but please don’t get mad or judge. Whether you have one child, or ten, we all need to stick together and support one another!
New mom: “I found the cutest ideas on pinterest! I am doing custom Benjamin Moore paint colors, commissioned artwork, and a pottery barn crib and bedding set that all coordinate. It is just SO cute and she will LOVE it!”
Mom of multiples: “Now that Jill is moved into the bedroom with her big sister Sophie, Logan can sleep in her room. He’s a baby so he won’t mind that everything is purple. In fact, I think he will find it quite soothing.”
New mom: “I registered for every item that was suggested in the Baby Center top 100 “must haves”. Do you think I missed anything?”
Mom of multiples: “Food, diapers, a carseat, a new pack of onesies, and a place to sleep. I’m ready!”
New mom: “I packed 3 extra changes of clothes, 12 diapers, 2 packs of wipes, a changing pad, a bottle, his pacifier, and his 5 favorite toys… what am I forgetting?”
Mom of multiples: “I can always buy diapers and wipes IF I need to change a him while we run errands.”
New mom: “I love to plan Sophies outfit so that we can color coordinate!”
Mom of multiples: “The baby has a onesie on, we’ll call it good!”
Growth & Milestones….
New mom: “My baby is nursing all the time but I’m not sure if he is getting enough to eat….?”
Mom of multiples: “He eats, he sleeps, he’s growing… he’s doing fine!”
New mom: “We celebrate her birthday every month and take a special photograph. I always know exactly how old she is!”
Mom of multiples: “Um…. I think she’s almost 8 months. Let me think….she was born in July….”
Baby rolling over:
New Mom: “Oh no, little Johnny is 3 months old and hasn’t learned to roll over. I am concerned he is falling behind. ”
Mom of multiples: “I am so glad that my baby isn’t rolling over yet! I am not looking forward to having to turn him over constantly.”
New mom: “My baby turned 6 months today and I’m really concerned that she isn’t crawling yet. Do you think she is ok?”
Mom of multiples: “Whew! Praise the Lord she is sitting quietly on the blanket and playing with her toys. Once that baby is mobile things will get crazy!”
New mom: “Johnny is 11 months old and isn’t walking yet, should I be worried.”
Mom of multiples: “Whew! What a relief that he’s not walking yet…. NO! David DON’T HELP Johnny. He’ll learn when he is good and READY!”
Let’s focus on mom…
New mom: “It’s nine months since I had my baby and I still have 5 pounds to lose before I’m back in my pre-pregnancy clothes.”
Mom of multiples: “It’s been 9 years and I’m NEVER fitting in those clothes again!”
New mom: “I just love taking Celia out for walks and jogging.”
Mom of multiples: “Does chasing my kids around the house count as exercise? I literally never sit down! ”
New mom: “I never take a shower until my husband comes home so he can hold Charlie. I don’t want him to cry.”
Mom of multiples: “Hmmm…. should I put him down for a nap or put him in his baby bouncer? I just need to rinse off quick.”
New mom: “Does this make me look fat?”
Mom of multiples: “Is it covered in feces, spitup or mashed peas? No? Awesome, I’m ready!”
Habits and routines….
New mom: “Lily loves taking her calming bath before bed each night.”
Mom of multiples: “We aim for baths once a week, maybe more if they get really dirty and it’s unavoidable.”
Sleep when the baby sleeps:
New mom: “I find it so soothing to be able to lay down together to nap.”
Mom of multiples: “I wish! But who will help Calvin with his math and wipe Bella when she yells loudly from the bathroom that she needs wiping?”
New mom: “It is so sweet to be able to carry Jasmine around with me everywhere.”
Mom of multiples: “I just need a moment alone! Besides, what works for one can’t be done with two anyway!”
New mom: “We all love it!”
Mom of multiples: “This queen size bed can’t fit all of us, so someone needs to move to a bed or the couch… I volunteer!”
The fun times….
New mom: “I don’t know if I play enough with my baby.”
Mom of multiples: “I’m so thankful that my older kids love her and play and keep her happy so that I can get things done around the house!”
New mom: “Hmm, he seems to be doing something weird… I’m going to wait a second and see what happens.”
Mom of multiples: “Somebody grab a towel because he looks ready to…. (fill in the blank with “poop, pee, throw-up, etc”
New mom: “I make sure to sanitize our hands and I always use my shopping cart cover because there are germs everywhere! No, don’t touch that!”
Mom of multiples: “I let her crawl on the floor at home all the time so this is fine. A little dirt won’t hurt.”
That helping hand:
New mom: “Thank you for wanting to hold him, but he’s a momma’s boy and I don’t want him to get fussy. Maybe another time.”
Mom of multiples: “Sure! I’d love for you to hold him! Here you go! Better take the burp cloth, he’s a spitter!”
New mom: “No one told me it would be so painful and he would be so miserable.”
Mom of multiples:”It doesn’t end until they are 2 years old. Time for a drink!”
New mom: “Katie is almost two and I’ve decided that I’m going to toilet train her because I read that is the time when they should learn.”
Mom of multiples: “Next year sounds about right. Or at least wait until after we take that cross-country road trip!”
And when a complete stranger asks if you are planning on having another baby…?
New mom: “Yes, we do really want Madeline to have a playmate.”
Mom of multiples: “Do I look lonely to you?”
(Ok, well that last comment sounds rude, but if you have an armful of kids maybe you were tempted… or at least thinking it?)
How did I do? What am I missing?
I’d love to hear your additions (or corrections!) to my list so please share in the comments!
If you are reading my “mom of multiples” comments and are shaking your head and wondering “what the heck is wrong with this woman?” (I’m venturing to guess you have two kids or less) and please don’t judge me too harshly! I am still a mom “in the trenches” (although I’m digging my way out day by day!) and things still get a little crazy and exhausting around here at times.
If you are considering more….
I recently spoke with a friend who is expecting her baby #2 and and she told me she was discouraged to hear moms with multiple kids making negative comments and observations. She asked me “Don’t they love and enjoy their kids?”. I’m thankful to hear her concerns because all too often moms can simply want to commiserate, and we forget who is listening and how they will perceive our comments. So we do need to keep in mind who we are sharing our experiences with (J, I hope you aren’t reading this blog post haha!). However, some things I believe you truly have to experience to understand! There is a special rite of passage that occurs when child #3 is brought home because you literally don’t have enough arms to hold everyone and because you are outnumbered, you learn to just take it day by day.
If you are a mom of one, love that baby you have and enjoy that time together because if you have more children, life will change! You will need to learn to share your time. One of the biggest mom complaints I hear (and I feel) is that of feeling “spread too thin”. Multiple little people often want mom at the same time and it can create challenges.
My advice to any mom who is looking at adding more babies to the family, is to strive for routines, but learn to be flexible. There are times when the sink will be full of dishes and the laundry basket piled high, but your heart will be overflowing and your arms will never be empty! So wherever you are at, enjoy it the best you can and realize that the days can be long, but the years are short. Being a mom truly is one of the biggest responsibilities in life but it is also is without a doubt the most rewarding! I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m so blessed to be the proud mommy of Calvin, Noelle, Bella, and Owen!
P.S. If you haven’t seen this Jim Gaffigan video, definitely give it a watch for a good laugh! 😉