However, there does seem to be one thing that separates the first-time parents from the parents of multiples, constant fear.
Sometimes, I think I am the most neurotic, over-protective, paranoid parent on the planet. Then, FTD swoops in Helicopter-parent style and proves me wrong.
Being a parent means being responsible for another life. That's freaking scary enough! Then add in a love that is so intense, amazing and truly unexplainable, and you've got the recipe for staggering amounts of fear.
I worry non-stop about my kid. Even though I try not to be a helicopter-parent, I watch him like a hawk. Especially, when we are out at a social event, party, park, or really anywhere where I can make up a horrifying scenario of how he can break something, get hurt or lost.
The worst part is that the fear and paranoia constantly stand in the way of me fully relaxing and enjoying myself when out with the kid.
It's in these moments I see how the fear separates me, the first-timer, from the been-there-done-that parent.
According to my sister, mother of two spirited boys, she was the same with her first. When number two came along, she knew what to expect. She knew that if her new walker fell, he would survive. Or that a low grade fever wasn't the end of the world, nor reason to call the doctor. She knew if her kid slept three minutes past his usual waking time, that running in to make sure baby was still breathing would result in waking baby and hating herself.
FYI: I still check on my son, my three year old son, when he takes a long nap. The minute he crosses thirty minutes longer than normal, I run in to make sure he is still breathing. WHAT IS THAT?
I want to be like that mom.
I want to be like the fearless mom who can go to a party, and relax and chat with her friends while her kid runs crazy. She knows her kid is having a blast and will be fine. She also knows bumps and scratches are a part of life.
I want to be like the fearless mom who doesn't freak out when her toddler barely eats for a week straight. He's just come out of growth spurt, she knows he will eat when he's ready.
I want to be like the fearless mom who drops her kid off at school and isn't plagued by thoughts about the welfare of her child all day. She knows her kid is fine and goes on with her day.
I want to be like the fearless mom who doesn't worry day and night. She knows what a waste of time it is.
I wish I could think and relax like a been-there-done-that parent, as a first-time parent. I want to keep calm and carry-on too!
I just don't understand why it takes me having a second baby to get there?