Looking at how awesome Little E is, how proud we are of him, and of us for being able to raise such a well-mannered, happy and healthy little boy, Mr E and I would wonder what we did right. How did we do things to have him as he is now. We weren’t (and still aren’t) book-readers when it comes to parenting, we mostly trusted our gut feelings and consult with other parents. We wished that we had written down what we did, as we obviously want to repeat with our next one.
What is interesting, however, is that we both remember what we did wrong (in our minds). Things that we wished we had done differently, and will next time. Things that we will do more, and things that we will do less.
For me, personally, I will stress less about timing. I most probably won’t be as strict with nap time, meal time, etc. I would probably carry him more, adopting the “baby wearing” philosophy, instead of relying on the pram. I would be more patient with him over his sleeping patterns (or lack thereof). I would not use adult washing detergent, even the sensitive ones, on his clothes. I would care less about mess from day dot. I would let him share our bed, even if only for daytime naps. I would burp him more (or at least, take longer time to try to) after each feed. I would express a little bit before attempting to feed him so he wouldn’t be as overwhelmed (or gassy). I would express and introduce the bottle so that Mr E gets the chance to feed him. I would not hesitate letting him sleep on his vibrating chair earlier if it means we get some sleep.
These are the things I could think of so far.
The problem with reflections like this, is that I invariably end up nitpicking over what I did. Things that seemed right at the time, starting to feel wrong now that I thought about it again and again. A few parents have told me that you make mistakes with your first child that you tend to learn from and not repeat with subsequent children. Parenthood is such a learning curve, each child is different and so parenting ways need to be flexible and adaptive to such child.
If you’re a parent of one, what would you do differently next time? If you are a parent of more than one child, did you do things differently each time you have a baby? Were there things that worked on all kids?
PS. on a totally unrelated note, all photos are taken at the Mercure Hotel in Liverpool, Sydney. It has THE best playground and pool! The room was so spacious and the service was great. Can’t recommend it enough if you ever need accommodation in Western Sydney :)