When Brayden was a baby, I often felt overwhelmed and like things were very hard. I looked to the future thinking, "When he can crawl, things will be easier" or "As soon as he is walking, life will be a lot easier for me." Brayden was a busy boy, and I was exhausted. At some point, I decided I needed to enjoy him at each stage. I worked on it and have really been able to do that. I have learned to become content with life. I have found that each stage has its benefits and drawbacks. As a result, I am much happier. The downside is that time goes by much faster, so my kids are growing up too fast :(.
It is all about perspective. When Kaitlyn was born, I really had to work with myself again. Newborn stage is definitely my least favorite stage of a child's life thus far. I think they just get more and more fun as they grow. I love toddlers. I love talking with my children, playing games, and watching them learn at a rapid pace. I know some people love the newborn stage best; I have several friends that way and we just laugh over our personal viewpoints of the stages. It is all about perspective.
The other day, I told Brayden (almost 3) that Daddy was going to mow the lawn. He asked me if he was going to mow those pretty yellow flowers. What yellow flowers? Those dandelions?!?!? See, it is all about perspective. I see dandelions and think obnoxious weed. He sees dandelions and thinks pretty, yellow flowers.
For me, having my second child was a whole lot easier than having my first. I think this is a common occurrence. For one thing, you are a lot smarter and more experienced in the role of a parent. You've been there and aren't going to make those same mistakes twice. There are the difficulties unique to a second child, like learning who your second is as an individual and not placing the personality of your first automatically onto your second, but overall, you just know better what you are doing.
Kaitlyn has honestly been a very easy baby (now 13 months old). She has had her 45 minute nap runs, and we have our troubleshooting times every so often. But she is so easy in comparison to Brayden, I don't feel any need to complain! :) It is all about perspective.
I would feel ungrateful if I complained about any of the difficulties I have with her, simply because it was much harder with Brayden. A lot of it is due to the fact that I am just wiser and this isn't my first rodeo, so they say. When it comes to raising children, experience is worth a whole lot! Plus, I don't stress as much as I did the first time around. Why? Because it is all about perspective.
I know the difficulties will get better at some point, and I know that hiccups are all a part of the process, so when one comes along, I am better at rolling with it. Yes, I have had my moments of wondering "Will this stage ever pass?", but I have known from experience it would. I have also learned that there are pros and cons to every single stage. I don't want to wish away what is before me and not savor every one of those benefits.
I think many second, third, fourth, etc. time parents don't get as worked up over bad days or over things not going perfectly...we have learned it isn't a huge deal. It is all about perspective. You do what you can, you try to solve problems the best you can, and you just press forward. We know things do get better and get to be extremely predictable. It takes time and effort on the part of all parties. Your personal consistency, your circumstances, and your child's personality are all individual factors that contribute to when things get better. We also are better at seeing more of the picture as a whole rather than just the small pieces of the puzzle.
So as you go through your rough patches (because they will come), try to keep the proper perspective. You will work through those rough patches with more grace, patience, and happiness if you do. It's all about perspective.