When I was pregnant with our first child, we often talked about what our future family would look like. Not necessarily in terms of what our kid would look like, but more in terms of our family’s philosophy. We observed what friends were doing in raising their children and reflected on those things. The biggest point we noticed was the difference between how people parented with the first child versus subsequent. By the time the third child rolled around, they were pretty relaxed and went with more of a “go with the flow” approach.
We decided that this was how we wanted to be right off the bat with our first child. Our kids were coming into the world and joining the life we had started together, not vice versa. We wanted to still get out, explore our city, enjoy eating out and spend time with our family and friends.
So what does this look like for us? It varies depending on the season we are in. We got out a lot when our daughter was a baby, including taking strolls with the family to our favorite neighborhood brunch spot and walking in the park when she was a few weeks old. I would make it to a bi-monthly moms group, even though that was during the morning and a possible nap time. And really it didn’t change too much as she got older. We’d try to be home for her to take a nap, but if she ended up sleeping while we were out and about we didn’t think twice. And even as she entered the toddler phase, often she was just as comfortable being over at a friend’s house as when she was at home.
We try to do the same as much as possible in this next stage with two kids. That has proven to be a bit more difficult, however, as more of our friends now have kids and everyone is on different schedules! Nowadays brunch can be easier than dinner time to get together with them. But one of our favorite ways to make it easier to get together with friends in the evening is bringing our travel crib with us and putting the kids to rest when it’s their bedtime. That way they get their sleep and we get some much loved (and needed!) adult time.
How have you approached the addition of a baby to your family?