With the first baby, most mothers are very particular. I know I was. This is your first baby and you want everything to be perfect. I spent hours organizing the diaper bag before the baby even came. I spent obscene amounts of time thinking about which type of baby wipes I wanted to use. I bought more bottles of hand sanitizer than I'd care to mention and stationed them around the house in various pre-determined locations. I set up multiple changing stations and outfitted them with pampers, wipes, burp cloths, diaper cream and 3 changes of clothes just in case. I was going to be ready for anything.
With my second baby, I decided I no longer needed a diaper bag and now run around with a couple of pampers shoved in the side pocket of my purse. I will happily use any brand of baby wipes that floats my way. And hand sanitizer? What's hand sanitizer?
Okay, so I'm kidding about the hand sanitizer. But in all honesty, I've relaxed a lot. I used to carry about 35 toys with me everywhere I went. In case the baby dropped one on the dirty floor, I wanted to have at least 34 options left. Now, I use the 5-second rule. If it's been on the floor for any less than 5 seconds, it's all-good. Unless of course the floor in question is a bathroom. (I still have some limits.)
The point is, it really is all-good. When you are in the new-mom-everything-is-perfect phase, go for it! Get yourself an extra diaper bag (like I did) and store it in the trunk of your car (just in case). Wash all your baby's clothes in Dreft before he/she wears them. Make sure that the extra clothes in your diaper bag are just as cute as the ones he/she currently has on, because you know you are going to change them the second the baby even thinks about spitting up. Spend time organizing and re-organizing the toys that your baby is too young to play with. This is an important phase in motherhood and you should enjoy yourself.
But once you have three kids and you no longer worry if your children are covered in grape juice and dirt, even though you are taking them out to see the relatives, don't feel bad either. It's all part of the motherhood progression. You can watch your new mom friends feed their first baby smushed-up bananas until the child is two and a half, while you hand your ten-month-old an entire barbecue chicken sandwich. Embrace the stage of motherhood you are in and be proud of the choices you are making. Don't let anyone tell you that you are being ridiculous when you want to spend the evening re-organizing the baby food jars in your pantry that your baby is still too young to eat. Because you are the mom and, if nothing else, you have the right to be as relaxed or conscientious as you want. Your baby will be just fine, either way.
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Naomi de la Torre