Undoubtedly, being a mama of two littles is MUCH more challenging than just one. Having to prioritize, plan ahead, and sometimes (often) fail at meeting 100% of one of my child's needs seems to be par for the course so far.
But even with all the difficulties, there's one thing that I am absolutely LOVING about parenting the second time around: confidence.
I never felt as though I was lacking confidence when I first became Cole's mama. I researched and learned everything I could and I knew what I was doing. However, this time around, I have research, learning, AND experience on my side. If Chase is fussy, I have a whole 'nother arsenal of tricks to try.
Not to mention, I have more confidence in myself as a person the older I get as well. You don't like it if I breastfeed in public without a cover? Too damn bad. That's your problem, not mine. You don't think I should give my baby a pacifier? Not your choice, it's mine. You think it's strange that I like to wear my babies in a wrap or carrier? Maybe it's hippie and weird, but I like it so I don't care.
When my sister had her first baby and was overwhelmed and exhausted and worried about the huge responsibility she had been given, I tried to think of one simple piece of advice that might help her have confidence in her ability to be an amazing mama. I thought back to all my parenting experiences with Cole and realized that the times that stick out in my memory as being the most disappointing in myself as a parent is when I neglected to follow my instincts and stand up for my child. The time Cole was four weeks old and I let him cry an extra five minutes so I wouldn't nurse in Costco without a cover. The time Cole was eight months and a friend took him from my arms without asking him if he wanted it and he cried in fright. The time a friend's mom came up to him while he was peacefully sucking his pacifier and pulled it from his mouth saying, "Let's see how happy you are without that thing."
Every regret, every mistake was me not having the confidence to stand up for my baby, to stand up for my informed and knowlegable choices. I know I'll make (many) more mistakes being Chase's mama too, but at least I know this time to have confidence in myself and trust my instincts.