What a difference a previous pregnancy makes. The humor and truth of being a second time mom.

Stereotypical Second-Time Mom

Have you seen those diaper commercials that illustrate life as a second-time mom? You know the ones: The first-time mom is nervously trying to cover herself while nursing in public… when flash forward to kid number two she’s unapologetically and proudly feeding her babe for all to see. Or the one where the first-time mom demands everyone scrub from the elbows down with antibacterial gel before coming near her new baby—and then hands baby #2 to a dirty auto mechanic?

And we laugh because it’s funny—and because it’s true. Such is life as a second-time mom. Gone are those first-time jitters and, well, any glimmer of excess time.

With my first I stocked up on items I deemed absolutely essential—like pacifier wipes. I bought overpriced organic diapers endorsed by celebrity moms. I had a belt with speakers in it and spent countless hours playing seemingly stimulating music for my in-utero child. I was the resident expert about prenatal nutrition (steering clear of deli meats, caffeine, soft cheese). I framed ultrasound pictures.

And here I am pregnant with baby number two — exhausted from chasing a toddler and working full-time and I can’t help but notice that I now fit every second-time mom stereotype ever created. These days I buy my diapers at Target. I wipe fallen pacifiers on my pant leg and call it good enough. I regularly demolish a turkey sandwich before remembering that there’s some rule about deli meat. I drink caffeine (or perhaps I should say I require caffeine). I don’t play music or read to my in-utero kid (though she does get to hear me sing a few off-key renditions of Old MacDonald to my daughter). And the ultrasound photos from this pregnancy? Yea…about that. After carrying them around in my giant mom purse for a week I somehow lost them. Sorry second kid.

With my first pregnancy I could tell you down to the number of days how pregnant I was. Now when people ask how far along I am, I usually respond with a confused and unsure look. Thankfully there’s an app on my phone to keep track of the days and weeks for me.

All jokes aside, it feels kind of nice to be in the veteran mom category. Gone are some of the first-time mom nerves and the countless hours of obsessing over every twitch and cramp in my uterus. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Heck, some days I even feel like I might know what I’m doing when it comes to having babies and raising kids. Sure, this second baby might not have ultrasound photos framed in her room and might never have a properly sanitized pacifier—but she will probably never know the difference.

What’s your second time mom story?

What about you? How was your second (or third, or fourth) pregnancy different from your first?

What a difference a previous pregnancy makes! Get a peek behind the humor and truth of being a second time mom.

16 thoughts on “Stereotypical Second-Time Mom

  1. Well for one thing, it feels a whole lot less scary the second time around! So of course you’re more relaxed (and perhaps lax, according to some people’s standards). I made a lovely baby book for my first, the second still has his various baby stuff in a random bag that’s on the top of my shelf — waiting to be someday, somehow placed just as lovingly into a baby book. I think it’s normal that the more things you have on your plate, or balls you’re juggling (whatever metaphor you prefer), the less you can sweat the small stuff. How’s that for a mix of cliches? Just give yourself a break and remember — you’re growing a person in there! Take a nap 🙂

  2. Hilarious! For once it’s not really stereotype. It’s just nature. Having your first baby IS such a big deal because it’s when you go from ” lay woman” to “mother”, and a huge amount of things are for the first time – that’s probably the most changes a woman goes through since puberty & it’s not just physical but mental and social as well…if you have more, it gets even better. I have 3 & I always joke that when baby boy (#3) falls I dont fuss, I tell the other moms at the park “he is Ok, he is #3” & they understand & laugh, whereas poor baby girl (#1) never touched the ground because I would catch her before she did lol.


  3. Lol. I was like this with #1. I’m an “older mom. At 37 when I had her. Trying for #2 right now makes me wonder how much more my “care” level can drop. 😉

  4. LOL so glad I’m not alone in this. I’m 11 wks in my second pregnancy and the only reason I know this is because I just had an ultrasound. I’m happy but just not overly excited like I was with #1. The ultrasound pictures are chilling in our junk drawer right now and it’s just overall not as big of a deal. I was feeling pretty guilty about it for a little bit but after reading this I don’t feel as bad to know that I’m not alone in this.

  5. Courtney Utz says:

    I was reading this and chuckling. I’m half way through my second pregnancy. I do have my ultrasound but never framed my first…dunno why. I am very excited though about this baby and slightly as alarmed at having a two year old and newborn. I also work and stutter when people ask me how far because it feels incredibly fast but at the same time so long. I feel like I’ve calmed down in thinking I need all.this stuff and have focused more energy on organizing. I recently spent two hours reading through insurance paperwork and making notes for budgeting and to hopefully avoid the headache of post baby medical bills…up next will be freezer meals and I am completely comfortable with the idea we might not have a fully decorated nursery by the time the baby comes (baby is with us for 3 months anyways!). Haha but I do have worries I don’t feel totally confident…how am I gonna give time to both of them, I’m gonna be sooooo tired, how do we get ready, how do we get in the car or get anything done. Lol but I do feel like we will figure it out and laugh …later on, not right away cause my friends tell me it’s rough going for a while.

  6. I’m slowing but surely surviving my second pregnancy nausea while caring for 12 month old. And this post just made my night. Thank goodness I’m not the only one.

  7. I love this post. It’s so true. I’m 32 and was told by my OBGYN to have all my babies before 35, so we are trying to get them in quickly, and got pregnant with our second boy while the first was 10 months old. Now i’m so busy chasing the older one around, who started walking at 11 months, that I usually have no clue how far along I am with the second. I’ve never been a sterilize-everything-mom to begin with, but caught SO MUCH HELL from my mom telling me what to do during my first pregnancy and newborn stage that it’s a huge relief to be able to tell people to calm down because I’ve done this before. I think that’s the best part about being a veteran mom & having more kids- the random advice/ orders are much fewer and farther between with this pregnancy versus my first.

  8. I love this. I literally didn’t realize that i was following a stereotype until i read this, and i’m totally not apologizing for it. It’s just nice to see that other people are in the same boat 🙂

  9. Absolutely LOVE this. I’m 21 weeks pregnant with my second (a boy) while my first (a girl) is getting ready to turn one in the next few weeks. I’ve been feeling guilty about not being as attentive during this pregnancy and it’s really nice to know that I’m not alone. I was really careful the first time to stay away from caffeine and all the other things that are supposedly horrible. This time around, baby boy is craving Coca-Cola (which I used to hate btw) and roast beef so most of my caution kind of flew out the window.

  10. hahaha I still only have one child and my son is 1 and let me tell you I was that nervous mom that micromanaged everything and wanted everything to make life easier before he was born but after 6 months in i was like okay most is not a big deal like my son gets into the trash and plays in the toilet now (I know gross) but I don’t freak over it like I used to!!!

  11. All of this – yes! I’m excited my 2 yo is going to have a sibling but at 12 weeks, I’m freaking out more about the reality of it all instead of the excitement of being pregnant. Yes, my pants don’t fit and I’m hungry all the time and I can’t sleep but I’m exhausted, but I’m mainly freaking out about working full time, paying for expensive ass daycare for 2, caring for 2, the breastfeeding (mainly the pumping), and maintaining my sanity. Maybe that’s why I haven’t blasted it all over Facebook (and probably won’t), and my ultrasound picture is buried under art projects and shopping lists.

  12. Kacie Van Hine says:

    I just cracked up because this is EXACTLY what I’m doing this time. 2nd time around I will be a scheduled C-section and thank goodness for it, I wont even have to have any anxiety about waiting to go into labor this time around. I’ll have my bag (singular this time around) packed, dogs boarded, and toddler at grandma’s…..I’ll happily be laid out for a few days in the quiet hospital where I will most likely send my husband home every night so that I don’t have to hear him whine about how uncomfortable the hospital pull out bed is and because I will have no fear as long as my meals, my morphine and my baby are brought to and from my room on time in a quiet manner 🙂

    I am slightly worried about my soon to be three year old acting like a terror once baby #2 gets here but as far as that goes…..I’ll just wait and see. Now I wish I could skip this 3rd trimester and just deal with the sleeplessness of those first few newborn months, then move on to greener pastures. I think my biggest fear is the weight loss this time around because if I want to hold out hope for a 3rd baby I need to lose the weight leftover from the negligent eating through the first and second 🙂

  13. I loved every word in this article… I felt understood and not alone! hahahah Thanks from a 2nd-time mommy ( 6 months pregnant) from Argentina <3

  14. Heather Harris says:

    Everything you described in this article is so true! With my first, it was an unplanned pregnancy, so I waited longer than most moms to try for a second so we could be in a better financial position. There will be a 6 year age gap between my two little ones, so for the most part, I feel like I’m having to re-learn and review a lot of things I forgot with my first. But I can totally identify with the diet – I’ve had lunch meat, caffeine, and even *gasp* sushi!! My only stipulation with sushi is that I try to stay away from store-bought and reserve it for a special treat at a restaurant – that way I know it was properly prepared/refrigerated/etc. My morning sickness was so awful from week 6-14 that essentially whatever I could keep down was fair game. There was a few weeks that I had lunch meat, carrots and hummus pretty much daily. My favorite part is that my oldest is SO excited for his sibling. (He swears it’s his baby sister, and he might be right) We research the baby’s growth weekly and he loves seeing how big it is week to week.

  15. I was internally laughing at this post as I read it, Sitting here preggo with number 2. I was taking monthly pictures with baby number one and at this point with number 2 I’m hoping I can look back at the pictures I have randomly taken in the moment and those can capture the bump lol.

  16. Taylor Mommy says:

    I was SO the opposite of a typical. Overly stressed OCD first time mom with my daughter (#1), and now that I have my second in the oven I feel myself being even more chill than I was before! ??‍♀️ Not that I dont care. I’m just a REALLY chill, and go with the flow person when it comes to kids. I know they get dirty. They have to experience some sickness and germs to be able to build immunity, I’ve pretty well NEVER been a good sleeper so being tired isn’t a big deal for me at all…. idk. Possibly because I grew up helping my aunts and uncles raise all my little cousins. I’ve always been a little “mama” so now that I have baby(ies) of my own I pretty much know the drill. The only thing I was OCD about with my daughter was her sleep schedule. We were able to have it where she was sleeping in her own room through the night by 9 months. HOPING TO GOD we are able to accomplish this with number 2… but we shall see! All kids are different. Who knows. My second could be even more of a wild banshee than my daughter. Life is fun yall, I’m gonna go drink some coffee now. ??‍♀️?‍♀️

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