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Parental Evolution

My eldest daughter complained the other day “You didn’t raise [her siblings] like you did me.” My response? “I sure hope not.”  With every child, we learned more about parenting than we knew before.  Then I got to thinking about just how much we’ve changed…


When we had our first child:

  • Bottles of formula were marked with time made and thrown out exactly 45 minutes later.
  • If she spit up, we grabbed rags and cleaning spray to neutralize the area.
  • Outfits were color coordinated with accessories
  • We sterilized everything with bleach and boiling water.
  • We saved everything for the next baby.
  • We couldn’t wait for her to talk.

When we had our second child

  • Bottles of formula were marked by the day made and thrown out at night.
  • If she spit up, I called a dog over to clean it up.
  • Outfits were correct for the gender.
  • We sterilized things that went in the baby’s mouth.
  • We salvaged what we could for the next child.
  • We taught her to talk and smiled as she said her first words.

When we had our third child

  • Bottles of formula were occasionally disposed of if we didn’t remember making them.
  • The dogs followed us around hoping he’d spit up.
  • Outfits were occasionally the baby’s.
  • We sterilized nothing.
  • We realized that nothing we salvaged got used.
  • We let the older two teach him to talk.

When we had our fourth child

  • Bottles of formula found under the couch were considered good unless they had floating bits. If they did, it was a free antibiotic treatment.
  • If she spit up, we tried to rub it into the fabric when the dog didn’t beat us to it.
  • Outfits included diaper.
  • We sterilized ourselves.
  • It wasn’t like there was anything left to salvage.
  • And we realized if we taught her to talk, she would never shut up.

J.C. Nelson

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  1. This made me laugh…because it’s so true. I had a friend tell me that the first child is treated like china, the second one is like Tupperware. Not sure about subsequent ones. We just do the best we can…carry on the good fight 🙂

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