A letter to my children: You each got different versions of the same mama

My second-born had a slightly different experience from my first. 

A letter to my children: You each got different versions of the same mama

By Laura Doran

Dear first-born,

I am so sorry we didn’t get to do everything on our bucket list before your brother was born. I was tired. I so wanted to get to every pumpkin patch and Christmas village while it was just the two of us. I hope all the beautiful, snuggly naps we took together were sufficient.

Dear second-born,

I’m sorry you don’t have a baby book. I’m sorry I only have 9,000 photos of you as a baby instead of 84,000. My phone was always full, and aintnobodygottime to back it up. As I scroll through my Insta, though, you were a beautiful newborn and I should have taken way more.

Dear first-born,

Thank you for teaching me that healthy food is best for littles, and screen time is to be avoided.

Dear second-born,

Thank you for teaching me that French fries still fill hungry tummies and that a well-timed episode of Thomas and Friends can restore my sanity.

Dear first-born,

Thank you for putting this love in my heart. Thank you for shifting who I was into who I am now.

Dear second-born,

Thank you for showing me that love and snuggles are far more important than a clean house, a rad outfit, or being up-to-date on whatever show I fell asleep to last night.

Dear first-born,

Thank you for teaching your brother to climb every surface known to man. Just kidding. Your big boy monkey body may be able to scale Everest, but his is still mostly baby. Why on EARTH is he constantly on the dining room table?!

Dear second-born,

Thank you for sitting patiently in my lap as I type this. Just kidding. You’re pressing every key you can get your adorable baby fingers on. You’re also reminding me that first-born never once got this close to a screen when he was your age. Great.

Dear first-born,

Thank you for giving me enough time to read one or two parenting books.

Dear second-born,

Thank you for teaching me I’m mostly good enough without them.

Dear second-born,

Thank you for letting me call you a baby even though you are clearly more of a toddler now.

Dear first-born,

Thank you for only correcting that lie I tell myself every other time.

Dear boys,

Thank you for being exactly who you are. I had visions of pink tights, ballet slippers and bunheads. But, my God, I wouldn’t trade you two for the world. I showed up to my 20-week sonogram to find out if you were a boy or a girl. Instead, I saw a stunning and functioning heart, 10 teeny tiny fingers, a little body in perpetual motion. You were both amazing. Then you joined our lives and have gotten even more amazing every day.

(Also, my dear boys, if for whatever reason you do want to wear pink tights and ballet slippers, you do you. Mama loves you no matter what.)

Dear boys,

Enough with the couch cushions already. Please leave the toilet paper on the roll. Give the middle-of-the-night wakeups a rest. And FOR THE LOVE OF GOLDFISH AND GRANOLA BARS, please stop accidentally head-butting me all the time. If all this is too much to ask, I get it. I’ll survive.

Dear boys,

Thank you for letting me love you so much. Thank you for forgetting the moments I suck at this. Thank you for your smiles and snuggles each morning. Thank you for eating your vegetables sometimes, for minding your manners sometimes, and for your enthusiastic belly laughs.

Dear third-born,

I hope I’m woman enough to add you to this circus one day. These first two are giving me a run for my money right now, and I want to be a “good enough” mom. If it works out, I have every confidence you’ll be just as perfect (and imperfect!) as your big brothers. If we’re ever so blessed, I know the love in our family will expand to cover you, too.

Originally posted on FIT4MOM.

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As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


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4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

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A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

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A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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