My First Kid is NOT My Guinea Pig

Up until about 6 months ago, I wasn't planning on having another child.
No, my current pregnancy isn't a "woops".
But I just didn't ever want to be pregnant again.
Obviously that changed.

However, for about 2.5 years, we had an "only child", and one of my biggest
pet peeves as a parent of one was hearing "your first is your guinea pig".
Or anything and everything along those lines....

I wasn't sure if I would have more than one child, so did that mean that I would
inevitably "screw up" my one and only kid????

The answer is a big fat NO.

Anybody who says that your first is your "guinea pig" is resorting to the old school method of 
"winging it" and "figuring it out as you go" parenting style.
If this is your style, then you are welcome to exit out of this blog post immediately.

I definitely agree with the fact that you will inevitably need to make adjustments with your child as they grow...but you also need to do that with EVERY child that you have.
Not just the first.

I think that we as parents can actually be proactive about preparing ourselves for parenthood.
We live in a day and age where we have literally ALL of the resources.
Countless books. Years worth of scientific studies. Actual PROOF of what does and does not work and what should and should not be done while raising children.

A hundred years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to beat your kids!
Now days the government steps in and takes the kids away if you get caught physically abusing them.
Because we finally figured out that the old school method of "beating the devil out of children" isn't the most effective way of discipline.

Discipline is a whole different topic and seriously.... to each his own.
I'm not going to get into that.
But my point is, we have the resources we need to prepare ourselves for parenthood.
We no longer have to resort to popular opinion, tradition, or even "winging it".

The first year of my daughter's life was definitely me, "figuring it out as I went".
I never studied up on, or prepared myself for breast feeding. And it was a disaster.
My child refused to breast feed after 3 months. It was literally heart breaking.
I had to learn to take multiple outfits everywhere I went in case of a "blow out".
I had to learn to function on the least amount of sleep I had ever been forced to survive on.
I had to get to know my infant and why she would be crying, what she wanted, etc. etc.
The first year is death.

Once we entered year two...I realized that "winging it" would no longer fly.
My child needed consistency.
My child needed discipline.
My child needed PARENTING.
This is when it all changed.

I was picking up parenting books at the store, ordering others online.
I was reading, marking, highlighting, taking notes, and applying.
I made the personal decision to branch away from traditional parenting, and I created my own style.
The style that I felt the most comfortable with, and confident in.
A style that I feel is very effective with MY CHILD.
Maybe not yours, but mine, yes.

There is some truth to "figuring it out as you go" and I get that.
I have adjusted my parenting style a ton to different stages of life, and even daily scenarios.
And I know without a doubt that my next child will not be exactly like my first.
And I will need to readjust to him and his personality.

I know that parenting does not have to be utterly terrifying.
New parents do not need to feel completely clueless.
Parents of ONE are not inevitably "screwing up" their one and only child.
The first child does not have to be the "guinea pig".
No child does!

The solution my friends, is to prepare!
Buy some books!
Study up on different parenting styles and find the one that feels right to you, and works well with your child(ren).
And then make your own minor adjustments!

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