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Like fingerprints and snowflakes, no two kids turn out the same. Is it just their genes, or is it us? I didn’t plan on parenting differently the second time around, yet I feel like I’ve become such a different mom. Here’s how I’ve changed:

1. I’m Smarter – As a second-time mom, there’s a healthy sense of “been there, done that.” It’s not that I don’t appreciate my baby’s unique journey, but I know what to expect, and I’m ready for it. Which is why my second baby hasn’t accidentally rolled off the bed. (Sorry, first kid.)

2. I’m Calmer – I wasted a lot of energy with my first baby just full-on panicking. What’s that noise she made? How come she only scoots backwards? Why is her poop green? This time, I’m not racing to the pediatrician with a perfectly healthy baby unless she suddenly turns into a unicorn.

3. I’m Less Rigid – Baby #1 ate the recommended rice cereal. Baby #2 nibbles on my sandwich and occasionally drinks the bath water. Speaking of which, gone is the infant tub with the protective hammock; I tossed the second babe in the big tub with me. (It saves my back, and I get clean, to boot.) I’m breaking minor parenting rules left and right, and we’re both having more fun.

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