Before I had Sparky, I had a particular vision of what kind of mom I would be. Then, the shit hit the fan. Things turned out perfectly fine, and Sparky is awesome. It's just not what I imagined.
I had read all these touchy feely books about the attachment parenting-breast-feeding-sling-wearing-motherhood that I couldn't wait to join. But my baby wasn't anything like the books! He didn't want to cuddle very much, he hated his sling, and breast-feeding was hard. He had a tongue-tie and we breast fed for 8 months. By then, I had to go on RA meds just to function so breast-feeding was no longer an option. Now that he is older, he's much the same way and I see that he was born with that personality. Sure, we bonded in other ways and we still do. I was also much more hands off than I had pictured. With my job, I wasn't able to spend every precious moment with him. I was often working at night writing proposals. I didn't have time to dote, to helicopter, or to sanitize. I'm just trying to express that things didn't turn out how I imagined. I love Sparky, and I'm so proud of how he has grown up. He brushes his own teeth, puts on his own shoes, puts his laundry in his room, tries to wipe off the table, and "cooks" with us. He's really independent!
With the second one coming, I am much more at ease. I know that this one will be born with its own likes and dislikes, and that I don't need to overanalyze every little diaper. There's no one book that's going to "cure" my child's problems. Just listening to and observing him is the best I can do.