I always told myself I would never treat my children differently. They would be treated the same no matter what, I would discipline them the same, I would always be fair.
Maybe I was naive. Ok, yes, I was definitely naive. I think anyone who has two or more children will admit that it’s pretty much impossible to treat your children the same. After all, they are different people. They have different interests, needs, feelings, love languages, and they respond differently to discipline.
Beyond all of that, I’ve realized that there was a bit of a learning curve with the first child. As much as I hate to admit it, I made (make) a lot of mistakes with my oldest. Mistakes are tough as a mom – you realize you’re not perfect – far from it – and your imperfections are brought before your eyes in blazing lights. It’s in those times that I realize how much I need Jesus.
With my second, I am much more apt to see him for the age he is – versus with my oldest, I always see him as older. I always think he should know more, know better than he does. I have a tendency to treat him with more responsibility and higher standards and get frustrated when he doesn’t measure up. Don’t judge – I’m being really vulnerable here. In my mind, I know it’s wrong. I know he’s only four. But it is tough to remember sometimes.
With my second, I have been better able to pay attention to his needs, his abilities, and his attention span. I’ve been more able to enjoy the moment, the cuddles, the little milestones, and I have been more emotional about it all. See, that’s the other thing about your first. You don’t realize how quickly it all passes at first. I didn’t realize how quickly he wouldn’t want to cuddle anymore or how grown up and independent he would think he was so early on. I learned the hard way with him to enjoy the snuggles and the little moments that pass so quickly, so I’m cherishing them more this time. Even now I feel them slipping through my fingers as he wants to cuddle less and less each day, as the length of his hugs grows shorter and his independence increases a little more.
I admit that in a way I have been a better mom to my second than I have my first. But what is so great about it at the same time is my second is teaching me to be a better mom to my first. He is teaching me and reminding to enjoy the little moments with my oldest. He is teaching me to be more patient with BOTH children and to love them well.
So yes, I do treat my children differently in a way. But it’s all part of the journey in learning and growing as a parent. In the past few months especially, I’ve grown exponentially as a mom. Being home with my kids (and doing a few homeschool days during the week) is an incredible lesson in patience. I’m not afraid to say that I’m a little proud of myself. Being a stay at home mom was a big fear of mine as I was afraid of failing horribly. But although I’m only 2 months into it, I think it’s safe to say I haven’t completely bombed it and I’m growing a little bit each day. And totally loving it.
Keep on sparkling, friends. ❤