Hey guys! Today I wanted to talk about something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t know how many of you are parents or how many of you will be able to relate to this post, but I hope that some of you will.
I am a much better mother to my youngest child than I am to the rest of them. I haven’t introduced my kids yet so I’d like to take this opportunity to do that.
Rose is the oldest. Six. She’s rambunctious, adventurous, and hard-headed. You could describe her as a perfectionist, aggressive, but also very loving and sweet. She’s also an extremely intelligent child, she’s perceptive, and strong physically and emotionally. Picture a cheerleader…on a motorcycle…with heavy metal music in the background….while she’s helping a lost puppy find it’s home. That’s Rose.
The middle child is actually a bonus child. Chloe is my husband’s daughter and she is probably the sweetest kid I’ve ever met in my life. She is always there to help and be comforting and she is always thinking of other people; to a fault. If anything goes wrong, she will cry. If you get angry, she will cry. If she gets too happy, she will cry. She will be 5 in June. She’s an angel, honestly.
The youngest is Lydia. She is a baby. She does baby stuff. She is very manipulative with her big blue eyes and natural baby charm and she obviously has us all under her baby spell. At the time of writing this post, she is 15 months old.
Which brings us to my main point, do you see how much I get goo-goo over that baby? Trust me, I was absolutely bonkers over Rose when she was younger also, but as she grew, I naturally became a little more “mom” and a lot less “drooling crazy-person”. When Rose was younger, I was all about learning body parts, the ABC’s, counting, talking, etc. It never ended. I relished in the fact that she was so smart and I pushed her so she could be the best she could be. Did it pay off? Yeah, definitely. She’s smart, ambitious, and ahead of her classmates. She cares about school and gets upset with herself when she doesn’t succeed. But did it do damage? Yeah, probably. She pushes herself way too hard and takes life a little too seriously sometimes.
Now Lydia is also extremely smart for her age but when I try to point to her cute little button nose and say “nose” and she decides she doesn’t want to try it herself, I laugh and continue to play with her; never expecting her to do it if she isn’t ready. She doesn’t really want to talk. She has been lazy about using her speech. Unlike what I did with Rose, I shrug it off and move on with my day. If she is being particularly whiny and needy, I pick her up and comfort her a little extra because I’m terrified that she will lose the desire for her mother. I don’t feel like I need to teach her to self-soothe just yet, even though I took so much pride in Rose’s freakish independence when she was a baby.
I came into Chloe’s life when she was just about to turn 2 and I was still pretty much the same with her as I had been with Rose. It didn’t work out so well with Chloe though because of how sensitive she is. Me and my husband got into arguments a lot in the beginning because he would say I was being a “hard ass” or “scary”. Looking back, I honestly believe I was. We are complete opposites and that took a lot of adjustment for me. Chloe couldn’t quite handle that level of expectation and to this day I still tend to back off and follow her dad’s lead. I’m naturally an abrasive person; I know what needs done and what goals I want to meet and dammit, I get it done and I get it done now. Common mantras include “face your fears head-on”, “don’t give up until you succeed”, “work first, play later”. That doesn’t work so well with a child like Chloe. So maybe that helped soften me also and made me realize that being understanding is just as important as creating capable adults.
Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle. I still roll my eyes sometimes when she is being over-emotional or lazy, but it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean she won’t turn into a productive member of society. She’s just being a kid.
I love my kids equally, but if I knew 6 years ago what I know now, I would’ve raised my older ones differently. I would’ve been more patient, caring, and less domineering. I can’t turn back time, but if I could, I would’ve been a better mother.