You Can't Be the Same Mother for All Your Kids
Have you ever heard the saying, “all babies are different”? I was expecting my second child to be different from my first, but what I wasn’t expecting was that I would be different second time round. It’s strange to consider, but if you think about it, every child has a unique experience of their parents. So while I could give you a list of how my babies have been different, I though this might be a bit more interesting! Here are a few ways I’m a different mum for my children:
Baby 1 had my undivided attention. Baby 2 has had to share my attention from the day he was born. Any subsequent children will get even less one-on-one time (and probably need less of it too, because they will have siblings to fill some gaps).
I had postnatal depression and anxiety (PANDA) with my first, but not with my second. This affected not just my moods, but how my first child and I filled our days. This time, I am much less anxious and life is so much easier and brighter. That definitely affects the type of parent I am.
With my first, I tried to be the best mum I could be. With my second, I’ve given up on ‘best’ and settled for ‘good enough’. I’ve lowered my expectations of myself (for the better, I think). It changes the way I see myself and my role, and therefore how I act and what I do.
I am older. Whether we like it or not, age definitely affects our parenting styles. Each child we have will have an older version of us than their siblings did.
I am more experienced. Things don’t phase me as much this time round, because I’ve done it all before. As my wise midwife said, “you only have to have your first child once”. It only gets easier from there.
We live in a different house and have different friends and community around us. My husband has a different job. Life is different so I am a bit different. And things never stay the same, life will continue to change.
It’s strange to think I have changed as a parent, but also kind of encouraging. I am so glad this experience is different, because it means I have grown. I get to be more confident, flexible and calm. I have more practical knowledge and skills, and far less anxiety and fears. My babies get to have a different mama, but both get a special version with its own perks!
Now I’d love to hear, how have you changed as a mum for your different children?