I have been blessed with two sons. My oldest is almost three years old and my baby just turned one. My pregnancies went as expected, bloating, swelling, nausea and horrible morning sickness, you know, the usual. However, the first breaths of life of each of my boys have been completely different.
Evan, my oldest came out of the womb kicking and screaming. Two nurses had to hold him down in order to be able to aspirate his nose. He was loud and restless from the first second, and he still is.
Joshua, my baby, came out with the calmest demeanor and the wisest look I’ve seen on a baby’s face. From his first minutes of life he seemed to be taking everything in and seemed at peace with his new environment.
When Josh was born, I thought to myself, “I’ve made it.” I already have a toddler and I know exactly what to do. I thought that all the things that worked with Evan would immediately work with Josh and that the things Evan enjoyed, Josh would, too.
Boy, was I wrong.
As a mother of two young boys, my life is all about milestones. I have read the books, done my research and asked other mothers. When was the first time your baby did this or that? What should I expect him to be doing by the time he’s 15 months old? What’s the next big leap forward in his development?
Every time I meet other moms all we seem to talk about is the latest feat or achievement whether in the physical or emotional realm. I have realized that these so-called milestones are meaningless in some regards, as I’ve seen my two boys develop in completely different manners. My oldest started crawling at 5 months and walking at 9. My second took his first step a few days after he turned a year old. My oldest boy didn’t start uttering any intelligible words until he was about a year and a half and my youngest has been babbling what seem to be words since he was about 8 months old.
They are each so different and unique that I have to sometimes parent them in different ways. It’s sometimes hard to change my parenting style according to the needs of my children and I have been learning to give to each of my boys the attention they need and the way they need it.
One likes to cuddle, the other likes to play rough. One will lay with me and allow me to read him a book; the other will immediately try to eat the book. Although this can be challenging at times, I am so grateful to be able to experience their uniqueness in many different ways.
I have learned to stop comparing them in their milestones and instead see each one of them for who they are and who they will become. I am making an effort to encourage them to pursue their different passions and allowing them to be creative in their own way. I am grateful for the opportunities they have given me learn to be flexible and to be creative. I do get frustrated when things don’t work the same way they did the first time around but at the end my life is enriched and the boys get what they need.
As I enter life as a mother of two toddler boys all I’m hoping for is the patience and creativity to be the mother they each need and the tools to help them become the uniquely individual men that will see the richness brought by the unique traits each human being has.
Are your kids very different from each other? Has that encouraged you to change your parenting style with each one of them?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ana Gaby from Indonesia. She can be found writing at Stumble Abroad.
Photo credit to the author.