***This post was originally written as a Guest Blog post for Momstown.ca.
Every child is different, aren’t they? Every parenting experience unique. Every milestone individual. So why am I surprised that being a parent the second time around is so different than the first?
My kids are just over three years apart; thirty-seven months to be exact. My son is now four-and-a-half, my daughter sixteen months. You would think I’d be getting used to this motherhood gig. And yet every stage along the way makes me stop and think.
How come she seems so little when he seemed so big at this age?
I was always looking ahead with him- to a time when he could roll over, then sit up, then crawl, then walk. I was excited to see what the next stage brought, while trying to appreciate the present one. It’s the opposite with her. I want her to stay my baby forever.
How come I don’t feel like I know her as well as I do him?
Is it simply that he’s older, and therefore his personality has had more time to develop? Or is it that I haven’t spent as much one-on-one time with her? But what the second-born lacks in individual time, they gain in sibling interaction.
How come things aren’t such a big deal this time around?
The big stuff is still a big deal- her accomplishments, her growth, her celebrations. But the small stuff is not a big deal- she gets woken up from naps if we need to be somewhere, she wears dirty clothes on occasion, and she’s eaten lots of sand.
She’s likely my last baby, and I’m soaking her up. My experience has grown, my haste has shrunk, and my perception has changed.