I have heard people comment before on how strange it is that two siblings with the same parents could turn out so different from one another. Having four littles myself I see how amazing it is that each child has such an incredibly unique personality and world view from even a young age. However, I also realize that they have each had a very different mama.
With my oldest I was a staunch rule follower. We sleep trained, we scheduled, and every day all the meals and snacks looked like the food pyramid. When my second was born, my oldest was only seventeen months old, but he was now the big brother. I asked him to get me things, I was very strict about obedience, I expected much of his little baby self. Then, eighteen months later, sister was born. Three babies under the age of three. Everything in my home ran on a schedule, without which I would have surely been committed as a ward of the state. Everything always happened in threes...three breakfasts, three sets of teeth brushed, three heads of hair combed, three sets of shoes on feet, three blessed naps...you get the point.
Now there are four babies in my home; my youngest is three and the oldest is eight, and let me tell you the mother I am to a three-year-old now is LIGHT YEARS away from the mama I was to my oldest who was a three-year-old with two little siblings.
This morning I called my sister to laugh about the way I dropped my youngest off at preschool, without his hair combed and mismatching shoes...and my sister informed me that she has noticed my children taking a turn for the homeless look...and I guess that’s true. After a season of needing schedule, and routine, and doing everything for everyone, I am in a place where I just let things go. Temper tantrums don’t faze me, I pick my battles carefully, I worry less about my children eating from all the food groups, and worry more about the conversations happening around my table during meals.
As a result my three-year-old baby is wild and carefree, and his biggest brother is careful and structured.
I have to fight my tendency to think that one is better and more rounded than the other, I have to fight the voice in my head that says I have royally screwed one (or all) of them up with my parenting.
God created each of us. He gave me my babies in this order, He created us for one another, and we fit together the way we were made to. I am positive that there are things that I have put the screw job to, that there are issues my babies are going to have to work through as they get older. I also know I did my best, I sought after God, and that ultimately He has a plan for these sweet souls that include this mama they have been given.
So, cheers to you mama. Cheers to your schedule or lack of one, cheers to your beautifully dressed babies or your mismatched ones. Cheers to the mama you once were and the mama you are yet to be. Cheers to loving your babies well and doing the best you can. You were made for this, and so were they.