This week’s word has to be different.
I read a post by Mummy Times Two this week on how different her two children are. It’s odd, as you expect these creatures you created to be little clones of each other but genetics is a funny thing. They just aren’t!
My gremlin is the spit of her Dad, yet I have been told she is a mini me in personality at her age; loud, loving, stroppy, bossy, a very early talker, silly and generally lots of fun.
Little Piglet is definitely like my side to look at. More people are saying very like me and my brother but has a much more chilled nature. I’m keen to to see how this will develop as she gets older. My brother was a laid back bean but his tantrums were legendary as he hit the 2 year mark!
It’s not just the kids that are different, parenting is different. I have done so many things differently with Piglet to the gremlin as a Mother.
- Co-sleeping. I was so black and white with the gremlin and I didn’t want to do it at all. We didn’t either. With Piglet, however, especially in those early days, we did. If she had a feed and fell asleep with me, I would wake an hour later and move her back to her Moses. Cycle would repeat if she woke again. It didn’t matter; we all slept and were happy. It didn’t last long but worked.
- The gremlin was moved to her cot in her own room at 6-8 weeks old. She was a dot. She was absolutely fine and loved it. With Piglet we waited until 4 months. Piglet definitely has picked up more illnesses and we preferred to have her close. Also I felt really sad about her leaving us. She is a much quieter sleeper than the gremlin and we really held off the move. This has gone really well!
- Naptime stressing. I used to really want the gremlin to be in a routine with her daytime naps and used to want her to sleep alone. With Piglet, I just do not care and she has actually found her routine of around 3 x 30 minute naps a day; sometimes she feeds to sleep, other times she nods off in her bouncer.
- Cuddling. I’m sad to write I worried about cuddling the gremlin too much. I didn’t want to make “a rod for my own back” blah blah. I have completely ignored this second time around. When Piglet did not want to sleep in the evenings we cuddled. I don’t always go out when my gremlin is at nursery; we snuggle on the sofa. These baby moments will be gone and I want to savour every second. I have definitely made up for it with the gremlin since!!
- Not fretted as much about routine. Of course we wanted it and little Piglet has slotted into her big sisters. They share baths and as the gremlin has stories, Piglet is with me feeding. But it wasn’t such a big deal.
- For me personally I have felt less pressure to get “myself” back again. To go out, to stop breastfeeding, to get my old life back. It did feel this with the gremlin and this time I don’t care. Piglet is likely to be our last baby and I want to savour her.
I think ultimately you are way more relaxed with your second and they are more chilled because of this. You have learnt, as a parent, you need to savour all the cuddles and snuggles as they just don’t last forever.
What about you? Did you parent differently with your first and next children?