Monday, April 29, 2013

The journey to loving different children differently yet the same

Even before Kenzi was born I worried as a mother how I would have the capacity to love two little girls the same, as I loved the first little girl more than I had ever imagined it possible to love someone. I guess that's one of  the wonderful things about love. It has no capacity and the more we love the more we grow.

I worried about this before Kenzi was born because Averi was loved so much by everyone. She was perfect; don't we all think our first one is perfect? As much as she's a very mischievous child she was such an easy baby, toddler, little girl. She was a very happy baby, and so many people besides us just adored her. When I found out I was having a second girl I worried that she would always feel like she was in her sister’s shadow and that she was not loved as much as her sister. Once she was born my worry over her increased SOOOO much more.Her first night, her and I cried ALL NIGHT LONG. I don't think I will ever forget that night sitting in that dark, hospital bed alone with my screaming baby while the rest of my family (Nate and Averi) were at home. I was so afraid the frustration I felt at my new baby so shortly after her birth was already damaging her. She was inconsolable. I missed Nate and Averi and all Kenz wanted to do was eat and then she'd cry some more. I got little sleep; I remember waking up to a scolding doctor because I feel asleep with my baby in the bed. I know. Big no no! Just add it to the bad mother list.

Then I brought her home and she cried and cried and still kept crying. Even my mom at that time seemed a little concerned for my sanity with such a difficult baby. I loved her but there were a lot of times I wasn't sure if I liked her. And my husband he had no idea how to deal with her. I had no family around to give me that mental reprieve I probably so desperately needed at times so I felt in order to overcompensate for all the positive attention Averi always got and all the frustrations Kenzi received, I would at times find myself short or hard on Averi since everyone seemed to have patience with her but not for Kenz. I felt I was the only one that had patience with her and so in some weird return way I then turned that impatience I didn't want to have towards Kenz  towards Averi. Am I making any sense? Anyway I felt trapped in this weird, am I being way too psychologically analytical in the way I love and treat my two totally different children.

So for quite awhile after the birth of my second daughter I had this crazy mommy guilt of how to love both my daugthers equally. I don't think it was until a year later I started to see things differently.  I still do worry about her but as I see her growing and becoming her own person, I worry less and less.  I would as her mother slowly come to learn I love my children differently because they are different people; the same way I love my mother differently than my father; the same way I love my two sisters differently, but I still love them all the same. If I had to choose between my parents, between my sisters, between my two daughters I wouldn’t be able to choose. I love them both more than myself, more than anything. In the ways that one was difficult, the other one was easy and vice versa. Kenzi is the best kid ever about laying down for nap or bedtime; whereas, I'm pretty convinced Averi is the worst kid ever about going to bed. Averi is very affectionate and loves to cuddle; whereas, if you get a cuddle from Kenz you just want to squeeze and squeeze because she gives them so rarely. One whines and cries about things and the other just flat out fights back. I worry that one is going to get hurt because she loves and trust in everyone too easily; I worry that the other will get hurt because she pushes people away and doesn't warm up to strangers or new things as fast. They are two totally different girls but I love them the same because they each have different things that make them the Averers or the Kenzer that I can't wait to see and kiss on at the end of each day.

They each have character traits I adored that the other doesn't really have. I can see parts of myself and my husband in each of them in different ways. There are different things about each of them that I will love as they grown into the women they will become. There are things they both do and will do that will drive me absolutely crazy! And after talking to friends this weekend, I see too that you sometimes parent the way you parent because your kid is a certain way. Averi is not a routine kid; she is extremely flexible, go with the flow, very much like her dad. Kenz on the other hand is more like my family and has to have routine and structure. I could tell you her schedule; Averi I feel like has never had a schedule. She sleeps during the night; she's awake during the day, and she eats two to three meals a day. Kenz I could give you time slots for everything. They are both very independent girls, but Kenzi even more so in some ways. They look like sisters some days, but not so much on others. They each have their own features, and even though it took Kenz a little longer to grow her hair (and I'm sure I'm totally biased) they are both gorgeous girls and going to give their daddy fits later.

But as I watch Kenz run to us now to hug our legs, toddle towards us with her arms raised going "mama" or "dada", or walks up to her sister to hug her, I know she feels our love and loves us back. I love the adoration I see between the two girls. Now that Kenz is older and can play with her sister and show her emotions more verbally to us, I don't worry as much. We see her personality now and we love her for her special uniqueness the same way we love Averi for hers.

                                                                    My babies

                                                                  My model babies
                                                                 My other model baby

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1 comment:

  1. Your kids are so, so cute!!!! I totally understand what you mean about the first being so easy, and second being so difficult! family around to help.
    As I write more, and meet more blog-moms, I feel so much better about my situation. It seems that the moms around me all have their family and communities, but the blog moms understand me so much more!