There are definitely some differences when parenting the second time around… the first time around it’s like you are walking down a dark tunnel and you can barely see a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just a pinpoint of light and you know it’s there but you don’t know how to get to it. You walk slowly, shuffling your toes as you go and feeling your way down the walls, but it’s slow going. After a while, your eyes start to adjust to the darkness and you can make out the hurdles, but they aren’t really ever ‘clear’.
The second time around, it’s so different. It’s as if you already know where the light switches are, so you can walk a little faster, you know where the ‘bumps’ in the floorboards are and where you have to tread lightly. It’s easier to light the path ahead of you when you know what’s coming!
I’ve found that with Landon, I seem to have more excitement when he hits milestones, I tend to wonder “what’s next?!” or “when did he learn that?”.
With Brooks, I am tending to savor the moments more, instead of hustling him through the stages I’m doing more savoring, knowing that I don’t want to have more kids so I am enjoying the process a little more and not rushing it.
It was such an interesting realization for me to recognize the way that I already treat my kids so differently – the pushing, the what is next when it comes to the first and then the savor the moment, remember this minute that has come with the last.
I know that as they grow, there will be more ways that they are parented differently. Yes, with the same values and beliefs behind them, but knowing how my sister, brother and I all respond very differently to certain styles of encouragement and discouragement, I know that the same will hold true for my kids. Already things that worked like a charm for Landon, aren’t Brooks’ cup of tea and vice versa. But, what I’m talking about is less about the parenting aspect of it and more about how I approach my children in their different stages of childhood. The way that I get excited for Landon to do all the new things and reach the new milestones – the achievement of another accomplishment reached, versus the love of enjoying Brooks’ little moments. Recognizing that what he’s doing now is already something that is so far from my mind I can’t even remember Landon doing it just two years earlier. Realizing that I want to remember and savor these little minutes because as time has already proven, they fly by so quickly and are soon forgotten as new milestones fill my brain.
Does anyone else find that they’ve experienced this as they raise their kids?