Because Each Child Is Unique
We had a bunch of our friends over to my in laws’ house last night for dinner, and it was so much fun seeing everyone. Some friends we hadn’t seen in over 1.5 years! At one point I was catching up with some friends, and I was talking about how my husband and I are constantly so surprised how our children can be so very different from each other, even at this young age. When I was pregnant, I always told myself that I wouldn’t compare my children; and I don’t intentionally try to, but sometimes I’ll notice that I’m wondering why my son isn’t doing something his sister used to do, or I’ll marvel at something my son does that my daughter did not do. If that makes sense?
So here are some examples: my daughter always used to nurse to sleep. For everything, naps, night time, quick doze while feeding etc. Whereas my son has probably nursed to sleep maybe a handful of times. He will nurse, then get fussy and need to be walked around the house, while lightly bouncing or patting his butt until he falls asleep. So when he’s tired and needing a nap, my first instinct is to nurse him to sleep, but then I remember he doesn’t fall asleep this way because he is not his sister. Which is fine! I am so glad that they are each their unique person; for some reason I just assumed they’d have the same mannerisms as babies. And they’re already proving to me that they have their own individual personality and character. Another example is how my daughter could only nap in my arms up until she was about a year and a half. And this could be because she was my first baby and I didn’t know any better, and didn’t force the issue of sleeping in her crib for naps; but I’m always so surprised that my son is able to transfer to his bassinet fairly easily and stay there, and not need to sleep in my arms.
It just reminds me that it’s good to keep that perspective of: every child is different. And even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t compare them, I’m also human and can’t help but notice how very different my children are. And this isn’t in a negative or a positive way, but more an “observant and needing to go with the flow” type of way. Because I would never want to categorize one of my children as “the easy baby” or “the high maintenance baby” because those types of categorizations can follow them until adulthood. Even more so, those types of categorizations can sculpt and mold a child into conforming to that description. So though I am aware of my children’s personality differences, I will simply acknowledge each child’s persona and meet their needs accordingly and individually.
Children are always changing, and in my humble opinion, it is up to us as parents to let them carve their own way in life and become their own person. So on those late nights where I am rocking and nursing and patting and lightly bouncing on my feet to persuade my baby son to sleep, I will make more of a concerted effort to not nostalgically wish that he could just nurse to sleep like his sister, and instead I will enjoy my one on one time with my son & take it all in. As I know that this will not last forever. Just as my daughter now goes to sleep simply by laying next to me, I know all too well that my son will also be changing this sleep habit soon too. So I will cherish it all, as much as possible.