Parenting the second time around

I’m a Mummy to two children. They are both adorable,  loving and different in their own ways.
Recently I’ve been looking back over Emmy’s younger years and comparing them to Harry’s first year (well almost a year).
One thing that strikes me is how different my parenting is the second time around, more relaxed, go with the flow and pretty worry free if I’m honest.
Despite being a Nanny for 11 years by the time Emmy came around I still questioned myself and did things to the book in a way.  For fear of messing up,  getting it wrong or doing a bad job.
She had the recommended ounces of formula for her age, once we finished breast feeding,  I made her meals in advanced in batches and froze, getting them out the night before for tomorrow’s meals.  Her bottles were made fresh. Jars and sachets hardly ever entered the house and I went fortnightly to get her weighed.  We went to the library for story time and attended baby and toddler groups.
Harry….well he was breast fed for longer because he wanted it and because it was easier.  He co-sleeps when he wants to. Naps are taken wherever he wants them and he sleeps better on me given the chance.  He hasn’t been weighed since his 9 month check up, he is baby led weaned (blw) and eats whatever we have – his favourites being chicken curry or sausage casserole.
Parenting a second child is easier in a way because you’ve been there and done that, bought the t-shirt and survived! Your child came out unscathed and in one piece – give or take the odd bump or bruise.
It’s also harder in a way too and not for obvious reasons such as juggling two children.  
It’s harder because throughout the first years you’ll find yourself unconsciously comparing your children to each other.
You won’t mean to do it but you will at many points before their first birthday.
Paul and I have been with Harry and Emmy.  Only this week it was done again and I personally don’t think two children should be compared against each other.
It started at birth – Emmy was 8lbs 13oz and Harry 7lbs 9oz.
The next time I remember doing it was when Harry was about 4 weeks old, this was the time Emmy was moved to her own room – at 4 weeks Harry would barely allow me to put him down due to his reflux.
At 10 weeks Emmy was sleeping through,  Harry at almost 11 months has only done it 4/5 times.
This weeks conversation and comparisons were about walking.  Emmy took her 1st steps on Christmas day 2010 when she was 10.5 months old. Harry has past this point and starting to think about it.
I hate comparing my children to each other. They are 2 separate people, individuals and will always do things differently and at different times.
But why do I still do it if I hate it so much? 

I’ve no answer to that at all.
Do you compare your children?

7 thoughts on “Parenting the second time around

  1. I completely agree with you about second time round parenting being a more laid back affair. With my first I used to panic if she missed a feed or had her dinner late but by the time my son came along I realised actually missing a feed really isn't a life or death situation.
    And as for comparing I don't do it as much as I thought I would. I think because my daughter was and still is really quite advanced in so many things (eg walking at ten months, she's started school already able to read etc) I've realised that if I compare the two my son might never live up to her achievements and that would a horrible way to look at their childhood as he's just as clever and amazing – all kids do things in their own time.

  2. Moms are just human beings, no matter how much we want to be the perfect being there is. We observe other people and we do so too with our kids. We should be forgiving ourselves in times like these. I think there's nothing wrong with comparison though, if you do not mean to exalt one and belittle the other.

  3. Same as Colette I compare out of interest. Gracie never walked until 18 months but could hold a conversation and knew lots of words by 1 whereas Zach doesn't talk much but he started walking at 10 months but I have found they are both very clever with understanding and can I what I tell them to from the age of 10/11 months which I think I wasn't expecting! It doesn't mean you think one Is better than the other but you see how differently they learn and grow and make them individual x

    1. My husband compares mine and keeos saying to me " Emmy was walking by now…whats wrong with him?"
      I think thats why I don't like comparisons as such. They do things when ready

  4. I compare my children all the time – out of interest, not with an ounce of negativity. I find it really interesting to see how differently they develop. Its especially hard not to compare when they were born in the same month – it means I'm always thinking "Oh he did that at Christmas, she didn't do it till half term" etc.

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