Before I had kids I would hear parents say things like ‘there is nothing like the love you experience for your children’ or ‘I can’t stand kids but I love my own more than anything’. I felt it would be impossible to love anyone more than my husband (yes I am a romantic sap).
Baby #1 comes along and I was totally smitten. I became one of those Mum’s I used to cringe over. There was no limit on cute photo uploads. I cherished every moment – I had to take a baby picture on the 12th of every month. It was hard work, our babe was a head strong wee nightmare some days but my heart was literally bursting with love. We grew to love little Bonnie more and more. She suited her name so much – a fun, smiley and very bonnie wee lass.
When our girl was 1 and a half I fell pregnant again. We were thrilled and so excited but I did consider how on earth we could love another baby as much. The months rolled by and our anticipation to meet this wee person grew as much as my tummy (which was A LOT)!
Then he arrived – little Charlie. At first I wasn’t sure if he suited his name. We knew Bonnie so well and had no idea what our son would be like. Thankfully at 1 years old he is the cheekiest little chap we know – there is no better name for him than cheeky Charlie.
Do we love him as much as Bonnie? Actually way more he is amazing.
Jokes aside he has also fully stolen our hearts and I have the same obsession with snapping up every month (30th for him), every cheeky smile and as many of his firsts as I can (never as much time 2nd time around but I am trying my best). I am constantly getting the ‘storage running low’ warning on my iPhone.
Despite now experiencing that feeling of pure unconditional love for both kids I still think how could we love another little girl as much as our wee unique Bonnie and how would another boy compare to little cheeky Charlie?! I am sure I would feel the same if I had two boys or two girls. How could I love another wee person as much?
I am slightly intrigued to find out although the thought scares the living shizzle out of my husband. I do admit to LOVING the fact I am getting a bit more sleep these days and we did dodge colic twice – what if it’s 3rd time unlucky?
Now we have more than one child I feel I can contribute towards this ongoing debate. So do I secretly have a favourite child?
As parents life changes all the time, our kids change all the time as they develop and grow. Sometimes it is a complete joy and other days it is extremely challenging. Some days I feel very connected to one child as I am spending more time with them or doing more for them. Some days one child is an absolute dream and one a nightmare and on those days YES it is very easy to favour being around one more than the other. Some days I want to lock them both in a room and run away and some days I want to shower them both in hugs and kisses.
Initially I struggled a bit with guilt when we had our 2nd. He was so much more dependant on me and pretty much permanently attached to me OD’ing on milk and then throwing up all over me #greedylittlemonster. Despite my desperate attempts Bonnie had never been interested in latching so I did feel a special bond with Charlie that I never had with her for many months. Bonnie was passed around friends and family all the time who would enjoy feeding her bottles. I could leave her with family and know that she would be fed. It was completely different with Charlie – he needed me and I needed him #rocks #engorged #ouchlatchRIGHTNOW. I felt awful for Bonnie as she was so used to having me at her beck and call and now this wee dude was taking up so much of my time. I missed her but at the same time I was loving getting to know Charlie.
They say ‘Mummy’s boy’ vs ‘Daddy’s girl’ and some days that is VERY much the case. Some days Bonnie just wants to be with Daddy all the time and I naturally feel closer to Charlie as I am doing more for him. Then some days I spend more time with Bonnie and I feel such a strong connection. She will say something to me like ‘we are a good team Mummy’ and squeeze my hand. My heart will melt a little.
It’s so exciting to watch our children grow, to find out more about their interests and how much we have in common with them. Perhaps Bonnie will share more passions with her Daddy. She might prefer to go fishing with him and Charlie will want to come running with me. Perhaps Charlie will want to spend most of his time kicking a ball in the garden with Daddy and Bonnie will want to have girly pamper sessions with me. Who knows Charlie might prefer to be pampered – so far both kids could not be any closer to their gender stereotype’s but this could change. Charlie is obsessed with throwing and kicking balls. He is into everything and SO boisterous. Bonnie is gentle, she loves dolls, she loves playing with makeup and getting dressed up. She loves going for a babycino and a gossip. Gender issues aside – both kids are unique and have their own little ways. As much as we try to let them become the people they want to be, they will also pick up good and bad habits from my husband and I. Over the years these habits will make us laugh, make us proud, will drive us crazy and perhaps make us cringe a little.
Perhaps one child will be so similar to me that we clash at times, perhaps one of them will be so different that I find it hard to relate to them (doubtful but you never can tell). Perhaps one will be a super naughty monster and require more attention and the other one a little squeaky clean teachers pet. One might get sick and need me more. One might be fiercely independent and push me away. There will most certainly be moments that one child is less challenging to be around. Does that mean I will favour that child more and want to spend more time with them? No way. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and we naturally connect with different people in life. The difference with my children is that they will always be my babies and I will love them both unconditionally no matter what they throw at me. I will keep on loving them. It doesn’t matter if they decide to travel or if they move away – they will be right beside me in my heart – they are part of me and nothing can ever change that. It doesn’t matter if they go through a phase and say horrible things – if they tell me they hate me. I will love them. It will never be a competition and it should never be.
I reflect over my own childhood and life growing up with two big brothers. I never worried about competing with them. They are both amazing people in their own way and I am proud of all they have achieved and of the people they are today. We all have a unique and special relationship with our parents. We are always supported and encouraged to be the best we can be. It is my wish that our kids feel the same way about each other. I want them to have the confidence to feel proud and not jealous. I want them to love each other and support each other no matter what life throws at them.
I will always want the best for BOTH of my children and any children we may or may not decide to have in the future. No matter how well they behave, how clever they are, what gender they are, their sexuality, how funny and fun they grow up to be. I will cherish them and go out of my way to show them how loved they are. I will be equally proud of the little and the huge things they achieve.