Parenting 10 years apart

When I first became a mom, I was 17 and alone, meaning the father hit the road. I was lucky to have family around me. But it was still crazy, hard and a huge responsibility. I’d like to think I handled it better than most, but you know opinions vary, I guess.

Unlike statistics, that say 1 in so many teen moms will have a second child within so many years, I didn’t have another child for another 10 years.

Yes I had 3 girls. But 2 I didn’t physically give birth too. When I gave birth to my son it was exactly 10 years and 6 days after the birth of my daughter.

Now that my son is 3. I see some changes that I have made as far as appreciating the little things that a baby/child does.

Looking back I see where I was in hurry for my daughter to reach and hit milestones. I wanted her to potty train sooner than most. I was excited when she could spell her name at 2 1/2. I moved her into a twin size bed at 2. I think I wanted her to hurry up and grow to that “fun stage”. And now it makes me sad that I didn’t really enjoy it. Meaning I was too young and naive and self absorbed (I’m not afraid to admit it) to see how incredibly special that time was and how fast they grow. And I am not saying it was just my biological daughter. I think I did it with all 3 girls. I mean I had to adjust to being mom to 3, while planning a wedding, while in the I can’t get enough of you love phase, then becoming a newlywed/wife and then buying my first house. I think I was just too busy, unfortunately.

Now when I had my son. I LOVED the whole baby stage. I loved waking up at night. I loved changing the dirty diapers. The one regret I do have is not breast feeding longer (which was not even an option in my mind when I had my daughter). I wait until the last possible moment to push him to move to the next stage of his life.

I left him in a crib until about 6 months ago. My mom was hounding me about getting him a big boy bed. But I just wanted to wait until I knew he was ready and me for that matter. And when I did switch him I didn’t have the fighting at night and the up and down with him. From day one, he has slept in his bed all night. In fact, in the morning and nap time, he doesn’t get up and come out. He lays in there and calls my name. But I think it’s because he likes me to cuddle with him.

I just switched him to pull-ups about 5 months ago or so.

I just started potty training off and on about 2 weeks ago. Getting more consistent with it every week. Of course I talked to him about it, I just didn’t force the issue. And I have to admit seeing all the friends on Facebook saying how their kids, that are younger than him, are potty trained did give me a moment of am I a terrible parent. But then I brushed it off and went to change his pull-up (HAHA).

I didn’t push him to learn the alphabet or his name. He has chosen to sit down and do school with his sisters. But I also don’t force it everyday. If he sits at the table I am prepared, if he doesn’t no big deal.

I take the time to lay in bed and cuddle with him every morning. And we have begun storytime before bed every night.

I just realized how much easier it is as a 30 yr old than as the young mom. And yes I am sure some of it has to do with the fact that he is number 4. But I feel like a lot of it is me. Waiting and wanting another for so long and now having it and appreciating it.

I realized how much of a gift it is to be someone’s mom.

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