Mother with son and daughter


I Have Two Kids, But Parenting My Son Feels Easier — Here’s Why

Jul 15, 2019

My son came into this world looking like my husband’s twin.

From the very beginning, everyone pointed out how much he was like his father.

I heard that he looked exactly like my husband so much that I started to feel a bit like the baby machine that just popped out a baby. I had nothing to do with this creature. He had nothing of me.

As he grew up, his own unique personality started to show and it was even more obvious that he was my child.

Slowly but surely we started to see the similarities. But they weren’t in the way we looked. The things that made us alike came everywhere else.

He was such a routined baby, and still is as a matter of fact. He needs his sleep and if he’s tired, watch out! That is all me. I’m 40 years old and I still have a bedtime.

As he grew up, his own unique personality started to show and it was even more obvious that he was my child.

We have the same taste in food. We like similar movies and music. We are both morning people. We both follow the rules. We enjoy our time alone.

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My daughter, in the early years, looked a little more like me, but her personality has always been much more like her father.

They both like to sleep in and can lie in bed snuggled under the covers forever. My husband has found a dance partner in our daughter and the two of them are in their own little world as they spin around our living room. Neither of them tire of hugs and kisses. Ever.

I understand his way of thinking, even when it might seem irrational to some.

She needs less structure. She is a bit of a free bird. She giggles with her father when they choose to not follow a rule while my son and I start to sweat.

It all seems like superficial similarities. Ones that shouldn’t impact parenting at all.

But the truth is, they do impact the way I parent.

Parenting my son feels easier.

Recently, my son and my husband were arguing. I could feel the argument escalating. Each of them growing increasingly frustrated with the other. I knew exactly what was pushing my son’s buttons. I could see it in his eyes. I pulled my husband aside and said, “Listen to him. He’s not feeling heard, you need to just listen to what he’s saying and acknowledge it.” My husband huffed away but took my advice. Within a few minutes the argument ended in hugs and apologies.

I knew exactly what was bothering my son because it is what would have annoyed me in the situation.

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I understand his way of thinking, even when it might seem irrational to some.

If I’m being honest, I don’t always understand my daughter with the same ease. We are different. When I’ve said something that hurts her feelings, I don’t instinctively know what it is that I’ve done. More than once she’s said to me “you just don’t get it.” The sting of that statement is that she isn’t wrong. I just don't get it.

I have to ask her why she’s upset and still struggle to understand when she explains herself. When we have an argument, I don’t always know the best way to dissolve it. And I seem to say the wrong thing often.

I’m terrified that my daughter is going to grow up feeling as though I love her less.

When I’ve had a long day and just need quiet space without being touched, my son understands and is more than happy to hangout with me reading in silence. My daughter continues to hang on to me, clutching at me, forcing herself into my personal space and I can see the hurt in her eyes when I ask her to leave me be for a bit.

I love both my children. Equally. With every ounce of who I am.

I love spending time with them, both alone and together. I love the family memories that we are building.

I’m terrified that my daughter is going to grow up feeling as though I love her less.

But I don’t know how to make it easier.

I tell her daily how much I love who she is. She holds traits that I can only dream of. I admire all the ways that she’s different from me and I try my best to impress that on her.

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The time that I spend with my son is easy. We can be skiing down the slopes together or spending a morning at the library. It’s just easy. I know in him I’ve found a shopping partner and in a few years, when he’s old enough, I’ll have someone to watch scary movies with.

The time I spend with my daughter is often more challenging. I lose my patience more, but what’s amazing is the way that she pushes me. She forces me out of my comfort zone. She presses me to let go of some of my inhibitions to be a bit less rigid and a bit more carefree.

The fact of the matter is, sometimes I have to try harder with her.

I just hope that she doesn’t grow up to feel as though she has to try harder with me.

Article Author Natalie Romero
Natalie Romero

Read more from Natalie here.

Natalie’s passion for writing was reignited as she blogged her way through the pain of her son’s health issues and NICU stay. She is the wife of the world’s greatest foot rubber and mother to an amazingly loyal little boy and a fiercely independent little girl. An HR professional by day and a freelance writer and blogger by night, Natalie is getting a crash course in the juggling act that is the life of a working mother, though she does occasionally drop a ball or two! After spending much of her life trying to be perfect she has learned to rock her shortcomings and is not afraid to admit when she’s failed. This parenting thing can be tough and Natalie believes the best way to survive it is by keeping it real and by leaning on your tribe.

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