Embracing My Children in Different Ways

Isn’t it funny how two people made up of the same DNA can be SO different from one another? The other night, I was looking through the kids’ newborn photos and I couldn’t help but giggle at the difference between the two. Peyton has a very quizzical look and  furrowed brow in most of her pictures and Emory is just kind of laying peacefully with no emotion in his face.

I laughed even harder thinking back on both experiences. With Peyton, we were such first-born parents and had no clue what organization looked like the first couple of months. We scrambled to get ready as the photographer arrived and Peyton was pretty much upset most of the time. When Emory was born, I took his pictures about a week after, but knew exactly when to take them because I had experienced it all before. He was pretty much asleep the whole time and didn’t make a fuss at all.

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To this day, their personalities and our experiences with each of them are SOOOOO different. Peyton is extremely independent, confident, imaginative, friendly and always looking for an opportunity to learn and Emory is chill, more reserved, smiley, more dependent on us and energetic. We wouldn’t have either of them any other way (I’m sure my husband would argue that we could do without Emory being dependent on us, but that’s another story for another time – ha!). Life would be so boring without their differing personalities.

Thinking about the two of them makes me wonder why God makes children so different from one another. Especially if they’re made from the same two humans, how is it possible that they can have opposite personalities and need their parents in completely different ways? Have you noticed that about your children? One responds better to reassurance with the words you speak, while the other responds better when you hug them or pick them up.

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It’s really neat when you think about it – as parents we are built to adapt and morph the way we react and interact with each child. There is no one way to parent a child whether you have one or a dozen. I can’t help but think God makes our babies unique so we will learn how to empathize with different personalities and have compassion in multiple ways, softening our minds and hearts through each experience (and at the same time, making us a little more gray-haired!). No, but seriously, think about the ways you’ve had to shape your heart and gut reaction with each of your children. That’s a lot of shape-shifting going on there!

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It hasn’t been easy for me navigating these multiple personalities. I often find myself wondering why Peyton can’t be more like Emory or why Emory can’t be more like Peyton during the tough times I have with each of them. It’s a vicious cycle and something I want to erase from my mind. I want to really be mindful about their differences and how I can embrace each person God has given me. And I need to start being mindful of it NOW. I need to be cognizant of the love they want to receive whether it’s words of affirmation, quality time or just listening when they need me most.

Because as long as I’m on this earth, they’ll likely always need me, and one day when they’re older, they won’t feel as comfortable telling me exactly how I can be there for them. This is why I need to figure it out now because they’ll carry these same personalities with them throughout adulthood. And when those happy, sad, confused moments pop up, I want to be able to be the best parent I can be for them.

That’s all of my crazy mama thoughts for one post! The above was swirling and whirling inside my head yesterday and I just had to write it out. I’d love to hear if you feel the same way and how you are working through embracing your children’s personalities.

 

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