So, I don’t know about you, but when I started this whole parenting gig I thought I had a pretty good handle on things. I am the oldest of 6 kids between my parents. So I had experience. Diaper changes, bottle feedings, bedtime routines, homework help, and more. I also ran a baby sitters club with a few local friends when I was in my teens. My parental preparedness resume was pretty impressive.
I guess it was a good thing that my resume was so impressive, because my husband… God love that man. When I asked him about his experience with babies he looked at me and said, “I was a baby once. Does that count?” Ummm… No. No it does not.
Cue our first little one, Robert.
This picture… He is much older now, closing in on double digits this year. But this picture, it captures him in a way that not many others have. His soulful eyes full of emotion, contemplation, absorbing and taking in his surroundings. So full of thought. So full of feeling. And those cheeks. They’re fading a bit, but still so full and kissable, much to his chagrin.
That’s him to a T. He is my feeler. My empathetic soul. So in tune to others. He knows when you are sad, worried, joyful, angry, disappointed, anxious. There is no point in trying to hide emotions from him, he sees them through every mask you try to wear to hide them from him. He sees emotions as plainly as you and I see eye color.
He still has some surprises up his sleeves though. This little guy loves hockey and only hockey. Such a rough and high impact sport for such a sensitive and caring young boy to love! But he loves it. I think it’s because he likes to protect and defend. He tries to play offense now, but his true nature shines through whenever someone goes in to score a goal. He’s right there and won’t stop until he stops you. That’s his goal, hit net, and he’ll do everything he can to keep you from scoring on it.
Five years and one dog later the Lord decided it was time to bless us with another little one. Sean and I were feeling confident about it. Robert was a great little boy, ready for Kindergarten, finding his own groove and his own way in life. So, we felt two kids should be easy.
Just like riding a bike right?
Whoa nelly! Not so much. One thing you have to understand about Gisele is that my little Gigi was not likely to have entered this world when she did. I won’t get into details, but let’s just say she is a force of nature.
Not only is she a force of nature, but she is a complete anomaly. As you can see above, she’s my little blonde curly haired, blue eyed, left-handed genetic lottery winner among a family of brown straight haired, brown eyed, right-handed folks.
She is loud and wild and silly beyond words. If it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth her time. She loves to dance, giggle, and cuddle more than anything, and I swear she was born talking and singing. Not to mention the flare for theatrics… She comes by it honestly though. Let’s just say my original dream was to be on Broadway.
She is unstoppable. There is always a way around any obstacle she comes up against. Her favorite phrase is “I can do it myself!”. She is a fearless and unhindered leader of anyone around her, and impromptu dance parties follow her around wherever she goes. She’s currently taking dance lessons, but has told us this year she wants to get into “dancing hockey” (a.k.a figure skating) next year.
Two Kids, Complete Opposites
It’s funny when I look at them. I always knew that my kids would be different, but to have such starkly contrasted kids was a shock! My schedule oriented, sensitive, quiet, gentle little boy was met with a spontaneous, rule breaking, loud, wild, crazy little girl who is bound and determined to rule to universe according to her latest song.
All of the struggles we faced with Robert growing up, seeing specialist after specialist trying to understand him and meet his needs did absolutely nothing to prepare us for his sister. She came along with her own set of rules, her own set of struggles, and her own set of specialist needs. Nothing overlapped.
Parenting techniques that worked perfectly for one, had absolutely no impact on the other. It was a wild and unpredictable ride with these two. Trying to learn to parent two kids in two completely opposite ways. Trying to feed them in two different ways as one likes to graze and the other is sensorily picky. And trying to meet their emotional needs in two totally dissimilar ways… To say we are still a bit lost would be an understatement.
A Few Things that Work for Both Kids
Not many things have worked well for both of my kiddos, so when I find something awesome that works for both kids, I jump all in!
Both kids thrive on a natural diet where artificial colors and sweeteners, soy, and gluten are eliminated. We buy local and organic as much as possible, and focus on letting food be our first form of medicine.
Both kids love and benefit from essential oils! They help with Robert’s sensory overload, feelings of anxiousness and sadness, and clear the fog from his brain. For Gisele they help ease her digestive discomfort, boost her immune system, and help her wind down for a better more restful sleep. If you want to learn more, head over to my doTERRA dream page and learn how doTERRA has changed our lives financially. I’ll be sharing more about how we use essential oils for our physical and emotional needs in the coming weeks. Essential oils are what we reach for to help us stay well.
Finally though, both kids benefit most from Sean and I loving God, loving each other, and loving them. We’re far from perfect, but we do our best. We admit when we’re wrong, draw firm boundaries, and love on them every chance we get. We let them be their wildly different selves, and help guide them as best we can to grow up loving God and serving people.
I hope that this post encourages those of you out there who are like me. Who have two kids who are total opposites, who get completely overwhelmed trying to be the mom each kiddo needs. You’ve got his. God gave them to you for a reason. You are an amazing mom.
So grab your coffee and your Bible and take on today confidently.