What Kind of Mom Are You Today?

Sometimes my kids accuse me of having a favorite. They spot differences in parenting and are quick to point them out. Who has it the easiest in the family, the oldest or the youngest? How about the middle child? I'm the oldest, so I can only imagine how 4 out of 5 of my kids feel about their place in the family. What I do know is that every one of them has had a different mom.

My oldest had the scheduled, do it by the book, make no mistakes mom. The last four each had a little more relaxed mom than the child in front of them. And by the time I got to the twins, it was basically anything goes!

Some of them had a mom that read multiple books each night and sang songs before bed. Some got a hasty kiss before I collapsed. Some ate only healthy foods with no unnecessary sugar. Others started ice cream for dessert at 6 months. A few had a mom that helped study for tests. I've been surprised when others came home and said they took a test that day. A couple of them had a field trip and room mom. Other years, making it to parent-teacher conferences felt like a victory.

One child rarely went to summer camps. The rest have gone to camp whenever and wherever I could find one that fit the budget! Some got way too much help on homework and others were encouraged to be independent and do their best. Some went to all their well-child visits, and some missed a few, or several.

Two of them only watched PBS until they were 5. Another had Pirates of the Caribbean as his favorite movie at age 2. A few have had early bedtimes. One has had no bedtime as long as he was quiet. Some got their own room and others shared. And according to certain teenagers, some always had to have water in restaurants when they were little and others have gotten to order a drink. ( I don't know why, but this is a sticking point in their minds!).

Some were born during lean times and others have enjoyed more financial prosperity. Some have gotten to sit in the front seat and others have had to sit in the back. Four of them had the pleasure of a year of homeschooling. Believe me, the one who missed out considers himself lucky! A couple have fought tooth and nail for privileges that others got easily. Some have had to wash their hands before dinner and others have been in charge of their own hygiene, or lack thereof. Some had to eat what was on their plate and others got to be a little more picky.


Dear kids, I want you to know I've loved you all the same no matter what advantages or disadvantages you had by your place in the family. It's impossible to be the same mom for 18 years. You learn and you grow and you change. You let go of some ideas and embrace others. This doesn't mean there are favorites. It just means your mom is human. I hope it all evens out in the end though and you can look back and smile at some of the crazy moms that have shaped who you are today!

How about you? Have you been a different mom with each of your kids? Have they noticed and pointed it out to you yet?

50 comments:

  1. This is a very thought-provoking post and yes, I think I have been a different Mum to each of my kids but I think that's a necessary thing. Unfortunately sometimes they do read it as favouritism but the reality is, each child needs handling and nurturing differently - don't you think? You must be the expert after 5 children - wow! Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday. Glad I've found yours too :)

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    1. I agree that they all need something different, Suzanne! Always a balancing act trying to give what they need and keeping things fair. Thanks for visiting me here! :)

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  2. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Dear Marie, What a beautiful post . . . and your daughters are so pretty, and sons so handsome! Oh my, we can all relate to what you shared with us.
    To answer your question . . . I don't know if I've been different with each of them. I've noticed that each one of them has different needs, and I work hard to meet them. I'm not perfect at it, but I try . . . and when my kids ask me why one of them gets to do something that the other doesn't, then I explain why. I'm sure that I will have a life-time of explaining, lol. But one thing is certain, my love for each of my children is strong, consistent, and unwavering . . . and ultimately, that's what matters most.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Marie . . .
    Have a beautiful week,
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I think the explaining is a must, otherwise they fill in the blanks themselves and usually that's when they get upset. You're right, I think we'll be giving explanations forever! :)

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  3. Oh yes, I agree. I've been used to being a mom to just 1 boy till our littleMiss arrived after 5 years. Now that LittleMiss is turning 2 I see that they have different needs that likewise require me to approach each scenario a different way.

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  4. This is such a relevant post - even with just three kids born fairly close together mine all have very different experiences - my 4 year old has a far different experience to my 6 year old, with my 8 year old different again! But whatever decisions I've made have been the best ones I could at the time, given the limitations that were present at that moment...Visiting from #magicmoments

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  5. Every kids is unique which calls for a different mothering style =) I so agree with your post. #magicmoments

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  6. What a fab post and so interesting. You have a beautiful family. I only have one child so can't really answer this but all I can say is I'm so not the parent I always said I would be!!! REALLY enjoyed reading this #magicmoments

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  7. Marie - I've had to send you another reply. You've inspired me. I loved this post so much and have just written this http://www.wickedworldoflucas.co.uk/146214326/1853750/posting/what-kind-of-mum-am-i - I couldn't find your twitter name as would love to RT your post. Can you send it to me via my post please? One of my favourite posts I have EVER read. I can't even explain why, it just really triggered something in me. Thank you xx

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    1. Thank you so much! It certainly made my morning to wake up and read your post! :) My twitter is @MariePerrigo

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  8. What a lovely post and yes, I've definitely mothered my twin daughters differently as they had completely separate needs! I'm guessing this is down to nature and not nurture! #MagicMoments

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    1. Thank you Izzie! I just read your post http://www.mommyhotspot.com/ten-things-i-miss-now-my-daughters-are-at-college/#comment-39564. Beautifully written!

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  9. So very, very true. I am the eldest of 7 and it really grated on me - at the time - how much the youngest got spoiled! Now, rather than grating, I am grateful! :)

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    1. So good to hear that you can appreciate it now! I'm hoping that for all my kids, too! :)

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  10. This is fantastic and so so right for me too .. with a 10 year gap i have been completely different with mine xx

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

    p.s if your on twitter if you could tweet me so i know your name on there and i will share too (@oliversmadhouse )

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    1. Thanks so much, Jaime! I'm extremely new to Twitter, just this morning actually, so I'd love for you to share it! :) @MariePerrigo

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  11. This is such a different perspective on the matter!! - I have four children, three of which are my step kids and i think i am a REALLY different mum with them!! i tent to be more lenient and relaxed and engaging i think...but when it comes to my daughter i am more meticulous i guess.. wow, this needs lots of reflection..! i am glad i found your post on Thursday Favorite Things link party!
    Marwa @ blossomFamily.net

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  12. Each child is different with different bents. I almost had to be a little different with each of them, but with underneath core values always the same with all. Thanks for presenting a great discussion on the Thursday Blog Hop!

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  13. After the 3 (my girl who is more boy than the boys were), I am deciding everyday what is optional and what is REALLY necessary. Amazing how one list grows and the other shrinks! I love your posts and miss you guys. Maybe we'll come back for a visit soon! BTW: LOTS of things in life are optional, being kind, NEVER!

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    1. Vicki, you always make me laugh! We'd love to see you guys again, too! Thanks for reading here! :)

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  14. love your honesty and grace, marie. lovely writing!

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  15. Great post, and your kids are all adorable!

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  16. That is a great post. I never really thought about it before, but my kids have definitely experienced this, especially since each of my boys are about 10 years apart - I know have one boy in his 30's, 20's, and teens. But they've never really complained about anyone being favorites. I guess I must hide it well.

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    1. Wow, each one ten years apart! They must all consider themselves the favorite! :)

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  17. I absolutely have a favorite child. He's the smart one, the goofy one, the one that gets my attention. Why do I have, and admit to, a fav? Um, he's an only ;)

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  18. Well said! I absolutely feel the same way, even though my children - 3-year-old twins and an 18-month-old baby - are really close in age. I already parent the baby differently than I did the twins at her age because there's only so much of me to go around. Plus, if the big girls were having ice cream, there was no way I was going to deny the little sister just because she was a baby :)
    I loved this post.

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    1. You're a busy mom and little ice cream makes life a lot smoother! I'm sure the youngest will do many things to "keep up" with her older sisters. :)

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  19. I love this! I frequently worry about the impact my different parenting styles will have on each kid. But, you're right, there is no way to avoid it. We learn and grow right along with them, so of course we are going to parent them each differently! I just remember my baby sister getting away with CRAZY stuff compared to me. Always made me mad growing up, but the good news is, I never thought she was the favorite. So, I guess our kids deep down down think that either. At least I hope not! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. You're right, Meredith! I think sometimes kids like to tease about there being a favorite child because they know it drives moms crazy and makes us feel guilty. :) Thanks for visiting me here!

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  20. I love how you've framed this because I've struggled with feeling like I treat my two boys differently, but you're right--they're different kiddos and therefore, I'm a bit of a different mom with each. I'm so glad you linked up to this and I was able to read it!

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate you visiting me here! :)

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  21. I loved this! I only have two kids and they are four years apart, but even so, things were a little bit more relaxed with the second.

    I was the youngest of six kids and when I was a teen I had my own t.v. and my own stereo system in my own bedroom. My oldest brother was visiting one time and mentioned to my mom that he never had any of that stuff when HE was a teen. My mom reminded him that he was the oldest of six kids and that they couldn't afford it at the time, lol! ;)

    Thanks so much for linking up to "Making Your Home Sing Monday!"

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  22. What a thought provoking post. I only have one child and so can't relate to being a different mum with different children, but I know that realities of life have certainly made me a different kind of mum to the kind I thought I would be when I was pregnant. Not better, not worse, just different. Thanks for linking up to #sharewithme

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  23. What a lovely family you have here. I have always wanted a bigger famliy as I am one of eight. I think Mom was a different mom to each one of us and we often pointed it out to here too. Mine two are still really young so cant point that out yet I do find myself being different. Not sure if it's a boy and a girl thing or an toddler and a baby thing. I have yet to find out. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me again. Great to get to know you more this week!!! :) Feeling the blog love! #sharewithme

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  24. I love this post - it;s no wonder you've been different with each kid because you learn as you grow, plus each kid is different and presents their own challenges. We only have one but number 2 is on the way and i am already relaxing a lot of rules that i sued to hold firm! Great post, just a lovely lovely read! #sharewithme

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    1. Thanks, Caroline! Relaxing rules is the beginning of the end!! :)

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  25. noooo, this is not something I've thought about (due my second in 4.5wks) - but reading this, you've made me realise that my own parents were differfent with all four of us (myself, the eldest, and 3 younger siblings) so I bet you I will be too... even though I always said I wouldn't!
    #sharewithme would love you to come say hi over at carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk xx

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    1. Thank you, Jo! Good luck with your new baby! Off to check out your blog :)

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  26. This is so true. As one of five, I saw that first hand. What a lovely post xx #sharewithme

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  27. Thanks, Alison! There is a special place in my heart for one of five! :)

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  28. I love this post!! You have beautiful children, by the way. Glad I found your blog!
    Motherhood and Muffin Tops

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    1. Thanks, Joni! I appreciate you visiting me here. I always enjoy your posts, too! :)

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  29. A great post that I am sure many a Mum can relate to. I know that my two get a different Mum and they are not scared to point it out to me either!

    I knowingly treat my two different due to the fact their needs are different and I am always growing and changing as a person. I am sure that when they are older and have a family of their own they will understand that Mums are also human, but for now we are Mums, no more, no less.

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  30. Definitely thought provoking. I have been a different mom to all my kids too. I worried more with the first, the second was more mature at a younger age and so had benefits related to that that the first and third didn't have, I'm more lax with the third. I try to be fair, but my kids will say the same exact thing...why did this one get this, why didn't I get that? The fact of the matter is all of their needs are different and they are constantly changing and growing and learning and as that happens, their needs change again!

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  31. I'm expecting my 2nd child in 3 months. I'm already worrying how I could split my time, love and attention between my children. My first child's look and temperament are exactly like me, and I see myself in her, I hope I won't play favorite. Fingers crossed!!

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    1. You won't, but they'll still accuse you of playing favorites someday. :) thanks for reading and good luck with baby #2. What an exciting time!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you!