Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I am the Dr. Jeckyll and Mrs. Hyde of Parenting

Unless you are the parent of an only child, most of us will admit to parenting our children differently. You naturally parent a boy-child one way and a girl-child another. You could be the helicopter parent of the first-born (don't touch the stove!) and the seasoned professional of your youngest (touch the stove, that will teach you).

This weekend I realized that I am the Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde of Parenting. 
It is not that I am taking what I learned with Abby and using (or not using) my infinite knowledge with Boo. Instead I have discovered I am two completely different personalities with each of the girls.  

For consideration:

Recently Boo and Abby started swim lessons. When Abby has hers I leave the pool area and (try to) ride the spinning bikes. When Boo is in hers? I hover and sit on the bench with an eagle eye. And she has a 1:1 ratio with the "Y" instructor. Last week when there four children and one instructor I was the captain in charge of leading the other moms to unite and explain that this was not safe or fair. Abby's lesson? The instructor doesn't even get in the pool with her. 

Abby must finish her dinner. Everything on her plate, no exceptions. Unless it is a new food then she has to at least try it. Boo? If she is tired and fussy she gets cereal for dinner. Even if I have to spoon it into her mouth.

Boo has to shower every morning. Abby? In the winter she might go a day (or two three) without. In my defense,  the only way to get a comb in Boo's hair is when she is in the bathtub.

Boo goes to bed no later than 7pm every night. Abby has been known to stretch her bedtime an hour (or two).

I talk more with the moms of Boo's classmates. I don't even know some of Abby's friends or their parents. 

I don't worry about what Abby eats. She is a grazer like her mom. But she mixes it up. She knows for every piece of crap she has to have a piece of fruit or veggie. Boo would eat from the time her eyes open to the time they close. I monitor her diet and what she eats more than I do my own.

I worry less about Abby. She recently went on a sleepover with a friend to a house I had never been to with a mother I had met once. Boo? She is not allowed to go to pool parties, ice skating parties or anywhere that she might not be safe. Although David did ask the guy who invited her to the skating party if he was on drugs. 

Boo makes me cry more. Abby makes me want to pull my hair out in frustration during homework. 

I attend every doctor's visit of Boo's. I share Abby's with David. Until this year's physical when they both refused to go with the other one.

I will stop, sit or dance with Boo. I am more likely to tell Abby to wait until I am done the dishes.

Abby must make her bed every morning, no exception. Boo doesn't but she has Abby make her bed, too. I tried getting Abby to make mine and failed.

The only time I am a mom of one brain/soul/heart with the girls is in my love for them. I hope it balances out, because there is no way in hell Abby is getting a pony.

How about you are you a Jeckyll and Hyde parent?


  1. definitely have my moments with this like you, but I agree my love for them never changes or wavers either :)

  2. That must have been a difficult realization. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    My son is an only child so the Jekyll and Hyding he gets from me is when I forget I am an Autism parent and respond like my parents did with me. Whoops! :-)

  3. Samantha, as you know, is an only child. And, like Autism Mom just pointed out, I'm kinda Jekyll & Hyde all over the place. Sometimes I need to take that step back and realize that she *does* need some tailored decision-making/responses.

  4. At least you're Jekyll and Hyde with two children - I'm Jekyll and Hyde with one.

  5. Oh yes! I think I parent my younger two differently because of Cooper. I watch their typical development everyday and am amazed and am very lenient on physical things they can do! Yes Woody you can jump off the roof! ;) cooper makes me cry and want to tear my hair out! He's pretty good like that!

  6. Buy Abby a pony. Boo will love it too and no, you're not alone. My husband's daughter lived with us, and no. You're doing it all just right. I still think Abby needs a pony though :)


Thanks for stopping by and letting me know what you think!