Eight years ago today, I was lying on the couch and rereading Harry Potter for the who-knows-how-manyeth time when I suddenly felt these weird cramps in my tummy. Even though I was already 2 days “overdue” I didn’t think much of it. Braxton Hicks were my daily friend by that time anyway.
But then she stopped moving and we started panicking. So after downing a coke and still not being able to move, we rushed off to the hospital at around 11pm. I remember it being rainy and freezing when we pulled up the ER and then being rushed up to the maternity ward. Once I was plugged up with every heart rate measuring device in the room, we saw that our little girl was totally fine – just fast asleep.
It was not a complete loss though because the trip confirmed one thing. We were in labour. I say we. But obvs I mean that I was the one crying through contractions and breathing through the pain. The reason I say we though, is because Seth was getting his hand crunched through those contractions and helping me through the whole process. So it is a we situation.
Anyway. It took a long time before we welcomed Kyla into the World. She only arrived on the 14th at 6pm. And forgive me for going on about this now when this post is really not about this at all. However, with the 14th being tomorrow, I guess it’s all just very much front of mind.
When we found out that we were pregnant again just 4 months later we were obviously shocked but warmed to the idea relatively quickly. Having discussed our family at length since we were dating, Seth and I knew we wanted more kids than just two. So we chose not to find out if Riya was a girl or a boy. We wanted to be surprised when she was born. In my mind though – she was totally a boy. The pregnancy was different than with Kyla. With Kyla I only had 13 weeks morning sickness and then nothing but stretchmarks until the day she was born. With Riya I puked my guts out for the full 9 months. It was rough. And so different that it MUST be a boy.
And well, obviously Riya is a girl so I was totally wrong.
So there we were, with two beautiful girls. It was exciting though – I had all these visions of them doing sweet sisterly things that I never had the chance to do. You know what I mean right? Sharing clothes, chatting about friends, giggling into the night and having this deeper relationship that only they could understand. And to a large degree, I think they have actually got that. Of course they argue and fight all the damn time too, but they’re friends too.
What I didn’t prepare myself for was the comparison that comes with two girls.
I have a younger brother and sure we compared but it was always slightly different because he is a boy and I’m a girl. We had different interests and there was less and less for us to compare.
Comparison between girls extends to so many more things. Like appearance. Which I’m not going to go into now, but did a while back. What I do want to talk about is this. The other day I mentioned that I was having issues being a parent and maintaining any sense of sense after reading all my kids reports and chatting to their teachers. This is why. It’s because my girls are polar opposites to each other in personality and interests but still feel the need to compare. They literally started comparing their reports grade by grade before I ripped it away from them and told them to go find something fun to do.
The thing is, even I found myself comparing the two. Even though I know better. Because when I was comparing, I wasn’t looking at my children properly and seeing them for who they really are. I was looking at results that don’t really define them. Not properly anyway. An “A” that was obtained easily is great but maybe not as great as a “B” that was really worked hard for.
It’s been quite a learning curve for me to get my mind around it. Because yes, I know all this in my head but actually put it into practice is another thing. So on my side I have been trying really hard to encourage both of them in the things that I know they struggle with and then praise them for all the things that they excel in.
Raising kids hey? Never a dull moment.