I have come to realize that my parenting styles have differed between my children. With Lilly, I was a bit more relaxed and just went with the flow. I let things happen as they happened and I didn't worry that much. I felt very comfortable being a single mom and even though I didn't sleep much, I didn't really feel tired. I worked odd shifts at a gas station too. I played constantly with Lilly when she was with me and we did everything together.
With Zach, I'm a bit more structured and organized. We still have our fun, but things have changed. I am now making time for two children and a husband and a job that gets me home kind of late. I feel like I have to plan our days in order to squeeze everything in. I am tired all the time, but someone at work told me that its just the age difference. I was 19 when I had Lilly and 24 when I had Zach. Not much of a difference, but I have noticed that since I quit my job at the gas station and working odd hours, I'm more tired. Is it because I'm older? Is it because I'm on a schedule now and if I go off routine it throws me off? I don't know. Is it because I'm doing more these days? Possibly.
I've heard that mom's get more relaxed with every kid they have. Their first one they are freaking out about everything, not letting them explore and eat bugs or things like that. But after their second or third child, the mom's are more relaxed. I'm backwards, I suppose. I still let Zach explore and do what he wants basically, as long as he doesn't get hurt. I just keep a closer eye on him than I did with Lilly. Ok, no, that's worded wrong. I watched Lilly like a hawk, but I let her do things. I'm not sure where I'm going with this.
I guess with Zach I'm trying to make more things 50/50 between me and hubby when it comes to how we want to raise him. We have different views on how to do things. With Lilly, it was all me and I didn't have to worry about what other people thought. Me and hubby were raised very differently. I was raised out in the country, playing outside all day every day.. most of the time barefoot. I only had my brothers to play with too. He was raised in the city and had neighbors to play with.
My main goal as a parent is to raise happy, healthy children who aspire to be and do whatever they want. I hope my kids grow up to be kind, smart, considerate, handy, crafty, thrifty, helpful, outgoing, strong-willed, empathetic, and learn to be a leader instead of a follower. I'm sure most parents wish this for their kids. Lilly still says that I'm a cool mom and I hope that a day doesn't go by that she thinks otherwise, even when I'm strict.
I let my kids eat junk food and watch tv. I let my kids get messy and paint with their hands. I let my kids play in the dirt and catch bugs. I let my kids build forts out of blankets and pillows. I give my kids ice cream just because I want to. (Lilly like vanilla, but Zach is a chocolate fan) I let them take bubble baths and make mohawks out of shampoo. I let them splash me. We have lots of fun, but there are still rules to follow and chores to do. I don't let my kids go out of control or be mean. I don't let them trash the house or draw on the walls. I don't buy them everything they see and I sneak some veggies in the food without them knowing... thank you food processor. I teach them to stand up for themselves, but to share. I let them explore but without harming themselves. I don't let them stick their fingers in light sockets or anything.
Kids will be kids. Let them be kids. I never had the chance so I'm trying like hell to let mine have a childhood.