Yes, I Love My Son and Daughter in Different Ways

It goes without saying that a mother’s love for her child is unparalleled. What about when there’s more than one child in the picture? I’ve often heard seasoned moms of multiple children talk about how they always end up loving each baby equally — albeit differently. A year and a half into sharing my heart with my daughter and son, I can vouch for the fact that this phenomenon is real.

Before becoming pregnant with my second child, I questioned how in the world I’d ever love another human being as much as my firstborn. I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely possible to love more than one baby more than you ever imagined you could. That doesn’t mean you’ll end up loving your babies in the exact same way, though . . . and that’s okay. Here’s what I mean by that.

My Children Are Individuals With Unique Needs

While alike in many ways, my children are also very much individuals. They’re uniquely themselves, and I love that about them. Because of this, our relationships are unique, too. And yes, I love each of my children differently.

My daughter is a 3-year-old, sweet-as-can-be spitfire. She’s spunky, beautifully bold, and ready to take charge. She was absolutely meant to be the oldest child. She’s also highly sensitive, deeply feeling, ever-inquisitive, and amazingly intuitive. She’s creative, strong-willed, and open to being everyone’s friend. And she’s my mini-me, a spitting physical image of the toddler I once was, with more of my personality traits than I can keep track of. I see myself in her and her in me. She makes me want to love myself (and, in turn, her) and others more fiercely than ever before — and be the best model of a woman I can be. Because of her, I know to love wholly, unconditionally, and radically.

My son is a 1.5-year-old, full-of-surprises firecracker. He’s determined, persistent, and unstoppable. He came into our world fast and furious and shook everything up. He’s also attached at my hip, warm and affectionate, and visibly thoughtful. He’s independent, sure of himself, and never without a smile. And he’s the son I never knew I needed until I had him. Through him, I see things in a whole new light. He forces me to keep up and on my toes — while simultaneously making me want to slow down time and savor every fleeting second a bit more than the last. He reminds me to love joyfully, fearlessly, and sweetly.

My Relationships With My Children Are as Unique as They Are

My relationship with my daughter embodies a deep, soul-level type of love. It feels like we’ve been by each others’ sides for a million years, and I cherish that. It’s a sacred, secure, nothing-could-ever-break type of love.

I love my daughter in the heart-to-hearts, the beyond-her-years conversations, the hard questions, and the always-listening ears. I love her in the tight hugs, the heavy tears, the big emotions, and the “always your biggest fan” cheers. I love her in the challenging times, in the “mommy’s big helper” times, in the “I’m not tired yet . . . I want another snack” late-at-night times that I know, deep down, are only a tiny, soon-to-be-gone blip in time.

I love her in our twirling, coloring, playing dress-up, and making-believing. I love her in the quiet, the courageous, the confiding, and the creating. I love her in our unbreakable bond: mother and daughter, mirror and reflection. I love her big, just as she does me . . . and that’s an honor I could never, ever take the slightest bit lightly.

My relationship with my son is built upon the purest love. It’s easy, refreshing, and heart-warmingly restoring. It took me by surprise in the most pleasant of ways, and I treasure that. It’s a simple, seamless, no-frills but just-as-real kind of love.

I love my son in the always-welcome snuggles and kisses, the short stories and songs, and the lullaby wishes. I love him in the moment, in the laughter, in the corner of my heart that held space for the second go around — the one that was no less than the first for coming after. I love him in the lighthearted moments, in the “don’t jump off that” near-panic attacks, in the nonstop, never-slowing-down repetition of each wild and crazy day that I know, one day, I’ll wish could’ve stuck around.

I love him in our music-making, stomping, running around, and pat-a-caking. I love him in the loud, the untamed, the brave, and the constant doing-his-own-thing. I love him in our special bond: mother and son, mama bear, and baby’s first love. I love him more than I even knew I could ever love another . . . and I’ll never take that heart-growing love for granted.

Yes, I Love My Children Differently . . . But Neither Less Than the Other

Motherhood has a way of showing us a love greater than any other. An all-encompassing, unconditional, ever-evolving love. As if the heart doesn’t grow beyond belief with one child, being a mom of more than one can mean experiencing multiple types of larger-than-life love. Yes, I love my children differently . . . but neither less than the other. And I’m so very grateful for the unique relationships I share with my son and daughter.