I have no idea what Andre and I did to have such a laid back and easy going first kid. She was sleeping through the night within just a few months, rarely cried and as she got older she LISTENED to us! As in, we told her she could not get out of bed until we woke her up and she did it. We never had a 4:30am wake-up with her standing next to our bed ready to play or crashing sounds in the monitor because she was taking apart her room. She was so happy and parenting was so easy which was amazing…
…until we had more kids. When R was born he was also pretty laid back. I think it took him maybe a few more weeks to sleep through the night but overall he was another happy baby. But then he started to not like refrigerated breastmilk (it was from me or formula and that was it), he drew on walls and we ultimately had to take out the bottom drawers of his dresser and tie his closet doors shut because in the morning, before we said it was time to wake up, he would pull EVERYTHING out of said drawers and closet. His room was so bare that I think my brother even bought him a poster to hang because his room was so bare.
We had never experienced these things with L so Andre and I were wracking our brains trying to figure out what we did with her that made her so much easier to parent!
The things I’ve learned: It can sometimes depend on your circumstances.
Looking back, the big differences I can see in the first few years of each of their lives comes from our circumstances. When L was born I was working full-time at Hy-Vee. It certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be but I LOVED getting off of work at 2 (or 1 if they let me come in early) to get the afternoon with her before Andre got home. We lived in an apartment for the first year and a half of her life so we also didn’t have so much stuff. When R was born I was working at the school, took 8 weeks off and then went back to 9 hour days 3 days a week. We also had a house which meant more room for toys and other distractions. He also had a sister so spending time just the two of us was reserved for when she slept.
Adding E, M and G was a bit more of the same. Older siblings, house (that feels like it’s getting smaller and smaller…), long work hours and while that has meant not as much time as I would like to have with each kid individually, it has also developed great bonds between the kids and even some good influences! With L and R sharing a room, and E across the hall, L is very good about keeping them all upstairs until we say, “Bom dia” indicating it’s time to get up. And when R is coloring a picture on paper, it reminds E that we only draw on paper.
So for right now, this is working for us. We still don’t know why L is so chill, but we’ve found over time that all of our kids’ personalities and strengths help balance out our family in amazing ways :)
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!