On Liking Your Kids: Babies and Toddlers

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently when she asked me how I feel thinking about welcoming a new baby girl into our lives. After some thought I answered that I know I'll love my daughter, but I hope I also like her as much as Mylo.

Real talk: Mylo was a challenging baby for me. He was loving in his own way but not particularly affectionate or attached to me until around 18 months. He had no real preference for me over his other caretakers or even relatives he saw occasionally. He was SOOO energetic but frustrated by his own immobility so although he was generally happy, he was exhausting for me to be around. And I was dealing with my own feelings of loosing my independence and my changing identity.

I feel like a switch flipped with him and also for me around the time he turned a year and half. It was as if instead of just loving him with motherly love, I started to really LIKE him as a toddler in a different way than when he was a baby. The toddler years have been far superior to the baby phase for me. He is such a fascinating little person, with his own thoughts, preferences, questions, and abilities. He has also become more attached to me and is able to express his love verbally which is so true to his personality. I love getting to know my son and have grown a deep affection and enjoyment of being around him. 

As I think about welcoming baby girl into our lives I'm excited to see what kind of baby and person that she will be. But I also have realistic expectations that although I'll love her from the start, it could take time for me to truly like being around her. And that's okay. 

Would love to hear your thoughts. Did you enjoy the baby phase or the toddler phase more?

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