The Balancing Act

 
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Parenting is no easy feat. It's demanding, it's 24/7, and doesn't come with a manual. Being a parent is a constant balancing act, especially when more than one child is involved. Besides meeting the basic needs of your children, you must also tend to their individual needs. Every child is unique and so are their needs, and even more so when one of your children has special needs. I admit it's a struggle sometimes, but it's also the most rewarding feeling I've ever had the pleasure of encountering. A lot of my focus is on Olive being more age appropriate in language skills, fine and gross motor skills, and just being more independent overall. My youngest starts preschool this year, and I can't help but feel I haven't prepared her enough. I know that she will learn a lot when she goes, and really enjoy it. But I feel guilt in her not being able to identify her letters correctly, and what not. Mainly because I know she's capable and it is my job to make sure she reaches her full potential. Sometimes I question other things, like am I being too hard on Olive? Is she receiving enough affection? She doesn't always vocalize her needs or wants, and I worry sometimes she feels left out. There was a time she's asked me, "Why does Ivy get to sleep in your bed, but not me." And it took me by surprise because Olive has never been a co sleeper, even as a baby. She just never wanted to really be touched or care to be held. I can't just assume anymore that because things were one way one day, that they'll always be that way. Especially when it comes to Autism. I sometimes forget it's important to reevaluate my children's needs every once in a while. Children just as adults, are constantly growing and changing. And just as our needs change, so do theirs.

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I have two very different girls. Olive is very action packed, tuff, and outgoing. Her hugs come at random, but are always giant bear hugs. While Olive is very outgoing, when it's time to decompress, she'll tell you she wants to be left alone. Then tune you out until she's ready. She's a very picky eater, her favorite food is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She eats at-least  one everyday.  And Ivy is very timid, cuddly, and affectionate. She loves making people laugh and being silly. Ivy loves dressing up, and wearing my high heels. But, what she loves the most is her sister. The best part of parenting has been witnessing the bond my children have. The comfort they find in each other is so refreshing. Before Ivy was born Olive was pretty distant, she didn't really interact in a affectionate way. After her sister was born, all of that changed in time. She really opened up and became more engaged in interacting with us. While as parents we have a big impact on our children's lives, their siblings are also their teachers. And when they're so close in age, they are each other's first best friend. I've been so lucky to be able to observe the bond they share. I really do feel like between the two of them, I have it all.