I had an interesting conversation with my former supervisor yesterday and I thought I should share it here. It’s part of our quarterly catch-up ever since he left the company to pursue his entrepreneurship journey.
As usual, apart from work, he would ask about how I was doing with my personal life. He always reminds me that no matter how much you love your work, love your family first. That should be your main priority.
Anyway, we talked about parenting and I told him that my husband and I are thinking of having not more than 3. I am leaning more towards just 2. I told him the main reason is that I want to focus more on quality than quantity. Based on my observation of other moms, the attention paid to 2nd, 3rd and so on child is less as compared to the 1st one. Partly because they are tired. But partly also because they have learned from their experience of taking care the 1st one so they are less cautious and pedantic. So to me, what’s the point of having many kids if you are not willing to pay a fair amount of attention to all your kids?
But I forgot one thing. The parenting ecosystem as my former supervisor rightly pointed out. There is the assumption that if you bring up the eldest well, he/she will be a good influence to the 2nd one and it follows through to the younger siblings and they will take some part of our energy to mould the younger siblings and eventually they will all learn from each other and behave appropriately.
But that’s a big assumption. And sometimes, how do you know your parenting method for the 1st one is right? and what if the 2nd one requires a different kind of attention?
At the end of the day, I really think there is no shortcut to parenting. And there is no single playbook that can tell you exactly what to do.