Parenting is tough, no question, but for me the hardest part isn't the schedules, the homework, it's the challenge of being a family is existing and dealing with different personalities. I'm just talking about the people in your household, I'm not even going to get into extended family of parents/inlaws/aunts/uncles/cousins. We have 3 kids, Little Reader (8 years old), Little Hugger (6 years old), and Little Man (3 years old).
Little Reader is a smart kid, she obviously loves reading, enjoys school, is compassionate but also extremely hard on herself. She is generally a happy kid, but also a perfectionist. She knows she's smart and will beat herself up if she doesn't understand something, or makes a seemingly stupid mistake. She will brood about anything negative said about her. She relishes her role as the helpful big sister, but sometimes oversteps the boundaries and bosses her siblings around (which they do not appreciate). I try to be careful when I have to critique something she's doing, but at the same time not sugarcoat things so much that she never learns to accept criticism.
Little Hugger is a loving girl, enjoys more of the stereotypical girl stuff than her sister. She is extremely creative and finds the beauty in everything. She has numerous collections and is definitely more on the messy side. Actually that's putting it mildly, she borders on hoarder tendencies. When we go through her room to clean up she is often on the verge of tears as she gets rid of things. This week's weekly project is cleaning up the kids' rooms. Her's will not be easy or fun for either of us. She cries easily, but gets over it quickly. Having been the same way as a kid myself, I realize that most of the time she's probably bottling up some of the feelings and something seemingly little tips the scales and makes her cry.
Little Man is a very happy guy. He does have a stubborn streak especially when it comes to food. He's doing much better with the eating and has basically progressed from being a problem eater to just a regular picky eater. I think we're close to finishing up with his feeding therapist. He is getting to the independent stage of toddlerhood, which I do my best to encourage. He enjoys spending time with his sisters, and is always trying to keep up with the big kids.
The hardest part is making sure they each get good one on one time with their Dad and I. I had a great time with Little Reader on her Brownie campout last week and it's rare that we get to do something like that. Little Hugger is now on the same school schedule as Little Reader so aside from when I take her to her dance class on Saturdays and the others stay home with Dad we don't get a lot of one on one time either. I'm trying to expand that time to include other fun activities or errands so it's not just time spent in the car. As far as Little Man, he's with me most of the time, and he is actually pretty good company and I try to balance our time together between fun stuff and getting the things done that I need to do.