I've thought a lot about this encounter since then. See, my sister is one of those people who keeps everything together and running without the need for laminated routines and schedules. She doesn't have whiteboards and blackboards and a family binder. In other words, she organises her family in a different way than I do. Her approach is more laid-back and less obsessive than mine. But everything gets done, and here's the clincher - it gets done more in her house than in mine. In her house where there's a slightly over-emotional 5 year-old, a clingy 4 year-old and nursing, dependant, only-mommy-will-do 1 year-old twins. Her kids are always well turned out for school with packed lunches, she hoovers more in a week than I do in a month and she constantly reads parenting advice. (If it's not clear by now, she's my Supermom).
So, what am I getting at here? This isn't actually a post about sibling rivalry or Supermom comparisons. That situation I described initially made me realise something, and that is that I will get there. The idea of having two kids under 2 scares me, and I wonder if I'll cope. The thought of having 4 kids under 5, or twins, scares me even more! But what my sister teaches me every day is that parenting is something you develop at - you get better all the time. I'm constantly learning about patience. I'm learning how to be a better cook for a progressively-picky toddler. I'm learning when something is really wrong with him, and when he's trying his luck. I know with the next one I'll be a calmer, more laid-back mother. I will get there - I will develop into the mother I want to be.
My sister and I are very different people and run our households differently. But if she has taught me anything it's that with each passing year and each passing child, I will get there. Every time I whisper instead of shout, I am getting there. Everytime I put the TV off so I can play with the frog, I'm getting there. I won't do it the same as she does and I know my children will be different from hers (especially as our husbands are very different people). But I now have confidence that soon I will pack the nappy bag better. And just that thought gives me the courage to have this next baby.
In what way do you want to progress as a mother? How can you see yourself developing? How will you get there?