No this isn't a confession fit for the likes of Jerry Springer. Technically, biologically and completely my children have the same parents.
Experience-wise, reaction-wise and wisdom-wise their parents are completely different, particularly my oldest and my youngest.
You see when we first brought E home from the hospital almost 6 years ago it was with the thought in the back of our minds of "oh my goodness, they actually let us bring him home, what are they thinking?" And the next 6 weeks proved that we had done some terrible drastic thing that completely changed our lives. We thought we were prepared, but nothing prepares you really for the reality of parent-hood. The only way to know what it is like is to go through it. Do you all remember the first 6 weeks of parenthood? I know, you all came through it, you just didn't think you would at the time. That was us. As the years have gone by our parenting with E has been that of firsts. As a result, his parents are cautious, somewhat hovering, always learning on the job.
Our current baby (number 3) has much more laid back parents. The first 6 weeks of being home were not a big deal. Getting a schedule together, not a problem. First time parents look at this mama and say, "What? You are out at a mall with a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a newborn, and you aren't falling apart? How do you do that?" They are in awe of this mamas capabilities.
The reality is is that I am indeed both parents all at once. As my oldest gets older we continue to deal with firsts, though not quite so nervously as when he was a newborn. We have learned a lot in parenting, we have a lot more confidence in parenting, but we still move forward with caution.
My 2nd child has more knowing parents, those who think, "oh, you are doing this now? I remember this with your brother..." and subsequently reacts with a much improved parenting reaction. You've learned on the job, been able to reflect and now have a better parenting tool in your belt.
My 3rd child has the most prepared, laid back parents of all. Her parents are those who now have parented once, learned, parented twice with improvement and are now going round three knowing exactly what to do (with practice). The only curve ball here is now we are parenting with a gender difference. So far, there's not much of a difference (we're still in infancy stage), but I'm sure it will change as the years go by.
What kind of parents do your kids each have?