I never imagined, in my wildest dreams, how "good" my kids would turn out to be. In the beginning I (almost) thought we had made a mistake choosing to birth out our first tiny creature that consumed every minute of our existence for the first 6 months of her life. The non-stop crying and nursing (and sleepless nights, and mom tears) I now see were totally worth it.
My first baby is now 7 years old. We have had tons of struggles with her in the intervening years, but I am now starting to see her blossoming into her own person with her own personality. Not to say she hasn't had personality since she's been born (because she definitely has!) but she has begun to display more independent and responsible traits.
Since my first baby we did create and birth out a second creature, but she's only 4 and is still a bit stuck on her toddler traits (like how she never leaves me alone and is always in my lap!) This creature number 2 was not nearly as demanding as number 1 - or not until the last 2 years or so. Now the two seem to get along very well (most of the time) and apparently are "so good" when they're out with anyone else. Frankly, that's the highest praise you can give a parent - if my kids are going to misbehave, I'd much rather they do it with me!
Anyway, back to the 7 year old. She has now taken on the responsibility of looking after the 4 year old. I don't mean that in any "child labour laws" way, just that if we are out and creature 2 suggests she has to go to the bathroom, number 1 immediately suggests she'll take her. Sure! I do go and check on them after a few minutes if they seem to be dawdling, but usually they go and come back, and sometimes they've even washed their hands!
Creature one also takes direction very well. She listens when I tell her the "rules" of a new place or scenario (and promptly tells when creature two is not following those rules), looks after her sister when they need to cross the road (or are in a parking lot), and has really learned to help re-direct a game when bossy little sis is mad about the way they're playing.
I'm not saying that my little miss #2 doesn't listen to rules and such, she's just very young yet and doesn't necessarily understand the importance of having these rules.
Every day I'm feeling more confident in creature one's level of responsibility. She can can be bull-headed and easily distracted, and when she digs in her heels, watch out! But overall I'm glad she's the first born. I'm sure my second born will be more responsible and independent over the coming years, but she's also more easily scared, and more emotional than my first. I think that's where creature two's clingyness stems from - she's a lover, but can also be a fighter.
Raising kids is such a roller coaster. Every day is different, and sometimes it's hard to enjoy every minute of it. I don't think I will ever lose my "mom anxiety" but I'm happy to report it does lessen as the years go by. My next hefty mom anxiety time will be with dating and driving and all those other teenage year joys.