On Monday December 3rd 2012, we welcomed our second daughter into the world and our lives changed for ever … for the better. We got home a few days after she was born and started what would become our new routine for new the family of four: Mom, Dad, big sister Lilly and baby Hilary … oh and Maclean too 🙂
So many emotions. So many thoughts. How am I going to do this? How am I going to feed the baby and manage a toddler? How am I going to love both ???? And equally? Oh My God, what have we done!
Well, one night I broke down and cried. I cried and I cried – seriously. So I grabbed a piece of paper to write down my thoughts (as any blogger does, ha!) and I passed the little pieces of papers over to my husband as I couldn’t even talk about it. I wanted him to know how I was feeling and we had a good conversation after he read it.
This is what I wrote about a week after she was born, I did not change any words.
Please note, I am not sharing this because I need a family member, friend or follower to write (or call) me to say that I’m doing a great job and not to worry. I am simply writing this as this is what I felt one day and now I am ready to share it. I know that I’m not the only one to feel this way.
So, you have your first child and wonder what you did before her/him. You love her endlessly – to the moon and back … even when she’s too much to handle. You teach her to play, walk, read, eat etc. You changer endless (cloth) diapers, wash umpteen loads of laundry, clean up food off the floor, scrub stains from clothing, cuddle, hug and sooth her when she is under the weather. You love her beyond anything you can imagine.
And then you have baby #2!!!!!
You prepare her to become a BIG sister for a few months and the changes that will come. You know what to expect this time around but nothing prepares you for the love you have to split between 2 children.
How do you do it? How do you care for your newborn, who’s needs are so great yet continue to care for your 2.5 year old who’s needs are so much more … so different?
How do you split your love? Does it just happen?
Mommy guilt sets in. You feel guilty that you no longer have all the time in the world for your 1st child because baby #2 is here now. You don’t expect to feel guilty about your new family and lifestyle but somehow you do. You’ve made the change as a family but the guilt sets in.
Mommy guilt – guilt in general sucks. It means you feel you have done something wrong but in reality you haven’t. The guilt for wanting 5 minutes to pee on your own; the guilt of a healthy pregnancy/baby; feeling guilty for wanting to go for a 20 minute run on your own; or that you want to sleep all night long and not get up to feed your little one and last but not least the guilt when you see your first-born while at the hospital with your second baby and realizing her life is about to change whether she likes it or not.
Guilt sucks and it will suck you in if you let it. You put it on yourself, no one put’s it on You.
So, how do you split your love for two children? Is there a right answer to this question or is it just life and you make it happen? Do you curb your guilt because your kids are more important than feeling guilty? I don’t have the answers to the questions but I do have two children that I love dearly. More than I could ever imagine a few years ago. I love my life, my two daughters, my husband, family and friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Okay, maybe a little more sleep.
So, I sit here writing about how I am going to split my love between our two beautiful girls and I figure it will let itself just happen over time. Neither will suffer without love, neither will notice that I am trying to balance both a toddler and newborn, neither will feel loved any less. Neither will know I am trying to balance my love.
As for the guilt, I’ll get over that and lose myself in a good long, hard run one of these days and it will slide off my shoulders and into the path I just ran. I can’t stress over splitting my love for each girl but I can shower them both with love every chance I get. Sometimes together and sometimes on their own.
The best thing about having a toddler and newborn is watching our oldest shower her little sister with love. At one week old, big sister Lilly has given Hilary more kisses, hugs and cuddles and love than a parent could ask for. She even sang Hilary “Happy Birthday” the night she was born with enthusiasm and gusto! Grandad caught it on video!
I’ve never asked my parents how they split their love between three children. I’ve always felt equally loved by both of them. I am sure in time my thoughts on this topic will be nothing but that – thoughts – as I will have lost myself in our new lifestyle and splitting my love will just happen. And that’s exactly what’s happening now, as I post this (March 2013).
Again, I am not sharing this because I need a family member, friend or follower to write (or call) me to say that I’m doing a great job and not to worry. I am simply writing this as this is what I felt one day and now I am ready to share it.
Do you have multiple children?
How do you “share” your love?