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?
9 thoughts on “How Do You LOVE Two Children Equally ?”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am having my 2nd in May and I am so worried about this. I have asked my mom this many times and she reassures me you love each child equally… I never felt less loved either! xoxo
It’s such an unknown feeling of what it’s going to be like but after 3 months I can say that it just happens. You love each one for their own personalities and then you watch them together – it’s amazing! All the best with the remainder of your pregnancy.
I have a soon to be 10 year old , 2 year old, and a baby due next week. All girls! It was definitely hard for me to define that “Love” between both especially at the beginning when my 2nd was born, it was a bit of a confusing feeling to be honest. But it takes time to get adjusted to both, now I can’t get enough of them when they are sitting there playing I feel complete. Now that my third is on the way I know it will work out the same way but I am really worried about having to give 3 girls attention. I look forward to the learning experience 🙂
You couldn’t have said it better – “a bit of a confusing feeling” – I think that sums it up perfectly. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much! This is my greatest fear as we think about adding a second child to our family. Knowing that you felt the same makes me feel better already!
I think we (women) feel this way more then we know it, but it’s not talked about. I’m sure men do too, in a different way (maybe). I love being a mom of 2 and am now finding it hard to remember life with just one child in our life.
Yes! This. My sons are now 10 and 4 but while I was pregnant with my younger son, I could not fathom ever loving him as much as my first. I asked my sister, how do you do it? I asked my mom. Every single response at the time was, “you just do.” I could not grasp that and felt enormous guilt for not immediately loving this child that I was carrying. Needless to say, as soon as I held him in my arms, the love just flooded over me and into him. I love that little man more than I ever thought was possible and you know what? My love for him and his brother grows every day! Humans. Amazing creatures, we are. 🙂
I find as you watch them grow and develop it’s hard not to fall more in love with them. Each time they do something new, say a new word, discover a toy, it get’s more exciting for them and you see how they are learning and growing. I feel the same way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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