How Do You LOVE Two Children Equally ?

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.

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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!!!!!

Lilly and Hilary February 2013 - so much love, xo.

Lilly and Hilary February 2013 – so much love, xo.

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. 

Little sisters

Little sisters

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).

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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?

Your thoughts?

Happy Valentine’s Day

I have a confession to make.

I’m not really into Valentine’s Day. Really, it’s just another day. My husband and I don’t “celebrate” Valentine’s Day and I’m fine with that. However, with two daughters now, I have a feeling that Valentine’s Day is about to change. So today, I will share my blog post from last year about how my husband and I met. (When I wrote this he was away at school).

Love

After finishing my Recreation Management Degree at  Acadia University in December of 2002, I moved to Ontario to work at an Outdoor Centre for the winter season; teaching cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, building and sleeping in a Quinzee, Campfires etc. I then went back for the Fall 2003 and Winter 2004 seasons. Then back to Nova Scotia for what I thought was the rest of my life.

In December of 2005 I took a big leap and accepted a full-time job at the Outdoor Centre in Ontario.  I moved away from my whole family and friends for something I was passionate about. Working in the outdoors, year round. BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE! 

The following March (2006) Sai came up from Carbondale, Illinois to volunteer at our Outdoor Centre where he was a previous employee – before my time from 2000 – 2002 (we actually just missed each other by a few months). He was supposed to be with us for about a week ….. he ended up staying two weeks!

My boss told me Sai had arrived at the camp and for me to connect with him over lunch. I was running late for lunch and there was one seat left in the dinning hall. Right next to Sai. I sat down and said hello, then blurted out “what’s your story”? Seriously, that’s what I said – not even “hi, how are you?” or “how was your drive?” “What’s Your Story” is what I said – not knowing a single thing about this man.

I was responsible for making sure he was assigned to a group and supporting him with any program related needs. No problem.

Thursday: Another staff member, Sai and I had a meeting in the afternoon about the group they were working. As we wrapped up the meeting and headed back downstairs to our offices he asked if he could come over to my place and watch CSI later that evening. Now, my little duplex cottage was a 20 second walk from the staff housing he was staying in – where there was a TV. I said “yeah sure, come on over, it’s on at 10 pm. See you later”.

And he did! At this point I thought he was just wanting to watch CSI without any other staff members talking, drinking etc and could actually enjoy the show. I’m not quite sure that was the case now.

We watched CSI, chatted all night and a few shows later we realised it was 2 am. I booted him out and said I needed some sleep.

Next day (Friday): We had an Aboriginal Health Group on site and that evening the staff participated in a Pow Wow (amazing and fun experience). There was an opportunity for us to get up and participate … dance around the circle. Sai was sitting next to me so I grab his hand and said “let’s go”. We had  a fun evening and then hung out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

March 2006

Needless to say, we hit if off and he ended up staying a little longer then expected. But back he went to Illinois as that’s where he lived and worked….with plans to return a few weeks later.  Did I mention it was a 17 hour drive for him – ONE WAY! Yeah! We dated long distance for 11 months and then got engaged.

Our Engagement:

Somehow Sai convinced me to buy him snowshoes for Christmas but little did I know he was doing the same for me. In February he moved up to Canada. The day after he arrived we went for an amazing snow shoe on the lake we lived on. It was a perfect sunny cold winter day in Ontario, one that you wouldn’t waste inside.

Koshlong Lake, Haliburton, Ontario.

February 2007

I thought it would be a perfect day to take some photo’s … little did I know, he was going to propose.

My husband, Sai.

Me!

What a beautiful day.

In the middle of the lake he got down on one knee  and proposed to me! My response was “For Real?” He struggled to take the ring box from his jacket pocket and then I knew he was serious. And of course, I said Yes.

When he convinced me to buy him snow shoes for Christmas he had the whole proposal planned.

Best day of my life

That’s how I met my life-time Valentine.

Mr. & Mrs

Married November 2007.

And now we have two beautiful daughters….how lucky are we!

My life time Valentine's :)

My life time Valentine’s 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day