So this blog was intended to be written during the last days of my second pregnancy; the last days of my first baby’s life as an only child. The words were to be products of my musing on what this child would be like, addressing my fears about dividing my motherly attentions, a way to meet all the conflicting emotions of joy and apprehension over this change head on.
But we never got to that. Sweet baby girl arrived on the very first day of what I considered my “due month,” forcing me to stop overthinking it and just dive in. And I must say, I think this little munchkin was onto something.
I’m told that it’s par for the course – “The second child is a bigger adjustment than the first.” But that didn’t stop me from feeling like a bad mama. I already felt like I was choosing sides.
One moment I’d be feeling guilty for bringing an “intruder” into the special private relationship I’d developed with my toddler. Was it too soon? Was he too young to share his mama? How could I possibly be the parent I’d been thus far when there was another child in the picture? Oh my, what had I done? Cue the floodgates.
And then in the next heartbeat a new wave of guilt would wash over me – oh this poor tiny baby developing in my womb! How unfair of me to see her in this light. She was innocent and needed me, depended on me. I should be nurturing our connection as we shared my body, feeling nothing but excitement over her pending arrival. That’s what I gave her big brother – I needed to be fair! What if I didn’t love her when she arrived? And fresh tears.
I did rein in the pregnancy hormones and find a peace with both worries…. somewhat…. before baby 2 emerged. But then here she was and – guess what? It all melted away. Just like I had known, deep down, that it would. I fell in love instantly. So did her big brother. And I’ve fallen in love with him all over again, seeing him in his new role. (Don’t get me wrong – we’ve had our low moments, all three of us crying when I couldn’t meet everybody’s needs at once. But those moments are infrequent, and we’ve survived them.)
My experience of becoming a new mom…… again…… is at once uniquely personal and a common shared experience among many mothers. I was lucky to have the chance to cry with another mom over the “loss” of our one to one relationships with our dear first children. It was incredibly validating and healing. And so I’m putting these words out there for all of you, in hopes that they may help shoulder you through some of the overwhelming and contradicting feelings that come with this change.
There is nothing like the feeling of becoming a mother. Except the feeling of becoming a mother again.