Let me start by saying that I love both of my children with every fiber of my being.
My love for them never wavers, yet I love them differently. My daughter was three years old when my son was born. Up until then, she was my little BFF. We did everything together… snacks, lunches, walks, jumped in leaves, shopped and cooked. She made me a Mommy and literally was my entire world. As the impending birth of our son approached, I worried I wasn’t going to love a little boy like I did my little girl.
“I worried for weeks about this unborn child and how I would mother a stranger.”
I prayed, I cried, and I worried for weeks about this unborn child and how I would mother a stranger. Part of me assured myself that I did this once already, and surely it would all be the same.
I don’t know his favorite good night song, or that he prefers chocolate milk with a straw. What about those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the way I am suppose to cut them? Would I cry for hours after leaving him with family while my husband and I finally get a much needed get away? Would I sit and just stare at him sleeping?
“Thank God I love this baby.”
Then the rainy November day arrived and our precious son was born. I was not prepared for the immense amount of love I was about to endure. I was smitten. He was his sister’s male twin. A strong latch, good eater and slept like a champ from day one. He completely stole my heart! Our family was complete. I felt relief as we loaded him into the car seat. Thank God I love this baby. Thank God it came so naturally.
“I found myself getting very annoyed with her…”
Something very unexpected happened.
I still had this little three year old with curly blonde locks, and the emotions of a teenager. I wasn’t emotionally available to her needs and, to be honest, I found myself getting very annoyed with her. (Gasp-honest Mom moment… hold your tongues, sanctimommies.)
I remember thinking, “You’re old enough to know better,” or “You’re old enough to understand that I haven’t slept all night, am starving from nursing around the clock, and cannot wrestle or read or bathe you.”
A Disconnect. A Season.
The guilt set in. I felt like a terrible Mom. Here I was with this new baby, a precious toddler, and I still didn’t feel like I had enough to give them both equally. I shared these feelings with friends from our church and one of my friends admitted that she too had a similar “ disconnect” with her daughter when her son was born.
Nail = head. A disconnect. A season. Not forever. Having baby #2 didn’t make me love my #1 less, but it changed the love. It matured.
I grew to appreciate the fact that she could get her own snacks, make a cup of water, and was potty trained. Something else happened too. My husband, who was always close with our daughter, never quite got the same snuggles I did until our son was born. Their relationship blossomed! It was absolutely beautiful to watch from the sidelines.
Truth moment. I was jealous at times. But I loved watching my husband spend special one-on-one time with her while I had to be one-on-one with our son.
Thankfully, that disconnect reconnected. She is 5 ½ and makes me proud everyday with her kind heart and quick wit. My son is now more independent and very much a boy. Seeing the love and sometimes “unlike” between the two is such a gift. They each have their own strengths and struggles, and I appreciate them for their differences.
It’s a season, with ebbs and flows. Change is a good thing, it gives way to new, stronger, and more beautiful things to come. While I do love my children equally, it’s not the same, and I am grateful for that.