Loving Two – How Can I Love Another Child As Much?
|Pregnancy Week (Select):|
Loving Two – How Can I Love Another Child As Much?
When my daughter was born in 2002, I was totally and utterly besotted. I couldn’t believe I could love someone as much as I loved her. To me, she was the meaning of love – and life.
When I seriously thought about having a second child, which was the inevitable thing to do, I didn’t really ponder how I would cope with two children, but instead, how I could possibly ‘share’ the love and time I had with my daughter – and how rejected I thought she might feel.
When I fell pregnant again in 2004, the feelings of guilt and anxiety grew over having to ‘share’ my love. I desperately wanted to feel comfortable knowing it would be just as magical with another baby, but deep down, I was sad at the thought that it would no longer be my daughter and I, sharing every single, special moment together. It would be my daughter, baby and I. I even shed tears thinking about her missing out on what we already had.
My family all lived too far away to visit regularly and being the ‘I.T. widow’ that I was (if you have a partner working in I.T. you will know exactly what I am referring to!), the days became exhaustingly long. My daughter and I would often wake together and go to sleep together. She was my best friend, my rock, my little girl. And I was about to bring a brand new person into our special relationship.
I knew I would dearly love my new baby, there was no question about it. But the undivided time I had shared with my daughter for the first two years of her life, it would have to be halved and shared, right?
I finally came across the most beautiful poem, which turned around my thoughts quick smart! I printed out the poem and stuck it to my fridge.
I want to share this beautiful poem with the many mums out there who are or may soon wonder the exact same thing I did – how will I be able to share my love? Because I have heard many mums ask this many a time, before I even thought about children – but I never understood it like I did then.
I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?
Then he is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before.
I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me”. And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t”, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.
You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.
But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying him, as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.
More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times – only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.
I watch how he adores you – as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you – only differently.
And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you – you each have your own supply.
I love you – both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.
I’ve come to realise that it’s nothing to be ashamed about feeling this way. It’s all just part of the vast parenting ‘unknown’ that we only learn from experience – and we all know that parenting is a skill learnt ‘on the job’. We know what it’s like to have one child, but we just haven’t experienced two yet. When your second child is born, you too will know how true the ending of the poem really is.
On a parting note, know that love doesn’t divide. It multiplies. You know that special feeling you got with your first? You get that all over again with your second and more – that’s a whole lot of love – just for you!
I’ve got to be the luckiest mummy alive.
Kelly Winder is a birth attendant (aka doula), the creator of BellyBelly and mum to three beautiful children. Follow Kelly on Google+ and become a fan of BellyBelly on Facebook. BellyBelly is also on Twitter. Please note that all of my suggestions and advice are of a generalised nature only and are not intended to replace advice from a qualified professional. BellyBelly.com.au – The Thinking Woman’s Website For Conception, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby.
More Baby Articles
- “But You’re Doing It All Wrong…”
- 10 Rules For Visiting A New Baby – And Being Asked Back Again!
- Accidentally In Love
- Amber Teething Necklace – A Natural Teething Alternative
- Artificial Feeding – Nothing To Do With Breastfeeding
- Attachment Parenting – What Is Attachment Parenting?
- Baby Bonus – Eligibility For The Baby Bonus In Australia
- Baby Clothes – What Clothes Do You Need For Your Baby?
- Baby Crying? 15 Tips To Help Soothe Baby Crying
- Baby Cues – What Is My Baby Saying?
- Baby Games – 5 Fun Baby Games To Play With Your Baby
- Baby Hates Being In The Car? Baby Car Seat SOS!
- Baby Hunger Cues – How To Tell If Your Baby Is Hungry
- Baby Led Weaning – What Is Baby Led Weaning?
- Baby Massage – Bonding With Your Baby Through Massage
- Baby Massage – Touch Me and Help Me Grow With Massage
- Baby Names – Popular Baby Names In 2012
- Baby Starting Solids? Solids Advice For Baby
- Baby Wipes – Home Made Baby Wipes Recipes, Better For Baby’s Bum!
- Babymoon – What Is a Babymoon and Why Should You Plan One?
- Babywearing – The Benefits of Carrying Your Baby
- Babywearing Photo Competition – Share Your Babywearing Photos!
- Best Advice, Worst Advice – Mums Tell!
- Best Buys for Baby – 5 Things You Shouldn’t Have a Baby Without!
- Blocked Nose And Colds In Babies – Treatments For A Blocked Nose
- Bonding With Your Formula Fed Baby – 6 Tips
- Breast Refusal – When Your Baby Cries When Trying To Breastfeed
- Bringing Your Second (or Third or More!) Baby Home
- Buying for Baby – What Do You REALLY Need?
- Circumcision – Should Your Son Have A Circumcision?
- Clingy Baby? Meet Velcro Baby!
- Coconut Oil – 5 Great Uses For Coconut Oil For Your Baby
- Colic – What Is Colic?
- Conjunctivitis in Babies – Treatment and Symptoms Of Conjunctivitis
- Constipation In Babies – Symptoms And Treatment For Constipation
- Could Your Baby Be Bored?
- Could Your Baby or Toddler’s Diet Be Keeping You Awake At Night?
- Cradle Cap And Cradle Cap Treatment
- Croup In Babies – Is Croup Contagious?
- Cuddle Me Mum – I Need a Cuddle…
- Cuddles – How They Make Your Baby Smarter, Calmer and More Secure
- Do Amber Teething Necklaces Cause SIDS?
- Do It MY Way! When Daddy Does It Differently…
- Dummies (Pacifiers) For Baby – What You Must Know Before Using A Dummy
- Eczema And Your Baby – Eczema Treatment
- Falling In Love Again With Your First Born
- Family Assistance and Family Allowances in Australia
- Feeding Your Baby – Is It Taking Too Much Time?
- Footprint Dough Recipe – Treasure Your Baby’s Or Child’s Footprint
- Gastro in Young Children – Gastro Symptoms and Management
- Getting Started With Baby Formula – 6 Steps
- Gift Ideas For A New Mother – 11 Great Gifts For The New Mother
- How Often Should I Feed My Baby?
- I Know What Baby Wants….
- Lactose Intolerance – Think Your Baby Has Lactose Intolerance?
- Love, Lust and Little Ones: What They Never Tell You
- Modern Cloth Nappies – Benefits Of Modern Cloth Nappies
- Modern Cloth Nappies – Myths About Modern Cloth Nappies
- Modern Cloth Nappies Vs Disposable Nappies – Which Nappies Are Better?
- Mums Advice: Top 3 Things I Didn’t Need For Baby
- Nappy Rash – Treatments For Nappy Rash In Babies
- Newborn Clothes Size – What Size Should I Buy For A Newborn?
- Parenting Books – 10 Best Parenting Books
- Parenting With Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Reflux in Babies – Dealing With Reflux
- Saving Money With a Baby: Mother’s Tips
- Sexual Abuse – Protecting Your Child Against Sexual Abuse
- SIDS Risks and Your Baby – How To Prevent SIDS
- Smash Cake Ideas – Planning a Smash Cake For Your Baby’s Birthday
- Starting Solids For Baby – When Should I Start Feeding Baby Solids?
- Subsequent Children After SIDS
- Summer Sanity – Keeping Baby Cool in Summer
- Surviving The Arsenic Hour
- Surviving the In-Laws After You Have a Baby
- Teething Symptoms – Signs Your Baby Might Be Teething
- The First Week After The Birth – What To Expect
- The Wonder Weeks – What Are The Wonder Weeks?
- Tongue Tie – Can Tongue Tie Affect Feeding?
- Tummy Time For Baby: How Important Is Tummy Time?
- Umbilical Cord Stump – 5 Tips On Caring For Your Baby’s Cord Stump
- Uncircumcised Boys – Foreskin Care Tips For Parents
- What Your New Baby Expects – From the Birth to Going Home
- When Do Babies Roll Over? Tips For Helping Babies Roll Over
- When Do Babies Start Crawling? Tips To Get Baby Crawling
- When Do Babies Start Talking? Tips To Help Baby Talk
- When Your Baby’s Wellbeing Is Everyone Else’s Business…