On adjusting from one to two kids…

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Dear Sunday and Quinn,

I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately. I mean, I think about you constantly- what to feed you, how we’re going to get out of the house without anyone crying, what’s the next think we’re going to ‘do’ that day. But beyond the moment-to-moment care- I’ve just been thinking about you. Your sweet little souls that have been entrusted to me. Sometimes I tear up just thinking about perfect, sweet, and beautiful you both are. I know you’re little, and not even verbal yet. But I see it in your eyes- you are both so amazing. And I feel so incredibly blessed and spoiled to be your mother. All I’ve ever wanted was this- to be YOUR mother. And now, here we are, and I think about you and your little souls and your lives and your potential. I wonder where you’re going to go, what will be your passions, what you’re going say and do to contribute to this world. And if I think about it too long and hard I start to comprehend how integral my role is in ensuring that you have the best start to life possible. Your father and I may not be able to give you all this world has to offer, materialistically (even though you deserve every bit of it), but we will give you all the love that is humanly possible for a parent to feel for their child. You both are the centre of our world. We love you.

Adjusting to two children has actually not been as hard as I thought it would be. I think other people felt it was their duty to scare me, so I had really low expectations for the first few months as a family of four. I expected our house to be dirty, the fridge to empty, and there to be tears aplenty. And while some days those are true- the majority of the time it is simply…fun. I get to escape into the world of a one year old where every little item is exciting and worth exploring. I get to experience (again) the joys of seeing a newborn awaken into a baby and start to interact with the world. Of course, I have to be the grown-up that cleans up the messes and makes the meals…but I love these simple days of us three, where I am the centre of your worlds.

But then at night, when everyone has finally gone to bed. I lay there and I worry. I worry that I am not enough for you. That my own limitations and faults will some how hurt you, or make you sad, or prevent your own growth. I worry that the world is big and scary and someday its ever-changing principles will confuse you and frustrate you. I worry that I am not doing enough to protect you, and at the same time worry I will protect you so much I’ll prevent you from growing strong and independent. No matter what I do, I worry I did too much and too little all at the same time.

I don’t really have a point to all this, other than to say I love you. I love you, and when you look back on your life and wish I had parented you some different way at one point or another- just know my rational for whatever I did was love. Writing this blog post took a different turn than I intended, but I recently read this little essay by author unknown (I’ll post it below) about transitioning from one child to two. It really resonated with me and I wanted to share it. One day, maybe when it’s you have you’re own children, or maybe it will be before then, you’ll wonder what it was like to learn to love two children equally. I suppose that’s the point of all this- just know I love you both so fiercely. I am so grateful our family has been blessed with you.

 

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The essay:

“I walk along holding your two 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 she 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 only love 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 her- 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 replaced 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 she adores you– as I have for so long. I watch how excited you are by each of her 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 different as you are, but equally as 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. “- Author unknown

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Love, mom

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