When I got pregnant with my second child I was overjoyed. We had been trying for several months and all I could think about was how ready we were to grow our family. Once we got the plus sign, it hit me.
You-know-what (and it rhymes with pit!) is about to get real.
Somehow going from one child to two children is serious business! We were slowly inching towards the point in raising kids where going out to restaurants is not just busy, but unbearable. How will life be with two? Will I be able to do it? Will I be able to do it without losing myself in the process?
What I didn’t realize was just how much love was about to enter our world. I was like the Grinch- when he had that revelation about The Whos, and my heart was about to grow ten times it’s size.
TEN TIMES FRIENDS!
Yes it happens just like people say, and yes, if you are a mama of one, about-to-be-two, it will happen to you too. Not only will your capacity to love grow, but you will also learn buckets about yourself as a mom.
ONE: The first can handle more than you think they can. It is common to worry about what your first child will think when another baby joins the mix. As moms we worry that they will feel replaced or struggle with split attention. But you know what amazed me? These little creatures can handle more than we give them credit for. Toddlers can be prepped for things coming their way (as they should), and they can absorb information much better than we expect. So breathe easy mama, your kiddo will be just fine and even more special, they will have a friend for life.
TWO: You CAN love another baby just as much as your first. But completely differently. Each child fills a different part within you, and you can’t imagine it at the time but it just makes sense when you meet them. I always say that Number One is my heart and Number Two is my soul. I connect with both of these boys on an intense but very different level. Each little one will occupy a very different and unique place in your heart. So get ready, because your heart is about to grow TEN TIMES!
THREE: Grace. This is my mom-mantra, my wife-mantra, my personal-mantra. Trust me friend, it should be your mantra too. I’m convinced that grace is the critical puzzle piece to happiness. Grace for yourself as a mom (yes, your older child will be watching a lot more TV as you navigate the first few weeks and months as a mom of two, and friend, that is OKAY); and, yes, you will have moments where you are overwhelmed and wondering what the heck you got yourself into (that doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision, by the way). Grace for our husbands who are also trying to find their place now as a dad of two, including a new and very tiny baby. And most importantly, grace for ourselves! When the little doubts creep into our minds and tell us we are not enough – we are. Grace. Let it in, my friends!
FOUR: I’m doing okay. Isn’t it funny how we have no idea what we are doing? I mean, this is something that we never realize growing up- we think our parents know it all! So when I became a mom, I never anticipated how insecure parenting could be. But the way my first responded to the baby with gentleness, love, excitement and maturity – I mean I was and am busting at the seams with pride for this kid! I’m all “where did he get this?” And sure, it’s part nature. But it is also my husband and me. Together, we are raising this child (scratch that…CHILDREN!) and I am proud of what we are seeing. It is in that moment, and the moment’s full of gentle, sloppy brother hugs and kisses, that I sigh with relief, and I know, we are doing okay.
And you are too friends. You will do more than okay, and you know what, so will your children.
When my oldest son was 10 months old I found out I was expecting twins! Those emotions you speak of are so accurate… I was so worried about the love I felt for my first and how would I ever love another two? But it happened, my heart grew as you say.
They are happy and healthy nine and eight year olds now and I still marvel at the fact that I have enough love (and then some) for each of them, and such a different love!!
Well I couldn’t have read this at a more perfect time! I’m actually quite excited about two and not stressed at all. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so cocky… 😉
This is so touching and well written! Love all your words about point number two!
Thank you very much Christina!
Thank you so much for this! I have a three year old boy and will be welcoming boy #2 in about 6 weeks. The closer I get to delivery, the more nervous I have been getting about being able to handle it all. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be the very best moms we can be. Your message about grace is spot on and the perfect reminder for me as I am about to embark on my journey with two. Thank you for helping to ease the fears!
Kate, congratulations!!! Oh, and two boys, that’s my jam:). It does get overwhelming but once you meet him, that will all fade away. Wishing you a very smooth delivery and transition girl!
I just love this, Lauren! You really took some of my fears away about even thinking about having another. The part when you said your first is your heart and your second is your soul…SOLD! Char is so much my heart. I can’t wait to meet my soul one day. 😉
Thank you Kristy! It is so true how they just find a place to fit in your heart. And oh girl you’ve got NOTHING to worry about, you’ll love the next one just as much as cute Charlotte of that I am sure:)!
Great post! I was so nervous when I was pregnant with my second that I could never love her as much as I did my first. But of course I do. It’s such a great feeling when you know you’ve given the gift of a sibling to your kiddos!
That’s been the coolest part for me Jeni, seeing the relationship between the two kiddos.
your are great my friend! I love ya so much and miss u here to the moon xoxo …. Your venezuelan friend besos
Thanks sweet Maria! Besos.
Amazing. I’m 11 months in with my #2 and you’re so spot on. Wonderfully written!
Thank you Alison! Honestly it’s amazing how you keep learning from your children.
Love this! It’s so true how your heart expands to love the second child and every child after that and how you love them the same but differently! Thanks for sharing.
Isn’t it? And you can quite understand it until you have your second child, it is powerful! Thanks Melissa:).
Your words are so encouraging! We only have one, and would love a second, but I definitely freak myself out at times worrying about the whole change!
Thanks Abi! And I am the QUEEN at worrying so I get it! In the end it is always a good change:).
Love this! I can totally relate to the fear of what will happen and will I love the second as much. But it is true, the heart does grow! Thanks for the great lessons.
It does grow doesn’t it? It really is a great experience.