In just a few days, I will be celebrating one whole year of being a mama to two beautiful boys. Ryan will be turning one on the 30th of September. I don’t know where the time has gone. It seems so cliché to say, but it really did fly by. I sometimes look at Ryan and still see the little 5lb 14 oz little bundle that made us a family of four. In anticipation of this momentous day, I wanted to reflect back on the past year and share some of the lessons I’ve learned as a mama of two and debunk some of those fears some mama’s have when they are pregnant with their second child.
Love is not measured by photos, or celebrations, it’s measured by the endless amounts of kisses, cuddles, and sacrifices you make for your littles on a daily basis.
YOUR LOVE WILL DOUBLE
For all of the mamas out there who are scared of adding a second little bambino to the mix because “how could I love another like I love my first”, know that you have nothing to worry about. You don’t have to share any of the love you currently have for your only baby. Somehow, and I don’t have any scientific proof to back this up, but somehow the love you have to give just doubles! You don’t have to worry about needing to make room in your heart for another. Your heart is smart and knows that it would just be easier to make more room 😉 And let me tell you this, watching your littles love each other just adds another layer of love you never knew existed!
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FIRST BORN WILL FLUCTUATE, BUT DON’T FEAR
As much as it pains me to write this, I’m writing it knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! It’s inevitable that in the beginning, a majority of your time will be spent with the baby. This is especially true if you are exclusively breastfeeding (for obvious reasons). For the first few weeks after Ryan was born, Lou did the bedtime routine exclusively with Noah. It was easier for me to nurse Ryan to sleep but also, it was a lot harder for me to bend down and get in Noah’s bed after the C-section. When I was finally able to get back into Noah’s bedtime routine, he didn’t want me! He cried and cried and cried for his dada to put him to sleep. And how could I blame him, it’s what he had grown used to. I was asking him to change his norm as if there hadn’t already been enough change what with bringing home a baby. And so we struggled, or more so I struggled! But we made it through and day by day it got better! That’s not to say that there still aren’t times when he prefers his father though. And that’s ok! Because there are times when he prefers me! And so even though your relationship may go through hard times, know that there are countless precious times still to come. <3
SCREEN TIME IS YOUR FRIEND
I know there is so much controversy out there when it comes to screen time and many mamas may fear the judgment they’ll receive if they use screentime. I feel like at times, it’s taboo for you to say that you allow your child screen time. Why is that a bad thing? I don’t know. I think if it’s monitored and used wisely, screen time can be a wonderful resource! A resource for both parents and children alike! It’s been a great learning tool for Noah and it’s been an amazing respite for me! Can I call screen time respite? Lol. Seriously, don’t be afraid to use it! There are so many educational programs and apps out there that have really been fun for Noah! And I’m ok with him taking it easy and watching a show or two to wind down. Especially if I can’t play with him because I’m nursing Ryan, changing Ryan, putting Ryan down for a nap, or I don’t know, just trying to sit for 1 minute of the day!
YOU DON’T LOVE YOUR FIRST BORN MORE
I think more mamas than not have had the thought “I must love my first-born more since I did MORE for him” creep into their head at one point or another. You know, held him more, maybe took more photos, celebrated little milestones differently, etc. I know that in my case, we had a big celebration when Noah was dedicated (christened). After the dedication ceremony we celebrated with a BBQ at our house with friends and family! For Ryan’s dedication, we went out for pizza with friends who had their children dedicated that same day. Not to mention that we arrived to church for Ryan’s dedication minutes before they ended the dedication ceremony! Mama, listen up, just because you don’t celebrate as big, or make homemade baby food this time around, or get every monthly milestone photo, does not mean you love your newborn any less! You now have a toddler [or preschooler in my case] to not only take care of, but to entertain as well! Your time is stretched thin! When you’re not taking care of the baby, you’re playing with the toddler, cleaning up around the house, getting work done, or trying to remain sane! Just remember this: Love is not measured by photos, or celebrations, it’s measured by the endless amounts of kisses, cuddles, and sacrifices you make for your little ones on a daily basis!
YOU DON’T LOVE YOUR YOUNGEST MORE EITHER
On the flip side, you don’t love your youngest more just because you need to give him more attention. He’s a baby, incapable of caring for himself. There will be times, sometimes multiple times a day, that you’ll have to tell your big kid that you can’t cater to his needs. You can’t pay attention to the joke he’s repeated for you 3 times, you can’t finish the movie you started with him, or you can’t sit and have lunch with him. And it’s not because you love him any less, it’s because the baby needs you right now. And as horrible as that sounds when you say it out loud, it’s the truth and it’s okay!
You have to split your time between two kids now, and that doesn’t always work out to a 50/50 split. Some days Ryan needs more of my time than Noah – when he’s teething and fussy, or that time we dealt with nipple confusion. Other days Noah may need me more than Ryan – like when he’s sick or if he’s had a nightmare and jumps in our bed. Their needs are ever-changing and my goal is to make sure that I meet each and every one of them as often as I can.
IT GETS BETTER AND BETTER
The day Ryan was born quickly became one of the happiest days of my life! We were now a family of four. Seeing my big boy meet his little brother will easily go down as one of the top 3 best moments in my life. My first little love was meeting my newest little love, does it get any better than that? Actually, it does! Watching their love blossom and their bond grow has been AMAZING! Ryan’s eyes literally sparkle every time Noah walks into the room! And they have done that since early on. And Noah, he has become Ryan’s protector and best friend! It also gets easier! The older Ryan gets, the more Noah is able to interact with him. It’s equally exciting for the both of them.
TO WRAP UP, know that these fears are normal. In fact, I think it’s more uncommon for you NOT to have these fears. That being said, I hope that I’ve been able to ease them for you a little. Giving your child a sibling and adding to your family, if that’s what you want, is a beautiful experience! Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you. In some cases less is more, but when it comes to family, More is More!