How Do You Know?

Disclaimer: I am NOT pregnant.

How do you know you’re ready for Baby #2?

I’ve been wondering that a lot lately, especially since my mom said to me, upon looking at a sweet pic of Maya sleeping in her crib, that it was crazy to see because it reminded her that when I was Maya’s age, she was a few months pregnant with my brother. “You were so little.”

This realization blew my mind. I mean, obviously I know we’re all two years apart — I’m 32, my brother is 30 and my sister is 28 — and our birthdays are all within a three week period, so naturally that meant each of us was just past a year when my mom got pregnant with the next sibling … but somehow that part never registered.

I’ve been torn between the notions of loving the stage she’s at now and loving that we can  — selfishly — adore her with 100% of ourselves … and wanting her to have a brother or sister to share her life with soon. I always said I loved the spacing between my siblings — we are all incredibly close and on top of being siblings, we are friends. But I don’t feel quite ready yet. I’m loving this stage. It’s “easy” in the sense that she is very self-sufficient, sleeps great, eats great, is learning SO MUCH … And the thought of reverting to sleepless nights and multiple nightly diaper changes and mounds of laundry and nursing and pumping and spit-up … none of that is appealing at this moment in time.

But even moreso–this is my fear. Though L feels ready now for Baby #2, part of me worries how can I love another baby as much? How can I share all of me? When I think of those sweet quiet nights spent nursing and rocking her, or giving her my undivided attention when we play … I won’t have that ability with two kids, will I?

Rocco, our first ‘baby’ has kind of been cast second fiddle — and I feel awful about that. I know it’s different with a kid than a dog, but still. I have so much love in my heart for him, but I just can’t divide myself into more pieces and feel guilty as it is. Add to that being a working outside the home mom, and it’s a buffet of guilt I’m serving myself every day.

But my mom –ever wise — reassured me that I will have love in my heart for all my kids with these words:

“I’m teary eyed right now thinking of how difficult a concept the love for more than one baby is. Maya is so teeny and needs you so much and you don’t want her to ever not have 100% of you. But we moms are pretty unique in that somehow, our hearts have room for all. And you always hope that each one of your babies feels it and is getting as much of you as possible. And sometimes we fail, when the demands get so big, and we make mistakes as parents but I promise you, you’ll have a special place for each child in your heart, and they’ll know it.”

I know she’s right; I do. I just have to have faith that my heart is big enough for all my children … and that means Rocco, too 🙂

How about you? How did you know you were ready for #2, or that your family was complete?

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4 thoughts on “How Do You Know?

  1. Timely post for me – we just had our #2 – he is 7 weeks old this weekend and we also have a 27 month old. When our toddler was around 15 months or so, I started having that “baby itch” again. I had no idea how I would handle two kids and I still don’t. It’s hard. I love my newborn, J, but I don’t have that same feeling that I have for our toddler, C, yet. I feel like I can’t quite bond with J like I did with C, because I can’t give him my undivided attention. C, on the other hand, now wants my undivided attention, constantly. I’m looking forward to when they can interact more – and when I can sleep more!

    1. Congrats on #2!! That is my deep fear; not being able to instantly bond. I have heard a LOT of people (family, friends) say it’s not as easy with #2 — probably because you’re so worried about #1 but also because there is NOTHING like seeing your first child ever for the first time, you know? Then again, it’s a miracle when you see #2, 3, etc, of course — but the first time you become a parent is with #1. You have institutional knowledge with #2, whereas with #1 it’s all trial and error, and since each kid is different that’s probably true with other kids, but still. You know what I mean!! Anyway, thanks for sharing and stay strong!

  2. I think that we actually grow an entirely new heart for each child. I love my three year old in a very special way, he made me a mother, and no one will ever change that. Our bond is unique. For my second, who is only three weeks old , I feel like I grew an entirely new heart for him. There is no less love for either, I love them both more than I could ever imagine, and in different ways too.

    The reasons you wrote for not being ready for #2 are the same reasons I had. The “ease” of the toddler was difficult to let go of, but I knew that 3 years was the most I wanted them spaced. I do agree that not being able to give the first born 100% attention is a difficult transition, but in time, it will be the new norm.

    1. That’s what I am thinking … She made me a mother!!! And I love the idea of a whole new heart for each child. Congrats on #2. 🙂 I think we will start trying later this fall; would love to be able to tell Maya on her second birthday (December) that she’ll be a big sister …. but who knows how that will work out. We weren’t actively trying when I got pregnant with her so I honestly don’t know how quickly (or not) things will happen for us. That said, I like the idea of 3 years in between each child.

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