Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mother Of Two And A Whole Lot Of Guilt

The day I became a mother of two was a day I will never forget. It's also a day I'm sure I will go over with my girls time and time again for many reasons. I wish my mother was with me to guide me through that day and the following days as I am sure I will with them. That second child is such an emotional thing. Maybe not the same for all, but for me there were so many nerves, so much doubt, so much guilt, but so so much love.

I remember my nurse telling me about all the things that were about to happen. Walking down the hall, getting the spinal block, the pressure I'd feel, and all that good stuff. "Right now? We're doing this right now?" I responded. Yes. Right now.

Right now was something I had anticipated and dreaded all at the same time. It was time. I was going to have two kids. Would I be as good as a mom? Would the love be the same? Would there be enough? I had so many worries and guilty emotions my whole pregnancy. Now I was about to meet the little one that had been kicking me. That had been so innocently brought into this world, and here I am worried that I will love her like I love her sister. She being just as worthy of our love and I'm worried will I miss our times as three? I can't even begin to express the guilt that came along with those emotions. How could I feel this way? How could I worry about the love I will have for this innocent life that I created.

Well let me tell you. It was a stupid worry. I saw her face and there was no worry in sight. No question as to whether or not my love for her equaled that of her sisters. They laid her next to my cheek and there was that soft skin feeling. That first kiss on that fresh cheek. The first look into each other's eyes. That knowing feeling that you are mine and I am yours and nothing will come between that as long as I'm living. I am your mom.

If only the guilt and worry stopped there. The next three days were not what they were with M. Which of course caused me guilt. Instead of being wrapped up in my little love I was also worried about her sister. Was she ok? Did she understand all of this at all? Would she forgive me for being gone these three days? So I laid there in my hospital bed with guilt for my new daughter who was not getting every ounce of my attention and focus and guilt for my oldest who was no longer going to get every ounce of my attention and focus like before.

Finally home and of course the guilt and worry will be gone, right? No. Every little action was over analyzed. Every cry. Every thrown toy. Every fit. She's hurt by her new life. She isn't adjusting. I've hurt the feelings of my so very loved toddler. Let me tell you from what I hear I don't have it bad. M really adjusted pretty well. She didn't start peeing all over things. She didn't steal binkies and bottles. She didn't wake up a million times. She hardly cried. Still every little thing I took to heart and it killed me. It killed me to think that I hurt her by bringing home N. Bring on the guilt!

Here's the thing. Bringing home a sibling is probably never easy. Whether they're 9 months, 18 months, or five years apart. Someone told me something very true about a new sibling. M is my toddler. I know her on a different level than I knew her those first weeks. Our relationship is something different and a year from now it will be too. N is my newborn. We are learning each other and in 18 months our relationship will also be totally different. So there is no guilt in having those two very different relationships. The love is just as great. It's just as strong. It's just different.

Three weeks in and we are really getting in our grove. The three of us go places. We have some what of a routine for a mom who doesn't believe in structured schedules. We are learning what it is to be parents of two children and how to find that balance. If the guilt sets in I tell myself something I personally know to be very true. The best thing I could ever give these two is each other.

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