Transitioning from 1 to 2
For some reason I don’t hear this topic being brought up often. Maybe because talking about it brings all the uncomfortable emotions to the surface.
There’s two of them and one of me. That means double the cries, double the feedings, double no sleep, double the cleaning…but most importantly double the attention. And if you ask me “attention” is the MOST important, yet the most draining. There are days when I look at myself in the mirror and ask:
“Why can’t you do better?”
Then I just stand there. Waiting. Looking at my own reflection as if it’s going to respond without me actually moving my mouth. Making me feel crazy because I’m talking to myself and getting angry that there’s no answer.
So there you have it.
If you don’t want your heart to be ripped and torn in two different directions then don’t have multiple children.
Okay, that was just me trying to be funny to avoid digging deep into this topic…
I was told my heart would double in size once I had my second baby but I can’t help feel like it shrunk. I don’t have as much time, energy, and love as I once did when it was just Luna and I. My heart absolutely aches knowing my little boy didn’t receive the same mother as his sister did. Yes it’s me. It’s always going to be me, but a completely different version.
You see, when Luna was a baby I had all the time in the world for her. She would be fed and changed around the clock. Put down for a nap in a quite environment. Every time her beady little eyes caught mine we would be glued for what felt like hours…talking, smiling, singing and laughing. I took photos and videos every single day making sure every moment was frozen in time. I recorded all her milestones and wrote letters that she will one day read. And you know what else? She never cried…she never had a reason to. All her needs where constantly met.
She cries now. But it’s not that annoying cry you hear when a child doesn’t get the toy they want or they are told they need to go to bed. No, her’s is far more unbearable. It’s the one that has so much pain and sadness attached to it. Like when I’m sitting in my room feeding Tristan I see her little feet underneath the crack of the door, head pressed up against it and quietly sobbing “mommy, mommy…”. Sometimes I wonder why she doesn’t just come in but then I realize the few times she did I shooed her away. Breastfeeding is hard as is but having a toddler climbing all over you just makes it that much harder. Or when I finally have some time to get out of the house she’ll stand by the garage with her shoes in her hands ready to go with me. Only to be disappointed by me driving away without her. And you know how much this little girl loves me? That even though I’ve upset her by leaving she still blows me a kiss good bye regardless of the tears rolling down her face.
Luna is confused to why her mommy slowly pulled away. The birth of my second baby robbed a piece of me that she’ll never get back. And unfortunately that piece isn’t good enough for my second child either.
My son deserves so much more than what I’m offering. I wonder how many times he’s looked at me and got no reaction. Must be a lot because when I get the chance to glance over he lights up, and has the biggest smile as if I looked at him for the first time..and so I try to stay present in that moment for as long as I can. Giving him that one on one time because I know it will quickly be cut short when I need to redirect my attention towards my toddler who’s probably going to be asking me to read her a book. How can I say no to that? So I start reading. Bringing us both back to the old times when it was just her and I. It feels so familiar. And then Tristan starts crying which makes me go crazy. I have two more pages left, but she’s taking her precious time pointing at the pictures and so I become anxious. Trying to ignore his cry so I can finish the book, but I can’t…Tristan becomes louder. Seems like he cries all the time & that’s because he’s always reminding me when his diaper needs to be changed or when it’s time to eat. I get so mad at myself knowing he cries in order for me to acknowledge his needs. I should be on top of it just like I was with Luna.
My biggest fear when I got pregnant with number 2 was losing my number 1. I kept hearing people say “It will be okay. Just include her in everything you do with the baby.” And so I did…but it didn’t turn out okay like they said it would. Every time I tried to include her she would rebel against it. Like when I asked her to hand me his diaper, she threw it even further. Or when I asked her to give him his pacifier she’d jam it into his mouth making him scream more. I started getting frustrated with her because I felt like she was purposely making things difficult. But how incredibly stupid of me to not even consider her feelings throughout all of these sudden changes. It was like my first born who was MY BABY up until 2 months ago was expected to grow up over night. It wasn’t fair for me to put so much pressure on her. And so it hit me like a ton of bricks!! All those times I asked her to do something for me wasn’t actually to include her but rather use her for an extra hand. In a way I started taking advantage of her. Expecting her to rush over with his burp cloth or bring me his blanket.
So where do you draw the line between not forcing your first born to take on the big sibling role but also being there in a way you need them to be?
As hard as it can get around here I wouldn’t have it any other way because I can’t imagine my life without one or the other…She needs me. He needs me. I’m running in circles all day and that’s okay. There was a reason I was chosen to be their mother. I’m taking it day by day until I get this right. And even if there may never be a “right” I know in the eyes of my children I am good enough.