Dear Mum of baby number 2,
You are expecting your second little one with such mixed feelings – excitement, yes! But also fear as you realise that everything you know is about to change. This time round you know just what the next few months hold – the sleepless nights, the teary tired days, the bottomless bowl of questions about why your baby is crying and whether he is ill or just cranky. You know what’s coming up.
So your fear this time round is not about your new baby, it’s about the love of your life, baby number one. So I want to share some wisdom with you as you look ahead to baby number 2.
I promise you, you can love this one just as much as the first. I have no idea how it happens but love doesn’t divide when it is shared – it multiplies. You will be utterly smitten with this life, just like last time.
The night before you give birth will be one of the hardest in your parenting journey so far, as the realisation sets in that tomorrow your little baby is going to be a big sister. You will mourn the loss of her baby position as she graduates to older sibling.
This will never feel more real than when you see them together, big sister holding the new tiny sibling. She will seem so big compared to the tiny toes and fingers of newborn. And you will, in an instant, feel your heartstrings tug as you realise that her baby status is gone forever, even though she is only 20 months old.
There will be days in the months ahead after your new baby is born when you will lose your cool and be irritable with baby number one and then suffer the immense guilt of knowing that she did nothing wrong – your fuse was just a little short that day – you are so tired after all.
You will certainly feel guilt over all the times she has to share you and how little focussed time she now gets. You will fear the damage of less time, less patience and less attention.
But I promise you this, her life will be enriched beyond measure. She will see you tenderly love her sibling and know that you did the same for her. She will get to connect a little more with Dad and feel that bond strengthen. She will gain a playmate who will forever be her companion.
Don’t worry second time mom, this is the start of a precious new journey. A busy juggle of love and laughter. A gaggle of frenetic toddlers is around the corner. Your home will be filled with the excess of love and you will be great mom, a wonderful parent who juggles the balls of two kids and drops them occasionally because you are wonderfully human, a mother to two. What a gift.
Enjoy these moments and know that you, baby number one and your newborn are going to be blessed in ways that right now you can’t fathom. Enjoy the ride.