When I fell pregnant with my youngest I was a confusing mess of emotions which grew deeper and more tangled the closer I got to her birth. It was a combination of happiness, fear, excitement, regret and and about thirty other less dominant emotions.
Happiness: I desperately wanted a second child. Our family, while amazing, felt incomplete and I wanted a sibling or two for my daughter to grow up with. I have an amazing relationship with my own sister. There is a strong bond that gets formed by sharing so much of history. I know this isn’t the case with all siblings of course but I hope our girls have the same close relationship. I couldn’t wait to fall pregnant and pressured my poor husband to commit to the decision. My plan was to keep the gap between the kids small so that they could relate to each other. Plus I wasn’t getting any younger. When I found out I was pregnant I was SO, SO happy. I knew it would be a major adjustment but I was euphoric.
Fear: Kids are expensive. One of our biggest worries is the fear of not being able to provide for our children. We debated back and forth about whether we could afford a second child. Schooling is more expensive than University these days not to mention all the other costs associated with raising a child in this social age. Would I have to go back to work? Was it fair to limit what we could provide for our firstborn?
There was also the fear of having daughters. The world that we live in can be cruel and it can be perverse. Having kids and girls especially (I know parents with boys have these same fears) means having a constant fear of them being abused when they are out of your sight. I am torn between despair and fury if I think of this happening. Do we want to bring another child into this world of bullying and sexual deviants?
Excitement: I love my firstborn. Actually, those words pale in comparison to the depth of my feelings for her. She is my shadow, the person I spend the most time with and is amazing in so many different ways. I knew that a second child would be just as wonderful and I COULD NOT wait to meet her. I was so curious as to what her personality would be like especially since people kept telling me that the second child is always the tyrant. (Hey man, don’t make your kids bad behaviour my problem!) I looked forward to watching this new little person grow into her personality and counted down the days until I would meet her.
Regret: This is the toughest emotion to admit to. We were finally in a good place just before I fell pregnant. Our daughter was old enough for us to easily go on holiday together. I had got myself back in shape and was loving my new fitness level. My husband and I were closer than ever and spent lots of time together. We had spare money to splurge now and then and life was good. During my pregnancy I wondered if we had made a terrible mistake. Another child would put a strain on our time, our finances and our marriage. In my pursuit of ticking the boxes of my life goals had I gone a step too far? My biggest regret was that I would lose the one on one time with my firstborn. I would no longer be able to give her all my attention and it was right at that point where she had changed from a baby to a toddler. I was finally finding out what thoughts were in her head and it was magical. Had I made a terrible mistake?
Our little baby is now 11 months old. She is truly a remarkable child. She’s not solving the rubiks cube or anything
but she is pretty frikken amazing. I’m writing this post because now with my eldest at school for half a day, I’m finally getting some one-on-one time with this cutey. Her personality is far bigger than her little body. She laughs and giggles hysterically and gives proper hugs with a delicious squeeze of her chubby arms. Her big sister is her hero…unless she wants the Leap Frog controller then all bets are off. She somehow hears my husband at the door before we do and does a comical crawl/run to get to him. At under a year she seems to already have a shoe fetish and can amuse herself for an unusual amount of time trying to put our shoes on her own feet.
I’m not sure how she did it but she has made us forget what life was like before her. My eldest does get jealous at times but for the most part she loves her baby sister fiercely. I can’t even scold the little one without hearing “It’s ok mum. She’s just a baby. She’s still learning” They even play together now which is super adorable. Is she a tyrant? No. She can scream bloody murder when she wants something but which kid doesn’t? I’m getting glimpses of the little girl that she will become and there is a beautiful mix of determination, humour, feistiness, intelligence and affection. This kid wakes up at night to clap her hands and high five me in her sleep. Then she smiles and lays back down like nothing happened.
As a mum she has changed me and my style of parenting. I am less strict and militant with her and her routine. She eats whatever we eat and sometimes I sneak her a tiny taste of chocolate or cake which was taboo the first time around. She has made me slow down and live in the moment. She has completed our family. I wondered how I could ever love another child as much as my firstborn but I do. This little girl is as much a part of me as my hands or my heart. We were all waiting for her and just didn’t realise it.