mom and daughter

To My Second Born – You Didn’t Make Me a Mom, But You Make Me a Better One

Becoming a mom was the very best thing that has ever happened to me.

Becoming a mom of two, that was a little bit terrifying.

Your big sister immediately filled a void in our lives that we didn’t know existed. She was our sun, our moon and all of the stars. Our world revolved around her.

We always knew we wanted to give her a sibling. We always planned on having more children. And we were filled with excitement when we found out I was pregnant with you.

But I was also filled with worry.

It wasn’t the same kind of worry I had the first time around. I wasn’t worried about what to expect during pregnancy. I wasn’t worried about the labor and delivery (though had I known how it would happen, I might’ve been). I wasn’t worried about how I was supposed to just one day become a mom.

I was worried I wouldn’t be enough.

I had already given what I thought was my whole heart to your sister. I didn’t know how I was going to share that love with another person. How I was going to be able to give both of you, all of me.

Then you were born.

And in the same wrecking ball fashion that you arrived, so did my love for you. Though it didn’t feel like the same kind of love that I had for your sister after she was born. It was just as strong, and just as deep, but it was slower in a way. Calmer.

It wasn’t easy going from a mom of one to a mom of two. I know not everyone will agree with me, but I think the transition from one to two was more difficult than none to one. Before you, my attention was not divided. I never had to choose. I never felt as though I wasn’t giving enough.

But you, you came along and rather than having to divide my love, you somehow made it multiply. There was always more than enough there for you, you just weren’t here yet to need it.

I think that’s what makes me better. Having more love to give, more to share, how can it not? You might not get the undivided attention that your big sister got after she was born. Our nursing sessions are rarely quiet and intimate. It’s not often you get to nap in peace or enjoy a meal without your threenager sister having a meltdown in the middle of it. She didn’t have anyone to knock her over, take a toy away from her or dump water on her head unexpectedly. One-on-one time with you is almost non-existent.

But you just roll with it.

And in watching you go with the flow, I find myself doing the same. Despite the addition of another mouth to feed, extra laundry to wash and a repeat of the sleepless nights, I am somehow calmer.

Because I know that even though I exhausted myself most days exclusively breastfeeding you and trying to provide you with the best nourishment possible, you’ll eventually eat stale Goldfish from the couch cushions. Even though I get dizzy keeping my head a swivel trying to keep you safe, I’m going to bump your head while putting you in your car seat. Even though I try to clean everything before you touch it, you’re also going to eat dirt and chew on rocks. Because your sister did all of those things, too…and for the most part she seems to be turning out okay.

When you give me that giant gummy smile as I walk through the door after a long day of work, you remind me that it’s okay that I give your big sister a hug first because she wrapped herself around my ankles before I could take a step. You’re just as happy to be scooped up a minute later when I do eventually make it through the door.

You are teaching me patience. You are teaching me balance. You are teaching me that it’s okay if I’m not giving you all of me, all the time.

You didn’t make me a mom. You’re not the first little person to steal my heart. But everyday you make me better.

And for that, I am forever grateful.

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