The other day, I was thinking about how next month I could be pregnant with baby number two. So, as I’m thinking about our second miracle, I look over at my beautiful Emerald and wonder how having a second baby will effect her. Does every mom go through this? It makes me really sad, what if I ruin her world, you know? I mean not literally, but she’s the center of our universe and she knows it. So introducing another baby into our lives is a huge change for a two year old. She’s not going to understand that she is going to have to share her mommy with another baby. She’s a jealous little monster now. I can’t imagine how she’ll be with another baby in the picture. Even now, when I play with other babies, she goes up to them and says “No, mine.” And she swings at them (no I don’t encourage hitting). If you saw how she is with me, you’d see what I’m talking about.
I feel guilty. Like we should ask her if it’s ok to have another baby. Unfortunately she’s too young to understand and I don’t know if we’d listened to her if she did understand. But just to make her feel like her opinion matters. That’s crazy I know. But I don’t want my baby to feel like she’s not important. Since all of our attention is going to be directed towards the new baby in the first few months. I want to make sure that as a mother, I’m fair with the amount of attention I give to both children. Recognizing the signs when Emerald needs a little more attention than she normally does. You know? Will it come naturally?
My biggest worry is playing favorites. I know it wouldn’t be intentionally, but I know Emerald might feel like we’re doing it on purpose. Little things she does now that aren’t a big deal might be a big deal. I can remember when we first brought her home, I was irritated almost all day. The exhaustion completely takes over and not even the smallest mess is forgivable. Every little thing bothers you and you’re on the edge every minute of everyday. What if she wants me to pick her up while I’m holding the baby and she doesn’t take no for an answer and I snap. Not like crazy snap, but what if I react in a way I never have before with her? This can impact her little life in ways that can be harmful. That’s what I think about when we talk about having our next baby. I’ve heard stories about how the first child acts out when the second child comes along. I feel like this happens because they realize they aren’t the center of attention. What if my sweet little munchkin is angry and then takes out her anger on the baby? Ugh. I sound like a horrible mom, but this is reality.
Growing up, my siblings and I witnessed favoritism at it’s finest. Our cousins were favored by other relatives and for a young child to experience that is crushing. There was one incident in particular. We were at my grandmothers house for Christmas and everyone was opening gifts. Being children my brother and I were excited to open gifts with everyone. As we walked towards the tree my mother grabbed us and told us there were no gifts for us under the tree. Can you imagine how we felt? I’m almost thirty and I can remember that day like it was yesterday. We were young too, no more than 5 years old. That’s an extreme situation, and I would never do that to Emerald. But you get the point. Being overlooked by them was a traumatic and unforgettable moment for me. There’s just so much we haven’t considered before making the decision to have another child. What if me babying the new baby makes Emerald feel like I don’t love her like I love the new baby? I understand that children are extremely different from one another, so what works for one probably won’t work for the other. What if that comes off as favoritism?
I want to be mentally prepared for when the second baby arrives. Being a mother has always been a dream of mine and like every mother I want to be the best mother I can be to all of my kids. Give them all the attention that they need. Not to make any of them feel like they couldn’t come to me because I was busy with another one. Or hearing Emerald say she wish I were there for her more. Or how I could’ve been more supportive but I wasn’t because I was spending too much time with her siblings. That would break my heart. I know it’s impossible for me to give each child all of the attention they want but I’m going to try.