Motherhood is a complicated rollercoaster of emotion. It’s difficult to find the right words to describe your thoughts on motherhood.
At 5:30 this morning, my oldest frantically and suddenly yelled out she was going to throw up. There is nothing more alarming than when your child yells out she is going to be sick. At some point in the night, Annabelle had climbed into my Mom’s king sized bed and snuggled up between us. Since I was nursing Ailey, my Mom quickly carried Annabelle to the bathroom.
As I listened to Annabelle cry and my Mom try to soothe her, I realized I needed to be with her. She needed her Mommy. I burped Ailey and put her down to rush to Annabelle, who was laying on the bathroom floor refusing to move. She hadn’t thrown up but was saying her belly hurt.
When I scooped her off the floor, she begged me to carry her around the room like I did when she was a baby. Do you know how hard it is to carry a 27 pound child around like a baby? It’s hard. But I did it. Anything to make her feel better.
In bed, I held Annabelle in my arms, rubbing her back and stroking her hair until her whimpering faded and she fell asleep. While I was calming Annabelle, Ailey began fussing, so my Mom took her out of the bedroom. At this point, for the first time in what seems like forever, Annabelle and I laid together… in silence… and I found myself wiping away tears.
Where did the time go?
Her face looked different… older of course, but different. I thought I had memorized every aspect of her little face but suddenly her eyelashes seem thicker, her nose seems to be rounder, and her bottom lip puckers out. I held her small hand in mind and studied how long her fingers have grown, how it looks less like a toddler’s hand and more like a child’s. How is she going to be three in two months? Can I make her stop growing? Can I freeze time?
Honest Thoughts on Motherhood with Two Children
I realize that I have been spending so much of my time trying to soak in every little bit of her sister that I’ve been neglecting my first born. The only instance Annabelle gets my attention is when I’m correcting her behavior – stop doing this or don’t do that. Every time I speak to her, am I threatening a time out? Is every word out of my mouth negative? It sure seems like it.
What happened to the days when I showered her with compliments?
I used to treat Annabelle like she hung the moon. She could do no wrong. But now, I feel like I’m constantly pointing out everything she does that isn’t right.
Where did happy Mommy go? How did I become that grouchy Mother I never wanted to be?
I want to change – I don’t want my daughter to think of me solely as her disciplinary. I don’t want to be a negative presence in her life, only criticizing and correcting. How does one balance discipline and encouragement? How does a parent keep her child from thinking they’re a miserable person? I want my daughter to understand anytime I am mean it is with purpose and not just because I am busy with her little sister and can’t be bothered.
Perhaps this morning’s epiphany will be the kickstart I need …to treat my daughter less like a student in a classroom and more like my heart and soul. She deserves a break – my almost 3-year-old has had quite the life change with the addition of her little sister. I know her behavior is a direct result of feelings of jealousy and inferiority towards Ailey.
Does she need more one on one time with me? Do I need to spend more waking minutes studying the shape of her face and the color of her hair? I think I do… I think I really must cherish every second I can with Annabelle because life just passes us by too fast.
I think that’s something every mom struggles with! I know I am the same way with my older son. Seems like most of my day I am correcting or getting onto him and by the end of the day I feel so guilty. Luckily kids are so forgiving and I’m sure Annabelle thinks your the best mom! Maybe try to pick a day a week when you know you can have help with Ailey and do something with just Annabelle.. Even if it’s just a quick Starbucks trip or trip to the pet store it would be something for her to look forward to!
This made me cry and not because I’m sensitive we all know I am. However this touched me because I recall feeling this way 31 years ago when your baby sister was born. I’m glad you saw it as I did it’s important that all of children feel special and singled out all the time not just when they act up. Annabelle is fortunate to have a wise and loving Mommy and I know you will find that perfect balance.
I feel like this is a struggle that many of us moms will one day face. It part of the cycle that helps even moms transition from only child to mutliple. You are doing great! They both are so freaking adorable.
Oh my I feel you so much on the student business. Wait till homework comes, it’s hard stepping out of teacher mode into mommy mode. You’re doing great though and both girls are lucky to have you! You’ll find a balance!
I literally feel as though I could have written this post a couple weeks ago! My girls are a little over 2 years apart. My eldest will be 3 in November and my youngest will be 1 in January. My eldest was sick and was begging for me to hold her and snuggle her so my husband took our youngest. During those snuggles I realized that my baby has lost so many of her baby features – her face is thinning out and looking more mature, she is getting taller, her hands look like smaller versions of my hands, How could this have happened? When did this happen? And at that moment I was crushed, I felt as though I had neglected my first born! As a mother, how did I not see these changes? And then, like you, I started thinking about how much of my time spent is getting after her and telling her to stop it. So much attention and time has been focused on her sister. Thank you for this post! You are a fantastic mother and I am sure there are other mothers who feel like they were in your exact shoes at some point! Hope your baby girl is feeling better!
I went through this same experience after thecteins were born. It was a great realization though and has made me so much more intentional about how I spend time with all my girls. They all need me and all need me in different ways at different times. You’re doing great, momma!
You’re a great mom I am sure A thinks nothing but the world about you!
Ah! Thank you for writing this. I needed to read this and study my oldest more too! I look at him and he’s a little boy in my eyes, not a toddler. It’s so fast
You’ll find the balance, no doubt!