It’s all brand new and very scary when you bring your first born home, so I knew I’d be more confident the second time around. I knew I wouldn’t be plagued with so much worry and anxiety. I knew I’d be a more relaxed parent having been Lucas’s mother for four and a half years prior to Lola’s arrival. What I didn’t know was that being a mother to two would be very different and sometimes very difficult, no matter how far apart in age they are or how much I think Lucas “gets it”.
Before Lola was born I truly agonized over how I would or could love two children equally and so that they would know it and they would feel it. I confided with seasoned mothers and was repeatedly told the same thing… you just will.
They were right.
It started happening gradually while I was still pregnant and then the moment our eyes met for the first time, I was completely head over heels in love with my daughter. It was as though my heart stretched and grew and all of a sudden, like magic, there was equal space for two.
The loving is the easy part… making sure they know is hard.
According to Lucas, I talk to Lola differently. I coo and swoon and my voice gets higher yet softer, perhaps sounding more loving to him than the way I talk to him. He has declared more than once since Lola joined our family that I love her more than him. He has never said this while I am trying to console and meet her newborn needs but rather in a moment when I’m apparently gushing over her.
This breaks my heart.
It would be awesome if I could reassure him that that was a ridiculous notion, that I used to talk to him the same way when he was her age and that often, I still do, but he’s a big boy now, but that explanation doesn’t satisfy his four year old heart and mind. So, I say all that and tell him that he is my #1 boy and she is my #1 girl (thank goodness we have one of each!) and then I stop loving on Lola and turn my full attention to him, hugging and kissing him and calling him sweet names. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
He said it again over this past weekend and so in an effort to explain to him how I feel and how I am able to fit everyone in, I drew this heart:
See, I told him, equal space for you and Lola and Daddy and everything and everyone else has their spot too, but they aren’t nearly as important. I think he understood.
How or what do you do to help your children feel your equal love?