I just had a fabulous conversation with a long time friend. She's busy with her first baby who isn't even a year yet, and she just found out she's expecting another little love nugget. I remember like it was yesterday...
You love your first baby with your whole heart. The moment you see the + on the pregnancy test, you fall in love and that love deepens when you hold them in your arms. Your heart is so full of love. The first time they say "Ma Ma" you are certain your heart is going to explode. Of course you are tired, some days you aren't sure you were cut out for this important role, but at the end of the day you are totally and completely in love with this tiny human.
Fast forward - you are having another one.
Exciting right? Um.....more like terrifying. Am I going to love this one? What's going to happen, I only have so much love, my heart is only so big, do I have to figure out how to love the first one less so that I have more love to go around?
Seriously. I didn't worry about how I was going to manage 2 car seats, living up 3 flights of stairs, affording childcare, or any of the technical stuff. What kept me awake at night was trying to figure out if my heart was big enough to handle the task of loving 2 small humans. When my friend told me the news, I knew she was feeling exactly what I had felt. Here is my confession:
I love each of my children with my whole heart. I don't have 6 hearts, but somehow, the same little heart that I didn't think could love 2 children has managed to allow me to love 6 of them. It's a phenomenon I'll never understand. The math doesn't work out...but once you have more than 1 child of your own, you'll smile at how true it is.
As long as we are confessing, I'd also like to say that having children close in age has allowed me more rest, more reading time, and more coffee...so if you are afraid of having children close in age - fear not my friend! During the first few years, it's a little rocky, but chances are you're in a sleep-deprived haze anyway, so just go with it. Once the kiddos are 1 and 2 or 2 and 3, things will start to click and it feels like a one way ticket to relaxation for mom. You think I'm kidding? I'm not! My poor mother had just me (yup folks, only child here) and she spent a good decade and a half listening to:
"Hey mom, look at me!"
"Hey mom, wanna play Monopoly?"
"Hey mom, guess what I just learned?"
"Hey mom, can you help me build a sand castle?"
She never got to drink her coffee warm, in fact she may still have a cup sitting on a shelf in the basement. That cup was likely abandoned in the early 80's when I asked her to play Barbies with me. My mom rode on roller-coasters even though they made her sick, and I don't think she had time to read a book until I was old enough to drive.
I on the other hand - busy mom and babysitter of many read countless books each week and consumer large quantities of piping hot or freezing cold coffee drinks. Do you know why that is? It's because I have children close in age. People question my sanity when they learn there are 14 months between our children, or 17 months in some cases. My sanity is an entirely different blog post, but having children close in age allows them to play with one another while I relax. They play in the sandbox, on the slide, in the tub, in the living room, they play Monopoly together, they run in the sprinkler, and I just need to be close enough to see and hear them, but I can do that with my feet up on a comfy chair and a book in hand. Life is good.
I'm not telling you this to brag - I'm telling you this because somewhere there is a mama who is wondering if she is enough. Wondering if her heart is big enough, her arms strong enough, and questioning if the day is long enough. I'm here to assure you that you are indeed enough. You are more than enough. You are amazing and you've totally got this!
This is worth repeating:
YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH!
YOU ARE AMAZING!
YOU'VE GOT THIS!
You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at WOW! Women on Writing.