When I was pregnant with my second child, my husband and I were utterly perplexed. How could we possibly love TWO people as much as we loved our precious firstborn son, Liam?
So, we asked a very dear family member of ours (whose kids were grown) if it is really true that you love the second child the same way as you did first. She shall remain nameless for fear her second child will be offended but what she said made some sense then and makes absolute sense now – “You love them the same, sure… is every moment exactly as magical? No. But that’s OK.”
That, for myself and my husband (who I often speak for, yes) is the absolute truth. It’s not quite as amazing and magical with the second because you have done it before. Everything that is your second child’s first is not YOUR first, as well. This makes each moment slightly less exhilarating.
(This is a HUGE upside.)
Those firsts are not nearly as terrifying. You worry (and I very carefully calculated these statistics) a million times less. You have managed to get the first kid through pretty much anything that you are now trying to the get the second kid through. You know that babies are resilient and not quite as fragile as you may have thought. You know that their heads are harder than they look and that bruises really do fade.
You are clear on your priorities as a parent and you know what you didn’t know the first time: You can do it. (You’v e done it once, after all). The pediatrician isn’t on speed dial and you know that a crying baby is not always terribly miserable and just might be trying to communicate. Not every runny nose requires a doctor’s visit and diaper rash is not a sign of parental negligence. You know that they do things on their own time and that, for the most part, they are exploring the world and learning at whatever pace works for them.
With the first, you worry yourself sick and you want to cry every time that they do. You lay awake nights sure that you have ruined them FOR LIFE with even the tiniest mistakes. So, when they do something for the first time – it is a big freaking deal! When they accomplish a “first” you are proud, of course, but you are also able to mark off “walk” or “wave” or “hold a fork” of your mental checklist of things that they are supposed to do.
So when the second love of my life, Derek, hits a milestone are we every bit as excited? Of course!
Will I worry myself into a frenzy about when it will happen? No! (Ok well, Only sometimes!)
So, though, every single change that Derek makes isn’t quite as magical and sublime as it may have been with Liam, I am a much more relaxed mama and Derek reaps that benefit. The love is absolutely 100% the same in quantity.
I am not sure if you know this but MY kids hung the moon. You thought yours did. But, nope. It was mine. Daniel and I constantly marvel at the fact that we somehow got the two best little boys to ever live!
But, my goodness, are they different. So, do I really love them the SAME? No. And I shouldn’t. I don’t even try to anymore. (This is another benefit of being a more experienced parent). Why would you ever love two special people in the exact same way?
I love them with my discipline and with my gentle touches. I love them with my smiles and my kisses as well as “stern talking to’s.” I love them even when they seem totally unlovable. That’s unconditional love and they both have mine and their father’s forever. But, I love them differently.
I love how my youngest is so affectionate that he can literally smother me in kisses. And, I return that love in the same way. I speak his language.
I adore my oldest’s crazy and wild imagination. And, when he lets me into his world, I am always excited to share in it. I speak HIS language. He likes kisses and hugs, too, but not as much as he loves for people to share in his creativity.
So, NO, you won’t love your kids the same. But, you will love them all. How many you have will have no bearing. Whether you have 1 or 5, each of those kids will light your world up in a whole new bright hue. So, when you look around your home, there will be a rainbow of love just showering down on your life. And, what could ever be wrong about that?