No matter how easy or hard your first child was, adding a second child is intimidating. I knew the work, knew the time except that I had to put that work and time together while continuing to care for my elder daughter.
Some might think that baby two will be easy. You are wiser; more experienced and know what you are doing. But the wiser among us will realise that we ‘ really ‘ don’t know. Every child is different. Who knows!, what our second child will bring!!.
How hard it is really?
My opinion is it is very different for every mom.
When my son was born last year, I expected to be a seasoned, confident mother. I had been mothering his sister for the past six years. So, I did feel more sure of myself, at least in some ways. But not to deny the fact that I was a new parent – learning to be a mother of two!
In my experience, going from 0 to 1 month was the hardest transition. I mean a huge shock to my system as I tried to balance two different schedules. The first couple of weeks were bit chaos balancing with my personal pains, the hectic newborn routines and the elder one. But my husband, in-laws and my mom (my huge strength) were around to help me out with it. I had to mentally prepare for, simultaneously meeting the physical and emotional needs of two children with quiet a gap in ages. To me this is the single, biggest and ongoing challenge.
This emotional roller coaster did affect me initially. I was rather scared. It made me to feel to an extent that I was failing as a mom. But, after a year, I have found that these feelings are normal. Though I have not worked out fully on this, I am somehow managing the so called ‘mom’s attention deficit’.
For us mothers, ‘ guilt ‘ is the second biggest challenge. Some days I feel like I am depriving my daughter from getting enough of my love and care. Have my attention been completely stolen by my son!??. This question pops in me when she goes off mood and behaves abnormal. But once I gave a break, a deep breath, trusted myself, my instincts and choices, I was slowly able to overcome it.
I have learnt to accept that there is a pile of laundry constantly waiting to be folded, toys scattered hither n thither. I’ve had to accept that my daughter is going to call me out in helping her getting ready for school while my son needs me on the potty! Or that my son is going to wake up from his short nap the instant I sit to help my daughter with her studies, or both of them melting down together when me n my husband try to have a conversation beyond our daily routines.
As days passed by, when the two started really interacting – from the way Madhav’s eyes lit up when he sees his sissy return from school, to when they start giggling and cuddling together. Or when Malini bursts out to tears when she sees her wailing brother — raising two kids is absolutely, positively worth it!
And it is’int just the day-to-day difficulties or challenges I have as a mom, it is also the scrutiny and judgement from others too. It is’int just me but to all mums out there who are exposed to such external factors. Well! You know everyone around you seem to have an opinion or criticism on your mothering style!
I have created two people. Grown them inside me, watched their little movements, felt their pains and joy. And, that is no small thing. Nothing to be overlooked or overshadowed by a messy house, or wrong timing, or even on my mothering style!
Loving three people is easy, but meeting all of their needs at the same time, is a tough job! I do accept that none of my three loves are getting as much of me as they want or as much of me as I want to give them. And I struggle n fight with it. But I know that I am starting to win more rounds than lose. And I know that I am trying to be someone they want me to be.
I am filled with love that is no ordinary one. It is the love that makes me feel proud, thankful. A love that is grateful for the gift that these two kids have given me. By breaking me down, they are actually building me better. Something better I could ever imagine without them – being the mother of my two wonderful kids.