Loving more than one child

October 19, 2009 at 11:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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9071f73c-d54c-4805-a5ee-d200a4d91621When I was expecting DD, I had this terrible fear that I couldn’t possibly love another child the way I loved DS – it often kept me awake at night. Talking to friends with more than one child, I realised this was a common fear, but couldn’t really believe their reassurances. The past 2.5 years, more if you include my first pregnancy, had revolved around DS. How would he share me with someone else, and how would I find sharing my love with another child – a girl? I really couldn’t begin to imagine it.

The first few months of DD’s life was a major change for all of us, but I especially felt the change in my relationship with DS. I felt guilty for adding another child to the family and not being able to give him my undivided attention, and also shocked at how I felt so protective of my little baby to the extent I was constantly having to reprimand her boisterous and over-enthusiastic brother.

Now that we are settled into our “new life” I can see that my children love each other and being together (the baby is very unsettled when DS is at nursery or out with family) and I can see that far from taking away from DS, I have added something far more valuable to his life.

After discussing my feelings with a mummy friend, she emailed me this  beautiful poem which I think sums it all up perfectly.

I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?
Then he is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before.
I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me”. And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t”, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.
You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.
But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying him—as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.
More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times – only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.
I watch how he adores you — as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you—only differently.
And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you – you each have your own supply.
I love you—-both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.

—Author Unknown

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Welcome to Baby-led Mama!

October 14, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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fd3fe161-db22-441f-bc33-80b8ad8a62beI woke just before 6 this morning. It was still quite dark, my husband was already in the shower and both our children were in our bed – the baby (6 months old) was gurgling at my breast, waiting for her morning milk, and our 3 year old had, at some point during the night, come into our room and climbed into the baby’s – empty – bedside cot (right next to me) and fallen back to sleep. I felt so happy….

…. Then I turned on the news to see more scaremongering headlines about the terrible dangers of co-sleeping… even though the reports discussed seemed to have confused “co-sleeping” with parental drug/alcohol use and falling asleep on the sofa with the baby!?!

After breakfast I checked a few of the parenting forums I frequent (both ‘natural’ parenting and more mainstream) and was astounded at how many mothers were starting to doubt their own instincts based on a headline that didn’t really reflect the content of the report they were ‘covering’.

This type of sensationalist reporting is far too common-place these days. As is the steady stream of comments from people who take it at face value, including many so-called Health ‘Professionals’, and it doesn’t have to be this way.  Raising children is a natural part of life – as mums, we are already equipped with instincts and tools to do a pretty good job of it, so why are we encouraged to disregard our natural feelings (to hold, cudddle, nurture, respond to our babies’ needs) for fear of “spoiling” or damaging them in some way? Making a “rod for your own back” when doing anything instinctual with your children is particularly prevalent these days, don’t you know!!

I’ve been mulling this over all day and felt it was time to start a blog. Somewhere to put forward another point of view.  Somewhere to share the successes and frustrations of attempting to be a more natural parent who co-sleeps, breastfeeds, wears her baby in a sling, uses cloth nappies and tries to provide a loving nurturing home.

I hope you enjoy reading my ramblings. Please feel free to comment – I may not always agree with what you have to say, but I’ll be sure to read it with interest 🙂

BLM

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