I feel guilty. I feel like a failure. I feel like he deserves better. Don’t you think your second child’s life goes by faster than your first? Don’t you feel like you paid more attention to your first child than your second when they were that age? I took more pictures with my first. I interacted more with my first. I compare my second to my first.
In March, we will be approaching my second child’s first birthday. I honestly cannot believe it. Where did this year go? To me, his first year went by a lot faster than her first year. Because she was my only child back then, all my attention was on her. But now that I have two, I have to split that attention, and I’ll be honest: my second doesn’t get the same amount of attention she did.
I read her more stories. I cuddled with her more. I spent more one-on-one time with her. With him, stories are limited. I often feel rushed. I wonder why he isn’t babbling like she was at his age. I wonder why he isn’t walking. I don’t document pictures as often.
To be honest, I’m worn out. Raising two is a whole different ball game than raising one. Trying to breastfeed #2 while potty training #1 is almost impossible. Trying to come up with a dinner that will satisfy them both is a complete war. And trying to manage two different bedtimes is exhausting.
But what my second has that my first never had, is a constant companion. I love watching them play together as she lets him wrestle her to the ground. I love hearing them giggle back and forth when she gets him to belly laugh. I love how she reads him stories to bed, how she is constantly kissing him, and continually asking if he is ok.
I love that when we pick her up from school, he immediately gets a big smile on his face knowing his best friend is back. And I love gazing at them as they cuddle side by side, peacefully.
Those are things my first never had. Sure, she might have had a more attentive mom, but she didn’t have a best friend, like he does.
So to all you mamas out there who are trying to juggle two (or more), you’re doing great. You’ve raised that number one to be a leader. To help you with your other little’s while you balance everything else.
Try to not compare. Try to remember that each child is different; each child needs something different from you. Whether that’s giving them more attention, or stepping down from that role and simply observing the bonding that is taking place.
Trust your #1.