trying to balance my love for two...

I've had a few tears this week about this girl.


She has my whole heart, she really does.
But it's like I had this realization..a sudden jolt to my heart...
that I have already done things differently with her since she is the "second child".

She turned 11 months old yesterday
(can you believe that?!)
and it's crazy to me that almost a year in to having two little ones,
 I am still struggling to find the right balance to loving on two babies.
I remember when I was pregnant, I struggled with the fear of not loving the second as much as the first,
But that has definitely never been an issue like I feared it would be.

But now... now I am hit with the fact that I have not been dividing my attention as equally
as my heart wants it to be.


My husband is an only child. and my brother is 8 years older than me,
so as you can imagine, we came into this whole sibling thing pretty much clueless.

I have to say that having a second has been incredible. To see our girls interact is the honestly one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. It really is amazing. 
I am so glad for them that they have each other already.


But I think what got me this past week was that one night, I laid Bethany down in her crib with her bottle as always, prayed over her, kissed her night night, and then went over to Abigail's room to do HER "night night" time, which usually includes a lot more cuddling, back rubbing, and reading.
(and sometimes a little convincing to go to sleep :) )

Then it just HIT me.

The memories of doing Abigail's nightly "routine" came flooding back.
We would do "lotions time" where we would lay with her and do some infant massage with lotion,
then Parker would sing to her, whatever silly sweetness came out of him.
Then I would nurse her, and Parker would usually lay on the other side of us, 
petting her head and singing to her. The he would leave while I laid her in her bed.
It was our routine every single night.

But we just haven't done that with sweet Bethany.
(oh tears!  sensitive mama moment..ahhhh!)


It made my heart so so sad for her AND for me, that I haven't done the same extended routine with her as I did with Abigail.
I really am starting to make a bigger effort to do that now.
I want to savor this precious time with her being so little, like I did with Abigail.

But I also realize that the pulls on me as a mom of two now are different.

That I DO indeed have another child in the next room who also needs my attention.
And actually may need it a little more at times these days..these (long) independent-but-dependent-confused-almost-three-year-old days.
I do realize that Abigail is more outwardly aware of where I spend my time, and is obviously more vocal than Bethany is about her opinion of where that time should be spent.
(with her, duh mom)

But at the same time, my heart is really saddened thinking about how things are just different now with the second.


and while I am sharing, I do think that part of me feeling this way, feeling this imbalance of my time with Bethany compared to my time with Abigail when she was the same age,
has several factors...
one, being that my two year old just requires LOTS of attention right now
(attention I am happy to give!),
two, being that I think Bethany's personality is just a little more independent already than Abigail was at this age,
and three, I think the fact that I nursed Abigail a lot longer than Bethany has a lot to do with it.
(she had to start a bottle a few months ago due to being underweight, and really prefers it now...
don't get me started...I am crying just typing this little sentence about it. That's a whole other post, yall.)
So, there's just not the connection of nursing her to sleep each night, that I still had with Abigail at this age.

All that said, I am fully aware that Bethany requires a lot more of me at other times in the day,
especially at times when Abigail thinks that I need to be with her.
Like if I need to go rock Bethany or lay her down, or when I need to interrupt playing with Abigail to go change Bethany, etc.
So it's not like it's really "unequal".

But I guess my sadness is that I feel like, for myself as a mother,
it seems harder to really savor and take time in the sweet moments with the second baby.


Do any of you mamas of 2 or more ever feel this way? Any advice?
I know it will all balance out.
And in the meantime, I think Parker and I decided that we are going to make a better effort to do a longer nighttime routine with Bethany...even if that means a longer evening for us as parents...
or even if it means splitting up and going room to room.

So last night,
I purposely did a shorter bedtime with Abigail, and then went back to Bethany's room.
She was still chugging her bottle, so I picked her up and laid her next to me on the guest bed in her room.
(though I was dying to be nursing her), she just laid snuggled up to me and drank her bottle.
I sang a song to her that I used to sing to Abigail.
She LOVED it. She stared at me with happy eyes.
As you might have guessed, I cried.


I love my two daughters fully with all my heart.
I just want them BOTH to know that... as best as I can show them.
I feel so blessed to be their mama,
and I can't wait for what's to come as I learn to balance this overwhelming love in my heart!