Welcoming a second child after only knowing motherhood with your first baby can be a whirlwind of emotion, all of which are captured perfectly in a poem shared by one mom who’s recently had to split her maternal affections between her toddler and her new baby.
Fitness model Sarah Stage, who made headlines for maintaining insanely fit abs, even while pregnant, welcomed her second son last month. Little Logan joins big brother James, and that means Stage is doing what all moms who have more than one child do — getting used to sharing her heart, energy, and time with a second kiddo.
Stage recently shared a story that’s been making the internet rounds for years. The author is unknown, but the sentiment is so universal almost any mother with more than one child can relate.
“As 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?”
Sobbing yet? The theme is how hard it is to integrate another baby into family life when everything is pretty cozy as it is. A mother wonders throughout her pregnancy as she watches her perfect first child how she will ever feel that overwhelming love times two — because it is pretty incredible to think about. Such a strong and specific and powerful feeling — twice? It almost seems too good to be true, but as the story continues, we begin to understand how it happens.
It’s all about that motherly love, y’all.
“Then he is born, and I watch you. I watch you having to share me as you’ve never done 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.”
And while that’s true, what a mom comes to realize is that the love is the same, yet, totally different. You learn to love your first child for all different reasons — seeing him be so gentle and loving toward his baby brother, witnessing their brand-new love for each other. It’s nothing short of a miracle, really.
“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 the new relationship, as we come to realize, is more beautiful than ever. At first, there’s guilt that the first child is feeling somehow betrayed or set aside — and then, there’s the happy realization that not only can you love both kids exactly the same amount, you’ve given them a gift.
“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.”
My kids are only 20 months apart, so I relate to this hard. The morning I left at dawn for my c-section, my toddler woke up and cried for me, something she hadn’t done in months (I got one good sleeper, but her brother humbled me, don’t worry.) As I rocked her in the final minutes before hopping in the car and driving to the hospital and changing all of our lives forever, I felt both overwhelming panic that our perfect relationship would somehow be hurt and overwhelming love for the life inside of me. I did wonder, as all moms do, if I’d be able to love both of my kids the same way.
Happily, I came to the same conclusion as this story.
“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.”
There always is.
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