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.
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❤️🤧 🙏🏼 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? 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. 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. 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 us 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.~ author unknown
“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.
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🤧 (this made me teary eyed) The moment you hold your baby in your arms, You will never be the same. You might long for the person you were before, When you had freedom and time, And nothing in particular to worry about. You will know tiredness like you never knew it before, And days will run into days that are exactly the same, Full of feeding and burping, Whining and fighting, Naps, or lack of naps. It might seem like a never-ending cycle. But don't forget… There is a last time for everything. There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time. They will fall asleep on you after a long day And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child. One day you will carry them on your hip, then set them down, And never pick them up that way again. You will scrub their hair in the bath one night And from that day on they will want to bathe alone. They will hold your hand to cross the road, Then never reach for it again. They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles, And it will be the last night you ever wake for this. One afternoon you will sing 'the wheels on the bus' and do all the actions, Then you'll never sing that song again. They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate, the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone. You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face. They will one day run to you with arms raised, for the very last time. The thing is, you won't even know it's the last time until there are no more times, and even then, it will take you a while to realise. So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them For one last time.
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.