I have thought about whether or not to write this post for a little while now. It’s a bit raw for me, but also selfishly feels therapeutic to put it out there (and you all have been so good to me). Years ago, long before we had children I remember a friend jokingly in passing conversation saying to me that we should only have one child because I always like new and shiny things and our first born would be forgotten when a second came around. It was a brash statement, and one that has always stuck with me. I know no ill will was meant, and a laugh was had by all at the time – but I’d been lying if I said it wasn’t a something that remains at the back of my mind every day now that there are two. I grew up the oldest, I have one sibling that is 5 years younger then me. As children I found her annoying – as adults she is one of my very best friends.
Which is why the next part gets hard for me.
I look at my two children and could never imagine picking one that was my favourite (I mean – when my toddler is talking back and giving all the sass obviously the sweet baby who relies of me for everything is pretty high up there, but then he pees all over me and gets explosive poop running down his pants while spitting up and all of a sudden that mouthy three year old is back at the top) but it was always very clear that the little blond bombshell born after me was favoured. I remember growing up and always being compared to her, in a way that made no sense since I was the oldest and hitting milestones first. But she was a spelling bee winner and loved being on the farm. Her grades were more impressive and she was less argumentative. When I moved away from home for school, I would hear about how high school was such a breeze and she was going to excel in university, she was more responsible than me. As I prepared to get married I would hear how she made time to come home and visit the family more, her boyfriend helped on the farm. I can honestly say at 30 years old I can’t remember a time where it felt like I was enough to the family I hold so dearly. After having our daughter it really was a huge emotional struggle for me when thinking about adding to our family. I knew I had so much more love to give, that we all did. But I also had a paralyzing fear (along with a small voice telling me that I like things shiny and new) that my sweet baby girl may not feel as loved as she once was, she may think or feel that her sibling made us prouder or was more to us. And the idea of living with making her feel that way devastated me. It still does. Everyday it feels like I struggle in overcompensating to avoid those feelings. I also know that I can parent in fear, and I feel so much love for both my littles in my heart that I still can’t imagine a world where one is ranked higher than the other.
Guys, parenting is hard! And I knew that going in it wasn’t going to be easy – but I really didn’t account for the emotional struggles that so far exceeded day to day living. What are some tips you guys have for keeping your older children a priority in the chaos of having an infant? And how do you make special time for each of your littles, as well as time as a couple and the ever so important me time!??