So you survived pregnancy and birth. Now you’ve got a two-year-old who, despite the tantrums that are normal for his age, is pretty freaking great. Totally worth the physical and emotional toll that pregnancy and new mommyhood take on your body and identity. He’s the bee’s knees.
So its no surprise you find yourself pregnant again! Congrats! Growing a family is awesome! But between the bouts of nausea and fatigue (there’s no tired like a pregnant-woman kind of tired!) you secretly wonder if this next kid will ever be as awesome as your first.
It’s not just you. These are concerns we hear time and again from our doula clients. I won’t have the kind of time I had to concentrate on the first baby. I only have two hands, how will I ever get out of the house? My heart is so full, how could I possibly love the next one as much as I love the first one? Allow me to share a few nuggets of doula wisdom with you…
Your love will not divide, it will expand.
When you grow your family, your love grows too. The space in your heart where you hold those things most precious and sacred, that is not a finite space. Much like the love for your partner changed and grew when you had your first baby, your love will grow again; there isn’t a limitation on how much awesomeness your family can hold. Love can only get bigger.
What does divide is the way you manifest that love. There are never enough hours in the day. That was true before you got pregnant and it will be true after your next bundle of joy arrives. You might not get to sit and stare at this baby all day long as you snuggle on the couch, because now you have a toddler who has made it his mission in life to acquire and break into Mom’s Emergency Chocolate Stash on the top shelf of the pantry every time you dare to take a bathroom break. That’s okay though. Your new baby doesn’t know you’re not staring lovingly at her all day long.
You are enough.
One of the things we do as Postpartum Care Doulas is to work with a growing family, to help them prioritize daily life, paying attention to the things that are the most essential to their family. To find their “new normal”. We show you that YOU ARE ENOUGH. No matter what you choose, no matter how much doubt creeps in, no matter how much different your love looks like this time around, you are enough.
Each love is unique.
And this baby will be enough too. She will teach you how to forget everything you thought you knew about parenting. The things that worked for kiddo #1 might not work for numero dos. You might have one super-outgoing, fearless leader child, and one who wants to stay at home for ALL THE SNUGGLES. One who potty-trains at 18 months and one who you fear might go to Kindergarten in diapers. They will both be your favorite kids ever. Much in the way you enjoy both a great glass of wine and a great cup of coffee; they aren’t the same, but they both make your world more complete. You don’t have to choose, they are both amazing. Each love is unique.
Your kids aren’t going to starve for affection, attention or love just because you feel stretched to your limits. You will set new limits. You will find new routines. You will find things that used to be important aren’t as important, as your love and family grows. You are enough. Love Multiplies. Each love is unique.