I don't know if other mothers struggle with this, but the guilt I carried during my first year as a mother of two children was a heavy burden. It was guilt mainly about having to split my focus. When the baby needed me - or wanted me - I had to take focus off the preschooler and vice versa. It was never a problem of having enough love, as my heart expanded as we welcomed Little Lady into our family. Love is plentiful. I just needed more time, more hands, more patience, more lap space. And to think I struggle with this having only two children!
I tried to remind myself that while I felt like I needed more to accommodate the needs of each child, by having a second child we had already given both Mini Me and Little Lady more. More hugs, more kisses, more attention, more ways to learn, more shared experiences, more play time together... all from each other. It was a blessing that we were able to give our children a sibling.
That said, my husband and I still try to have one-on-one time with each individual child. Mini Me gets one-on-one time during Little Lady's morning nap. The days when Mini Me goes to preschool have become my special time with Little Lady (and I still, a year later, notice how very quiet and dare I say "easy" it is with only one child in the house).
Recently on one of these mornings I was doing the dishes and Little Lady wandered off to play on the porch. I didn't pay much attention at first but then it caught my eye what she was doing. In her own chattery world of solo play, she was mimicking everything that she sees her big brother do on the porch. The musical instruments, purple riding toy, and squeaky blocks that are "hers" went unnoticed. She had the pool noodles and was trying to golf with them, hitting around some balls. She was kicking balls. She played with the numbers on our hanging math game. She plopped herself hard into the ball pit in a way that reminded me of Mini Me's flying leaps into it. She was also trying to hold up a ball in the air and I wondered if she was attempting to shoot it toward the basketball hoop.
No doubt she was enjoying the moments of peaceful play, but even during a time when she had the freedom to play without getting bumped down or having her toys at risk of being snatched, she seemed to be playing "with" her big brother. The guilt I had of having to split my focus between siblings had been diminishing but I think watching Little Lady play alone...but together... on this day made that guilt completely disappear. What a beautiful thing it is to see two of the people I love most in the world love each other, and I know we have given each of them a great gift.
Flower Power on It's Playtime
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