• Am I Connected to This Baby?

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m really connected to this baby. This is my second baby. Am I as emotionally connected to this baby as I was my first? If not, can I change that? 

    All the books tell you to talk to your baby in utero. Talk to them, read to them, play music for them, sing to them… all that good stuff. I did it all with my son. Though I’ll admit that I felt really silly reading aloud with no one else in the room. This time around, I’m not doing very much of that sort of bonding. I’m so focused on preparing for a second child and spending time with the one I already have, that I just haven’t spent a lot of time focusing on the one growing in my body right now. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. Other times I think what a silly thing to feel guilty about!

    Most days, I’m so busy chasing my toddler around that I don’t really have the opportunity to lounge on the couch with headphones pressed to my stomach. Does listening to music in the car and singing with the church choir count? I hope so. Otherwise this baby is totally missing out on the benefits of music in utero. On the bright side, I don’t feel so weird about reading aloud. I read aloud to my toddler all the time. Baby #2 is surely picking up some of those benefits as we snuggle on the couch and read my son’s favorite monster book. It’s not Charles Dickens, but surely it has merit. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

    I think the bigger, deeper question I’m really struggling with is: if I’m having trouble making room in my life for quality time with two, how will I make room in my heart? That’s the thing that keeps me up at night. I already want this baby. I already love this second baby. I’m making choices with this new little one in mind. I’m thinking in terms of “my kids” instead of “my child” these days. Logically, I know that there is room in my heart for another baby. I know that I already love both of my children fiercely. But what if there isn’t enough of me to go around?

    I’m a giver. I give myself to the people I love and the things I care about. I give fully and don’t hold back. The most important people in my world are my husband and my kids. When my son was born, I struggled to find a balance. He became the center of my universe. It took many months before I figured out how to balance my new reality. I was giving myself completely to my son and there wasn’t much left for my husband. 

    I can see that scenario playing out two ways this time around. I could become so focused on the new baby that I don’t spend as much time with my son as I would like to, as he needs. Alternatively, I could find that I’m not giving as much attention to my new baby as I do my toddler. After all, toddlers and infants both require a lot of attention.  

    I know there will be family and friends to help as we learn to navigate our new reality and manage a totally new schedule. I’m truly grateful for that blessing. While having my mom around to hold the baby while I get a shower or play with my toddler while I nurse the baby will be nice, it isn’t going to help me meet both their emotional needs at the same time. That’s what I’m worried about.

    I’m really curious as to how other moms deal with this emotional tug of war. Is it just part of going from one child to two or do you feel it with every new pregnancy? 

    Written by: Sara Parise

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