My brother and I are 17 months apart. We have many of the same friends and have remained very close. I knew I wanted this for my children because of the bond and friendship we share. Of course I wanted this. What else did I know? When we started thinking about getting pregnant again, Annabelle wasn’t even one, and sure enough, two months later, I saw that positive sign. I was elated that my dreams came true and my kids were going to be close together.
Flash forward 9ish months, and here I was, home with my two kids, and my husband went back to work. I was left to care for both of these kids. Babies. They were both babies. Annabelle was a mere 19 months old. Where she now felt like a legit kid because of this little tiny baby we just brought home, she was in fact still a baby. The first few days were hard, and the first few weeks were harder. I lived for 5 pm when I had help, and the weekends when I wasn’t left to handle both kids during the day myself.
During those first few days and weeks, I felt a lot of guilt. I felt guilty for not entertaining Annabelle like I had been. I felt guilty for not taking her to the park as much as we were going. I felt guilty because we had finally gotten in such a great groove, and then here I am ruining it by bringing a little boy into this world. I felt guilty for getting frustrated at her for doing things she shouldn’t be when I wasn’t able to pay attention to her. I felt guilty for making her entertain herself when I was nursing. I felt guilty for treating her like she was older than she was. I felt guilty for the TV being on probably a bit too much. There was a lot of guilt.
But, I saw the love.
I saw the love Annabelle had for Nolan. I saw her want to hug him more often than not. I saw the smiles she gave when we talked about Nolan. I saw the love she had for me and for her daddy, even though I had this guilt. I saw the love she had in helping me. I saw the love all day long. I look back and I remember the good times. I remember all that love I felt for both children. The love that caused me to feel guilty. I didn’t feel guilty because I was a bad mom. I felt guilty because I was a good mom. I felt guilty not doing things because I was a good mom.
In a few days, I won’t have two under two anymore, though they will always be less than 2 years apart. But, the days have gotten easier. The anxiety and overarching guilt from those first few days, weeks, months has passed. I definitely regretted having two under two with those emotions at the beginning. But, I now don’t know any different and couldn’t imagine any different. There are obviously hard times, but I know that Annabelle doesn’t remember life without Nolan, and she genuinely loves him. The saying that got me through many times when I felt like I was failing with Annabelle was “she won’t remember this.” I soon won’t even remember that.
The moments where she asks where Nolan is. The moments when she asks when Nolan will wake up. The moments she just yells “Nolan wake up!” The moments she reads to him. The moments she shares toys. The moments she says “It’s ok, Nolan. No cry.” The moments she asks to feed him. The moments she says “Hold Nolan. Picture.” The moments she puts his binky in his mouth when he’s crying. The moments she tries to feed him her food. These are the moments that make every late night, early morning worth it. The moments where it doesn’t matter if we watched TV at the beginning more. The moments that make me forget about the days that didn’t go as planned. Instead, I know that God blessed me to be the best mom I can be to both of them, and those are the moments I will remember.
Maybe you have or are having two under two. Maybe they’re around 2 years apart. I know what you’re going through. I know how hard it is. I know you will second guess yourself. But don’t. Don’t think for a second you aren’t capable of it. Don’t think for a second your first will hold anything against you for giving them their best friend for life. The days go quick, the months even quicker. You will see the smiles. You will see your youngest turn and constantly be looking for older sister or brother. You will see the smiles only big sister/brother can get from the little one. You can do this. And you will.
Now let me go cry in the corner as my oldest baby turns two in just two days.
How many children do you have?
Do you have siblings? How far apart are they from you?
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud.