Half of my Instagram feed is expectant mamas, counting down the days until their family grows. I fell asleep last night remembering my days of sitting with an expanding stomach, listening to Ashlyn tell me about her day.
If she mentioned a class, my mind could recall the color of the folder needed, an event at lunch and I knew the time it began and how much extra it cost for juice. Life was calm enough that I could take in every detail and I was young enough that I could remember things.
With every rumble of the belly quickly covering my lap, I wondered if I would ever be all of this for her again.
Adding to the family would surely take away from her.
I imagined my heart dividing, dreaming the new babies would grasp on to what was hers, leaving her slighted.
As they entered the world I was in awe of the instant love. The same love that took me by surprise so many years before.
Days rolled forward and I loved every one of my children exactly the same and completely different and all at once.
Our time stumbled awkwardly at first, slowly stepping into a rhythm of almost quieted cries and nearly finished homework.
I was spread too thin and filled with contentment in the same exhausted breath.
As I loved one for determination and calm, I loved another for spirit and noise.
My heart never divided as I had feared, only multiplied in ways I could never have imagined.
And through the years of forgotten lunch money and pancakes for dinner, sharing bedrooms and almost matching pajamas
I have learned that the greatest things I could give my children…
is each other.
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I love this post! So beautiful.
I tell my girls this all the time. I have given them the gift of each other…a lifelong best friend! 🙂 Great post!-Ashley
Dani G says
So, you’re saying I should have another?? 😉
Christine @ Quasi Agitato says
I was really worried (surprise!) about this too because I’m not a very good mulit-tasker. But the pros blow the cons out of the water.
beautiful and i couldnt agree more! xxx
Angie @ The Little Mumma says
Yes. So true.
I think I knew there would be enough love but I wondered if there would be enough ‘me’ – and some days, there really isn’t. But as we prepare for our third baby (a girl!) in April, I know I will be stretched to the limits again.
But my heart? I’m not worried about that at all….
Jessica, beautiful. Truly.
So true isn’t it that you wonder and stress about how it is all going to work out when adding another child and then months later you can’t imagine any other way? It just all works out.
Beautiful words, great description of a mother’s love: ‘Days rolled forward and I loved every one of my children exactly the same and completely different and all at once.’ and ‘My heart never divided as I had feared, only multiplied in ways I could never have imagined.’ Wonderful post. 🙂
Mama Mary says
So true! I was so worried about being able to love my second as much as my first. And then, Lexi was born and it all came clear.
When I was pregnant with my second, I felt so guilty. Like, how the hell could I love another kid/thing/human as much as I love my first child? Then a friend sent me a poem, that just nailed it. I’ve blogged it. I may have to repost it for anyone out there fearing what seems impossible – you don’t share your love, you just have more love to give.
Amanda Austin says
Oh man!!!! This is fantastic. That picture at the end? perfection. So glad they all have each other!
So. Beautiful! Thank you for this.
JDaniel4's Mom says
JDaniel will always be an only. He has discussed with me that he is thankful for cousins and neighbors to play with.
I can’t wait to add to our family some day…
Off to Stumble and Tweet.
Perfectly stated! My three children are really spread out (1, 7 and 15 years.) We hope to add one more, much closer in age to our 1 year old so she can have a sibling closer to her age…for all the reasons you stated above!
Yes, this: “Days rolled forward and I loved every one of my children exactly the same and completely different and all at once.”
I was SO happy when I recently found out that my good friend, who is an only child, is having her second baby. It’s going to be so awesome for her to see the sibling connection through her boys. I think it’s such an amazing thing, both as the child and the parent.
I’m so excited for these two friends of ours too… what a sweet post!
Ryan (The Woven Moments) says
I worried about my second taking away from my first. And then I realized that love doesn’t divide….it expands.
There is truly nothing like a sibling.
I couldn’t agree more. I was so afraid of all of that before Nolan was born and now that he is here, I so understand your post. It is hard somedays still to not feel like I am putting one before the other, but then in the next breath Jack will come an give his baby brother a kiss on the head, and it all makes sense.
Thanks Angie, I truly underestimated how much I would love seeing my kids interact as siblings. I hope they always stay close.
What wonderful wisdom – best of luck to your friends! Beautiful post. Take care.
What a beautiful post.
You are a great friend
Laura from Pruning Princesses says
Beautifully described. I remember the worry of adding to the family so well.
“I have learned that one of the greatest gifts I could give my children is each other”,
I love this sentiment and the older mine get, the more I believe it. Lovely post.
I am 1 of 5 siblings…and not once did i feel that I wasn’t loved as much as the next kid.
It’s like the grinch…your heart just grows 10 sizes…
julie gardner says
Pancakes and pajamas.
Being spread too thin and also content.
Joy beyond measure.
Plus a little bit more.
Yes. All this.
So, so true. And sparked a sweet trip down memory lane. Thanks for this lovely post 🙂
Great post! I really needed to read this with baby #2 only a few weeks away!!
This is so perfectly put. I was so nervous when I was pregnant with my second, thinking that it was going to be way too hard with more than one, that I wouldn’t be able to pay as much attention to my oldest any more. But, the love… that was amazing.
Kristen @ Motherese says
This is really lovely, and I think that all moms of more-than-one will be able to relate to what you’ve written here. I was so worried when pregnant with my second that I could never love a baby as much as I loved my first. Then I laid eyes on him when the nurse handed him to me right after he was born and thought, “Oh, this is how.”
Beautiful! I had the same concerns before having my second, but with time, I’ve reached the same realization, that the best gift I’m giving them is each other. Adding a baby to the mix can be stressful, but as moms, we make it work.
The Anecdotal Baby says
Oh Jessica, you always say it with such eloquence. I often wonder this when I look at Lovebug (almost 8 months) and wonder how I could love another as much as I love her. Of course, I know I will, but sometimes it seems unimaginable, and what you say about taking away from one is always the biggest fear. Thank you for this post!
This is beautifully written – especially the last sentence!! <3
BTW – nice shirt! Half of my family went to MSU, and my husband is a die-hard fan!!
This is just lovely and a wonderful message for any parent looking to expand the family 🙂 I had this very same conversation w/a girlfriend who had her baby about two months ago. When I spoke to her then, she was exhausted but content, just settling into a routine. Now I think she’s closer to being on schedule and already she wants another. I think I can understand this.
XOXO and hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving, love.
I have to agree with you. It was very difficult going from one child to four but I am SO glad that my children have each other.
I love this post. I wonder about how there will be room for another all the time. So sweet of you to write it in honor of your friends.
Wonderful post 🙂
What a gorgeous “baby gift” you jut gave to Natalie and KLZ…they are going to be incredible moms the 2nd time around and you are truly wonderful for writing them such a gorgeous love letter to the gift of sibings.
This is so very true. We have more than enough love to go around, even when we’re afraid we won’t.
Practical Parenting says
This is lovely. It’s so true…we have more than enough love to go around. It’s what we do 🙂
Life As Wife says
Honestly, I’m terrified at the thought of adding to our family but this post gives me a glimmer of hope that one day we will happily be ready!
And even if you are not ready, you will be once the baby comes. When we added our youngest I had no idea how we were going to manage each day but we just did and then pretty soon I couldn\’t imagine things any other way.
Galit Breen says
This is so very lovely, Jess. You’re wise and a really, really good friend! xo
Oh, Jessica, this is so perfect. I felt the same way when adding the second into the mix, but you’re SO right, the love is multiplied, not divided!! 🙂
Awwwwww. Thank you. I’m so sure I have enough love, I just worry I don’t have enough brain cells. But they do so deserve each other.
Natalie @MamaTrack says
This is so beautiful, Jessica. Thank you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement. And I agree–the gift of each other is an amazing thing for each. I just hope I can balance it with the grace and cheer that you do.
What a nice post! My theory is – when it comes to love – there’s always room for one more!
Rach (DonutsMama) says
I often wonder how I’ll love more than 1 child. I just am able to give so much to Donut right now and I really love having it just be us right now. I do want her to have a sibling though and am a little nervous about it.