A good friend recently told me she’s expecting her second child. She’s excited but nervous, and understandably so, about what it’s going to be like to have two kids. I’ve been thinking a lot about that and trying to remember back to the days before our younger daughter, Maya, was born. It was simpler, sure, with only one child to care for but also harder because I was a first time mom and less sure of myself and my parenting.
With the first child, everything is new and that can feel overwhelming. With the second, you’ve established a few routines and a rhythm to your family life. The transition from 1 to 2 kids was much more difficult than I anticipated, though. I wasn’t used to splitting my time and found myself feeling pulled in two different directions and stretched thin. Now that our daughters are 7 and 5, we’ve finally come through the wonderful but exhausting years of early childhood. The girls are finally at a stage where they can play together fairly independently. They like to color, read books, have dance parties in their bedroom, play dress up and family. It’s amazing how much of a difference only a few years can make!
Tonight was a rare treat for me to have time alone with Maya. I took her out for a special mommy-daughter date. We had a real girls night out complete with mani-pedis and dinner at a restaurant (albeit, a very kid friendly one!) It’s hard for me to carve out special time with Maya without her big sister, Charlotte. Cuddling up and reading a story before bedtime tonight, I was thinking how nice it is to be able to focus on just Maya’s needs, to answer her questions and to listen to her highs and lows from the day. It’s so great (and rare!) to be able to give her my undivided attention. I love having two daughters but I often feel like Maya gets less of my time than Charlotte. It’s hard not to feel guilty sometimes. I try to remind myself that, on the flip side, the girls have each other and the bond between those two is very tight. As I said good night to Maya and walked out of her room, I left feeling grateful that our daughters will always have each other to lean on for love, friendship and support.