When talking to women who are expecting their second baby, the number one concern I hear is that they can’t possibly love another child as much as their first (see Will I love them both the same?) As a mother of six, I can assure you that you can and will love a second (or third or fourth, etc.) child just as fiercely as you love your firstborn. Well, until they paint the wall with blue yogurt and track mud across your freshly washed floors. Just kidding, you’ll still love them even then.
My first reaction, when I hear a pregnant woman confess this fear, is to tell her she’s crazy; however, here’s a tip from me to you, it’s generally not a good idea to tell a pregnant woman she’s crazy. Ever. And honestly, she’s not really crazy; it’s actually a good sign when she’s worried she won’t be able to love her second baby. It means she’s created a strong bond with her first and will do anything she can to prevent them from being hurt or slighted in any way.
The great thing about love is that we don’t have a finite amount of it. We can love so many things at once, like our spouses, parents, children, the lovely anesthesiologist with the epidural, chocolate, and wine. By loving a second baby, we are not taking love away from our first child; we’re simply adding another love to our lives.
Granted, your first child may not get as much time alone with you as they did before Number Two comes along. (Hmmm, “Number Two” probably isn’t the best choice of names. Let’s change that to “Baby Two”.) You will certainly need to take time to care for Baby Two, and your firstborn may feel a little jealousy about that, however, every one of my friends agrees that the worry was unnecessary as their firstborns adjusted so much better than they could’ve imagined.
Set aside special time for your oldest child. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Play a game, do a puzzle, read a book, or bake some cookies while Baby is napping. Include him, in age-appropriate ways, in your newborn’s care. Young children can fetch diapers, blankets and pacifiers; older ones can give Baby a bottle, rock him to sleep, or watch him while you take that weekly shower. But, above all, relax. You’re going to love them both, and they’re going to grow up knowing it. And just think, as they get older, they’ll be the best of friends as one runs interference while the other sneaks the cookies out of the kitchen. Watching that camaraderie between your children is a beautiful thing.
Author and award-winning mommy blogger Dawn Meehan is the creator of the popular and hilarious BecauseISaidSo.com. Laugh your way through your pregnancy with Meehan’s humorous new book: You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and OTHER LIES about pregnancy and childbirth.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.