Most of our fears of having a second child are unfounded. Trusting the process of how you learned to love your first child helps give peace of mind and brings excitement about baby 2!
If you follow me on Instagram, you saw we announced here we are expecting a baby boy in November! (Hence, the very few food posts the last few months, whoops! Food aversions came in hot!). We are completely overjoyed, but if I’m totally honest, I’ve had a lot of fears of having a second child.
My Fears of Having a Second Child
My fears of having a second child came before we started trying for a second, but after having my first. I mean I always knew we wanted to have more than one kid if we were able to… but after having our daughter and developing our strong bond, my mind started running a million directions when the “second child” conversations started coming up:
Will I be able to love another child as much as my first?
How will this change my relationship with my first child?
Will my daughter feel abandoned or loved less?
Will she get enough quality time with me?
Will I get enough quality time with her?
And I repeat WILL I FOR REALS BE ABLE TO LOVE ANOTHER CHILD AS MUCH?!
Trusting the Process
Okay so truth be told, I really didn’t work through all of these feelings before we started trying. Because I came to the conclusion that, I honestly probably can’t work through them before. Instead, I felt confident in the words my mom told me, “Your heart will double in size. Your capacity to love will grow with each baby – more than you ever thought possible.” I figured since she has six kids she’s probably a trustworthy resource on the subject.
Likewise, my sister told me, “With each child you love your family unit more. Your family grows its own identity, and you can’t imagine your life without any of them.
Since I wasn’t going to be able to wrap my mind around my future connection with a next child, I trusted that the process would help me develop the motherly feelings I feel for my first child. I have never met a single mom who has said, “You’re right… I just don’t love my other kids as much as my first.”
Fear of Loving Your Second Child Less: Two Reasons It’s Irrational
I realized there are two reasons I shouldn’t have this irrational fear of not loving my second child enough.
First, it’s impossible to love a child you haven’t even conceived or birthed. Just think – you didn’t love your first child before you were expecting him or her. You probably loved the idea, but you can’t have the feelings towards that little human when they don’t exist yet.
Second, remember the overwhelming, immense love you felt the week you had your first child. I straight ugly-cried hard the first time I was handed my daughter. The whole first week I was a basket-case of love emotions! Any time I thought of how much I loved her I cried. (And I’m not that cry-ee of a person). Actually I cried a lot overall haha! I even cried every time I thanked my mom for coming to help me because I was so overwhelmed by how much I realized she loved me as my mom. That’s when I finally understood what “a mother’s love” truly is. Truly, I can’t imagine that I would ever feel empty holding my brand new baby (although I do understand some people do feel that way – that is not me!).
Fear of Having a Different Gender
So I came to grips with the idea of moving forward with a second child, and honestly the fears of not loving them enough dissipated as my pregnancy progressed.
But then – curve ball. I found out we were having a boy.
I mean, I thought it was a boy. That was my mother’s intuition. And we have always wanted a boy. BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A BOY!
Like, how do I change a poopy diaper that requires multiple wipes without getting peed on?
And more importantly…
All the little boys I know are more aggressive. More energetic.
Exhibits A-D: The first time my friend’s cute son came over he flipped the cover of one of our favorite book’s backwards, sat on it and broke the binding. One of my nephews greets me with the most intense, velociraptor growl you’ve ever heard. And another nephew who was my bestie for the restie dismissed me at about 8 years old because I’m not into boy things. I was at another friend’s where a toddler boy ran around the house like a wild banshee with a broom. Boys are different! And it totally intimidated me.
Managing Feelings of a New Gender
I was in shock learning we were having a boy, even though in a lot of ways I saw it coming. I think most importantly, I felt like I was going to be a new mom all over again.
But here’s the truth of the matter. It’s just another, unfounded fear. I could have a daughter who is nothing like my first. Every child is so different, regardless of the gender.
Fear of Not Enough Time for the First Child: No Greater Gift than a Sibling
Lastly, to my fears of my daughter not having enough quality time, or how this might rock her world, there is truly no greater gift I could give her than a sibling. I have so many amazing memories with my siblings and consider my sisters my best friends.
Will she have growing pains the first few weeks when I need to hold or nurse brother? For sure. Will she ever remember them? No. In fact, sadly (in some ways!), she will never remember this precious year and a half we will have had together just us two. Those are my beautiful memories to keep. She will never remember life without her cute little bro tagging along!
Excited for the Future
So here I am, 19 weeks into this pregnancy (almost halfway – yahoo!), and I couldn’t be more excited to be having a second child, and adding a little boy to our crazy crew. I’ve had nearly four and a half months to process the second child fears, and almost a month of the “I have no idea what to expect with the opposite gender” fears. Bottom line, they’re both irrational. We are going to love our little ones!
For now I cling to what my mom always told me, “There’s one thing you can always count on… your mother’s love.” And they can surely count on mine.