Friday, August 9, 2013

How Do We Love Two Children?

Silas love
Silas was my first son. He was born in 2010 and we spent almost two years becoming "bess frens" (best friends) before his brother, Sage, was born in 2012. If I had to say Silas was more attached to one parent, I would say he was my right hip and Mike (my husband) would agree. For months I wondered if we should have a second child, or if we should just leave well enough alone and be happy with what we knew (as opposed to what we didn't).

Coming from a household with only one child (yes, I was an only, what?), I wasn't exactly sure how the whole "loving two kids" thing would work. Could it work, I wondered. Could I do it on what felt like my already strained emotional budget? Having an anxiety disorder takes up a lot of your available energy so I worried (HA! Me! Worry!) that it would be a bad idea and I'd screw up two children's lives. What parent doesn't though right? (Admit it, at least to yourself, you don't have to do it in public)

As luck would have it, I didn't get the chance to decide yes or no on the second child bit - we found out November 14, 2011 (my birthday, aww!) that we were expecting again and I was...angry? Probably because I didn't get to decide that this is what we were doing. (While you may think we could have had an abortion that wasn't a thought in either of our heads). And then I had a rockin' pregnancy (sarcasm) and Sage was born early (see the previous posts in July 2012 to read more) and that all added to my worry that my idea or not, this was Not Going To Be Good.

But then I sat in the NICU with this tiny boy's hand wrapped around my finger...and I cried. What I worried about, it didn't matter. It would be what I did with these two amazing Small Men that would influence them to be amazing people - at least the part of their lives that I could influence. So I promised my little fighting preemie that I would give both of them everything I had.

Fast forward to a year later. Sage is 13 months. Silas is 3. Sage has gone through these spurts where he seems to have a delay of some sort (which I could totally give him, I mean, he was early) but then catches up super fast. He's walking. He's harassing his brother (i.e., "Say, be quiet!" Sage blows a raspberry at Silas and laughs. "Be quiet Bother!" Raspberry. "Mom! Say won't be quiet!"). I try to divide my time equally between them, but I'm also trying to show them how triage works (one has a dirty diaper, and one is one while explaining to the other that they are next in line and their wait time is approximately 3 minutes). I'm trying my best to show them how to be good brothers. I share kisses, tickles, and love equally (I think). I think.

So how do you love two children? Differently. Each has different wants and needs (and is at a different stage of childhood). You do, quite literally, the best you can. I noticed that Sage developed this "thing" where he would play Peekaboo with you and look super cute until you picked him up. If you didn't (and you walked away), well, he screamed. Rather than getting angry I realized this was probably his way of telling me he needed more attention than what he was getting. Parenting adjustment. Then Silas started not doing so well with potty training. Adjustment.

Adjustment. It's what's for dinner. And I can tell you, as someone with daily anxiety, that's freaky (man). But I've learned to roll with it and pick up the closest child and love on it. And that's all you can do, right?

How did your family adjust to a new addition? Do you wonder if you "have it in you" to have children (or more than one child)?


  1. I asked the same question to my family while I was pregnant with my second. My aunt responded, "Your love won't have to be divided in order to love both of your children, but will be multiplied. You won't know how much your heart can love until it happens."
    She was right!

    1. I think a lot of folks with just 1 (so far) have this question and don't understand how the "extra love" will come about, but you (and your aunt) are right :) Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate you taking the time to read the blog.

  2. I felt the same after I had my first son, but I did not want him to be an only child. Adjusting from no child to one was not too difficult, we did what we wanted just packed a bag and a carry cot and went. The HUGE adjustment came when the second one arrived. Nothing was simple any more and sharing attention was super difficult. We got there though. And the three that followed after, well they were just easy then :)

  3. I have two boys 16 and 18 now and they give back so much there is always plenty of love to go around.

    They have their moments (don't we all) but I wouldn't have it any other way.

  4. What wonderful boys you have. I wonder if this what my own parents went through, as I'm a family of 2 children. I don't have children of my own, but I can certainly see how your love would multiply. Thank you for sharing. :)