A Part of Motherhood
No One Warns You About
It was the day after New Year’s Day, and everyone was still asleep. I was sitting cross-legged on the floor with all my calendars, planners, laptop, and cell phone in front of me, crying because I just wanted to spend more time with my daughter.
You know how those little memories just pop up on your phone and when you least expect it, they drag you back to times long gone and bring up just enough nostalgia to place a little lump in your throat? Well, that is what happened to me. I was supposed to be planning content for my IG feed and writing down ideas for future blog posts, but here I was in tears because I missed my little girl.
When I was pregnant with our son, I was so excited for my daughter to become a big sister, and she matched that excitement. We made plans for how she would help take care of him –help with diaper changes, keep small toys in her room, and hold him for cuddles. Once our son was finally born and we brought him home to meet his big sister, she suddenly seemed huge to me. Having a little baby immediately changed how I saw her. It didn’t happen all at once, but I gradually began to place more and more responsibilities on her because “she is the oldest”. I went from wanting her to help, to preferring to do it all myself because babies are demanding and sometimes if I did not act quickly enough, it could mean the difference between peace for a couple hours or a twenty-minute cry fest. More and more, the new baby’s needs became a priority, we didn’t get to spend time together while helping with baby, and mommy was just too tired to play.
For months, I grieved the loss of connection we once had. The connection changed by our son, her brother. I really tried hard to get things back to what they once were, but it was clear that this change was inevitable and here to stay. I talked to my therapist about it and she assured me that it was a natural progression of life for moms of multiples to experience changes in the dynamics of your relationship with your oldest child. That somewhat reassured me, and it got me through the next phase of life for our baby boy.
But here I was again, months and months later, crying because I just wanted to hangout with my daughter like we did before. I looked at my calendars and noticed one thing: I had scheduled many things, but I had not scheduled time with my daughter. The best part of that epiphany was that I realized I could. At that moment, I moved all my content planning calendars aside, opened my personal planner, and wrote in “Mommy-Daughter date day”. This time around, I can hopefully stick to this reoccurring event especially since the pandemic has caused my husband’s job to adjust their work schedules to allow work-from-home days and some Fridays off.
I know our relationship has changed and it will likely not ever be what it once was (especially since she’s older now), but my daughter will always be my favorite girl no matter her age or stage of life.
Anyone else have experience with this? Is it because of the gap in age? What are your thoughts? I would really like to hear them. Please comment below.