What My Second Born Has Taught Me

What My Second Born Has Taught Me: Five Motherhood Lessons

What My Second Born Has Taught Me: Five Motherhood Lessons

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Mummy/Son Moment at Jasper’s Third Birthday Party

My son, my second-born, turns three tomorrow and I’m reflecting on the motherhood lessons learned in this time.  The third birthday is particularly pertinent for a number of reasons: turning three feels like an official goodbye to the baby years.  For example, he stopped wearing nappies a few months ago, his communication and language have been on turbo boost in recent weeks and he now refers to himself on a regular basis as a ‘big boy’ – an identity which cannot, under any circumstances, be joked about in any manner as far as he is concerned.

With a 19 month age gap between kids, the last three years have been a hectic, thrilling (mostly in a good way but not always) rollercoaster ride of motherhood lessons to put it mildly.  To get through the tough times, we would think ahead to these days that we find ourselves in right now – a family of four with two independent, confident, happy toddlers, able to communicate their feelings and requirements.  But the biggest irony is that now we are here, in the ‘easier’ days, all I want to do is reverse time back to the baby years – to savour the good times just that little bit more. The saying that the days go slowly but the years go quickly has never resonated more with me.

I recently wrote a guest post about motherhood lessons from my first born.  So here are my motherhood lessons thanks to my second born:

Motherhood Lesson 1: Watching the sibling love between your small children is one of the most precious and special things about having more than one child.  They might chuck a toy at their head or try to use them as a trampoline base, but if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a tender touch from the eldest to their baby sibling, a light kiss, a gentle cuddle or sharing a special toy with them and the large eyes of your baby looking up at their big brother or sister with the expectation that they have all the answers, you will treasure those moments forever.  My advice: capture these moments in time – in pictures and words.  I wish I had more of both.

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Sibling love when Romilly was 22 months and Jasper was less than two months old

Motherhood Lesson 2. They might come from exactly the same gene pool but you will be amazed at how inherently different your offspring will be – fascinating especially given they are conceived, birthed and raised in almost identical ways.  From their habits to their behaviour to their likes and dislikes to the way they respond to exactly the same discipline you used with your first.  You can never assume that they will behave the same way just because they are siblings.  This presents many parenting challenges!  My advice: cut yourself some slack and give yourself time to get to know your second child and appreciate that they are totally independent of your first.

Motherhood Lesson 3. Karma exists in parenthood – watch out for it!  If you got off lightly on the sleep front with your first, be prepared for the universe to teach you a different lesson the second time around (I speak from personal experience on this one).  If you’ve had a pedantic child the first time around, chances are you will have a much more relaxed second child.  My advice: enjoy the good times while you have them; write off the bad times and know that they will come to an end eventually.  It will all balance out in the end.

Motherhood Lesson 4. You will always expect more of your first child and your youngest will always be your ‘baby’.  First-borns are so often the most sensible, aren’t they?!  You won’t have to look around your own family and friendship groups for too long before you find the evidence.  I myself was a first-born and didn’t like the pressure that came with the expectation to be the one that ‘does the right thing’.  However I find myself doing exactly the same thing with my own daughter.  I expect her to tell me the truth when both end up in tears after a fight, I expect her to tidy up without having to be asked.  In stark contrast, my son gets away with so much more – despite me making deliberate efforts to treat them totally equally.  He is my last child and he will always be my baby – I still sometimes carry him, I stay with him a bit longer after saying goodnight because he asks me to.  My advice: you can try your best to treat them equally but it is the way of the world that you will treat your first, second, third, fourth child differently and this is a result of many different factors at play

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Same gene pool, two very different personalities!

Motherhood Lesson 5. You won’t love one child more than another but the love will be different.  The love between my first-born and me is strong and deep.  A mother/daughter relationship is a privilege and I treasure our stable relationship.  My daughter makes me proud every day.  The mother/son relationship in contrast is more intense.  My son is a ‘mummy’s boy’ – he needs much more physical contact with me.  He gets jealous if I’m cuddling anyone else.  Our love is fierier.  This relationship is also a privilege and I treasure its intensity.  He also makes me proud every day.  My advice: it’s a common worry of parents expecting their second baby that they might not love number two as much as their first-born.  Don’t worry!  My mum always told me that a mother’s love does not divide, it multiplies.  There is enough to go around – but don’t worry if or when the love feels different from one child to another.

 

 

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