How do you make room in your life for baby number two?
As much as I feel my heart is big enough for another child, I sometimes feel as if my head is not. (Not to mention my energy supply.)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our new baby and how carrying him is so much different to carrying our first.
When I was pregnant with Levi, so much of my little internal world revolved around thoughts of him, thoughts of impending motherhood, thoughts of how our world was turning upside-down.
And yet with the new baby it is so different. So much of my headspace is already taken up with thoughts of how to care for Levi: How can I get him to eat his veggies? Is it possible to make him sleep in a little longer in the mornings? (I mean, really.) When should I start potty training him or moving him from a crib to a bed? How do I discipline well and how do I keep my cool when he’s having a tantrum? How will I take care of him while meeting the demands of a newborn?
So many thoughts and questions… and so often pointing back to him.
And then I feel guilty. Guilty that I think of him far more than I think of my new baby. Or, more accurately, that I don’t think of my new baby the same way I thought of Levi throughout my first pregnancy.
I feel like perhaps I should be more aware of my pregnancy… more in tune with my growing baby… more something.
And yet I know that baby is tucked up in my womb receiving everything from me that he needs, and at the same time God is forming and fashioning him to be the person who he is and will be. It’s all happening just right, just perfectly, despite where my headspace is during the whole process.
I know there will come a time when he is my arms and I will struggle with guilt in the same way related to Levi. I will be breastfeeding him around the clock, changing his diapers a thousand times more than Levi’s, ooo-ing over his little infant milestones like his first smile, holding his head up, and rolling over… while Levi, no doubt, will be vying for some of his old attention back.
It will be a tension to work out then, but it is not one to worry about now.
And I guess parenting is like that. Being a mom is like that.
There will always be a tension between all that I desire to do and the reality of what I actually can do.
I will never think of my babies enough, pray for them enough, nurture them enough, train and teach and coach them enough, listen to them enough, spend time with them enough.
But this I know: I will always love them enough. My love will be as deep and as wide as is humanly possible from a dedicated—yet imperfect—parent. And where I fall short there will be others there to fill in the gaps: their dad, extended family, dear friends, even God himself.
And that is what gives me comfort when I have those “I will never be enough” thoughts.
Because the amount of my headspace taken up by thoughts of my new baby is no indication of how I feel about him. As simplistic as it sounds, it really is just a casualty of a busy, emotionally and physically draining, and intense (yet still precious and fun!) season of life that I’m already in as a new mom of a toddler.
My new baby is loved—incredibly loved. And that—combined with my commitment to parent to the best of my ability—is enough.
Question to consider: Do you ever feel like your ‘enough’ isn’t enough? If so, what do you do to tame the negative, guilt-ridden thoughts running through your mind?
Loving my babies, parenting as best I can, and believing it’s enough,