As I enter my last few weeks of pregnancy, I feel so many different emotions. Excitement to meet the newest addition to our family, but also a little bit of apprehension.
I have been a mom for the past 3+ years. My daughter was the one who taught me pure, unconditional love and gave me my new role in life. As a first-time mom, I tried to do everything in my mind that was “right” for her. I breastfed, read early and regularly to her, made her food from scratch, limited screen time, and limited her sugar (until she finally discovered cakes and cookies).
My husband and I doted on our daughter. She was also adored by her grandparents and aunts, and uncles, especially because, as of now, she is the only grandchild on both sides. She knows this, and as we get ready to welcome a new baby into the family, my daughter is smart enough to realize that the dynamic will change pretty drastically.
While I am not usually one to worry, I wonder what is going on in that 3-year-old mind of hers. She is definitely a thinker. As we talk about the baby more, she tells us she wants to go back to being a baby. She asks questions about whether we love her even when she is sad, mad, or not listening. Yes, she is 3!
As she asks why I cannot do certain things with her in my very pregnant and tired state, a wave of guilt washes over me. Because I want to be the mom that does everything with her, but will I be able to hold up to that end of the bargain even after the baby is here?
I realize that my time as a mother to only her is coming to an end. I hope that I have enough energy to still be present with her, even with a new baby. While I am fortunate to have help when the new baby arrives, I hope that I still carve out enough time for just me and her. The nice thing about maternity leave this time around is not only will I get to bond with our baby, but I will be able to bond with my firstborn as well.
I hope that I do not disappoint her and that she feels that her mother has not changed. I hope she always knows that I am the same mom that she loves and adores and that even though my postpartum time will be spent a lot with our new baby, she is still my girl and my firstborn. I plan to involve her as much as possible and hope that she wants to be included in welcoming the baby into our family because I know she will be the best big sister ever.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so looking forward to being a mom to another little person, but I hope that I can do as well with two, as I think I did with one, and I hope to help my daughter transition into her new role too.