Talk to me about loving your 2nd (3rd, 4th, 5th) child - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS and I have got an intense relationship. It's quite like the one I had with my Mother. Such a deep connection. I'm the firstborn too.

My Grandmother, who was never very diplomatic, would tell anyone who'd listen that she saw God when my Dad was born...but not after the next 5 children!!

Recently I've been feeling lots of things.....Guilty, like I'm betraying DS. Nervous, that I won't love his Sister as intensely.

Everyone says that you don't have to share the love, more just becomes available to go around, the bigger your family gets.

I wonder whether the initial intensity isn't quite the same with subsequent children simply because it's not the first time you've experienced birth.
That's not to say the love is any the less.

What has been your experience (or opinion if you haven't BTDT)?
Be as honest as you can!!!

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
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#2 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Been thinking about this too....how can any other kid be as awesome as my DS?
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#3 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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I have a very intense relationship with my firstborn too, good intense and hard intense too. I was more relaxed with the subsequent babies and it was easy to fall back into being with a baby. But I wouldn't say that the birth or bonding experience was any less intense/strong. It just felt easier, in my experience.

I think you'll find it a smoother emotional transition than you are expecting. Your ds will probably adore the baby and will be right there with you, talking to you the whole time you are nursing, diapering, and trying to rest!! I don't think my firstborn felt bumped out or replaced or anything. You are giving him a sister, adding to the family, it's a gift!

JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to

Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!

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#4 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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Felt the same way when pregnant with my 2nd. Then got over it a few months after, when I got used to juggling/loving 2 kids. The guilt, concerns, etc. never came back again. I'm pg with my 4th now & it's all about sharing & expanding our love. I think it helps that my kids are excited about the new baby & we all talk about how much love this new baby will bring to our family. As a parent of multiple kids, I find that I love them all individually & as a whole. There's no fairness in love IMO. I've accepted that I can't spend equal amounts of time with each one every day nor in the same way. I try to do the best that I can & know how, being open to change & improvement. It's part of the adventure of parenting.

mama to 3 DDs (8.5, 6, & 3) & baby due 1st week of July
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#5 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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DDCC - I felt the same way when pregnant with DD. It had been DS and I for 2 1/2 years I did NOT know how I could possibly love anyone as much as I loved him.

The moment she was born I could not stop saying "Shes so pretty! Shes so pretty!" I bonded with her in a very strong way but totally different to how I bonded with DS. DS and I have long conversations about how the sun shines or why the moon glows, very intellectual and we just sit and cuddle while we talk about them. DD and I sing and dance together and have a much more creative relationship.

DS bonded with DD quickly, he understood she was his sister and told everyone she was HIS baby. He was very protective about who he was okay with holding her (to the same extent I was, he was uneasy about the same people I was!) and called her his princess. (Princess unfortunately became the nickname that stuck with her and for the longest time she believed it lol)

I do not think either are jealous of the other? But I do know that even as bonded as you are with one child, it is amazing how your heart grows to add another. I am working on #3 now and still have a slight fear that I wont bond with her the same... but my mom, whom had 5 kids herself, assures me that you bond with every child... just in their own way.

DD and DS are both excited for this baby. They had been asking me for a brother or sister for years!

Artist, photographer, stay-at-home-mom and Marine wife. Mom to 4; a boy and three little girls.
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#6 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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I had the same worries when I was pregnant with my second. I was also so worried that I'd be shortchanging my dd, who was still a toddler, by having to divide my attention. I'm happy to report that I honestly feel as if my heart just "grew"--without taking any affection or love from my dd, I just fell head over heals for my ds. And dd and ds are so close, so I know dd has even more love now, too.

Now that I've experienced this a few times, I don't worry about having enough love for each kiddo. It is hard sometimes to balance everyones needs and wants, but I make it a point to always have time for physical and verbal affection. And in truth, I also see a benefit to each child having to "share" me more--they're developing patience, compassion, teamwork, and giving spirits. But I do believe they still know I will always ve available to them when they really need me.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#7 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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Not to sound like everyone else but it was like my heart just swelled and all of a sudden there was love enough for everyone. And what was totally unexpected was falling in love with DD#1 in a different way. To watch her become a big sister and embrace that role was amazing. I felt guilty when I was pregnant with DD2 but once i saw the love DD1 had for her sister all the guilt was erased and replaced by an awe of who they would become because they had eachother. I felt like I had given them such a gift and hopefully their relationship will be as significant for the rest of their lives.

When DD2 was born there was this intense curiosity because I had seen DD1 grow and change and develop her personality I couldn't wait to see who DD2 was and what would make her laugh and cry. Being a mother for the second time is different because you know in a different way all that is in store. It was easier to just enjoy her because I was confident in my abilities as a mother I didn't worry so much about whether she was nursing enough or if I was doing a good job, it just came back and she fell into place in our family.

Now with #3 on the way my worries are less intense than with #2 but I still wonder how I will feel about being the mother to a boy and how his needs will differ from the girls. I look forward to watching them have a brother and just hope the bond that the three of them form will be as amazing as the girls has been

Tracy, Wifey to Jeff . Mama to Maya-Papaya 7/04 and Carolina Bean-a 5/07 and Jack 7/4/10!!
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#8 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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Just agreeing with the other mommas. Your heart just swells that much bigger. My love is everchanging as I see my babies grow and become big brothers and young men. It's indescribable (to me at least, I've never been good with words) how the love is just "there" and you just have so much more to give when your 2nd, 3rd and more babies arrive earthside.

Aimee Blessed Momma to 4 amazing boys, P ~ 9 H ~ 7 J ~ 4 and B ~ 1.  Happily married to D Living my almost dream life on an urban homestead, hoping for our forever land to find us soon!

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#9 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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From the beginning I felt like if this baby had been a boy, it wouldn't be so hard because I would have a special mother/daughter relationship with DD and a special mother/son relationship with him. When we found out this was a girl (though that was my suspicion all along), I worried because I never had to share my mother with a sister, so I don't know how it's done.

I've mostly worked through those feelings, though I do understand. I'm excited to see DD1 with this baby, and I'm excited to see how much they do or don't look and act alike. As much as I adore DD1 above all else in the world, there are lots of things I'm looking forward to doing differently in the newborn days this time, so that helps me feel excited about having a baby all over again, almost as though it's my first.

I trust what everyone says: your heart has endless capacity for loving all of your children.

Amy (34): mommy to DD1 (11/07) and DD2 (7/10), wife, wohm, and wannabe suburban homesteader.
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#10 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by welsh View Post

I wonder whether the initial intensity isn't quite the same with subsequent children simply because it's not the first time you've experienced birth.
That's not to say the love is any the less.
I think you hit the nail on the head here. I'm just living this for the first time right now and was worried about it before my second babe arrived. The only way I can explain it right now is that the intensity is not as overwhelming because the gateway to that feeling was already pushed open with the firstborn. Like falling madly in love the first time. There is nothing about this feeling that makes me feel I love my new baby any less, or that I am not blown away by her! But I have known this love before so it feels maybe more familiar but just as strong, if that makes sense.

You just can't get used to the feeling of perfection, it doesn't get old, it just becomes you. Not saying that I am perfection, but that this feeling of love for both of my children feels perfect in every way. The love for my new babe feels like perfection just as it did with dd1.

SAHM to DD 03/08 & DD 06/10 made with love with my DP
 
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#11 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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I echo all the other mommies of many. I love all my girls. They are so special in their own ways to the world as well as to me. This is my first DS. I'm hoping it's as magical as each of the girls joining our family has been and expect that it will be.

Kim, mom to DDs (10, 8, and 2) and DS born on the 4th of July.
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#12 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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DDC crashing.

I think it's a big, deep, dark, secret in our culture (world?) that not all moms fall in love with their children the moment they are born. Some mothers have to "learn" to love their children (be it their first, second, or tenth). I bet you a dozen people reading this just now gasped in shock that I would say such a thing, but two dozen others silently nodded in agreement.

My experience...first son was a horrible traumatic birth. When I finally got that baby in my arms a few hours after birth (he was in NICU), I melted into him. It was the "love at first sight" that you read about. He and I have a great bond, a very close connection.

Second son...good birth, but then unexpectedly he had severe health issues. I went into fierce mama bear protective mode with him, literally held him for months, I was the last person to hold him as he went under anesthesia for all of his surgeries, and the first one to pick him up before he woke up. That baby and I were inseparable, I literally protected him with my own life. But love? I don't know when it happened...but I do know that initially all I felt was that mama bear instinct. I might as well have been a lion with a gazelle, not giving it up to anything. It was primal. It wasn't until his health issues started getting under control that he and I learned about each other, and fell in love with each other. He's 3 now, we have a great relationship, I don't feel like I missed anything, but it was very very different.

Third son...another good birth. But the craziness of having three boys in four years caught up to me, and for the first while, it was all about meeting his needs while still trying to keep afloat with my other children, my house, my job, etc. I very clearly remember when he was 6 months old, walking with him in the sling, and smelling his head and realizing that I was extremely drawn to his smell, connected to him on that level that I didn't remember experiencing with my other babies. I *loved* his smell! One morning he was nursing in bed with me and stared up at me with his giant blue eyes and just bore into my soul, and I realized then...I loved him intensely!

Three children, three different "kinds" of love. The path to love is not the same for every mother and child, even in the same family. With my second son, it came via a primal protective instinct. With my third, it came through other senses (most notably his smell...I have so many examples of when I was struck by his smell...weird to say, but it's true! I even liked the smell of his breastmilk poop diapers! His reflux soaked clothes!)

You WILL love your daughter...but it might be different. And that's okay!

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#13 of 28 Old 07-01-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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Expecting #2 any day now so nothing to add... just wanted to thank you all for this thread, i needed to read it

Mom to Lizzy born May 2007 & expecting Baby#2 June/July 2010
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#14 of 28 Old 07-05-2010, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have just re-read all the responses to this thread and wanted to thank you all for sharing. It has really helped!

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
Living in Russia
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#15 of 28 Old 07-05-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Lots of great stuff in here.

wash.gif  Me  + bikenew.gif Dh =  broc1.gif  Dd1(9 yrs) + hearts.gif  Dd2(6 yrs) and blowkiss.gif Ds(3.5 yrs)
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#16 of 28 Old 07-06-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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just another thread-appreciator here.

me dh ds1 (11/04) ds2 (7/10) and
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#17 of 28 Old 07-06-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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THANK YOU FOR THIS THREAD! I've been feeling so similar to you--worried that I won't be able to be there as much for either child, more disconnected from the pregnancy this time and worried that it means I won't be as connected to my baby, etc. The ways that I've been most connected to this pregnancy is watching my dd get excited and imagining her as a big sister--I haven't focused nearly as much attention on loving/imagining THIS new baby. It scares me.

It's so good to read everyone else's responses--thank you for taking the time to type them in. I did have one friend who said that while the new baby will have less of me (in terms of my time), s/he'll have more from the family as a whole, because there are more of us to love him/her! I do like thinking about that.

Mama to Nell (11/15/06) and Maggie (10/9/10) . AFTER 2.5 YEARS, I AM AN AUNTIE!!! joy.gifHOORAY TEAR78 and welcome Anika and Brand New Baby Boy!!!!  Circumcision: the more you know, the worse it is; please leave the decision up to your son!

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#18 of 28 Old 07-06-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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I realized one of the things I'm struggling with here:

The first time I was pregnant I couldn't really imagine giving birth (understandably), but I could vividly imagine holding the newborn and nursing and loving it.

This time I can imagine giving birth but I can't easily imagine the after part with the baby.

WHY?

I *know* I will love it. I don't doubt that. But why can't I just imagine it like before?

me dh ds1 (11/04) ds2 (7/10) and
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#19 of 28 Old 07-06-2010, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know exactly what you mean Flitters.

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
Living in Russia
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#20 of 28 Old 07-06-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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I remember feeling exactly the same way when I was pregnant with my second (my daughter was 3 at the time). I asked my girlfriend what she felt at that time in her life and she related to me, having experienced the very same thing.

I went on to find, now pregnant with my third, that our momma-hearts are big enough for everyone. Each child is so unique with his/her individual needs, interests, sense of humor, personality, etc. We love all of their parts, preferring some as well as grinning and bearing others. There will be times when the well-mannered one surprises you with off-putting comments and behavior and the wild-one holds your hand and talks sweetly to you, as they tumble through their childhood phases.

Love is so even..... because love is so accepting. Plenty to go around!
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#21 of 28 Old 07-08-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flitters View Post
I realized one of the things I'm struggling with here:

The first time I was pregnant I couldn't really imagine giving birth (understandably), but I could vividly imagine holding the newborn and nursing and loving it.

This time I can imagine giving birth but I can't easily imagine the after part with the baby.

WHY?

I *know* I will love it. I don't doubt that. But why can't I just imagine it like before?
Me TOO! Although I can't quite imagine giving birth again...yikes

Mama to Nell (11/15/06) and Maggie (10/9/10) . AFTER 2.5 YEARS, I AM AN AUNTIE!!! joy.gifHOORAY TEAR78 and welcome Anika and Brand New Baby Boy!!!!  Circumcision: the more you know, the worse it is; please leave the decision up to your son!

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#22 of 28 Old 07-08-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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DS and I have got an intense relationship. It's quite like the one I had with my Mother. Such a deep connection. I'm the firstborn too.

My Grandmother, who was never very diplomatic, would tell anyone who'd listen that she saw God when my Dad was born...but not after the next 5 children!!
DDCC....I've had four children, we're expecting our fifth, and like a PP said, I love them all very differently. For me, my third child (but first neurotypical child) has been the most intense attachment. My most difficult attachment has been with our daughter, who joined us when she was 10 months old.

I think it's a personality thing, honestly. We bond more intensely with personalities that suit/reflect us in the ways we enjoy most, and less intensely with personalities that are challenging (unless you're someone drawn to challenging personalities, I guess ).

I also think it's important that you've noticed this generational trend of intense bonds with firstborns, and lesser bonds with laterborns. You should stay aware of it, and make sure to get proactive if you notice a similar trend in your family. I suspect that, like most of these rosy posts have stated, you will fall equally in love with your new daughter. But it's possible that you won't, and that your family's pattern will continue with your family. If that's the case, recognize the pattern and head out for some counseling. Often there are simple, hidden issues to discuss in therapy that might shed some light on why you (and your mother/grandmother) might have preferred their firstborn. Once you see it all laid out, it can be a lot easier to correct the "bad" pattern and replace it with a healthier family pattern.

We've all got issues, baggage, and patterns we've taken in/learned from our own families. Some of them are great, some are harmless, and some are damaging. If you think you're continuing a pattern you don't like, get some help in correcting it. I've been amazed at how good it's been, mostly in my marriage but also in parenting, to have a little help overcoming the negative baggage of mine (and dh's) families. No one's perfect.

Best of luck to you!

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#23 of 28 Old 07-08-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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I'm starting to worry about the opposite happening. Last night I felt awful, just sick and awful and I just wanted to be left alone and able to rest, but DD wanted to play and love on me and be read to, and I was so short-tempered with her, and I started to worry about what it would be like when I was dealing with a needy newborn and feeling all those physical and emotional pp feelings, and having to deal with DD1's antics, as well. I'm afraid of hurting her feelings or just not liking her for a while. I'm sure it will pass pretty quickly as we all get our bearings, but I'm worried about it nonetheless. I see a lot of posts on MDC about being fed up with an older child after a new baby is born.

Amy (34): mommy to DD1 (11/07) and DD2 (7/10), wife, wohm, and wannabe suburban homesteader.
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#24 of 28 Old 07-08-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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it really helps to hear the other mamas who share similar feelings right now.
thank you.

i also worry about a change in my (or dh's) patience or manner with ds when the new baby comes. that was actually the cause of my first big cry this pregnancy, about how i don't want to change how i am with ds, and how that might feel for him.

sigh.

me dh ds1 (11/04) ds2 (7/10) and
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#25 of 28 Old 07-08-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I think it's a personality thing, honestly. We bond more intensely with personalities that suit/reflect us in the ways we enjoy most, and less intensely with personalities that are challenging (unless you're someone drawn to challenging personalities, I guess ).

I also think it's important that you've noticed this generational trend of intense bonds with firstborns, and lesser bonds with laterborns. You should stay aware of it, and make sure to get proactive if you notice a similar trend in your family. I suspect that, like most of these rosy posts have stated, you will fall equally in love with your new daughter. But it's possible that you won't, and that your family's pattern will continue with your family. If that's the case, recognize the pattern and head out for some counseling. Often there are simple, hidden issues to discuss in therapy that might shed some light on why you (and your mother/grandmother) might have preferred their firstborn. Once you see it all laid out, it can be a lot easier to correct the "bad" pattern and replace it with a healthier family pattern.

We've all got issues, baggage, and patterns we've taken in/learned from our own families. Some of them are great, some are harmless, and some are damaging. If you think you're continuing a pattern you don't like, get some help in correcting it. I've been amazed at how good it's been, mostly in my marriage but also in parenting, to have a little help overcoming the negative baggage of mine (and dh's) families. No one's perfect.

Best of luck to you!
Just in reflection to these thoughts here... recently my counsellor and I were discussing something similar. We put this pressure on ourselves to have these certain kinds of relationships with our children that we don't put on ourselves to have with other people. All relationships ebb and flow. I agree that there's a personality aspect to things... but we're also human.

I fiercely love and worship my bright, spirited dd1. But we clash easily like oil and water. When we try to play together, often one of us ends up upset almost right away because our modus operandi just seem to hit each other on the wrong nerve. We talk and laugh about it, and try to re-focus on what we DO BOTH LIKE, and try to tell each other why we don't like the other thing. It's been so freeing to just admit it and still communicate love, acceptance and the desire to be close.

My dd2 and I are a natural, easy fit. We are all human.

wash.gif  Me  + bikenew.gif Dh =  broc1.gif  Dd1(9 yrs) + hearts.gif  Dd2(6 yrs) and blowkiss.gif Ds(3.5 yrs)
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#26 of 28 Old 07-10-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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worried that it means I won't be as connected to my baby, etc.
Oh, sweetie. When one of your best friends growing up got married (remember how hubby was the photographer at her wedding?) anyway....her dad gave the most beautiful speech. It was all about how when they had their first child their hearts got so big and full from all of the love they had for her, and so when your friend came along, he felt worried, same as you do now. He felt that there just couldn't be enough love in the world to give the same amount to the next baby as he did to the first. That's when he found out that this isn't the way that love works: he found that when the new baby came along, that the love he had grew so that there was more than enough to love the new baby just as much as the old. I feel the same way: protective of Nell as my niece and my special darling. How could the next one be nearly as good?! There will be enough love for both, I know it. That little one will come out and our hearts will melt and he/she will be family, ADDING to our love, not taking away from our love for Nell. I know it. I love you sweetie!

Our little miracles are here!!joy.gif
energy.gif DD Born 7/15/11 biggrinbounce.gif DS Born 4/3/13
love.giflove.gif Keep growing healthy and strong, beautiful little fighter babies!!!

Auntie to Nell, Greta, Maggie, and Elsa!

Remembering our 3 losses
 

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#27 of 28 Old 07-10-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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Thank y'all for this thread. Goes along with what I've always heard. I'm so looking forward to adding another member to our family!!

Happily married to my sweet DH with two precious girls (12/08) and (8/10) and a crazy puppy dog. Expecting blessing #3 around 12/10.

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#28 of 28 Old 07-10-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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(DDC crashing!)
Personally, I waited six years between my first and second children, which really gave me the opportunity to see the mistakes I'd made with my first and avoid making them again. Now I have a third daughter, and I feel like I've got the process streamlined. There is a sense of relief/ease with my 2nd and 3rd children, but my 1st remains the guinea pig!

As far as loving them all equally, I think with most parents it is probably secretly true that at times you feel more connected to a particular child, but the love is equal. I would do anything for any of my girls; I completely adore each of them, equally.

Tamara: Aspiring doula, partner to Brazilian musician, mom to THREE GIRLIES!
(4/01, 6/07, & 12/09)
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