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<p>I know this sounds silly. I remember when my son was born that I had no idea the depth to which I could love. It will probably be the same when my daughter arrives. But now that I'm pregnant and short-tempered and tired sometimes, I find myself for the first time getting annoyed with my son. I used to feel sad or sorry for him when he cried for whatever reason. Now this teeny tiny voice inside my head says, "Good. Now maybe you'll learn not to: stand on the chair/hit me/fling everything off the bookshelf/refuse to walk from the car to the house/pour all the maple syrup on the floor..." I know how much attention a newborn requires, and I'm just worried that I'll feel unable to tend to my dear, darling, adorable son, who is still, in many respects, a baby, too.</p>
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<p>Anyone been there?</p>
 

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<p>Yep - and I quickly learned that your love doesn't get split between two kids (or three, or four, or five...). Your capacity to love increases A LOT. My son was 11 months old when my daughter was born. It was rough. He was very needy while she was a little more laid-back, and often I had to choose which one of my crying babies needed me more rather than trying to tend to both of them at the same time. Sometimes it was a tough call. But when my daughter was born, I not only loved her with all my heart, I loved my son more than I did before she arrived. I saw him in a whole new light - not just a son, but a brother, and an important part of our family.</p>
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<p>I didn't fully understand this division of needs thing until my fifth child was born prematurely and had to stay in a NICU 45 minutes away. I got very little time with my other kids during the month that she was there and I felt horribly guilty. My MIL reminded me that if one of my other children had been in the hospital, I would have spent the majority of my time with that child. Whoever needs me most gets me most, and their needs are constantly changing, sometimes by the second. There are times when all five of them need something and they insist that they need it RIGHT NOW. I have to step aside, even if it's just for a moment, and prioritize in my head so I can figure out who really needs me the most at that very second, then I go from there. It is hard to feel like you're turning one kid away to tend to another, but later in the day it will probably be the other way around. My kids always liked it when I talked to the baby about them, e.g. "Sorry baby, I'll have to wait to change your diaper because right now I'm getting a drink for your big brother." It made the older kid feel special and emphasized that the baby isn't always first on my list. </p>
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<p>Good luck, hang in there...I am sure you will do fine. Also, your daughter is due on my birthday. ;)</p>
 

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First, I am one of two children. Second, we would like to have 4 kiddos or so (if we are that blessed!). Third, I don't think you can love children EQUALLY. Now, before anyone rares back and tells me that of course you can love more than one kiddo...well, yes, of course! But that's not the same as loving EQUALLY.<br><br>
My mother did not love my brother and I EQUALLY she loved us FAIRLY. There is a *big* difference in my book. It is loving and *fair* to buy a child glasses if he/she needs them. But it isn't equal unless each child in the family gets a pair, right? <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"> In my DH's family they are very, very particular about things being equal but it isn't nescessarily fair. Fairness can take into account invidividual needs and personalities. In my book, equality cannot. Equality would say that each child gets 20 minutes of Mom's time. Fairness says that each child is tended to as they needed to be. <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Kiddos are loved and appreciated differently by the same parent. That's okay. That honors individuality and different relationships. And that kind of love is capable of multiplying and multiplying and multiplying to fill all available hearts! <img alt="love.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/love.gif"><br><br>
Jenne<br><br>
 

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<p>Some of this is that your son is getting older and there is a necessary letting him go to learn and become more independant.  That's not a bad thing.</p>
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<p>But, you will find that you love your children deeply, no matter how many you have.  I don't know that "equally" is even the right word (as the post above mine points out).  Kids are individuals.  They're unique.  It's not like you'll be taking the love you have for one child and subdividing it for another child.  The next child is a person who will inspire your love and you will find that it is something that grows, rather than being cut into pieces and distributed.</p>
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<p>I love all my kids.  But they are very different little individuals and so what I love in one is not the same as what inspires me to love another.  At the baseline, I love them because they are *my* children.  But branching outwards to our actual relationships, my relationship with each of them and the way I love them is different, because they are not cookie cutters but interesting, unique individuals.</p>
 

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<p>You will love them individually, giving each what he or she needs to the best of your ability. And they, in turn, will both vex and delight you in ways that are uniquely theirs. <span><img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif"> And yeah, once you have a newborn, the older one is going to have to wait his turn and not get instantaneous service for his every need (I am a heartless mama), but he will deal with it. And sometimes his needs will take precedence over the baby's too. And you can always call in the cavalry (DH) for an extra hand when you need it. You will get good at multi-tasking - reading and nursing at the same time, telling a story while changing a diaper, thinking of a task that you need help from the older one to accomplish while you tend to #2 child, carrying TWO kids (and you will have awesome upper body strength!).</span></p>
 

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<p>Are you taking enough time to take care of yourself? I know that when I neglect my own needs I have less empathy and patience for my kids when they get hurt or need something. You already know, but you can hear it again: Make sure you let yourself be number one very often, especially now, during your pregnancy! <span><img alt="hug2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span></p>
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<p>Your relationship with your son will change some, but like a PP said, when your baby is born, you will discover a new depth of love for your first child. I had a definite adjustment period, a mourning period, I would call it, for the singular relationship that I lost with DD1 after DD2's arrival. Every mom has some guilt, I think, but it works itself out, especially if you go in with an open mind and an acceptance of all of the feelings you have for the situation. If you have misgivings, honor them and integrate them. I wish someone would have told me that!</p>
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<p>The first day DP went back to work, the cat woke both kids up right after he left. I was still on a serious hormonal roller coaster after the birth, and I just sat on the bed with 2 crying babies, bawling and asking myself, "What have I done??" lol That was one time. I tended to both kids and gradually learned how to balance them, and now, of course I can't imagine how I would cope if I just had one kid and she didn't have a sister to entertain her! Their relationship is absolutely the most priceless, beautiful gift anyone could have bestowed on them. No one understands you like your own siblings. Their friendship alone is worth every second of hardship and new adjustment that we go through.</p>
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<p>Don't worry, it will be a beautiful journey and, just like after your first birth, you'll find a well of love that is unfathomably deep.</p>
 
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<p>another way to look at it is that you're not taking anything away from your son, but rather you are giving him the awesome gift of a sibling.   Honestly, there are 2 years between my kids and my oldest went through all the typical things of wanting cuddles as soon as the baby cried, being jealous and possessive over toys etc, being bossy with his sister but none to any degree that was worrying or took away from the fact he's a happier and more content with a 24-7 playmate and buddy.  Now he's 4 and says (unprompted) that she's his best friend.  Every morning if I ask what he wants to do tomorrow he says "play with Daisy!" (his sister) and I wouldn't say that they are unusually good or trouble-free in their relationship - they bicker and fight and wind each other up a lot like normal siblings, but at the end of the day, little sister is one of the most important and loved people in my son's life.   </p>
 

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<p> What beautiful, insightful advice. I love how you so many of you view parenting two differently, simply differently, than parenting one. That SO makes sense to me. THANK YOU!!!!</p>
 
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