My, What Big Feet You Have :: When My Baby Boy Became a Big Brother


In the months leading up to the birth of our second child, I tried so hard to emotionally articulate just how I felt about our son not being our baby anymore. He was two months shy of being two years old when she was born, and still very much dependent on us as any two year old would be. As her due date approached, I held mixed emotions for what the future of having two kids would bring. Obviously I was elated to bring our baby girl into the world, but a part of me was sad to think that the sweet boy who made me a mom would lose pieces of me in tending to a new baby.

I’d read and heard the old cliche:

When you have your second child, your heart will DOUBLE in size.

That was cute and all, and I had no doubt it would happen because–DUH– I love my children. But reality check: TWO babies would need me; that’s double the need. My body can not physically be doubled and my attention can not mentally be doubled. I knew my heart would grow. But I also knew that the workload was about to double and that was going to be hard. Plain and simple.

But there was something about bringing a second baby into the world that no one ever warned me about.

When you have your second child, your firstborn will DOUBLE in size.

When we came home from the hospital and I got to hold him for the first time he seemed massive. Seriously, a giant. I’d just spend two days handling a 6 pound 11-ounce newborn and to wrangle a two-year-old again seemed almost foreign and a bit awkward. I felt as if his entire two years had been lived in the two days I had been gone. Who was this toddler sitting on my lap and had he always been this HEAVY? It was if I was meeting him for the first time. Immediately I missed the baby that seemed to be gone forever.

And he was doubling in so many other ways in the weeks to follow, changing before my eyes.

Physically

He was tall and fast. His once little feet could now lift him just high enough to reach and grab all of the things that had been forbidden before. One day I took my eyes off of him for 30 seconds and he had climbed himself into his high chair. What? How? I found myself constantly whisper scolding him away from danger to save his life and not wake his sister.
My, what big feet you have.

Emotionally

The tantrums were kicked into high gear. Understandably because he’s two and can’t always communicate what he wants. Plus, he went from the center of attention to supporting role. I’m sure it’s hard on him. He learned quickly that if the baby was crying, she got tended to, so guess what he started to do?
My, what big tears you have.

Socially

He started saying more words, soaking up new information like a sponge. He pointed out everything he remembered and we were so proud… until those words became intentional things he wanted. And boy was he insistent on having them. If he couldn’t have them or I couldn’t understand him…see previous section.
My, what a big voice you have.

All of these changes seemed to hit him, and me, in an instant. Life became doubly challenging to deal with it all while cradling a newborn who brought an entirely new set of challenges along with her.

But there was one change that despite all of the difficulties made this new season 200% worth it.

His heart doubled in size.

I’m not talking about toward the baby. (He’s a bit too little to be affectionate toward her yet.) I’m talking about toward his Mama. If I’m nursing his sister, he’s right on the side of us. If I even attempt to tiptoe into another room, I hear a pitter-patter following me calling out for “Mom-Mom.” I can’t even go to the bathroom alone without the door swinging open. Whether I’m sitting, standing, cooking, or cleaning and there is even an inch of free space near me, he finds it and he is occupying it.

But I’d be lying if I said I don’t absolutely love it.

My, what a big heart you have.

Watching the baby who taught me how to be a Mom become so big right before my eyes was bittersweet because with his growth has come my most challenging moments as a Mom thus far. Moments that are testing my patience and teaching me strength. But without his growth, I wouldn’t get those sweet, intentional, want-to-be-by-Mama moments that in the not so distant future he may not want as much. A future where I’ll stop and say:

My, what big feet you have.
When he’s climbing toward life’s next big milestone.

My, what big tears you have.
When he’s experiencing life’s heartbreaks

My, what a big voice you have.
When he’s going on about all of his hopes and dreams.

Even when he has doubled, tripled, or quadrupled his distance from the blue-eyed, bald-headed baby that I’ll always see when I look at him, I hope he’ll never forget to take a second to turn around and come running toward his favorite inch of free space near his Mama where he’ll always find my arms open a mile wide to say

My, what a big heart you have.

Mariah Miller
Mariah Miller was born and raised in Carencro, LA. Monday through Friday she’s known as Mrs. Miller to her dear 7th graders. When she’s not molding young minds, she’s relishing in her time being a wife and mama either chasing her babies at home or proudly holding them back on the sidelines of a gym as a Coach’s wife.Their little family of four is built on their Catholic faith and Cajun cooking.Since childhood, her passion has always been writing.From the brightest days to the darkest seasons, she believes writing helps us keep on keepin’ on.In her heart, she feels that the beauty of a Lafayette Mama is getting to be a part of a Cajun culture that keeps us close, and she hopes you’ll read along with her to keep that spirit of community alive in all of our hometown, “How’s Ya Mom and Them” hearts!

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