I Think I Love My First Kid More … Or At Least It Feels Like It

My daughter was born just 10 months after my wedding. I went from wife to mom in a blink of an eye. Another 12 months later, we were (surprised) with a positive pregnancy test for our second. 

My husband and I have always talked about having a few kids. I grew up in a big family, so the thought of multiple kids was something I assumed would be relatively easy to handle. 

June rolls around. I officially go on maternity leave, and soak up a few last days with my daughter while she is my only child. I remembered how moved I was when she was born, and how special it was to become a mom that day.

I was ready to feel that all over again.

Where are the feels?

After a (relatively) easy labor and delivery, my son was born. My first thought was, “I am so thrilled to not be pregnant.” My second thought was “where are the feels?” 

I remember with my firstborn that I felt overwhelmed with a cocktail of joy, fatigue, excitement, nervousness, and nearly everything in between. 

I felt relieved that my son was here, but I kept waiting for the excitement to set in.

I kept thinking of what I saw on Instagram captions for moms of multiple kids.

“My heart doubled in size!”

“Our family is complete!”

“I never knew a love like this.”

My thoughts were far from that. 

“Why am I not overwhelmed with joy?”

“I forgot how hard breastfeeding a newborn is.”

“I am about to be drowning in diapers.” 

“I wonder how my daughter is going to handle this boy taking most of my attention?”

I am so sorry.

All I kept thinking was how sorry I was for my first born. Our one-on-one time together would decrease. I was afraid she would think she did something wrong. I couldn’t help but feel like I did something very wrong. I wasn’t ready. 

Here was my beautiful, healthy son in my arms. I wanted badly to feel the warm, fuzzy feelings everyone would tell me would come with my second. 

Mom guilt set in. Where I thought my heart would double in size to endlessly love my kids, I instead felt like it was being sliced up into pieces, and I had to be sure those pieces were equal. 

Enter into real life

The morning we left the hospital, I wept quietly in the shower. 

“I can’t tell my husband what I am feeling. Suck it up.”

We load up our tiny new addition, and head home. I knew our daughter would be waiting to see us and her new brother we’d prepared her for. When she laid eyes on him, I finally received some feels.

She looked at him with such wonder and awe. The precious, beautiful innocence of my little toddler taking in every inch of her brother filled my eyes with tears and my heart with grace.

She wasn’t thinking about how hard it would be to share. She wasn’t thinking about losing our special time together. She just smiled, pet his head, and kept saying “brother, brother.”

Giving ourselves grace

Having a child is a whirlwind. Postpartum combined with the changes of a new addition is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed.

Feelings are not regulated. Feelings don’t need justification.

Give yourself time. Give yourself grace. Almost five months with two kids, and I still have trouble balancing, but life is not a scale that needs equal balance to work. It is ever-changing.  

With the help of my husband, close friends, and lessons from therapy, I have learned to take things one day at a time. One thing is certain–I do love both of my children, even if it may not always feel like it. Love is a choice, and every day we choose to love our kids through the good, bad, and ugly.

Jessica is a marketing manager who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is a full-time marketing strategist with a passion for storytelling. She and her husband Chris have two littles at home (Jane and Clark) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. She is a board member for Downtown Lafayette Unlimited and the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of 2 under 2.

1 COMMENT

  1. So beautiful and real ! Super proud of you and thanks for the validating what many moms feel . Being a mom is hard work. A super rewarding mission but full of insecurities. You are a fantastic mom !

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