Amie, the author of our bi-weekly Mommy’s Inside Voice column, is a mother of three growing boys. (Photo submitted)

Mommy’s Inside Voice: It’s okay to grow

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a bi-weekly column

Amie Jay/Columnist

Listen, mama. I know you’re scared to have another baby.

You’re heartachingly worried for your first. You know you won’t be able to spend enough time, give enough affection, be enough. You’re worried that he won’t understand why everything changed, why his Mommy is leaving him to be someone else’s. You love that bond that you have – just the two of you – your heart aches just thinking that that will change, which then leaves you feeling guilty for the new baby, too.

How could you possibly love this little one as much as your first? You have already given your entire heart to his big brother, he will just be getting whatever bits you can make room for. You won’t be able to spend days in bed, nursing and soaking in every piece of his perfect, new little being. You’re now juggling more and he won’t get as much of you as his big brother did.

No matter what, you’re never going to be enough to love either of these babies as much as they deserve. That thought alone is enough to terrify and break your heart.

Girlfriend, I get it. My first was seven months old when I got pregnant with his brother, and my middle was only eight months old when I got pregnant with our third.

The guilt and fear were suffocating. It sent me into a tailspin for years, desperately trying to water myself down so my touch and time and love could stretch further. But, when the inevitable crash of exhaustion finally hit, when the guilty tears finally stopped, the clarity came.

READ MORE: Mommy’s Inside Voice

The transition of building a family is just the beginning of the incredibly unjust, enriching lessons that come with life.

Life is never fair. It’s never fair for any of us, which somehow makes it so. None of us will ever have everything that we want, exactly how and when we want it. As much as you strive to see your children happy, they aren’t immune to that reality either. They can’t refuse their veggies and have dessert, they can’t steal toys and still have friends. And they can’t have the love, friendship and companionship of a sibling without adapting, without learning that being a part of a family means being a part of a team – embracing the beautiful realities of compromise and sharing, developing empathy, respect and humility.

The job of a parent isn’t solely to protect our children. It is to prepare them. To teach them how to be self-sufficient people that can both accept and give love and respect. The lessons that are inherently learned by welcoming and nurturing a growing family are ones that will serve your babies for the entirety of their lives. Just like the relationships they get to share.

Oh and just in case you forgot, mothers aren’t regular people. Motherhood unlocks a whole other portion of our nature, where our capacity for pain, exhaustion and love knows literally no bounds. You will fall madly in love with your new baby, exactly as you did the first time, without losing a single ounce of the love you have for your first. You will learn how to prioritize your time and energy, develop a routine and along the way, probably surprise yourself with how incredible you really are.

Don’t worry about your little one. The bond of a sibling is one that will be cherished through their life and multiply the love in their hearts, just like it did in yours.

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a biweekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three.

Just Posted

Union president ‘cautiously optimistic’ school strike could end over the weekend

Saanich School District strike has kept staff, 8,000 students out of school since Oct. 28

Saanich school district parent pens open letter as CUPE strike continues

‘It’s not a strike that’s just affecting adults,’ wrote the parent who wants kids back in school

More people are being evicted from subsidized housing in Victoria, experts say

Closing of Pacifica Housing’s Fairfield Hotel a sign of ongoing trends

Holiday Country Grocer campaign returns to make children’s dreams come true

Proceeds from campaign go towards Help Fill A Dream foundation

Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and Bike to Work Society merge

The new organization plans a full roll out in spring 2020

VIDEO: Six months later, downtown Victoria business still feels the burn of Pandora fire

Sattva Spa stripped to the bare bones and won’t be operational for another year

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Most Read