We as moms beat ourselves up. A lot.
I recently read a really well-written blog post from someone (who will remain nameless) who was apologizing to her second child for all of what she felt were injustices being done to him because he was the second child. We often hear the jokes about how the first child gets the expensive diapers and the second gets “Luvs,” etc. I totally understand where this comes from. It’s called “Mommy guilt.” And it’s real.
However – I have decided to look at things differently. I was an only child. So perhaps I’m naive. Perhaps I’m clueless. Perhaps, I’m even stupid. But I don’t think so. Here’s how I see it:
Sweet Baby Grayson and Precious Big Sister Becca,
I love you both SO MUCH. Words cannot express how very much I love both of you – uniquely and deeply. You have both been loved since before you were conceived, and will continue to have 150% of my heart to claim as your own. I could never more fully love EACH of you, and your Daddy. It’s amazing how God creates room in the human heart so that more love is always abundant and free to give.
You each have your own special personalities and interests, and I love that about you. I’m sure as you grow, more things will develop. I love how independent each of you are becoming – one because it’s in your nature, and one because it’s part of your nuture. You are each learning patience and discovering that I am only one person. Sometimes you each need to take a turn waiting, and you are both learning and growing in that area. I love how snuggly you both are – one because it’s in your nature, and one because you’re learning by observation what snuggles are all about, and you want in on the “goods.” It’s so wonderful what you are already learning from each other. I love how already you are beginning to play together – as big sister brings toys, and baby brother learns, observes and explores.
I will not be the perfect mother. There will be times when you will live in filth. There will be times when I will force you to help clean the filth you have made, and you might not like me very much. There will be days when the food you eat will not be of the highest caliber. There will be days when I will make food and force you to eat it. There will be days when I am stressed to the max and I might express my frustration in ways that folks (myself included!) would say are inappropriate. And there will be days when you are stressed to the max, and you will express frustration in ways that drive me to the edge of a cliff. But for all of these things, I do not apologize.
WHAT? I don’t apologize? Oh, there will be times when I will say I’m sorry, because it will be necessary – I’m FAR from perfect. But I DO NOT apologize for your birth order. I DO NOT apologize that I am human. I DO NOT apologize for how your father and I have chosen to parent you. I DO NOT. WHY?
Because God gave us you. Both of you. In HIS time. And He is guiding and directing our footsteps, as well as yours. He is growing and stretching each of us into the people He wants us to be. So on the days that regret might begin to seep in because I don’t have as much time with just one of you, and on the days that I might be tempted to apologize because one of you has to (cry and) wait while the other gets served first, I will remember that. And I will be grateful for His timing and His plan.
We tried over two years to get pregnant, and had about given up when you came along – our Princess. And after you were born, we knew we wanted you to have a sibling to grow with and play with and fight with and love. We lost one, then another, and we grieved. But God had a plan. He had for us – you – our Prince. We are far from perfect, but we are your parents, and God has placed all of us together in this family. So there will be no apologies for what brand of diapers you wore or didn’t wear, for what percentage of your clothes were new or hand-me-down, for what percentage of your toys had been used before, or how much one-on-one time you got or didn’t get in your first six months.
Because no matter what anyone says, you are stronger together. You are made for each other. You are blessed. And you are LOVED. This perfectly imperfect set of parents that God has given you loves BOTH of you with every fibre of our beings, and that will NEVER change, and doesn’t matter who was born first or second. So no apologies. None. Just love. And remember that when you are parents, too, ok?
We love you. 150% of our hearts. Always.
This letter was sent to both of their email accounts – that were created for them before they were born. I occasionally send them little notes – some separately, some to both of them at the same time. If you have kids, setting up an email account for them is a fabulous way to write letters to them… and then give them the address and password at whatever age you feel it’s appropriate. 🙂