As a mother of 2, I find it very difficult to balance my motherly role between both my girls. They are of different ages – Arya is 4.5 years old, and our little one just barely turned 1, and they both have different needs and expectations from me. Due to this, I find it difficult to equally distribute my time and attention, giving the baby more than my preschooler.
When I was pregnant with the baby, I was very clear about the pregnancy and how labor and delivery would be, and even how to handle a new baby. What no one told me was that having a second child also meant changes in relationship with the first one. And more importantly, changes in the behavior of the first child.
Arya is an amazing big sister. She has been caring, doting, and loving of her baby sister from day 1. I was worried how she would react towards the baby especially since she seemed nervous and anxious when we introduced the two siblings. However, after the first initial months, she began her role as a big sister effortlessly.
Even though she maintains a positive acceptance of her baby sister, I noticed that she had some anger and resentment towards me. This was to be expected because for the first three years of her life, Arya had my undivided attention and love. She was my priority over everything, and everyone. She slept on my belly even when I was in labor at home, and we only ever parted when I was in the hospital for those 5 days when the baby was born.
My time with her lessened as the baby took most of it, and even though I tried to spend time with her as best possible, it was not enough to remove her resentful feelings towards me. We had many ups and downs this past year; at first, I treated her sass as bad behavior, but then I realized that she was only behaving this way to get my attention.
These past few months have been a real eye opener for me. She did not realize that she was angry at momma because she missed momma. And I was silly to think her defiance was her rebellious nature springing outwards. Just because she could not point out her true feelings, did not mean she was not feeling them. However, in these past few months, she spoke of her feelings as they surfaced, and that made it easier for me to understand and respond to them accordingly.
I miss my little girl. I miss having her to myself. I miss being with her only.
I know that I am doing my best balancing my motherly duties with both my girls. But I still feel guilty that I was not able to understand my little girl’s frustration and anger earlier. But thankfully I do now, and she has helped me with that immensely.
Arya is a preschooler, and her shift from attachment to independence has flourished immensely. She responds to feelings, tests boundaries and activities, and understands self-control. Her empathy and caring nature extend not only to little people but adults as well. As much as I am enjoying her development milestones, I am still learning how to be patient when her milestones involve sass and talk backs! As a busy working mom, I lose my patience especially when she is testing out behaviors. But then I take a step back, breath, and pause to understand her stance on the situation and then I respond accordingly.
Trust me, staying patient is very very difficult!
But it’s still in process, not a finalized product yet! 😉