The Final Stretch

DSC_0376Last weekend, in a fit of second trimester “nesting”, I decided to tackle my son’s baby clothes. For 2 years, I have kept them meticulously sorted in large plastic ziplocks by size, and stored them in giant tupperware in our storage room. Now that I know we are having a little girl, I decided it was time to sort through them and see what I wanted to save for her, and what I am ready to give away. It took a couple hours, partly because there were so many clothes, and partly because there was a LOT I wasn’t ready to give away yet. I will admit I got a little weepy (yay, pregnancy hormones!) looking through all my son’s old clothes, especially the ones he most recently grew out of.  It felt like a visual representation of how fast time goes, and I had already been feeling a bit bummed knowing I only have a few more months to spend with “just” my son.

While I am incredibly happy to be pregnant, and so excited to be expecting a little baby girl, I have to admit, there are times I struggle with the idea of losing time with my son, my first-born, and the current center of my universe. With my second trimester winding down, I realize the final 3 months of my pregnancy aren’t just a countdown to the birth of my precious baby girl, but a countdown of the final moments I have as a mother of one. Soon, my attention will be divided, and no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to spend the same amount of time and energy on my son.

Sometimes I feel like this pregnancy is going by too fast, and that I’m running out of time with him. For two years, my life has revolved around his needs – his nap schedule, swim classes and playdates. For two years, I have spent more time with him than anyone else in my life, including my husband. It’s hard to imagine that in just a few months, all that will change. Of course we will still spend time together, and of course he will still be one of the most important people in my life, but our day to day lives will change dramatically. I will have a baby to consider, a baby with her own demands and needs and schedule. I have no idea all the ways this baby will change our lives, or how she will fit in to our family. Sometimes all I feel is excited…but sometimes, I also feel a little sad and a lot nervous.

I am excited to give my son the gift of a sibling. I grew up with brothers and I feel so lucky that I have been able to share so much of my life with them. I’m looking forward to seeing him interact with the baby and how their relationship evolves as they both grow up. The thing is, I still feel a little sad that my days of hanging out with only my little guy are coming to an end. I always knew having a second child would be an adjustment for all of us, just as having our first was an adjustment for my husband and me. But I worry sometimes that not having my undivided attention might change the bond I have with my son. Will our relationship still be as strong as it is now? How will it make him feel to see me caring for another child? How will I make sure that I am spreading my love and energy and attention equally?

There are so many unknowns in parenting, and as my family expands, I will continue to do what I’ve always tried to do as a mom…my best. In the meantime, I have 3 more months to smother my son with affection, and I’m planning to soak up as much mother-son time as I possibly can – for my benefit as much as his. Soon there will be another member of our family, and I am excited to see how our lives and hearts expand to include her.

 

Betsy is a mom to two sassy, spunky and spirited kiddos and wife to an adventurous, soccer-loving Chemist named Noah. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs but has bounced around the world with her husband before landing (hopefully permanently!) in Madison. Her first child, Jackson, was born in Germany during their two years living abroad. Betsy loves exploring new cities, donuts (any kind, anywhere) and being a stay at home mom. She is currently in school with plans to become an Occupational Therapist.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Although it’s impossible to know this until you experience it, I can assure you your bond and relationship with your son will still be as strong as ever… His sister will not hurt him, he won’t be left out in “bad” ways, it will force him to grow and mature as a person in ways that he woudknt without a sibling (and that is a GOOD thing too!). Very shortly after your daughter is born he won’t even remember what it’s like to be the only child; he will relish alone time with you and his father but it won’t be status quo; “normal” will be that there are 2 children and he is part of that family unit. He won’t even know what he’s “missing.” (These are the things I observed and learned from nannying for a family of 4 little ones for several years.)

    If there is one thing I wish I could give my son (who’s due in 6 weeks), it’s a sibling. I am an only child and while it has it’s perks, IMO the negatives outweigh the positives. I’m not as socially adept, I struggle terribly with intimacy, I see the world from my point of view and have a hard time meeting others where they are and ushering them to a mutually beneficial solution. I just want it my way and I’m damn lonely a lot of the time because I don’t know how to do it any other way.

    But as a single mom, at age 42, I won’t be giving my son a sibling, so we’ll make do with what we have. 🙂 Your son and your family will be fine. Enjoy your time now, but also look forward to the future!! The best times for you all are ahead.

  2. It’s so amazing to give your child a sibling. I worked full-time after my first was born so although we had one-on-one time it wasn’t a lot. I chose to stay home after my second so I have more time with both of them! Being a mom isn’t easy, no matter how many kids you have, but you always have enough love to go around. Good luck and enjoy the final months of pregnancy 🙂

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