Words of Wisdom
September 16th, 2010
When you’re pregnant, you are frequently inundated with “words of wisdom” from other mothers. These pearls of advice come to you whether you asked for them or not, so the best you can do is ignore the questionable bits and focus on the gems. The two most helpful things people have said to me this time around weren’t even phrased as advice, per se. They were just comments on two mothers’ personal experiences.
The first came early in the pregnancy from a young mother in our church who has a brood of three with a fourth kiddo on the way. She was reflecting on the logistics of having multiple children. And what she ended up with was the sage realization that your first child takes up every second of your time, being, soul, and energy. You give it all (and then some) to that first baby. And, since there are a finite number of hours in the day, it doesn’t get twice as hard with the second baby, or take twice as much of your time. You simply learn to share your time and balance it better. I found that absolutely inspiring and have held her words in my heart ever since — especially on days when it seems like caring for one child is more than a full time job itself!
The second bit of mommy wisdom came from our childbirth educator who has two grown children. She commented to me once that, while she was awaiting the birth of her second child (a son, after a daughter) she was preparing herself for a lifetime of lying. She feared/suspected that she would never, ever be able to love her second child as much as her first and confessed that her only aspiration was to be a good enough faker that he would never know. Then, when he was born, she was shocked to learn that your heart really does expand and that you can indeed love two children with every bit as much ferocious affection as one.
That piece of honesty blew my mind. How many people would be willing to admit they were afraid they wouldn’t love their second child? Wow.
Those two wonderful mothers, in their sharing, have helped me feel more confident in my ability to handle both the day-to-day logistical realities and the emotional requirements of being a mother to two children and I thank them for that.