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.

mommys inside voice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

Saanich mayor joins fight to protect local wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

Sidney fire responds to fewer but more severe calls during pandemic

Rise in severity linked to changes in routine during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read