I always wanted a big family. When my husband and I were two foolish teenagers in love, we wholeheartedly agreed we would have four children together. “Maybe even five!” we would say. I dreamt of loud, fun times around a large dining table and of the memories we would make as a group. I equated large families and lots of siblings with an abundance of love and support, something I yearned for and sincerely hoped to provide to my future children.
As a mother of a beautiful, magical little being, I can tell you I definitely would like to have more. He’s adorable and amazes me with his growth daily. I’m in good health and am financially secure. We have a home with empty rooms and a son who would really appreciate a playmate.
So what’s the holdup?
The truth is, I’m terrified. Not of the pain of childbirth or medical issues that arose during my first pregnancy — although those thoughts do hang out at the back of my mind. I’m terrified of having to share my heart with another child. Because I love my son so much that I can’t imagine giving him any less of my time or attention. I’m terrified of breaking his heart when I am forced to tend to my infant and put his needs second. I’m afraid that he will resent me or his sibling. Afraid that I will compare my future children with my first.
Can I really love a new child and not love my son any less?
A second pregnancy seems to have become a favorite topic of discussion amongst my family and friends. “It’s time for a second one!” everyone seems to say. I smile and nod in agreement, but my fears and insecurities soon take over my thoughts. What am I supposed to do? Am I crazy for thinking what I do? Am I a terrible mom? So I went to the one person who always gives me sound advice, even when I refuse to accept it. A mother of three daughters and my best friend. My mom.
“Were you afraid to have a second and third child?” I asked her. She smiled and nodded her head. Her hand in mine, she told me the following:
Entiendo tus sentimientos porque yo un día sentí lo mismo. Tenía miedo no tener más espacio en mi corazón para otra hija. Pero la verdad es que el corazón de una madre no es fijo. Crece mas y mas para permitir amor para todos sus hijos. El corazón de una madre llena su cuerpo y es más grande que cualquier otra parte. Es infinito y nunca se acaba.
I understand your feelings because I once felt the same. I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough space in my heart for a second child. But the truth is that a mother’s heart isn’t fixed. It grows bigger and bigger to permit love for every child. A mother’s heart fills her body and is all encompassing. There is no end to the love because it is infinite.
Her words have calmed my fears and quelled the insecurities roaming through my brain. I am still afraid, but I know it will all be okay. There will be challenges when our family does grow, but we will tackle them as they come. Because my mom is right, as she always is. She loved us equally and I never felt a difference between my sisters and myself. Because her heart is indeed the biggest part of her. And mine is, too.
How did you know you were ready for baby #2?