When my daughter was 10 months old, my husband and I found out we were pregnant again. While many assumed my instant reaction was shock, I was actually excited! Being a mother is something I always wanted. I found comfort in knowing my darling girl would not go through life alone because of the gift of a sibling her dad and I would provide. Instead, my biggest concern was, “Can I love them equally?”
For the next five months, I mentally made notes of things I could do to make sure everything in their lives were equal. I said things to myself like, “we have to buy matching furniture,” “we have to do the nurseries the same just use a different color scheme.” “the baby shower has to be the same budget.” “I have to use the same photographer for maternity photos so one isn’t better than the other.” And the thoughts went on and on. I drove my husband crazy.
Then one day it hit me. I realized that life would not be equal for them. As a parent, my job is to prepare them for what life will bring and help them realize that their individual choices will determine their outcome, not whether or not they had the same things in life. If I failed at this task, then giving them an equal life still would not matter.
When our second daughter arrived, all of the mental preparation was obsolete. Somehow my heart automatically knew how to love both of them as if it had always been two. The following have become my top responsibilities as a mother of two:
1. Remember to spend quality time separately and together. I make sure that I spend one-on-one time with each child as well as spend time with them together every day. Our favorite things to do are dancing, singing, exercising, or reading. Whatever it is, I make sure that they know they have mommy’s full attention. The only thing on my mind at that time is creating memories and making my babies happy.
2. Teach them to love each other. I firmly believe that siblings should not fight. My sister and I are 18 months apart, and we did not fight, tattle, or argue. It may seem hard to believe, but it is true. We were allies. We were friends. We still are today. My mother made sure we knew she birthed us to love and support one another. I make sure to instill this into my children so that they will know what is expected of them at an early age. This involves hugs when they awake in the morning, kissing each other good night, and sharing. Even if they don’t appreciate it now, it will be a gift that keeps on giving as they age.
3. Don’t compare. Another important thing I find myself doing is carefully learning the unique personalities of my children. Because each child is different, I want to make sure I train and nurture according to their needs. I believe this will aid in helping raise children that are confident, fulfilled, and ready to take on the world.
I am enjoying life with two children under the age of two, and these principles are working perfectly. I know they will serve them well for as long as I have the pleasure of being a mother.