loving two .
It’s hard to believe that it was 12 years ago that a good friend shared this poem with me. I’ve shared it countless times with friends and clients since then and I know that it has rested the minds of many mom’s and dad’s as they are adding a second baby to their family. It is such an exciting time when a first baby is born. We know that we can share in every moment, every breath, every thing we have with them. It’s different when a second baby is on the way. Yes, it’s exciting. Without a doubt. It’s also a tiny bit heartbreaking.
Knowing that we can longer share every single moment with the first child, and also knowing we can not spend every single moment with the second. It is a feeling I will never forget. I couldn’t get over the guilt that I felt. Knowing I had to share myself between two little ones. How? How is it possible to give everything I wanted to give. All of the love I knew they each deserved? And then… this poem. It still makes me cry to this day and I know it will touch the hearts of many of you.
I walk along holding your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?
Then he is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before.
I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me”. And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t”, knowing, in fact, that I never can again.
You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.
But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying him—as though I am betraying you.
But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.
More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.
But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times – only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.
I watch how he adores you — as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.
I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you—only differently.
And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you .
I love you—-both. And I thank you both for blessing my life. —Author Unknown