Dear My Second Born

Dear My Second Born,

You changed my life, my heart, and my soul. You took an experienced mother, broke me down to the brim, and then you did something incredible; you built me back up- with lots of tears, lots of smiles, lots of kisses, lots of snuggles, and with a whole new vision of life. You, my son, changed our family.

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I was experienced. Motherhood didn’t scare me; I was smack-dab in the middle of being a mother already. But you, YOU scared me. Would my love be the same for you as your older sister? How could I possibly give more of myself to someone? When will there be enough time to love the both of you the way I want to love the both of you? Will your sister think I love you more, will you think I love her more?

My fears were foolish. Because if I learned anything as a mother already, it was how easy it is to love, how easy it is to give your all to something else, something much bigger than yourself. My love for you was immediate, and having you to complete our family, made me content. But we didn’t know each other yet, and that made me sad. I didn’t have 100% of my time, nor did I have 100% of my heart to give you and only you.

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While our love was instant for the both of you, I had to work harder to get to know you. Not because you are hard to know, but because my heart was already taken, and my mind was already filled with memories and the knowledge of your sister. You were born shoeless, yet in a sense, already had large shoes to fill-this didn’t seem fair. There are experiences you missed out on, experiences you won’t understand until you become a parent someday and have your first child. You missed out on the emotions a new mother feels. You missed out on the excitement and the newness of becoming someones first child. I’m certain you didn’t know this, and if you did, I am sorry. But there are experiences your sister missed out on, experiences she won’t understand until she becomes a parent someday and has her second child.

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You didn’t make me a mom, you didn’t come into this world with the responsibility to teach me the ins and outs of parenting. You weren’t created to teach me how to take care of a child. You came second, so these tasks are filled by your sister. But you, my sweet little boy, taught me much more than that. You taught me how to compromise-compromise my time in the middle of the night when you and your sister both want mommy, compromise my emotions when both you and your sister need mommy’s full attention and heart. You taught me how to grow– grow my lap to fit the two of you at the same time, grow my wallet to fulfill the needs you both have, grow endurance to keep up both physically and mentally with the energy and speed you two have. You taught me how to slow down- slow down enough to see you exploring the backyard while testing out new textures, to slow down enough to cherish each stage long enough to soak it in so much that you don’t need pictures to remind you of that moment because it’s embedded in your mind and heart for eternity, to slow down long enough to see what happens the moment before you throw a tantrum, to see what happens the moment before you finally drift off to sleep, to slow down long enough to realize these moments don’t come back to take in again. You taught me how to love harder- to love your fits, your quirks, and the nights you need me. To love your ugly and your pretty at an even level; because time goes too fast, babies grow too fast, and you’re not only my second baby, your my last. 

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My son, you might not be the first child to be added to our family, you might not be the child who made us parents-but you were the child to complete us. Your soul shines brighter than the sun, your heart is larger than the ocean, and there is nobody in this world we would rather have as our second child.

With love,

Mommy

 

 

They’re a Baby Until They Aren’t

They have a bottle, until they don’t. They fall asleep in your arms, until they don’t. They use a pacifier, until they don’t. They wear diapers, until they don’t. They hold your hand, until they don’t. They’re babies, until they aren’t.

I’m really struggling with this. This whole “growing up” thing. This whole “last baby” thing. I used to wonder what people meant when they asked me “are you a mess that Rowen is turning 1 already?” It used to confuse me. I didn’t understand why I would be upset about that. Until now. Until my LAST baby turned 1. Until my last baby is no longer considered a baby.

This new stage of life has become a constant heart and mind battle. I want another baby, but I don’t want 3. More often than not I am silently starring at both of my children. Trying to burn their current features in my brain. Trying to pause their size and personalities by using mind power and prayer. Time goes too fast, it really does; it wasn’t until recently that I really started to believe this. Yes, I’ve heard it over and over and I probably said it just as much as the next parent. But really, it wasn’t until this last week that it really started to hit me. Thinking about taking away Rylan’s bottle just seemed too hard. Because Rylan’s last bottle, is my last bottle. Because for the first time in a little over 3 years, we can rid our house of bottles. This doesn’t feel exciting to me, this doesn’t feel like a relief-instead it makes me think back to the first time I held each child, each time I looked down at them with the wonder of who they were going to be someday. It makes me scroll through my photos and videos and block out the rest of the world, get lost in those moments of life as a new parent, life with a brand new baby. It makes me look at that new mom with envy in my eyes, with the urge to tell her to soak it all in. It makes me want to hug that seasoned mom who is preparing to drop her child off at their first day of kindergarten. It makes me want to spend EVERY. LAST. SECOND. with my children. Because if these last 3 years have gone this fast, I can’t imagine how fast the next 15 will go.

Today, Rylan drank his morning milk out of a sippy cup. He drank it all. Without using the word “ba ba”, without even a small sliver of sadness and without the sense of missing something. I watched each swallow he made, PRAYING he would stop and ask for a bottle. But he didn’t. And this right here is what pulls way too hard at my heart strings. When will I know that the last time is going to be the last time for anything? Because, they have a bottle, until they don’t. They fall asleep in your arms, until they don’t. They use a pacifier, until they don’t. They wear diapers, until they don’t. They hold your hand, until they don’t. They’re babies, until they aren’t.

Losing Myself in Motherhood

“Everything has changed and yet I’m more me than I’ve ever been”- Iain Thomas.

YES! Hands opened up to the skies! This quote says it all. If you were to ask me over 3 years ago if I would ever lose myself, I would have given you my RBF. Something changes you when you realize the importance and trust God has in you to give you the responsibility to raise a human being-his creation.

From the moment I became a mother, I lived and breathed my child- quite possibly in an unhealthy sort of way. Everything was about my child. My google searches were no longer about how to straighten my second toe or how to grow my hair faster, but about what green poop meant and how to still make money without leaving my child for more than 1 minute. It would be 2pm before I realized I didn’t eat all day and it would be 6 days before I realized I hadn’t pooped all week. All I thought about was her. Before I became a mom, I would go to bed at 8pm..and when I realized that meant less time spent with my child, I moved my bedtime to a much later time because I couldn’t stand a minute without her in my arms.

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I lost myself.

After 14 weeks on maternity leave, I had to go back to teaching. I was a mess. What used to be my dream job, became hours of staring at a clock just waiting for the moment I could go pick up my baby. The nights that she went to bed early, I would cry-I would cry for the lack of time I got to spend with her. Who my husband once knew, disappeared; at one point he told me our home felt as if someone had died..but little did he know, losing those hours in the day with my baby, killed a piece of me.

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Like I said, I lost myself. 

After praying and taking a leap of faith, I decided to join my mom in her daycare so I didn’t have to lose another second with my child- doing a job I told myself I would never do.

Like I said, I lost myself. 

My second came along-and so did the real meaning of losing myself. With 5 months of a colic child, my identity was so blurred, I was unrecognizable to myself. I went through the day with the main goal of getting to 7pm. I had no purpose each day, other than the purpose to survive and keep the littles alive. I wished the days away and prayed that time would speed up and that this child, who I barely knew, would grow out of this stage and into the child I imagined. It eventually happened, but during that time..

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I lost myself. 

When you lose yourself, you find yourself. And that’s exactly what I did. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a happy mother. But it became my only identity. I could tell myself I was a good mom, but what I couldn’t say was that I was a good wife. Because during that time I only knew how to be one thing. My husband never complained, it’s as if he expected it. It’s as if he knew in his heart I not only lost myself but that I was also more Britt than he had ever known. Because the crazy silly side of me, shined brighter than he had ever seen it. The smile across my face grew so big my cheeks would hurt by bedtime. I couldn’t watch a commercial about a baby or a mother without bursting into tears. I no longer could watch the news because it broke me up, and those sad Instagram accounts about sick children, had to be unfollowed for me to stay sane.

You see, motherhood changes you. It can make you feel content and insane all at the same time. It can make you question everything you ever thought to be true. It can make you a mess of happy tears and a mess of sad tears in the matter of a minute. But do you want to know what is so special about motherhood? Your children don’t see the insane side of you, they don’t see the survival mode you might be in, they don’t see the mom who lost herself. They see you as you, because after all, to them you didn’t lose yourself, no, to them, you’re everything they’ve ever needed. 

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About Britt

Guess what? I finally found the time to start my blog! While doing so, my 1 year old ate a fluorescent yellow highlighter.. total #parentingwin. You’ll read a lot about my #parentingwins, I’m sure. Anyways, I decided to make my first post as more of an introduction. My name is Brittany but I’ve always gone by Britt. I’m a wife to a man who works harder than anyone I know and I’m a mom to 2 beautiful toddlers and one amazing fur child. I was a Jr. High Special Education teacher for a couple of years before I decided to join my mom in her preschool/daycare so that I no longer had to be away from my children. I have patience till I don’t, then I turn to God… and a glass of wine.

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I enjoy writing, I enjoy being real, and I enjoy being open. When I decided I wanted to start a blog, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in.. so I prayed for direction and will continue to do so with each post I create. I overshare, I overpost, but if my stories and if my honesty and sometimes humiliating posts can make even just 1 person smile or feel better about themselves, then I know in my heart that my over sharing is worth it. I don’t live a perfect life. I don’t have a perfectly clean house. I don’t have perfectly behaved children. I don’t have the perfect marriage. I don’t always say the right thing, I don’t always feel the right thing. My promise to you is this-my writing will be real. My words will be raw. My feelings will show. My guard will be down. And my heart will be open.