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the mommyhood memos: enough is enough

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

enough is enough

How do you make room in your life for baby number two?

As much as I feel my heart is big enough for another child, I sometimes feel as if my head is not. (Not to mention my energy supply.)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our new baby and how carrying her* is so much different to carrying our first.

{24 weeks pregnant with baby #1}

When I was pregnant with Levi, so much of my little internal world revolved around thoughts of him, thoughts of impending motherhood, thoughts of how our world was turning upside-down.

And yet with the new baby it is so different. So much of my headspace is already taken up with thoughts of how to care for Levi: How can I get him to eat his veggies? Is it possible to make him sleep in a little longer in the mornings? (9:00am would be good *wink*.) When should I start potty training him or moving him from a crib to a bed? How do I discipline well and how do I keep my cool when he’s having a tantrum? How will I take care of him while meeting the demands of a newborn?

So many thoughts and questions… and so often pointing back to him.

And then I feel guilty. Guilty that I think of him far more than I think of my new baby. Or, more accurately, that I don't think of my new baby the same way I thought of Levi throughout my first pregnancy.

I feel like perhaps I should be more aware of my pregnancy… more in tune with my growing baby… more something.

And yet I know that baby is tucked up in my womb receiving everything from me that he* needs, and at the same time God is forming and fashioning him to be the person who he is and will be. It’s all happening just right, just perfectly, despite where my headspace is during the whole process.

I know there will come a time when she* is my arms and I will struggle with guilt in the same way related to Levi. I will be breastfeeding her around the clock, changing her diapers a thousand times more than Levi’s, ooo-ing over her little infant milestones like her first smile, holding her head up, and rolling over… while Levi, no doubt, will be vying for some of his old attention back.

It will be a tension to work out then, but it is not one to worry about now.

And I guess parenting is like that. Being a mom is like that.

There will always be a tension between all that I desire to do and the reality of what I actually can do.

I will never think of my babies enough, pray for them enough, nurture them enough, train and teach and coach them enough, listen to them enough, spend time with them enough.

But this I know – I will always love them enough. My love will be as deep and as wide as is humanly possible from a dedicated—yet imperfect—parent. And where I fall short there will be others there to fill in the gaps: their daddy, extended family, dear friends, even God himself.

And that is what gives me comfort when I have those “I will never be enough” thoughts.

Because the amount of my headspace taken up by thoughts of my new baby is no indication of how I feel about him*. As simplistic as it sounds, it really is just a casualty of a very busy, very emotionally and physically draining, and very intense (yet still precious and fun!) season of life that I'm already in as a new(ish) mom of a toddler.

My new baby is loved, incredibly loved, and that—combined with my commitment to parent to the best of my ability—is enough.

Dear friends, do you ever feel like your ‘enough’ isn’t enough? If so, what do you do to tame the negative, guilt-ridden thoughts running through your mind?

loving my babies, parenting as best i can, and believing it's enough,

*Since I don't yet know the gender of baby #2 (and since I don't like to call him/her "it") I have alternated between masculine and feminine pronouns by paragraph. Hopefully it's not too confusing.

Are you an expecting mom? Have you linked-up yet?

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

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At April 27, 2011 at 12:07 AM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

I have often felt a lot of these thoughts towards my second child who is not even in my womb yet! I look at Daisy and adore her so intensely and almost feel sad that the special one on one time we get to have ever day will have to change to welcome in another little person someday. BUt, I know I will love them both and I will do my best to balance it all as you are saying. This was a very beautiful post! I have to say when I saw the first *she I was all excited like, wait, how did I miss that she is having a girl??? hehe When do you find out?? I'm getting anxious over here! haha.

At April 27, 2011 at 12:17 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

I love this post Adriel. So honest. I often feel the same way. But as this baby boy grows inside me and I feel him more and more each day, I am sure I will have all the love and grace I need for him. I know you will too.

At April 27, 2011 at 1:26 AM , Blogger Hillary said...

I struggled with these thoughts my entire pregnancy...I don't have answers. :( I think it's a natural evolution of thought processes since your life is nothing like it was with your first pregnancy, but it's hard to swallow...or at least it was for me.

And it will change when baby is born, just as you said. I don't think you'll find that you can't love them both, but almost like you don't have time to do everything you want to with both of them in a day. Eisley is nearly 8 weeks old and we're still working on it...some days I feel completely in control, other days, not so much.

You'll get there-rest assured you do have enough love in your heart!

At April 27, 2011 at 1:31 AM , Blogger flyrish said...

Of course I can relate so well to this post. Very beautifully put, too. You're quite right about this being the season of life we're in and all of the concerns that come along with starting and expanding a family. As I feel my baby girl move more and more, I'm feeling increasingly connected to her. And then of course my worries turn to Q again. It's completely natural, right?

At April 27, 2011 at 2:05 AM , Blogger sarahbri said...

Adriel, I am Annie Schrader's sister, and I follow your blog occasionally because your first and mine were born just days apart, and it seems our #2's will be born in the same manner :) This blog captures completely what I have been struggling through over the last several weeks. I devote my whole day to my toddler, and I haven't bought or made or planned anything for #2 like I had for #1 at this point. I haven't prayed for #2 or talked to #2 or dreamed about #2 like I had for #1. And I do feel like I'm cheating him/her out of a bond with me that #1 had. But I, like you, have to rest in the fact that God is enough and that this is normal for moms. Thank you for validating me and my feelings!

At April 27, 2011 at 5:08 AM , Blogger A Little R&R said...

If I could have a nickel for every time I felt this way....sometimes I feel so disconnected with this pregnancy...I am just so busy and Robi is in a "funk" right now - whining all the time. He has grown a bit high-maintenance. Maybe he senses change (and I am sure the molars he's still cutting, combined with the eye teeth that are coming in doesn't help either).

I am just soooo, sooo glad I am not the only one. I feel so much better after reading this. You are right - we would never feel we've cared enough, loved enough, hugged and kissed our kids enough...and somehow it makes me feel better, too.

At April 27, 2011 at 6:22 AM , Blogger Jennie said...

I feel the same way - some days I even almost forget that I'm pregnant! I get surprised when I see my big belly, and give people funny looks when they hand me something and warn me that it's heavy. Last time I could tell you how many weeks and days along I was, and this time, they are FLYING by! I have my busy little toddler to thank for that :) And I'm more nervous, not less nervous this time... because how in the world do you meet both the needs of a curious toddler and needy newborn at the same time? I guess we will find out soon enough!!!

At April 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM , Blogger The Planet Pink said...

It's all normal, your thoughts and fears. I always tell my first time pregger friends to relish it, because it will never be like that again! And it's so true. But just like love, your headspace multiplies, your ability to manage needs multiplies, and your skill as mom multiplies. It's all in God's perfect design. Don't overthink it. Just let it happen. :-)

At April 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM , Anonymous Lindsey Whitney said...

I know just what you mean. Especially when the pregnancies are so close, it feels like the first was barely through before our second was on the way too. I know I should be doing more "nesting" or preparing or whatever, but our first is growing fast too, and I don't want to miss anything!

Lindsey @

At April 28, 2011 at 3:32 AM , Blogger Branson @ Reflection of Something said...

This is such an insightful post. I love how you kind of find a balance with thinking more about levi now knowing that little #2 will soon occupy those thoughts. I worry about these same things when considering our future family size... But I know logically that women have multiple very loved children all the time... My heart just can't imagine being more in love than I am now, and really, that is a good thing, right? :)

At April 28, 2011 at 4:43 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

Oh, I soooo get you on this post! I feel the same way! It's weird, and I was explaining this to a friend the other day, it's like I have so much room in my heart to love this other baby, but my mind feels out of space to think of this baby as obsessively as I did my first baby. And, I guess that's for the best. I am enjoying this time and will enjoy baby #2 when *she comes.

At April 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Blogger Becky said...

I find that with two babies, I can go back and forth between who to love/cuddle/nurture/think about/teach with lightning speed. You will be there 100% for both of them when they each need it. I don't know how we do it, but we do. Like when you FINALLY get the baby to sleep, only to realize Baby #1 needs you for something. You go from being completely exhausted to ready to help the older child. It's crazy and in our DNA. You'll do great :)

At April 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

love it! you're so deep and smart

At April 29, 2011 at 10:56 AM , Blogger Nessa said...

I worry about this now and I am not even expecting. You words are so beautiful... a mommy that worries about being enough is usually way more than enough.

At April 29, 2011 at 11:07 AM , Blogger Dana said...

I am so glad that you posted this! I often wonder how different my second pregnancy will be when we decide that we are ready to make our family larger. It's crazy the things we think about and worry about, but at least we know that we are not alone.

At April 29, 2011 at 11:13 AM , Blogger Dana said...

how do you set your account so you can reply with email?

At May 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM , Blogger TwoMuths said...

I remember this well, and am feeling this again!! Somehow, God multiplied the love in my heart - and because of how my #2 came into this world (vastly different birth experience than my #1) it was such an instant bond that I was blown away with the graciousness of God and His great love for us. TOTALLY different emotions than I was expecting at that particular moment in my life!! ;-) Now #3 is coming in Sept, and I find myself wondering many of the same thoughts you just articulated, and wondering how it will be this time - wow.


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