My biggest fear while pregnant with Luca was that I wouldn’t have the same connection with her as I did with Ayda - that I could never love another human as much as I did her. My fears were laid to rest immediately after I gave birth, but they were replaced by a new, frightening reality that I was completely unprepared for.
I now had this new little human who depended on me for everything - my milk as her food source, my arms as her shelter, my heartbeat as her comfort. And then I had this 3 year old - strong-willed, opinionated and, quite frankly, no longer my “baby.” My connection with her felt so foreign to me, everything had changed.
Soon Ayda’s antics, previously encouraged & hilarious, were now “her being crazy” & irritating. Her giggles that could be heard across the house were now shushed because the baby was sleeping. Cuddling her until she fell asleep became a pain because “she’s a big girl now & can do it on her own.” All of these reasons why I had SO MUCH love for her had turned into reasons why I was now feeling disconnected with her.
A few weeks ago, Ayda was really sick & my whole perception changed. All she wanted to do was lay in her Mama’s arms. She suddenly NEEDED me just as much (and in the same ways) as Luca did, and it all just clicked for me. She may be 3 years old & no longer need me how she once did, but in her eyes, I am still her one & only Mama. She still depends on me just as much as she did when she was my 2 month old baby, just in different ways now. Rather than relying on my milk to nourish her & my heartbeat to comfort her, she now needs my voice to give her comforting words, my actions to teach her how to do good & be good, & she will always find safety wrapped up in my arms.
The best way I have been able to cope with mothering two of completely different ages, is learning to not put a negative emphasis on the fact that she's growing and getting older. I feel like, as a society and completely understandably, we want to hold onto the "baby phase" for so long and end up dwelling on the fact that our babies get older. I've been trying my best to remind myself that with each day, each month, each year that she grows, I am helping shape her into the grown up that she will one day be. I am learning to embrace all of the changes that come with your child growing up- how I can watch her both physically and mentally grow, how I can feed her hunger for learning, and see the wonder in her eyes as she continues to discover the beauties of the world.
This journey I have embarked on as a Mama of two sure isn’t an easy one, and I still find myself wondering sometimes if I am a “good” mom at the end of trying days. But I figure as long as I embrace what each day brings with an open mind & heart, wake up each morning with an attempt to be better than the previous day, & teach myself to love them unconditionally, it’s a step in the right direction.