my beautifully sweet, yet, uniquely defiant, 5 year old aquarian is trying every nerve that i have...and i know it's not her fault. i know she doesn't understand her own emotions. i know her love for her baby sister does not change the utter irritation about this intrusion. i know that her tears, her defiance, her sudden need for all of the attention, my attention, their attention is her way of dealing with the change in her world.
but, oh my, is her way trying...
i am doing my best to not let tears over trivial tasks (she cried about putting on socks this morning...yes, socks) break down my own emotional structure. doing my best to tell her that i love her just as much as before. that i love her even greater 'just because'. doing my best to pause. to see. to highlight all the amazing ways she's great at simply being...her. ⠀⠀⠀
but i am worried that, thus far, i am failing at this multiple mom thing. that i haven't spent enough time with her since baby arrived. that when she quaintly says "you don't play with me that much" - it's testimony of something broken in her, like trust or faith or confidence. that when i make promises to do so "soon" while rocking a crying baby or pumping an engorged breast, i am breaking it even more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀i see her side eye...
i, too, am questioning this process. why does new motherhood feel like betrayal to her? why does loving one child, feel like i am taking away from the other? how am i supposed to love on them equally when they require something completely different from my mothering? i can only imagine what the baby's constant need to be in my arms, the way that newborns need to do, looks like to a 5 year old who still climbs in them whenever she needs comfort. what moments have i missed simply because...my arms were full?
⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
i fear that i'll miss even more. that my arms won't stretch as far as my love can. that i won't be able to translate this to any sort of understanding for her until she's old enough to get it...and that by then...it will be too late...she'll already have a chapter stored for future memoirs titled "the day my mom stopped loving me" or something equally dramatic that proves that i, like my mother did before me, like her mother did before her, have ruined just a tiny piece of her without me even realizing it...
because "ruin" is rarely...intentional.