Right now, it is so easy to be his mother. All he wants is to snuggle and nurse and look into my eyes. It is so easy to give him what he needs. He cries for food and we nurse. He cries for sleep and we rock. He cries for attention and we talk and laugh.
Right now, it is so hard to be her mother. All she wants is her old life back. All she wants is to be in my lap, reading books with me, just like we used to before there was a a tiny little baby taking up my arms. She cries and rages and sits across the room from me in tearful silence.
It is so hard to give her what she needs. I try to give her one on one time when he is asleep. I read her books, take her to the park, watch her play in her room, but there doesn’t seem to be enough time I can spend with her. I pick up the baby and she melts down. I nurse the baby and suddenly she’s crying for milk, for orange juice, carrying a whole armful of books to me, pulling off her pants and diaper and begging to go sit on the potty.
This is so hard for her. And it’s so hard for me.
I hate that I do this, but sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief when she goes to her nana’s house for the day, because I can snuggle him and cuddle him as much as I want without her melting down. Because sometimes I feel guilty enjoying him when she’s lying on the floor refusing to play because she’s so sad.
It’s so easy to be his mother. It’s so easy to enjoy my time with him. But it can be so hard to enjoy my time with her right now. She acts up with me and it wears me out and pushes all my buttons. I feel pulled in so many different directions whenever she’s there. I love her and I’m tired of it being this hard and my heart is aching for her. All at the same time. It’s exhausting.
Sometimes we have a breakthrough. Like yesterday. We had fussed earlier. She wanted to sit on the potty and I was trying to nurse him and she was naked and sobbing and I begged her to just stop crying, please, because I can’t take it anymore.
All the wrong words.
She was sitting quiet and sad while I was nursing him and I asked her if she was sad and she said, Yes. I told her to tell her brother how she felt and she said, I’m so mad at you. And I know exactly how she feels, because I was the oldest of four sisters. But at the same time, I just want her to love him as much as I do.
She said Sorry, sorry, mama, and it broke my heart.
It’s not hard to have a newborn. It’s hard to have a two year old who is completely miserable. It’s hard to know she only wants me but I don’t have enough of myself to give her, because I’m spending so much of myself on him.
It’s so hard. Sometimes I just want to go back to how it was before, just her and me, showering her with all my love and attention and watching her thrive in it. Even though I love him so much and I couldn’t do without him, not ever. I don’t want to wish his babyhood away, but sometimes I wish we were already at the stage where she loves him.