1 v 2 v …..

1 versus 2 versus 3 versus 4 versus….and so on. No matter how many children you have it is a struggle at times. Those of us who have more than 1 all started with one. Therefore we also know each stage is relative. That is something that is often forgotten. We have all been the first time Mom. The greatest stage of change and adjustment. The sudden transition from selfish to selfless. The Mom who both is searching for answers then on another occasion always knows best. Ready to offer advice but also seek confirmation or alignment with their choice. At that stage that one child is our whole world, we are so protective. Ready to instill all the good parenting “ideals” we had before we had children. Ready to get it perfect. To get it right. We learn quickly that getting it perfect is an unrealistic objective and gradually come to terms with that.

A second thrown in the mix, and we fear how we will juggle two little humans. How will our hearts share our love. How will our firstborn accept the new lodger. Guilt arrives strong and hard, unable to give all of ourselves to either. Unable to do all the things with the second as we did with the first. Helping our first adjust while welcoming our second in. A real lesson in multi-tasking. We ease a little, because we have to.

If a third or subsequent child arrives, for me at this stage it was very much accepting this one was coming along for the ride. No real expectations of how I would manage. Just knowing it would be busy. Again helping the older two adjust while re-living the early days. Trying to remember what we did at each stage. What worked in each situation. You realise oh so quickly that you know less than you did before. You offer less advice knowing what worked for you will not necessarily work for others. That your choices are not others and vice versa. And in this you grow in confidence. Yes I know less, I am less confident in my knowledge of knowing how it all goes or knowing all the answers….I simply don’t….but I am more confident in NOT knowing. Letting go of that breeds that confidence in me. It makes it easier to let go. To not be as worried. To not seek all the answers. You really do succumb to a lot of things being a phase and just having to get through them. This is not every time. Things seem easier, which can sound strange. Maybe easier because of the change in ourselves.

Things weren’t any easier with one…why…because it was all relative. What was hard then is hard now for different reasons. Sometimes we can roll our eyes at first time mothers, dismissing their worries or concerns, often done within the medical profession too. Like learner drivers, we have all been there. But likewise a mother of one can roll her eyes at the mum of four, looking on at the perceived chaos with opinion in hand. But the truth is these are two mothers at two different stages trying to do their best. It is all a merrygoround. What is for one may not be what is for another. But we must still support each other. For us post one child, we need to remind ourselves that we were once there with one, and it is in my opinion the hardest transition.

However I will add for my own sake a disclaimer that my impending 4th may change all that 😉!!


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