There was never a question of whether or not we wanted more children, it was more down to when? I had anticipated having to put a lot of things in my life on hold again. I had just started getting some sort of a social life going, making new friends, investing in new hobbies and a lot of me time! If I had a little time to do what I needed to then surely it won’t be so tough having to give up all that again for a while and take care of a baby?
There’s a lot I didn’t take into account when I suddenly fell pregnant. For starters – having to go through pregnancy again! My first pregnancy went so smoothly and made me feel so amazing. This time I forgot I’d have a toddler to look after too – and can I just say: OHMAGAWD. Not ohmagawd because it’s hard work (because it is!) but ohmagawd because I couldn’t give her my 100% and we’ve always been so extremely close, doing everything together, sharing everything with each other. I couldn’t handle not spending all my time with her but at the same time I needed to be alone, I needed time to just sleep and rest and try not to throw up.
If you know my tot, if you’ve met her, (lucky enough to have) interacted with her then you’ll know how grown up she can be. She started communicating in sign language and using words (babbling at this point) very early on, before she was even one. By eighteen months she was communicating, using a lot of words – which my sister was also able to understand (I say this because she was someone who didn’t see her often but could understand what she said)
By the age of two she was very fluently speaking and demanding and using a very high range of vocabulary. So she’s always been quite a chatter box and I’ve always thought of her as my buddy rather then a two or three year old. But when I actually sit and think, she’s ONLY three. She’s only had three years of life, how does she know so much already? A lot of it is stuff I learned well into my teenage years (I was bright ok? Just not willing to learn *eye roll*) anyway! My point for painting you this picture is that I sometimes forget she’s only three. I sometimes don’t give her the benefit of the doubt and expect her to just know. ‘I’ve told you this before why don’t you just know?’ You know?
This was a very rare occurrence because the first time I ever told her off, left me feeling so guilty, the look on her face, like I’d betrayed her and she would never trust me again was something I couldn’t handle. So I set my intentions right and hardly ever had to tell her off. She understood me and I understood her. Then baby arrived. Everything was fine at first. Jana was very adult about it. More then most adults.
Then she started school. I missed her terribly every minute. She loved school and all her new peers. I was happy for her but I was heartbroken that I had to let her go so quickly. All these realisations kept hitting me. Very slowly. I think I tried very hard to push them aside and not have to deal with them. That’s not how it works though is it? You can’t simply push a feeling aside and expect it not to haunt you. It haunted me all the time. It kept me awake at night. It made me miserable. You might think I’m just being a bit needy and over reacting because everyone needs to go off to school. Yes they do, but this is my child, I get to decide when that happens and I didn’t decide this. It was decided for me that I have a baby now things will get difficult, send her to school. It would have been extremely difficult but I wanted to keep her closer to me especially at this time. I probably needed her more then she needed me.
It’s not something anyone would just understand. They listen. Nod their head and give you time to get over it. I didn’t want to get over it just yet. I wanted to wallow in it for a little while. This is something I needed to do. I felt like I had so many emotions inside me that hadn’t been acknowledged that I might burst and seriously injure someone in the process! Us mommas really need to take care of our mental health. A lot of little (and big) people rely on us being sane and collected. Having said that, we don’t always have to have it together.
I wanted more then anything to lie down next to my first born and cry. Some nights I did, when she would fall asleep. Some nights I would pour my heart out to her while she slept. Then I turned to the prayer mat and really poured my heart out.
“Sometimes all you need is to let it out.”
The only One I can truly rely on, listened. I poured and He listened. He listened enough to lift this heavy feeling from my chest. Enough to allow myself to breathe and not blame myself every second of every day for letting go too quickly. Enough to forgive myself for the mistakes I was making along the way, I don’t have it together most days and its ok.
I think back to a time without children and see all the changes throughout the years in my self. The best changes I have experienced have been with my children. They make me want to be the best version of myself. I am slowly getting there. For now I’ve made peace (and actually started to enjoy the five hours of school time to bond with the new critter in our house!) I’m learning to be at peace with myself over the tough decisions that I have to make so I can let go and make room for more personal growth.