I’ve been a mother for almost 7 years. Motherhood comes with many, too many, ups and downs, highs and lows. Motherhood has challenged me in ways I could in no way prepare for; and it’s filled me with such a deep love and fulfillment I can’t attempt to articulate in a paragraph. I feel like I really grasped motherhood with both hands, arms and shoulders – all of me! I can say, I’ve been quite proud of myself and feel really good as a Mama. That is, until something happens that brings on the infamous Mama Guilt!
When I found out July 2017, at 7 months pregnant, that my second baby would be another boy, I felt completely prepared. I originally hoped to have a baby girl so I could say, “okay, we’re done here! Thank you to all you little visitors, but my uterus is officially closed“. God had other plans! With another boy, I don’t want to to close up shop just yet. I’ll extend my uterus hours for a little longer in case I have a mini female me in my future. Time will tell…In the meantime I thought, OK, I have a boy coming!
My thought process went pretty much like this: I have a boy, I birthed and raised my little boy; I know what to expect, I’m ready! I know what I’m doing, and baby numero dos will be easy peezy!
How far, how very far from the truth my assumption was.
I don’t know why I assumed my boys would be the same. I knew their personalities would be different, of course! They’re two different people after all. But, I must confess I pretty much expected similarities for the first 6-9 months of life.
Can I tell you, not ONE thing was the same with these babes.
Nada, zip, zero – nothing!
Well, actually that’s not entirely true. Levi and Malachi look so much alike.
I spent the first 4 months of Malachi’s life being completely flabbergasted. I was constantly frustrated and cried often; he wasn’t behaving, interacting, nursing, sleeping, or growing like Levi.
David felt the same – minus the crying. Baby Levi loved spending time with his Baba. He loved laying on his chest, he enjoyed his cuddles, his singing, and at 6 (and 3 quarters) he still does. Malachi did not want to lay on his Baba’s chest, he rarely wanted him to sing, kiss, or cuddle him.
Levi was and is 100% a Baba’s (Daddy’s boy), Malachi on the other hand is a Mama’s boy through and through.
Having a Mama’s boy definitely has it’s perks, but being the only parent to be able to calm, feed and put to sleep a baby is beyond exhausting. With Levi, David could do pretty much everything I did minus nursing, and not for the sake of trying, Levi tried to nurse on David more than once!
Malachi’s leaps, sleeping – everything was drastically different than Levi’s.
I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “When Levi was a baby he…blah blah blah”. We’ve been so used to Levi and only Levi for so long…we gauged everything with Malachi based on our experience with Levi.
On one hand, this is quite normal. On the other, because Levi was such an “easy” baby, we were constantly pitting Malachi’s behavior against his brothers. It took a good 4-5 months before I realized, “Mal, stop comparing these two little slices of heaven”. They were created to be uniquely and beautifully different.
Seeing Malachi as an individual, completely away from the shadow of his brother has been difficult for me to say the least. It’s a habit that formed so quickly, it’s taken some time to break.
Since accepting Levi and Malachi as uniquely and beautifully different, I’ve been able to enjoy this journey of motherhood even more. I’ve fully embraced little Malachi as…Malachi, my little coconut! Our connection and relationship has been so much better and enjoyable.
Everything with Malachi has been new to me – he’s such a little individual, so determined, so loving and cuddly, so full of joy and laughter! He makes me laugh every single day.
To all the parents who are struggling with comparison, let’s remember to celebrate and uplift each of our beautiful babes. Let’s build them up with our love, our words, our actions and our prayers. Giving them the foundation and tools to grow and become wonderful, confident, resilient, compassionate and optimistic individuals in this world!