Love Multiplied – But I’m Divided

6.00 AM and I’m padding to the bathroom to take a quick shower before the baby wakes up.

No sooner do I step out, and the little one is calling for me.

I change his diaper and get him out of his footie jammies, into a onesie, and we sit down for his morning feed.

I settle him in his day time spot in the living room – right now, it’s his rocker, with the vibrate mode on, because it soothes him.

I lug the day’s dirty laundry to the washing machine, pile it all in and turn it on.

The toddler calls for me.

It’s barely 7.00 AM.

I check on the baby – he’s sitting in his chair, looking around the fairly dark room, the sun still not quite up.

I walk down the short corridor to the toddler’s room, open his door and greet him with the usual chirpy ‘Good morning!’.

He hugs me when I reach him. He gets off the bed, I head to his wardrobe and pick his clothes out for the day.

He opens the door and runs out, straight to his baby brother, lays his head down gently and says, “Hi baby.”

Toddler and baby

I think this is his favorite part of the day.

The toddler gets cleaned up and changed and breakfast is given.

I make my cup of tea.

The baby is still happily sitting in his chair, while I keep the toddler in the kitchen with me.

It’s the only way I can make sure I don’t leave them alone together.

(Did I mention my baby HATES slings?)

I set my cup of tea down, whip open the laptop to check my email/ Twitter/ Facebook quickly, while the toddler empties his toy box a few feet away.

Two minutes later, he comes over and pulls me up. The dude wants his Mama to play.

We sit down and not five minutes in, the baby cries.

Thus begins the rest of my day, where I try to balance the act of tending to the baby (diaper check, diaper change, nursing, rocking to sleep, putting him down, him crying, picking him up, rocking again, repeat, and finally, he sleeps), and spending time with the toddler.

I use the phrase ‘spending time’ loosely.

If spending time means telling your two year old you need a few minutes more, like a hundred times.

If spending time means telling him to please not sit on Mama while the baby is nursing.

If spending time means interrupting his play time more times than I can count so that I can see what the baby needs.

If spending time means letting him have a one-hour bath so I can get the baby to sleep.

If spending time means pulling his hand away from the sleeping baby for the umpteenth time, pleading with him to not wake his brother up.

With two children, my love is multiplied. As is my joy. My heart is full.

I’m trying to be ‘all’ for both of them equally.

But it’s not equal. I have to put the baby first in most instances, and hope the toddler understands. And sometimes, the baby cries a few seconds longer because I’m in the middle of something with the toddler.

Yes, my heart is full, my love is multiplied. But I’m divided.

Experienced Mamas, any advice?

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Alison
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).
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  • June 20, 2012 Laura

    Oh. You. I get it.

    This general idea has been running through my head for the last 7 weeks. Although my love expands, my time doesn’t, and that makes it so hard to parent two! The toddler is getting so much less of me and the baby is getting so much less than his brother got at his age.

    But, you know what? We’re not the only ones in these kids’ lives now. Like you said, the toddler LOVES greeting his baby brother. And, in my case, the baby smiles the biggest for his brother. I think I am encouraged that what I can’t give these children now, they are gaining in their relationship with their brother.
    Laura recently wrote…The Father He IsMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      You’re right, of course, you are. Yes, they have each other. That’s important, and cannot be underestimated. I just feel so bad for the baby that he’s not getting 100%, and then I think, my poor toddler, he has no idea what just hit him, his whole life as he knew it, has been turned upside down.

      Still, I’m really struggling to come to terms with the guilt. Sigh.

  • June 20, 2012 Kristen

    There is not enough time in the world to give equal time…even as they grow older. Don’t stress about it. Your boys won’t notice it even though you think they will. Kids bounce back and for every no or wait a minute you give them, the yes and the minutes you do give them carry more weight. Just keep that chirpy good morning and all will be okay! xo
    Kristen recently wrote…The Last Resort in Lake AnnaMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      Oh the chirpy good morning – sometimes I’m so exhausted I can barely squeak it out but I know we both need it! Sometimes, I bring the baby with me and we all have a little sweet lie down on the toddler’s bed. He loves cuddling the baby. I try to get these moments in as much as possible.

  • June 20, 2012 Leighann

    That last line is so raw.
    Yes.. full of love but also pulled between your loves.
    You have really opened my eyes!
    Leighann recently wrote…SwimmingMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      I hope this doesn’t put you off two, my friend. It really is beautiful, the sibling relationship. Though parenting two is fraught with difficulties, it’s also full of the good, good stuff.

  • June 20, 2012 Lauren

    The first few months are tough. Know that you’re doing a good job and baby will get more independent as the months go by. Toddler too will adjust to the lil one and by then you’ll look back and hopefully acknowledge that you’re awesome and you managed to navigate your way through the deep waters and but your heart will spill over knowing you did what most cannot do without an on-call helping hand.

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      Thank you my friend, for your support. I am in awe of you and how you managed two under two for so long!

  • June 20, 2012 Leigh Ann

    This is SUCH a tough time. I know it’s hard. My girls used to both crowd around me when I was feeding the baby, and Claire would smack her on the head. I actually had to put her bouncy chair up on a table. Not entirely recommended, but we have a large table and it was the only way I could keep her away from the poking, prying, and smacking. They just loved her SO MUCH! Hang in there. Also once she got a little older we got a super yard to make her her own little area. We called it the baby cage. 🙂
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    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      I can’t even imagine doing this with twin toddlers, hats off to you!! And yes, the toddler just can’t stop pawing the baby (which also turns into smacks on the head half the time).

      OOh, baby cage, good idea!

  • June 20, 2012 Kimberly

    This explains it perfectly. Your heart grows, but you’re torn between several places at once. It’s hard, I know. Just know that you are doing a great job. xo
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    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      I don’t know how YOU do it, my friend! Hats off to you.

      Now, go kiss that gorgeous baby of yours for me!

  • June 20, 2012 jlweinberg/jen

    I’m just standing here nodding my head. Yes. Exactly that. And that. It’s hard. You’re doing such a great job, and every word you wrote rings true. You are in the hardest part for sure but you are doing it! I hope you can see how strong you are. XOXO
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    • June 20, 2012 Sarah Reinhart

      I could not have found better words. Every word you wrote does ring true. As a mama of four–yes yes I understand the PULL in many directions. Sure, maybe there wasn’t enough time today to get it all in, but that’s why there’s tomorrow. Your kiddos love you. I hope you can see how strong you are too.
      Sarah Reinhart recently wrote…how NOT to treat a child with sensory processing issuesMy Profile

      • June 20, 2012 Alison

        FOUR – I don’t how you do four, you’re my hero. Yes, tomorrow. There is tomorrow. Thank you my friend. xo

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      And the hard doesn’t get harder right? And thank you Jen, for your words, because I need to believe I am doing right by them. At least for part of the day 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 AnnMarie

    I remember this all too well. I’m still in the midst of it. I think we hope it will change but instead we all adapt. Believe it or not, just being within arms reach for Monkey is enough. The baby knows nothing else other than what it is and you are too hard on yourself because it is just perfect, just what he needs. The guilt for always feeling like you are short-changing someone…well…that is here to stay. 🙂
    AnnMarie recently wrote…Memories Captured: SundaysMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      I know, the guilt, it just doesn’t go away, does it? It just ebbs and flows. I know the baby won’t remember what it was like thank goodness. Mostly, I worry the Monkey will and feel like I wasn’t there for him. Sigh.

  • June 20, 2012 Elaine

    It is SO true. These are the days when a clone would be good. 😉
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    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      You have no idea how often I think this. 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 Life As Wife

    I’m so sorry that you’re feeling divided. I hope your boys allow you to find a way to put together the different pieces of yourself soon.
    Life As Wife recently wrote…Father’s Day Two Days LateMy Profile

    • June 20, 2012 Alison

      I hope so too! In a year’s time perhaps? 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 tracey

    The day will come, so so so so soon, that they won’t need you as physically any more. The day will come that they can play together without you worrying that the toddler will accidentally smother the baby. It will happen and you will wonder how the hell you got to this next stage since your babies were just BORN YESTERDAY.

    My advice for you, RIGHT NOW? Play more. Play play play, no matter how mind-numbing it is. Because it honestly doesn’t last very long. I swear to you.
    tracey recently wrote…Do as I Say AND as I DoMy Profile

    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Oh I know this time will pass too soon, too quickly. And I don’t want to look back and wish I’d done things differently. Thank you Tracey, appreciate the advice and support!

  • June 20, 2012 Kristi

    Oh man. I remember saying these things too. I felt so guilty for my attention to the baby and my toddler wanting all of me. It broke my heart.
    Somehow, I found rhythm. He found the ability to be alone and play so I could care for baby H. It didn’t just happen, but it did happen.

    I know you’ll find your rhythm too. Hang in there, mama!
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    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      I hope the rhythm comes soon!

  • June 20, 2012 Jessica

    I remember when L was a newborn. She always got more attention (and still does) because she couldn’t do things for herself like H could.
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    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      I wish Monkey could do more on his own. Sigh.

  • June 20, 2012 Julie

    There was a few days this last month where I thought I might be pregnant and this post clearly lays out all the worry I felt during that time. I don’t know if I can do it. One kid, I’m an ace at that. But two? I’m so afraid I’ll just botch it all up.
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    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Julie, don’t let this post put you off. It’s hard, but it’s not hard ALL the time. There are the moments when they both sync (like napping at the same time, and going to bed at night by 8!). There are times when someone else is there to hold the baby. There are times when you can grab some moments with one or the other. And you can SO do this.

  • June 20, 2012 Alma

    No sling??!!! That sucks balls! That was my savior with both my kids. My kids are 8 years apart so it was a little different.
    If I could I’d send you a box filled with liquor and a nanny.
    Alma recently wrote…Conversations with scarsMy Profile

    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Yes, I have 3 types of slings and one baby carrier and so far, he hates them all.

      I’d take 2 nannies, thank you 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 Melissa

    Oh, thank you so much for this story. Your honesty means so much to me. I am so nervous about having a second child for these very reasons. It seems like such a silly thing to have anxiety over when it’s so common for women to have more than one kid. People think I’m being so dramatic by worrying about it. But this post has helped me so much. I look forward to reading more about you and your boys as you all grow together. Best of luck to you. Your a fantastic mom!
    Melissa recently wrote…Me? An introvert? Puh-leeeze!My Profile

    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Melissa, I hope I haven’t put you off having another child! It’s perfectly doable, I think we just have to manage our expectations of ourselves. I’m struggling with that because I’m a perfectionist, but I’m beginning to realize it’s not about me. It’s about giving the best to the boys, just not all at the same time! And thank you!

  • June 20, 2012 Devan McGuinness

    You are so not alone in that feeling — it’s one so many moms struggle with, me included. You’re an amazing mama & your babes are so lucky to have you — routine and balance will come soon.
    Devan McGuinness recently wrote…Fostering a Budding Artist & Embracing the Mess That Comes TooMy Profile

    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Devan. I do hope we can get into some kind of rhythm soon. Right now, it’s a day-by-day juggling act.

  • June 20, 2012 Robbie

    perfectly perfect. it’s just like that and it will almost always be now that there is more than one. As they grow they are still fighting for attention and you will still be trying to meet their vastly different needs. but you adapt and so do they.
    Robbie recently wrote…Ripped AwayMy Profile

    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Yes, absolutely. I think they will adapt sooner than me!

  • June 20, 2012 Courtney Kirkland

    This is what I fear the most about having two kids. I love my first born more than I can even begin to describe and it scares me that I won’t have the same kind of time to spend with him when new baby gets here. It sounds like you’re working hard to strike that balance and I think you’re doing AMAZING. 🙂
    Courtney Kirkland recently wrote…17 week BumpdateMy Profile

    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Courtney. I think you’ll rock it, don’t worry!

  • June 20, 2012 vanita

    girl, i feel for you, because i truly do remember these days. with the teens and with the toddlers. i remember when my oldest was 2 and her new baby sister was a few months old, Vanessa (the oldest) got pissed at me one morning when i had to get up from play time, again, because Sabrina (the baby) was crying. Vanessa blocked my way, stomped her foot and said “Sabrina, Sabrina, Sabrina” and walked away. would you believe that girl refused to play with me for two days? to this day she knows how to hold a bloody grudge and not talk to you. that memory has stuck with me always. i finally got her to play with me when i changed their bedtimes. i let vanessa stay up every night two extra hours so we could have mommy and vanessa time and since she woke up two hours late, i had mommy and sabrina time. i lacked sleep, started taking their naps with them, and then at work when i returned (on the train, during my lunch break, wherever i could get it) but they were happy and vanessa was nicer to her baby sister. i still have to use that tactic for all 4 of them to this day. they all have to have special time with mom. luckily vanessa and sabrina are teens and can take over the toddlers while i’m busy with one of them and are also old enough now to just spend time with me together and not feel shorted. motherhood is bloody hard girl. Big hugs to you my friend. you’ll get through this.
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    • June 21, 2012 Alison

      Oh that made me laugh, Vanessa stomping her foot. That’s a good tactic. Now, if only my baby would cooperate and go to bed at the same time every night!

      I try to get the baby in bed by 7pm, so I have at least an hour with the toddler before his 8pm bed time. It doesn’t always work out, but we grab that hour when we can. I hope over time, he’ll be much, much nicer to his brother!

      • June 21, 2012 vanita

        don’t worry girl he will. Damian was whining yesterday because his little sister wouldn’t dance with him. they are 14 months apart and almost 3 and 4 and most of the day they’re best buds. Natasha said “okay, alright, let’s go dance” 2 minutes later damian is whining again. says natasha hit him. when i asked why, she responds, “he want me dance, make me put dolly away and then he dont dance. he make me mad” like i said, most of the day…i don’t blame her.
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  • June 20, 2012 Michelle Longo

    I only have one, so I have nothing practical to offer up. Just sending you support!!
    Michelle Longo recently wrote…Put. Keep.My Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I’ll take anything I can get, thanks Michelle!

  • June 20, 2012 Victoria KP

    Wow this brought me back. My boys are exactly two years apart. But now they’re almost 8 & 10. I remember constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing anything right.

    I don’t have a wonderful piece of advice for you. But I want to try to reassure you that you are doing JUST FINE. Throughout their lives one child will need more than the other–and it won’t always be the same child. You have to attend the greatest need first. It all balances out–I PROMISE!

    Hang in there!
    Victoria KP recently wrote…Do it YourselfMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      That is wise advice, thank you Victoria!

  • June 20, 2012 tracy

    This brought me back to those early days with 2. So much to do.Such a big mama heart. Love you.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, my friend. Love you too. xo

  • June 20, 2012 Ilene

    You articulate the constant toggle of trying to tend to all of your kids as well as yourself so well. I am out of the baby years, so now it’s my oldest who again gets the most activities, as we cart her to activities while the 2 little ones have to tag along. I don’t think there is ever perfect balance – but as long as there is love, we get by!
    Ilene recently wrote…Raising Hot SauceMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Love, we have. I think we’ll be okay 🙂 Thanks Ilene!

  • June 20, 2012 Barbara

    Oh Alison, I lived this just a couple of months ago. Trust me when I tell you it gets easier and that the toddler understands. Soon the baby won’t be so demanding and the toddler will learn to adjust to the new routine. Big hugs.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I believe you! Because you’ve just lived through it. Thanks Barbara. It’s good to know that I WILL get through it.

  • June 20, 2012 Tara

    My daughter turned 2- five days after giving birth to my son. It is definitely a balancing act. I’m impressed you got a shower in- kudos to you!!! My daughter also wanted to start nursing again- it was hard not allowing her to. My daughter also disliked the sling- until she was bale to face forward…so keep trying! The sling saved my life! She practically lived in it while I cleaned & went about my day! It was the best for food shopping once I had my son…Chloe would go in the cart and I would wear Max!
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I will definitely try the baby carrier when the baby’s a little older. I’ve totally given up on the slings because they’re hot (tropical weather year round!). Thank you for the advice, Tara!

  • Oh dear have been there and back. The first months, what no, the first YEAR is insane.
    I can only say that at some point it will get different, they will play together and you will be able to stand in the kitchen pretending to cook but really reading your book.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I CANNOT wait for that day! Although I will also complain about time flying by too quickly.

  • June 20, 2012 Alex

    The first 15 months are like that. Pulled and pushed because your child’s needs are so different. The hope I can offer is that between 15-18 months, they will happily play together and you’ll wonder what to do with yourself (for at least 5 minutes) and what they did without each other so many months ago.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I am holding you to your word!

  • June 20, 2012 Adrienne

    This pulled at my heart strings. It’s so hard! I know the big man doesn’t fully understand. I remember when my second came and it was so hard to let the “division” happen, and my oldest was 6. I’m not sure if that made it easier or harder. He was so used to having us all to himself.

    I love the picture! I could hear him saying “hi baby”. So sweet!
    Adrienne recently wrote…Self doubt whispers…My Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I think it’s both harder and easier if #1 is older. You can reason with him, but he’s had you all to himself for longer. Like mine, he’s younger and will probably adapt quicker. But in the meantime, it’s hard to explain things to him and hope he understands. Sigh.

  • June 20, 2012 Mirjam

    You’ve described it so well..
    I remember those days. It really gets better. Really.
    I juggle between my kids without thinking twice, even if more than one kid is sick. It’s just a transitioning phase. You were used to giving all your attention to one kid and it feels weird even a bit wrong not to do so now. It’s a great learning experience for children to not have all the attention. They will both benefit from it. When there’s a new kid in my class, I can spot within minutes if they have siblings. The kids that have siblings, now how to share, know how to help and know how to wait for attention.
    I remember having a hard time when my second child was born, even crying and feeling sad sometimes for my kids. But in hindsight I see that having siblings has given my son so many wonderful additions to his character. (And I don’t mean to say that a single child can not have wonderful qualities.)
    Anyway. It can be so frustrating to divide your attention, but keep in your mind that your son can only benefit from it. You are a wonderful loving mom, it’s evident. And if it’s that clear to me, it’s clear to them! And to add some more words: practical. Make your baby sleep in his crib in his room. When he starts to sleep longer, it will give you alone time with the todd. And I had stations everywhere, so that I didn’t have to run upstairs (if applicable) I had diapers in the living room, bibs, everything.
    Okay, stopping. Never ask me for tips..I deliver;
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I love your tips, Mirjam! And you’re right, the benefits to having a sibling absolutely outweighs all the transitioning pain we’re going through right now.

      I’m trying to get the baby to sleep in his crib every time he naps, but he doesn’t stay in very long, so half the time he’s in my arms. I’m hoping it’d improve when he’s older!

  • June 20, 2012 IASoupMama

    This describes my life perfectly. Well, almost perfectly. My second child loved the sling and was fantastic at nursing, so I could put her in the sling for long periods of time while I interacted with my toddler. Then the twins came along and I know some women can get twins in a sling (or slings), but I just couldn’t make that work. So I spend my days loading the dishwasher with a baby clinging to each leg while I carry on conversations with my older kids. Or I lug the twin with the crazy separation anxiety everywhere with me because the other twin plays happily when not attached to me. Sometimes I have four kids in my lap and sometimes that is OK. Most of the time it is OK.

    I do try to interact with each of my kids as if they were the only child in the world at least twice each day. Some days, though, do not allow for that.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I bow to you – 4 kids?? And twins???

      I am not worthy 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 Tricia

    Oh my heart goes out to you. In October, I will be similarly multiplying my love yet divided myself. I’m scared but I hope I can keep the same perspective you have here. It’s so encouraging just reading the comments of everyone who has made it through this!
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Tricia, you’ll be okay. If I can do this, you can too 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 Bruna

    As a mother to three girls, I just say do the best you can do. It’s tough but you are only one person and they are two. I think you’re doing well so far. Your oldest will eventually get used to having to share you. It was rough on Little B at first when Little H was born but after that first year, our new life just became the norm. Everyone adjusts eventually, even you Mama!
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I think maybe they’ll adjust quicker than me! Which is good 🙂

  • June 20, 2012 My Inner Chick

    –Love Multiplied))))

    & you have so much love to give, Mama A.

    Love Love Love.

    Fab. Photo. Xxxx smooches.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you – if love alone can get us through, then yes, absolutely, we’ll be okay.

  • June 20, 2012 Tina

    I know that it seems like you are divided and you may feel like you are not doing your best, but you are doing an excellent job. Someone sent this to me today and it really made me feel good…

    “There will be many times when you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart, and mind of your child, you are Super Mom.” Stephanie Precourt

    Hold your head up! You are doing a good job!
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Tina, I absolutely needed to read that quote, thank you.

  • June 21, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    This has got to be so hard. It has to ger easier as they get older. Right?
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I sure hope so!

  • June 21, 2012 Cassie

    I couldn’t imagine the work that it takes to have more than one child right now. I know people do it every day, but with an 8 month old who still hasn’t mastered sleeping through the night, I sometimes just sit and cry thinking “how in the world can I ever do this with 2 or 3 kids?!”. I give you many kudos mama! Your boys are lucky to have you as their mommy 🙂
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Oh Cassie, it will get better!! My son didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months – though every child is different of course. Hang on in there, you’ll be fine!

  • June 21, 2012 Erin

    Going from 1 to 2 babies is difficult! Eventually you will get into a routine and things will seem less difficult and more natural. Your boys know you love them and they are so lucky to have one another. I’m an only child and always felt as if I missed out on some secret club or something. After having #2 I remember feeling very much like what you have described. It does get better, it really does 🙂 Oh and a bonus my boys don’t remember any of it so maybe yours won’t either!
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Waiting for the day when it gets better. Actually, it is getting better slowly, day by day. 🙂

  • June 21, 2012 Just Jennifer

    This is completely and totally normal…and OK. When a new baby comes he is the priority for awhile. He has to be because he needs EVERYTHING from the adults in his life; he is completely unable to do anything for himself. It doesn’t mean you love your firstborn any less. He’s just bigger and can wait just a little bit. It’s OK! Keep doing your balancing act. It will get easier.
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    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Jennifer! I think it’s getting easier day by day, though it still is hard. And you’re right, the toddler will be okay.

  • June 21, 2012 Vivian

    Believe me, I understand completely! We went through the same thing when BG2 was first born and still go through it sometimes now. It’s a huge adjustment when you have another kid, especially when it’s been awhile since the first and they’re used to ALL of your attention. BG1 felt really sad and upset the first few months because no one gave her any real attention. Sure you can keep them entertained with TV and games, but at this early stage in life, they actually still want to be around you and spend REAL time with you, so it’s hard for them and it breaks your heart to know you’re not giving your all to them.

    Okay, I’m getting all emotional now just writing this!

    Aiya!

    Let me just say that things will get better and once the baby gets bigger and starts admiring & loving his big bro like no other, you’ll just revel in those moments. I always remind BG1 “see how much your little sister loves you?!” – her name was actually the baby’s first word! LOL!
    Vivian recently wrote…Babies and Ear PiercingsMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I know Monkey feels neglected though we do our best to make sure he has attention from someone, if not me. But I think it’s me he misses. It breaks my heart. Sigh.

      How sweet that your baby’s first word was her big sister’s name!

  • June 21, 2012 Deb

    I love the few minutes I have to myself before everyone wakes up. It is peaceful and gets my day off the right way before I start hearing the endless “MOM!”

    Balancing is hard but I assure you, it effects you harder than your toddler. Kids are resilient and bounce back quickly.
    Deb recently wrote…Redneck Birthday Cake and BBQ ChickenMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I revel in my early morning shower because it’s a singular moment I get to myself, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.

  • June 21, 2012 Shell

    It’s near impossible to keep things even and equal- no matter what stages they are at! But you’ll eventually find a balance that feels right. It’s so hard in the beginning, it really is. Hang in there!
    Shell recently wrote…Pour Your Heart Out: Active Kids Aren’t Bad KidsMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Shell, hanging on in there!

  • June 21, 2012 Jessica

    Yes. You’ve captured it so well. Trust, however, that with time you will feel that division less and less. With time, they will become the best of friends and will love each other and know their place in the family well enough to trust that you love them both, equally even when you can’t always give of yourself equally.
    Jessica recently wrote…Choosing a Camera: What to Look for in a Point-and-ShootMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      When that day comes, I swear I will squee. 🙂

  • June 21, 2012 Ann

    Let the baby enjoy being the first priority right now because soon enough, the baby will be getting dragged around to soccer games, the elementary school science fair, talent show, or meet the teacher, swim lessons and everything else that the older child is involved in. My poor third child may have been the highest priority when she was a baby, but now she spends her days with her life being dictated by her older sisters’ schedules. Seriously though… they all take turns… who requires the most time, money, love, or energy at any particular moment. And you know what, they are better for it. Learning to share is incredibly valuable.
    Ann recently wrote…Pending LitigationMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      You’re right Ann. Learning to share is a good lesson!

  • June 21, 2012 Rach (DonutsMama)

    I’m not where you are, but I can’t help but think that’s it’s just a season. It’ll pass. It’s long, but you take it one day at a time. You are doing great.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently wrote…Brownies, Books & A GiveawayMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I’m taking it one hour at a time 🙂

  • June 21, 2012 Blond Duck

    This is why I want twins. All the pain at once.
    Blond Duck recently wrote…Wings 31My Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Hah! I think twins will kill me.

  • June 21, 2012 Chelsea

    This is what I struggle with when thinking of having another. I would LOVE to, but I don’t want Sterling to feel that he’s not getting 100% of my attention. Love this post.
    Chelsea recently wrote…You Were ThereMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Chelsea. I do think the benefits of siblings outweigh the temporary feelings of not giving #1 100%. At least, that’s what I have to keep telling myself. 🙂

  • June 21, 2012 Carolyn

    It is so hard. At the end of everyday I often wonder if I gave both girls enough/equal time.
    One thing I try very had NOT to do is “blame” the other child, so there is no resentment. That is, if JBird wants something, I never say/said Momma needs to feed Thumper first. I usu. said, “I’ll be a minute”. Make sense?
    Carolyn recently wrote…In Under a MinuteMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Yes, absolutely makes sense! I need to start doing that more.

  • June 21, 2012 christine

    It is hard, especially in the beginning. You will find balance, I promise. But I get this, oh how I get it. I feel the guilt too.
    christine recently wrote…To My SIsterMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Ah the mom guilt – it doesn’t go away, does it? If it’s not this, it’s that. Sigh.

  • June 21, 2012 Julia

    I can only imagine how hard it must be. It sounds like you are doing the best you can.
    Julia recently wrote…5 am Wake Up CallMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I’m definitely giving it my best go!

  • June 21, 2012 Janice

    I love this post because you’ve put into words what I feel everyday. And with 3 kids, that means I end up “neglecting” the other two. I don’t think I’ve ever given any of my girls my full attention since the baby came.

    But you are doing an wonderful job of trying to keep the balance. And you get to shower too! Kudos! It’s hard when the toddler doesn’t understand what it fully means to have a baby around. Because in a sense, they are still babies too.

    So take heart, my friend. You are not alone on this one. 🙂
    Janice recently wrote…And the Father of the Year Award goes to…My Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I’m glad I’m not alone in this.

      I HAVE to shower in the morning – it gets my day started off on the right foot 🙂

  • June 21, 2012 Christine

    I wish that I had words of wisdom to share but sadly I don’t. It’s hard and you’ve expressed it so well. The only way that I can explain getting through this is that our hearts grow and grow. J used to love running into E’s room in the morning to greet his little brother. Sweetest thing ever.
    Christine recently wrote…Dare you to rock climbMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I take heart at that- their love for each other 🙂

  • June 21, 2012 Asianmommy

    Aww..it’s so hard at first–but it does get easier, I promise! Hang in there!
    Asianmommy recently wrote…Discovering ChineseMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you, I’m hanging on!

  • June 21, 2012 Sue

    Me. When The Twins were born. Keep on keepin’ on, Mama. You rock.
    Sue recently wrote…Three’s Company at The Home DepotMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      TWINS!!! I am prostrating.

  • June 22, 2012 Melanie

    This may have been said already in the above comments but one piece of advice I was given (and it has been so helpful) is when you’re doing something with the toddler don’t interrupt that time (unless the baby is really, really needs you). Let the baby cry/fuss for a few minutes while you finish up with the toddler — the baby will be okay.

    The toddler has more of an emotional connection with you because you both have this existing, close relationship. He’ll feel it more when you leave him for the baby than vice-versa because of your relationship.

    There were times when there were exceptions, but for the most part, short of an emergency, if I was doing something with the toddler, I’d continue and finish just so that I could be fully present for him in the moment. With both my two older boys, it helped them to understand that they were still just as important to Mommy as they were before the new baby came.

    My two cents. I can so relate. Hang in there.
    Melanie recently wrote…Yes, It’s Goldfish For Breakfast…My Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      That is good advice, Melanie. Thank you. I will bear this in mind!

  • June 22, 2012 Trish

    Oh, how you always touch my mothering heart! It’s been a looooooong time, but I remember that awkward choreography so very well.

    Because you always reach right into my heart, you’re one of the victims in my chainmail bloggy love-fest. Please accept the Inspirational Blogger award? Pick it up here: http://contemplatinghappiness.blogspot.com/2012/06/bloggy-love.html

    Arizona is showering happy thoughts on you…because you don’t have time for a shower and we don’t have any rain. 🙂
    Trish recently wrote…Bloggy LoveMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Trish, thank you for your kind words, and the lovely award. I’ll take those happy thoughts!

  • June 22, 2012 Natalie

    What an honest post! I know this will be me in 6 weeks so I appreciate your honesty. I know it’s going to be hard and that someone will get short changed no matter what you do!
    Natalie recently wrote…Search OverloadMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      It will never be equal, that’s for sure. We just do our best. You’ll rock it!

  • June 22, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    It WILL get easier…and pretty soon you won’t feel so divided all.the.time. Also, neither one of them will remember this time in their lives. You just do the best you can, and don’t feel guilty!!
    hugs
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Soak Up Every DropMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Thank you MOM OF FOUR!! 🙂

  • June 22, 2012 Michelle

    So tough! It’s a balance…I think most times we are more aware of what we feel are time slights on the toddler than the toddler really feels. Before you know it, the baby will play more and they will be spending time together! It does get easier..hang in there. We can only do our best!
    Michelle
    http://normalchaosforamultitaskmom.blogspot.com/2012/06/beware-of-pigeon-poop.html

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      Yes, we can only do our best, thanks Michelle!

  • June 22, 2012 Robin

    So tough. But I suppose for a while that’s the only way, isn’t it?
    Robin recently wrote…Happy HeartsMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I believe so. I hope you’re not reading these posts of mine and thinking, “Shit!” I know YOU will rock it.

  • June 22, 2012 Stasha

    Mommy math sucks. My sister in law just left with her two children after a weeks visit and I saw it first hand. I can only imagine. But in a few years they will be playing together and ignoring you. It will add up to a lot of free time 😉
    Stasha recently wrote…Pillow talkMy Profile

    • June 22, 2012 Alison

      I will probably complain of boredom then!

  • June 23, 2012 Katie

    I am RIGHT there with you. Today was so hard. Eddie and I would play, but the MINUTE Charlie needed ANY of my attention, the green-eyed monster would come out.I have so much more love in my heart, but my physical self is so not enough for both boys some days.

    hang in there momma.

    • June 23, 2012 Alison

      We need a machine that’d split us into two, yes? Sigh.

  • June 23, 2012 Tonya

    This is my greatest fear about having another baby, another heart to love and care for. You describe it beautifully here. I hope you find a comfortable rhythm soon.
    Tonya recently wrote…I’m Ready!My Profile

    • June 23, 2012 Alison

      I hope so too. And Tonya, you will rock mothering two, I know it.

  • June 23, 2012 Charlotte

    This is such a beautiful post, Alison. And judging by the amount of responses you have received, it’s obvious that it’s understood by many.

    I love your favorite part of the day; that sounds incredibly sweet. And also that photo. It makes me melt.

    It doesn’t sound as though you could do things any other way. But what a good, kind, caring, and nurturing mother you are to BOTH of your kids. XOXO
    Charlotte recently wrote…my chat with a psychic mediumMy Profile

    • June 24, 2012 Alison

      Thank you Charlotte, as always for your kind and supportive words. Let’s hope things get better as I get better at this balancing act!

  • June 25, 2012 Lady Jennie

    Oh dear friend – he will really and truly be okay. There is this automatic grace parent we moms get when we have infants and toddlers at the same time. No one filled you in? 😉
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Farms Are DustyMy Profile

    • June 25, 2012 Alison

      No one did! 🙂

  • June 25, 2012 Lady Jennie

    oops – meant to write grace “period”
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Farms Are DustyMy Profile

  • June 27, 2012 Nikky44

    Your babies are so adorable !!!!!!!
    Nikky44 recently wrote…Sisterhood Award: A smile in the darkMy Profile

  • June 27, 2012 Christine

    no advice but it certainly sounds familiar. Also? That feeling went away at some point.
    Christine recently wrote…You May Say I’m a Luftmensch…My Profile

    • June 27, 2012 Alison

      When they’re about 8 and 10? 🙂

  • June 29, 2012 Galit Breen

    I know, you.

    You’ll get this dance. It will come, I promise.

    Hang in there.

    xo
    Galit Breen recently wrote…So Very SorryMy Profile

    • June 29, 2012 Alison

      Oh my friend – it is a dance, isn’t it? And I feel like I have two left feet. Practice makes perfect, yes?

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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