by: Kimberly Bowman
When you meet your future mate and the relationship develops into a meaningful, life altering one, it is difficult to conceive of ever loving someone as much. Then you realize all that your heart is capable of when you become a parent. In preparation for having another baby, or even your first, you may find yourself wondering how you will have enough love to go around. This predicament is apparent to children as well, but from a much more narcissistic view – will mommy still love me?
When I arrived home with my second child, I sat down with my firstborn and read books. Thankfully, number #2 cooperated with this. By spending quiet, intimate time with my son I was hoping to send the message to him that I was still there for him and wanted to be with him. Messages like these may not seem to get through right away but they speak to your child through the side door of their brains and ultimately they hear.
As he got older and the “baby” turned into a child who demanded more time than just nursing, his brain started whirring and formulating questions to go along with his thoughts and fears. When he was about six he asked, “How can you have enough love for everyone?” I was careful in answering. Children are savvier than we realize when they finally verbalize fears such as these. They have an answer in their head already and they want to be right, despite what it may mean, as do we all. I told him that when I became a mommy, all the love I needed came along with him and the same thing happened with his sister. There would always be enough for everyone.
Children have to be told things many, many times before they really listen and in this case, it is all the more important for us to peacefully repeat ourselves as many times as necessary. Children keep score in ways that seem silly to us. They count Christmas gifts, they time-track, and keep tallies of punishments. While we know that those things have nothing to do with our love for a child, children have no concept of what it is like to love as a parent. As you prepare for your first, your second or more, remember to keep your own score and show each child how important they are to you.