There are so many incredible things about being a parent, raising kids, growing humans. One of the most incredible is being able to give your offspring the joy and comfort of unconditional love.
My first son was “planned”, meaning we decided one night that we were ready to get pregnant. Fortunately the universe then gives you around 8 months to get ready to actually become a parent.
The second time around we knew we were going to have a second one at some point anyway so it was a “well now is as good of a time as any” sort of reaction. But the part I wasn’t prepared for when we found out I was pregnant for the second time was sadness and guilt. Sadness for my first born that he would need to share us (me) and guilt that I would have to give some of my love away to his sibling. I didn’t know at the time that you make more love and room in your heart, although it didn’t take me long to figure that out.
Now, as we are approaching round three, on the cusp of bringing yet a third son into our lives and this family, I’ve had a lot of time to prepare for what it means for us all. First, I was 50/50 about having any more children for quite some time so when I found out I was pregnant this time, I went through a very short period of “oh crap” which was immediately replaced with “it better be a girl”. And that was soon after replaced with “this is exactly the way this is supposed to go”.
My youngest turned into a middle child almost over night with the news of our new arrival. This gave him and my dad something new to bond over, as my dad is number four out of seven, the ultimate middle child. Our oldest took on a more serious big brother role after we broke the news, as if he immediately went into training to back me up as Mr. Mom. It’s quite endearing to see such a responsible young man forming right before my very eyes.
For me, I began to love this little guy just as fast as I did with the other two when they were in utero. I pictured him immediately within the confines of our family, as if he was there all along, or at least planned all along, with no question in my mind as to this being exactly what was supposed to be happening our lives.
We have been raising quite amazing children amongst the growing pains of life in our late twenties and early thirties. It hasn’t been easy and it has certainly been messy, but we’ve been doing a damn fine job. Many people talk about how your first born gets the best experience from us as parents – all of the nice clothes and baby gear, the most attention since they are born into the world as only children, and absolutely the most photos taken, saved and framed of them. But from my perspective, they aren’t getting the best version of us as people, as their parents. I believe that is more important than fancy baby gear and toys.
It has been five years since we had our middle child (#2) and it’s only been in the last 1-2 that I’ve been a better version of me, according to me. My first two have gotten to have that person as their mom as well for a while now, but number three gets all of that and more! How lucky is he?
It’s not to say that I’ve been an asshole these past seven years as their mom, not the case at all, but I am a much bigger fan of myself as of late. I’ve been a really good mom, but I’m getting even better now. I’ve been a great wife, but I’m improving everyday. I’ve been a wonderful friend, but I’ve got more to give.
So number three, may you never feel third best in this family, you’ve got some major advantages coming your way! Your role in this family is no doubt going to be hugely impactful on us all. You are going to bring amazing days with you!