I’ve felt it every time.
The week before my wedding as I packed up my room at my parents’ house.
The night before I was induced with my first baby.
The morning we left for the hospital, in labor with our second.
Every time a new member was about to be added to my family, I’ve spiraled into sadness.
Real tears of grief as I braced for ensuing change, knowing that it would never be just like this, just us, again. It’s the joy of adding a member to your family and yet the woeful worry of subtracting from quality time with existing family.
It was when I realized that my parents wouldn’t be in my daily life anymore. Even though they hadn’t been for a while, I knew I’d never live under the same roof as them again. My immediate family was shifting to my husband and me. His needs would now come before their needs. It’s me and him. But I’ll miss them.
It was when it hit me that it won’t be just the two of us in this marriage anymore. We won’t get to do whatever we please. We won’t get to live well-rested lives as independently as we want and then come together as we see fit; no, now we’re adding someone who needs both of us at all times to use our complementary gifts to raise him well. We’re going to be a family of three, but I’ll sure miss our days as a couple.
It was the morning when we left for the hospital as we made a video for our toddler to watch when he awoke. We had to cut it short because I couldn’t hold back the tears thinking that it would never be just him and me anymore. Would we ever be able to do anything again? Would I be able to give him the love and attention I always have? Here’s a new baby, and I’ll love him to no end, but I’ll miss the one-on-one relationship with my first, our family of three, just us.
It’s a sadness that many of us feel. An anxiety as we enter unknown territory; afraid to lose what is currently dear to us. We ask will it ever be the same again?
The answer is simple: no. It won’t. Never just like this again. That’s the truth and that’s reason enough to have a moment of mourning.
But the one thing I’ve learned every single time is that the love doesn’t divide; it multiplies.
Once you add someone to your family, you’ll wonder how you ever had a family without them. Sure there will be growing pains and learning curves, but the exponential joy that new life brings to your own life is worth the change.
So I hope I’ll remember this the next time around. Because I’ve never wanted to go back. I’ve never wished away the addition of a life, and I’m certain I never will. While the sadness in the bracing is real and shared amongst many moms, it’s not necessary. The addition of a family member always ends up being a celebration. And each one added to our fold will teach us new things, cause our family to grow in different directions, and open doors to love we didn’t know we had within us.
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