November 06, 2014

Mamahood

Twice blessed…

I always envisioned having two kids. I’m an only child so one would have been fine but two was my dream. So when our sweet Evelyn Penn arrived 25 months after our first Mabel, I was tickled pink. I knew life with two would be challenging but in my head I had it all worked out. Now, I’m not sure what I was thinking as I know full well trying to make civilized plans when kids are involved just does not exist. At least not in my world. Actually, what’s the saying? If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.

Mabel had just turned two a month prior to Evelyn’s birth. At that time (and still) the two’s were already in full swing. I didn’t know how Mabel was going to react to the arrival of her sister. I was a bit nervous. We talked about it a lot with her but I wasn’t sure she totally grasped that she was about to become a big sister and how much change was about to take place in her world. Oh how I worried. I never had to share my mom’s attention being an only child. I really had zero knowledge about how to navigate with two kids. I had no tools on how to do this juggling act. All I kept saying to reassure myself was, everyone else has done it, I surely can as well. So the only books I read while I was pregnant were books about expecting baby number two. One book in particular that I really liked was called Twice Blessed . It touched on everything from being pregnant again, preparing your marriage and first born.

I really had zero knowledge about how to navigate with two kids

That book definitely took the edge off. But nothing can prepare you until you’re knee deep in it. And boy it’s harder than I imagined. And that’s just something that I’ve had to come to terms with. So I’m not the mom walking through this with poise and grace. I’m the mom that has guilt because I haven’t figured out how to divide my time up properly between the girls and my husband. I’m the mom that feels overwhelmed at times. And what I’m actually really hoping is that I might have a bit of postpartum depression. Because that would explain how my brain is operating these days! Or does it? My questions to you are how did you feel you did when your second baby came? Did you settle into it with ease? And if you did how did you do it?

After all is said and done I am a proud mom of two healthy and incredible girls. I look at them and my heart does flips. I can literally feel it. It’s like the feeling you felt with your first true love times 10,000. So I will except my new world of being a bit of a frazzled mess because I wouldn’t want any other life than the one I have now.

From my home to yours,

Emma

BookDaugthersKidsmommy guilt

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Bella Johnson says:

True love times 10,000, couldn’t have said it better! Everytime I look at my kids, I feel my heart rise up quickly. Especially when they do something weird and yet sweet at the same time.

Bella

Emma Heming Willis says:

It makes everything worth it when i look at those little ones

Judit Havasi says:

We saw our 2nd +pregnancy test just 2 weeks before our son’s 1st birthday. I was shocked. I was crying “because our baby is only 1 year old… he is still so young… he needs me…” … but my husband assured me there will be no problem, we will handle it. But we are living far from our country, from our family, far from anyone who could help me out in those hard times. I couldn’t manage my time between kids and husband. It was too much! I had ppd and it lasted for a year but now (our daughter is 16 months old now) we are getting back together.

Emma Heming Willis says:

I understand you totally. 2 so close together is tough. Mix ppd in there and you have a crazy amount on your plate. Just know you are doing a wonderful job. i have to to try and remember to give myself daily love, even though its easy to forget about ourselves

Rosetta Patafie says:

Congrats your girls are beautiful! Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try and you love them both the same… someone will feel left out but that’s normal… it’s hard to make everyone happy at the same time. I have 3 children…♡♡♡

Emma Heming Willis says:

Thank you for replying. That’s why I love this blog already, it’s nice to know other can relate and give tips 🙂

@marvelouskiddo says:

Love reading about your parenting journey. I’ve been a huge fan of yours on Instagram for a while, and I so admire your gentle, poised advocacy of breastfeeding. So happy you’ve started this blog to inspire and educate in an even deeper way. Blessings to you and your family. XO

Emma Heming Willis says:

Thank you. I’m working on a breastfeeding post. Coming soon 🙂

Krista Grogan says:

Em,
I’m loving your blog! Love the statement of reminding yourself to give yourself daily love, that is something a lot of us mom’s forget to do. A couple things I have glee Ned from raising my kiddos are: 1. There is no such thing as a perfect parent and 2. There is no handbook given to us when our bundles of joy arrive! I always keep both of those in mind as it’s easy (for me anyway) to feel like I am not giving or doing enough for the kids or that I have failed in some way.
Having my kids almost 10 years a part felt like raising only children, yet at the same time not…so I can relate to the sharing enough time, love, and patience to everyone.
Wishing you all the best forever,
Krista 🙂

Emma Heming Willis says:

But wait…. Can you believe we are moms!?! I just had this memory of you breaking your pinky finger on our way to school! Love you. Thank you for your comment. No one ever said it was easy xx

Tania Brown says:

You seem like such an amazing and relatable woman Emma, thank you for starting this blog! It really is a nice way to get an insight into other mums parenting situations like yours, but also share our own stories. Looking forward to read your blog entries. Thank you!

Carli Wootton says:

Emma thank u for this very honest account, im glad someone is actually shouting out that this is a very hard job, so much harder than i ever imagined but also so much more amazing than i thought it would be
look forward to reading more and realising that when i have a bad day im not alone x

Emma Heming Willis says:

that’s exactly right. You are not alone. It’s not easy and anyone says that it is I need to meet ASAP and take some serious notes!!

Renee says:

Hello Emma
My first was born with Cystic Fibrosis, when I was just 18yrs old. I had to grow up, and quickly! She is still the youngest survivor of only two, in Zimbabwe. We were abandoned by her father a few years later and I was left to raise my special baby not just as a child, but with all the challenges that come along with her illness, in a country that knows little about it… I have since then, had another little girl, a week after you had Mabel. Both my babies were born in April, 15yrs & 5 days apart.
My second & healthy daughter is very……….. spirited, (that’s the only way to describe her!) and far different to Kimberley! When I discovered that I was pregnant, I felt as if I was betraying the bond I have with Kimberley. I Struggled to connect with Arianna, from pregnancy through birth, and quite a while after.
Now, I realise, that I can be a mother to two, but I have to try to do things with each individual child, so each has their own relationship with me. Both still need their mother, and that is rewarding & a blessing.
Daughters are just ever so unique & I still get a mushy feeling in my stomach whenever I picture them…
CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’re a mummy with us! Discovering & enjoying and loving all that it be!

Emma Heming Willis says:

My oldest is very SPIRITED as well. I really appreciate your post and your honesty about how it took you time to connect to your second child.
Motherhood is such a journey. Thank you for sharing

tara says:

Hi Emma! This is such a wonderful blog. 2 babies later and I still have questions! Youre right there is no right or wrong way it’s just what works to get you through another day and hopefully raise healthy happy caring kids. It’s so comforting to bounce things off of other moms when you feel like you may be missing something. My boys both had delayed speech and low tone (common in boys) but luckily nothing more serious. Navigating the world of pedi occupational therapy and speech therapy was a journey and I’m so grateful for the mommy blogs that walked me through it all! It’s a great tool for mommies. Tara (n400m)

Emma Heming Willis says:

I feel that raising kids is a day to day process too. You really never know what is in store the following day! Keeps us on our toes. Thank you for sharing xxx

Clara Dollores Ruggier says:

Hiya, first of all I must congratulate you for starting this blog! My experience at becoming a first-time Mum of triplets (2 boys and a girl) has been a roller coaster rid ever since they were born 12 years ago. I still feel sooooo blessed with this “mission” of having had to raise these energetic but oh so cute kids! What kept me kinda sane when they were still very young was going to mother and baby clubs and making friends with Mums like me so I could relate my own experiences with other Mums like me.

Mel says:

i’m not a mom but my sister is and of-course my own mom is. My sister has two kids – the girl just turned 12 yesterday and the boy is 10 next month. Whilst she’s not a ‘new mom’ she went through a lot and I can share some of what I saw from a second hand perspective. I saw her try to be ‘super mom’ because in her mind, she thought, well, I did it before and I can do this again. But it is a world of difference – I told her that it’s almost like dividing herself in 4 part – one for hubby, two for the kids and one for her. The number one thing that I saw being sacrificed when she had baby number 2 was herself- she had the infant to care for, the 2 year old demanding her attention like it had always been, and her hubby. So inevitably she put herself last – this is something she still tries to manage – as having two kids and a hubby and being a mom and a wife – well there simply isn’t time to prioritise herself. But I think it’s crucial that moms find the time and lean on others to help them to prioritise themselves – you just have to start early so you get better at it. You can’t keep putting it off until things ‘calm down’ – they won’t – you just have to ask for help, rely on people and carve out time for yourself. xx

Name *Erika says:

Sorry for my english, i’m French !
Your blog are fanstastic ! I’m mommy by 3 childrens (5 old, 2 old and 9 month)and my life are wonderful With my family.
Sometimes it’s hard but my husband help me and i thank him !
see you soon
erika

ligia says:

Well congratulations on your two beautiful princess, I know having two its a lot of work especially when they are closed to age, I have 6 all together 4 beautiful girls, and my last two where boys, how am doing it I dont know yet either but I can tell you that when I sit down and breastfeed my smallest one he its 3 months now I can relax and enjoy seeing all my kids around, its not easy ohhh nooo not at all especially when you have a college girl, a high school girl a middle school girl and a second grade girl, its been a challege but will not change for anything my two boys are closed to age and its been the difficult part because I still breastfeed my 3 yrs old, and he really dont like to share his milk with his new brother I have to hide myself from him and breastfeed my baby all alone so I can have the especial time with him, but like I said its just no words for it sometimes yeah I want to run and be by myself but I know I can’t, and sometime just the bathroom breaks are like a mini vacations jajaja, but last you are not alone we do go crazy with the kids and like my mom said little kids little problems, bug kids bug problems but my without my babies probably my life will be boring.

Katerine says:

This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

Emma Heming Willis says:

I truly appreciate that.
I’m just wanting to connect with other parents and this blog is allowing me to. Thank you

Michelle Fox says:

Hi Emma , my main concern was, how was I possibly going to love another child as much as my first. This, however is quite a common question, and the answer is simply, you just do x

Emma Heming Willis says:

Yes plain and simple. No doubt. Thanks for your comment

Kelly Brake says:

I had my girls three years apart. I was also running a home-daycare business. My oldest always had to share my time so I thought it would be quite an easy transition for her. Not so. Her new sister was quite demanding and she never got picked up at home time like the other children did. It was a huge adjustment for all of us. I think the most difficult part for me was how much I loved both of my girls. I wanted to keep everything and every moment fair and equal for them. It took me some time and some soul searching to accept that each girl had her own needs and that a little extra attention to one in no way mean’t I loved the other less. I am happy to say that my girls adjusted to each other quite well. They are still very close. Katelin is 26 and Jessica is 23 now. My son came along when the girls were 12 and 9. Now THAT was a tough adjustment. On one hand I had an extra set of hands in the care of the new baby. On the other hand, to spite how much the girls loved their brother, they were jealous. We started all over again. Older and wiser but in an entirely different lifestyle. My son was the tag-along baby. The girls had committments and interests being older and the baby just came along. I felt so guilty that my time with him was divided that I would go into his room in the middle of the night just to watch him sleep. Even though I was blessed with this child who slept through the night, I’d wake him up just to cuddle him. I guess, to spite my worries (a Mom never stops worrying), things have worked out. My boy is almost 14. He is a polite, intelligent, compassionate boy. He’s well adjusted to spite having ‘three mom’s’. I learned so much raising my kids. Mostly I learned to trust my own instincts and to listen to my heart. As Mom’s we know our children best. Their needs are always considered first…no matter how old they are. Your children are beautiful. You are an awesome mother. Trust your self and your girls will blossom.

Kareem says:

An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I believe that you ought to write additional on this subject, it could possibly not be a taboo subject but usually folks aren’t enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

Emma Heming Willis says:

I appreciate that. For myself its important to be honest about these feelings as I know there has to be others that feel the same. Thanks for your comment

Adyoo says:

Beautiful blog.

Audrey says:

My journey of having 2 children didn’t quite goes as planned. I can’t imagine it ever really does. My first born -baby girl Alex- passed away a week after her birth. Tough times followed as one would imagine. Several years later I was blesses with my son… and the anxiety and fears for him were unbearable at times. It turned out that he needed far more from me then I would have planned for. But time, research and patience got us today. Fast forward to 3 years ago and I meet my now husband Andrew who had a 4 year old daughter :). I had my 2 children then. I could finally buy all of thoes pink clothes and dresses. It was a big adjustment for us all the become a family but as we sit for dinner and discuss our highs and lows (which I took from The story of us…many years ago) I feel blessed. All of the fears (am I doing this right), melt away. I’m blessed.

Emma Heming Willis says:

I’m very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. There’s many highs and lows throughout this journey and all are relevant. We are blessed x

Nicole says:

For such a young mom you have very wise thoughts on the reality of it all. It’s never like we imagine and with each added child more stress/guilt and organization required. I have 4 and need to divide my attention among them all and its a struggle. It takes a lot of work and maturity. When I had only 2 I was not as aware as you seem to be of the challenges and feelings I was experiencing

Emma Heming Willis says:

Wow thank you. That’s a high compliment coming from a mother of 4. I’ll take it 🙂 xx

Gina Thomas says:

I have three girls. 1st and 2nd are 16 months apart. It Definately was a challenge for us, as after I went back to work, I went to the night shift so I can be home all day with them. I don’t think I slept for a year. Then our 3 rd is two years behind the 2 nd. I look back now and wonder how We managed to handle it all. But we did and it’s great. They are so close in age and get along great. So happy for you and your family. They will be life long friends!!!

Emma Heming Willis says:

I thought 25 months apart was close but 16! Wow. I tip my hat off to you. Being at home with the kids and then working nights?! I don’t even know how you managed. But you just do. You just get on with it.
I’m thrilled for my girls. They are already partners in crime. I’m in for it!!!

cyndi says:

I think is a lot harder having 1, 2 kids because you have 2 eyes 2 ears and 2 hands, so 1 for each baby…so you think lol I was crying when I was in labor with my 2nd and my oldest was only 12 months old…now I have 8 children ages 22,21,20,18,17,7,2, & 1 …. lol I have to say it’s so much easier making the transition from 2 to 3 baby’s because th ey are playing with each other and they are wanting to “help” you with the younger ones and you see what a close relationship they have. ..I envied them because like you Emma, I also was a only child. I always wanted a huge family. .. as your kids grow so do you and from my first to my 8th I do things differently and each one wants their own time in their own way. You may feel you aren’t giving each enough undivided attention but one may live folding laundry with you while the other liked having a boom read or another likes laying on your lap watching movies…we as adults don’t think like they do so to them it’s pretty simple and they are easy to please lol just sit back and don’t blink because before you know it….they are graduating and leaving home m cherish every moment. ..you cannot ever give your baby’s to many kisses or hugs no matter how old they are lol
I love reading your blog…. thank you for sharing

Cyndi

Emma Heming Willis says:

I love your comments!! Thank you for this especially coming from a mom of 8!! It truly is the simple things that keep them happy. I know this time won’t be forever and I really try and stay in the moment of it. You should be writing your own blog so you can teach us a thing or two!! xx

Julie Simpson says:

I had my first in May of 2012, 15 months later (August 2013) we welcomed our second. Life was overwhelming & I was dealing with horrible postpartum. The transition was hard on everyone. Looking back now I wouldn’t change it for the world. The bond that my children share is incredible. What they teach each is something I could never. At the end of the day its family that brings you the greastest wealth.

Emma Heming Willis says:

I’m happy to hear you came out the other end of it. So true about what they teach us!
Thank you for sharing xxx

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