Same woman and 2 totally different experiences. Motherhood the 2nd time round is a revelation.
Trying to have have my first daughter was quite a journey. An abnormal reproductive system which led to a Consultant believing that I was unlikely to successful carry a child (news delivered by letter and received the day before my wedding!) combined with subsequent multiple miscarriages meant it was a difficult time.
Becoming a mum back then was filled with so much gratitude and wonder for even being in the very privileged position of being someone’s mama. That coupled with having time. I didn’t realise it back then but being in my corporate role with a cosy maternity package it meant I had a just over a year off and during that time I was able to fall deep into the baby bubble and it was lovely. Interestingly, it also ignited my long-held desire to have my own business and so I started freelancing once my daughter was about 9 months old. This was the catalyst to a whole new path opening up for me.
Second time round I am a different person. The gratitude remains but now I have also found and am living in my purpose. They say that starting your own business is the biggest personal development journey you can go on and they aren’t wrong. My increased confidence, knowledge and comfortableness with who I am, the stretching and shifting I have done since baby no 1 from living outside of comfort zones to connecting more deeply with my spirituality has meant that walking into motherhood with baby 2 has been a profound and revelatory experience. On a more practical level, I took 8 weeks maternity leave this time round!
As happy as I was in my baby bubble of number 1, if you had told me that this is where I would be are number 2 I would never have believed you. In fact, back then, I didn’t even think number 2 and everything I’ve built was even a possibility!
I’m not going to sugarcoat it though, mothering 2 is stretching, it is certainly a tale of 2 halves. Someone asked me the other day how I feel. And I responded ‘like Flash,’ obvs they thought I had lost it and I went on to explain. Do you remember the old-school toys, they were rubber super-heroes that stretched? My daughter has the character Flash and has been known to stretch him from one end of the room to the other, that is a living metaphor for how I feel sometimes. Trying to look after everyone at the same time is a lot.
Sometimes (often) I don’t know whether I am coming or going and the tiredness is another level. Yet I feel more equipped to deal with it. I rely on my mindset tools of journaling and meditation which is usually 5 mins slotted into spaces within my week. As well as having a solid support system of women who get it has been invaluable too.
I also feel more relaxed second time round. I kind of know what I’m doing and its nice not having the first time nerves. The age gap helps tremendously too, there’s almost 6 years between them and that works well for me.
Baby number 2 has completed our family when I didn’t know it was incomplete. We were fine, rocking along, happy and healthy. Yet baby number 2 feels like she has come along and been the seal on the deal, solidifying us as a unit and completing us.
Motherhood this time round feels like it has evolved along with life and the culmination of all my experiences means that although I am the same woman, I’m also not.