Motherload: Dividing attention
I wrote this post a few months ago, but as we go through another two week school vacation, I felt it so fitting to share with you all my thoughts and feelings that seem to reoccur. Having both kids at home, it can be a challenge to provide both of them with equal fulfillment and attention. I hope this piece inspires you and makes you feel understood and most definitely not alone.
I wasn’t quite sure how to start this post, but it is something that I am trying to 'get right' since Olivier was born, our second child. Something that drains my energy and tugs at my heart strings because I am unable to give each child my undivided attention, all the time.
Having two completely different personality children I have had to work extra hard to give them what they have needed, emotionally & physically.
Chloé never once showed jealously towards my growing belly when I was pregnant with Ollie. She took to my pregnancy very well. She had my undivided attention and although I thought I did, I hadn't prepared either of us for the changes that were ahead of us.
I breastfed Ollie so we tried to make this time fun-I would always have books & toys around so Chloé could join us during this time in order for her to not feel excluded. She would read and play. She would also mimic breastfeeding on her little doll. We tried to make the transition an easy one, trying to remove the word 'No' and not making a big thing about Ollie consuming my time and my arms. We had challenging times too, times when Riaan was away and both kids wanting my arms and attention, times when I felt depleted looking after two sick children, times when living abroad was super tough.
I'm positive every Mother experiences these similar situations. I think we all feel guilty that we are not doing enough, we are not giving enough of our time, we are reprimanding too much.
The beauty of being A Mother is that imperfection is our perfection. We are not one the same, therefore, we should never look at what another Mother does with disrespect. We are all trying to be The best version of ourselves for our children & our husbands/partners and living Motherhood and we need to uplift each other and encourage each other.
If I can give one pearl of advice I would encourage quality time when possible. I know this seems like a given, but in a world where time passes at the blink of an eye and our 'To-do-lists' are metres long, we need to stop what we are doing or what we have planned and give our undivided attention to our children, one at a time, when we can, as often as we can. Make it a priority.
This quality time means no phones, no toys, no money. Just you and your child in a place they feel most comfortable, with no distractions of other people or children. Talk to them, ask them how they feel, what makes them happy, what do they love to do. You may think you know the answers, but I assure you that you will be beautifully surprised. Connect with them, because in a world where days pass by and time is unpredictable, you will feel immense satisfaction and love.
Chloé recently started school and we were lucky enough to spend a few days together, just the two of us. I felt guilty that we had hardly done this since Olivier was born. Even though I know that our situation made it a challenge.
She loves the garden so we spent some time each day playing and talking, only. We did lots of walking, picking flowers and Toby loved us being in his ‘territory’. She exceeded all my expectations and she made me fall in love with being A Mother all over again. I think I stared at her in awe most of the time we spent together, but it was our 'perfect' and it allowed us to bond. She is a child who thrives on one-on-one time, like most.
I am lucky that I am able to spend a lot of quality time with Ollie. He too, is growing up at a rapid rate and before I know he will also be at school so savouring our moments together are of utmost importance.
It truly is the little things that bring about the biggest reward.
One Love from One Mama to Another.