What patterns do we carry within us as parents? How were we ourselves as a child, how did we perceive our own parents? Mama Caro writes about this in her wonderful and clever guest post:
Even as a small child I answered the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with the sentence: "I want to be like my mum!". For me, this statement implied that I would later have many children and that I would always be there for them at any time of the day or night.
My mum really sacrificed herself for us five siblings, with passion and out of love. My dad was the main breadwinner in the conservative role distribution and my mom was at home for all of us.
For me, she was the person who dried tears, cared for me at night when I had a high fever and calmed me down lovingly, listened to our experiences at lunch for two hours after school and also the person whose proud face I always noticed first when I ran onto the stage at a ballet performance full of excitement.
There wasn't a situation where I needed her and she wasn't there.
There he is. The lump in your throat. I know we're about to put both kids to bed. I say "we" but if I'm being honest with myself I think I put our two kids to bed. How come?
My husband is on parental leave with me for 3 months and that is pure luxury! We can share the tasks.
So why the queasy feeling in your stomach, coming straight into the situation of not doing justice to both girls?
I think about my understanding of our role as a parent and I realize: I transfer my childish need for my mother to our children.
Maybe my big one is totally happy to be accompanied to sleep by her dad, with whom she spends the whole day anyway while I take care of the baby in childbirth. My husband is the most sensitive person I could imagine for our children. He senses in detail what the girls need and manages to take away their worries and fears with so much calm and serenity. At this point we are the best team. To 100%.
Through this brooding over my needs as a child to my mother, I realized: My children are not me.
I have to give space and I can trust. To let the bond between my older daughter and her dad, which is full of love and security, grow and shine with strength and full of responsibility.
Through this realization I feel less burden on my shoulders and open my eyes to the potential of my husband. A second baby pushes you to the limits of your relationship with your first child... but I get the feeling we're all growing - and that's good.