I'll love you...tomorrow. maybe.
That magical moment when your child is born, you finally get to hold your baby, feel the innocence of the world, the perfection of humanity, and then everything feels right with the world. It is that point in time that you look at your little one, you know you two are connected, and you just ooze with love...
Or so you're told.
There is a reality where that scenario is not always what happens. As a mother, I experienced the scene above with my first. With my second, not so much. We had a rough start to our relationship. It started at pregnancy; it felt wrong. I was sick the entire pregnancy, and every time I made that bathroom trip, I couldn't help but think "this is it, he's not going to make it." But he did. I don't know how to describe how I felt after he was born beside using the word foreign. He was beautiful, innocent, but I didn't feel the "magical" connection. The emotions that I had with my first were not there with my second. No happy tears, no weird dreams, nothing, it was rather emotionless. Roughly three days after we came home, we discovered his "acid reflux" which ended up being severe food allergies. Once we were getting things normal, he did the unexpected. Tiny took a liking to my husband. Anytime he would cry or need to be held; he chose dad. As much as I loved seeing their bond, deep down I was jealous. "I was supposed to be his first love. I was supposed to be the one who soothed his cries. It's supposed to be me." I wasn't. I remember nights crying and saying to myself "just love me dammit!", I was doing all this work and felt no love. I felt like a failure. What bond I was hoping to form felt like it was never going to happen.
EVERYTHING was different, and it still is different. I love my child; he is genuinely my mini-me. There is nobody that will ever love my child more than I do, but our love is different. As a human, it is hard to not to compare one to another. It was hard not to ask myself "why is he like this when Kasen wasn't?" As a parent you learn that no two children are alike. Tiny and little man are very different, in every aspect. It took a while for me to accept this, but once I did, that is when our relationship started. As a mother, I had to let go of the famous "milestones" standard. Little Man was always ahead, or on time with every measured milestone, yet Tiny lagged. Instead of harping on a norm, I embraced it. I saw it as I had more time with my baby. That delay allowed more time for curiosity to bloom, more time for those little moments I still hold dear to my heart. What every parent wants, more time and I was given that.
Tiny develops differently than little man not just regarding the baby/toddler milestones, but both physically and mentally. I learned to appreciate their different attributes. Not just appreciate their differences but understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and finding what gives them their drive. I can tell just by their posture when Tiny needs mommy vs. when Little Man needs mom. Little man is my cautious child. While Tiny is my independent and st(ubborn)rong child. The one who looks at you while doing something he knows he shouldn't, just to see your reaction. The one who is always wanting to be in the garden, and then throws a tantrum when he has to come inside. The one that can read you like a book, but always gives you the most prolonged and biggest hugs he possibly can. He is perfect
Not every mom has that instant bond. Great for those do, but for those that don't, it isn't wrong. You aren't alone. Not instantly feeling that bond does not make one a bad mother. Each child, each relationship is unlike the other. It took awhile for me to accept this, but once I did, my world expanded. My boys are something special; both different, but both equally as perfect. Most importantly, equally loved.
"Motherhood has made me a much better person. I see everything from a new perspective - with a sense of wonderment." ~ Juhi Chawla