Can I Love Another Child the Same?
Published on: February 15, 2021
When pregnant or thinking about having another baby, we often ask ourselves if we will be able to love each child equally.
By Sadef Chhotani
Love has many forms even if it is channeled out from one person to different people. We can never pick a favorite but some children do need their mother more so how can we distribute our love equally to all our children?
I once asked my mother this and her reply has stuck with me ever since.
She said “If I asked you to choose between each of your eyes or hands or fingers would you be able to choose one and say that you don’t care about the other? No, right?”
My children are like my body parts. Each of them is equally needed and loved because without any one of them I will be handicapped.” I didn’t think much more of it then.
When my older daughter was born I thought I could never love anyone that much. As she grew, my love for her grew more. At times I became possessive but I do not regret it as she is and always will be my most loved. At that time, I questioned — how will I be able to give another child the same amount of love?
I often had this conversation with my husband and he always calmly replied that it is quite normal and that I could love another child. Soon I got pregnant again and this question began to haunt me and caused sleeplessness.
Loving equally but in different ways
When my second daughter was born I couldn’t explain the amount of warmth and love that emerged from my heart when I held her. I felt like I had become a mom for the first time all over again — the same love but designed differently.
As the days went by, I started to realize that as parents we love all of our kids but to love them equally is shaped according to who they are.
I learned that we need to understand that each child communicates differently. To love them equally we need to understand their communication style. Some kids are more verbally expressive verbally and others more with their actions. Some kids love to hug and kiss and tell you how much they love you while some are shy and express their feelings through their actions. They’ll do small things for you or help to ease your load.
It’s like filling up different shaped glasses of water with equal amounts. The liquid in each of them is the same but true to their shape and size they may appear different. Obviously, if you have a newborn it can be a bit challenging because only the older kid will communicate with words.
Express love according to each child’s needs
With time and patience, we can understand the language that our little one speaks. One of the many things I have observed to make your children feel loved equally is to spend time with them the way they want you to. After my second baby, I do not get much free time, and when I do get time I rather just be with myself or sleep. But being conscious that my older kid may feel a little less loved and ignored because of the baby made me start spending time with her the way she wanted. She loves to do arts, crafts, and girly stuff like painting nails and doing her doll’s hair. She also loves to talk about her school and friends and whatever fills her mind. So I began doing what she wanted and noticed that even with less alone time with each other she was super happy. Kids need attention and if you give them that then they feel loved, secure and special.
Build bonds between siblings
Another important thing to make kids feel equally loved is to create a loving bond between siblings. Ever since I was pregnant I involved my eldest in the process of preparing for the baby. This way she felt super important and once the baby arrived I made sure to involve her in things like selecting baby clothes or letting her push the stroller when out for walks. She loves to cuddle her sister and feed her bottles. Now I also see that my little one recognizes her sister and responds to her more and with a big smile. When her big sister returns from school and screams “Hi!” the little one will turn her head to follow the sound and will shake her legs in excitement to see her favorite playmate.
The trust we put in her with the baby is what I’ve noticed makes her feel so much more loved, important and mature and helped in creating love between the siblings. I think that not involving and pushing away the older one would only create jealousy between the two.
I have also realized that kids are a bit sensitive towards presents so whenever we buy something for the little one like a diaper bag we would always buy something for the older one even if just something small like a pencil or a small little notebook. This way she knew she wasn’t unimportant or feeling ignored.
Navigate all the emotions
As a mother, it’s not easy balancing the love between kids with a big age gap. The arrival of a newborn can be tiring and along with the mother experiencing postpartum emotions the older child also goes through a massive shift of emotions. The trick is to be patient as the older child may become whiny and stubborn when they want your full attention. It helps to remind them how loved they are and this helps to lessen the jealousy that exists between the kids and grows a stronger bond between them.
All mothers love all their children equally though they might express it differently depending on each child’s needs. Reacting differently to each kid doesn’t at all mean that one is more favored than the other. Some kids need mom more, while some are more independent. But deep down both moms and kids know they are each other’s world with a special connection since before birth.
About the Author
Sadef is from Pakistan and is married to a Thai-Paki. She has been living in Bangkok for the past 10 years, along with their two daughters. She previously worked in the fashion industry as a women’s apparel designer and fashion merchandiser. Her passion for reading and writing since childhood has pulled her to BAMBI News. An artist at heart, she loves to paint in her spare time. She enjoys traveling, weekly visits to Sephora and is a big foodie.
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