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It’s no secret that I spent a lot of my pregnancy with Hux worrying about… well… my life with Hux. I was terrified, TERRIFIED, about being a mother of two. So much so that I didn’t enjoy the pregnancy as much as I should have done, regardless of that 6 month ill-fest I endured.
I remember not only being knee-quakingly worried about looking after two children under two at once but also very hesitant about how my heart would fare. I love Elfie so much, I wondered how on earth there would be room for more love. These worries were probably in part down to how long it had taken me to get that thunderbolt of love with Elf, though luckily it happened much sooner with Hux. Despite not being thrilled at the idea of having a boy I fell in love with him HARD.
After Hux came home I felt such a relief; he’s always been a good baby so my worries about juggling two kids went out the window. Though now he is an enthusiastic army crawler with a penchant for putting dirty potties on his head life is a bit tougher, but hey, I’m not breastfeeding any more so wine is a viable relaxation tool.
Hux has fully established himself in the lives of not just me, but his dad, his grandparents and sister. We have our routines, our nicknames, our games. We all rub along together very nicely and it’s only now that I’m starting to think about the relationships we all share. And it’s funny that, although I used to worry that when Hux came along I might not be able to love him as much as Elfie, I never used to think about what would come next. Once I was no longer worried about making room for him in my heart I didn’t think about our evolving relationships 6 months or a year down the line.
Because the truth is that the relationship I have with my children is quite different. I love them both til the ends of the earth but the love I feel for one is not the same as the one I feel for the other.
When Elfie was younger I was a bit scared of her. We went through so much with her illness and diagnosis… I feel like I backed off a bit when she was so poorly. I didn’t want to lose her, I didn’t want to be heartbroken.
Hux has always been different. He’s a total mummy’s boy, happiest in my arms, being toted around on my hip, with my nose on his. He loves anything I do and thinks I am absolutely hilarious (that makes one person). Each time I pick him up he does this little wriggle and chuckle of happiness and snuggles onto my shoulder and I swear it makes my heart sing. It’s divine.
On the other hand my relationship with Elfie is slightly trickier. I love her no less than Hux but she is very headstrong, more volatile with her emotions. I had the happiest hour yesterday on the sofa talking and reading with her, spending most of the time sniffing the top of her head (childless people: there is nothing like the smell of your kid’s head), but she’s a difficult one. If she spends a long amount of time with her daddy she will return home to me and be 100% her Daddy’s girl. Daddy has to do EVERYTHING. Ditto with Grannie. Fine with me when there is poo involved but in other situations it does make me a little sad. For example, one lazy morning in our bed she hugged Will and said “I love daddy” and I asked if she loved mummy too. She said “no, me just love daddy”. Waaah!
But then this morning she snuggled up under my armpit, totally unprompted and said “Mummy, I love you soooooooo much”.
See? Totally fickle.
I get it, she’s a girl, we have complex emotions. God knows I’m as fickle as they come. But faced with the undying, unconditional love I get from Huxley, it is sometimes hard that she pushes me away.
But then we walk hand-in hand for a bit and I give her head a good old sniff and all is forgotten. No matter how much she tells me she would rather not eat my slaved-over spaghetti or she wants a hug only from her grandma and not from mummy my feelings don’t change. I love her just as much as my mummy’s boy.
Having kids has taught me so much but one of the most important lessons has been about love. Pure, wonderful, unconditional love that you have only for your children; the love for your husband that grows and evolves as he becomes a father; the love for your own parents and the family you married in to. It’s a lovely, scary, humbling, heartwarming lesson.