Having a balance with more than one child is never easy, and before I had my second daughter, I would look at other women with multiple kids thinking they had everything together. I judged a book by its cover without even knowing their truth or what was sacrificed. No matter how tired you are, how frustrated or overwhelmed you are, when it comes to your children, you must have the perfect balance. Each child wants to feel seen and heard and as a parent, you must find a way to tend to that need, but should it cost you your peace? The challenge is making sure each child feels special even when you don’t have much to give to yourself.
Before Aniya came along, it was just Amilyah and I and even though I had a demanding job, I had no problem with balancing. I had time to work, hang out with Milly and even had time for self-care. I was even in school and still had no major problems. I was building the relationship that I wanted with my daughter and things seemed to be falling into place. Amilyah had me all to herself and because she was the only child, there was no need to “share me.” Even when I called myself dating, I always had time and room for my daughter. Who would have known that when she turned ten things would change. I found myself struggling as a single parent with two children. Having time for my girls became a real hassle and more than often, I caught myself giving my oldest daughter the short end of the stick.
Having a newborn is very demanding and when you have little to no help, it’s mentally taxing. At this point in my life, I find myself drowning in tears because the need of my mother and grandmother is so great. I would be up all night with Love Bug, and it seemed the moment she would fall asleep, it’s time to get up and help Amilyah get ready for school. I must commend my daughter because she is very understanding of my situation when it comes to caring for her and her sister and it breaks my heart for her to see me like this. Even when I’m dead tired and she wants to watch a movie, I must find ways to be available for Amilyah. In the beginning, I remember telling her, “Not right now,” or “Later we can,” but after a while, I saw how that was changing her. Being vigilant to your children is very important, my daughter went from being very cheerful to looking like something was wrong. I will admit, at times I feel very defeated, like I’m failing as a mother, I didn’t have time for my daughter anymore and it was obvious. We went from going out to eat and hanging with one another to her helping me raise a child I have with a guy I never should have slept with. My daughter was crying out for me, and I didn’t know what to do. She wanted to spend time with me, and I was busy with her sister and wanting to sleep. How I was handling the situation was not fair to her and I needed to change that. Lord knows how much I prayed for a solution and only He knows my desire to spend genuine time with her. I needed balance and I needed strength to turn things around to let her know that even though her little sister requires a lot, she’s important too and time for her I will make.
Over time I noticed a behavioral change in Amilyah, and it really concerns me. She is beginning to do things and act in a manner that I know I didn’t raise her in. Now there is no excuse for bad behavior but there certainly is a cause and I know what the causes are. The problems I’m having with my 11-year-old is a result of her losing her grandmother, great-grandmother, and our dog and to top it off, she feels like she is losing her mother to her little sister. My plan is to fight past whatever frustration I feel; instead of sleeping whenever I can, I ask Milly if it’s any movie she wants us to watch, and I enjoy hearing the happiness in her voice when she answers yes! I also find myself reaching out to close friends and cousins to watch Love Bug while Amilyah and I have a day out and I must say… it’s very rewarding. My daughter is older, and things are changing with her, and I need moments and time to connect. She’s important as well and I need for her to know that. Am I tired? Yes! But I must make sure all needs of my children are met before anything else. I’m human and I’m still learning this mom thing but trust me when I say my hat is off to any parent struggling to balance more than one child. It's not easy bur just know we can do it and it’s something we can overcome.