For about 22 months Eleanor and I had a club – just the two of us.
We spent 682 days just her and I. Together we navigated the early sleep-deprived days of infancy as I figured out how to be her mom and she figured out how to be my daughter. We reveled in the toddler stage filled with play dates, outings, and lazy afternoons doing whatever we pleased. And let’s face it, many, many trips to Target ;)
All of that changed when Everly entered the world, but to be honest, the change to our family structure and to Eleanor and my relationship wasn’t as dramatic as I had anticipated. While our pace may have slowed down, we still played make-believe, created art projects, and went on plenty of adventures – we just had a little bundle (and a big diaper bag) along for the ride.
In those first few months, life continued much like it always had. But I’m here to tell you that just shy of 1 year later, things are much different and my heart is filled with both grief and joy.
Everly’s BIG personality is coming out, and while it’s absolutely fantastic getting to know the sweet, energetic, curious person my youngest daughter is becoming, it’s totally changing the family dynamic. So even though Eleanor has “shared” her mama with her little sister for almost a year now, it’s finally feeling like the Eleanor/Mama club is coming to an end.
Words can’t express how much I love my sweet Everly, but I still find myself grieving the relationship Eleanor and I once had. It’s HARD to be torn between the wants and needs of two tiny people. I want to be 100% attentive to both of them, but as you can expect, that’s not always possible.
I say “just a minute” and “not right now” more than I ever imagined, and over the past year I have missed countless baths, bedtime stories, and nightly snuggles with Eleanor. I’m not always the first person she asks for, and that has been a tough pill to swallow.
The reasonable side of me knows that developing a deeper relationship with her dad is something to celebrate, but the emotional side of me wants to be her “person” for everything.
I know that our entire family dynamic will continue to evolve as both girls grow, so while the Mama/Eleanor era may have come to an end, I have so much to look forward to – just the THREE of us.