I find that ever since Maggie was born my patience with my older daughter has been so little that it's barely existent. Tonight was the single worst night of my life as a parent. I completely flipped my lid on Lia. I feel like Lia has received the short end of the stick when it comes to my patience, attention, humor, gentleness, enthusiasm, you name it, and I've neglected it with regard to her--for the last SEVEN months.
This is what I feared most about having multiple children--that inevitable favoring or better treatment of one child over the other. And what makes it worse is that you feel it in your soul. Everything about your interaction is feigned. It's like you're trying so hard to be patient or kind with one when it comes so easily with the other.
I rationalize by telling myself that I'm like this because Maggie's just a baby and perhaps she just sucks up so much of my attention and warmth that I'm drained by the time Lia comes around. And perhaps it's true, but that doesn't excuse how harsh I can be toward Lia. She's just a little girl too, and I'm completely convinced that this is a critical period in Lia's life and I'm totally messing her up.
I need to pray more. I need God to intervene. I need to fill myself up with so much of his love and grace that I'm overflowing like a fountain and covering both of my girls!
Tomorrow Lia and I had planned a mommy/ daughter date, and I hope it goes well. But I once read this quote that said something like "you can't damage your relationship with your child with one bad day, but you can't fix a relationship with only one good day." And I totally agree. If tomorrow goes perfectly well, it will only be one day-a drop in the bucket- compared to the many bad days!