I'm no tight-rope walker, but I do perform a balancing act everyday. It's the challenge of giving each child the attention that they need, without making the other one feel left out. It's been almost 5 months, and I'm still trying to get the hang of it. Before I had 2 kids, I had no idea that it would be so hard. I always wanted to have 2 kids, and I thought "I'll definitely be able to love 2 kids - love isn't limited, it multiplies." And that's true - love is not limited. But time is. There's only so much time in each day, and you can only give so much of it to each child.
I realized last night that lately I have not been giving enough of my undivided attention to Annika. I realized how often in the last week or so I had been telling her "don't bug Emmett", "listen to me", "do I need to take away a toy?", etc. She's been acting out a bit, and I think it's because she's trying to get our attention (even negative attention is better than no attention, right?). We encountered this once before, and when we started giving her more time and (positive) attention, she started acting better.
It's tough, and it's not something that we do on purpose. I don't mean to focus more on Emmett, but he is a baby, and he does have a lot of needs still. Not only that, but he's at a stage where he's discovering new things and changing a lot, which is fun to see and I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to look back in a few years and feel like I missed out on Emmett's baby stages, because I was too busy with Annika. However, I need to remember that even though Annika is older and more independent, she still needs her mommy (and daddy). She still needs to feel special, and to feel loved. I need to continue working at my balancing act. I have a feeling that it is something that I will work at for the rest of my life.