It’s birthday week for the Baby, my little squishy newborn is turning ONE on Saturday.
Last year, days after I brought the Baby home from the hospital I wrote a post on how I was feeling. When I was full of hormones, full of love for our new squishy baby, full of fear of bringing someone new into the Big Ones life, just full of fear. Full.
Reading this a year on, those emotions flood back, but then I look at my boys. And I know that it was just a phase, a time to get through. That this too shall pass. It did. We’re all here to tell the tale.
Everything was worth it.
The mummy guilt subsides, before rearing it’s ugly head again, then subsides. Coming back in different forms in different levels, depending on the day. And it comes in waves for BOTH of them. Some days it’s guilt for not spending enough time with the Big One, other days it’s guilt that the Baby doesn’t have the same opportunities that the Big One did.
However, at the time I couldn’t see a way past the guilt. Of how I was going to carve out a new routine, a new family dynamic. I just hoped that it would happen eventually.
And it has. Every day might be a new learning curve but it’s a journey that we’re taking together.
So without further ado, my hormone filled ramblings of a new mother to two.
The Mummy Guilt When You Take Home Your Second Baby
With my first baby I cried a lot in the early days. I didn’t feel sad as such, I just had a lot of emotions going through me and sometimes being overwhelmed they spilled out in the form of tears.
Baby wouldn’t latch, I sobbed.
Baby wouldn’t sleep, I sobbed.
Baby quite contentedly lay on me snuggling, I sobbed.
It’s fair to say I wiped a few tears off my now toddlers head when he was born.
I was expecting the same this time, however there has been no sobbing. This time I’ve been plagued by an entirely different emotion.
I feel guilty that my toddler, so used to 1:1 time with mummy now has to share me with his baby brother. Which I know is irrational and by giving him a baby brother I have given him someone to gang up with on me. But it doesn’t stop those feelings.
I feel guilty that baby boy won’t get the same quality of 1:1 time that the toddler had. No organic purees in our future. Sharing me always. Again, I do know this is irrational as it will be all he has ever known but still I feel guilty.
I feel guilty for every time I shout at the toddler when he pushes my buttons after I’ve been up in the night feeding. It’s not his fault I’m sleep deprived. He is just busy being a normal inquisitive toddler.
I feel guilty for resenting the time it takes to feed a newborn in the night. He doesn’t know any better, he just wants to be with mummy and feeding and snuggling. Not in his Moses basket.
I feel guilty being zombie like with my husband once the boys are sleeping. He understands and is as much as a zombie as me but I still feel like I should do more with him than roll over and grunt. The art of conversation is a little bit lost in our house.
In a strange way I feel guilty that the tears aren’t there, that somehow I am less emotional this time. Though I know the tears were mostly irrational last time.
Even though I have all these guilty feelings, at least this time I know that this too will pass, that I won’t feel guilty every day and I will look back and miss these early days.
Maybe that’s why the tears haven’t come. Maybe I am busy focussing on trying to live in the moment so they haven’t had time to come.
And that’s ok too.
Every experience is obviously different. No tears doesn’t mean less of a bond. A bit of extra TV for the toddler doesn’t mean I am neglecting his need for attention. Both my boys love me the way I am.
That is my focus, now and for always. To continue being the world’s best mummy in their eyes, which simply means being mummy. Guilt or no guilt. We will get there.
Now I’m off to have snuggles with both my boys, watching Bob the Builder, while the house falls round down my ears. I’ll ignore the guilty voice that says tidy up because my boys won’t be babies for long. Maybe this guilt thing will be over with soon…..