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…..
Oh I totally relate to this, there’s just no way you can treat them both the same is there? But I love how well they get along now and I love that they’ve got each other, a built in bestie!
It’s good that they learn to share – and remember they have each other now too! #marvmondays
What you shouldn’t feel guilty about though is that you are giving them each other. They will have a constant playmate and best friend. They will understand each other in a way no one else can and they will love the experiences you let them share with you and together. I am only having one and I feel guilty about not giving J a brother or sister… I guess there is no way around it 🙂 #MarvMondays
I absolutely love this as I’m expecting baby #2 and I feel every single one of these emotions so strongly! Also, love the pic of your boys as I’m so sure I’m carrying another boy and imagining the two of them together makes it all feel worth it. Thanks for linking to #MarvMondays! Kaye xo
Great post Laura. It is hard. When with almost an 8 year age gap when we brought Poppy home I worried I was neglecting Ella. As she’s so independent it was easy to tell her to get on and do things while I fed Poppy, changed her nappy, washed up for the billionth time that day and I felt guilty too.
I’ve made sure we have time from cuddles and that she has cuddles and playtime with Poppy too.
I’m just over a year ahead of you Laura, in terms of life with two boys. My youngest recently turned two. I think the guilt is always there, different ways, different strengths. But just you watch that bond between the two of them grow this year. I’m sure they already love each other to bits. But as the baby starts to do more the big one will realise how much fun he can be. The sound of my two giggling at each other is still the best sound. Even tough it’s normally over farts. It makes all the guilt worth it. #effitfriday
I think we all suffer from mummy guilt! I only have one child, but I still feel guilty for wishing away these baby days sometimes, ie when she won’t sleep or just wants to chase the cat around the house all day. I feel guilty when I feed her food from a pouch, forget to sterilize her dummies or don’t take her to baby classes. I just have to remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can – we all are! #effitfriday
I felt so guilty when baby number two came along. I felt guilt for my eldest because I was just too tired during my pregnancy to do any thing with him and then when the baby came I spent so much time breast feeding I didn’t have time to do anything with him. He has since been diagnosed with a severe speech delay which I of course blamed myself for even though there was nothing I could have done ( turns out he has a chromosome disorder and probably autism too). I also felt guilty for my youngest because she I didn’t get to have lazy cuddles all day on the sofa. It was literally feed her and put her down to try and get some jobs in between. Man, those early days were hard. Actually it still is but at least I get to have a bit of one on one time with each of them now and in between that they have each other (whether they like it or not lol)
Ooh forgot to add – Thanks for hosting #effitfridays 🙂
I can’t relate to the sibling based guilt as I only have Oscar, but you’re right, I have guilt over every thing and anything else. It’s primeval, hard wired and meant to make us come back to the cave so the baby survived. We have so little control over that and that sucks. Happy birthday little one. And we’ll done you, you kept him alive for a year! Happy birthing day to you!
Ah, the guilt. It never leaves us. Ever.
But the other ladies who have commented are so right, Laura, your boys are happy as larry and are very lucky to have each other. The bond between siblings is something very special, despite the fact they will hate each other at times like mine do!
You’re right to ignore the cleaning, it will still be there and moments with your boys are far more important than claning the house…which they’ll only mess up in a matter of seconds anyway! Hehe!
Mummy guilt…the one thing I didn’t expect and it hits with full force. You are so right, it comes back in different forms over and over 🙁 #effitfridays
Back again from #effitfriday!x
I can indetify with this. So hard to get the balance and know if your doing OK. I hate mummy guilt filthy head I wish I could stab her away but she is permanently waiting around the corner to shout at me! X #effitFriday
Love this. Having two kids is the most guilt you’ll ever feel I’ve just written a post on it because I’m so torn on some days! Even before baby 2 was born I had to be dragged away from my son the day I was in labour. We made it to the hospital and half hour later she was born! Will it ever go away? I bet it doesn’t but at least we recognise it and try our best to make things equal x
I only have one child but I definitely still have the mummy guilt. I think it’s always there no matter what you do, and I’m also pretty sure that the vast majority of us are raising our kids just fine and don’t really need to worry. #effitfriday
Oh I totally relate. Why did nobody warn me about the guilt? I don’t think theres been a single day since I became a mum that I havent thought “I feel guilty” at LEAST once a day.
The second baby guilt was awful and the third baby has been worse again…I wonder how people with 5 children or more handle it coz that must get INTENSE! Thanks for hosting the linky @) x
I think we all have that parent guilt at one time or another. I have two children and definitely feel bad that my youngest has had to just fit into things, like coming along on the school run every day. Our days are based around her, they’re based around my son and at times I do feel bad about that. But, I see the bond between the two of them and know that they’re really lucky to have each other. x #TwinklyTuesday
So true, I felt that same mummy guilt too but now 2 years on I see how close they are and know that it is all worth it. I make sure that I have 1:1 with both of them and that makes me feel so much better. xx #TwinklyTuesdays
Awww thanks for sharing. It must have been so hard those early days. I only have one but planning on another and she already gets funny when i hold friends babies and she just say “me baby” #TwinklyTuesday
There is always a sense of guilt but hopefully over time it will change as sibling relationships form, build, develop and finally mature and you’ll be there to witness it all.
We’ve seen with our eldest a certain playing up as her baby sister gets the attention. It’s difficult for her to hear ‘yes, after we have fed / changed your sister’ when she wants something or just us NOW. We’re trying to handle it by having special one on one time (whilst the other takes on the other two!) for each of them.
Good luck and thanks for your honesty and sharing your feelings about this.