If you’re a parent, you have already experienced different forms of guilt. Sometimes it feels like it comes with the job description. When I gave birth to my second child, Jessica, just 16 months after having my son, Robbie, my guilt went into overdrive. When you bring home a new baby to her sibling, sometimes that means double the guilt. You feel guilty about your older child…What are you doing to your little best friend? Are you taking away his mummy time? Is he simply going to feel like a helper to you with the new baby?
If that’s not enough, you will inevitably feel guilty about the new baby. Your latest addition will have to be toted all around, regardless of her nap schedule. You can’t devote 24/7 to reading every book on sleep, poop and early admissions to college like you did for your first.
Some things I try to remember to help ease the guilt:
This is an opportunity for your older child. Your first born will get the chance to share her toys, your attention and the family’s space. This is not such a bad thing. These are valuable lessons for her to take into school and beyond.
There are perks for the baby too. Your newborn will grow up in a world where people share and take turns. Many parents say that the second child is naturally more easy going than the first. And you won’t have to read a book on how to make that happen! Your youngest child will have special time with you once your older child starts school. And he may even be more appreciative of the time you can give him because he instinctively knows that mum has lots of jobs.
You can be more flexible to make your life easier. What does it matter if the baby naps in the car as you drive your eldest to football practice? Isn’t it a good thing that you put less pressure on yourself about a perfectly clean house and pat yourself on the back for making it through the day?!
Walk away from the guilt gremlin. If guilty feelings start creeping in, remember that these negative thoughts don’t help you find an extra hour in the day. Mothers are notoriously hard on themselves and all the angst still doesn’t get the laundry done.
Feel it and move on. Every parent feels guilty at some point. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you are guilty. Your children are lucky to have a parent who cares enough to want the best for her children.
This post was writen by April Paine. April is an American living in England and the co-author of The ABCs of Baby #2: Tips, Hints & Real Mum Advice for Celebrating the Arrival of Your Second Child, now available on Kindle, itunes and Sony Reader.
Photo: flickr.com/photos/stephenr/1317897186/Filed under Parenting Advice, Parenting Babies, Parenting Information | Comment (0)