The Second Time Around…

A second blog in just a few days – lucky you!

I had a fantastic coffee date this morning with a close friend whom I have really  missed while I was on holidays. It was wonderful to catch up, have our three-year-olds play quietly together, and snuggle her brand new baby. We got to talking about a topic that is currently a big deal to me and we agreed that it wasn’t something commonly discussed, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the issue.

Today’s topic is having a second child and Mommy Guilt.

 

When I was pregnant with Monkey there were several things I often thought about:
What would my child me like?
Would I be a good Mom?
What kind of parents would Hubby and I be together as a team?
How would our pets react to a baby?
How would I handle the pain of childbirth?

I think those are fairly common first time Mommy thoughts and concerns and they were topics I felt comfortable discussing with many other friends and Mommies.

The thoughts that keep me up at night this time around are both very similar and wildly different:
What will my child be like?
Will I be a good Mom to more than one child?
How will Hubby and I handle this as a team?
How will Monkey react to the baby?
Will Monkey suffer as a result of my inability to prioritize him all the time?
Can I possibly love Jellybean as much as I love Monkey?
Will Jellybean suffer because I can’t devote myself to him the way I could to Monkey when he was an infant?

Have we made a mistake?

Throughout the last 8 months there have been times when, understandably, I think, I have not had the patience for Monkey that I usually have. Many times, in fact, when I know he has done nothing wrong but I hear myself snap at him and the instant the words are out of my mouth and the look of hurt appears in his eyes I feel this overwhelming sense of regret and guilt. There are times when I force myself to articulate to him that I am feeling frustrated because I’m tired from growing the baby and so Mommy needs a little time out for herself so I can calm down and feel happy again. I am so grateful that he doesn’t mind but I feel bad that we watch so much TV lately because I don’t have it in me to play Hide and Seek or build huge towers or run and play outside. Then, when we are snuggled up peacefully in our new cozy recliner or in bed in the evening, I feel twice the guilt I felt during the day because I know I have most arguably the most perfect child that has ever been created and I know that in a month and a half our whole family dynamic will change forever and I worry if maybe I shouldn’t have messed with our perfect little family and we should have just left it at the three of us.

When I have mentioned these concerns to others I am typically offered some words of sympathy and kindness intended to make me feel better. Knowing that Monkey and Jellybean will be almost four years apart is somewhat comforting because Monkey is becoming a very independent child. He is incredibly excited about the baby coming and is looking forward to being a big brother. I know I am giving him the gift of a sibling and that some time not long from now they will be best buddies and playmates. I know Hubby and I have lots of love to give and share and that love multiplies and doesn’t divide.

I know.
But these ‘facts’ don’t help. Nothing really does. I think the only thing that will do any real good is to have this baby and let time do its work.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my honest thoughts and feelings about being a military wife and a Mom as well as whatever other types of topics cross my  mind. In an age of Pinterest Moms (don’t get me wrong, I l-o-v-e pinterest and have done a good many of those activities with Monkey) and Super Moms and women who make everything look so easy all the time, I am purposely making myself vulnerable. I want to shed light on this so that we can support each other and help each other feel normal and validated. Offering a bazillion different points of advice isn’t always helpful. Saying, “That sucks, I feel ya” always is.

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