Sunday, March 25, 2012

Second Child Guilt

I found out I was pregnant with my little E-man the day after R’s first birthday. I already knew I was pregnant because of the bodily changes I had noticed in myself, but I decided to keep the birthday just about my daughter and delay taking the pregnancy test until the next day.
My initial feelings were panic and guilt. The panic soon turned to joy, but the guilt remained. I felt like I was ruining my daughter’s toddlerhood. During my pregnancy, I was not always capable of keeping up with my spirited child’s needs and wants- just being bigger slowed me down physically and the tiredness slowed me down mentally.
I was very anxious about the arrival of our son. So many other mothers had suggested that two children under two would be incredibly difficult to handle. A lot of them said that I would spend much of the first year crying and being at my wit’s end.
My beautiful son was born and I had to be away from my daughter for two days. I hated it so much! Because I had a c-section, I was unable to pick my daughter up for almost four weeks. I felt like a horrible mother. I felt like I had done such an awful thing to my daughter- bringing home a new baby and being physically unable to hold her or do much of anything.
R had quite a rough time adjusting at first. However, she overcame it relatively quickly and seemed to genuinely love her little brother, despite all of the extra attention he was getting. She would sit next to him and read him books or bring him toys. She loved holding him and snuggling with him.

The first year with both kids turned out not to be that bad at all. I hit big bumps in the road at times, trying to figure out the logistics of meeting both children’s needs in our attachment style of parenting. I let R watch way too much TV, especially during the first few weeks postpartum. But I actually enjoyed it. So much so that I would definitely do it again if given the choice.
I still have days where I feel guilty. R doesn’t get 100% of my attention at all times and neither does E. Sometimes I feel as though I am depriving them of something. However, then I look over at them and I see how much they love each other- genuinely, without anyone ever having suggested to them that they should. They have a very special connection that is beyond anything that we as parents could give them. And so, I have come to the conclusion that we are a very lucky family because everything worked out just the way it should for us, even though I sometimes wish I could make a clone of myself.

1 comment:

  1. I completely went thru something like this. Found out I was pregnant a couple weeks after my son's first birthday. I was in denial and beyond depressed and upset. The fact that I physically felt horrible made it that much worse and I was soo sad that I couldn't take my son to do things cuz i didn't want to get off the couch for the first 3 to 4 months. It has been extremely difficult raising the two of them (my son is CRAZY, or just has crazy energy - either way), but so wonderful at times. I love the way they play together already and she is only 8 months old. I really look forward to them having each other to play with over the early years. So it all worked out, for the most part. :)