Every time, right before a new baby comes to our house, I get this ridiculous mommy guilt. It’s hormones because my mind knows these guilt feelings are stupid. I know how great a new sibling in the family is – I’ve only ever prayed God would give my children more! But it seems each time, I have some moments of sadness over stupid stuff. I write this out so I remember. So I can tell Callie & my daughters-in-law someday that they are normal & I totally understand.
Right before Callie was born, I remember crawling into bed for a nap with little Nate & just crying, knowing full well this new baby would be one of the greatest things in Nate’s life forever, yet feeling I hadn’t spent enough time cuddling him yet, letting him know how much I loved him & how special he was. Heavens! Do you know how much this little guy had been gazed upon!? He was the first grandbaby on both sides & we lived in a foreign country where EVERYONE “ohh”ed & “ahh”ed over him wherever we went. Yet I still had those feelings, as irrational as they were. I felt like my special one-on-one time with him was slipping away, never to return.
The biggest thing I remember about Callie was taking her upstairs to our room on her first birthday & nursing my sweet little girl for the last time. I love nursing, but we had decided one year is enough & was a good time to end it. By that point with us, they are only nursing for fun (snuggle time) anyway. With Nate, being the first, I just nursed because I always knew that’s what I wanted for my children. But with Callie, I had come to know how special that bonding time that comes with nursing is & sat with her & cried that it was over already.
Now with Anders, the child God has given me the most time as my baby so far, it seems the guilt is coming from, oddly enough, mostly the first two! So often lately I have thought back to when Nate was a baby & realized how unique he was & at the time I didn’t have a clue or relish those uniquenesses because he was my first & I didn’t know it was Nate…I thought that was babies. Does that make sense? Like the awesome way he, at mere days old, would stare up at me with those huge blue eyes & make me feel like I was the center of the universe – greatest Mom in the world. I thought all babies looked at their mommas like that. But now I’m realizing, he had a special way of doing that. (He still does actually – when I tuck him in, he often tells me I’m a great Mom, no matter how crummy a day it’s been. What a guy!!)
I feel really badly about Callie because I didn’t get that much snuggle time with her before Anders came along. I can’t really remember snuggling with her at nap time like I did the other two even though I’m sure I did. That makes me feel horrible! But, I do know she’s the one of all the children so far, being that she’s my girl, will have lots of special times together just her & me as she grows up.
As far as guilt over Anders, it’s mostly just that I haven’t done the preschool fun stuff with him I did with the older two. But, I also know that I started plenty early with the other two & Anders is not “behind”, despite my lesser efforts with him. Also, he has the other two to listen in on lessons, so he has experienced in some ways more than the older ones. And to top that off, the reason he hasn’t done playdough, paints, etc. like the others is because he has proven to be completely untrustworthy to do those things without being a nut!! So sorry, Buddy, no guilt there.
Guilt. It comes with motherhood. Sometimes it’s real, but you have to know that often times it’s just hormones. And right before the next child joins the family is one of those times the guilt comes flooding in, at least for me. Just keep telling yourself what you know is absolute truth… this new baby will bring more joy & love to each & every member of the family. But know you’ll find something new to feel guilty about with this one when the time comes. It’s normal!!