It’s self-imposed. No one is wagging a finger at me except myself. When I became a mother I set my expectations high. I expected a lot of myself. I haven’t met them all every day but I’m generally happy with how my career as a mother has gone. I am working on cutting myself some slack & allowing myself to believe that I’m doing a good job.
When I look at my son these days, I have moments when I am nearly overcome with feelings of guilt. Guilt that I’m not playing with him enough or doing enough with/for him, or that I lose my temper too quickly because I’m tired, I’m achy, I’m dealing with yet ANOTHER bout of “false labor,” and sometimes I just need to get a few things done. Guilt that very soon he’ll have to learn, way too quickly, that he now splits his mommy-time with another, very needy, little guy & I can’t be at his every beck & call.
I was a good mom of one. I provided many fun learning experiences for Buddy. We read all the time. There were arts & crafts, park play dates, field trips, library trips, and countless questions answered. Oh so many questions answered. We snuggled, we danced, we cooked together. Every time Buddy tells me he loves me or runs to me & asks me to hold him or needs me to kiss his boo-boos away, it’s validation that I’m doing something right.
I’ve tried to prepare Buddy for what’s about to come, but how do you really, truly prepare a 3-year-old for receiving a new sibling? My husband & I have each had little heart-to-hearts with him (as much as you can with a 3-year-old anyway.) We want him to know that things will be different but we still love him so much! We want him to know that sometimes he’ll hear us say “not right now” or “in just a minute” if we are taking care of something for his brother but that we’re not ignoring him. We want him to know that he will be included! It’s amazing how many ideas he has of his own of ways he can help with his brother. He’s going to be such a terrific big brother, of this I am sure.
My sweet little boy is about to have his world rocked. There’s no stopping it. I just hope the blow isn’t too much for him.
Then the guilt shifts. Will I ever be able to be the mommy I was for Buddy to two little boys? Is this second child gonna end up getting the shaft cause I can’t keep up?
Say it ain’t so!
The thought of the upcoming balancing act is enough to make me want to hide under the covers & never come out. But these boys are counting on me. And I’m so blessed to have my amazing husband by my side to figure it all out! I seriously could not pull this off on my own. We make a great team. We just need a new game plan.
Help us out parents…how do you deal with parent-guilt? What tips can you share when moving to “man-to-man” defense on the home front?