The other day, I had a
visit from a friend who had a month old baby. As she left, I told her
to take care of herself and sleep when she could.
She replied “I'll
try. And I'll try to stop feeling so guilty that the eldest is
watching so much iPad”.
I remember texting
another friend almost exactly the same after the birth of my second.
And there it is;
constant Mummy guilt.
We feel guilty about
About not spending as
much time with the eldest when the second baby arrives.
About not spending as
much one on one time with the youngest as we were able to with the
About going back to
About not going back to
work and not contributing financially to the household.
About leaving the kids
in front of the TV for an hour so we can make a lasagne from scratch.
About giving them
McDonalds for dinner again.
About letting them
watch too much 'crazy-lady-opening-Kinder-eggs' on YouTube.
About finding the
eldest dancing on the dining table whilst the youngest naps, because
we've nodded off on the sofa through sleep deprivation. (This is
actually not my story but my Mother's. The 'eldest' is me at three
years old. In her defence, she only had four TV channels, none of
which were showing kids programmes. YouTube wasn't even a 'thing', so
no chance of having 'crazy-lady-opening-Kinder-eggs' babysit whilst
she closed her eyes. Parents now - we don't know we're born).
But you know what we
In the words of
“LET IT GO! LET IT
Seriously. I am not
scarred for life because, as a three year old, I tapped out a dance
routine on the dining table whilst no one paid me the slightest bit
of attention. My eldest does not appear emotionally damaged because
I returned to work when he was ten months old.
Children need love and
affection, boundaries and cuddles. Life is about balance. If your
child has worn pyjamas for two weeks and has been fed KFC for every
meal then maybe stand back and take stock. Ask for help.
But if you've spent the
baby's nap time snuggling on the sofa with the eldest, watching Ice
Age again instead of painting up a storm or making playdough; THAT'S
OK. You are doing a fantastic job and your child is enjoying cuddles
and love and affection.