A Mother’s Guilt

It’s been some time since I have written a blog. Those that follow my socials would know that I have been one busy lady, getting knocked up and ‘married’ and all that. I have also switched to vlogging to discuss our latest IVF journey. With all this happening I just have not had time left to sit and write, and I have missed it!

With so much happening in our lives, a crazy and energetic toddler and morning sickness, any spare time I have (which is basically when Oakland naps) I have been laying down and napping with him. I vaguely remember the dreaded first trimester with Oakland; weekends spent sleeping on the couch, mornings before work with my head in a toilet bowl and a diet consisting of watermelon and crackers. I thought it was bad having a 9-5 with morning sickness. Well now I have a 12-12! This kid does not stop for air. It’s like the energy I have lost, he has gained. And I swear he never used to enjoy using my stomach as a trampoline. I think it’s his way of saying he was quite content being an only child. I swear he is sabotaging this pregnancy.

Like any expectant mother, even though I’ve done this before, I consume every article about pregnancy and child birth that I can get my swollen fingers on, check my daily apps to see what my little blueberry is up to today, join in discussions on forums where I can safely whinge about how crap I feel with an understanding community of other swollen and spewing mums to be and do my best to prepare myself for what is coming over the next few months. There is one thing though that I was not expecting, and it has really surprised me that I feel this way. I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt.

This baby was so planned. Every step of this process was organised and well thought out. IVF is like that. Alee and I want this baby more than anything. I can’t wait to see Oakland in his new role of big brother. I think he will be good at it, despite the fact he loves to cuddle his babies then throw them face first into the tiles and laugh. I went through IVF, did all the tests, medications, procedures then the waiting. I saw the two lines appear and knew our lives were about to change. I was excited, Alee was so happy then slowly the reality hit me. Oakland was no longer my baby boy. He was suddenly, whether he liked it or not, being pushed from my little baby to big brother. He was no longer going to be an only child.

Since he was 6 weeks old I have taken him to every possible activity I can find. Our days are filled with activities; massage, swimming, sensory, messy playgroup, cooking classes. I have been able to dedicate myself to him 100%, and he has absolutely flourished because of it. He is a bright, sweet and loving little soul. He is so incredibly intelligent. We spend hours cuddling up on the couch and reading book after book. He devours them! I pack him and a picnic up and we often drive off to a quite little spot and have lunch together and play games. Bath time is just us, taking our time to play with ducks and read stories. We dance and sing daily. We venture out to the garden and I teach him about sustainability while he collects his own eggs and tomatoes to eat. All my firsts as a mother were with him. It was just the three of us celebrating each milestone. I had all the time in the world to be patient with him during mealtimes, while he learned new words and struggled to take his first steps. Now he will no longer be my baby. And suddenly, I see him more as a baby than ever before. I guess because he is so smart I always view him as more grown up than he is. Now suddenly I am noticing how often he looks at me and asks ‘help please?’ at the park when he is trying to climb a rock wall, or when he can’t get peas on his fork by himself, or when he is trying to take his shoes off. I am noticing how often he reaches up to me and says ‘carry’ when his little legs are giving out after a big walk. I suddenly have realised how often he wants to just sit and cuddle with me silently, how he wants me to kiss away his owies when he falls over at the park or how he wants to be held and stroked until he falls asleep in the afternoons. He is more my baby than ever before. He is not this independent little toddler that I have assumed he was for some time now. And now I am forcing him to grow up and share his mummy.

Only 8 weeks in and already I don’t have the energy for daily park dates and secret picnics. Our weekly play groups and mummy catch ups have died off. Crafternoons have been replaced with the Ipad and Moana on repeat. Hours of books and reading have turned into 1-2 books then silent cuddles while mummy rests. His Instagram, which is normally full of new photos, has been laying stagnant for some time. Long baths are now a quick shower with mum. Delicious home cooked dinners are now mostly whatever his other mumma can grab on the way home from work. All this and there isn’t even another baby to compete with yet. Nothing could have prepared me for the immense guilt I feel at robbing my son of the time and attention he deserves. I push myself every few days to leave the house, to take him to the park or a movie and do my best to smile and clap when he is trying his little heart out to impress me with how clever he is. I force myself to take him to sensory and swimming and just get through it as best I can. But a huge part of me just feels awful, like I am forcing my child to adjust to this new life and forget the one he was so accustomed to.

Hopefully I can make it through this first trimester then find myself with renewed energy and our lives can go back to what they were. I then have to begin preparing him for the impending arrival of another baby, and the idea of sharing his mummy with another sibling. I don’t know what that will look like or how he will take to that sudden change. I just know this guilt I feel is not going anywhere anytime soon. I can’t imagine my heart feeling love for another child like it does my son. Maybe my guilt should be for my new child, and how they will fit into our lives with Oakland to compete with. No child will ever be my first baby, no moment will ever again be my mummy first. Is it possible your heart can grow to make room for so much love? No article, app or mother’s group ever prepared me for any of this!

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3 thoughts on “A Mother’s Guilt

  1. I truly understand how you feel…You see because he’s still a little toddler with no much understanding,it will be a bit difficult to adjust to all of that…But when the new born baby has arrived,as he and that baby grows along he will automatically adjust to it.So don’t feel bad my dear because your such a wonderful mother and I know you will do your best raising them both.

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  2. I think every parent has these thoughts and feelings when expecting their second child, it’s a natural reaction to change but when you feel guilty think of the positives! Oakland will forever have a little sidekick to play with, someone to stand his corner because that’s what siblings do! There’s 17 months between my oldest two, 17 months between my middle two and there will be 2.5 years between my youngest and in my experience no matter how much you worry everything works out just fine!! I know you feel guilt because Oaklands life is changing but children are very adaptable and I promise it won’t be such a big issue for him as it is for you, children embrace change.
    For Oakland he will have a ready made friend, someone new to love! Yes there will be arguements (oh my god the arguements😩) but nothing will ever come between the love of brothers/sisters, my middle two (8&9) argue like cat and dog but if anyone else dares pick on one of them all hell lets loose and as they get older the friendship that develops is beautiful to see.
    As for your heart growing it just does ( mumma’s are magic like that) you will feel just as much love for your new little bundle as you do for Oakland, I always worried that I’d have to love my oldest less to make room in my heart for my next child but that’s not how it works, the heart is capable of an infinite amount of love, I love my 20 year old just as much as I love my baby (2 years old) and all my others have the same amount of love too! Anyway congratulations on your pregnancy and don’t be too hard on yourself my lovely xx

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  3. I think every parent feels like this at some point and you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself, I follow you on here and on Instagram and you’re a brilliant mum! Oakland always looks so happy so whatever you’re doing, you must be doing something right xx

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