Second child guilt
It really hits me on a Tuesday.
It’s just a full-on day – my exercise class, weekly shop and a swimming lesson for M (all a drive away), and more often than not another errand, playdate or cup of tea with someone I’ve been meaning to see for ages. Which I really shouldn’t do when there’s dinner to cook, washing to hang out
and blogging to do at home.
You may already know that I’ve found this maternity leave a real juggling act so far, especially as Little P cried non-stop for ten weeks…
But oh, the second child guilt! She spends more time in her carseat than out of it, has catnaps all over the place and just gets to watch either me or big bro from her guilt-funded Lamaze toy cocoon.
I’m constantly lugging that 2 ton seat about, bruising my legs to buggery as I carry her up one more flight of steps with a ‘Come-on Mummy’ing whinger in front.
I wasn’t too silly about perfectly timed naps first time round with M, but if he was sleeping and I didn’t need to go out, I wouldn’t. This time, my poor littlest poppet gets put down for 20 minutes then got back up as we need to go somewhere quick sharp before we’re late. Today, she had her first nap at home, 45 mins as standard, then only 10-15 mins three other times in the car. She is a light sleeper, so is wide awake despite best efforts to carefully unstrap her carseat and tiptoe with her inside the house.
I’m sure this is normal, and to be fair she doesn’t exactly have a choice, but her entertainment is genuinely only us right now. No little music class or baby sensory, and hardly any time with me alone – and certainly not where I’m not picking up Lego, sterilising or madly bunging new nappies and clothes in a bag, calling “Mummy’s coming!”.
Should I be worried? Should I be taking her to classes or cancelling something of M’s or a bit of life admin to spend time with her? I just don’t know. I’m hoping it’s all character building for her. I keep convincing myself she’s getting so much out of watching everything, and adores her big brother – saving the best smiles for him, laughing when he so much as sticks his tongue out and staring in awe at everything he does. But is that just my guilt playing tricks on me?
And you know what? The moment I think she’s on the brink and I run over to give her some attention, instead of kicking off, she melts my heart with a little gurgle or gummy grin. As if to say, “I’m fine Mummy. What are you stressing about? There’s plenty of entertainment in this madhouse!”
I hope so anyway. Please forgive me Little P, your time with Mummy will come! And in the meantime, thanks for being so cool.