Having a baby is a big change in anyone's life; whether it's your first or your fifth. Towards the end of my pregnancy with Bear, I started to worry that I might not be able to love him as much as I loved Moo. The love I have for my daughter, as with any parent and child, is immeasurable and I struggled to understand how I could possibly have room in my heart or another.
When he was born. I'll be honest, put my hands up and say, that or the first hour I was in such shock from the birth, I didn't know how I felt when I looked at him. I wasn't over-whelmed with love or emotion when I gazed at him, though I know that I loved him, was proud of him...but it didn't come flooding over me like it had our first, perhaps it was the trauma, I don't know. Whatever it was, it quickly passed and I love the little squidge with everything that I have.
It's hard, having a second baby. Harder than having the first...emotionally and physically. When Moo was born I could sit and stare at her for hours with nowhere to be, nothing to do...just sit in with her or go for a walk with her...but with Bear I don't have that luxury...I have to divide my attention, attempt to maintain constant and steady stimulation to a toddler and be every thing I was before, plus more! I am still my daughter's teacher, dresser, put-to-bedder, chef, entertainer and everything in between whilst breast-feeding and bonding with a new baby who needs me.
When I was younger I used to look after a brother and sister. She was the eldest at seven, he was five and I remember the favouritism being so apparent that some days it would bring me to tears to witness. Their mother adored the son, showered him with love and praise whilst the daughter was constantly left on the outside. I hated their mother for it and now more so as a parent myself. Now the mother of two, I understand slightly how and why she felt that way; it is so, so easy to get cross and impatient with your eldest when a new baby comes along. Moo has been trying at times in the past week, waking in the night and refusing to go back to bed because I'm up with her brother, or blatantly not listening to instructions...and let's not even discuss the lack of bladder control that's suddenly taken over her. Team that with the hormones, the sleep deprivation and exhaustion of being a new mum, I've never been such an impatient parent in my life (well, maybe the last days of pregnancy). I'm struggling emotionally because as soon as I snap at her, I instantly regret it, the guilt takes over. The other day she was in the throws of a colossal tantrum and I shouted 'bed' at her so loudly, I frightened myself. When your eldest is behaving like that, and then you have this perfect little baby that does no wrong, it is so, so easy to wish you could just get away from the 'naughty' one for a few minutes.
That's not the parent I want to be, that's not the parent that I am. How do people do it? I have a new-found respect for single mothers and the parents of large families...I genuinely don't know how I would cope without my husband (and because of his work, he's around a lot).
I spend a huge portion of my day sat worrying over whether or not I'm good enough a parent to do this. Am I? Does it get easier or will I get better? I try so hard to be a good mother to both, to encourage Moo and show her thati love her as much as I always have, and she is a very happy child, but I worry.
It does get easier, right?
Labels: anxiety, Baby, depression, family, second child, toddler