February 18, 2019

elder sister and her sibling baby
Image Source: One Big Happy Photo

When I first saw my daughter, my first born, I cried with the love that I felt for her. I gave her my complete attention and care. I was there with her as she reached each of her milestones. She was the axis around which my life revolved and the two of us were inseparable. When my daughter was two, I got pregnant again. It was a conscious decision since I had always wanted two children. As I prepared the house for the arrival of the new baby, I tried to prepare my daughter too. Though she would ask me how long it would take for the baby to come out and would kiss my baby bump several times a day, I wasn’t sure she understood what was coming.

Days and weeks passed, and my son was born. This time when I held my newborn in my arms, it was a different feeling. Though I did feel immense love for him, I was also aware that my daughter’s life would completely change from this moment on. A little while later, I saw her enter the hospital room to look at her baby brother. She smiled at him and touched his little hands and feet. Then, after cuddling with me for a bit, she was taken home. My little girl looked so grown up when she waved to me and walked out of the room. I realized this would be her first night without me to tuck her in for bed and it broke my heart.

The next day, I went home with the new addition to our little family and thus began my battle with mummy-guilt. My daughter now had to wait for her turn to be with me. And I could never spend enough time with my son. On one hand, I had a toddler who wanted to play with me all the time and on the other hand, I had a newborn who wanted to breastfeed with the same gusto. I was worried that my daughter would view her brother as a rival and that she would feel left out in the new scheme of things. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to give undivided attention to my son when he would begin his developmental milestones. I sometimes tried to overcompensate by doing more than I felt capable of. I pushed myself to give more time to both my children. Sometimes, I would feel plain inadequate. And I would be overcome with a sense of guilt so strong, I would feel that I was being unfair to my children. For a little while, I even wondered if my decision to have a second child had been wrong after all.

mother and baby and elder sister
Image source: The Military Wife and Mom

That was when I took a deep breath and decided to cut myself a little slack. I reminded myself that I didn’t need to do everything perfectly. I knew that I would always do everything in my control to give the best to both my children and that really was the ‘be all end all’ of me being a mother. So, maybe I couldn’t read ten new books to my daughter but she was learning to become more independent. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to give undivided attention to my son, but I could definitely enjoy watching his little movements with my daughter. I decided to replace my guilt with positivity. I acknowledged that I was raising children who would grow up to be humble, understanding human beings. They would grow up learning to be patient and independent. They would know the joy of sharing and the virtue of sacrifice. And they would both have each other to love and play with. 

This new-found acceptance made life much easier for me. I love both my children to bits and I am sure they will come to love each other. And love, after all, is all that matters!

Written by : Happy Maternity Mummy Editor
Main photo image source: parenting.com