To My First Born: What have I done to you by having another child? Is this normal mommy guilt?

This thought has crossed my mind multiple times during this pregnancy of our second child. And I ask myself “Is this normal mommy guilt?” Have other parents felt this same way as they are preparing for another addition to their family? Or am I just tired? Pregnancy hormones getting to me? Did a sad song on the radio trigger these thoughts? Am I too sappy and sensitive?

Finding out you are pregnant is always so happy and exciting in the beginning. This was especially true for us. We found out we were pregnant on Christmas Eve. As my husband said that morning “it was a Christmas miracle”. Not only because of our past history of multiple miscarriages and having a high risk pregnancy with our first daughter, but because we were and are in such a wonderful place in our life. There was a time our marriage began to fall apart and I spent too much time on my career and not having balance in my life. We were able to put the pieces back together in a way that was better than ever and create a relationship that I know won’t fall apart again. We were whole again and ready to add another child for us to love. And after many years of asking for a sibling, our daughter was more than ready to take on the role of a big sister.

So this has been my internal struggle. Again, can blame it on pregnancy hormones, me just being me, or could I be normal and other moms feel this same way?

I love our daughter Iris. So much, that looking at her makes my heart want to explode with happiness. I am proud to be her mom. I love spending time with her. I love planning things her and I can do together, things we can do as a family. I enjoy teaching her new things. Her snuggles, kisses, and hugs. It makes me melt when I ask her what would be her perfect day, and she answers “going to the park with you and daddy, going shopping, playing games together, and snuggling and watching a movie.” Her perfect day is spending time with us.

This feeling I get is a panic, an anxiety feeling. What have we done? Adding another child will take away from her time. Her snuggle time will be cut in half. She will have one knee to sit on instead of two. And we will have to tell her to ‘’wait’, the baby needs something. My undivided attention will have to be divided. She may not get mom AND dad at dance practice, soccer practice, and field trips. As parents we may have to start to divide and conquer to take care of two kids.Will I now have half the time to teach her everything I wanted? Will she feel left out?  ahhh…the thoughts could go on and on.

and then……

I hear Iris telling her friends that she is going to be a big sister with a big grin on her face. At the supper table she says “thank you so much to whoever had the idea to have another baby.  I always wanted to be a big sister!”. The day she found out she was having a baby sister she declared “the best day of her life”. And we might as well frame the ultrasound pictures so that they don’t get ruined before we put them in a baby book. If they had show in tell at school I am sure she would bring them.

Sure we will go through a transition period when the baby first comes. Every change has growing pains. And I know we are different than some. Our daughter is 6 and has a voice that she can express her feelings and thoughts to us.  But for those moms out there expecting your second child and your first child may not be able to express the same feelings, just know that their gains are so much more than their loss. The day will come when they are able to express the love for their sibling, or the sight of them playing, hugging, or snuggling is going to give us the same heart bursting feelings.

Whether these are normal feelings or not….. for now, anytime I get that anxiety, panic feeling and those thoughts run through my head, I am going to stop them just as soon as they come and replace them with a list of all the gains and extra love our family will soon be receiving