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Normalizing and Overcoming Second Child Guilt

The guilt that comes with going from one child to two

I remember when I found out I was expecting my first baby, I was overjoyed. Ever since I was young I looked forward to being a mother and having a large family. She is the light of my life and has quickly grown into an independent, beautiful 5 year-old.

When she was 4, we found out we were expecting a second child. My thoughts this time were so different. From the second I found out, I was overwhelmed with guilt. I wondered how I would ever be able to share my love between two children. I loved my oldest daughter more than life, and I thought for sure our bond would suffer once the new baby was here.

I spent a lot of my pregnancy heartbroken for my oldest. I also felt guilt for the new baby because I obviously loved her so much and couldn’t wait to meet her. I didn’t want to feel like she was unwanted...I didn’t want to even believe I was having these feelings. I recall SO many of our friends telling us that they felt this same guilt also when having multiples. While it was nice to hear, it just did not comfort me in a way I needed it to.

Over the next 9 months, I spent as

much intentional time with my daughter as I could. We had all kinds of one-on-one time consisting of things she liked to do. I also found myself not wanting to even go to Target or run errands on my own, so she joined me on every single trip! This helped me with how I was feeling tremendously. But it still hurt.. why?

As a mother, I am convinced we have this special need to be EXTRA intentional. However, no matter how intentional we are, no time is ever enough with our children. No matter how wonderful of a parent you are or how much quality time you spend with them, it is never enough. If you get your children for your whole life, you’re very lucky. They grow so fast and time is truly a thief.

What I needed to hear and understand back when I was feeling that way is that it is completely normal and speaks volumes about how much I love my kids.

Looking back, I can comprehend that what I was feeling shows the intense love I have for them. What hurt me the most is that since I had already had a child, I knew how fast it was going to fly by, and the thought of anything or anyone somehow stealing that time from me, killed me. I knew it would never be just me and my first born ever again. She will never have my undivided attention, EVER again.

After having multiples for several years, I can see what moms expecting their second child cannot see. That first born child is most likely going to be over the moon ecstatic meeting that new baby. It brought me to tears watching my oldest meet the baby for the first time. Also, I didn't realize how helpful and motherly she was going to be with the baby. There was never any jealousy like I had obsessed over.

A mother gives something no one else can offer. My daughters’ dad is a God send; we couldn’t have hand-picked anyone better. He is the glue in our home.

With that said, he and everyone else that love my children, still will not ever compare to me. A mother is a child’s home when they are sick, hurt, happy, sad, anxious or excited. The unconditional love we get from our mother is so comforting.

I love the old saying that "life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother", because it is so true with any inconvenience from adolescence to adulthood, we turn to our moms.  

The best mom feels like they're never doing enough. We set standards extremely high for ourselves because we want to be the perfect mom. Its normal and it’s amazing that we love this hard. Imagine loving a tiny human SO much that you feel like you can’t love anyone else, it’s an amazing thing. It feels like a loss at first but I promise you it is only replaced with something so much more special. I never had to share my love, it only doubled and tripled with each addition.

About the Content Creator:

Emily resides in Ogilville, Indiana with her family of 5. She started her career in healthcare in high school. Since then, she has invested her time into learning many different things such as welding, cleaning homes, and travel nursing. Recently, Emily added a third baby girl (yes, THREE GIRLS) to their family, where she found it would be beneficial to be back to working locally in healthcare. In addition to her passion for healthcare, she is a cheerleading and tumbling coach at Columbus Power Elite.

1 comment

1 Comment

I know Emily and she’s a fantastic mom ❤️

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