Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mommy Guilt

I think it always comes harder when a new child has been introduced into the mix. Those first moments of going from 0 to 1 or 1 to 2 or, in this case, 2 to 3 bring with it a season of trying to find the groove. And, while it's all normal and natural, at the time, it really just feels like trying to find the way to LEAST neglect everyone you love.

How do you bond with the new one while not completely cutting out your oldest's naptime routine? How do you still take time to sing to your daughter before bed without letting on that you have one foot out the door to hold the baby?

Don't get me wrong, it has been overwhelmingly happy to add a child to our home, and to watch the older two kids learn to love their baby brother - who overnight went from picture and idea to in-the-flesh always-hungry human being. It has been overwhelmingly happy to sit back and watch them become siblings, and watch us become a family.

Having enough love for one more is never the issue. It's having enough time to love the way you want to.  And having enough patience, enough grace, enough sleep....

11 comments:

Steve said...

We don't have all the answers, but we are with you in the journey, that is for sure. Janaya has not been the same since we have been back home. Pretty big deal for her, I am sure. Say hi to Ben!

Rachael said...

You're doing great Susie - treat yourself like you just gave birth, you've got at least 6 weeks before anyone should expect you to have it all together ; ). A rhythm will emerge for you all soon.

How sweet it must be watching your kids bond together. I hope that the next few nights go smoothly with plenty of sleep for all!

Courtney said...

i love the way you worded that...the way you explained how our mother's hearts feel...

Natalie said...

Perfectly put. I was just thinking about that the other day... I have a groove with the kids and yet I STILL don't feel like I have enough time for each of them to love them the way I want too.. and yet we'd love more kids to love... but some how I trust that God will fill in the gap... and that they would find extra love from each other.... because like my dad use to say to my brother and I, "I'll be gone one day and all you'll have is each other." Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently!

Kirsten said...

Oh yes. I know that feeling well. I sometimes feel like I spend my days trying to cut myself into three (four if my husband is home) pieces. But it's trying to make sure those pieces are equal that is the killer.

And you know what? Most days they are not at all equal. But it all seems to work out in the end and no one goes hungry.

:-)

DelhiBound said...

what a great post.

i think that the only thing I, personally, can do ... is to try and TOUCH them all enough .... hugs, kisses and stroking of the hair.

That way, my love is at least expressed ... even if I didn't have enough patience to split 4 ways!!

DrMommy said...

Our 3rd is 2 and I'm still figuring it out. I think what I've learned is that it's ok if they're not all happy at the same time. It might mean letting one fuss or cry because they're not getting the attention they want at the moment, but then giving them their turn. Mine are learning that their turn always comes around. ;-) With the older ones, we let each of them stay up an extra 30 minutes just with us about once a week, too -- and they can do anything they want with us -- play a game, read stories, color, or just snuggle. These "special nights" have smoothed over a lot! I don't think we'll ever have *enough* time with all of them, but we're aiming for regular quality time with each of them!

Heidi said...

Once again, you've summed up my feelings with one of your posts! BTW, how is it that Charlie has a Cyclone outfit?

Stephanie N. said...

Your last paragraph is my favorite--it sums up the tension perfectly. Praying for you today.

Room4More said...

I have come to the realization that transition has put me in my place. I thought I had mommying figured out and then I realized that all I have is God's grace. I have no idea what I am doing, how to share attention, time and energy (especially when I don't have any!). But His Grace is all I need and that's all you need too. Let go of that guilt. I am praying for you today, friend.

Laurel Greer said...

Definitely feel your heart Susie.

I try to grab one-on-one time, even if it's just for a MINUTE (sometimes that's literal) once a day. It's hard, but have found that to mean so much to the kids. It is SO painful to give up things that you "had" before as a family when it's just 1...to 2...to 3 kids, etc. But I also feel like (sounds harsh, I know)-it's part of what makes us a family of five now--it's part of the sacrifice of growing as a family,the growing pains. I have definitely found jumping from 2-3 kids to be completely AMAZING, but at the same time SUUUCH a challenge at times!!!

In our transition, we have loved having "big kid" nights with the older 2 when Myles is sleeping. Whether it's going out to a park just the 4 of us, sitting at home watching AFV on the same couch all together, or playing Chutes and Ladders and eating popcorn--it's a cherished "Big Kid" time.