Right around the time I was going through my list of ideas for my blog post this month I was feeling some serious mom guilt about not having my new baby’s birth announcements ordered and sent out yet. (He’s 3 months old.) I was feeling horrible about this. My other 2 kiddos I had ordered and sent out within their first 6 weeks easily, but this time around, that didn’t happen.
It obviously wasn’t that I loved this baby less, it was just that being a mom of 3 is like a thrilling adventure every single day. I can barely shower daily let alone create, order, and send out announcements.
Baby Number 1
Anyone who is a mom has done it. We see that second line on the pregnancy test for the first time and immediately go into full on super-mom mode.
The app that tells us how big our baby is each week using fruits and veggies is downloaded right away. The Amazon cart is stocked with “measure my bump” paraphernalia. A baby registry is created for all of the brand new baby goodies that will be gifted by friends and family. People offer to throw baby showers to celebrate your little bundle of joy. We make sure to make that “bump” Facebook post EVERY week and never skip a beat. We want to be sure that every single thing is documented because this brand new life deserves it!
We can all admit we go a little crazy. The beauty and awe of having your first child creates feelings that we will never feel again. We need ALL of the baby things and can’t stop asking for advice from our fellow mom community because, frankly, we have no clue what we are in for, but we’re EXCITED!
Finally after months of anticipation, you are holding your little bundle of joy in your arms and can’t imagine loving anyone more that you love this little person.
Baby Number 2
We see that second line for the second time. How exciting! The thought of having 2 kiddos running around the house fills your mom heart with so much joy! You re-download the baby bump app, pull out all of your baby things and reminisce on when your now-toddler was born.
You pull out the crib, car seat, and bassinet from storage and give everything a good scrub down so that they are ready for little number 2’s arrival. You buy little things here and there for your new nursery. You make the “baby number 2” Facebook announcement with your toddler.
You wonder how on earth you will love another child the way you love your first but then after months of preparation and being a toddler mom with a waddle baby, your second sweet baby makes their debut. You aren’t sure how, but you love them just as much as the first.
Where the mom guilt creeps in
Then it hits you: this baby doesn’t get new things. Baby number 2 doesn’t get a big baby shower planned or a registry created in their honor. You haven’t been checking your baby size app to see what fruit or veggie your baby is. You haven’t consistently been posting baby bump pics (or at all).
All of the mom guilt feelings come flooding in. This baby is just as deserving of all the new-ness that your first child got, but because they are your second they don’t get those things. The feelings of excitement are different because you have already done this once before.
You weren’t as nervous about childbirth because you had been through it before. You didn’t spend the time or money to take birthing classes because they weren’t needed.
As you sit and think through it all and come to the conclusion that your preparation for this second miracle lax at best.
Where the mom guilt get squashed
Yes, we all go through this when we have multiple children. All of our kiddos are the most deserving of the best that we can give them. Do we always feel like we deliver on this? No. But if you stand back, and observe from the outside you can see the gifts that you give your multiple children that your first may not necessarily get.
First children bring on anxiousness and stress caused by the unknown. If you are a first time mama, you have no idea what pregnancy will be like. You Google every single thing that you feel and eat because you want to protect that baby you are growing. You are clueless about the pains of labor and delivery, and even more clueless about actually caring for the brand new baby you brought into the world. Every single thing is new, and some are scary because of the unknown.
The second time around you are calm and collected. You are a pro. You’ve done this all once before so the anxiety and stress level is way less. This time around you can simply enjoy, rather than call your doctor every other day with questions. THIS is a bigger gift to your children than you think.
What kiddos actually remember
I am certain that kids don’t have their first memories until their toddler years to save us moms. If they saw what a hot mess we were the first week of their lives, they probably wouldn’t see us as the heroines that we are! (Not really, but that’s one more thing we would add to our list of worries.)
The cool, calm and collected moms that we are (most of the time) when our second and beyond babies are born sets the tone for our children from there on.
They learn to embrace change in a graceful way. They don’t experience high levels of stress and anxiety caused by a simple messy diaper. Even though we may be exhausted because we are now in charge of 2 lives, we are confident and know that we can do it all, and do it well. We give our kids a sense of ease in the midst of madness, rather than adding to the chaos. This is the gift that we don’t think about, yet it makes the biggest impact.
Your second and beyond babies aren’t getting a bum deal because their stuff isn’t new, or the pictures and videos are fewer. Your second babies give you the ability to be the best version of yourself, in turn allowing all of your kids to get the best version of you. That is more important and life impacting than a brand new crib.
My baby’s birth announcements are still not sent out, but I am so thankful that this baby gets the cool, calm, and collected version of his mom rather than the anxious version. I see what a difference THAT gift makes and it’s worth it to let go of the guilt every time.