I had initially written this post when I was about three months pregnant, hormones flying here there and everywhere, I’m glad I didn’t hit publish!
My experience of second baby guilt was very short-lived indeed. Of course I still have worries at the back of my mind, but they’re not as dramatic as I first thought.
When we found out we were expecting we were both completely elated, we planned a second baby and knew we didn’t want a big age gap and we were most definitely ready. That being said, I didn’t dedicate a huge amount of time wondering how it would affect the relationship between my son and I, and the overall family dynamic.
It wasn’t until after the initial shouting from the rooftops that I began to think, how will Oliver feel about this?
I’m a stay at home and have been for the whole of Oliver’s life so far, add a baby into the mix and surely that dynamic is going to change? Maybe a lot, maybe not so much? All I know is Mummy and Oliver time will be less. And I will have a baby attached to me for at least the first few months. How will Oliver react to that?
I know I will miss our daily routine together as a two, but I am going to make a conscious effort to have Mummy and Oliver dates. (As well as Mummy and baby dates of course.) Time for us to connect and give him my full, undivided attention.
I can also spend some real quality time with him during baby’s nap time, so there are ways around this – it’s taken me a few months to get my head around that!
As I don’t want Oliver to feel pushed aside and everything focused on baby, his weekly schedule won’t be any different. We go to a few toddler groups and that won’t change as baby can come along with us, meaning Oliver can still play with all of his buddies. Going to playgroup two mornings per week gives Oliver time to socialise and do something that is all about him. I think he will appreciate that so much more come baby’s arrival. Being at playgroup means he can do whatever he fancies, painting and crafting, running around outside and playing with all of the toys and it gives him some breathing space.
Oliver is quite chilled out but that doesn’t mean he will take to a new sibling well. I hope he does and I think he will become very protective of his sister as time goes on.
We have been mentioning his sister for a few months now, warming him up to the idea and he does give my tummy a kiss sometimes – which is adorable!
When the day approaches we will talk to him about the baby coming to live with us and talk about it in a more detail – as much detail as a two year old can digest.
We may do the present from the baby, but haven’t decided on that yet. All I know is Oliver will be very involved after baby’s arrival, he will come to the hospital and/or meet his sister before anyone else and we will hopefully spend Scott’s paternity leave as a family of four finding our feet.
Life is going to change but as time goes on I know it’s not as daunting as I first imagined. If he’s anything like me he will love having a sibling – even if just to torture.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a little guilty, but our new daily life as a family of four will take over and soon become our norm.
You do wonder how on Earth you could love someone as much as you do your first. My mum friends have said the same; scared they wouldn’t feel the same kind of love. But when their baby arrived their hearts naturally grew bigger and the love they felt for their children was exactly the same.
Here’s to the next chapter as a family of four.
How did your children react to having a new sibling? Did you experience any second baby guilt? Please leave a comment below – thanks for reading! x