August 12, 2013 by Alicia
This is so embarrassing to admit out loud. The only reason I am is because I hope that it helps another mama out there feel not so alone. I wish I found someone else who admitted this so I didn’t feel like such a terrible mom. I’m also only sharing it because my kids will never know (you’re sworn to secrecy, reader, or I will punch you in the kidney).
I had a glamorous first child experience. She slept when I wanted her to sleep, ate when I wanted her to eat, wore what I wanted her to wear, and giggled when I tickled her. Basically- she was the perfect child for a control freak like me. Of course we had bad days- teething cries, fevers, shots, don’t want to drink from a cup, won’t eat anything but cheerios, screams when you leave the room, etc… These are all normal baby behavior. However, these were like 10% of who my daughter is (and that’s being generous). She’s cute and easy to love because she’s easy to handle. She started sleeping in 11 hour night stretches at 11 weeks old – which is heaven for this mama who LOVES her sleep (loves=needs 9-10 hours to be pleasant).
I am a big schedule mom- I use the Babywise method. I sacrificed going many places so my kid could sleep in her crib for both her naps every day. I sacrificed going places while she was awake because I wanted her to be able to crawl/run around and play with her toys instead of being strapped in a car seat between naps. [I know not everyone agrees with that but it was our parenting decision and we don’t regret it] Well, right when she was finally at a really flexible age- like skipping a nap here or there or going to bed late since we were out, etc… her brother came along and rocked my world.
Little Mister was not an easy baby- at all -for the first 5 months. He cried incessantly, never napped well, and worst of all- was the absolute spawn of satan in the middle of the night (remember I said I need 9-10 hours or I want to die). Now, I’m a realistic person. I’m sure he behaved better than many babies out there. I’m not playing into this mom-competition (or, mompetition) phenomenon where I’m claiming my-child-is-worse-than-yours-so-you-should-feel-bad-for-me-and-grateful-for-yours. All I’m saying is I had a difficult time adjusting to a more difficult baby than my first child.
This led to feelings of resenting Little Mister (remember- your kidney). I missed time as just a family of 3. I hated that the kids were so close together that I hadn’t had enough time to just focus on Little Miss. Ya know, a child’s world opens up when they start walking and they just start advancing so much every day. I had my son a mere 6 weeks after Little Miss started walking. I was missing out on so much with her because I was constantly tending to him. I feel like I can’t challenge her and teach her how I want to because I’m back at the beginning with a baby who can’t do anything for themselves.
Everyone says you shouldn’t have a favorite child- but let me be one of the few to admit that that is very difficult at this stage. Little Miss is SO MUCH fun. She walks, talks, hugs, kisses, pats my back, runs to me, says she loves me. And then there’s Little Mister, crying crying crying.
And then it happened. Magic. We changed Little Mister’s formula! After trying 5 (yes 5) other things to help him, changing his formula did the trick. He started sleeping through the night- 11 hours. He’s napping better, crying less, and just a much happier baby. This started happening right around the same time he was really rolling more, playing in his jumper, etc… aka- not just a blob. He gets so excited when I come in his room to get him. He smiles and kicks up a storm. He absolutely cracks up anytime Little Miss is playing near him. He thinks his dad is the bees knees (what does that even mean?).
Of course he’s not the perfect baby, and still fussier than his sister, but that’s ok. He’s my son and I adore him (I’ve always loved him, just didn’t like him very much sometimes). I’m so excited that the kids are close in age and think they’ll have so much fun growing up together. It’s taken me almost 6 months to really embrace the stay-at-home life of having 2 under 2. It’s exhausting and often not rewarding- but we do feel this is what’s best for our family.
I know how extremely lucky I am to have children at all, and to have 2 healthy ones. I certainly do not want to sound ungrateful. I am just a real mom who is trying to adjust to a more difficult baby, not working outside the home, and having kids so close together. I hope I’m not alone in these transition feelings from 1-2 kids, but if I am, oh well- sue me.
How about you? Have any embarrassing mom feelings you’d like to share with the internet? Haha 🙂