First versus Second Baby
My daughter was my first baby. After she was born my husband and I decided that I would stay home with her, so I made it my full-time mission to make sure that she was always happy, healthy, and intellectually stimulated. I knew everything about this little girl…I distinctly remember the first time she made the “t” sound, I could tell you how old she was week-by-week (example: “She’s sixteen weeks,” or “Tomorrow she’ll be twenty-two weeks!”), and she didn’t spend hardly any time on her own because I was always there.
Then came my second baby: my handsome little guy. When he was born my daughter was not quite two years old yet, so I already had my hands full with her. My experience with him was a lot different. I have no idea when he first made the “t” sound, I often forgot how old in weeks he was, and he spent a good portion of time on tummy mats and blankets while his sister tried to master potty training. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know he was teething until he smiled at me and I saw two teeth poking out. It’s not that I was derelict as a mom, but I just had my hands full and couldn’t devote the time to him that I devoted to my first born.
Did I feel bad about this? You bet. Oftentimes I would wonder if my daughter would have some sort of intellectual advantage because of her time spent as a newborn as opposed to what my son experienced. As they grow a little older, however (she’s 4 now and he’s 2 1/2…don’t ask me how old he is in weeks, please) I see that they’re both brilliant in their own special ways. I also notice that my son has a little easier time with playing on his own for a while when Mommy needs to get some work done.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend as much time as you can with your babies, but I am saying that you should not feel as though you are the worst mother in the world if you cannot spend every waking moment fawning over them. Both of my kids know that they are loved, and I think that’s the most important thing I can give them as a mother.