Mummy guilt…When I announced that I was pregnant with Archer, I got the usual ‘oh, you’ll have your hands full then’, especially when we found out that he was another boy. Apparently having 2 boys means more work then if I had one of each or even 2 girls! I don’t think people come out with these comments because they’re being malicious or nasty, I think it’s because they genuinely don’t know what to say.
Personally, I wish people knew/said more about the Mummy guilt. I didn’t feel guilty at all during my pregnancy. It was still just me and Henry throughout the day, my little sidekick who would come everywhere with me. We normally did the same things day in day out but we had each other and we had fun. I didn’t believe that bringing another baby into the mix would change things much. The new baby would slot right in, Henry wouldn’t be affected and I could have 2 sidekicks instead of 1.
Oh, how wrong I was! It’s not that Henry has changed his behaviour, he always was quite independent. It’s just difficult seeing him trying to adjust to a life where people’s attention isn’t automatically on him. I’m trying so hard to give him that attention, I’m probably overcompensating! I just find it heartbreaking that all this change is happening and he can’t understand because he’s only 2…I hate the thought of him being confused and not fully understanding. When Archer was 4 days old, the floodgates opened and I bawled my eyes out about it! I sobbed for a good 10 minutes about how guilty I felt, that Henry didn’t understand, that I didn’t want him to feel confused because I couldn’t explain it to him properly. I remember trying to find my place again when my sister was born and I was 9…imagine being 2 and not understanding why this little baby has come into your life, takes your Mummy and Daddy’s attention and won’t leave? It literally broke my heart. I never regretted having Archer but I did wonder if we’d decided to have him too soon and maybe we should have waited until Henry was older and could understand more.
But after those tears, I started to feel a bit better. I watched Henry interact with Archer and I saw how much he loves his little brother, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Henry will share everything he has with Archer, from his food and drink (obviously not literally), to giving him his favourite toy sheep and asking if ‘baby nap’ when it’s naptime. He’ll try and cuddle him and shower him with kisses…unless Thomas is on and then nothing else matters!
I have to remember the reasons why we decided to have another baby. The main reason was so Henry would always have a friend, no matter what happened. And he’s not going to be psychologically affected by the arrival of his sibling…I can’t remember when my brother arrived and I was about the same age Henry is now. Yes, I expect them to fight and disagree because that’s part of sibling life. But I can also see the bond that’s already forming between them and I’m so excited to encourage that and help it grow.