As I sit to write this, it is 11 o’clock at night. I promised myself I would get into bed tonight and get some MUCH needed sleep, but as I headed to bed there it was…the nagging feeling most moms know all to well. A bit of guilt. Yesterday, I hit 28 weeks with my second baby. I get extra excited every Wednesday because it is the day, I can count down another week. I become that much closer to meeting this sweet blessing and frankly, I can’t wait. I have NEVER been so excited for winter to get here, but here I sit, counting down until January! I love this baby, I love being pregnant and I love watching L get so excited and feeling him kiss the baby. It is the most amazing feeling. So what you may ask is the problem?
Well, with L, like many first time moms, I did all the things women do when they are expecting. I wanted to read every post out there, check lists for a baby registry, spend hours on Pinterest for the perfect nursery decor and take all the bump photos I could. With this baby, I want to do all those things, but honestly, I just don’t have the time. Now, when I get home from work, I make dinner, get cleaned up from the day, soak up every ounce of time I can with L (most nights, sometimes I’ll be honest the countdown to bedtime is real!) then pack lunches so we can do it all over again. By the time I sit down it is usually 9:00 or later. I want to do all those things, but I also want to shower, spend time with my hubby, finish the work I didn’t get done at work just be. I mean, who wants to pose for a photo at 9:00 at night after they have chased a toddler through a bedtime routine? But, man do I feel guilty.
People always say this happens with second babies, I know I am not alone but I don’t want this one to feel like I didn’t do these things because I don’t feel the same love! We found out L was a boy at a party surrounded by family and friends, with this baby, we found out with just the grandparents. For us, it was perfect because L got to open the envelope and share it, but will this baby grow up to think we weren’t excited? Because, man we are! In fact, I am saving that for another post, so I can at least tell them they got a big reveal on the blog!
The thing is, in this time of social media and technology, everywhere I look I see the moms who are seemingly doing it all. My rational self knows that is because we only put our best selves out there for social consumption and they too must feel as if they are falling short at some aspect of their lives. The problem lies in the fact that I have crazy hormones right now and my rational self is not always the self in charge. So I become so consumed by this guilt and the fact that my husband is asleep and can’t take a bump picture that I am now sitting here at 11:00 PM worrying that this will scar my poor child for life and cause them to resent their older brother! Yes, I know, or at least I think I know that is a little extreme but to me, in this moment, that is real life. My raw, unfiltered feeling about coming up short. It goes against all I try to be and all I say to other moms. I am always the one saying “you are enough” “be kind to yourself” “you are doing the best you can and that is the best anyone can ask”. But here, in this moment, I can’t convince myself of this same message.
Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Please tell me I am not alone, please tell me it will get better! Please tell me my child will not be sitting in a therapist’s office some day working through the emotional wounds caused by not seeing what their mother looked like when she was 27 weeks pregnant with them! Please tell my my children will remember that I did my best, that I was present with them even if there are not 100 pictures to prove it. And please, if you have advice to help with this guilt, other than just taking a darn picture, please share it!