Posts tagged Comparisons

Mom guilt and Second Child Syndrome.

This little girl is turning one in three and a half weeks. I have no idea how that happened (that’s for another post) but I’m feeling super mom guilt. No one is making me feel guilty except for myself, but it doesn’t matter, I still feel it. Why? Because she is suffering from Second Child Syndrome to the fullest extent. If you’re not aware of SCS let me give you a brief description. SCS is the phenomenon where second born children are unintentionally treated unfairly in comparison to their first born sibling. For example, I’m sure most of you are guilty of taking fewer photos of your second born child. (If you’re not, then kudos to you!) There is no one to blame for this and it’s absolutely unintentional, however, it just seems to happen.

Before Nora was born I swore up and down that she would receive the same level of attention in all aspects of her life that Brinley did. I promised myself that we’d take as many pictures of her, be just as excited about all of her firsts, and shower her with as many “oohs and aahs” as we did with Brinley But, let’s be realistic, none of that happened. It wasn’t on purpose, but there is just no way that you can devote the same level of attention to a second child when you still have the first one to care for. Your time is now divided. Unless you have the ability to clone yourself or cut yourself in half (in which case, can you please share your secret) it is just not possible.

So, as Nora’s first birthday creeps closer by the day I realize that I have no devoted nearly as much time to thinking about or planning a party for her. I didn’t send out invitations, I used and Evite (I know, I know). I haven’t planned a menu. I haven’t picked out her present. I haven’t found her the perfect birthday dress. And I feel terrible about all of it. In my defense, we’re moving in ONE week and her birthday happens to fall on the 2nd weekend we’ll be in our new house. So, needless to say, I have a lot on my plate right now. I just hope that she won’t hate me when she’s all grown up. I promise that I love her just as equally as I love Brinley and I will gladly accept the Bad Mom Award for this one.

Please help me to not feel so guilty. What has caused you to feel mom guilt? How did you get over it? Or did you?

Life is full of surprises.

When I was pregnant with both of my kids I tried to imagine what they would be like when they were born.  I’d imagine what they’d look like and how they’d act.  Would they look more like me or Scott?  Act more like me or Scott?  Would they be a total mix of both of us?  Would we end up with one of those kids that managed to not look or act like either one of us (the mailman’s child.. I kid)?  Scott and I had late night chats about these very things and it was always fun to imagine our unborn child.

When Brinley was born, the biggest surprise about her appearance was that she was a red head.  Scott was a red head as a child but his hair is pretty much brown now.  I always imagined having blonde children so this was a bit of a shock.  Don’t get me wrong, her hair was and still is gorgeous, it’s just not what I had envisioned.  I also anticipated that Brinley would be a total handful and a busybody based on the fact that she literally beat the crap out of me every night while she was living in my uterus.  Well, she surprised us again by being the most calm and easygoing baby.  She slept through the night by six weeks old and we could take her anywhere.  She’s become much more of a handful in her “old” age.

During my pregnancy with Nora, Scott and I often thought about what she’d look like and how she’d act.  I had this idea in my mind that my children would look alike and could pretty much have bet that I’d have another red head.  I love Brinley’s hair so much and the thought of having two red heads made me happy.  As for temperament and personality, I had no idea what to expect with Nora.  She was much more calm in utero, but for some reason I had pregnancy insomnia with her.  The only time I got a good night sleep while pregnant with her was thanks to Tylenol PM.  I’ve come to realize that this was God’s way of preparing me for the MONTHS of sleepless nights I’d endure after she was born.  Because it would have been unfair if I had two kids who slept through the night at six weeks old, right?  I was again surprised when Nora was born and she was a blondie.  She looked how I had imagined my children would look, but since Brinley was so striking with her red hair, this blondie no longer fit my paradigm.  Nora was also a peanut at 6lbs 13oz.  Brinley was 8lbs 1oz.

Throughout my entire second pregnancy, every single person I talked to told me horror stories about “the second one being a terror”.  I never believed it.  I figured if I had one angelic child already that surely the second one would be just as angelic.  And how could a teeny tiny little peanut like this, be anything but an angel?

Well, let me tell you, all those people who told me that the second child would give me a run for my money were right!  Nora is the complete and total opposite of Brinley.  When people see her, they say, “Oh she is such a doll.  She’s so sweet.  What an angel” and I just laugh.  Her looks are very deceiving.  Don’t get me wrong, she is a joy and I love her to pieces, but boy has she kept me on my toes these past ten months!  She didn’t start sleeping through the night until she was about six months old and even then it wasn’t consistent.  She has a huge temper and gets pissed when she doesn’t get what she wants.  She’s totally destructive and wants to rip and break everything.  She wants to be doing whatever you’re doing and isn’t happy unless she is into something she’s not supposed to be in to.

I just can’t believe, and never would have imagined, that my children would be so completely different from one another.  So, if you have one child and that child is easy, happy and very “go with the flow” expect your next child to be the polar opposite.  Right after Nora was born people would ask me if I’d “try for a boy” (I hate that question, but I’ll save it for another post) and my answer would be, “When Nora is two-ish, if she is as easy of a child as Brinley is, then we will think about having another one.”  My answer to that same question now: NOT A CHANCE!

Learning Table

Nora is all about standing these days.  If she’s sitting down, she’s trying to pull her way up to stand.  She’s able to hold on to tables and the couch and cruise around a bit.  Here is a side-by-side of Nora at nine months and Brinley at nine months both standing at the Learning Table:

Exersaucer

Nora loves to stand up. She has great strength in her legs and will push off of everything. She loves being held up and standing on our legs. I thought it might be about time to try putting her in the Exersaucer so that she could work on those leg muscles. She really seems to like it. She can spin her self around most of the way and loves to look at the toys. She grabs for them too. She doesn’t tolerate it for long periods of time, but I’m sure she’ll work up to that. Brinley used to love being in that thing!

Here is a side-by-side of both girls’ first time in the Exersaucer:

Bumbo

Nora tried out the Bumbo seat for the first time this weekend. She seemed pretty content in it though not totally sturdy yet. It was a Godsend with Brinley. She loved sitting in it and we brought it everywhere with us, including restaurants. I think Brinley was a bit older the first time she sat in it. Here are pictures of both girls sitting in it for the first time:

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