Getting pregnant with my second child was a big pot of emotion soup. First I was surprised, then excited, followed by. . . guilt? I didn't see that one coming. But oh yeah — guilt showed up. Like a current of electricity running through a wire, the thought of adding another child to our family would send jolts of guilt through my mind on a regular basis. I thought that the joy of a new baby would overshadow any negative thoughts. Why do I feel guilty for having another baby, I would wonder when those nasty feelings crept in. But the more I talked to other moms, the more I realized I was not alone.
As it turns out, this experience was quite common with my friends, it's just not something they typically worked into casual conversation. But the more we began to open up and be honest with each other, the more we all realized that we grappled with the same guilty mentality about adding a baby to the mix. Life seemed so good just as is — would this infant ruin all that and shake up the balance? There were so many questions that induced the guilt.
If you've felt that new baby guilt sneaking in and wonder where it is coming from, consider these reasons you may be feeling guilty about having another child, and do your best to make peace with each one.
1. Your Pregnancy Is Slowing You Down
Before the baby is even born, the guilt can start. Many symptoms of pregnancy, such as fatigue and nausea can start to slow you down, making you feel bad about not being as available for the child/ren you have now.
2. You're Worried About Love
Worrying that you won't be able to love a second child as much as your first is a common fear, and one that can make you feel awfully guilty. But as Parents magazine pointed out, this worry is one shared by many parents, but you are more capable of loving multiple children that you give yourself credit for. All it takes it that first little baby cry, and you're hooked.
3. You Fear A Lack Of Energy
When I imagined life with two young children, it made me feel, well , tired! I worried that I wouldn't have enough energy to give to two kids, and that because of my lethargy they would not have the kind of mom they deserved.
4. You're Concerned About Money
Being concerned with affording an additional child is a valid concern, especially when you look at the numbers. The money masters at CNN created a a graph that shows how much is costs to raise a child from birth to 18 years of age. The grand total? A whopping $245, 340. Gulp.
5. You're Trying To Be Fair
When I was about to have baby number two, I wondered if I would be able to instill fairness into my parenting, so that both boys felt they were on an equal playing field. According to Parenting magazine, fairness comes in all shapes and sizes, and parents often wonder if they are treating their children fairly or not. Thinking you may show favor to one over the other definitely makes the guilt rise.
6. You're Feel Bad About Being Gone For The Birth
My son was used to being with me most of the time, and before his brother was born I was never gone for longer than a few hours. So when I realized I would be at the hospital for a few days after the delivery of my new baby, I started to feel guilty that my little guy would be worried while I was recovering.
7. You're Scared They Won't Like The New Baby
As I talked with friends about this, I discovered many moms were concerned with whether their current kids will like the new baby. Mothers hope that siblings will bond, but can't seem to shake the worry that when their child meets the new baby, there will be hard feelings.
8. You Don't Know If Your Child Is Prepared
Trying to explain what adding a baby to your family means can be confusing for some kids. Parents may worry they haven't prepared their child enough for the transition, and that their older child feels like love and attention will be scarce, according to Psychology Today.
9. You're Scared About Staying Close
I felt so bonded with my first son and, even though I knew some things about our relationship would change, I worried that dividing myself between two children will destroy that closeness we shared. I felt guilty about the possibility of ruining our special relationship.