As I write this, I am currently suffering with a bout of the Mummy guilt. You see, 2 days ago was Paisley’s first birthday. Her FIRST BIRTHDAY!! That’s a pretty special occasion right? Or at least you would think, if you’d used her brother’s as an example!
For Dexter’s birthday, Liam and I both had the week off work. We spent one day at the seaside, we spent another at a farm and we had a party at the weekend for all his little friends. We didn’t celebrate for one day, we dragged it out across the whole week and even did a cake smash!
He didn’t have a clue, he was one, what did he know?
For Paisley’s birthday, yes ok, we both booked the week off again… but what did we do with it? Absolutely sod all! On her actual birthday, we invited her closest family over for some birthday cake and sausage rolls etc. We put up a few banners and streamers, as you do… but I didn’t even take any photo’s. Thats a lie. I probably took about 4 but probably only this one of her opening her drum that was any good! I can honestly say I was too busy playing with her to take them but still! The only other one we have is this one (below) of her and my sister, that my sister took because they share the same birthday!
It’s not just in birthdays where they differ. Despite being a girl, she still gets hand me down clothes from her brother. People often mistake her for a boy (that might be partly my fault because I hate pink and overly girly things). She has very few toys of her own – they’re mostly hand-me-downs too. I mean, whats the point in going out and buying a brand new walker for her when Dexter’s is still in excellent condition? The same with wooden blocks, balls, garden toys. His are all still working perfectly well so there is no reason to buy it all new, all over again when there is still plenty of wear left in what we already have! Gro bags, vests, pyjamas bath toys, weaning things – Nobody outside the home even sees these things so there is no way I’ve got time or money to spend on something that nobody is even going to notice.
The person I feel really sorry for is BabyThree. I mean, whether its a girl or a boy, it’s going to get hand-me-downs far worse than Paisley has. So far with this pregnancy, I have to keep working it out or looking it up when people ask me how far along I am. I’ve done it twice before. I’m not as obsessed with tracking it all as I have been. I’m still very excited, of course I am, but I’m not obsessing with names or counting down the days, working out when to start my mat leave.
I know I’m not alone in this. It’s common for the second child (or 3rd, 4th etc) to not be as treasured or as anticipated as the first. Not because they aren’t loved (believe me, she is so very much loved), but because one child already fills your days, your head, your emotions so much, it then has to be divided. You grow extra love.. but you cant grow an extra head to think with and extra arms to play with.
I remember when I was pregnant with Dexter, each week I looked up how big he was in comparison to various fruit and vegetables (Why do we do this?). With Paisley I did it for the weeks I was writing pregnancy updates but not really at any other time. This one, I only know it’s currently the size of a pear because I happened to spot it somewhere. I didn’t look it up and I certainly don’t have any apps on my phone to tell me!
I asked a couple of other blogging parents what they’ve found with having more than one child and some of them were quite funny so I had to include them…
Nikki from TheYorkshireWonders said “You have 15 folders of pictures of your first baby and only 3 of your second (and they are not alone in most of them!).” – This could not be more true! If you go back to Paisley’s first birthday post, half of the pictures in it include Dexter, even if it’s just his hair!
Kerry made me laugh with her comparison on weaning each of her four children.. “When weaning my first child I cooked everything from scratch. Weaning my 2nd child I occasionally used jars and pouches, when weaning my twins, number 3 and 4 it was mashed up fish fingers and chips”
Alex of Lamb and Bear has used the baby paraphernalia to her advantage by communicating through the baby monitor..
“I’ve taught my 3 (nearly 4) year old how to talk to me via the baby monitor while I leave him to put the baby to bed (I breastfeed so it sometimes takes a while), you know, for ’emergencies’. I suddenly hear “muuuuuum” over the monitor. “Can I have a yoghurt?” Not an emergency, but sure if it keeps you quiet. 10 minutes later “mum, can I have another one?”
I think he had 3 one night because I just needed to keep him quiet and downstairs as his brother is such a light sleeper.
You gotta do what you gotta do!”
“With the first you pre wash all their baby clothes and have everything perfectly organised in draws. For the second they leave the house with socks as mittens!” – Says Rebecca from Wishes and Wellies and I’ll admit, I have totally done this! More than once!!
And this one from Rachel of CoffeeCakeKids made me chuckle!
“My first: baby book filled out to the exact date he started walking/first tooth/first haircut. My second: baby book half filled out with the month he started walking/first tooth/first haircut. My third: No baby book. Started walking at some point. Got a tooth at some point. Someone cut his hair at some point…”
It’s not all bad though. Having Paisley has made us feel like a proper family as apposed to 2 adults and a child. She’s been so easy to have around and has fitted into everything like she was always meant to be here. From the moment she latched on perfectly for her first breast feed in hospital, she has been no trouble at all. Happy to go wherever we go or do whatever we do. Even eating whatever we eat. She’s given me so much more confidence as a mother, and I’m far more relaxed about what she’s doing and when she’s doing it. She’s a wonderful baby girl and I wouldn’t be without her for all the tea in china.
What differences did you notice as you had more children? I’d love to hear your funny ones. Reading these has actually eased that mummy guilt a bit so would love to hear more xx