Having a second child brought lots of guilt, but I soon got over it.
Rachel, Cumbria, UK
Walter was 21 months when Daisy was born. He knew she was his sister, but was too young to really ‘get it’. That also meant he wasn’t jealous, thank god. It was me that had the problem about having a second child. I was really scared he’d feel left out. There was a time when all he heard from me was “No Walter”, “Not now Walter”, “I can’t”. I felt awful not giving him the same attention, but Daisy needed me.
That’s partly why I combination fed from the start. I really struggled with breastfeeding anyway. I managed it for 8 weeks with Walter, but now I had two of them to think about. I had to do right by the whole family, so Daisy went from breast, to combination, to bottle in a few weeks. It was definitely the right thing for us, as my partner could do some of the feeding and I could spend more time with Walter. Friends and family were ok about it, but I still felt guilty. Stupid, as I knew it was the right decision.
Things are practically different too. More washing, different nap and meal times to deal with. And my partner works full time (he worked part-time when we just had Walter) so I’m not sure he understands how crazy my days are. That’s why dinner isn’t always ready and why the washing ups not done! It’s just not important. When Daisy is sleeping, my only priority is to give Walter my undivided attention for as long as I can. He deserves that, and it makes us both happier. Getting a double buggy really helped too. I put it off for a while but then I got one second hand and it’s made getting out and about much easier, especially with the dog.
Now Daisy is 9 months, Walter has hit the ‘terrible twos’. At first I thought he was just being naughty because he wasn’t getting enough attention. But I soon got over that - if he’s being a monkey, that’s cos he’s two. Not because he has a sister. So I don’t feel guilty any more - to be honest I haven’t got time. I just get on with it. That’s just what you do when you’ve got two kids!