To My Third Born Child

Dearest Third Born – You Are So Loved

35 Weeks pregnant with third baby

Dearest third-born, when I think about you I feel guilt, love and joy.

I am not the mum I was to my first child, nor my second. You have been such a trooper giving me your cheeky smiles and giggles in the darkest of times of my anxiety. I want you to know that you are so loved.

It’s just that it’s been so hard spending any one-on-one time with you. I feel so guilty that I have all these fun ideas we can do together and I end up having to put your older siblings needs before yours. I feel so guilty for not cuddling you more, and selfishly wanting alone time. I haven’t taken time to hold you when you cried for more cuddles.

I feel guilty

That I haven’t left the house more, I haven’t bought you the best nursery decor items, I haven’t even taken you out into the sunlight more or spent enough time lying under shady trees with you. I feel guilty that I feed the older kids before you, shower them before you and terribly guilty that I have only read you a half a dozen books in your 8 months, while the others get a book every night.

I feel so sad

When I give you to someone else so I can have a break to get housework done or if I need to work for our home business. I am so sorry that your routine gets changed for your sister’s dance class or when I have to wake you so that we can pick up your big brother from school.

I feel terrible

That you crawl around on a floor that I haven’t had time to mop. I feel worse that you vacuum up little pieces I didn’t know where there.

My biggest fear

Isn’t if you will be smart or be successful in life, it’s contracting contagious diarrhoea. Last fortnight, everyone in our family contracted contagious vomiting and I lost my breast milk supply and now you’re mostly bottle fed which is just another load of guilt.

I don’t even feel bad that I don’t feel bad when I put you down for nap time or miss you. However, I will check your breathing because otherwise I will have nightmares if I don’t.

Let me tell you something. You are so loved…

Lucy meeting Teddy for the first time.

Because… despite me crying while I type this message to you feeling all the guilty feelings let me tell you what your older siblings didn’t have…

They didn’t have an older brother or sister who loved them and laughed with them as much as they do with you. They didn’t have two siblings competing to try and make them smile the way they do for you. They didn’t have four family members doting on them every single day. They didn’t have someone sitting next to them keeping them company, so I could quickly get the washing pegged out on the washing line or get the dishwasher repacked.

They didn’t have two siblings fighting over whose turn it is to feed them or cuddle them on the couch. They didn’t have someone else running into their room and climbing into their cot to unzip them and tickle them most mornings.

You are so loved...

Dearest Teddy, life without you would be a whole less chaotic but a whole less fun. You put the cheekiness and joy into every day. You are our spark and our glue. You are so clingy and yet so relaxed. You are so loved…

To all my fellow parent friends – If you feel that wave of guilt for your child/ren, let me say it’s normal.

My guilt ridden feelings are slowly fading away, the more I work at my own anxiety each day and the more we come out of the baby stage and on with life. This is just a stage and it will pass as so many of my friends with older children remind me.

By Sarah Courtney

Wife of 13 years, Mum of 3, Early Childhood Teacher & Blogger.

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