When we became pregnant with Seth, it seemed that everyone we knew had advice on how to handle a 2 year old and a new baby, or how to handle having two kids in general.
But, nobody told us about the guilt we would feel.
I noticed after we had been at the grocery store for about 10 minutes today that I hadn't said a word to Seth. He was riding quietly and contently in the cart while I was chasing after, scolding, disciplining, searching for, and giving every ounce of energy I had to Brody. And then it hit me... Seth has to fend for himself much more than his brother did.
Maybe that is just the way it is when you are a sibling, or maybe since Brody is so high maintenance, Seth will be forced to become a "behind the scenes" kind of kid. Or, even worse, maybe I am just not as good a mother to two kids as I was to one. This is so disturbing to me! I worry that the MOST IMPORTANT job I will ever have is too much for me, that I am just not getting it done the best that both of these boys need.
When Brody was Seth's age, we would go to the store and I would take toys and snacks and juice. We would sing while I walked through the aisles and I would point things out and name everything that we saw. Now, I find myself mentally shutting down when I have spent every last ounce of sanity trying to get my 3 year old to "put on his listening ears" for the 8th time in 10 minutes. Not to mention chasing him down as he does "open sesame" with the front doors of the store and goes out on his own while I am trying to pay.
How does a mother balance a high maintenance child with one that barely says a peep, one who you could almost forget is there except for the occasional incredible smile?
Oh, there is so much guilt. Guilt that Seth will never have the one-on-one time that Brody had with me and Kurt. Guilt that Seth gets all hand-me-down toys, clothes, furniture, etc... Guilt that Seth hasn't even really started talking yet because we, as his parents, haven't been teaching him enough about the world around him. Guilt that Seth spends time during the day off doing his own thing while I am trying to potty train and run damage control for the kid that washes dirt in the sink, pours juice on his head , and takes all the dvds out of the dvd player and scrapes them on the floor.
Kurt and I have already realized we need to and want to start spending time alone with each child, so each one has one-on-one time... but is there any other advice that anyone can give me? I definitely love my little guys equally, but how can I show them this when one is so demanding of my time and the other isn't? Is this something that all mothers and fathers go through?
Just to make me feel better... here are a few pictures of JUST SETH, including his one year portraits.