I feel some serious Mom guilt and need some reassurance!

Let me preface this by saying I love my Zane with all my heart. How can you not- look at him:

He is such a good boy- never giving me any trouble and just an all around loving boy. However,  I have been having some serious mom guilt lately with the relationship we have. I guess I am posting for advice and to see if any one has ever gone through what I am feeling.

When I had Hayley, I joined a mom’s group and befriended six awesome moms who I am still friends with   to this day. We still do regular playdates and we all have a great dynamic with each other.  I made an effort to go out and meet new moms in the area. I was new to Rhode Island and I really knew no one. So, I signed up for every class, and off Hayley and I went. We did baby yoga, signing classes, mom and me gym, art class- you name it, we did it!  Our schedule was just Hayley and I, and I loved the time we spent together.

However, when Zane was born, I didn’t feel the need to do any of these classes. Half of the reason, I did these classes, was for me to meet some friends.  Selfish, perhaps- but it is true. When Zane came, I didn’t really want to mess up the great dynamic we had with Hayley’s playdates and honestly, I didn’t have the time to take Zane with me for one on one classes.  I have to say I regret it now. I love Zane so much but I just don’t feel the same bond that I feel with Hayley. Is this normal- will this go away? I guess I need some advice because it makes me sad.

I know a huge part is I have a three year old in the picture who doesn’t really allow me to spend one on one time with Zane. I have to admit, that when she goes to school, I end up taking Zane with me to the babysitting at the Y or to my tennis center, because this is the only free time I end up having all day. By the time I am done with the gym,  it is off to pick up Hayley again. So, I blame myself for not taking the time to do one on one time with Zane.

As I reflect today, I know I am not failing as a parent with Zane, but I do know, I can be doing more. I feel it is not fair to him. I know he is probably too young to realize the bonding time, but I know what I am doing is wrong. The other part of this equation is I just love spending time with Hayley. She is at such an incredibly fun age and loves to take in everything. I truly enjoy spending time with her at night and just doing mom and Hayley time. However, I know by doing this, I am taking away from Zane time that I could be having. 

I guess what I am saying, is I don’t feel the special dynamic I do with Hayley. I know you should never compare kids but with Hayley, I used to sit with her and do sign language nightly. I used to sit with her and read books on the floor all day. I used to bring her to all these fun activities. With Zane, he doesn’t get much of anything. Today, I was trying to teach him sign and realized that it is probably too late. Okay, it is never too late but I just feel bad for not starting earlier. I didn’t make the effort I had with Hayley.  I feel as if he is going to be one in three short weeks, and our life together hasn’t really started yet.  If you have more than one child, have you ever felt like this? Does it get better? I really would love some  reassurance…I thank you in advance!

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  1. Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says

    Remember that when Hailey goes to school full time (unless you're planning to homeschool of course) you'll have a lot more one on one time with Zane. I think in the end these things end up balancing out. With Pierce in school all day, I get more one on one time w/ the twins. Of course the twins hardly ever get me solo – it's always both of them, but they've never known any different and they're happy, so no use worrying about it, right? Zane will be just fine!

  2. Kass says

    I know exactly what you mean. I would do flash cards on occasion with Aiden and I haven;t done any of that with Rebecca. I would read to Aiden more then I have with her. I have started reading her a book at bedtime, but you're right it's not the same. And it shouldn't be. They are different children and there is more on the plate. I keep in mind that Aiden started daycare at 14 weeks while Rebecca didn't go until 7mos. When the kids nap on off schedules, then Rebecca gets some more one on one time. Next session at the Y we are going to sign Rebecca up for swimming because we can tell that she wants to go in like Aiden does. Zane is still young and he'll be fine. The one thing that has crossed my mind in regard to my kids is the fact that they are different genders. I try to make sure that I don't pull favorites over the genders.

  3. Megan says

    I think your feelings are 100% normal! All moms with more than 1 child feel this way at some point. I actually am having the opposite feelings right now. I bonded to my son J(who is 5 months old now) much quicker than I bonded to my daughter S. My delivery and recovery were very challenging with S, so I never breastfed her, and my husband did most of the diaper changings and feedings for the first few weeks. Then when he went back to work, I struggled for a while to figure out the whole mom thing. The adjustment was difficult for me. I loved her so much though, and after a few months she was everything to me: my whole world, my favorite person to spend time with. And because I loved being a mom so much, I was so excited to get pregnant again when she was 11 months old. J's whole pregnancy/delivery/recovery experience was easier, and I breastfed him for a short time, so we bonded immediately. The adjustment from 1 to 2 was easier for me too. Now S is an independent 2 year old who just wants to do everything "by myself!" She loves to read with me though, and it is so much fun to see her learn and experience new things. Baby J still wants to snuggle all day long, lights up when I enter the room, and throws himself toward me when someone else is holding him. We spend a lot of time snuggling with each other while Stephanie plays and learns. I love and adore both of my children, but I think you bond differently with each child depending on his/her age and stage of life.

    I am so sorry for the rambling I just did! I hope it all makes sense, i'm a little sleep deprived this morning. The point was just supposed to be that I understand how you feel, and you're not alone. :)

  4. Isra says

    I have 3 kids, all very close in age and young, all under 6. I've gone through this at various points and something I learned is with the first we are their everything. They get their playing, love, hugs, attention, talking to from us, and us alone.

    When other siblings come into the picture, immediately our attention is now halved. The kids that come after will always get less of our attention just be default, for lack of a better word. BUT, this is OK..why? Because I've witnessed with my own eyes, the lack of apparent lack of attention they get from us is wholly made up by the love, hugs and attention they get from their siblings.

    I've seen you post so many pics of the two of them together, and it looks like she dotes on her baby brother..which is exactly what he needs. What you think you're lacking, he's making up for in different ways that Haley didn't have growing up those first couple years.

    There's too much mommy guilt, just focus on doing what you can, "There is no way to be a perfect mother, only a million ways to be a good one."

  5. OverMom says

    You are not alone. Not at all. You know that I have 3 kids. Dominic is almost 8 years older than the little ones. He got a TON of one on one time. We did not do the classes that you did with Hayley (mostly because I worked 2 jobs and was still going to school) but I took Dom everywhere. Now that he is older, the close bond that we used to have has faded. I am sure that just happens when they get older and hit the hormones stage. Or so I hope that is why! I still try to do things with him one on one but it really is few and far between.
    When Logan was born, Dom was in school. So I had lots of one on one time with him during the day and at night after D went to bed. Then I got pregnant with Charlie when Logan was only 9 months old. (I have horrible Mommy guilt for having them so close because of the bonding period). From when he was 11 months on, I was so sick that it took all my strength just to make it through the day. We do have a great bond, even though the one on one time was rare. So do not worry!
    Now for Charlie. She has 2 older brothers to compete with. BUT she is my little girl. I feel such a connection with her (as I am sure you do with Hayls) because she is a girl. We get very little one on one time but our bond is secure.

    I do try to take each kid with me to the store every once in a while alone for the one on one time. Or just to run errands.

    I would not worry that you do not have as secure of a bond, it is there! You will see it when he starts talking more. If you like to run, try taking him with you once a week for a jog since it is getting nice out. Or run to the store with just him. It will def make you feel better about the bond. It does not matter what you do with him (the classes or just errands) the only thing that matters is that you are together.

    You are a great Mom, do not forget that!!! XOXOX

  6. Elizabeth says

    I have a 5 year old little girl and a 14 month old little boy and like you me and my jazzy were two peas in a pod!! But when my son came along it was actually the opposite for me. I started paying more attention to devin and not jazmine. I knew what I was doing and felt horrible. It didnt help that my son was always crying because he had gurd. But my dad would noice it. that would just piss me off. But the way I have fixed this is. I hand my son to his daddy and say I love you and hang out with jazzy. Im learning to divide my attention for both of them or do things they both can enjoy with me. I have to add that he is very spoiled with me he always wants me to hold him or put him to sleep. But yes it will get better!! Your not a bad mommy. Just stop and take a deep breath and think of things you three can do together. Hope that helps! and your not alone

  7. robyn says

    Everythihng you said sounds totally normal! I always feel badly that I spend more time cuddling with my 6yo daughter than by almost-10yo son. He and I had a great bond when he was born, and I was a SAHM for 2 years. Then Zoe came along and I was already back at work, and she had to go into daycare right away, so maybe I overcompensated. Now there's a new baby and the balance is all upset again… But each child is different. Boys and girls are different. Your first (when you have all that time and energy to focus) and your second/third/etc are different. No one expects each of the kids to be treated exactly the same – it's just not realistic. As long as they're loved, that's all that matters. :)

  8. Grace says

    My children are now 30 and 29. My first was a girl and then my son was born 23 months later. I think what you are experiencing is normal. Each child is different and you will find different activities and different ways to spend time with each. When he gets older you no doubt will be finding yourself sitting on the floor playing match box cars. Truly a new area than you went before with your daughter. I will give you some advice that I think if valid. Life is too short to give seconds to guilt. You love your children and that love will guide you. Stop worrying and enjoy your children.

  9. Andrea says

    I think it it TOTALLY normal! If it makes you feel any better, my husband and I want more kids, but we can't even think about loving another little nugget as much as we love our daughter. My husband even said the other night, "I don't care how many kids we have, Quinn will always be my favorite." haha! I think it's just the first baby and allll of the love that we put into that relationship. You are a great mom and love those kids to pieces and that's all that matters mama :)

  10. Mama Luvs Books says

    I feel the same way with Drew! It is very normal for a second child unfortunately. His only friends for a while were Kendal's friends. And now it's even worse with the blogging!!!

  11. Tessa Beuning says

    It's totally normal (or at least I hope!). I did more with Kendall, because I could. It was just her to devote my time to. Now most of what I do with the kids involves both of them. I *think* they like that, and there doesn't appear to be any resentment or jealousy issues, but it is nice to have that one on one time. Maybe 1 Saturday a month, you can take Zane out for some alone time with you? That might make you feel less guilty, even though I don't think you need to. :)

  12. Ourfamilyworld says

    It takes time to adjust your schedule with 2 kids and give them equal time. I had the same feeling when I gave birth to my second. My older was already 6 years old: we were doing so much things together. Maybe you can do something special with Zane once or twice a month while daddy plays with the older one

  13. Briana says

    I only have one right now, but I often worry about this when I think about having #2. It's nice to know that from the sounds of it all moms go through this and it is totally normal. Whew!!

  14. Tara says

    Like others have said this is normal. When I had my first child he was amazing except for some feeding issues in the very beginning. His birth was an awesome home birth, he slept through the night at two months, I took him everywhere. I went back to work when he was 4 months and my husband stayed home with him. I took him to the library story time on weekends and we both took him to parent and tot swim lessons. My daughter was born 6.5 years later and it was an emergency c section. I was an emotional mess after that and did not bond very well with her at all in the beginning. She was then diagnosed with hearing loss and shortly after my father in law passed away so we had his funeral and such to travel for and take care of. She developed colic at about three months and I just remember giving her to my husband as I couldn't stand it. Our first year became a blur of grieving for FIL, speech therapy, doctors, tests and hearing aids. We started sign language with her and speech therapy at three months and did all kinds of stuff to help her. But I certainly did not spend as much time doing all the other typical stuff I did with my son. Stop worrying about it and don't stress yourself out, take care of yourself and just do what you can.

  15. Daveys Mommy says

    I think all of us moms have the mommy guilt for 1 reason or another. I would not worry so much. I think it's normal when you have more than 1 child and kids learn and pick up so much more from their siblings than you realize, so I'm sure it's all ok. Just keep doing the best you can and know it cannot and will not all be perfect. Sounds like you are a great mom!

  16. Erin C says

    I have felt the same way with Becca our youngest. Sam got so much 1 on 1 time when she was a baby but Becca doesnt get that.Now that Sam is in preschool I have 3 hours to get as much done with Becca alone. Sometimes we just hang out and dance to music, sometimes we go shopping, sometimes I clean and she trys to help. During this time I try to throw in lessons like colors, counting, shapes whatever she needs more work on. And it helps the guilt quite a bit. We also have made sure we have time as a family but sometimes we split it up. Sam will go with Daddy and Becca with me for 1 on 1 and then later that day or another day we will switch kids to give them equal time. It is hard as a Mom when you have more than one and you want everything to be equal for the younger sibilings but it rarely happens and you cant feel guilty about it. Just do you best and find a system that works for you. As long as you love them equally that is all that matters.

  17. DeDa Studios says

    I think every Mom with more than one child…has been where you are right now. Everything will work out …. the most important thing you can give them is LOVE!

  18. Jeremy, Censie and Jude says

    This is tough. I often wonder how we will juggle time when we have a second baby. I am loving all the advice from others.

  19. Erin @ PAWS 4 THOR says

    I only have one child, but I feel that same way at times. He has multiple disabilities and my life is consumed with therapy and trying to work from home – any free time I have I selfishly want it for me. I always feel guilty and like I need to be spending more time with him, even though I'm with him nearly every moment of every day. I think it's the "curse" of being a mom — we all feel guilty for one thing or another. :( I'm sure you're a wonderful mom..and your kids love you :)

  20. Grandma Juice - Ronni Keller says

    What you feel… 100% normal!! We all are closer, more bonded/connected, whatever word you apply to one child then the others. I have 4 children… my oldest and I just have a 'different' connection. Not 'better' / not 'worse'… different.
    When your oldest goes off to school you'll naturally work him into more mommy time… that's just how it 'flows'…Until then, don't beat yourself up. He's not neglected. He's a happy boy… that's what matters. You make him feel special and he's happy. It's nt the amount of hours in a day you spend with him, it's what you do when you're spending time with him that matters.

  21. Melissa + Tiffany @ Home Grown Families says

    I have 4 small children, and I am always having mommy guilt. I did everything with my first, all the classes, playgroups etc but then after that I never had the time to do that. I actually just said to my husband that i needed to sign up for Gymboree with our 2 old just to get some one on one time in. It is perfectly normal to feel that way. Just try to devote an afternoon with just him- like swimming pool park or something. I try to take each child alone somewhere once a month- it is our special time. Even one on one at the grocery store counts for interaction. My daughter and I have pillow fights at walmart- it's our thing. Just make the most out of each moment :) Chin up mama you are doing great!

  22. Shopping Tips and Tricks says

    Truly normal! I had that with my two oldest. Yet they are now almost 20 & 18 and they are perfectly normal individuals that I have great relationships with. Don't allow guilt to win. You will have special times with both of them as they grow and they will remember that. He definitely does not show any signs of neglect! He is adorable & happy. That means you are doing your "job" perfectly! :)

  23. TerriAnn @ Cookies and Clogs says

    This is why, despite what some say, the oldest is actually the most spoiled child (coming from a 'youngest' sibling). You're only human and it's just logical that you can spend more dedicated time and attention with one child versus splitting it among two. However, children do not really NEED all that extra stuff like special infant/toddler classes. When your daughter goes to school you'll get your special one-on-one time. Plus, when you had only one you were also the playmate so the Zane gets to benefit from playing with his sister as well :) Hang in there – you'll find your unique relationship with your son soon!

  24. Anonymous says

    That was a heartfelt post. I don't have 2 yet, but I would imagine this is a normal feeling that will absolutely pass at some point. Remember also that full time working moms do not take their little ones to mommy & me and other activities. They are in day care or with a nanny and these kids turn out just as great. These activities are really more for mommies, with some benefits for the babies. Why don't you sign up for 1 music class with Zane? Music is fun and should only be like 45 min a week, and it could be something fun for you & Zane bonding? You shouldn't feel guilty for dropping him off for exercise and tennis…those are important for YOU!:) -Bella

  25. Emily says

    I have only one child, and we do tons of activities as you did with your first. I think that is a normal way to connect as a mother, perhaps you were doing those activities to determine your value as a mom? and to see if you were doing things the "right" way? Now that you're comfortable in your role as a mother, you no longer need these classes to validate yourself. If you're feeling like you are depriving him of one-on-one time with you, always remember that boys love their moms more than anything – and he won't remember not have a packed schedule when he was 1! He'll have plenty of time for activities – like soccer, football, band, baseball, debate team – and who do you think will be carting him to and fro?!

    You're doing a great job a mom, and I hope that you'll be able to take something away from all of these comments.

  26. Jen G says

    I have three kids {plus a step-son} and each of them I've felt a special feeling for them at differing times. I used to feel guilty about it then I realized that feeling guilty only made me overcompensate for that guilt which only enabled that child to get away with stuff they normally wouldn't. What I am saying is just enjoy your children where you are and where they are. They grow up fast {my oldest is already grown}…spending time analyzing everything does no one any good. Hang in there…maybe as your son grows…so will your relationship! =)

  27. royalegacy says

    Looking at the comments above me, I say they have some pretty good points to make. He is only going to one, you still have a lifetime together. Me, I took care of the mommy guilt with all six of my kids–I just never left them with someone until they were over five years old. All were homeschooled, too. Yeah, it was tedious at times, but looking back, I feel it was worth it for me.

  28. Natalie says

    I worry about this too…when I have baby boy #2….I'm going to see what kind of advice you get b/c I have no idea how to manage and have one-on-one time with both.

  29. Harriet Yoder says

    We have a large family and I've felt mommy guilt, too. The main thing is to quit thinking about what you aren't doing for Zane and to quit putting yourself down for your shortcomings. Instead spend that time doing something with Zane. It's not that complicated. Maybe you can take an mommy toddler exercise class together or go to the park with a trike and walk beside him. It's time to be creative and not critical. I know you'll be fine.

  30. Sarah @ It's a Vol says

    You are doing a good job momma! It's what he knows. I don't remember my parents making an effort to spend special time with my little brother (I was five when he was born so I would remember) it was just about the time we spent all of us together. Remember when it was just H, that was your family, the three of you so OF COURSE it was one on one. Your family is different know so OF COURSE it's different. You are doing a great job!

  31. Shelley says

    I only have one baby right now and it looks like you got a lot of great reassurance so I will just say… I read this and from my point of view, the first child gets more attention because it's just the two of you all the time and then when you have another child you have to split your attention but they get the love you from siblings…did that make sense? All in all, I think it evens out and you are normal!

  32. Nykki says

    I worry about this when Deanna gets here too! You still have a bond with him, it's just a different one. You are still a great mom, and he knows you love him! :)

  33. KERRY says

    Oh Melissa, Hayley was the first to come along so you had so much more time on your hands. When the second child comes along you have now double the work but not double the time, so I can see why you feel like you did so much more with Hayley in those 3 years. Not forgetting that you work and run a house, time is precious. It doesn't mean you love him any less, you are just content with what you have in the way of friendships already made and with the activities you do. Is Hayley too young for a day at preschool? Maybe then you could have a mummy/Zane day. You just need to establish a new routine that includes him and activities for him and you to do together. That is if you want to do activities, I never took my kids to gyms or play groups etc, I didn't feel the desire to and we bonded just fine doing things at home together. The more time you allow yourself with just Zane, the more of a bond you will feel, you're not deliberately denying it, you're just not used to it. Now that you've recognised it, change it. You don't want regrets when he goes off to school, and like you said – just look at him!! Now go, BOND!! (and get rid of that guilt!) :) xoxo

  34. Maria says

    melissa, where i don't have advice…i can tell you that i truly believe that you are an awesome mama to hayley AND zane. i imagine it was "easier" to have the time with hayley, with her being the only child for a bit.
    i can see when hayley goes to school in the future, you having a lot more one on one time with zane :)
    and i can see that great bond forming between the two of you!!
    i think you do have a bond with him already…and it's just different feeling than with hayley. and i think that's probably very normal to feel that way. just like with other relationships…friends, family….i can relate to feeling different bonds with each of my friends.

    i will be thinking about you and that beautiful family of yours!!
    there's no doubt you're an awesome mama to zane…he knows it and feels it. i'm sure of that.
    maria <3

  35. The BOAT says

    I did not read the other comments so I apologize for repetition. I think what you are feeling is normal. I have the same guilt accept it's opposite, and sometimes goes back and forth between the kids. Here's how I see it. You & Hayley have a mother/daughter bond and that is some of the issues. I feel that w/Brynnleigh & I and feel horrible that O and I don't have that. But the bond that O and I have is different. Hayley can do so much more and interact with you. When Hayley was a baby, it was just her, so you occupied your time with her. Now with Zane, you don't have as much free time. So it's not that you are neglecting Zane, you just don't have as much time to occupy with Zane. I feel like I leave O out a lot because he's so content playing his games or building a train track, and Brynnleigh is more needy. It might just be the difference with a boy and a girl. When I feel guilty one way or the other, I try and plan playdates with the "neglected" child.

    When you have more than one kid, you love them both/all, but their needs are different and you have to adjust your lifestyle to that. Zane is probably just a more content baby and you don't feel the need to entertain as much as you did with Hayley.

    Us mothers feel guilty about pretty much everything…just remember, you are always harder on yourself. As long as your kids are happy, safe and loved, what more can you do?

  36. Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! says

    It all ends up balancing out, my friend. You will never really have as much time with your subsequent babies as you did with your first, but that's okay. You will end up with more one on one time with Zane as Hayley gets older and spends more time at school. As they grow and change, their relationships with their parents change as well. For now, try to carve out a short period of time each week that you can spend with just Zane, focusing on him. It doesn't have to be elaborate-even just 15 minutes of sitting on the floor playing or 15 minutes of holding him and reading books together works! Just make sure it's only with him. As he gets older, you could take him on a quick ice cream date or stop at the park to play for a few minutes. I promise you, the guilt is all in your head. Raising your second child is a lot different than your first, because you have to divide attention. And let me reassure you…boys always ADORE their mamas!!!

  37. Gumdrop Pass says

    Aw, Melissa, you had my heart with this entire post. As you know, I only have the one little man in my life right now, but what you're going through is a big (LEGITIMATE) fear of mine.

    Know that you are doing more than you think you are. You're the center of Zane's world and he LOVES you for all that you do. Sure, you may not take him as many places as you did with Hayley, but all he cares about is that he gets to spend time with you in ANY way — when you rock him to sleep, when you take care of him when he's sick… he knows you're his momma and he loves you for everything!

    I know it's hard not to feel guilty. I feel guilty all of the time, and I only have one little one! It just comes with the territory. ;)

    I hope you're feeling better about this! <3

  38. bohohippiemom says

    I've got 2 daughters, one 23 years old, and the second, 11 years old. The first child I kept a lock of hair from the first haircut, wrote every single milestone in her baby book, and read all the hottest child rearing books. I took her to the playground alot, etc. Fast forward 12 years. My second daughter is born. With one in her tweens and hormones raging, the troubled teen years already underway, I simply didn't have time to do all of the "special" things I wanted with my youngest. It's not that I didn't love her just as much, it's just harder to entertain 2 very different people. Now my oldest is moved out and attending law school, and I no longer work outside the home, I have much more time to dedicate to my younger daughter, which is a blessing, because recently she has been diagnosed with benign focal Epilepsy and needs ALOT of my attention, comparable to that of a newborn in that she must NEVER be left unattended.
    Don't feel bad. It is totally, completely, 100% normal to feel the way you do. Mother them the best you know how and don't sweat the small stuff.

  39. Life With Captain Fussybuckets says

    I hear ya! My kids are 3 and 1 and I feel like we're "neglecting" #2, even though he gets tons of time with us, it's never "quality" one on one time because #1 is so demanding as a three year old and also because the kid never sleeps! ha! But really, it's just the 2nd child. I think of it this way….we're doing perfectly fine with him, we just completely overdid it with #1. :) And like others have said, you'll have your alone time with Zane soon enough!

  40. Kecia says

    I only have Sawyer, so I don't have firsthand experience with this. This is actually one of the reasons why I only want to have one child. I am afraid of having a stronger bond with one child than the other…and the other child realizing it down the road and feeling left out. Sometimes I even feel guilty now, with just one, when I'm working in the evenings and letting my hubby take care of him alone…I feel like I should always be in there on the action. I know that Sawyer needs bonding time with Daddy though, and that I have to work!

    Is there any way you could possibly fit in "Mommy and Zane" time? I know you said your schedule was busy and that really the only YOU time you have is the gym. Maybe do the gym 2-3 times a week and personal time with Zane the other two days? Or maybe let Hayley stay with Daddy (or a relative) on the weekends & you and Zane go have fun at the park? That way, Hayley can have fun with someone other than you so you can devote time to that cute little boy :)

  41. angelaluvnlife says

    So how did you find the mom group I am curious to know? The mom groups I find is usually through church, but its true I usually get wrapped up in my own stuff so I don't usually do as many and my daughter usually has more play dates even today because we just made friends with these parents and they have kids her age but maybe not the same age as my other 2. So I totally get it :) But we can always look back and kick ourselves I am sure he is well adjusted and he is totally adorable :)

  42. LOVE MELISSA:) says

    Oh my goodness! Some of you made me cry with how much support you showed me on this post. This post was difficult for me to write and I thank you all so much!!!! I am completely overwhelmed with how much you wrote and gave me advice/support. THANK YOU!!!

  43. tribalmama says

    I didn't take the time to read all the comments, I have 6 children, 5 of them 5 and under, so sorry if I repeat anything…

    My relationship with each child is different. Each child is different. I believe with your firstborn there is a special bond that can never be taken away NOR does it make it "unfair" to the others. In my case the oldest was the only child (for more or less we also had equal custody of my step son at the time) for a good 4 years. My firstborn got a lot of attention and we did the whole gymboree and play date thing. Then when my second (daughter) came along I found myself without a connection with her, at all! No kidding, she was my first girl and I "wanted" a girl but she did not like to be held or snuggled like my son. I just felt this disconnect with her. She was more of a daddy's girl. She ended up walking by 10 months and has been on the go ever since! Her personality is just so drastically different than my firstborn's. Now that she is older she will come to me and want to be held and we can girl talk and do hair, all that fun stuff and we now have a bond that is rather unique. She actually is a lot like me…go figure. So there are many teaching lessons here for the both of us. :D

    What I think you might be missing is the one on one time with Zane. Even though I have all these littles, the youngest always gets my undivided attention at some point of the day. Most of the times this is after I put the others to bed and then depending on their personality I try and fill their love tank. (This is actually down time for me.) Even with my first daughter (mentioned above) I did this. She enjoyed me holding her up in the air, tickling her and playing peek a boo things like that. Like I said, she is active.

    Above all, they are different. And this is to be embraced. Also there may be a time when your oldest will need encouraged to allow Zane some of your time. At least with my oldest this needed to be reinforced. Like I said he was so use to having my attention and not having to share it that it actually had to be taught. Note, none of my others have had to learn this. They are all much more attentive to each others needs.

  44. Candice Moretti says

    You are doing a great job at being a mom. We all have those bad days when we feel like "bad mom" but we don't give ourselves enough credit! Keep up the good work. I often wonder what 2 will be like. :)

  45. Our Little Corner says

    I haven't read the other comments but I think what you're feeling is normal for the second child. There's no way you'll have as much one on one time with him as you did with Hayley. I'd just make an effort to squeeze in a little more alone time with him. I feel like I didn't bond quite as quickly with my son (second child) as my daughter.. and I'm sure that's normal. Just the fact that you're so concerned about it shows you're an awesome mom! :)

  46. Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] says

    I have no advice as a mommy of 1…but you're a wonderful mom and I imagine things are just so much different the 2nd time around!

  47. Shelley (Gift Card Girlfriend) says

    I have three kids – ages 11, 9, and 7. I remember feeling what you are now feeling, a few years ago. But I can honestly tell you that it all evens out.

    As others have said, when my daughter went to school, I spent more time with my boys. As child 1 and 2 went off to school, I had many dates with my youngest. What's unique about the relationship, is that my youngest remembers his alone time. My oldest does not. She doesn't remember all the truly devoted one-on-one time we shared. But she certainly is aware that her younger brother gets the mommy/son date perk when she's off at school or other activities.

    Plus, I don't believe your son can truly distinguish the type of attention he's getting. For example, my oldest rode rear-facing in the car for two years, by herself. My youngest son never had to do that. He's always had a friend in the backseat of the car to play with. Yes, as mom, you are the most important thing to him. But he was born into this world with three people who love him, and that's his world.

    My relationship with my oldest daughter is different, but I believe it is more because she's a girl than because she had that alone time. You will love her and spend every darn amount of attention you can give on her…and I'm here to tell you…she'll still roll her eyes at you when she's 11. It's just what happens.

    Good luck and good post.


  48. Sandy Blackard says


    Consider that it's not what you do (or don't do), but how you FEEL about what you do (or don't do) that defines your relationship with your kids. That's why you should check in with yourself often and listen to yourself. You know what you need.

    When you get caught up in "shoulds," you get off kilter and can miss things that are right under your nose, like the possibility that you may be actually responding to the needs of both children in exactly the right way since their needs will not be the same. Often second-borns need less of your time because they have a sibling to learn from and interact with who has always been in their lives, while the first-born who learned to rely on you for everything will feel the impact of sharing you more strongly and may need more of your time.

    Just remember that both (probably all) positions in a family have their gifts. I remember thinking after I had my first daughter that every child should be a first-born, until I had my second and realized that my second daughter actually had an easier time in life. They are in their early twenties now and neither would change their birth order even if they could.

    Firsts get all of your attention, but can feel more pressured, like every little thing they do is somehow very important since they were watched more closely and worried over more; whereas seconds are born to "experienced" parents which can result in them being more laid back, able to entertain themselves better, and independent. Seconds even sometimes make friends easier. Of course personalities differ, so this is not absolute, but it's something to think about when you look at what your children are asking of you.

    And yes, as you can feel in your heart, one-on-one time with each child is irreplaceable, even if it is more for you than them. If you feel connected to the child, the child will feel connected to you. So when you do not, be sure to do whatever it takes to reconnect.

    If you want a quick read for how to bring connection to any moment, I posted a little handbook, "SAY WHAT YOU SEE for Parents and Teachers. More hugs. More respect. Elegantly simple." on my website that can be read there FREE (in Flash) or purchased for a couple of dollars as a Kindle. (Not sure if the website will come up with my name, but if you search Language of Listening, you will find it.)

    Thanks for the heartfelt share. Many parents are feeling exactly what you are feeling and don't know it's OK to ask for help. You just gave them permission to be real!

  49. Heather from Our Girls Keep Us Moving says

    I have mommy guilt over it all. Over working and keeping my kids in daycare every day, over the fact that I don't think I give either girl the attention they truly deserve. I understand completely about the second kid thing. I was constantly doting over Claire, doing everything possible to make sure she was thriving and now with Natalie she just comes along for the ride. I hate that she doesn't get the one-on-one experience that Claire enjoyed. I also feel bad (I can't believe I am admitting this) that I just don't enjoy the baby stuff as much as the older stuff. As Natalie gets older, it is getting better.

    You are a great mom! Don't doubt it and try to schedule some Mommy-Zane time and the bond will be there before you know it!!

  50. brit says

    I wish I had some advice for you, but having only 1, I don't. =( I'm sure you're a great mom, to Hayley and Zane both! I hope things get better for you soon and that guilt can go away!

  51. Camille says

    I don't have baby #2 yet, but I have heard from several other mamas that they feel the same way with the children that follow the first. I mean, it makes sense! With #1 everything is so new and unknown so you do ALL that you can to make your time special and nurturing. You are more in your groove with #2 and tend to just carry on with life…you know?

    I wonder about this too though. I spend so much time with Moo…I just already know it'll be different with the next little one.


  52. Anissa says

    I know how you feel. I feel like we were more selective and active w/ our first too, but the thing is I didn't go to special toddler/baby classes as a child and I never struggled in school or life, so it must not be mandatory (regardless of what others might say). Do what you can but don't sweat what you can't.

  53. Vanessa Coker says

    Awe, sorry I can't offer much input but it definitely puts things into perspective for me for when we have a second child.

  54. rachel0 says

    Yes, I feel guilty for not doing all the things that I did with my first. You are not alone!! I think though that some of that special feeling is something you can only get with your first, because it is your first. It's your first gym class, your first playdate/group etc. It's like a first kiss. There can't ever be another first kiss but that doesn't mean the kisses that come after aren't valued!

  55. LOVE MELISSA:) says

    I am going through all the posts and commented back on the blogs.I can't seem to access yours but wanted to say Thank you. As for the mom groups, I find them through my local paper or word of mouth:)

  56. says

    Aww, don’t feel bad. You’re doing a great job! When Haley goes to school you’ll have lots of alone time with Zane. By then he’ll be old enough to remember some of it and those memories will stay with him forever.