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HomeMotherhoodTo my older child

To my older child

Tonight, I felt like a failure.

Specifically, I felt like I failed at being your mom.

There was no huge event that occurred to make me feel this way. It came down to life, really, as I look back on it now. This post began writing itself in my head as I was in the moment, just a few hours ago, feeling like I had once again let you down and I knew I had to get it out, so here we are.

Your sister is a little extra needy right now. I don’t know why (babies seem to have no rhyme or reason!), but she wanted more time with me tonight and I had to tell you, my sweet boy, to wait. Wait to be read to, wait to be snuggled, wait to be tucked in.

I rocked your sister. She twiddled my hair and kicked her leg mindlessly. I thought about you, sitting in your room, looking at a book or quietly playing with your stuffed animals on your bed.

It seems like you spend a lot of your day waiting – You hear “hang on!”, or “just a sec!”, or “in a minute, bud!”, or “almost done!”. You hear “maybe tomorrow,” or “let me just finish this one thing,” or “in a moment!” more than I’d like. And even though I know it’s not the majority of your day, it still tugs at me that you hear it at all. I know it’s my own insecurities pushing through that make me feel so sad, that when I hear the words come out of my mouth, I also hear that voice in my head that tells me I’m a failure.

It’s just this season in our life right now, having a little baby around the house. This time it’s not just me and your dad having to switch around our priorities and our days, though. It’s you, too.

I know you get frustrated (“Mooooooom, put that baby down!”), but I know that you love your sister, and you’re just so patient. I don’t know where you got that patience (must be your dad, because we all know how patient I am…), but I’m thankful you got it.

One day it won’t be like this. One day, your sister will be bigger and she won’t need me as much. But by that time, you won’t need me as much either. So even in these moments where I feel like I’ve let you down, I hold on to them a little because it means I am still the center of your world, and your sister’s too. There’s always a little bit of beauty in sadness.

And when that baby finally fell asleep tonight, and I crept back into your room to find you snuggled under your covers, lights off, just dozing, I scooped you up and heard you whisper, “Mom, I’m so glad I’m awake so I can have your hugs” and I knew that even though you had to wait for me tonight, you didn’t feel brushed aside. I always find you, and I always will.

1 Comment
  • April 25, 2016

    I hear you. My older daughter is almost 12 and my younger daughter just turned 8 months last week. Between the breastfeeding and constant neediness with the baby I feel like my older daughter has been raising herself!

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