May 22, 2014

Panic Attack 2: Mommy Guilt

 

I’m pretty sure it’s the insane pregnancy hormones coursing through my body because I’m not normally this sappy, but I am already struggling with the fact that it won’t just be the twins and I anymore. In just 9 weeks (tops!) another little booger will join ourthreesome. For the past 16 months it has just been the three of us. We’re a team. For the majority of the day - every single day and even some nights – the three of us have been together.

But now, this third little boy will be around. And goodness knows I love him already. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to welcome a new life into the world. It wasn't long ago we were told we would never have children. This little boy is truly a blessing! But he isn’t quite real yet. I haven’t counted his little toes. I haven’t smelled his baby smell. Theoretically, he exists. Theoretically, he is mine. Theoretically, he will come home with us within the next two months. I know I'm pregnant. Obviously I’m large. I feel him flipping and moving. And seriously, he is a mover and shaker! I get more moving and flipping and kicking out of him than I did TWO babies last pregnancy. But he is still just theoretical. I haven’t met him yet.

I find myself looking at Tripp who has his own opinions on everything. He has no wants. He just has NEEDS that must be met RIGHT THIS MOMENT before the WHOLE WORLD ENDS. He is full of confidence and so sure of his place. I find myself looking at Davy who is so curious and independent. He wants to understand and do everything. I find myself noticing the nuances of their little personalities and getting excited by how unique they each are. I find myself thinking wistfully of the moments I am sure to miss because of the new baby. How long will it be before I can focus my attention on Tripp and Davy again?

 

My last Mother's Day with just these two.
 

And cue the mommy guilt.

I don’t think a day is complete unless I feel guilty or insecure about something. I frequently wish I had an extra set of hands so I could play with both boys at once. I always feel like I need to make sure I am perfectly equally dividing my time. Heck, I even feel guilty when I don’t dress the twins alike because I wonder if there is some significance to putting the shirt I like better on a particular child that day. Some days, I just feel guilty for wasting time feeling guilty. And now I feel guilty that in just 9 short weeks the twins’ whole world will be turned upside down.

 

Two boys who have captured my whole heart.
Future big brothers!
 

How are they going to react to a new baby? What will they think when they see me holding him and snuggling him? Will they know I still love them? Will they know I still have time for them? The rational part of my brain knows that they won’t remember this stage. They are too young. And so it really won’t traumatize them. But, I’m pregnant and the rational part of my brain is on vacation.

What is it about motherhood that causes so much guilt? You all know I am a nerd (of the researching, PhD desiring variety). So I of course looked for some facts and numbers. I stumbled across a book called Mommy Guilt (or paperback link if you prefer) by Julie Bort , Aviva Pflock, and Devra Renner which included a huge survey. I found alot of comfort in the results. A whopping 96% of moms admitted they felt guilty about some aspect of parenting. (I can only assume the other 4% are in denial.) And really making me feel better, when older moms were asked what stage they felt the most guilt about the most common response was the toddler years (27%).The things they felt guilty about were all pretty relatable too. They felt guilty for yelling, for the messy house, over time with their spouse, about setting aside their own education or career to stay home, about fairly dividing time and resources between children. These are all the things I’m struggling with. The overall message of the book seems to be “You are not alone.” It doesn’t judge. It doesn’t give huge advice.It does provide the “Seven Principles of the Mommy Guilt-Free Philosophy” which I like. A lot.

 

Source.
 

 

I also find comfort in scripture. Romans 8:37 says, “But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.” My guilt and my mistakes (and my sins) as a mother aren't defeat. I am still victorious because I don't have to do this on my own. I can't do this on my own. This isn't about me. This is about God and His glory. He chose now for this little guy to arrive on earth. He has a bigger plan. It is in Christ and through Christ that I will overcome these challenges and Christ will work in Tripp and Davy to help them overcome too. I might never get my act fully together, but Christ will keep us thriving. He has a plan for this baby and for our family and despite all of the challenges, because of Him, we will conquer!

 

Source.
 

The realization that my baby boys are going to be big brothers makes me want to cry. In fact, some nights it actually makes me tear up. (Some nights with happy, excited tears. Other nights I mourn the loss of their babyhood. Other nights I'm panicked about a newborn.) But I know that Tripp and Davy won’t ever remember a time without Baby J** in their lives. I know that these three boys will grow up together. They will be lifetime friends. They will be brothers. With only 18 months between them, they will throw balls together. They will climb trees together. They will be boys together. They will become men together. They will be constant companions, constant friends, and constant playmates.

It won’t always be rosy. It certainly won’t be easy. But in just a few short months, J will be in my arms and in my heart. He will be inextricably a part of our family. And I won’t be able to picture my family any other way.

 

 

**Yes, I did just drop a name clue. It feels wrong to keep calling him new baby or baby3. No, I will not tell ANYONE what the name is. No,it is not set in stone yet. Yes, I am about to order him a personalized little brother shirt with the name on it. But, when he is born he might never wear his personalized shirt because we might change our minds when we meet him.

For some other great reads, you can look at my first panic attack of this pregnancy when I remembered just how stinkin hard it is to be a new mom.

Check out my first panic attack post here.

 

You can also go to The Not Quite Military Wife to see other blogs on mommy guilt. The expertise of other moms is invaluable!

The Not Quite Military Wife: One Year And Beyond

 

 

14 comments:

  1. girl you are a trooper!!! & a wonderful mama. Your boys are going to have so much fun with your new little guy :)

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    1. I sure hope you're right! I think they'll have fun together in a year - I just need to survive that long!

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  2. What a wonderful post! I'm expecting (30 weeks too) and scared of all these things too. This post really spoke to me! Beautifully said. Thanks so much for posting and linking up with us today.

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    1. I'm so glad my ramblings are able to help someone else! Congrats on your new addition!

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  3. I remember all these same feelings when I was pregnant with baby number 2, and 3. It is so hard, I wish there was more of me to go around on some days. You have so much love to give, and your little boys are lucky.

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    1. And obviously you and all three kids survived so that's encouraging!

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  4. I love the 7 principles of the guilt-free philosophy, thanks for sharing. I'm not even pregnant, but sometimes I feel guilty just for wanting another baby! I have to remind myself that I couldn't imagine my life without my siblings, and I want my son to have that same kind of relationship with his sibling(s) some day.

    The Joni Journey

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    1. My husband and I are both close to our siblings and have been reminding ourselves of that a lot the past few months!

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  5. I loved your scripture and your 7 tips!!

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  6. Watching my twins interact with their little sister is one of my favorite activities. Taking on the role of big brother/big sister brought out their personalities and really added a dimension to their personalities! I promise it will be a good experience for them after the initial adjustment.

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  7. You are an amazing mother!! And I'm sooooo excited for your growing family! It's going to be a mommy adventure.
    I guess I lied in my post... when I think about having more babies I get majorly stressed and feel such guilt! Mia is my little bestie! How will it change things up adding another one to the mix? I KNOW I want her to have siblings, I'm just praying that I will feel more calm and comfort when it is time for us to expand. But I think I will experience a lot of mommy guilt (and excitement) throughout the pregnancy until that baby is born!
    LOVE that scripture!! I need it hung in my house!

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    1. I think I need this scripture hanging in my house somewhere too! This little printable might be finding it's way onto a wall somewhere

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