Second Baby Guilt Part 2

This is part 4 in 6 part blog series Titled; Guilt, Inadequacy, and Insufficient Funds

See bottom of page for details.


“Guilt, can become the ultimate enabler!”~Elizabeth Luke

baby guilt jacksonville florida




I shared my feelings with my husband, who at the time seemed to be absent emotionally. Maybe it was just me I thought, he acts like it’s no big deal, maybe I’m being too sensitive, but it felt like he was being insensitive.

In those first moments after giving birth, along with joy and amazement I felt for our new son, I also felt guilt. I’d already experienced birth once and knew the joy that comes in those moments right after birth. This is crazy I thought, although I loved him just as much as my first in every way, I still felt guilty.

I didn’t tell anyone about this; surely they would think I was crazy.

Well, little did I know, I was wrong!  In fact, many moms experience what I call, second baby guilt and in addition to second baby guilt comes all these feelings of inadequacy. Guilt doesn’t always strike and when it does it isn’t always within moments of birth, guilt isn’t always easily identifiable either. Yeah, fun times.

In those early days I learned that breastfeeding a newborn, changing what seems like endless diapers, potty training and caring for a two year old is a full time job, who would’ve thought?

Never mind finding time to brush my teeth, to eat a solid meal, or showering! Oh, no that happened when my husband came in after working a long day at his job, I’d hand off the baby and lock myself in the bathroom where I showered, brushed my teeth and thought to myself, I made it!

These days continued on and somehow I managed to survive, take care of two kids and eventually I even accomplished other things like laundry, dinner, and shaving my legs!

After the birth I felt guilty, overwhelmed, exhausted, and inadequate. I felt like I was chained down, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. These chains were debilitating and noone seemed to understand what I was going through.

I learned a lot through those times, they were hard, and I wished I had someone I could have called in for back up. I wished I had a postpartum Doula. I didn’t even know what a postpartum doula was, but I wished I had one.

I needed someone there, to let me get a couple hours of sleep so I could function as a human. It would have been amazing to have someone to make sure I had a few easy to grab snacks in my fridge, to fold that load of laundry I threw in the dryer and let go around two cycles and still had not gotten in there to fold. I would have loved to have someone talk to me, listen to me, validate my feelings, and to encourage me along my journey.

Hiring a professional who is both a birth and postpartum Doula would have provided the continuity of care my family could’ve benefited from and made the overall transition smoother, but I didn’t know about professional Doulas at the time.

I interviewed my husband who’s a very private person. Here are his responses;

Did you experience any feelings of guilt when I was pregnant or shortly after I gave birth?

“I didn’t really feel guilty at all during your pregnancy; I was mostly just excited and nervous. I didn’t really understand why you felt the way you did and it was frustrating trying to figure you out. Looking back though I know that I didn’t have to understand it, just empathize with you.”

When I asked him how about after birth, did you ever feel guilty for anything after I gave birth; he took a while to think about this. Then he responded.

“Yes, I guess I did feel a little guilty sometimes that I had to leave you after two weeks with the kids alone. I know you’re a great mom and you made it look easy, but if it were me and I was with them alone while you worked, I’d be calling you a couple times a day for answers to questions. There were days it seemed you needed me to stay home, but I couldn’t, that was hard. Oh, and when you would tell me to take time for myself. You know I love being together, with all of you, so when I do take time for myself I always feel guilty a little. Oh and you were so sad in the first couple months, probably because you were dealing with postpartum mood issues and so tired, so you never let me live a full nights rest down. I guess I felt guilty about that, yeah I did feel guilty about that, and I felt like your unhappiness was part my fault since I couldn’t fix things.””

Did you experience feelings of insufficiency or inadequacy any time during my pregnancy or after I gave birth?

“Yeah I guess so. You know, I didn’t realize I felt any of this until now, thanks!” Then we both have a nice laugh! He continued, “As I look back I remember wondering if I would be able to support us financially so I guess that is inadequacy, right?” Yes, I told him!

That concluded our interview, my husband is a very private person and I sensed he was done at this point so we wrapped it up.


As a mother of four kids, ranging in ages 6 to nearly 19 years old I now understand that old saying, “they may not be babies anymore, but they will always be my babies!”

I think along with having a second, third, or even fifth baby comes a dose of guilt, it’s what we do with that guilt that matters. You don’t want to let your guilt manifest into becoming an enabler to your children. Let’s ruminate on that for a little while.


Included in this series;

Each title in the series will run 7-23-2015 through 7-31-2015

The Introvert Mom

I sometimes ask my(introvert)self what the hell I was thinking when I decided having a big family was a good idea. All the noise. All the communication. It can be a lot for people who enjoy silence! It’s one of the reasons I never liked parties.

You see, as affectionate and sentimental as I am with my kids, I often feel like my head is spinning and my skin is crawling by the end of the day.

Constantly hearing “mom, mommy, MOM!” and constantly nursing, among other things, is tiring at best, shamefully frustrating at worst.

When I was a new mom, I used to cringe at the phrase “me time”, thinking it more like a selfish getaway. Now, I realize, that time is incredibly important, especially to people prone to overstimulation or whose energy is depleted by constant interaction.

I soon realized that time alone helps you reflect and recharge, so you can be more present with your kids. Take a bath, read a book, binge on Netflix.

So, while mantras like “this too shall pass” and “babies don’t keep” certainly help and keep things in perspective (super helpful during midnight nursing sessions), it is also OKAY to realize that your time, with just YOU, is valuable and makes you a GOOD parent.

So before you go eat a pound of chocolate, scream in a pillow, or buy everything at Target-realize that Mama/Dada Bear needs to hibernate, especially if you are an introvert.

What It’s Like Having 5 Kids…Part 1

First in a series of all the challenges, surprises, and recollections of what it’s like having 5 kids. Subscribe to our posts to be in the know!

Being a mom to five kids is a little rare nowadays. Okay, really rare. A question I often get asked is: “what is it like?”

Well, I’m not entirely sure what exactly people are looking for in an answer, so I figured I would just write some things that happen occasionally when I think to myself, “oh yea, this would probably be different if we’d had just one or two kids”.

For example, when we go to Subway, what should be a 5-10 minute process is actually 20-25 minute process, even with our system.  We’ve learned that should there be less than three customers in the facility, we urge them to go first. But, we can’t make anybody go first, so…

long line

…this happens. Along with guilt and embarrassment.  After a couple of visits to the same Subway, the employees recognize you, because, let’s face it, who forgets a crowd of eight people ordering a shitload of subs?

Anyway, we’ve developed a procedure for ordering at fast food joints. We ask ahead of time what everybody wants. We give them a limited choice to help avoid meltdowns or hearing “but she gots more pickles!”.  My husband takes the notes on his iPhone and texts it to me so we both know.  This helps when one of us needs to leave the line to put the baby back in the high chair or to remove any condiments from the table that they are inevitably pouring out everywhere. The kids never wait in line with us-we always seat them first.

This process seems to be appreciated by the staff, yet, even in the slowest of times, they often appear frazzled. In fact, more frazzled than my husband and I. What’s that about? I have seen a herd of college students order back-to-back during lunch hour and not one employee bats an eye! That’s a little irritating, but what can I do?

We bring them their tri-cut sandwiches and find our geometric seating pattern. My husband and I always speak too soon about how successful that went.

Then my 5 year old proclaims that she wanted pizza all along.



Things Nobody Tells You…Part 1

First in a series.

parent manual

For the last nine years, I have been finding myself saying a variation of the following phrases “Nobody told me blah blah blah” or “I wish someone would have said xyz” or ” I should have known that the floor is the very best place on Earth for poop”.  Alas, as the old adage states: “children don’t come with manuals or guidebooks”. And it’s true. Sort of.

I mean, there’s the “Expecting” series-take from them what you will. Then there are some other pregnancy and parenting books, all of which carry some value, sure. BUT, there isn’t a guidebook to YOUR kids. Or YOUR pregnancy. And, frankly, there never will be!

That said, there are some pretty universal truths that I think get conveniently looked over. Throughout the next few months, or years, or decades, I will haphazardly document these truths and impart my omnipotent wisdom upon you dear readers, in my “Things nobody tells you” series.


They end up everywhere-the bed, the carpet, the baby’s head, and worst of all, the toilet.


Parenting has one common theme (and I never saw this in print anywhere either, until very recently, so it’s worth repeating). POOP. Everything. Everywhere. All the time.

That’s all I have for now. I have to go wrangle one of my five kids away (or to?) the bathroom.