Today was Noah’s last baby group session for the foreseeable future. He has been going to Tots Play Bromsgrove sessions since he was 11 weeks old! When he started, to be honest, it was a bit of a nightmare. The classes were great, but Noah was high maintenance back then. He hated being laid on his back and massaged. He hated baby yoga. He hated baby sign. He hated tummy time. All he really wanted to do was ‘stand’ upright on my lap or be carried around the room. I’d longingly gaze at the other mums with their laid back babies, and wonder what I was doing wrong.
But over the last few months, he has completely changed. As soon as he learned to roll, sit, crawl and cruise he became a different baby. He’s a dream to look after these days! And boy, his confidence around other babies has flourished. He used to be so unsure, but today watching him in the centre of the circle, commanding the whole groups attention…well, I couldn’t have been prouder. And then it hit me like a punch to the gut…the Mum Guilt.
Oh God, the guilt. This will be our last session because the new baby will be with us by the end of next month. I was already struggling with it, but have persisted because of how much Noah gets out of it. But the half term is over now. I feel so guilty that I’m having to stop something that Noah enjoys so much and gets so much out of, but I’m going to have way too much on my plate to take him to groups over the next few months. Will he miss out on his social development? Will he get bored spending more time at home? His needs will no longer be my 100% priority, and I feel terrible.
I feel guilty that he is going to have to share me. I feel guilty that his whole life is going to be turned upside down. I feel guilty that I won’t be able to give him all of my attention. I feel guilty that the new baby isn’t going to be able to be held and cuddled all day every day like his big brother was. I feel guilty that I won’t be able to take HIM to baby group, or baby swimming, because I’ll have Noah too. I just feel guilty.
Logically, I know that my boys will want for nothing. They will continue to be SO loved, and always know it. I will break my back to make sure they have everything they need, and are happy and healthy. They will hopefully adore each other, and love each others’ company. But it doesn’t stop the guilt from creeping in. It never does.