Today is a day like many, just the usual Thursday where I drop my eldest off at nursery and skip off home to spend the day in a more relaxing way with my youngest….when I say relaxing I mean only have one small person and their demands to satisfy rather than two!
Today however I have had a big dose of mothers guilt.
It started as I was trying to leave my eldest in the lovely hands of his “Big Angels” at nursery, normally he loves going to nursery as there is lots to play with and plenty of mess to be made but this morning he didn’t want me to go, he clung to me and burst into tears. Walking away felt horrible, I knew by the time I had gotten to the front door he would be absolutely fine and engrossed in whatever activity they had planned, but the thought of walking away from my little man when he wanted me made my heart break.
Once we were home it was just the two of us, the littlest and me ready to have our day together, but first “let’s get him down for a nap” and then the second dose of guilt hit, rather than embrace the moment I had with him I was trying to get him to sleep so I could sit and have a brew and some quiet, how selfish was I being? I had this little person snuffling at me and blowing raspberries, doing all he could to try and play and what was I trying to do? Get him to sleep. Man this was a pants start to the day.
Once he was down I promised myself I would do something with him once he was awake and all would be fine, so I set about enjoying the peace, catching up on emails, organising my youngest’s first birthday party and researched some messy play activities.
This afternoon we would be messy!! That was the plan. Here came dose of guilt part three, with my eldest we did messy play ALL the time, we made paint, goop, played with sprinkles, bubbles, coloured foam, multicoloured spaghetti, made sensory bottles etc etc but with my youngest I can count on my hands the number of messy play activities we had done together and it wasn’t a patch on what I had done with my eldest. And this was the biggest stab of guilt of all.
I don’t like that my youngest doesn’t get treated the same as my eldest did. I don’t like that he got fewer cards when he was born, fewer gifts because “we already had (boys) stuff”, smaller gestures from grandparents because we didn’t need anything else (well we did but whatever). He doesn’t need new toys as he can have his brothers, he doesn’t need his own wardrobe of clothes he can wear hand me downs, he doesn’t need much for Christmas because he has stuff already and it goes on, so I have tried since day one to ensure that he has had some of his own stuff that’s just his, he gets presents whether he has enough stuff or not, he can have new clothes because he’s a different boy to my eldest, he will have breastmilk up until at least 12 months because that’s what I did with his brother, he will get time with just me because his brother had all the time. Then I’ve realised that amongst the moments of trying to be fair and treat the boys the same I’ve not given my youngest the same amount of me that I did with my eldest. I don’t take him to his own classes just drag him along to the ones his brother goes to, he doesn’t get much of a choice of what to play with its what his brother chooses or takes off him. He’s not getting the same experience that his brother had and that makes me feel sad.
So today we got messy, we had fun, just me and him, I watched his face discover something different and new and go from careful first steps in exploration to full on covering himself head to toe in rainbow foam.
So today was edible rainbow foam, we have edible water beads and edible slime in the making all ready for our next “mummy and Myles” time. And in between all of that I am planning and prepping away for his first birthday party, yes I know he won’t remember, nor will he care but he will have party just like his brother did, he will have customised invitations just like his brother did, a funky cake….just like his brother did and hopefully lots of messy fun…just like his brother did.
Maybe the littlest one is not getting exactly the same from me like his brother did but after today’s special with a hefty dose of guilt he’s going to get some better and messier “mummy and Myles” time….watch this space, there’s some messy pictures to come.