Thursday 24 May 2018

Third child guilt

Having 3 kids in the family never seemed like an equal distribution of time for each child. Some days, Mum guilt strikes when we get too busy with one or two, and totally neglects the less needy. In our family dynamics, having the youngest turned two last month, I've gradually realised the older kids consume most of my time by coaching them in school work, driving them to and fro school, back and forth music and sports classes. Which naturally, I gravitated a guilt towards the third born, Juboy. Realistically, it is tough to treat the third born the same way we handled number one and two. 

Still in the stage of being constantly torn between the demands of a toddler and 2 older kids, where we have schoolwork to juggle among the milk making and stories telling. I try very much to make our morning time as meaningful and quality together while the older 2 are in school. But I've to be honest that I am taking it slow and some days procrastinate my schedule. That tender age of two years old gives me many easy excuses.

On playdate

While the older two had an early taste of preschool at this age, I am reluctant to start Juboy on any. I see it as my privilege to keep his cuddles close, and probably the only way to justify my stay as a home Mum.

The guilt is sometimes disturbing. I felt like I wasn't giving enough. I run my errands with him, I find easy excuse when he seeks for attention. Picking his siblings from school is an exciting excursion to him. I made it sound exciting that he can play his favourite songs in the car. His familiar grounds are places where his siblings do their music enrichment classes. And often my idle companion while waiting for them to end classes.

He runs the schedule I run.

While waiting for big sister's class to start

Some days, watching him nap in the car from the rear mirror sends my heart aching a little. Wouldn't it be better to sleep in the comfort of his bed? Where upon destination, I won't have to carry him up. For that, I am very thankful on days that I can get him to nap before school pick ups, just so it's easier for my Mum to take over.

On the go with Mama

I do not track his milestones diligently, because honestly, when it comes to the third child, we possess that 'take your time' attitude. There is no hurry to know more words, speak in full, know that ABCs or 123s. We learnt that paces are different. Or maybe he will get to know the violin sooner than anyone one of us!

Youngest violinist

Looking at his weight, I get even more guilt stricken. He is not a good eater when it comes to meals. Some meals don't give me the luxury of time to conjure him with patience. If he eats, he eats. If he doesn't, time is up and we have to move on to the next schedule. You can imagine my joy of victory for every mouthful of food he chews in. He loves chicken wings, but we can't have that everyday. We tried a variety of options, but he really is determined to challenge us with food.

I only hope we can do better on meals.

These, the guilt of having a third born. No doubt, Mum guilt is seasonal. Some period, it is towards the eldest or second born. The guilt never ends, and anything can turn into a reason to feel guilty.

Soothing out that guilt, being the third born is no less on love. It multiplies the love in our family, love does not divide. We get extra laughter, hugs and kisses! I am very hearten that Juboy gets lots of love from his siblings.

Having more than one child is always a good thought. And when I'm in the state of bliss, I would entertain the thought of having a fourth. Just so we can tidy up the number from 5 to 6. Okay, not so much of that, just that I really love kids. Only that, raising one is lots of tough work.

In desperate times, gadgets help me a little. Judge me not.

Nothing, but Elmo

Three is good, and I am thankful. Parenting is a short journey, guilt should not dominate our days. Instead, work out of it. I'm getting more diligent with Juboy during our weekday mornings. We make trips to the parks, get on play dates and do breakfast together. It gets that Mummy guilt off the chest a little. But some other days, he will just have to sit and play around while I get tasks sorted out. That is if he will be self satisfied playing alone. Mornings are short, but most times we get to accomplish some fun within.

Come to think about it, having Mum guilt is a spur of wanting to do better. It means we care and want it better for our kids. Just be careful not to let guilt consume and eat us alive!

Mum's guilt, what is yours?

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