Guilt. It’s been my constant companion lately. What do I feel guilty about? In no particular order:
- Being a full-time working parent.
- Being the preferred parent of my three year old.
- Not wanting to play endless games with my three year old.
- Wanting more “me time.”
- Being sick.
- Not having the energy or desire to be intimate with my husband.
- Not putting in enough effort in other areas of my marriage.
- Not working out enough.
- Eating too much.
- Not cleaning our house often enough or well enough.
- Not doing fun and creative activities with my kid.
- Always forgetting to brush my kid’s teeth.
- Wanting another baby.
This last one is hitting me really hard. My three year old is happy as an only child. Of course, she doesn’t know any different. But, unlike other only children I know, she doesn’t ask about siblings… ever. (The closest she’s come is when she told me that Boss Baby was coming to our house.) She demands a lot of attention from me, lots of physical contact… an amount I wouldn’t be able to give her if we had another child.
I feel guilty that we even attempted to disrupt the good thing that we have with her. I feel guilty that I sometimes feel relieved that I’m able to focus entirely on her. And I feel doubly guilty that I still want to add another child to our family. I’ve accepted that it won’t happen, but I still want it. I miss my baby so much, and I would give anything to turn back the clock and somehow make her healthy. How different our lives would be right now! More difficult in some ways, certainly. But also more wonderful and colorful and complete.
Every day, it’s a battle between longing for another child and feeling blessed that we have more time and resources to give to our only child. I feel sad that I’ll never get another chance to breastfeed or babywear, and relieved that I won’t have to endure potty training or night feedings again.