Baby has been teething like mad for the last few weeks. She demands holding, followed by cuddling, followed by more holding. There is much screaming involved, sometimes between all parties involved.
Poor Toddler then gets lost in the shuffle. I can’t hold her as much, or cuddle with her as much, as I do Baby. There are times where she asks me pitifully, “Mommy, you want to play tea party?” or “Mommy, read me this story?” and I have to say, “I can’t, honey, I have to hold Baby. She doesn’t feel good.”
And then my heart breaks for Toddler, because this isn’t her fault. And a part of me resents Baby for making me feel this way. I don’t love Baby any less, I’m just so frustrated at the moment.
Conversely, there are times where Toddler is demanding and whiney. All day long it’s, “MOMMY, I WANT...,” “Moooooooommmmmmy,” tears, and tantrums, all while Baby plays quietly on the floor. And on those days I feel resentful towards Toddler. And again, I don’t love Toddler any less, I’m just so frustrated at the moment.
I try, oh how I try, to give each child as much individual attention as I can every day. But the amount of attention is never split 50-50, and sometimes it is incredibly lopsided.
Before Baby was born, I feared I could never love another child as much as I loved Toddler. That fear turned out not to be true. Now I fear one, or both, of my children will assume the other is the favorite, and forever resent me for it.
Will they know? Will they know how hard I tried? How even if I’m mad, or even if one temporarily needs me more than the other, that I always loved them both one-hundred percent?