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A letter to my first.

1
Growing up, I’d been fortunate enough to be blessed with siblings and, because of this, I hoped I would be able to have another after Hattie. I wanted her to experience what I had as a child and as an adult: the closeness, the bond, the togetherness.

I spent most of my pregnancy feeling terrified that I was ’pushing my luck’ having another when I’d already been blessed with one healthy little girl.

I prepared for the sleepless nights; I’d experienced a reflux baby and knew how hard that could be. What I hadn’t prepared myself for was the

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2
guilt surrounding Hattie –  my little Hattie, who suddenly seemed like a giant. There was a new baby, a new focus, a new responsibility and just like that: my time, my attention, my patience was halved.

And I found that hard.

I’ve written about my experiences with Alice and how I suffered with PND, but never really touched on the feelings surrounding my first.

I wrote this when Alice was 3 months old and if I’m completely honest it’s still as true a year on:
I’m sorry. I cried a lot when your sister was born. I cried with relief; I cried

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3
with happiness. I cried with exhaustion. I cried that I’d done it and it was over. But then I found myself crying more. I realised that more than anything else, I was crying for you. And for me. I cried and pined for what we would never be again. It would never be just us three: me, you and Daddy.
We had become a family of four and it is amazing and precious and I wouldn’t change it for the world; but, it was also the end of our little era. You made Daddy and I parents and everything was new, exciting and special. Everything we know and do with your
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4
little sister, we learnt from you.

I want you to know this, I’m sorry I don’t get to spend as much time with you. I’m sorry I don’t get to sit and really listen to all the wonderful things you have to say. I’m sorry I can’t give you all that I want to give you. You won’t understand just yet, but your little sister needs me too. She needs me a lot at the minute and while I am seeing to her, it means you can’t have my full attention. And I’m sorry for this.

But, the times you don’t think I’m watching, I am. When I put you on your ipad,

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it’s because as much I adore listening to you, sometimes I just have to have a minute.

When I’m late collecting you, it’s because I’ve been trying to get books marked and planning done so I can read to you at bedtime and it not be a rush. When you’re bored in the supermarket it’s because I’m desperately searching for that one bubble bath that doesn’t irrate your skin. When I ask you to wait it’s because your baby sister doesn’t yet understand this word. When I snap at you, it’s not your fault, it’s because I’m tired. And I’m

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sorry.

You do have my attention, you always will have my attention, even when you don’t feel it or see it, I’m there watching, waiting, hoping that you grow into a confident young girl that knows just how much she is loved.

Because, my dear first – you are loved beyond words. 

The fact remains the same: I can’t give my first as much as I once did and, after 17 months of subconsciously punishing myself for this, I’ve realised that while Hattie can no longer have my undivided attention,  I’ve given her a friend for life and that is worth

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every ounce of mum guilt.
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@aliceinworryland

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- 23 Feb 19

Growing up, I’d been fortunate enough to be blessed with siblings and, because of this, I hoped I would be able to have another after Hattie. I wanted her to experience what I had as a child and as an adult: the closeness, the bond, the togetherness.

I spent most of my pregnancy feeling terrified that I was ‘pushing my luck’ having another when I’d already been blessed with one healthy little girl.

I prepared for the sleepless nights; I’d experienced a reflux baby and knew how hard that could be. What I hadn’t prepared myself for was the guilt surrounding Hattie –  my little Hattie, who suddenly seemed like a giant. There was a new baby, a new focus, a new responsibility and just like that: my time, my attention, my patience was halved.

And I found that hard.

I’ve written about my experiences with Alice and how I suffered with PND, but never really touched on the feelings surrounding my first.

I wrote this when Alice was 3 months old and if I’m completely honest it’s still as true a year on:

I’m sorry. I cried a lot when your sister was born. I cried with relief; I cried with happiness. I cried with exhaustion. I cried that I’d done it and it was over. But then I found myself crying more. I realised that more than anything else, I was crying for you. And for me. I cried and pined for what we would never be again. It would never be just us three: me, you and Daddy.

We had become a family of four and it is amazing and precious and I wouldn’t change it for the world; but, it was also the end of our little era. You made Daddy and I parents and everything was new, exciting and special. Everything we know and do with your little sister, we learnt from you.

I want you to know this, I’m sorry I don’t get to spend as much time with you. I’m sorry I don’t get to sit and really listen to all the wonderful things you have to say. I’m sorry I can’t give you all that I want to give you. You won’t understand just yet, but your little sister needs me too. She needs me a lot at the minute and while I am seeing to her, it means you can’t have my full attention. And I’m sorry for this.

But, the times you don’t think I’m watching, I am. When I put you on your ipad, it’s because as much I adore listening to you, sometimes I just have to have a minute.

When I’m late collecting you, it’s because I’ve been trying to get books marked and planning done so I can read to you at bedtime and it not be a rush. When you’re bored in the supermarket it’s because I’m desperately searching for that one bubble bath that doesn’t irrate your skin. When I ask you to wait it’s because your baby sister doesn’t yet understand this word. When I snap at you, it’s not your fault, it’s because I’m tired. And I’m sorry.

You do have my attention, you always will have my attention, even when you don’t feel it or see it, I’m there watching, waiting, hoping that you grow into a confident young girl that knows just how much she is loved.

Because, my dear first – you are loved beyond words. 

The fact remains the same: I can’t give my first as much as I once did and, after 17 months of subconsciously punishing myself for this, I’ve realised that while Hattie can no longer have my undivided attention,  I’ve given her a friend for life and that is worth every ounce of mum guilt.

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