Well, the other day was definitely one of the toughies. I had an official "Bad Mommy" day...but it wasn't having to do with the newborn. It was with the toddler.
Lack of sleep, a baby hanging off my boob what feels like 24 hours a day, a horribly messy house, an utterly ANNOYING whining, pacing dog with anxiety problems coupled with a (what feels like 24 hour) tantrum-throwing 20 month old finally took it's toll and I just EXPLODED.
Hunter is in a tantrum phase. I use the word "tantrum" loosely. I've actually videotaped him a couple of times (so that when I start to feel sad about not having any more kids, I can play the video back. Heh.) and it's crazy to watch. We're talking sometimes 5-10 straight minutes (with little catch-your-breath moments here and there) of screaming, crying, tears, banging his head repeatedly on the hard wood floor, flinging his body across the floor at my feet, throwing anything I try to hand him, wanting to be picked up even if I have just yelled at him...UTTER CRAZINESS.
And the day before yesterday, I just completely lost it. Hunter did this ALL DAY LONG and I found myself screaming at him ALL DAY LONG. Instead of redirecting him like I normally try to do during a particularly bad tantrum, I often completely ignored him and attempted not to cry hysterically. As he climbed all over me on the couch while I struggled to keep Avery attached to my boob and on the boppy, I frantically bit my lip to hold it all in--sometimes without success. I repeatedly tapped his little hiney when he climbed the tv stand, stole my cell phone and ran from me with it, dug his hands into the garbage can...and tried to block out the sound of his cries and the tears that rolled down his round cheeks.
It was a very, very bad day.
And then the next day hit and it suddenly dawned on me. These tantrums weren't just Hunter's normal run-of-the-mill meltdowns. (He IS also sick right now with a nasty cold but it wasn't even just from THAT.) I started to realize that they often struck when I was "busy" with the baby, whether it be nursing or changing her diaper or just talking to and kissing her sweet little cheek.
"Oh, so he's jealous of the baby." My mom said yesterday when she came over for a visit and I explained my thoughts to her.
No, jealous is not the word. Hunter LOVES his baby sister! He constantly wants to stroke her fuzzy-soft hair, stroke her cheek or lay his body/head beside (on top of! LOL) hers and say "Baby!". He wants to give Avery her binky, a blanket, a clean diaper, a toy CONSTANTLY.
But he is having a little trouble adjusting to the fact that Mommy (and Daddy and Nana) are not all his own, now. And now that I'm realizing that, it kills me how I reacted the day that I had my Mommy-meltdown. I yelled at my sweet baby boy when all he wanted was to cuddle me, touch me, love me...and for that I feel like the worst Mom in the world.
I've since tried to make it up to him by giving him as much attention as I can muster, no matter how tired or cranky I may be. Instead of holding Avery's sleeping form in my arms, I put her into the pack-n-play and bear-hug my boy, and pretend to cook in his toy pans and tell him "Who loves you?? Mommy!" as he laughs and presses his cheek against my lips for a smooch.
But I can't get over this guilt of feeling spread thin now. I know it will get easier. In my brain, I know this. But in my heart, I feel badly for the piece of me that is no longer available becuz it's now divided up, like pieces of a pie, between my son and my daughter.
How do I get over this feeling of having failed my son? Will it ever go away or will I ALWAYS feel like one of my kids is getting gipped?
And I'm sure my damn hormones aren't helping me in this matter. *SIGH* God, I can't wait to stop feeling like a crazy, emotional wreck.