How do I stop feeling guilty? — The Bump
Special Needs

How do I stop feeling guilty?

I love my DD more than anything and she brightens my day everyday. But... Being her mommy is not what I expected. As many of you are used to, we spend a lot of times with specialists, getting evans /tests, and doing therapy. We have no prognosis or diagnosis for her developmental delays (although as I have posted before I suspect SPD). I would not trade my kid for any other kid in the world, but I am struggling with the decision of wanting another baby.

I always imagined having 2 kids, and DH feels the same. I would love to have them 2 or 3 years apart, and I really want DD to have a sibling not too much younger than her. My DH is on board if it's what I really want, but he is concerned it would take away too much attention from DD and her therapy / care.

 Am I being selfish? I am afraid if we wait for things to slow down, they never will.  


Re: How do I stop feeling guilty?

  • Personally I do not think there is ever a "perfect" time to have kids. There may be better timing then others but in the end no time will be the best time IMO, but this is coming from someone who is part of an active duty military family where TTC is done around deployments, TDYs, schools, PCS'ing, etc.

    I have 2 kids. DS1 is NT and 4. DS2 is SN and turns 3 in Oct. I do feel sometimes that I ignore DS1 although obviously not on purpose. Whenever I feel that way, I make sure to have some extra one-on-one time with him, play with him a little more which means DS2 gets more practice at playing independently, etc. 

    In the end, if you both feel that you have always wanted 2 then I say go for it. You'll be a little busier but parenting of any number of children involves time management. I've heard it said that you'll never regret another child but you may regret not having one.  I don't believe you are being selfish given any decision you make regarding having or not having another child but don't wait for things to slow down. 1. Things probably won't slow down and 2. More then likely, one area may slow down but it'll kick up in another area. Ah the joys of the balancing act!

  • I have no advice.  I am in the same boat.  I thought for sure after two kids I was done.  Now, I am not so sure.  I feel guilty for wanting another one.  UGH!  Its tough, and I feel your pain.  Know you are not alone.
    Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers imageimage
  • Loading the player...
  • Both of my kids are in therapy now (my son has apraxia and sensory processing disorder, my daughter has some level of hearing loss and they suspect some auditory processing difficulties) and we deal with lots of appointments and such as well. On the contrary, I think having them closer in age has worked out well. Speech activities I do at home with my oldest I can do for my youngest and they both benefit, which wouldn't work with 4 years between kids. My EI service coordinator even meets both of them at the same time and does activities they both can do. I have family in the area so I can get one-on-one time with each child.

    With that being said, I did quit my part time day job because I felt like I couldn't handle it all. If you have to work I do think having 2 close in age who both needed therapies would be extremely difficult to manage. That's something to consider as well.

    GL with whatever you decide!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Our original plan was to have our kids close together, but LA's needs superseded our wants.  We realized that we needed to focus our time and attention to help her get everything possible in the early years to provide her the best opportunities going forward.  We were so busy with therapies, appointments, etc. that adding another child to our family would have taken too much away.

     

    Fast forward and things have settled down.  We still have a busy therapy schedule, but appointments are fewer and we have hit a good groove.  LA will begin preschool this year and we are in a physically and emotionally stable  place to expand our family.  I know it was the right decision for our family.  When I thought about having another baby at the stage you are at, I Had the same fears you are experiencing.  When I think about having a baby now, there are no fears about how we will manage it all.

  • I do not think we would have reached an area of feeling comfortable..anytime soon. Maybe by the time P was in kindie but then I see myself not wanting to, 'start over' with a baby at that point.

    Lucky for us, we got pregnant, on accident, (2% chance without fertility treatments) and we got some of P's first diagnosis a few days prior.  It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.  Add on moving, having difficulties in the 2nd pregnancy as well, bed rest, pre-term labor, more placental problems.  It really sucked!

    I find myself having the baby blues sometimes now, and I just try to picture that newborn cry that is ear piercing lol.  Usually does the trick.  We may adopt in the future but no more bio children for us.  

    Like PP said though, if you are trying to find the perfect time, their won't be one. I almost always have to choose whose needs are more important over the others, whose sicker, whose this or whose that.  I've been away from each of them for days because I was at the hospital with the other.  

    If your LO's needs are less medical and more developmental that may not be an issue, just juggling therapies, etc.  

    GL in your decision. 

    DD1(4):VSD & PFO (Closed!), Prenatal stroke, Mild CP, Delayed pyloric opening/reflux, Brachycephaly & Plagiocephaly, Sacral lipoma, Tethered spinal cord, Compound heterozygous MTHFR, Neurogenic bladder, Urinary retention & dyssynergia, incomplete emptying, enlarged Bladder with Poor Muscle Tone, EDS-Type 3. Mito-Disorder has been mentioned

    DD2(2.5): Late term premie due to PTL, low fluid & IUGR, Reflux, delayed visual maturation, compound heteroygous MTHFR, PFAPA, Bilateral kidney reflux, Transient hypogammaglobulinemia, EDS-Type 3


  • imageKC_13:

    Both of my kids are in therapy now (my son has apraxia and sensory processing disorder, my daughter has some level of hearing loss and they suspect some auditory processing difficulties) and we deal with lots of appointments and such as well. On the contrary, I think having them closer in age has worked out well. Speech activities I do at home with my oldest I can do for my youngest and they both benefit, which wouldn't work with 4 years between kids. My EI service coordinator even meets both of them at the same time and does activities they both can do. I have family in the area so I can get one-on-one time with each child.

    With that being said, I did quit my part time day job because I felt like I couldn't handle it all. If you have to work I do think having 2 close in age who both needed therapies would be extremely difficult to manage. That's something to consider as well.

    GL with whatever you decide!

    This especially the bolded part.

    I work full time and I am the only income at the moment for us three: DH, DS and myself. All of DS's therapies are scheduled on the weekends as much as possible. And DH helps with just one appointment until he gets a job.

    I would like to have another baby but that does not look like that will happen because of the way my life is right now. I am always trying to get us to go to all the appointments for DS. I can only imagine if I have 2 children, I think DH would have to work, I would have to quit working and I would have to stay home to keep up with both of them.

     

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Like a few other posters have said - I don't think anyone's ever "ready" for a baby, first, second or more - but you do have valid concerns.  We got Chris dx when I was already 3 months pregnant and I can't honestly say that we would've continued with our plans for baby #2 if I hadn't already been pregnant.  But I was and now ... so happy; we have 2 beautiful boys.  Chris is affectionate with his little brother - in his own way.  It's not easy - especially now with evals and making the transition to pre-school but we've got a great support system and we're surviving.  Day by day.  I'm exhausted most days but when I'm with the 2 of them, I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

    You're not being selfish.  You're taking a step back and not acting on impulse.  That's a good thing!  

    I can't tell you what to do one way or another but don't let fear or guilt or anything negative like that affect your decision.  

    Good luck! 

    image
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

    image

  • We just received DS2's diagnosis that he has teh same genetic condition DS has (x-linked intellectual disability).

    I don't think guilt EVER goes away.  It just changes and spreads out.  I look into DS1's face and it eats me alive that he's not our only anymore.  I can't give him 100% for therapy, for reading to him, for playing with him, for trying to push him to gain skills and independence.

    I look into DS2's face and feel guilty that I wish we would have waited for him.  He won't get the same amount of mommy DS1 had in those first 2 years.  He won't have the same access to me for therapy (a lot of therapy for us in the early days was lots of stretching and positioning and practice movement because of hypertonia).  He won't have the same undivided attention that DS1 had. 

    then I see the 2 of them and feel guilty that I always feel there isn't enough of me to go around. 

    It's the strangest feeling.  I love them both so much, individually, but I struggle to parent the two of them together. Everytime I give one of them my undivided attention I feel so guilty that the other is missing out.

    And now, we're planning on moving back with my parents.  Right now DS1 will be in a 2yo EI preschool class 2x week, he gets great therapy (i love his PT), and he has access to great equipment, and without any out of pocket expense.  We will lose all of that by moving.  The EI here is nowhere near as comprehensive.  It comes with a co-pay and there are no 2yo EI preschool classrooms.  I feel guilty that we're going to take that away from DS1.  But, I don't think we can survive 7 hours away from our families and hours away from our friends.  We have no one to call on, no one to help us or help care for the boys.

    Maybe this is something that will change with time, but for now this is how it feels.  I agree with Auntie, the 2-3 yr gap isn't enough.  Especially, when my 2 yr old is basically like caring for a giant 10 month old. He can't walk or stand, he can't eat well, he can't use a sippy cup, he can't talk, he can't sign, he can't point, and he doesn't understand simple commands.  It's very difficult to parent children this close in developmental age.

    I'm also dieing for baby#3 which makes me feel more guilty.  Do I really want another child, or do I just want the chance to have a typical child?  do I really want another child or do I just want to the chance to have a daughter?  there are so many questions as to WHY we want to have another child, is it because this one isn't what we expected so we need to try again?  Kind of like that saying, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Is it because the thought of our disabled children growing up and having noone to rely on but their aging parents is too frightening?  Is it because if we keep having babies we can tightly cling to the denial that our children are growing up and not developing as fast as they should?  It makes it easier to cling to the baby stage without forcing your child to grow up and push and succeed.

    The only suggestion I have is that before you have another child, take the time to answer all the what if's in your head.  What if your child #2 has autism?  What if they had some other disability? Do you think you would be able to give them both the time and attention they need?  If baby#2 is typical, do you think you can be fair and raise them differently, with different expectations and allow your Child #2 to grow up independent of their disabled sibling?

    It's a lot to take in, and I'm not pushing either way.  But it's hard.  VERY hard.

    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
  • My older DD was just diagnosed with sensory issues, so my experience was different from yours.  That said, she was such an intense infant/toddler that the idea of having a second child was unthinkable until she was 2 years old.  I couldn't have handled it.  When she turned two, I finally felt like I was ready, so DD1 was almost three when DD2 was born.

    DD2 is much easier baby, and she has been such a blessing to DD1.  Give yourself some more time.  Your DD is still really little.  I would revisit the idea in six months or a year.  See where things are then and how you feel.

  • Thank you all so much for your responses, it has given me a lot to think about. It is so hard, because my DD is such an easy baby personality wise. She is happy and rarely fussy, so spending time with her makes me feel so ready. But then the other side of it is all the therapy and appointments. It is a decision I will not be taking lightly, and I think I just need more time to make it. Maybe if we had a prognosis or diagnosis for sure things would be different.

  • I think it's hard choices no matter which way you go. 1 kid, 2 kids, close in age, farther apart in age. Each of these has tradeoffs.

    For us, DS has mild CP and isn't independently walking at nearly 3. That's HARD sometimes. Juggling preschool, therapy, doctor's appointments, etc is HARD and then adding another child? Even harder. With them being just 2 years apart, this first year has been tough. In many ways it seems like it would be easier if DD was just about to arrive since DS is so much more mobile and independent. On the other hand, I firmly believe that part of the reason he got there was 1) my maternity leave where I was able to spend a lot of time working with him, 2) going part time which happened in part because I had 2 to juggle and 3) DD's moving, grooving and generally just being an active NT kid. Overall they love each other (though they do tussle as siblings do) and I wouldn't change anything.

  • I'm waiting to have baby #3. I would prefer them both in school FT before bringing another baby into the mix. I don't like the big age difference, but it would way too hard having all 3 at home (we only have PT K here at the moment). 
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers
  • I know how you feel. Dh and I have been going back and forth on this issue. my ds  was diagnosed with autism and requires 40 plus hour of therapy per week. I always wanted 2 kids and for my son to have a sibling. As much as i want him to have the bond with a sibling I just cannot see sacrificing my time with him right now. So for me I plan to wait to ds is older and we can see were he developmentally ends up. Of course are biggest fear is having another child on the spectrum and i don't know if i have the stamina to do it again. good luck 
  • I read these posts all the time and I never find a really good answer. I struggle with the same guilt, but for me it is opposite- I am guilty that I do not want another sibling. I think DH and I always assumed we'd have two kids- but once we had one, and one with autism to boot, it was/is a bit overwelming. I keep agonizing over the adage: you only regret the kids you don't have. I think that when I'm 50 I'll probably regret our decision. But for right now I cannot fathom going back to the newborn stage all over again with DS about to start kindy and our lives finally starting to feel "normal". So selfishness and guilt can go both ways.
  • I could have written your post myself, OP. My son is close to being diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, and we've had him receiving various types of therapy (speech for feeding issues, PT for gross motor delay and OT for sensory issues) for about a year now. Both my husband and I work full-time, and we can barely manage as it is. I've always wanted two kids, but I just don't know if we can make it work. Quitting my job is not an option-- we need both incomes. And I wonder if it would be fair to my high-needs son to share attention and care with a baby, and if it would be fair to a baby to share attention with a high-needs older brother. 

    I've decided to table the discussion until my son is two. But I find myself inching towards one and done. Never thought I'd say that. 

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
    Pregnancy Ticker


  • I remember at ds1's second birthday I had morning sickness and had just realized I was pg and at that time I had a nagging feeling and was asking my friend who works with kids on the spectrum her opinion (she was at the party). But we didn't know, we denftey didn't know. I was heavily pregnant when he was dx PDd-nos and that was a rough way to get the news and obviously I had some worries about this prengnacy but all in all it improbably just as well that we didn't know before hand because we wanted another child and I don't know how easy it would have been if we had mown. Kwim?


    As far as timing goes I think the 2.5 yrs spacing we ended up with is pretty perfect (for us). Now they are 4yrs and 16 months and they are like peas and carrots running around the house roaring at each other and getting into trouble. When they hit their twenties those 2.5 yrs are going to mean nothing and I think if we are lucky and they have a loving relationship that they will be able to enjoy some really special ties together.


    . My half sisters are 7 and 11 years olr than I am and I really didn't have anything in common with them growing up. Now I odnt even speak to them- though that has more to do with their relationships with our father and my mother and probably their own mother- not bc of their age. Anyhow I don't think you will regret giving yourself another six months to think about it (dd is 18 months right?). That way preschool will be starting and dd will have a little mo independance. That said I bet right now would have advantages too- so would two years from now. If you have your marriage, life, and finances in order then I think anytime will be a good time. Gl

    [url="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=breastfeeder&utm_medium=ubb&utm_campaign=badges"][img]http://images.thenestbaby.com/badges/tb_sig_ebf.gif [/img][/url]

    <a href="http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=HTML&utm_campaign=tickers" title="Parenting Tips"><img src="http://global.thebump.com/tickers/ttf4a5d.aspx" alt=" Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker" border="0" /></a>
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards