Mum Guilt

Mum guilt, something that exists even before your child is born, maybe because you ate something 'forbidden' to pregnant ladies or because you haven't thought about that growing bump all day, Mum guilt never, ever, ever goes away and I can certainly say it definitely multiplies when your family does. And I felt the full force of it, when one of my babies was extremely poorly and I was torn between both of my sons.

If you follow me on social media, you'll have probably seen that Patrick unfortunately spent the first week of his life intensive care, for a couple of days it was very much touch and go with words like Sepsis, meningitis and brain damage freely used in updates on our little boy, it was an incredibly scary time and one I'm glad is behind us. Of course when I went in to have little P, never in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen this happening, I expected a longer stay as I was aware he may need some IV antibiotics due to my waters breaking, but in no way did I think I'd spend over a week in that hospital. Over a week separated from my biggest boy.

Before P was born, I'd never spent more than 24 hours away from Noah so this was hard, tear inducing and heart hurtingly hard. Nothing can prepare you for feeling so torn between who needs you most and having to so obviously put one of your children first so soon. We'd done everything we could to prep Noah for our new arrival, we'd bought the books to read to him, we'd let him pick out a present for the baby and had prepared one for him to receive too - I thought he'd feel so included and it would be more Patrick fitting into our lives than anything, I desperately didn't want him to feel left out. But now, how could he not? For all he knew this baby had come along and he hadn't been at home with his Mummy since. I spent so many hours awake, crying, wondering what he would be wondering. Would he think I'd left him? Would he resent me, or Patrick? Will he be acting out or regressing? Noah visited us, of course he did, but it wasn't the same, he'd lose interest quickly and start to act up - who can blame him, he's 2 and hospitals are pretty boring for 2 year olds. He wanted to hold P and couldn't really understand why he couldn't do that. It was an upsetting week for sure, the above picture is how they met and it's in no way how I could of ever saw that huge milestone happening - but it was special nonetheless.

When I was discharged from the Maternity Unit after 4 days, I was offered a flat on the NICU ward to be near Patrick and I feel thankful that at that stage, we knew he was probably going to be 'okay' & out within a week so I chose to stay. It was such a hard choice, picking between my children so clearly, but Noah could visit, he had so many people around him who are obsessed with him that I knew he would be ok. I decided Patrick needed me just that little bit more. During that crucial week, Noah was looked after so well by both of my parents and at times my Nan, and if I'm truthful Noah was elated at the fact he got to see his 'Gangan' (My dad and the be all and end all for Noah) every single night before bed. He was so happy and content, but I think that almost made me feel more guilty - he was so accepting and understanding that 'Mama was looking after Patrick at the hospital' that don't know if that was worse or not.

Throughout Patricks time in Intensive Care, I definitely found fellow Mummy Charlotte sumed everything up so well in her posts about her beautiful Daisy and Bill. It felt so surreal reading her updates when pregnant, and then being in a similar situation but her words of wisdom definitely helped me through those hard days. I know this post is a little rambly, but it's hard to sum up such feelings that you haven't quite got your head around yourself just yet. I still feel guilty towards both boys, like we need to make up for lost time and I know that is ridiculous and we should live in the moment. But that is Mum Guilt, and something I've never felt so overwhelmingly consumed by till three weeks ago.
My Petit Canard


  1. AnonymousJuly 25, 2016

    Wow that sounds like such a tough start to your second boy's life. We had a tiny tiny glimpse of this when our second spent four nights in special care baby unit but he was just having some blood sugar issues - nothing like your troubles. We all found it incredibly hard being apart - me at home, my wife in maternity ward, our first boy at his Grandpa's, and our new baby in SCBU. You handled it all incredibly well by the sounds of it. You must never feel guilty for something so out of your control and for doing your best. Hope all is well now. #marvmondays

    1. Thank you! Gosh, it sounds like you didn't have it easy either. We were split similarly and it's so hard, poor John was trying to split himself in four and I know it was just as hard for him. We're mainly good now thankfully, although had a little re-admission this week we are home again.


  2. Aw honey - I want to tell you, you shouldn't feel guilty at all but I know that's pointless as Mum guilt is SUCH a real thing. What a tough time you've had. I hope things get a little easier. On a lighter note - I have a Noah and my nephew is Patrick! How funny. Charlie@realgirlramblings x #marvmondays

  3. Having been in hospital with my second born not so long ago I can understand feeling torn between your first and second. It sounds like your second had a lovely time with his grandparents as did mine when I was not able to be there for her. #MarvMondays

  4. What a heartbreaking decision to have to make, I can sympathise completely as I'm due #2 in a few weeks and have actually opted for a home birth so I can be as close as possible to my first. If I did have to go to hospital or stay in, it would be so difficult but as you say, there are times when one child will need you that little bit more. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  5. Such a difficult decision to make, thank you for sharing this very honest post. #MarvMondays

  6. It is so hard being torn. Ella was only just 5 when Oliver was born prematurely and every weekend and school holiday meant hours on end at the hospital as we tried to juggle caring for them both. I felt immense guilt of not spending enough time with her or having to leave the hospital with Oliver awake to collect her from school. I'm so glad alls ok now xxx