My friend said that someone told her that when you push out a baby, they fill the void with 8 pounds of guilt. That seems just about right.
Maybe the guilt comes from having to go back to work and not wanting to.
Maybe from having to go back to work and REALLY wanting to.
Maybe the guilt comes from a change in the 'normal' - new baby, sick baby, needy baby requiring something that changes the day to day routine of the older kiddos.
Maybe it comes from seeing behaviors in them that you recognize and don't love about yourself.
Maybe it comes by way of other moms who seem to have it more together, with better stuff, and better behaved children.
The list above is probably endless. Maybe you have adult children and I can't even imagine that list yet.
My latest is centered around the girls. Jack is a good baby, but he's just a baby, and when he needs me, he needs me right now. I used to be at the B's beck and call. We played together most of the time. Sure, they did some things alone, but I was involved...whether in the same room, or initiating the play and then stepping out to get something done...somehow involved. Since Jack, that has changed. Yes, they are older. Yes, they SHOULD be getting more independent and imaginative enough to play without a cruise director...BUT, here's a typical scenario:
We are all in the living room, girls and momma in the floor playing.
Momma goes to Jack and settles in to nurse him.
K grabs L's hand and heads down to the hall to their room.
Then they close the door and proceed to be OK and even *horror* giggle and laugh without me!!!
Would I rather they sit at my feet and cry until I'm done with Jack? NO.
Would I rather not be breastfeeding baby Jack? NO.
Do the abovementioned, logical arguments make it sting less? NO.
I rarely sit and rock Jack. If he's happy or asleep, I put him down and go to the girls.
I rarely get out of the house to do fun things with the girls. I could. They are social little B's and would love it. I just don't.
I'm loving it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I know your brand of guilt is different than mine...but I think it's one of those sweet, common, inevitable bonds of motherhood.