Choosing Between Children; When You Have to Drop the Ball

     It’s a choice I never thought I would have to make. Like many Moms, I love my babies equally. In addition, I like to think they all get lots of equal attention throughout the day. It’s a juggling act, I toss one ball up (figuratively, I’m not throwing my children into the air) while I hold another and try to pass them seamlessly in a circle without a miss. However there are times throughout the day that I have to choose. I have to decide whos’ needs are more important and who gets my attention first.
     I knew when my second and third sons were born that I wouldn’t be able to provide a lot of attention to the older sibling(s) the first few weeks. The time when it seems like baby is constantly nursing and showers are but a dream. I looked forward to this time passing and moving onto a time when I could split my attention 3 ways equally and meet ALL of my childrens’ needs….and maybe even some of my own!
     As I watched my 3 year old go off to Grandma’s this morning, because I know that he will get 100% attention from both Grandma and Grandpop while I care for my post-surgical 2 year old and 7  month old nurslings…I feel terrible. Guilt. I feel guilty that I have to divide my attention two ways today, and maybe even clean some of the mess in the house that’s left from running to doctors appointments without even unpacking from the last. While I know my 3 year old will have a fantastic time, I am  not capable of providing him with the  joy and attention he deserves today. So I must defer, like many parents do. I must allow trusted others to fulfill the needs he has today that I am unable to meet, color with him, work on preschool learning and even sit down and enjoy his favorite cartoon.
     Today I can’t be super Mom to 3 babies, because one of my brood needs more attention. Why does this bother me? Can we as Moms allow the juggling to stop for a day, a week, maybe even just a few minutes. How long can we keep the balls in the air before we need to pause and allow someone else to participate in our act? Today I’m juggling two babies and hope my 3 year old doesn’t feel rejected, unwanted or unattended to by Mom. I know he’ll be playing and watching Paw Patrol, and for the first time in over two years, he’ll be the only child to his Grandparents who will provide undivided attention and Love.

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