06/12/2016 12:45 GMT | Updated 06/12/2017 05:12 GMT

An Apology To My First-Born Child

My love,

I am sorry. I am sorry that we spent almost three years giving you every scrap of attention we had, and then expected you to adjust, in an instant, to having to compete for us. I am sorry that we told you about the baby, told you that she was a girl and when she was coming, but we did nothing to really prepare you for the way your world was about to implode.

I am sorry that when you both call for me, your voices full of need, I go to her first. Unless you shout that you need a poo. She's wearing a nappy, after all.

I am sorry that everyone, me included, expects you to be enthusiastic about sharing. Not just your toys, but your parents, too. And while we all know it's a good lesson for you to learn, to you, it just means getting less. And who is going to put their hand up for that?

I am sorry that I have so little patience and that I'm quick to snap at you. I'm just tired. And you know all about being tired, don't you? You fall asleep in your tea at least once a week. I never get to fall asleep in mine. And I have to cook it, once you've finally stopped battling and agreed to stay in bed.

I am sorry that when you say you don't want to go to nursery, I take you there anyway. I know you know that I'm staying at home with your sister, and it seems unfair. But I also know how much you love it there, even though you're quick to forget that. When I arrive to pick you up, you're often reluctant to come home.

I am sorry that your baby sister cries through Paw Patrol, grabs fistfuls of your hair when you give her a cuddle and regularly causes me to stop reading a story right in the middle because she needs a feed or a nappy change.

Most of all, I am sorry that my love for her is free of the anxiety that clouded my love for you in those fretful early days. That she will benefit from all the mistakes we made with you. That she will have parents who are more relaxed, who are simply better at all this.

I'm sorry, and I'm not. Because I hope you'll realise, one day soon, that she's the best thing we could ever give you, despite all that. When you imitate my voice and try to reassure her that 'it's ok, Mummy will feed you in a minute' or squeeze her until we make you stop, I think you already know that.

As for me, I will do my best to be even-handed with the two of you. To remember that you are only little. And to give you as much time as I can, while you're learning how to be a brother.

Love, Mum