How to Know You're Suffering From Second Child Guilt Syndrome

29/06/2015 23:11 BST | Updated 29/06/2016 10:59 BST

When I had my first baby I was one of THOSE purists. My child was never going to watch TV, he would never eat anything that wasn't home made or organic, and he certainly would never ever grace the doors of McDonalds despite his mothers love of all things Big Mac shaped.

Then I had my second child.

And how I laughed at one child me. And laughed. And laughed. You see, there is a little thing called, second child mummy guilt. It happens when you bring another little person into your house usurping your firstborn from their position as one and only light of your life. Apple of your eye. So you try to fix this, whilst also bestowing your second child with attention that your first enjoyed.

It is a minefield.

Second child mummy guilt can manifest in several ways, personally I find the following are fairly indiciative that the subject is suffering from second (or more!) child mummy guilt.

Chocolate and all things sugar filled feature prominently in your life

Your first born is now constantly running round on a sugar high as you just can't resist that face when they ask for chocolate or sweeties. You take one look and immediately think that you've upset the balance of his life because of bringing home someone who also demands your attention.

And quite frankly you could do with the five minutes piece a kinder egg is going to give you.

TV becomes your saviour

Likewise, you are all well versed in Disney. On repeat. Our personal poison at the moment? Planes 2. This has been watched approximately 56 times in the two weeks we've had it.

The frustrating part? I'm yet to watch it from start to end in one sitting....I have seen 5-10 minute chunks of it.

I am tempted to make myself some popcorn and sit down to watch the whole thing start to finish when he has gone to bed.

Then I laugh at myself for thinking I have time to watch a full film in one sitting with two children in the house where one is less than 3 months old.

The Cost of Shopping Doubles

Whenever you buy something for one the other gets something. Regardless of whether it is an essential purchase or a fun toy purchase.

When we left the hospital we needed some new vests for the baby, so Daddy took the Toddler on the metro to buy said vests. He came home with a bouncing toddler and a sheepish expression.

It turns out whilst in the baby shop the toddler bounded over to him holding an Audi and a look in his eyes. The husband looked at the vests he was about to purchase for the baby and all of a sudden the Audi made its way to the till.

Unfortunately for Mummy it was just a toy one.


McDonalds was invented for guilty parents.

Happy meals are little gems of happiness, chips and a piece of plastic resembling a toy? Marvellous.

The toddler is finally eating food that isn't laced in chocolate, having rejected all home cooked meals for the past three weeks, showing his disdain by dumping them on the floor. Well in my book that's a win.

Following on from this, seeing as McDonalds makes him happy and I can GUARANTEE he will eat it (OK and I love a Big Mac) I am sure that the baby's first meal rather than being an organic home made puree his brother enjoyed, is much more likely to be a couple of discarded Maccies chips from his big brother...


You are busy trying to take a comparable amount of photos of the new baby that you had of the first born.

FYI this is impossible as with your firstborn you had only yourself and the little one to take care of. You could whip your phone out with one of your free hands to capture the same sleeping pose in different sleep suits.

This time said free hand is now occupied trying to save the toddler from dive bombing off the sofa and cracking his head open.

Besides, if you aren't saving the toddler from divebombing when he sees you whip your phone out to catch the adorable spit bubble of your new baby he will inevitably fling himself in your path screaming SELFIE until you are forced to hand over the phone for another up the nose/chin shot. Because, trust me, at these times you just need to go for the option that will give you the easy life.

And those of you that are second (or more) children come to understand just why there aren't that many photos of you as a baby. Not from lack of trying but from attention seeking, selfie demanding, older brothers and sisters.

Still, even having the mummy guilt, you know that you are giving your children one of the best things you can, each other.

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