I’ve got a toddler, a newborn, and a new dose of mom guilt

I feel like when I focus my attention on one of my children, I’m letting the other one down.

I’ve got a toddler, a newborn, and a new dose of mom guilt

Mom guilt.

It shows up in the most random times.

Like when you're hiding in the bathroom for getting upset with your preschooler who just will. not. listen.

Or when you're having a well-deserved girls night out after months of being alone with the kids, only to feel bad that you're not with them for bedtime.

Or when you're simply wondering if you're just doing this whole parenting thing the “right" way.

But now that I've added a second child to our family, I'm experiencing a whole new wave of mom guilt: being torn between the needs of my two children.


My little family's newest addition is Baby Simon, who came along in July. He is really starting to develop and show us his personality. He is calm, laid back and oh-so sweet.

Then I have my 3-year-old, Henry. He is my wild child. My climber. My little hurricane. My sour patch kid. He's sweet, then he pulls my hair and runs away laughing. But I love that kid so much and he can always bring a smile to my face.

I know that all this new mom guilt I'm feeling is ridiculous, but I can't make it go away. I think it stems from the fact that now I have children at two completely different stages in life.

I want to snuggle with my baby boy on the couch and sit on the floor with him while he has tummy time. But I also want to play with my 3-year-old and run around with him in the backyard.

I feel like when I focus my attention on one of my children, I'm letting the other one down.

Then a full wave of mom guilt comes over me and I ask myself questions like. . .

  • Will the baby develop slower because I let him lay on a blanket while I play with my toddler?
  • Will my 3-year-old develop some sort of complex because I can't sword fight with him while I feed the baby? (I did attempt to do both at one time and it ended badly.)
  • Will my children have low ACT scores and not get into the best colleges because I didn't pay a ton of money for them to go to a special preschool that teaches toddlers to be bilingual? (I know, I know, but it went through my head.)
  • Do I need to be reading to my newborn already?
  • Should I put him to bed later so he can sit with Henry while I read his bedtime story?
  • Should I feel guilty for skipping pages when reading Dr. Seuss at bedtime because his books are SO LONG? He is the equivalent of a novelist for toddlers.
  • Am I doing something wrong because my infant shows no interest in rolling over yet?
  • Does my oldest think I don't love him anymore because I spend so much time taking care of his little brother?
  • Does he think he has been replaced?
  • Am I spending enough one on one time with each of them? I work full time, so they spend five days a week at their sitter's house.
  • I still can't get my toddler to poop in the potty.
  • I use bribery whenever necessary. Is that so bad?
  • Should I force my oldest to eat vegetables?
  • Is my youngest getting as much skin-to-skin as his big bro?
  • And on and on and on...

These guilty feelings make me feel quite bad. But do these things make me a bad mom? Rationally, I know the answer is no.

They make me a normal mom. A good, loving mom that admits she has imperfections. And tries her hardest to be the best she can be. But it's hard and no one can do it all.

So instead, I'm telling the guilt that. . .

  • I'm teaching my children they're wonderful, but not the center of the universe.
  • I'm modeling what taking care of a newborn looks like for my preschooler.
  • I'm inculcating patience when I cannot immediately respond to requests, because I'm busy caring for the other child.
  • I'm doing the very best that I can and that simply has to be good enough.

I decided that I wouldn't let this ridiculous mom guilt steal any more space in my already jam-packed brain. Worrying about these things is a waste of time. Time that I could be spending sword fighting with my preschooler or cheering on my infant to roll over.

Now, every time that twinge of mom guilt pops in my head, I change my focus.

I focus on the healthy, beautiful baby boys that I am raising.

I think about how they are developing their own little personalities (even though they aren't bilingual).

I run and run and run around the backyard with my 3-year-old and don't feel guilty about not forcing peas down his throat.

I snuggle on the couch with my infant and listen to his baby giggles.

And all that mom guilt melts away.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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