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Feeling Guilty About Having A Second Baby? What You’re Forgetting.

I remember literally balling my eyes out. Laying on my side, in my bed, curled around a body pillow, weeping. The kind of cry that makes it hard to breathe, swells your eyes nearly shut, puffs your face, and crushes your heart under the weight of your burden! I was weeks away from having my second baby, and some-kind-of-horrible sadness was setting it. I didn’t understand it, I didn’t want it, and I couldn’t believe it, but I was feeling guilty about having a second baby.

daughter in white touching pregnant belly of mom who feels guilty about having a second baby

A Second Baby For Father’s Day

Three and a half weeks into my cycle, about 7 months before this, I had taken a pregnancy test. It was fathers day, and we had been trying to conceive our second baby. I was sure it was too early to tell if I was pregnant or not, but I just had to give it a shot.

I took the test and felt my heart burst with joy as I watched two lines rapidly appear. We had a little man about to be two, and I just knew this was our princess.

I took the test to my husband and excitedly squealed, “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!”

He was excited, although he’ll tell you he would have liked to have “tried” a little longer!:) (insert eye roll here) We waited a few weeks until I felt comfortable and then told our almost-two-year-old son and the rest of our family.

As Much Time With The First Born As Possible

Over the next several months, I spent as much intentional time with my son as I could. We went to parks, malls, played games, dug in the dirt, raced cars, and had all sorts of one-on-one little-boy-fun!

So why was I finding myself then and there, curled up in that ball of crying mess?

Because it’s never enough.

No matter how intentional you are, how much time you spend with your child, or how amazing a parent you are… the time we have with our children will never be enough.

What’s important for this moment is that you understand the guilt you feel for having a second baby is not only completely normal but to be expected and a good thing.

Feeling Guilty About Having A Second Baby Is A Good Sign

The fact that you feel this way is a really, really good sign about the kind of mom you are! That sort of intense emotion over something that hasn’t even happened yet displays great empathy.

Not everyone is sobering-ly aware of how fast the days go by. Not everyone has such a deep understanding of the fact that once you have another baby, it will NEVER AGAIN be just you and your firstborn. Those days will be gone.

And let’s face it, those days have been pretty great. Planning your day around what just the two of you want to do. Deciding on lunch based solely on #1’s preferences.

Having every moment of every day to offer your firstborn your undivided attention… and it’s all going away.

What You Aren’t Considering

Now that I have had multiple children for many years, there is objectivity that I can see that a mom about to have her second child can not. I want you to listen to me right now because the sooner you get this, the better off all of your children will be. Heck, the better off you, your husband, your children, and your whole family will be for years to come.

What you aren’t considering when feeling guilty about having a second baby is that you are not solely responsible for your firstborn’s happiness.

You are feeling so very heavy with guilt and sadness, knowing that never again will you be able to fill his heart by giving him all your time, all the time. But the truth is… there is much more available in the world to make him happy than what you have to offer.

No one can provide to a child’s heart what a Mommy can. Mothers are the milk and honey to a little one’s soul. The soothing words in times of hurt. The soft-touch in times of pain. A Mommy gives what no one else has to offer.

Grieve And Embrace Having Your Second Baby

The natural progression that happens as an intentional mom builds a strong family is a beautiful thing. Over time, you will need more help with childcare. As a result, grandparents will be spending more time with your kids.

You will have more and more responsibility as housework, marital expectations, and child training demands stack up. Balancing all this, while maintaining your bond with each of your children will require parent-child dates, scheduled one one one time, and lots of intention.

All those things happen as you are forced to consider them and think of your family as a whole team. Your one-on-one relationship with your firstborn was a perfectly selfish one.

It filled your heart and your days, and very soon, it will be forever changed.

Guilt Or Growing Pains?

This change is a precious and extraordinary thing. It feels like a loss right now, because it is. But what you are losing will be replaced by something even more special. You’re losing sole ownership of your child’s time and he is losing sole ownership of yours.

Be that as it may, he is gaining a sibling. A friend who will be around long after you are gone. Your first-born is gaining a second born who will be with him throughout his life, know where he came from, where he’s been and walk beside him into his future.

Your child won’t “have” you in the same way he has “had” you before but he’ll have something… someone… much better.

Grieve the loss of this special season of your life. You are feeling this way for good reason. Some seasons of transition in life are just straight heavy. This is one of those times. I call it “growing pains.”

Growing a strong family is one of (if not THE) the single most significant impacts you can make on the world during your time here. A task that remarkable wouldn’t come without some heartache and hardships. Embrace them. Cry when you need to. Hug your first-born a little longer than usual. And know you are an amazing mom!


child caressing moms pregnant belly how to do deal with second baby guilt


  • Lisa says:

    Thank you so much, this has made me feel so much better and brought up so many points I didn’t even consider. I feel like I needed to hear (read) this. Thank you for putting it in another perspective for me.

  • Anjali says:

    This is exactly my feelings after my second child… it’s very difficult to accept these growing pains

  • Darlene says:

    As im I cry thinking about this, I thank you for this article because it calmed me down.
    Thank you

  • Curtis says:

    Thanks for this article. I’m actually a father and this encouraged me! My wife and I just had our second baby girl and our oldest (16 months) has been our pride and joy. I’m finding myself and dad feeling this second child guilt as I know my relationship with our oldest will never be the same. I’m encouraged to know this is normal and that there are sooo many benefits that come with this next season! I snuggled my oldest a little longer than I ever have tonight. It was special.

Hi there! I'm Mama Duck,

I'm a stay-at-home/work-at-home, homeschooling Mama of 4 beautiful kiddos, wife to my loving husband, Parenting Coach, Speaker, and Writer. I adore the sound of my children's giggles, that first sip of hot coffee, and a snuggly blanket fresh out of the dryer. Here on Faithful Parenting, my heart is to equip mamas with the skills, knowledge, and biblical wisdom to raise fantastic kids and build a tethered family!