I appreciate how, over the past few days, you’ve been giving me feedback about my son’s behaviour – how he’s become more emotional lately and mentioning his Mummy.
As I explained to you, this was likely because my younger son (who is just 2 months old) has been waking up in the night more frequently than usual over the past week. And I’ve been doing the night shift. When my shift is over, I’ve been going straight back to bed – because I really am so tired. Unfortunately this means I haven’t seen my older son before he leaves for school in the morning. This may have made him feel that I was ignoring him, even though I spend more time with him in the afternoons and evenings.
And yes, he has generally become more clingy since his baby sibling arrived. This behaviour is completely expected, as frequently documented and told to me by friends with multiple children. He is, in fact, not behaving out of the ordinary, given his situation.
Thus, your parting comment that I should “spend more time” with my older son, is rather naive and uncalled for. You are not aware of the “alone time” I do spend with him, nor the effort that I and my husband regularly make to take him out for dinner or visit one of his favourite places, while the baby stays at home. I don’t see the need to tell you the details of our private lives, nor do I think you should form your own conclusions based on a few pieces of information about a boy whom you’ve only been in charge of for a few weeks.
And given your youthful age and idealistic demeanour, you probably do not have children of your own yet (I will ask you about this the next time I see you). Thus you may not be able to fully appreciate the challenges of managing two or more young children simultaneously – like being woken up almost every hour by a fussing baby, no matter how badly your body is craving sleep.
You may not even have leisure to rest in the afternoons as both children may demand attention at the same time. Or, you may be out running errands. That is what SAHMs are expected to do, because we’re perceived to have more ‘free time’ than parents who go to work. That doesn’t mean we have it easier. In fact, every day I spend hours breastfeeding the baby and expressing the remaining milk, so that I don’t end up with painful, blocked ducts again. I can’t even leave the house for more than a few hours to do anything for myself.
So, please keep your parenting advice to yourself unless you’ve actually been a parent – preferably, to more than one young child.
I wish you the best in your (presumably) future married life. May you be blessed immediately with triplets.