Missing Aedan


People told us it would be an adjustment to have two children.  They told us it would be difficult and take time to get into the groove of things.

missing aedan 2
photo credit: Mini Mi Photography

But no one told me how much I would miss my first son, even though he was right there with me.

As you know, a newborn needs his mama in a very demanding way.  Nursing is a constant responsibility for the mom and results in little time for much else in the early days.  Then there is your physical healing.  They say not to pick up anything heavier than your baby for two weeks.  Well a toddler is most certainly heavier than a newborn.

For the first week of Declan’s life I was faced with something completely unexpected. 

I missed Aedan like crazy

I couldn’t pick him up when he asked me to, I couldn’t run around the kitchen chasing and tickling him, and I couldn’t be the mom I was to him for the 21 months prior.  He was right there with me but my husband was his sole provider while I focused on Declan.  After a week, I simply couldn’t take it anymore and I chose not to listen to the recommendations about lifting.  I also started to find time for just Aedan, even if it was just for five minutes reading a book together.

In the last six weeks, not being the mom I’d become so accustomed to has been the most difficult of all the adjustments to two children.  Having to direct Aedan to my husband when he needed me hurt every time.  It’s getting better but there are still many moments in any given day where I feel like neither of them are getting 100% of me.

So why am I telling you this?

I wish someone had prepared me for this feeling.  I wish they had told me I would miss my oldest child despite being a mere foot from me and that there would be this mom guilt for the amount of time shifted to the new baby.  I think it’s important to know that this might happen to you when the second baby comes along.

Thankfully, Aedan is adjusting better than I could have hoped for and the love he has for his little brother melts my heart.

missing aedan


  1. Before my second was born, I went through a lot of sadness and anxiety about how life would change for my (then) 2 year old. I told this to a very trusted friend / advisor, and instead of telling me that he would be fine, she validated me. She said it is hard on your first child, they are losing something special (being the only child, having all of your attention), and that it’s fine and normal to mourn that, to make space for that sadness. But that ultimately most people agree that siblings enrich our lives so greatly and are completely worth the loss of that special, one-on-one time with mom and dad. I have two siblings and I know my life is better because of them, and those relationships. And the transition from one to two was very hard on my eldest (and for ME watching my eldest!!), but there’s no looking back for any of us, he and his brother (now 3 yrs and 10 months) have such a cool relationship, and that brings so much joy to all of us.

    Thanks for sharing this – it’s something people don’t talk about enough!

  2. Beth, very timely for me. 2nd will be coming in July. Appreciate your honesty and I hope I remember it when the time comes. Thanks!

  3. What a great post. It brought back raw emotions for me remembering bringing home a baby sister to my “baby”. I always heard “you just do it” to the question of “HOW?” and it’s true…. you get through it, but yes, it’s not easy.


  4. Beth, OMG. I went though months of baby blues because of this exact same reason!! Every night I laid awake in tears because I felt like a failure to both my 15 month old (at the time) and my new born. I had been able to give my oldest 100% of me, every single day of his life, until his brother arrived….and then, the most he could possible get was 50%, and it was usually closer to 15% in those first few months. I spent months drowning in my guilt. In my sense of failure. While I was up in the middle of the night breastfeeding my infant, I spent every minute on the ipad as well searching for “fun activities for toddlers” so that I could attempt to fill the next day with “fun” activities, in between breastfeeding, naps, diaper changes, feeding times, etc. Every day my new “fun” plans would get ruined, usually due to shear exhaustion. My mom kept reminding me, “He only needs you, Karli, he doesn’t need to fill his days with fun activities because you feel guilty,” The only problem was, I felt like I didn’t have any of me left over to give! I began reading other women’s blogs about how they had similar experiences and that was the ONLY thing that made me feel a little bit better. Just know that you are not alone, and that by taking some of your precious (and I mean precious!!) time to write this blog, you are probably helping another mom out there who’s feeling the same way. Every day, it will get a little bit easier….l promise 🙂 xoxo

    • Karli, thank you for sharing this. Yeah those fun activities are a bit tough to do, whether it’s because of exhaustion or lack of time! I ventured out for the first time with both of them by myself to the local aquarium yesterday because I wanted Aedan to have some fun and we survived! I love what your mom said! It’s a simple truth that is really hard to remember. You are a great mom!

  5. This was one of the hardest adjustments I had to go through after having my second. That switch from being my oldest sons mom to being my oldest son AND my new son’s mom. It took me a while to not feel guilty all the time as I felt like I couldn’t give my oldest what I had been giving him for three years and I couldn’t give my new baby the same that I had given my first. It wasn’t until a few months later when I realized that THEY were giving each other something that I couldn’t give them- brotherly love. Once I started to focus on that it became easier. My youngest is turning two at the end of the month – somewhere along the way they became friends who play with each other and it’s amazing to see.

    • That brotherly love is the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m so looking forward to seeing them grow together and giving each what I can’t (just like you said) – brotherly love!

  6. As a family therapist, I have often helped families make this adjustment and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you wished someone had helped you prepare and see this coming. New babies completely change the family dynamics and relationships shift and grow in new ways. There will naturally be some sense of loss around this change at time. Thanks for writing on this! (Also, I feel lucky sometimes that as a mom of twins, I got the unusual experience of having 2 kids without having to have anything change in this way!)

  7. I can relate to this! When I had my second I felt similarly. Now they are 2 and 4 and we are getting ready for our third. What you said in you comment is true- the relationship they have with each other more than makes up for any exclusive time I may be missing with either one of them. I was feeling bad even for my second child for not having that time like as well, but i can see how the oldest fills in any “gaps” real or imagined and is teacher, friend, and co-conspirator to his little sister. Congratulations, such cute boys!

  8. This is my main fear with having a second baby (which weirdly enough, we just talked about last night). My husband wants a second one soon but whenever I think of a second I get sad at not being there 100% with my first. He’s my little bud and I can’t imagine not being able to cuddle him, play, or be around him all day.

    • It certainly is an adjustment, Nikki, but it does get better. The first week was really tough. Probably in part because I just didn’t expect it. I make sure now to have that one on one with each of them. I imagine this feeling in the long run is short lived and seeing the two of them together and knowing that they will grow up having each other is absolutely amazing. It melts me when I see my oldest hugging or kissing my youngest. It is hard, I won’t lie, but I think in the end, for our family, it’s worth it.


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