Mother’s guilt

I met with the counsellor again at Shooting Star Chase yesterday. I find the sessions incredibly helpful.

We spoke about many things but one thing I struggle with a lot is feeling that I’m splitting my time unfairly between Jude and Carter. It’s a constant guilt.

Before Carter was born I used to visit Jude’s grave every day pretty much without fail. It felt comforting to be there. I was near to him. Physically definitely. And maybe spiritually.

It also meant I was still caring for Jude in the physical sense. Whether it be clearing some leaves from his grave, cleaning some of the windmills and ornaments that were on his grave or just cutting some of the grass that was getting overgrown – it all gave me a purpose and a sense of caring for my baby.

Since I’ve had Carter things have changed. I feel guilty even writing that and admitting it. I don’t visit Jude every day any more. I wish I did but I don’t.

I know that if Jude were here I would be splitting my time between Carter and Jude’s all parents do with more than one child. But the balance feels of kilter sometimes. Like Jude doesn’t get a look in.

Yesterday when I visited Jude’s grave I was there only a few minutes. I could see that Carter was being his very inquisitive self and within moments of being there he had snapped one of the decorations on Jude’s grave.

At that moment I decided to simply leave. I couldn’t face any feelings of frustration towards Carter.

I try to distract him from playing with things that are going to break while we are there, but it’s tough. Mentally I’m thinking about Jude and his body but I’m also trying to keep an eye on an adventurous 15 month old. I feel very torn.

So yesterday I told Poop I loved him and walked away.

That afternoon I saw the counsellor at the hospice and we spoke about my guilt at not tending to Jude’s grave like I did. I don’t dedicate the time I did before to do some of the Jude related things I liked to do. It had been bothering me. I feel guilty. I wouldn’t want Jude or anyone else ever thinking that Carter is more important to me than Jude and that’s why I prioritise him. They are my sons and I love them both fiercely.

What I came to realise through the session was it isn’t about who is more important, but it’s about what is more important in these moments.

Yesterday at Jude’s grave it was more important not to have a child distressed and frustrated because I was stopping him exploring all these lovely objects on Jude’s grave. It was the situation, not the person.

Figuring this out is helping me. It’s helping me be more comfortable with some of the decisions I’m making.

People always talk about ‘mother’s guilt’. My sister had spoken to me about it a very long time ago. Before I had children. She was right.

But it turns out mother’s guilt isn’t just reserved for those with living children. Us bereaved mummies have it too.

Sorry for not doing all the things I want to do with, and for you Poop. I promise I’m always thinking of you. I love you. Mummy xxxxx

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