When X contracted HFMD for the second time in his life, I felt really guilty. I attributed it to his poor immunity, caused by my lack of regular tonics during my pregnancy.
My fellow mother-of-two friend asked me if it was a second child syndrome. I was puzzled as to what she meant.
It was only further discussion that I realised that we had inevitably slacked or become more lax with the second child. We were less fervent in giving them regular tonics and supplements and less frantic about their dietary requirements. Second child (or subsequent children) was also constantly exposed to their siblings. Be it snacks or play, they would stretch beyond their limits and wanted the same as their older siblings.
To be honest, I had been very cautious about not letting Z touch snacks or chocolates till he was a lot older. Z did not even get to see such sinful snacks till much later. With X, I had little control because he wanted to follow Z.
As for play, I made sure Z nap 2-3 hours on weekends. With X, he hardly get the same amount of rest because we were so busy with Z’s schedule or even our own agenda. There was always too much excitement for X to consider napping and missing out on the fun.
I had been made to realise that my lax pregnancy days had carried forward to my parenting days for X. I had no excuse to perpetually blame what I could not change but to focus on what I could improve for the future and not let complacency affect how we parent the second child.