Real-life soap couple Kelly Kruger (ex-Mackenzie Browning, The Young and the Restless; ex-Eva, The Bold and the Beautiful) and Darin Brooks (Wyatt Spencer, The Bold and the Beautiful) have been basking in happiness since the birth of their second daughter, Gemma, in January. But not every moment has been easy, says the new mom.
In a lengthy, heartfelt Instagram post made over the weekend, Kruger opens up about some unexpected feelings she's had since welcoming the little sister of the couple's first child, Everleigh.
"Nobody prepares you for it -- the guilt," she shares. "The guilt you feel when u look into your newborns eyes in awe of what you created, feeling so much love and then catch a glimpse of your 2.5 year old watching, wondering how they aren't the center of your universe and your only focus all of a sudden. (Let's not even get to the dog who watches all of it going 'what about meeeee') The guilt you feel for not being able to give the newborn the same undivided attention you gave your first born. Nobody prepares you for any of it. Postpartum is a journey to begin with, throwing these overwhelming emotions on top of it is a lot."
Fortunately, Kruger has been able to make the new family dynamic work. "I've never seen my older daughter Everleigh happier than on our recent one-on-one dates," the actress writes. "She LOVES her baby sister, she helps take care of her, change diapers, brings her toys when she cries and just wants to hug and kiss her all day long. I know in the long run we have given her a best friend but this feeling...The transition [from] one to 2 is definitely a challenge but it truly is the best thing I've ever done in my life."
Kruger then shares a few tips for anyone who is about to welcome their own second child. "Prepare the older one," she urges. "We told Everleigh she was getting a baby sister the second we found out I was pregnant (we didn't know it was a sister right away obviously) we also told her that baby sister was bringing her a present when she came home. Everleigh told us what she wanted and baby sister was getting it for her. She couldn't wait for that baby to come home!"
She adds, "Get a baby doll so the older one can mimic what you do. That has helped a lot. And ask the older one for help a lot. When we say 'Everleigh can u do me a favor?' She lights up and says 'sure!'"
In conclusion, the actress writes, "There's no handbook on parenting. We're given a full time job we don't really have any experience in and we don't get bathroom, lunch or vacation breaks. For so many of us, this job is in addition to our other jobs. I know I have a lot of new moms on here that would love any and all advice for all stages so whatever parenting tips you have for all stages I'm sure everyone who follows me will be grateful to read about!"
Fans are pretty sure that Kruger is doing a great job, and her hubby, Brooks, agrees. He commented on the actress' post with, "Just remember... you're doing great babe!!!"
How do you feel about Kelly Kruger's post in which she opens up about the feelings of guilt she's experienced since becoming a mom of two? How have you or parents you know handled the addition of a second child? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.