Days leading up to the birth of my son, I was really sad for my daughter, Julianna. I almost felt bad for her… like I was doing something mean. Here she is – the only child getting all of the attention… then, not so much.
I know it sounds crazy, but I thought: Are we telling her she’s not good enough and that’s why we’re having another one? No, this will be fun because she will have a friend and someone to play with. But it’s not going to be all about her anymore. It shouldn’t be all about one person forever anyway. Is she going to get jealous? So what, that’s life!
So, before my only child turned into my first born child, I did feel guilty and saying it out loud (or writing it) sounds so dumb and dramatic. Granted it only lasted a few days towards the end of my pregnancy. Right after Landon was born, I didn’t feel so guilty anymore. (Maybe it’s because I was too tired.) But I did prepare… and this is how:
- We prepared Julianna. We made it sound the most fun, best thing ever that she was getting a little brother she could play with and teach all kinds of things.
- We included Julianna in everything. I think this helped her be less jealous. The only time we ever saw signs of jealousy was when someone was holding Landon. Then, she wanted that particular person to hold her. It made for quite an interesting game of pass the baby many days.
- We kept everything the same. For Julianna, it was like nothing changed – she just had a little brother. Her daily schedule was very similar if not exactly the same as it was pre-big sisterhood.
- We praised her and made it a point to acknowledge her accomplishments even more than we already do. We did this even more so when she would help us with something regarding Landon, like showing him a toy or grabbing a bib for us. She loved to help and when she saw that positive reinforcement, she wanted to do it even more.
I lost those few days of guilt I felt in no time. I still don’t feel it… but then again, I’m still tired.
These are awesome tips for preparing a big sibling and a lot of the same things we’ve done each time we’re expecting another little one. We also read A LOT of books about babies and being a big sibling (my favorites can be found here: http://www.beyondmommying.com/blog/2013/01/30/a-baby-in-mommys-tummy/)
Awesome – thanks for sharing!
I felt the same way…at first. It didn’t take long to realize that having a second child gave the first one some much-needed independence and stopped me from being a helicopter parent. I didn’t have time to hover any more!
Haha – so glad to hear others felt the same way! I never even expected it!
I completely understand. Everything felt so perfect when it was just three of us and I wondered whether we were ruining it by having a second. Of course, now I can’t imagine life without her. But I still had similar thoughts while pregnant with my third. We worry about change and upsetting the balance of our family, but for us, more children just made things more perfect.
Glad I’m not the only one. I knew I wasn’t crazy, haha 😉
These are some really great tips for those preparing for baby #2-3 or 4. I think it great and refreshing that you are so open in your blog about these issues. Love it
I completely agree of the apprehension and mixed feelings. Heck, my first born was barely 5 months when I found out I was already in my 13th week with his lil bro! eek!! In our case they will both only know life with each other..and I think that’s a good thing.
That’s crazy! You have your hands full!!! …and 13 weeks – OMG. Congrats on having a good first trimester, haha!
That’s so interesting – I actually felt excited for my first that she would have a friend and sibling! Great tips for preparing your little one!