Saturday, May 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Sibling Thoughts

Linking up with the lovely Jen, of course.

Only a few days away from my third trimester...can't believe it's already here (but so relieved it is!). Tonight I'm thinking about siblings...and hoping some of the more experienced moms linking up to Quick Takes will have some wisdom to share...

-1-
I'm relieved that Sister Stinky's come a long way from her initial reaction to having a baby sibling that is going to be drinking Mommy's "nilk." We can talk about it now with no meltdowns.

-2- 
But I wonder...how will she react when Mommy is actually feeding her beloved "nilk" to another little girl? Because she weaned after her second birthday I think she still has vague memories of nursing (she weaned around the time her long term memory was starting to kick in, but I'm not sure if it extends to that point). When we talk about "nilk" now we talk about how Sister Stinky drank "nilk" when she was a baby, and so Baby Sister will, too (and so will all Mommy's babies). She seems to take that well. I have had her tug on my shirt (during Mass, for some reason), look down at the "nilk", sigh, and say, "Nilk all gone. Empty nilk."

-3- 
Because pregnancy is so darn delightful for me (sarcasm, friends) I am actually not dreading labor as much as I would be otherwise. (Although, don't worry, I have a healthy fear of labor...it's just that I can't wait to have the nausea end. And have my first post-partum meal where I get to enjoy food again!) But there is one thing I am dreading a lot and it makes me want to cry just thinking about it - my first night apart from Sister Stinky. I'll be lost without that little face demanding that I play with her first thing in the morning. (This is actually not sarcasm...I relish my mommy breaks but I majorly HEART that little bundle of two year old that lives down the hall from me.)

-4-
And so, I worry (as many new moms of 2 do, I'm sure) how I'll balance my love and affection between these two daughters who I already love so much. Wiser moms than I all assure me it's possible, but I'm nervous, nonetheless!

-5-
Let me just throw in there that the only sibling I had was a twin sister. My parents prayed for children for many, many years before they were blessed with twins, but we were all they were blessed with. So I have no personal experience of singleton, non-twin sibling relationships (other than observing the Abbot and his two brothers). I never experienced being the new baby or having a new baby in the family (well, there was that one minute after I was born when I was waiting for my "younger sister" to come out...but we can't really count that, can we?). Sooooo no personal point of reference here, folks. I already feel like Sister Stinky is majorly deprived because I couldn't give her a twin sister.

-6-
But can I just say how happy I am that we're having another girl??? I loved growing up with a sister. A sister can be a life-long best friend (mine has proved to be so, thus far) and makes a childhood so fun! I look forward to getting paid back for all those times we kept my mom awake until late at night as we giggled away in one of our rooms. (I've already been paid back for incessantly asking my parents to make my dolls and stuffed animals "talk. But that's another 'raising a girl' story for another time.) I am so excited that I'll be raising two daughters of my own. I care a teensy bit that the Abbot is outnumbered (and probably will be for a while since having two girls in a row increases the odds of more little girls in the future) but not too much...because I've seen how much daughters spoil their dad when he's the one and only guy around.

-7-
Soooo...any parents of two or more...advice??? Thoughts??? Please share you encouragement so I don't freak myself out any more than I already have ;-)

10 comments:

  1. Two girls! Such fun. We have two boys! I'd recommend reading Siblings Without Rivalry, which gave me such helpful advice on how to help our sons build their relationship. It was different for us since they were both adopted as toddlers, but it was so valuable in setting the groundwork for a great friendship for them. They had some rough spots, but they are such close friends now! My mother always told me that when both children need you, help the older child first since she'll remember and the baby can probably wait. And then big sister can maybe even help you help the baby. What a gift to your older daughter, to become a sister! My husband and I both feel the best thing we have ever done for our older son was giving him a brother. Have fun! (Rita @ Open Window)

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  2. I felt the same way as you about now it would be when I brought home the baby. I rad a lot about going from 1 to 2 children and there were some really nice things that people suggested.
    1)Talk to child about what will happen when new baby arrives
    2)Buy a gift for older sibling from baby and also let the older sibling go with you to chose a gift for when baby arrives. Present the gifts when children meet for the first time.
    3) Involve older sibling in helping with baby- bringing wipes, diapers, cream etc.
    4) let older sibling tough, hold and play with baby.a
    5) Remind them of each other's love for them. I would often tell my son "Look baby sister loves you. See how she is smiling at you!"

    These worked wonders for my family. They get along so well. But they are 1 and 3... I hope this continues as they get older.

    Also, I just posted about how it was living with HG http://bodyandmindhealth.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/living-through-hg-some-of-the-things-hg-sufferers-like-myself-experience-part-1/.

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    1. This is more great advice! I especially like #5 :-)

      And thanks for the hg link! I actually read your first HG post that you wrote a while back (and had it as an open tab on my computer forever!) and I'm really looking forward to reading this new one.

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  3. My first two girls are 32 months apart (now they are 11 and 8 and I have 2 more as well and they all get along beautifully..most of the time). Honestly, I would say that we never really had sibling issues or jealousy issues. And, I was really worried about nursing, because my oldest was still nursing when my 2nd was born, so I tandemed for awhile, and really isn't wasn't an issue. My oldest never minded that the baby was nursing as well, and never really got jealous. Toddlers have such short memories, really...and when the new one is born, they can hardly remember a time before that.

    I was also nervous about being away overnight, but that all worked out super well and there weren't any issues. My mom stayed with us, so that was a major help.

    I know it's hard not to worry, but it really does all work out and usually with a lot less sibling issues than you think. And actually most of the sibling issues come along later..once the new baby is crawling and getting into stuff...not so much when they are first born and really little.

    I think the biggest thing as far as preventing sibling issues is to never "blame" anything on the baby...like don't say "We can't go to the park, now because baby is sleeping" or "I can't play x with your now because baby is nursing." Instead say something like, "After lunch, we can go to the park." or "In 30 minutes I will play with you" or whatever.

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    1. Thanks! That is really reassuring. I do like your last piece of advice, too...I think it's one I'll have to be telling myself over and over again in those early days!

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  4. Cecilia was younger when she weaned (about 18 months) but she was SUPER verbal and already had a pretty good memory - she still tells me that "I dwinked milk from Mom when I was a baby!" but she never really cared when I told her that the baby would be drinking Mom's milk, too (I wasn't sure if I'd tandem or not, but weaned her when I wasn't gaining any weight - apparently craisins and cheez-its are a totally okay replacement, according to her).

    I was also SO worried about our first night apart from John Paul when Cecilia was born, and he didn't notice at all. We went home after 24 hours, so things were back to normal pretty quickly, but he took it all in stride! I think just talking about everything as much as possible (and *maybe* bribing if necessary - we currently bribe with ice cubes for difficult things, because apparently our children are dogs) really helps!

    And labor... I was also SO excited for labor with the twins. Because at that point you know there's a definite end in sight and that you will be able to eat ALL THE FOOD and also hold your baby!

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    1. Great advice, Rosie! Thanks! Yeah...our little girl has some kind of crazy addiction to Mommy's milk. If I hadn't had to wean her we think she would have been one of those kids who wanted to nurse until she was 7, haha. She's a bit ridiculous like that, and still asked for it a month or two after she was weaned!

      But I like your reassurance about the transition. Definitely helps soothe some of my nerves. :-)

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  5. Oh I have plenty thoughts that I can fill you in on when we see you in a couple of weeks! Basically, I never did anything special when a new kid came because I wanted my kids to learn that siblings are natural and that being selfless is part of life. That being said, I have nursed all 3 kids at the same time and abruptly stopped nursing the older two when A went on the feeding tube. I explained that baby was in need of momma mulk and that they needed to recognize his need and be ok weaning. No complaints!

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    1. Hey, friend! I would love to hear more from you :-) Although, I already glean advice from your lovely blog!!

      I was totally planning on tandem nursing until I had to wean for medical reasons (i.e. so I didn't have to go to the hospital to get IV rehydration any more times!). I would have loved to tandem nurse these two and major props to you for managing all three of them for so long!!! (Argh and for having to pump now...I hate pumping!). Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!

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