A few months ago, I wrote about the anxiety and worries I was facing as Baby #2 neared his arrival. He reminded us how amazing the whole Having A Baby Thing is and entered the world as a healthy and thriving baby boy one week early on 9.16.15.
Immediately after my hubs announced that he was in fact, a boy (I was totally shocked – we waited to find out), one of my major anxieties was relieved and another began – the life of a parent – right?
Real Fear: How will I possibly love this child as much as I love my daughter?
Utter nonsense. I love this little man just as much. I don’t know how, but it just works, and I am totally in awe of him and how my love just keeps getting bigger.
New Fear: A boy…dang…I don’t know anything about boys.
Luckily, I am married to a boy, so that helps with this one…but seriously, boys are gross 🙂 My girl peed on me just once, but so far we have had more pee incidents than we can count. I definitely need to go read Allison’s post (His Thing, It’s a Thing) again and take notes.
As we have moved further into being a family of four, this is what I am learning and recognizing. (The anxiety is also extremely lessened by the fact that I am not pregnant anymore,good-bye hormones!).
Real Fear: How will we ever be on time again – to anything?
This one I came to terms with before the baby arrived. Ready for this? We we weren’t on time then…so it will just be the same, we will just be bringing another kiddo in with us.
Real Fear: Time. How will there ever be enough time?
This we’re still working on. New babies are so, so different from how they will be for the majority of their lives. This early on they are so demanding, so dependent, so desperate for love – and while these needs will never change, how the needs are fulfilled will change. I will not always be needed every 2 to 3 hours to serve as a milk source. I will not always need to rock him to sleep 4 or 5 times a day. So for now, it doesn’t seem like there is enough time for both kiddos, but it will even out as he grows. In the mean time, reading books to big sister while I nurse or making faces at her while she sprays the front door with the hose while I rock little man to sleep will meet the needs of both. And truthfully, we know that time is fleeting, so what in my life could possibly be more important than making time to meet the needs of my children and husband?
Good news on this front. Big sister couldn’t be happier about her new brother. She was so proud to take him to day care (don’t worry, he didn’t stay.) with her and announced, “This is my baby. This is my (insert his name). Come see.” He seems to think she’s pretty cool too. He just watches her and seems happy to do so.
However, I will say that the liking each other can be temporary. Big sister is sometimes less than thrilled with little man’s arrival. She is acting out and stressing out. She is using fewer words and more crying/grunting/screaming to convey her emotions, but as with all things, this too shall pass. Nevertheless…whoa…she can be intense.
New Fear: How do you raise a gentleman?
It seems easier to me to raise a strong and sensitive woman (probably because I am a girl) than it does to raise a strong and sensitive man. Either way, there are elements of being a gentleman that are almost completely lost in today’s world, and I want to make sure that this little boy becomes a man that (if he weren’t her brother) I would be happy to see my daughter marry.
Real Fear: Will this kiddo think that he or she is 2nd fiddle to our big girl?
Everyone always says there are never as many pictures of baby number two, but I have pledged (to myself
and now the WMB world) that I will not let that happen. There may not be quite as many of him alone as there are of big sister, but pictures will be taken. I also think that in order make sure he never feels like he is the second priority and neither does his sister, it will come down to finding what makes each of them tick. What is his or her special thing and how can we make sure to make that thing a priority? Right now for big sister, it is extra snuggles and intentional one on one time. Right now for baby man, it is the same. Funny how my almost 3-year-old and my 3-week-old need the same thing.
So now, 3 months in, we are finding that being a family of four is even more wonderful than being a family of three. I love watching my girl be a big sister, and I love watching my husband with his son just as much as I love watching him with his daughter. The truth is it will all work out because the love we have for our children is the strongest thing we have. We are figuring out that there will always be anxiety and worry. Anxiety and worry are the best friends of deep and profound love. You can’t have one without the other. But as we continue on our parenting journey we are finding that the anxiety and worry will help keep us grounded but the love is what will keep us going.