Thursday, June 09, 2011

Personal Concerns about Becoming a Two-child Family

As we get closer to the big day that our family of 3 becomes a family of 4, I've been asking my friends who parent multi-child households how things are different the second or third time around. The response so far has basically been that, yes its hard, but everyone will adjust soon enough. The main concern on my mind is how will my 2 year old deal with my need to spend such a great amount of time nursing a newborn? How will we keep from getting really upset with each other? He's not an especially needy or obnoxious child by any means, but he's still a 2 year old. I like this response from an interview with Elyse Eberstein, MSW, LE by Heather Turgeon of :

Talk out loud about needing to divide your attention.
When you’re helping your older child use the bathroom, say to the newborn (who doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about, but it’s okay — this is for the benefit of the toddler), “I’m helping Emma right now, so I can’t nurse you until we come back from the bathroom.” That way, when you say it in reverse — telling your toddler she has to wait while you help the newborn, it feels like equal treatment.

My grandmother-in-law told me that she was very worried while expecting her second child, about how she would find the love in her heart for two children. She loved her first so much, how could she give that much love to another baby? She said, "It comes. The love comes." She eventually raised seven children and found her heart loving all of them.

Whether you're a parent of a full house, or just working on number 2, what kinds of concerns were on your mind during pregnancy? How did your older child(ren) react to a new baby in the house? How did the spacing of your children's ages affect those worries? How did you cope? I welcome your comments!


Mrs.Tron said...

I just found your blog through a link on kolcrafts website. I came over to read your review on their stroller but couldn't help but read this entry. Our family went from 3 to 4 on June 14th & I had many of the same concerns you've expressed. I'm so glad you posted that quote b/c I think that will definitely come in handy. My daughter is 26 months & my son is a cluster feeder & eats for quite a bit longer than my daughter did. Our first week home alone I felt SO guilty about being strapped to the couch to feed him. I'm really lucky that my daughter isn't needy & plays well independently but unfortunately the tv was a bit of a babysitter that first week. I think it's a learning process for sure. I love them both but sometimes I also feel guilty that she's only 2 & I feel like I'm taking away alot of our time as a family of 3 that she deserved. But I know she loves her brother & I'm slowly coming to terms with that. Again, thanks for writing this entry it really helped me realized what I need to do to split my time.

Mrs.Tron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M L Hyde said...

Mrs. Tron, I am so glad that is helpful to you! Thanks for sharing your experience with me. We're all in this together!