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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sibling Rivalry- What I've learned from having 2 children!


It all started when Thomas was born. You can see the video we took here. I always looked back and thought Alice's reaction was so cute. Now I see something different. I see her looking nervous. Unsure. And not wanting to really look at the baby, or talk about the new baby. She wanted me. I'd been in hospital having Thomas and she just wanted her mummy.

I think that's where the sibling rivalry thing really started. We worked very hard to make sure Alice still felt really super important to us. Because... she is! And it was kind of hard. Because as much as I love Alice, I suddenly felt like I had to work on showing her that. As opposed to it just being natural. Because, there was another little baby who needed me, and who I loved.

It all just felt... terribly unnatural to have to consciously think, "Is Alice getting enough attention?" or "am I spending too much time holding Thomas?" "Am I cuddling Alice enough?" It was a huge adjustment for all of us.

For the first year, I felt a little overwhelmed. And by overwhelmed I mean... I had to constantly think about everything. nothing felt natural. Everything felt like work. And i worried, god I worried! I worried about Alice so much and I worried about Thomas so much, and I worried that I just couldn't be the mum I wanted to be for both of them. Like I was just... doing it all wrong.

And then after about 11 months had passed, it all settled down. And i felt more, in control of things again. Alice and I got into a routine of spending time together doing things while Thomas napped. Thomas and I had lots of cuddles all night long as he didn't sleep through for about a year. And I suddenly realised, that it wasn't just me who needed to adjust. Because I had essentially just dropped an alien into her world and expected her to be fine with it!

I guess I just thought that because they are brother and sister, they will like each other and get on with it. but it doesn't quite work like that. It's like, I have to teach them how to be together. And I have to teach Alice to play gently with him, to love him even when he pulls her hair and to look after him. Because he's not just an alien, he's her brother. And they need each other, more than they realise right now!

Now that Thomas is walking and playing, they are a lot better together. We don't always get it right, and it's something Dave and I are always talking (bickering) about! Who spends more time with who. Who needs more attention. How do we distribute our time to everyone equally. But you know, it's a learning curve and I'm sure we'll figure it all out.

How did you feel about going from one to two? Any sibling rivalry stories?

xx

11 comments:

  1. I love that photo of them both bouncing on the bed. :)

    I just have the one child but we'd really like another at some point and these are all things that I think about. I wonder how my daughter will cope with the changes. How will I cope?!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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    1. Haha! All normal worries I'm sure! It's all about the routine. It will inevitably feel all too much at first because it's all so new and unsettled. But as soon as the baby gets into a routine, things start to become a lot easier! And to be honest, I'm really only talking about the first couple of years here, which is always going to be hard. But honestly, having two is the best and I desperately want another now! Hehe! xx

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  2. I don't have my own, but have 2 step daughters (6 and 4!) I don't know what they were like as super little children, but even now they still bicker over stupid things and there is still the jealousy particularly with the younger one. If one of us pays more attention to the eldest, or she does something the youngest doesnt like, then all hell breaks loose! Haha

    xx

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    1. Oh no! You're supposed to tell me that by 6 and 4 they get along like a house on fire and sibling rivalry is a thing of the past! Haha! I used to fight with my brother all the time and we'd always argue about who was the favourite so I suppose it's just something I'll have to get used to! xx

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    2. Haha!! It's different for your two though cos they see each other all the time - ours have 2 different mums so they only see each other at the weekends xx

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  3. I'm nervous about going from one to two. Bill has been so receptive and excited about his sister getting here, but I wonder how it will be when she actually arrives. Especially as I panic about him going to his dad's and not feeling as special. I hope that, as he'll be nearly four, he'll be able to tell me how he feels, and will know how special he is. I know we'll all settle eventually, but it's definitely something I'm quietly fretting about. xx

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    1. My other halves youngest was Bills age when her new brother was born (obviously not mine!) and she was absolutely fine with it! She wasn't overly fussed at first, and when we told her he had been born she said 'oh, ok. cool!' and that was it. But she almost instantly fell in to big sisterhood :) xx

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    2. Oh I know, I would worry all the time about how Alice would cope/adjust. But it all just seems to fall in to place by itself... you know? I got worried when I read stories about older children regressing, like going back into nappies and things. But that just never happened with Alice! She was thrilled to be the big girl helping out with the baby! xx

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  4. I have three and they lurch from being the best of friends to bickering and back again, especially my eldest two little girls. But as they are 5, 3 and 1 I figure it's just part of learning to be a part of a family, and as you say it's as much a learning curve for them as it is for me to learn to parent them :)

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    1. Oh absolutely. And wow, 5,3 and 1, you must be one busy lady! I've heard going form two to three is relatively easy? How did you find it? (Tell me it's super easy!) xx

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  5. just been going through the same thing! nice to know we are not alone.
    www.thesecrethoarder.com

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