I am my parent’s first born, my sister came four years after me, with my brother following three years after her. I don’t remember getting any less love or attention because my mom did a pretty awesome job at the whole parenting thing; however, I do remember being annoyed that I was no longer an only child.
After I had my first daughter, I didn’t think it was possible to love anyone more than I love her. I was really concerned that I couldn’t love my second child as much as my first. I thought to myself is it even possible for anyone to be as awesome as Amani?’ As far as I was concerned, Amani was the best human being to ever grace this Earth!
I talked to my mom about my fears and she let me know that it was possible to love two or more children equally. Even though I did feel better after recieving her advice, I was still unsure that I would do a good job at this whole parenting thing.
I didn’t let my mom know that, not only was I scared of loving my second child less, I was petrified that Amani would think I didn’t love her anymore. Newborns are very time-consuming; you have to work around their schedule. Everyone has to work around their schedule, including their siblings. I knew that I would be spending a lot of time attending to baby’s needs, and I thought that Amani would notice and be very upset! I was probably thinking about the worse case scenario, as I tend to. It seriously kept me up at night.
That is why before my second daughter was born, I took the stance that my first daughter wouldn’t be negatively affected by a new addition to the family. I was determined to make sure that my first daughter would still get the same amount of attention she did before she had a little sister.
I’m happy to say that Amani is very happy with her baby sister and her schedule has not changed one bit. She still gets loads of attention, and as far as I can tell, is quite pleased with her life.
Unfortunately, Amani’s consistent schedule had almost nothing to do with me. For weeks after Amara was born, I felt so guilty about not doing activities with her. I slept almost all the time, and Amani spent 60-70% of her home-time at her grandma’s house. I was always grumpy when I had to wake up from my fragmented sleep and take her to preschool.
I know I’m not the only mother on earth that would rather be sleeping or relaxing than carting their kids around. Even so, I felt really bad and should have I felt like I should be HAPPY to drive Amani to all her activities early in the morning. I had convinced myself that I should have the energy and the willpower to spend equal amounts of time with my children.
In the first weeks after having Amara, I definitely did not spend much time with Amani. To be fair, I think it was unrealistic of me to think that I could keep up with the pace that I was going at previously. How was I going to feed 8-12 times a day and spend quality time with Amani? How?!
Luckily, Amani LOVES her baby sister. She wants to help with everything. Amani always wants her sister around. Her love for her sister makes it easier to spend time with both of them because Amani wants to hang out with both of us.
Now that Amani’s sister is almost 3 months old, I am getting a little bit more sleep. I dedicate special time with Amani whenever I can. We go to the library sans baby and daddy, we colour together and do fun crafts. We also go to lame toddler concerts together :p. Sometimes she asks if baby can come, and I tell her that baby has to stay home.
I think that when both my girls are older and can play together I will make sure we all spend time together as a family. For now, I want to make sure that Amani knows that she is loved as much as ever.