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Old 04-26-2019, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,717 posts, read 101,623,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus2 View Post
Hate to be repetitive, but I hugely underestimated the value of siblings before my second came along. I was worried about how the center of our universe would adjust to having a needy little sister, and was absolutely gobsmacked at how instantly she loved her. 9 years and another sibling later, my three love each other fiercely.

Life was good with 1. Life is awesome with 3. Yeah, it's crazy sometimes, and I hate the daycare bills; but this parenting gig is pretty darn great.
Ditto.

Yes, everything will change, OP, but in another way, it will all be the same. Can't explain it. It just is.
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Old 04-26-2019, 04:49 PM
 
Location: here
24,825 posts, read 29,734,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadly View Post
Thanks for all the kind words and reassurances. I think, beneath my angst surrounding our pregnancy, I have a more practical question though.

What do you do with the memories you have from the period when you only had one child?

I realized since this all happened that I've never heard my mom talk about the first 2 years of my life in finite details (i.e. the period of time between mine and my brother's birth). She always mentions them, pauses, and then segways into, "and then your brother was born." She's being political, or, that period of time has truly become irrelevant to what came after.

I have journals dedicated to her, should I stop keeping them? I have pictures of the three of us as my computer background, do I remove them? I have hard drives of photos of just the three of us. We have books and mementos. Etc. Etc. What do we do with all that? I mean, those last three years, we are immersed in it. We're swimming in it. And not just in an emotional sense, we are surrounded by it physically.

I'm not confident that I can take those three years and push them into an appendix at the back of our book, so to speak.

I don't even feel like I should discuss those years with my first born, if, years from now, we find ourselves in a situation where it is just the three of us again. I can't say, "look at this; this is how it used to be."

Virtually everyone who has multiple children has likely been in this situation: you get comfortable with your circumstance, and then it changes. But what do you do with the in between time afterwards?
Stop. You keep all of it and you remember all of it. Soon enough you will have photos of your family of 4, and you can display those. You keep 2 journals, or you keep 1 with both of them in it. You do realize that people have 2nd and 3rd and 4th kids all the time, right? It doesn't negate the time you lived before that last kid was born.
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Old 04-26-2019, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,585 posts, read 26,434,247 times
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Wait till you have #6 in your life. With us we have five boys and the 6th one was a girl. Love all of the kids. I used to tell the boys to shape up, Always remember we have five of you but only one little girl. We can afford to get rid of one of the boys.

Now as I have gotten older and the kids are older, our little girl will be 13 this year and is as tall as I am. Five more years of school and the youngest will be off to college. Life is scary for us now, because for so long we were parents with kids in grade school, high school.

One thing I will say, life goes by fast. before you know it the baby will be grown.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:08 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
505 posts, read 347,157 times
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you'll be fine. Cherish the time and memories you guys made as a family of 3, keep those photos around and use it as reference to the little one on a life you guys made and build to welcome the little one into!

My boys are 30 months apart, oldest son was 2.5 when we had his baby brother and like you, had tons of memories and photos of just us 3. It's still up framed around the house, and over time we swapped most out to include current dynamic as a family of 4. We have a small collage photo framed in the den of our oldest son's trip to Disney when our youngest was 4 months old, he wasn't in any of photos cuz he slept 90% of the time. When younger son noticed all those Disney photos of his older brother, parents, some of just mom/brother, etc and asked me that was before me? we told him he was here, just sleeping.

I still remember a lot of things from our time alone with oldest kiddo. Also remember tons of things with youngest kiddo and as 4 of us, and also memories of just them being brothers. It all will be good for you.

Only thing that was honestly a true blur of time was that first 6 months to a year after having younger kiddo. It was a big transition and adjustment period to go from 3 to 4. It gets easier when you're all sleeping more regularly, baby is more mobile, oldest kiddo can help out, etc. Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,592 posts, read 4,026,752 times
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The baby will arrive. You will be so busy between the baby and your daughter that you will forget even sweating about this.

You will be a family of four and although that will change things, it will hopefully change things for the better. YES, it does get better and better.

As you age, you'll realize that those kids are your life.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
8,691 posts, read 2,790,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasel View Post
It will be a huge gift to your daughter to have a sibling. Trust me.
One thing you can do is to draw your older daughter closer to the younger child, by allowing her to help with its care. You don't want to saddle her with chores or responsibility at her age, but just letting her help with simple things, will make her feel more important and strengthen her ties with the new child and to the whole family.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:04 AM
 
676 posts, read 202,541 times
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I had diaries and photo albums of my first born and a photo album for my second child. I haven't at looked at them for decades. Adult children are too busy making their own lives. Everyone is on the run now-a-days. When they come home, they aren't interest in their baby pictures.

My first born was in preschool when my second was born. I purchased chocolate cigars for her to give out to her class and she worn a special "I'm a big sister" pin. She felt special and remembers this. Ever so often, I would ask her to fetch a baby diaper or rattle. She was happy to do this as it made her feel included.

I had the birthday child purchase a small present for their siblings. A thank you for being a nice brother/sister present. Made everyone feel included. The kids looked forward to this - both shopping for the present and receiving it.

My kids are thankful that their baby pictures are not on the internet. Even if you delete those pictures, they never go away.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,358 posts, read 1,497,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
My first born was in preschool when my second was born. I purchased chocolate cigars for her to give out to her class and she worn a special "I'm a big sister" pin. She felt special and remembers this. Ever so often, I would ask her to fetch a baby diaper or rattle. She was happy to do this as it made her feel included.
What, what? You brought chocolate cigars to a preschool? What year and location was that? I'm sure in this day and age, that kind of thing would never fly. I read stories about teachers confiscating and throwing away a child's homemade lunch because it didn't contain a vegetable (and giving processed chicken nuggets in its place). Let alone a candy shaped like a smoking implement. So in this case, chocolate "isn't nutritious enough" and cigars "teach kids to smoke" and look phallic too, if you catch my drift. Even though a cigar is just a cigar.

I remember trying a candy cigarette during elementary school, that a classmate gave me. It was really fun pretending to smoke it during recess. Although you can do that even with a short pencil.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 04-27-2019 at 10:00 AM..
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:27 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
76,725 posts, read 68,723,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadly View Post
Hi,

We just found out we are having a new baby. We had been trying for about 5-6 months and were finally successful. Ever since I've found out, I've been going through some anxiety and strife over it though, even though it was planned. I am primarily worried about how this will effect our existing family dynamic (i.e. my wife, my daughter, and I).

Looking back now, I realize that we weren't really missing anything in our family. We were very happy and content being just the three of us. Ever since I found out I've been really worried about the usual things: money, work load (how hectic our life will become), health issues associated with pregnancy. But, most of all, I'm worried about my relationship with my daughter. She is incredibly close to my wife and I. She's settled into being an only child fairly well and I've gotten accustomed to it just being the three of us. I've started asking myself weird questions, like, "is it ok to look back on that vacation we took as one of the best moments of my life?" "How can I when one of my kids wasn't even born yet?" "What would child 2 think if they ever found out I feel that way?"

I realize that I just found out about this and it will likely pass, but I can't help feeling like the last three years since my daughter was born, three years that are incredibly important to me, have been trivialized now that we know there is another one on the way. I find it hard logistically, a year from now, to look back at them as importantly as I do now.

I'd be interested to hear other peoples perspectives on this when they were going through it. How did you family transition? How did your child make the transition from being an only child to a sibling? How do you remember the years before your second child was born? Do you feel guilty holding those years in high regard?
Way over-thinking. Besides, you could have thought of all these questions, back during those many moths that you were "trying" to have another kid. I'm curious as to why these questions and doubts didn't arise back then.

Your daughter will be 4, when the baby arrives, is that right? I've seen what can happened, when the first child experiences the arrival of a new child at about that age, and further--what happens later, when the parents do nothing to guide the child into developing empathy and caring for the new sibling s/he resents. Don't let that happen to your second child. Make time for activities with your older child, even if it's just taking her grocery shopping, then stopping off at some kind of amusement attraction with her, on the way home. If she still has her parents' attention to the extent circumstances will allow, she'll feel assured of their love, and will be less likely to feel the newborn has usurped her place. The arrival of a new sibling can provide teachable moments and growth moments for the older one.

I don't understand the part about you suddenly feeling like the last 3 years of your life have been trivialized by the impending arrival of a second child. All of it's important; it's all part of your journey through life, you and your wife's journey as a couple, and the family's journey.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,358 posts, read 1,497,709 times
Reputation: 4186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Your daughter will be 4, when the baby arrives, is that right? I've seen what can happened, when the first child experiences the arrival of a new child at about that age, and further--what happens later, when the parents do nothing to guide the child into developing empathy and caring for the new sibling s/he resents. Don't let that happen to your second child. Make time for activities with your older child, even if it's just taking her grocery shopping, then stopping off at some kind of amusement attraction with her, on the way home. If she still has her parents' attention to the extent circumstances will allow, she'll feel assured of their love, and will be less likely to feel the newborn has usurped her place. The arrival of a new sibling can provide teachable moments and growth moments for the older one.
Another thing I'd like to add. Earlier, I mentioned siblings being a mini-family. That may be true, but it won't happen until the younger sibling is at least 2, and old enough to have simple interaction skills. OP, thoroughly warn your daughter that her brother/sister won't be an equal interaction partner during the first two years. And during the first year, the baby's MO will be "eat, sleep, poop, repeat". You'll avoid those "that's not a brother/sister, that's a baby!" disappointed feelings.

Another interesting suggestion: when the baby is getting the first procedures (like flu shots or haircuts), have your daughter comfort him/her, rather than doing it yourself. The phrase "a shot/haircut is not scary" sounds more believable coming from another kid (like a sibling), rather than a big, strong adult who lives on a whole different plane of existence.

The rest, Ruth4Truth already said very well.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 04-27-2019 at 10:52 AM..
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