Days leading up to the birth of my son, I was really sad for my daughter, Julianna. I almost felt bad for her… like I was doing something mean. Here she is – the only child getting all of the attention… then, not so much.
I know it sounds crazy, but I thought: Are we telling her she’s not good enough and that’s why we’re having another one? No, this will be fun because she will have a friend and someone to play with. But it’s not going to be all about her anymore. It shouldn’t be all about one person forever anyway. Is she going to get jealous? So what, that’s life!
So, before my only child turned into my first born child, I did feel guilty and saying it out loud (or writing it) sounds so dumb and dramatic. Granted it only lasted a few days towards the end of my pregnancy. Right after Landon was born, I didn’t feel so guilty anymore. (Maybe it’s because I was too tired.) But I did prepare… and this is how:
- We prepared Julianna. We made it sound the most fun, best thing ever that she was getting a little brother she could play with and teach all kinds of things.
- We included Julianna in everything. I think this helped her be less jealous. The only time we ever saw signs of jealousy was when someone was holding Landon. Then, she wanted that particular person to hold her. It made for quite an interesting game of pass the baby many days.
- We kept everything the same. For Julianna, it was like nothing changed – she just had a little brother. Her daily schedule was very similar if not exactly the same as it was pre-big sisterhood.
- We praised her and made it a point to acknowledge her accomplishments even more than we already do. We did this even more so when she would help us with something regarding Landon, like showing him a toy or grabbing a bib for us. She loved to help and when she saw that positive reinforcement, she wanted to do it even more.
I lost those few days of guilt I felt in no time. I still don’t feel it… but then again, I’m still tired.