My boys are 6 y.o, now and in just a few weeks, they will be big brothers to a baby girl. My husband and I are so thrilled about bringing another child into our home, but I really want to try to prepare for the changes we are sure to experience especially when it comes to our boys. So far, our strategy has been talking to them about what they will get to do as big brothers and how they can help mom and dad with baby. They seem to like that a lot. Somehow, though, I feel kind of guilty. My boys already feel they must compete between each other for our attention. This is partly because they are twins and also because that is the typical relationship between siblings in general. I try really hard to make sure they both know they are loved as individuals and I fear that the private time I have with them will lessen as I take time out with the new baby. Now that I am so close to delivery, and am more tired and feeling really pregnant, they are already experiencing upset, This weekend they had their first swim class with older kids and they were so excited. I feel so bad that I had to miss it. I was really tired and just feeling that I needed to rest my body. This is not the first event of theirs that I have missed, but for some reason this was really important to them. I sent a sitter and their father was there for the end of their class. I feel like I was thoughtless for not foreseeing the hurt feelings my absence would cause. One of my boys seemed to be okay after playing with dad for awhile, but the other had a meltdown once he got home. He was finally able to tell me that he wanted me to see him swim and didn't know why I wasn't there. Then he said he didn't feel safe swimming if I wasn't there to watch him. I told him that he was very safe as long as he followed instructions and if he still doesn't feel safe, he should ask the teachers for help right away. Then I explained to both of them that there are going to be times when I and/or daddy can't come to every activity and that is especially important for them to understand when the new baby comes. I also told them that mommies get tired when babies grow inside of them and sometimes need more sleep than usual. I gave him what I think he really wanted to begin with, which is extra time and my attention. After extra time with me, he mellowed out and was able to still have a good evening. I am not sure if I handled the situation right...I just know that I feel bad and feel unprepared to deal with the situations like this that are likely to arise in the near future.I'm not sure if I'm being over emotional, but seeing him that upset because of something I did really got to me. I'm assuming that there are many parents of twins that have gone on to have other children. Any advise or feedback would be great.
You sound like you handled things very gently!
There are going to be meltdowns and hurt feelings, but I think another baby will ibe positive for your boys. My girls are also 6 and in some ways they'd benefit from seeing a younger sibling who has needs, some of which they might even be able to help with!
Other parents do go on to children after twins, but fewer when their twins are old enough to verbalize their feelings. Which is great in a way, right? You could talk about it with your son, and he knows you love him.
Big hugs and rest up.
Thanks so much Gena 22! Fortunately, we'll have grandparents around for the long holiday weekend to help out..I really need a break. I agree that a younger sibling will be good for them. This situation actually allowed us to have an age appropriate conversation about families and how they grow when moms and dads want to share love with another baby so they make one. That was great. I think making them feel a part of the process of our family growing is the best strategy. I will definitely create opportunities for them to help me while I'm still pregnant and after the baby comes.