If you have an older child, are you feeling sad for them? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 04-08-2011, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am.  I can't help but feel a little sad for my son, who is 26 months right now.  Sometimes when we're playing or cuddling I just start to feel so sad that soon, he won't be able to be the only one anymore.  Like he'll feel like he's not special anymore. 

 

I think that part of my sadness isn't just sadness for him, but for me- for the fact that my baby won't be my baby anymore.  Which is just silly, I guess.  I know that when we have the new baby, my big boy will be special for a million other reasons.  But I can't help but feel a little sad sometimes. 

 

Crazy pregnancy hormones! Just writing this is making me tear up a little bit.


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#2 of 15 Old 04-08-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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I have never understood this at all.  Is everyone who thinks this an oldest/only child?  Your 1st born is the ONLY child you will ever have that gets you all to themselves as a child.  If anything, by your own standards you should feel bad for the other babies since they will never experience what your 1st has! :)

 

Anyway, I do get the nostalgia about DS growing up - but I don't feel sad for him.  I think he'll really benefit from having a sibling, and enjoy having a baby around.

 

I feel a little bad for myself and my husband, having to go through an undetermined amount of time without sleep again. ;)


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#3 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 04:12 AM
 
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DomerJen - ITA!

I've *NEVER* felt bad about blessing my children with siblings. In fact, I feel the exact opposite, I'm so happy I'm able to give them siblings!

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#4 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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I get what you're feeling... I had some of those same feelings when I was pregnant with my second. Now that I have seen the life with more than one, though, I don't feel bad at all. Your little one's life will certainly change.. and he may not get all the attention from you, at first anyway, that he is used to, but everyone adjusts and it's so wonderful to see that sibling connection. It's so special.


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#5 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys are making me smile. Thanks for reminding me of what I know to be true when I think rationally for a minute :)

 

To clarify, let me say that I've never felt guilty at all about bringing another child into our home.  I grew up the oldest of three, and I know that there is something so special about the bond between siblings that you really can't experience any other way.

 

 


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#6 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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I felt that way when I was pregnant with #2, and baby #1 was 2 years old. I think thats mostly when it happens, when they are close in age...My two are 8 and 10 now and I am about to tell them the big news next week..

Anyway, I feel the opposite of guilty now....especially since I see how much they love each other. They will love a sibling in so many ways that they don't even know yet. A baby is really a bundle of joy for the whole family. luxlove.gif


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#7 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DomerJen View Post

I have never understood this at all.  Is everyone who thinks this an oldest/only child?  Your 1st born is the ONLY child you will ever have that gets you all to themselves as a child.  If anything, by your own standards you should feel bad for the other babies since they will never experience what your 1st has! :)

 

There is a very well-documented cognitive-affective phenomenon where we weigh losses more heavily than gains. The second child never had this, so imagining the difference for him/her involves imagining a gain, whereas when we think about the eldest, it is framed as a loss. This is about emotion, not reason. They don't always track along the same lines. That is actually OK, and not wrong at all.

 

OP, I think it's reasonable to be sad for the loss of certain things, even though the overall result is hopefully a net gain. People are allowed to hold conflicting emotions! Plus, there are no guarantees that a sibling will be a blessing, though of course we hope that will be the case. Anyway, I think it's absolutely OK, and even normal, to feel like this.

 

I don't feel exactly like that, as DS is older and has been begging for a sibling for two years now. And I am certain that he will still feel special. However, yes, I do feel a little sad (not guilty, just sad) that it won't be just us anymore.

 

ETA: I also felt a little sad about adding DS to our family because it wouldn't be just me and DH anymore. Same deal there -- I was pretty sure it would be a positive change overall, but it was still a change involving loss of something else.

 

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#8 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I do feel a kind of mourning for my second child. She will be so young still (2 1/2) when #3 is born, and I do think that is a hard age to have a lot of change. And I do feel bad that my milk is drying up while she is still an avid nurser, that there are a bunch of ways in which her "babyhood" *is* going to be curtailed. I also know she won't even remember her life before her younger sibling, and I can see how much she adores her older, and I trust that she will have a loving relationship with this one as well. Its not that I feel guilty.

 

I didn't really feel this way when I was pregnant with #2, fwiw. My first was 4 1/2 when his sister was born and I totally did not feel any sense of loss about his babyhood ending. I do sometimes miss that time when it was just us- and sure, I miss it on my own account too, it certainly was simpler to have only one child.

 

I am an older sib (I was 9 when my sister was born and it was very hard, and I remember it well, my conflicted emotions of love and jealousy). Also, this was an unplanned pregnancy. So sure, those could be factors in how I am thinking about it as well. But sometimes I look at her sleeping, or just as she is slowly growing so much more independent and "kidlike" and I do feel sort of bittersweet about it.


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#9 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I felt that way when I was pg with my second baby. DS1 was 22 months when DD was born and I had so many moments of guilt and sadness when I wag pg with her. I felt so sad that he wouldn't be the center of attention all by himself anymore and that people were calling him the "big" brother when he was still my BABY! 

 

After DD was born I realized that it wasn't sad at all and, in fact, it really blessed both our lives! They are now 7 and almost 6 and they are best friends. Seriously, they do everything together and their bond is so special. She looks up to him and thinks the sun rises and sets on him every day! I can't imagine him NOT having a sibling now. Actually, it was a big reason we wanted to have another baby now, while DS2 is only a year old. I want to give him a sibling too and I want his little brother or sister to have the older kids to all help him grow and learn. Watching them all together is so special and they fill needs for each other that a parent just can't. 

 

I know it feels sad now, mama, but when you watch then together later you won't even remember why you felt sad about it now! :D


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#10 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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I'm a little nervous for myself, but not for DD--she's been asking for a little brother or sister for a while now. She's super excited about it, and I think she's been lonely as an only child.

 


DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011

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#11 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 04:17 PM
 
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DDCC  - I get what the OP is saying.  There are such moments of bittersweet for me with this pregnancy.  Knowing these are the last few months that DD and I will be a twosome is a bit emotional for me.  I know giving her a sibling is a wonderful gift, and I know we will all adjust.  But she and I have been buddies for 2 and half years now, and soon she'll have to share me.  I wonder what it will be like for her and I hope she's "okay".  I mean, duh, I know she will be fine, but yeah -- I guess I just mean I get it!  I think it's normal.


Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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#12 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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I totally get it. My son is 2 1/2, and I feel a little sad that it won't be just us any longer. I'm afraid he'll feel left out, especially since there are 2 babies coming instead of just one. I enjoy hanging out with him so much, and I'm afraid I won't have much time for that in the early months of having 2 infants to care for.

 

In the long run, I know it will be great for him to have siblings, and it will be fun when they are all old enough to play together. He'll be a good helper and big brother to them. I can related to the feeling, though, that the bond we've had will change somewhat - it has to, doesn't it, to make room for the new little people?

 

We're adapatable, and I know we have the parenting skills to handle this in a positive way for him and help him feel included and special. The sad feelings are more about the fact that something is changing, which inevitably means there is some loss as well as some gain. I think it's normal to feel some grief when a big life change happens, even if it's a change you are ultimately happy about.

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#13 of 15 Old 04-09-2011, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's kind of like there's the rational part of me that knows things will be great, and is really excited for my DS to get to be a big brother, and help with the baby, and be a "big boy".  But this other emotional (and I admit, maybe overly so d/t hormones) part that feels like something is going to be lost for him.  One of the PP described it as a "kind of mourning", and I think that describes my feeling well.  And just as with any mourning, it's a feeling that I just need to work through, and once I do, I'll see things in a new light. 


Amanda- mama to Lincoln 1/09 and expecting #2 10/11!
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#14 of 15 Old 04-11-2011, 05:00 AM
 
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Whether or not I was pregnant right now, I would be a little sad, I tear up a little (probably due to hormones) at every milestone that takes him closer to being a little boy and further from being a baby. He is almost 16 months now, and will be around 22 months when this LO is born. Before I was even pregnant with this baby, I told DH I wish I could give him a big sister (our friends have girls that are about a year or 2 older than he, and he LOVES following them around and playing with them).

 

I know a sibling, eventually, will be a great blessing to him and to us. I just pray that he is ok sharing me. Right now, he can, but has his limits. I don't know if it will make a difference if it is our baby vs. a friends baby. I do know it makes a difference if it is a boy or a girl; already he has shown a preference for girl babies. He will sit with me and stroke their heads, try to hold the bottle (I work in the church nursery more Sundays than not) . . . baby boys he almost always tries to push out of my lap, or just plain gets upset when I hold them and not him.  He has been this way as long as I can recall.

 

I do get the sadness, and I agree with the others that the timing of this baby has a lot to do with it; I think all mothers (or maybe just most) grieve the loss of babyhood, and for many of this, it coincides with a new addition. With an older child, that babyhood is already gone and because they are older, they understand what is happening better and can share in the excitement.


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#15 of 15 Old 04-12-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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I think I would feel more sad/guilty if ds were younger. He's 7 now (his 8th birthday is 9 days before my due date) so I don't really feel like he's a baby anymore, ya know? He's a big boy now and I just feel a lot better about making him "share" me. It helps that he's been asking for almost a year for a siblings so I knew he would be on board with this! If he wasn't happy about the sibling I would probably feel worse.

 

My big fear is that because of ds's autism, when the baby is born it will totally rock his world. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to keep his routine as close to the same as possible. I don't know how it's going to work, to be honest.


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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