Adding a new baby to a tween family - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 01-06-2011, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
jshannyn519's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am pregnant and due in mid-June. I also have a son who is nearly 12 and a daughter who is 10 1/2. I'm wondering what challenges I may face with my big kids after the baby is born. I'm not worried about safety with either of my kids. They love little kids and babies and they're amazing with them.

 

I think one of my primary concerns is how to combine this new person into our life without my kids feeling like their new sibling is taking time and/or attention away from them. How can I help my kids be a part of the process without them feeling like they are being little babysitters? I know that my daughter will want to help with baths, diaper changes, clothing changes, etc,but I don't want her to feel like she has to do it.

 

Any suggestions?


Jenni
Momma to my boy (1/99) & girl (7/00), Birthmomma to my Ladybug (8/09), the new baby monkey boy born 6/6/11!
Student nurse, doula, future midwife, and breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, organic gardening, God-loving single momma

jshannyn519 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 15 Old 01-06-2011, 09:56 AM
 
chel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: lost in a cornfield
Posts: 4,207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

i have a 9.5 yr gap between kids.  i think there is no way around the fact that adding another person will take time away from everyone else in the family.

 

for the most part my dd1 handles it ok.  what she hates the most is when strangers comment on how cute the baby is and ignores her.


mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
chel is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 01-06-2011, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
jshannyn519's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

i have a 9.5 yr gap between kids.  i think there is no way around the fact that adding another person will take time away from everyone else in the family.

 

for the most part my dd1 handles it ok.  what she hates the most is when strangers comment on how cute the baby is and ignores her.


Oh yes, I can foresee that becoming an issue. My daughter has always been the "pretty one" and she gets comments all the time from people. I think it will be an issue if some of her limelight is stolen by the baby.

 

How did you adjust to having a new baby after 9.5 years? I think I've forgotten how to do a lot of this baby stuff!


Jenni
Momma to my boy (1/99) & girl (7/00), Birthmomma to my Ladybug (8/09), the new baby monkey boy born 6/6/11!
Student nurse, doula, future midwife, and breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, organic gardening, God-loving single momma

jshannyn519 is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 01-06-2011, 11:18 AM
 
coyotemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pacific NW near a lovely mountain
Posts: 1,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My kids are 12 (girl), 9 (boy), and 2 (boy), and the biggest issue that we have had is that the 9 year old misses being the baby, and is having issues with independence.  Otherwise, it's the normal sibling stuff, sometimes they get frustrated with a toddler.  However, they go to great lengths to include him, and love him a great deal.  It worked out having a 10 year difference between the first and the last a lot better than I had hoped.  I hope your situation does too!


"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

RT knitting mama  to 3 (& 8 who didn't make it) wife working on 13 years to a silly man who drives me crazy.
coyotemist is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 01-07-2011, 03:57 PM
 
liberal_chick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,789
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I can't advise as someone who has had children that far apart, but I was one child in a family who had kids that far apart.  I have one sister that is 3 years younger than me and then one that is 12 years younger than me.

 

One thing that was really special and I remember so lovingly to this day is the fact that my stepmother (who has always been so wonderful and truly like a mom to me) let me come in the delivery room when my sister was born and, when my dad didn't want to cut the cord, I got to.

 

On the flip side, I also remember my parents bringing my sister home from the hospital and saying they were setting aside an afternoon for it to just be the 4 of us (my other sister lived with my mother in another state) and I was SO excited to just get to hang out and hold the baby.  Then, instead of that happening, about 15 people stopped by and I was basically pushed out of the living room.

 

Other than that, I really remember the experience being very positive.  When I was in high school, there were frequently Friday or Saturday nights that I'd stay home and take my sister out for ice cream (she would've been 4 or 5 then) and we are still very close.  I did do a lot of baby-sitting, but I never minded and I never felt like I had to do anything with/for her (unless I was in charge).


Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

liberal_chick is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 01-08-2011, 10:13 AM
 
sewchris2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego county, CA
Posts: 1,377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

You can't.  Adding another member to the family will take time away from the other older members.  The age gap doesn't change that.  If  you don't have one, start looking for a babysitter now.  You will need one for when you want/need to attend functions with/for your older children.  Babies/toddlers and high school drama performances really don't mix well.  There is a 13 year to a 20 year gap between my son and his sisters.  The worse for them was strangers assuming that he was their child and not his sister.  It hit Joy's then boyfriend harder than it did her.  And it was worse for Angela since she is only 13.5 years older than Dylan.  And I got the "what a handsome grandson you have" when I was out with any of the girls and Dylan. 

 

I don't remember things changing so much with respect to caring for babies between Dylan's birth and my first grandson's birth (Dylan was 7 when Alex was born, who is now 5. 5 yo).  Things changed a lot between Angela and Dylan--sleeping on the back instead of the side/stomach, car seats being mandatory now, co-sleeping out in the open, extended breastfeeding now means past 2 years not 6 months, cloth diapers coming back in style with improvements (although I still love prefolds with pins), etc.

 

I did use the girls as babysitters for Dylan.  We paid them for things we would hire a sitter for--dinners out, movies, etc.  Other things, like grocery shopping, I didn't pay for.  Those were things that are a given for a family.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
sewchris2642 is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 01-10-2011, 08:12 PM
 
bronxmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had my now 2 year old when my older daughter was a few months shy of 10 years old.  I LOVE the age gap - it's just been the most amazing thing. It makes such a difference that my daughter is independent enough to care for herself as necessary so I can focus on the baby.  At the same time, the baby's been portable enough largely to accomodate my daughter's needs - though we do rely on caregivers occassionally to do things just with my daughter. But the best thing is how my now almost-12 year old just blossomed when my son was born.  She is a pre-teen but being a big sister to a baby allows her to continue to express her silly, more childish self.  He ADORES her - she literally is his world and is equal to myself and his dad in his eyes. They have such an amazingly close and loving relationship and the nature of my relationship with each is so different that there's little rivalry.  And, really, she is incredibly helpful; I can really count on her.  I work really hard not to take advantage. She doesn't really do any other chores so I think it's fair that her one contribution to the household is helping out with the baby, especially as she loves it. But I do make sure that she gets alone time, that we don't just expect her to do the caregiving, etc. And, if there are exceptional circumstances where she really has sole responsibility for him for an hour or two (with me in another room) I pay her as a job.

 

The main issue for her is the back seat.  Dealing with entertaining him in the car seat is really draining as he's quite demanding.  So on longer car trips my partner and I also take turns in the back seat. And if it's just me or my partner in the car with her and the baby, we'll let her sit in the front even if it pisses the baby off.

 

And this isn't a stated issue for her, but something to watch: we are trying to get better about getting sitters for the baby so we can do activities aimed more at her level - e.g., going to the harry potter movie.  Frequently, it's either a toddler centered afternoon or she does something with a friend or independently while we do something with the baby.  So we are trying to be more conscious of finding ways to do things that interest her specifically.  But she is also at a stage where she has her own interests that she independently pursues so way less focused on needing us.  It actually gives her some space to individuate.

 

It's really been a win-win for us.  I wish you luck!

bronxmom is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 01-11-2011, 08:14 AM
 
whatsnextmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,967
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)

My DH has 3 older sisters 7 to 10 years his senior. They just adore him to this day. He was sort of the one who could do now wrong. He's closest to the middle girl (9 years older) because she was in the house longest. The eldest moved out and across the country at 18 and only came out a couple weeks a year. The youngest married at 18. The middle stayed home through college and so had the most time with DH.

 

In some ways, I could see it being a real benefit having the kids be older. I mean, they sort of have their own lives, interests, friends, ect. Of course, they need mama but not in the way a toddler needs mom. I'd make a special effort to make sure the older kids still have their activities and time with their friends. I know one friend who really counted on her mom friends the first few months the new baby was home to get her eldest kids to soccer, dance, ect. We were happy to help and I think the kids were grateful.

 

Congrats and here's to a happy and healthy pregnancy.


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
whatsnextmom is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 01-13-2011, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
jshannyn519's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank you all so much!

 

My big kids will still be doing all of their regular activities, which are mainly sports oriented. I will take the great advice to find a sitter for events like band concerts and the like instead of bringing baby along. I'm sure we'll find the way that works for us, but I love hearing how other families handle stuff like this.

 

I'm optimistic about the big kids and baby getting along fairly well because my kids are just so great with little ones. I agree with the PP who said that it gives them a chance to act a little more silly and play with the "baby toys" longer. My daughter will spend hours playing house and babies with her little cousins (who are 2 and 4) and they have a blast. I know that there aren't many other girls in 5th grade who are still doing that. At least not here. Which makes me kind of sad. I think 10 is the perfect age to still be playing with dolls. My son is such a cuddler and he's looking forward to playing with the baby too. He really wants a brother so he's not outnumbered by women anymore. Poor guy!


Jenni
Momma to my boy (1/99) & girl (7/00), Birthmomma to my Ladybug (8/09), the new baby monkey boy born 6/6/11!
Student nurse, doula, future midwife, and breastfeeding, bedsharing, babywearing, organic gardening, God-loving single momma

jshannyn519 is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 01-14-2011, 10:21 AM
 
chel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: lost in a cornfield
Posts: 4,207
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

my oldest just started band.  so far concerts have been great.  dd2 just dances to the music and claps when everyone else does.  i sit close to the exit just in case, but since the school is large, there are tons of other children (and plenty of moms) talking much louder than dd2 babbling.  dd2 loves to listen to big sis practice and do mini concerts for the family.

 

as for me, i've found this time around much easier.  even though dd2 is a worse sleeper.  dd2 was pretty good at first, but went downhill around 6m.  while dd1 doesn't do much in terms of diapers or feeding.  the interaction she give dd2 is amazing.  it lets them both get their energy out and i have a much calmer dd2.  with dd1 it was just us for the most part and i felt i could never keep dd1 happy enough.

 

dd1 is great at feeding and keeping dd2 content in the car, though dd2 is a major car sleeper.  the worst i usually get is "tell the baby to stop looking at me".

 

one con is how dd1 hates how much attention the baby gets when big sis has friends over or when i have to go to school.  seems like pre teens just love babies.


mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
chel is offline  
#11 of 15 Old 01-15-2011, 08:05 PM
 
happysmileylady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

There are 13 years between DD1 and DD2, and then 15 years between DD1 and DD3. 

 

DD 1 was in the delivery room for the birth of both of the girls.  She LOVED that.  It made her feel really special and that it was really truely a family event.  It wasn't mom and dad having another baby, it was the family growing. 

 

We REALLY struggle with the whole "additional parent" thing.  I really really don't want her to feel like that, but she LOVES to help, she feels guilty when she can't, and she tends to always jump in to help, with anything.  It's hard not to let her help when she wants to.  And sometimes I just need that help and I have to ask.  It's a real balancing act.  She is always apologizing for doing things like her homework, instead of helping me.  I am constantly thanking her for her help, even when it's not directly related to the little ones, and always making sure to let her know that she doesn't have to help when she has her own stuff to do.  (occasionally though, when I am nursing the 4 mo and the 2 yo just pooped all over the floor and DH is gone, yeah, then she has to help :D )

 

If you can't get a sitter for going to your older kids stuff, at least see if you can get a helper to go with.  But having the younger ones there supporting the older ones can make them feel good.  My oldest is in soccer and can get really down on herself when she misses a shot or whatever.  But seeing the little ones on the side in their "spirit wear" is sure to make her smile on even the toughest day.

 

 

 

happysmileylady is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 01-15-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Momsteader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,181
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Subbing to read responses :) I'm also due mid-June (waving from your DDC ;) ) and my kiddos will be almost 15 and 11 when baby arrives!


~Mama to my boys~ to a teen, a tween & a toddler and surro-mama to twins and their sister

Livin' in the sticks with my chicks chicken3.gif and lovin' it!

2014:  4/52 projects  0/2014 things 0/52 books

Momsteader is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 01-18-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

There's 10 years between ds1 and dd1, 12 between ds1 and ds2 and 16 between ds1 and dd2. DS1 barely blinked when dd1 was born. Whenever I stopped by his school with the baby in the backpack, he'd steal her and take her into his class to show her off. We asked him to help with little things ("could you grab me a diaper" type things), and let him get as involved as he wanted with her. He used to love getting her yogurt and stuff when she started eating some solids. And, he never seemed to notice that she was getting a lot of "his" attention (and he'd been an only child until that, so he was really, really used to attention). It just wasn't really an issue. I think he felt his sister was just so adorable that it seemed only natural that everyone talked about her, yk? And, he's so proud of super cute dd2 (she has an amazingly engaging personality) that he'd probably look at a person funny if they paid more attention to him than to her. Mind you, ds1 is very good at getting his emotional needs met, and doesn't lack for attention, either at home or at school.

 

Now that the house is full of "little people" (as ds1 usually refers to them), he gets more frustrated. He's realized in the last year or two that he'd have more material goods if he didn't have so many siblings, and while he's not super materialistic, he is in the position of being one of the lower income kids at his school. His closest friends are very well off, and he does notice the contrast. That said...he wouldn't trade his siblings for anything. Most of his issues with them - and there aren't many - are about the way they treat his stuff. I'm not very sympathetic on most of it, because ds1 has more space to himself than anyone else in the house (dh, dd2 and I all share the bigget room, and dd1 and ds2 share the smallest one - ds1 has the medium bedroom completely to himself). He also has a lock.

 

He absolutely dotes on all of them, especially dd2. We have had a couple of occasions when people have mistaken him for the dad, which is really...awkward. But, other than that, it's been a remarkably seamless transition from only child to oldest (by a lot) of four.


Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 02-04-2011, 07:56 PM
 
RootsAlive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have an almost 12 year difference and a 9 year difference (13 boy, 10 girl, and 1 boy). Now that the little one is 19 months, there are some things that are beginning to be a challenge. They have both been so loving, helpful and thoughtful with the little one. Now that he's a bit older, staying up later, and wanting to take a more active part in "big kid" things, we've had to really focus on making time for us larger folk. We take each kid on individual outings once a month or so. We plan for family games once the little one takes a nap on weekends. We have 1 t.v. night a week, and bring his chosen toys into the den while we watch the show (Wipe Out- they love it, we make family bets on the winner- kinda weird) and he has to understand that this is our time. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how well things fall into place.  The hardest thing has been bed time. I put the "baby" down while my husband puts the kids down, and I kind of miss that. I find myself running in for quick hugs, but then being eager to be done with it for the night, just to have some mama time before I have to get to bed. Still trying to figure that one out- hopefully you'll figure it out better than I did! ( it just kind of snuck up on me before I realized it had already become the norm). I love having big and little kids. The spacing is really incredible, and I'm grateful for our "generation gap" family!! Good Luck and Congratulations!!!

RootsAlive is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 02-01-2012, 08:19 AM
 
EuroMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

.


Happily married to DH stillheart.gif for 11 years. Proud Mama bf.jpg of DS1 jammin.gif (10) and DS2  babyf.gif(12 m/o)

EuroMama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off