Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Getting our 1st ready for the 2nd

Our first anything can be amazing but our first child is like nothing else.

How can it be?

This is truly a life changing moment. No giving it back, no changing my mind no ok I'm done.
This is a let me get my act together and provide the best of everything I can for the next x amount of years.

So you have your first, you give him or her everything.
Your love, your time, your attention.
They are the center of your universe, you are the center of theirs.
They need nor want for anything.
They count on you for everything.

They don't have to share your time or their space with anyone because they are the first.
Everyone in the family caters to their wants.
You go to museums, you go to parks, you have birthday parties, you enroll them in sports, you go on vacations, you have tons of play dates. At the end of all of this for however long it lasts, in their home they are the only one, they are the star.

Now you decide it's time to expand your family. Your ready for star number two, how do prepare your first to share the spotlight?
To share mommy and daddy's hugs, kisses, bed and attention?
How do you explain that shortly their will be another person in the house who requires more attention than they do and they will have to learn to wait their turn?

I have learned in my mommy journey that it doesn't matter what age you are, if someone else is taking your shine, invading your space, taking away your parents attention there will be some moments of great discomfort.

I touched on this subject in a previous post.........i-thought-your-visit-was-only-temporary

I am revisiting it again today because I was asked this question again not to long ago.

Through first hand experience with my own mother, through other family members, through close friends and other acquaintances again I will repeat age really doesn't make a difference I learned that there are very important things that can be done to minimize not eliminate the discomfort.

I would say that most people already know if they want more than one child so if this is the case, as you are raising your first make sure that you incorporate the following:
-time alone, for you your partner your child.
-time outside the house with others, not just family members.
-set up sleepovers with trusted friends and family so your child is use to being away from you.
-have sleepovers in your own home so your child learns to share their home space with other kids and share your attention as well.
-teach independence from early on, don't have your child relay on you for everything and encourage them to figure things out on their own.
-make mention during family time or while visiting other family and friends how eventually down the line the family will be expanding.
-whenever possible enroll your child in team or group activities, this encourages sharing skills and waiting your turn.
-when the time comes you decide to have baby number two start talking about it to your first.
-include your first star in your second stars arrival, room prep, shopping, doctor visits etc...

Last but not least...
-try your best even as hard as it may be to some not all, to minimize the adulation of your first shining star. Sometimes it doesn't come from us, the parent(s) it comes from grandma or grandpa auntie or cousin J or our very close friends.
This does NOT mean you shouldn't shower your child with all the love, attention and affection in your heart. That you shouldn't treat them to nice things or that you shouldn't praise them often. This just means do all those great things and more WITH the knowledge that they are sharing a world with other people.

What do you think? How would you prepare your first for your second?


8 comments:

  1. Very interesting! I am facing the same issue as a grandparent. One of my granddaughters has a sibling coming late this year. Of course I have spoiled her and showered her with every attention. But I hope that she will see her new family member as an extension of the wonderful things she's enjoyed in life. I hope she will want to share most of them, but I know there will be difficult times ahead. I think the best solution is to take your advice - include the first little "superstar" in everything as early as possible and recognize motives for behavior that isn't ideal.

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    1. Well first off J congrats and second thanks for visit. I think including the little stars in as much as we can from the start is a great way to include them in changes and make them feel a sense of connection with the new star as well. Best of luck, would love to hear how things are going when the time comes :)

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  2. That is a hard one. I had my first and then 18 months later, I had the second. You can prepare but it is hard because each one has a different personality. We prepared my daughter for the second one but she took a dislike to him from day in e. 17 years later, they are still at it.

    One thing I learned is that I was always include both and treat them with equally which can be tough due to the fact that they like different things and have totally different ways about them. I have learned that it is like walking a tightrope but it can be done.

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  3. Great post Mari. We included our first in everything when the second was coming. We even had a small party celebrating her becoming a big sister. She loved it. My one thing was, I had issues with my mother and I allowed both of my girls to rely on me for everything. Now at 3 and almost 2 I am having a hard time getting away because they don't know life without mommy. Luckily they are so sweet, share and play well with others. :)

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    1. Megan hi! thanks for visit. May I suggest you start with an hour or two away at a time and before you know it things will be smoother sailing :) xo

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  4. Great advice, I still have pics of my oldest in the birthing room after his brother was born. Fortunately, they have been as close as two peas in a pod since then.

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    1. Awesome Antionette and I can totally see that through your fam picture shares :)

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