New Baby New Emotions
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions, change and tons of love. I never imagined I would be able to love someone as much as I do my first born. Yet here I am madly and deeply in love with my second daughter. I always thought my parents had a favorite (the jury is still out on that). I now know that they honestly love us all equally; now whether they like us all the same is still up for debate. All I know is that when I wake up and see my two daughters I feel like my heart is going to literally explode from pure and honest joy. I don't think I've ever felt this much happiness before in my life. I just pray daily that I am able to grow old with my husband and that our children can do the same.
I'm very proud of my daughter Amirah and how she has handled this huge change in her life. She has always been an old soul, a caregiver and just a loving spirit. She loves her baby sister so much that she asks me to hold her at least fifty times a day. She wants to change her, bathe her, feed her (don't ask) and everything else I do. I love knowing that her father and I have given her enough love that she doesn't feel threatened to share it with someone else. Even though she has adjusted pretty well to being a big sister, she still has moments of jealousy. In our home we are very focused on acknowledging and addressing individual feelings. So it's important that we make sure our first born realizes it's okay and normal to feel that way.
It is extremely important to maintain open dialogue with your children. Allowing them to feel comfortable expressing their feelings. It's even more important for parents to acknowledge those feelings and to help your children find a healthy way to deal with them. Jealousy is a normal human emotion; most adults find it hard to admit when they experience it. When my daughter told me after three days of her little sister being home that she was jealous of how much time I was spending with the baby, I simply sat down and talked her through her feelings. I let her know that I loved her equally and that her sister is a baby; she is incapable of taking care of herself. I am going to have to do more for her temporarily until she grows to be more independent. Helping my daughter understand that it is not a matter of preference and more a situation of pure logic has helped her to deal with her feelings.
As parents we often don't give our children the credit that they are capable of understanding complex thinking. However if you actually sit down and help rationalize things with your child, they will surprise you with what they can absorb. Parenting is a daily struggle. Some days are easier than others. Communication is always going to make the hard days a little less stressful. We often feel guilty when we have to let our children know our honest feelings, but I find it makes us much closer. I don't want to send the message to my daughters that baring it all and ignoring their own needs is what motherhood or womanhood is about. It's only been two weeks, but I have been making sure I'm focusing on my first born when her little sister is asleep. Making sure that I allow her to have my undivided attention. However she understands that her sister is a baby and I need to take care of her when she is awake. I also include her in everything I do so that she knows we work as one team.
As I journey into this new world of two kids I keep reminding myself that I shared my mother with my sister and two brothers. Keeping in mind my own feelings as a child has really helped me to stay in tune with my daughters. I'm very excited to see the new dynamic in our now family of four and watching my two girls grow together.