I put the baby down and held her. I just held her as close as I could for as long as I could stand having the baby cry while lying in my legs. I think it was all of 90 seconds.
My daughter needed me more. In that moment, she needed me the most.
That’s when I realized that it was OK. Sometimes the baby would need me more and sometimes my eldest would need me the most.
I try to go easy on myself. Some days are hard. When those days happen I just feel good if the kids are fed. We try to go outside. We build a fort and hang out in it. We stay cozy.
I am only seven short months into my journey with siblings and I have so much to learn and so much to experience still, but here are the few things that I have figured out so far:
- I spend a lot of time on the floor. The baby is in my arms almost all the time but we are at the same level as my 4 year old. We are a team.
- If I put the baby down to help my daughter with something and he starts to need me, I speak to him in the same way I speak to her. ‘I’ll be right with you, I’m just helping your sister get her shoes on’.
- I tried implementing ‘special time‘ with my daughter when the baby was sleeping but it didn’t sit right so I stopped. Having time alone together be special BECAUSE her brother was not with us didn’t feel like the right approach. Instead I just make the most of organically occurring alone time. If the baby is asleep or with Dad then I reconnect with my daughter by reading with her or playing or doing a project that might be difficult when the baby is awake.
- I try to go easy on myself. Some days are hard. When those days happen I just feel good if the kids are fed. We try to go outside. We build a fort and hang out in it. We stay cozy.
- I talk to my daughter a lot about what she was like as a baby. We look at pictures. I tell her stories.
- I try to give them both what they need from me when they need it, but in those moments where one of them needs me more I let that be ok.
I give them both arms.
Originally published on Pocketful of Pebbles. Jessica Braidwood Turner is an entrepreneur and an unschooling attachment parent. She lives on the West Coast of Canada in Victoria, BC with her husband and 2 kids. She blogs at Pocketful of Pebbles and believes strongly in intentional living and finding the village families need to be successful.
Photography: Tessa Russell @ Moemoea Collective.