Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Equal to bigamy?
Throughout the entire pregnancy with Carter, I never once felt guilty that Logan would have to share his time with us or that his world would change. I always thought that he would adjust very well since he is really good about sharing, is independent & has been fascinated with babies. I planned on keeping him involved by being my little helper, which he loves to do anyway. I thought being a Big Brother would make him feel important & special, even though he's only two. And then I heard this piece of conversation today...

"My sister was reading a book that said that bringing home a new baby is to the older sibling what you'd feel like if bigamy was legal and your husband brought home another wife. I never thought of it like that!"

Well. I never thought about it like that either. It makes a lot of sense. After taking that in, my stomach dropped & for the first time I felt an intense wash of guilt flow through my blood. An irrational thought of "Holy crap! What did I do? I can't take this back!" popped out of the recesses of my sporadically functioning pregnancy-brain. I know how jealous I would be if the tables were turned & I had to "share" & for some unknown reason, it never clicked with me on how Logan might feel until now. Until we are virtually days away from expecting Carter's birth.

Maybe I was blinded by optimism & refused to believe that Logan would be emotionally hurt by the arrival of his brother. As I watched him play out in the backyard by himself, swinging on his stomach on the swings, driving his cars across the fence, relentlessly chasing Buddha around & playing pretend with his dinosaurs, I felt sorry that he was alone. I always imagined how much fun he would have with his little brother & never imagined that he might dislike him just because of his existence in our home.

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that not all of us like our siblings. Some of us had intense sibling rivalry as kids that we grew out of (my sisters & I had daily hair-pulling fights) & some of us grew to dislike our brothers or sisters as adults (Bill might feel this way now, but I can't speak for him). As mothers, we always dream of the perfect family - kids playing together peacefully & lovingly. I think mothers of boys even take it a step farther & dream about the brotherly love their kids will share - a sibling connection that is stronger than one can fathom. Now I am afraid that I have unrealistic expectations or dreams of the relationship that Logan & Carter may have.

I can only hope that Bill & I express to Logan effectively (for a two year old) that Carter is not a subtraction from him or us, but an addition to our family. That even though our time will be divided, our happiness will double. I want to keep thinking that things will work out as I had hoped them to.


Liz said...

oof. that's quite a dramatic way of putting it.
we broached the subject of Baby Sister with H by telling him that she was a present for him. because she totally is...we made her for him: for him to love, play with, teach, protect.
these last days/weeks of pregnancy can really be bananas--believe me, i know having just been there.
logan will be just fine and will love carter and be so proud to be his big brother. it may be a little shaky for a week or two, but things settle down quite fast. surprisingly so.

workout mommy said...

I had the fear as well but I can tell you that my older son absolutely adores his little brother. (they are 22 months apart) He does not want to go anywhere without him and asks for him first thing in the morning.

Casey, Tracey, and Kids said...

It takes time. Savannah didn't want anything to do with Baby Gracie at the hospital and shortly after we came home for that matter. But now, first thing in the morning she asks, "Where's Baby Grace?" She kisses her good night and tries to calm her when she is crying by bringing her stuffed animals and saying, "It's okay." She is adjusting to "Baby Grace Blue Eyes." I am sure Logan will be a great big brother.

Dawn B said...

I have no clue if it's the same as bigamy.. lol But! I can say that Natalie and James do not get along alot. I realized one day lately that he seems scary to her.. marching his big body around..running even.. sometimes knocking her over.. stealing her toys, literally, right outta her hands. She screams sometimes if he's even 5 feet near her.
But then there are the moments where they are so sweet to each other. Like today, he was so excited to go in and get her from her nap with me. And she was excited to see him too.
So..I dunno. Kids are silly creatures.

LB said...

Kristin - I don't have kids yet, so I can't offer any firsthand advice, but I'm watching the Today show right now and there is a segment about getting toddlers ready for having a baby brother or sister. I'm on the east coast, so hopefully you'll be able to catch it when it comes on in your time zone. If not, you may be able to find the segment on the Today show website.

Good luck with everything!

Jaime said...

They may or may not like siblings in the beginning but they do eventually grow on one another. At least mine have, thank god! =)

TheQueen said...

I don't have any kids of my own, just siblings and how we've all felt when the other joined our family. My parents never made a huge deal out of any of us being born. It was just "here's your new sister/brother" and that was that. Yeah, we had our times of fighting or "he/she is the favorite, you hate me" but we all get along great now and don't feel like our parents were ever "cheating" on us. Maybe our ages help too. There are 4 of us. My oldest sister and brother were born 2-1/2 years apart. My brother and I are 5 years apart. Then, my youngest sister and I are 1-1/2 years apart. I always liked our spacing.

Ok. I'll stop rambling now.

Alicia Seevers said...

Sibling rivalry is quite normal. My girls are 5 years apart and although they can still irritate the hell out of each other, I know they still love each other because when they are away from each other even for a few hours the reunion is loaded with hugs and love!
We always tell our oldest that she had us all to herself for 5 years and the youngest will NEVER have that, so she is VERY lucky to be the big sister and show her little sister the wonders of the world!