We’re weeks, single figures to be a bit more exact, away from our new arrival and dealing with a new baby in the family. We couldn’t be more excited. However, there’s a niggle in the back of my head and my heart that I just can’t put to rest.
I’m an only child.
You see. I’m an only child. I actually have an extremely small family. Smaller still after losing my parents in 2012. I always wanted an older brother. I know, I’m not sure how I thought that was going to work out, since I was around first, but, hey ho. My childhood was actually amazing from what I remember. My parents both worked hard in their full-time jobs to provide more than adequately for me and us.
I wouldn’t say I was spoilt. Far from it. I mean, I asked Santa for years for a Mr Frosty – and did I finally get one… Yes, when I was 21! But, I digress. Only child life was quiet, but not that bad.
Up until the last year I had been happy to be the mother of just one child. Our little boy. I hadn’t enjoyed pregnancy or childbirth and thought, I’m happy with one. One is perfectly fine for me and us. He’s healthy, happy, well looked after and loved. This was always my argument each time a person brought that age-old question (that literally starts days after giving birth I may add! WHY?!) “So, when you having another?”. I mean, I was an only child. I turned out OK. Why would I need another, or why would our little boy need a brother or a sister. He’s got plenty of friends and plenty of time to make many more.
Change of mind.
Then my bubble popped. Friendship circles around me changed. I changed. I began to question my decision. A decision I’d held tightly onto for four years. Was it the right decision? How did I know? Down the line, would I still hold the decision so tightly, when our boy questioned me, as I did my mother, as to why they had no brothers or sisters? Being from a small family myself was I happy for our boy to have the same? If something were to happen to my husband and I, like had happened to me, would he be OK on his own?
Granted, many of those questions can’t truly be answered yet. I’m sure there are many people with brothers and or sisters that maybe don’t have a relationship with them for whatever reason. But who knows what the future would hold. It was this that eventually changed my mind into having another child. And we all couldn’t be happier.
Then there’s the niggle. How would an only child go about dealing with a new baby in the family? It’s not just not a brother or a sister, it’s change. It’s family dynamics. It’s logistics. It’s less time. Will he feel left out? That he doesn’t belong? That we don’t love him as much anymore. That we don’t have the time for him anymore?
Now, I’m not totally nieve to my thinking. I’m fully aware that my mind is running away with me a little on the negatives, but it’s an alien concept for me to try and appreciate. My husband has siblings himself and is not fazed at all. Saying it all just becomes normal. And I do believe him.
Dealing with a new baby in the family does mean some change. We talk regularly about how we plan to split our selves and our time, especially while our new addition is young and unaware, meaning that our eldest gets one on one time with each of us at some point. I feel also that, not putting pressure on our eldest or expecting him to help with his new baby brother. Some things need to be on his terms.
Can any parent or person relate to my thoughts on dealing with a new baby in the family in regards to siblings?