March 20, 2009

Denial Ain't Just A River In Egypt

As much as I have chosen not to believe it, and tried to explain and explain and explain it away, I think the problems that I have been having with Gray (and not really felt like I could write about) lately is that...

I think he's jealous of the new baby.

It could possibly explain so much. But until now I have not even allowed myself to consider it.

"Oh Gray is wonderful! He just took to the baby right away! He's such a good big brother! We've had no troubles at all."

Because it makes me feel so incredibly crazy heartbreaking guilty if it's true.

All along I've thought it's been defiance and just over all rotten, bad behavior, but could it be that he just has been feeling so many emotions with the coming of the baby that he doesn't know how to process or control what he feels? He went from being the baby (and he very much so was my baby) to, well, not the baby.

But he loves Ivy! He's so helpful! And caring! He adores her.

Except at the same time he is this little very angry person. A grumpy old man in a three-year-old body.

And I thought he was just mad at the world. But I think he's mad at me.

This is so hard for me to admit to you. But I really could use your help. What can I do to reverse this? I don't want these feelings he has to fester and affect him for the rest of his life. And especially my relationship with him.

Since I've come to this realization in just the past day or so, I feel like things have been a bit better. I am more mindful of it. We still co-sleep and he knows he's still my peanut and will always be my baby but there is something else there keeping me from reaching him, from meeting his emotional needs as a Mother should.

Maybe it's the guilt?

Have you been here? Have you any suggestions, books, directions for the way out?

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  1. Stephanie,

    As one of four kids (I'm the oldest so I got to see every one of my siblings become the baby and get treated special, lol) I can tell you the one thing I have seen work in our family as well as in every other family I know: you have to make sure you spend some quality time with Gray and just you. I know with a breastfeeding baby this makes it difficult, but it doesn't have to be for long periods of time, just a couple of hours doing something he loves to do while your husband or a friend watches the others. And basically make it a regular date, like once a week or something. I know with everything you are busy with this can be difficult, but it has always seemed to work best in similar situations. And also, just continue allowing him to help you with Ivy so he feels semi-responsible for her (if that makes sense). Just letting him help you will make him feel "grown-up" (isn't it cute how they want so bad to be a baby and a big kid all at once?) and help him feel important in Ivy's life. Hope this helps!

  2. Been there, know about this one!!! I often get asked how will I ever love my next child as much as I love this one and I don't think people are prepared for the dynamic change in their relationship with the older one.

    I always warn moms when they are expecting their next baby that their relationship with the first one changes dynamic. They look at me funnily but it's true! Your tiny baby becomes a monster sized child as soon as the new little one is born. Even with a small age difference. It is instantaneous!

    Suddenly not everything is excused because they are the baby anymore and as mom's we naturally expect more of them - overnight... Of course they are still our sweet little angels but they aren't as helpless as we thought they were!!!

    I don't think they are so much jealous of the new baby (the new baby is usually loved and adored) but they are trying to figure out the new relationship between themselves and their mum. The second to last kidlet changes status the most in the family with a new baby.

    I always have to spend the most time with my second youngest when the next one is born as we figure out how we fit together again... and while there is an air that you have wandered apart it does mend and your relationship is different but not less close. Give it time!

    I am all for kids living alongside me. I let the shocked new sibling help a lot more with things - stirring salad, sorting socks, sweeping. Talk to them about decisions... "Should we have this or this for lunch, whatcha think?" They need to know they are important and you need them and love them soooo much (you do) that you want to do everything with them! When I am busy with the baby I make sure that they can come alongside... If I am nursing I let them snuggle in. I will pick them both up (staggering) and say how wonderful it is to be with ALL my babies... they love this!

    This is such a hard thing to explain until you are there, I tried to write about it in my second point in a sibling post:

    In a nutshell, should you still be reading this diatribe, give it time... quality and quantity! You will get through this and like all baby things a couple of months down the line another issue will raise itself!!!

  3. Steph, you have a great heart and you love being a mom. Follow your heart. There is no one right way to do this. I'll be praying for the best.

  4. Steph, the main thing here is that you are not in denial anymore. You certainly have all the instincts and knowledge to get through to him, now that you are able to pay attention to what is going on here.
    That said, I think you should talk to him and let him acknowledge these feelings as well, so he can get them out. He may never get over this, but you can nurture the situation and help him get over his anger.

  5. I really, really like Kalee's suggestion and do it with the other boys too. Maybe each boy would have a special time alone with you. Jeff could do the same thing. Those relationships you build now will be the foundation to having successful relationships with them as teenagers.

  6. I think simply recognizing it is the biggest step. As you said, now that you realize it, you can be mindful of it. Shortly after becoming pregnant with our third, I became nervous for my youngest daughter. She would now be the (dreaded, lol) middle child! But I realized that it didn't have to be the problem I was making it. Simply being aware help tremendously. If you can set aside some time with Gray (maybe while Ivy naps?) I'm sure that would be a special time for the two of you. You're doing a fabulous job!

  7. i haven't had the time to read all the other comments so please forgive me if i am redundant. i have a few ideas that have helped me with my son (almost three) and my baby (almost 8 months).

    1. the book siblings without rivalry is great. quick read and helpful ideas.

    2. it helped the situation for me to realize a few things:
    - he doesn't need me to tell him everything will be ok.
    - he does need to tell him life is hard sometimes (and that mama's have hard days too)
    - he needs me to celebrate that he is getting older, not to cling to the idea that "he is my baby too."
    - i need to be ok with him getting older and not just being my baby too
    - it helps him when i voice his feelings that he can't voice "it is so hard to share your mama." or, "sometimes you just wish your sister didn't need mama." stuff like that.
    - or even (gasp) "sometimes you wish you didn't have a sister!"

    ok, i don't want to go on and on so i'll stop there.

    hth (just by thinking about this you are doing a fantastic job imho).


  8. Poor little guy :( I've got no suggestions, as we've only got one and I was the youngest, but I'm sure it'll naturally work out. It's probably harder, too, because Ivy's a girl and you're so smitten with having a girl - and you should be!!! - but Gray probably feels suddenly not so important. I think taking him out on an intentional 'date' is a great idea ... and maybe you should take some more pictures of him, too ;)

  9. No advice but just want you to know that you are not alone. We just had our 3rd child and my middle is having a HARD time! We are trying everything. I think it is partly his age and partly my baby girl.

    Just know you are not alone. We have been stepping up mommy dates. It's been helping.

  10. Feel for you, Steph, but I have no advice, other than I think you're an awesome mom. You figured out the root issue and you're willing to learn and deal with it. That's most of the battle right there! Hang in there.

  11. This has been said in some of the previous comments, but my suggestion was going to be to have some alone time with Gray. We try to do "date days" individually with our kids. Granted it doesn't happen as often as I would like. I know you can't leave Ivy for long periods of time, but it could be something simple like going to the ice cream parlor downtown or a trip to the park. Take him to Starbucks with you. I know that is a sacred place to me too, but my kids think they are big stuff when they get to go there alone with mom or dad.

  12. I don't have a lot of advice to offer as we are going thru the same thing (my Noah is almost 3 and Eden is 6 mos.), at first things seemed 'great' and his big sis seemed to occupy a lot of his time so the whole 'new baby' thing didn't seem to traumatic but now that the babymoon phase is over and we are settling into day to day life I can see changes in Noah. I've been REALLY, REALLY trying hard to give him extra snuggles and do more one on one things with him daily, altho it's hard and doesn't always happen!
    I'm anxious to follow the comments here, looking for advice myself.
    Thanks for sharing this!


  13. I'm so glad you've opened up about this to your readers, such a wealth of support here.

    People have already said what I'd say, so just to emphasize...time with just you and Gray, and during that hour or two, talk about his feelings. I've found that acknowledging "you are really sad about this aren't you?" type feelings really helps my boys.

    Know that you all will be ok, this phase is not uncommon (I told you Jamie went through this too) and Gray will come out the other side confident as ever.


  14. Find a copy of the book "Julius, Baby of the World" by Kevin Henkes. It's a cute story, but if you can read it at a time when you and Gray can sit and talk about it afterwards, it might give you an opening to put everything out on the table.

    The only other suggestion is to let Gray choose things whenever possible: What should we have for dinner? What dress/headband/shoes should Ivy wear today? What should we put in Noah and Carter's lunch? At the end of the day, sibling rivalry is a lot about feeling lost in the shuffle, and the simple act of asking for his opinion can a) reassure him that he's in no danger of being overlooked and b) reinforce that being the big kid has its perks, too.

    Good luck, I know this is a tough one.

  15. I wish I had an answer for you; I am going through the EXACT same thing with my almost 3 year old and 5 month old. Some days I just want to cry (and a lot of times I do). What I am trying to be better about is spending more quality time with Noodle when Lizard takes her naps and not worry about the 8 loads of laundry that need to get done. I'll let you know how it goes. Let me know if you come up with a solution :)

  16. you are not alone. I have a 8 yr old, a 3 yr old and a 1 month baby. I found a great book called Playful Parenting full of great easy ideas to bring fun into the time you do have together. My 3yr old is getting better and we are all alot less stessed.

  17. Just another "I'm there with you" post. I have three-year-old twin boys and a five-month-old boy. My older two are jointly feeling the same rejection Gray is. I feel awful about the acting out that I am seeing from my little boys because it is so clearly for attention, whatever kind they can get. I love the suggestion for alone time... hopefully we can find a way. Please report back if, no WHEN, you have some success.

  18. Oh gosh! Been there...DONE that! We brought home our baby Gray when Chandler was 3 yrs old and boy! it rocked his world. He did love his brother and he did enjoy having a brother, but all the choos and attention that was ONCE on him, was not diverted to this cute little baby. He was a angry little soul...until Gray started to crawl and pay attention and move and laugh and its been good. I say spend little extra time- I'm sure you already do- just reading and talking, holding and kisses- especially when strangers are oohing and ahhing over the baby sister. I try to hug Chan while strangers are talking about how cute Gray is. We've done Daddy dates and different things that BABIES can't do and like I said, it gets better.
    Now, we are having the issues of brother needing his space! He got what he wanted....too MUCH little brother and now little brother wants to do EVERYTHING and wreck train tracks, we're on to the next phase. I've been told by 3, my two will play wonderfully! :)

    Good luck and keep being an awesome mom. He'll get through it!

  19. With only one child, I'm admittedly probably not much help, but had to comment anyway. I think being aware of it is half the battle. I love the idea of spending alone time with him. My friends have a date night with their kids, one night with just mom, one night with just dad, once a month. The kids get to choose if they want to invite the other siblings/parent along, but usually it's just the two of them. I can imagine that this might be hard to schedule with FOUR kids, one of whom is nursing, but just alone time would probably mean the world to him. It's obvious there is so much love in your house and I'm sure that will be what gets you through this.

  20. We are having the same issue. MJ is 4 months and Chipmunk will be three next month. He's been wavering between sweet and FIVE ALARM ASSHAT every other day for the past few months.

    I'm sure a lot of it is the baby and I feel so bad as well. Because it's something I did to him. Turning his world so upside down that he's taking it out on me and every other adult he can defy. Ugh.

  21. We're dealing with this a little bit too. I don't think it's that bad, but then as soon as I put down the baby my 4-year-old jumps on me and clings for dear life. It's gotten worse as the baby's gotten older, because he's no longer just an accessory, he requires more of my attention and he's doing more things.

    Before my 2nd was born I read "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It had some good suggestions, and I'm using them. I think it's worth a read if you're looking for a good resource.

    What's helping me is that I am an oldest child, and I am just fine. In fact, I like that I'm an oldest child. So while my mother tells me about how I struggled when my younger sister was born, I know that it didn't do irreparable damage to me, or my relationship with my own parents.

  22. We've been dealing with this issue this week, too, since Jasper's been sick and Roo's been on spring break from preschool. He wants to be physically on me constantly and she does, too. It's horrible having to tell the older one to leave the baby (and mommy!) alone, it makes me feel so guilty...

  23. I second Adele Faber's books.

    My only suggestion to add is this:

    Let him be angry. Encourage him to cry (or even rage) when he needs to (and when you have some time to focus on him and hold and love him while he does it.) Let him say angry things in that time (like woowoomama suggested) and don't distract him from his anger or sadness. We call it getting our "sads out". My kids, at this point, tell me when they need to get their cries or sads or angries out.

  24. Definitely attention. My younger daughter just became the middle child last November, and though she's not yet 2, she's going through some of the same things. With her, at least, it's not so much the new baby, as much as it's her new role in our family. That always takes awhile to adjust to. Give him time, spend time with him, and he'll settle.

  25. I have to say that I think so much of it is just that age. It doesn't take much to set off 2 and 3 year olds. Just add 'Mommy being busy with baby' to the list!

    My kids are 5, almost 3, and 6 months. My almost 3 yo asks me to carry him in the Ergo now! And I do it as much as I can. He still co-sleeps with us too. So I do feel like he's letting us know what he needs, but we still have plenty of hard days, when he's mad at the world.

    Steph, I think you've been given some good suggestions. And part of it will just be riding it out! ((Hugs))

  26. This is me and Evan. We still struggle occasionally, as he NEEDS more from me, but doesn't ask for it in the way that I expect. He whines, or cries, or pretends he doesn't care. But then he breaks down and sobs and explains to me that he is just so SAD inside.... And I die a little, because I KNOW it is because he needs personal time.

    That is my only advice. Pencil in weekly, monthly, or WHATEVER you can arrange, personal time with each kid. Make a big deal of it, without spending much.

  27. If it makes you feel any better, my husband is #3 of 4 kids. In fact, his little sister was born at home and her birth is one of his earliest memories. I can't say that "not being the baby" didn't affect him for the rest of his life because "the baby" will always be "the baby" and that's just the way it stays, I think. But that is both good and bad. It definitely wasn't BAD for him. My mother-in-law often tells me how Luke (my husband) saw her nursing Marlene (the baby) for the first time and how his face just fell, because he totally got what was going on. But he's a really cool person and he knows his mom loves him and it most certainly didn't ruin him! Just go out of your way to let Gray know that even though isn't THE baby, he is still YOUR baby, forever and ever. God designed him to be a big brother... it will be great! Different than being the baby, but equally cool. (Also, I met my husband because I was his little sister Marlene's best friend... little sisters are good for lots of things, turns out.)


  28. Mommy dates---not sure if you are at the point where you can leave Ivy for an hour or two but taking him somewhere that he enjoys just the two of you....since you have four kids you could do one a week...and each child gets their Mommy Date once a month.

  29. Oh, I would also make it a point of telling the new baby, it is (older kid's) turn will have to wait. (Obviously this would be when the new baby was completely content and not needing me & more for the effect of not making the older child feel like they were always second place to the baby.)
    There are so many times when the big kids have to wait for Mom's attn. be/c baby needs Mom that I tried to say "yes" to time with the big kids when baby could wait a bit or did not need me.
    Also, have you considered BWing both? My older one still occasionally asks and I will if the situation permits. (Daddy will BW new baby while I BW older child.)

  30. So many people would pass this off as developmental or no big deal without thinking about it much. So I just wanted to say that I think your heart for your kids is revealed here. You really get them. You're in tune with them. You're doing the very best you can. And that's why Gray will be OK as he adjusts. You're an amazing mom.

  31. Awww, hugs to you. You're such a good momma, so I'm sure you'll get through this rough patch. It must be heartbreaking though. I only have one kiddo, so I can't help based on experience. Wish I had some words of wisdom for you!

  32. Wow - kinda obvious that you're not alone. I have a feeling that we'll be going through the same things (again) here in about a month as Elizabeth tries to get used to being the big sister. When she was born we made a big deal out of David being a good helper, being able to do things because he was not a baby any more, etc, and gave him extra 1-on-1 time. Giving him extra jobs seemed to help, too, and making a huge deal about how good of a helper & big brother he was.

  33. I have a 3 year old that is suddenly mad at the world! He doesn't even have a baby to contend with. I'm convinced it's a phase. He wakes up sassy and goes to bed the same way. I think I get the evil eye from him a million times a day! That and he's always saying things like "get away from me", "stop looking at me", "get out of my room." I just don't know what to do with him! I would say not to worry, because with time this will pass. Right? That's what I keep telling myself! lol!

  34. I really love "Za-Za's Baby Brother" by Lucy Cousins (the Maisy author), because it deals with the issue rather bluntly and cleverly.

    Steph, from what you've related about Gray in the past, I get the feeling he's somewhat of a character--a bit on the whimsical, vivacious side, maybe? When you tell stories of him, he reminds me a bit of Addison.

    And here's the thing about Addison: he does not hold anything back. If he's angry, you know it. If he's happy, everybody's happy. And if he's curious, watch out.

    One of the most important things with him is always to help him express how he's feeling in a more constructive way. When he does something extra feisty, it usually helps to ask him what he's feeling or what he wants or if anything is making him feel upset.

    And it also helps to talk to him about situations in which I've gone through the same things he's going through now and felt the same things he's feeling.

    Granted, it's a lot easier to do at five than at three. Still, if you have a boy who is more than eager to put his every thought and feeling on display, he'll probably open up about almost anything.

    You're awesome. I'm sure you'll be fine. Having your eyes open to everything is the key, and you are undoubtedly doing that.

    My one cautionary piece of advice is this: If Gray does act on every emotion he feels (and I could be way off base there) he may be expressing things your older sons internalize. Obviously they all have their own perspectives. But it might be good to talk to them about how things have changed since Ivy come on the scene, maybe all three of them at once. You could even have Noah and Carter talk about what it was like when they were the youngest and their younger brothers were born . . . if they remember. :)

  35. I didn't take the time to read over all the lovely comments - sorry if I repeat.

    I'm so glad that you realize and are no longer in denial, major step in the right direction! As exhausted as I know you are making sure he has time with you when Ivy's not around or in Daddy's care will make a huge impact (or at least it did with mine). As for the behavioral stuff - I always tell mine - you can be mad, angry, or whatever else, still have to listen to mom/dad, and i will always love you.

    you'll get through it - hugs

  36. Good luck with finding a solution to this...I hope everything turns out ok.

    I cannot offer any advice unfortunately, because I only have one little one.

  37. I too had a new child in the last year with a little boy who felt lost when his sibling came home. I can tell you that right now EXTRA attention is what he needs. He's feeling left out. He is confused on where his role is in all this. YOu need to make him feel important. Explain to him how much the baby needs him. to help pick out clothes, teach her to make silly faces, show her his toys and how they work,etc.. It takes time about 3-4 months here. But now that you have realized it and will be easier for you take extra steps in helping him feel #1 and a BIG BOY.
    We co sleep too I think that helps tremendously. Make sure he gets Two stories before bed. Extra special tuck ins and extra specially long hugs. When baby naps makes sure he gets all the attention if you can. Cuddling is a great way to let him feel that attention he's missing. Good luck. HUGS to you ITs not easy. I almost lost my sanity. ANd slowly after a yr its getting easier.

  38. I have just the one kidlet, but I heard a good suggestion from someone else, if getting away from Ivy is too impractical: Wear Ivy on your back if she's content or napping, and that way you can direct your full attention to Gray. As others have said, in that time you could do something that only "big kids" can do, like a special game. That way, you can take care of both babies at once, but your care for Ivy can be a little more passive in that moment.

    Other than that, I would just say to make sure you find little ways to connect with Gray (and all of them) throughout the day — eye contact, a hug, a touch on the head — before they solicit it.

    Best wishes, though, since I have no direct idea what I'm talking about.

  39. I'm sorry. I wish I knew what to say, except my gut instinct is that he will get over it; this will pass. However, I'm sure there are some things you can do to help and I hope you got some great advice in the comments! ((hug))

  40. We had this problem with my first when my second was a baby. We didn't notice it, it took my MIL to point out what his problem was. For us, it just took the realization and then special attention for him. He did great after that! Come to think of it...I wonder if that is the problem my 3 yr old is having lately...

  41. We have to remember that so much of the smothering emotion of motherhood is because it makes US as mother's feel good, not the child. Children become happily independent and secure when mothers raise them with one arm hugging them and one are pushing them away. It's easy to bond with the child and harder to push them away appropriately.

    I heard here that it's ok to encourage him to cry "even rage"...please don't try that at home mom's unless you are a professional, or want to see a professional in the future. Raging is not to be encouraged. It is ok to learn to deal with anger, but raging is acting out on a shorter term of emotion. It is not for the unprofessional, as we mom's are so often. Rage begets rage to an extent and you end up with an out of control kid/teen that no one wants thier kid to be associated with. This also effects your other children, who not feeling anger, feel threatened by that "rage". Again, not for the amateur.

  42. I wish I had some suggestions for you ;) I don't. But, coming to this realization will surely help the situation.


  43. Oh Steph...I know that pain. Johnny went through (is still?) the same thing. One day he said that he thought I loved Pea more than him. Why? Because I open up her door on the Van. Broke my heart. It did. I didn't open his door because he liked to do. Not because I didn't care. It was a tough one.

    Now, I'm a bit more careful about paying special attention to him. When he lays out his clothing for school the night before, I'll put a little note in the pocket of his hoody. Or I'll sneek a snack in his backpack.

    You are a good Mama. Grey knows it. Sometimes, it's tough work being a little boy! Hugs to ya!

  44. Oh, Steph, I know this must be tough and I'll be praying for you that it gets better soon. My only bit of advice would be to go do things and spend time with just you and Gray, and do your best to have little things that are just "you and him" things. Remind him too how much Ivy loves his help and how special it is for him to help you and how much you appreciate it. I LOVE the parenting advice of Dr. Kevin Leman, so you can check to see if you find some resources on handling this-he has a ton of books out there and I have been able to find them all at the library. Good luck, and my thoughts will be with you as you work through it :)

  45. We've beeen traveling this path for just a few months longer (baby sis is 11 months old, and big brother is almost 3.5 now) and I can definately say that it's getting A LOT better. As soon as my baby was nursing less often, we started making mommy/son dates a huge priority, which also helped bond hubby to the baby in more ways.
    Good luck--I'm nervous about someday adding #3 and 4 (eventually!), since two was such a switch up.

  46. A good friend of mine is a play therapist, and there is a very effective mother/child play therapy (without being actual therapy) called Filial Play. It would take a ton of time to try to explain it here, and also I'm no expert, so consult the Googles, and I'm sure they can explain everything.

  47. I'm the oldest by 10 years - my next sister is 10 years younger than me and the next two are 13 and 14 years younger than me. Everyone thought I was old enough to "just understand" but it is hard to see Mom and Dad suddenly spend so much time with someone new and you feel so left out at times.

    I don't have a lot of wisdom to offer except to make sure that you still do some special things with Gray - spend some time with him when Ivy is sleeping or with Daddy - and just keep on loving him. As she gets older and requires less attention it will get better. Right now Gray just wants to know that you still love him and he's still special. I'd bet he's feeling insecure right now and that is why he is acting out.

    OK, now I'm going to read through the rest of your comments and see if there are some real words of wisdom here because I have a feeling that I'll be dealing with this same issue in about 3 months when our second one is born!

  48. Steph, you've already received some about I just leave a "hug"?

  49. I think we are dealing with this a little too. My son went from being not just my baby but the only to being a big brother. He loves his sister and he is great with her. However, he has been looking for constant reassurance that he is still loved. I wrote about it the first time he asked. And, ironically what you said made me feel so much better.
    As for how to handle it, one thing my son and I started doing and I think it is helping is to do one thing just the two of us. In our case it is grocery shopping. But we get to go and talk and spend some extra time together. He likes to say that his sister is not old enough to help and that is why she stays home with Daddy. I figure there is no harm in this thinking and we have a really nice time together. We also have been letting him stay up past bedtime every once in awhile to watch a Rangers game with us (we are big hockey fans). This seems to give him a whole new outlook on life.
    But I can only speak with so much authority because still everytime I tell him I do not like something he does he looks at me and says, "But you still love me right mommy?" SO, maybe I know nothing. :)

  50. I am so there too. Lilla really does love Anna, but oh how the jealousy just comes out. If Anna is anywhere near me she has to butt in between us, cause a big ruckus or tell me I need to carry her. So sad as she looks at me and says, "You have two girls momma." Oh, I just keep telling her I love her, I just need to take care of Anna right now because she's so small and Lilla is my big girl. She still wants to be my little girl in so many ways though...and she is. Just so hard for sure!

  51. Just have to chime in that my J is 3 and she is currently FREQUENTLY a "grumpy old lady in a little 3 y/o body" and she doesn't have a younger sib to be jealouse of. I'm willing to bet that a lot of it is the developmental stage he's at, complicated a bit by Ivy's arrival.

    The fact that you're aware of his mood and the possibility of jealousy means that you're ahead of the game. I say, follow your heart and instincts. You know what's right for your kiddos and what each of their individual personalities requires.

    Wishing you all the best!

  52. Thanks so much for posting this!

    Our 2-year-old is sweet and affectionate and helpful with her new little 2-week-old sister. But I know she's having a hard time adjusting. So much of my time is spent nursing and nurturing my newborn that I sometimes feel like I'm losing touch with my 2-year-old. It's so tough to figure out how to balance my time and affections. I'm sure it will get easier with time...

    Thanks again.

  53. P.S. I love the title of this post. You always come up with the most intriguing titles. :)

  54. I'm there right now and didn't realize it until I read your post. At first I thought it was just the terrible two's. Then I thought perhaps she was just adjusting to having me back home. I was away from her for 6 weeks in the hospital on bed rest. I came home a week before her sister was discharged from the NICU in attempt to make her feel secure before bringing the baby home. Maybe it wasn't enough time. The baby has been home since November and for the most part Rachel had been a great big sister. It's just lately I can see her anger...especially in the way she won't speak to me or her dad or whomever happens to be holding the baby when she returns home from daycare.

    Thank you for posting. Your words have helped more than you know.


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