I really hate change

One of my biggest worries about possibly trying for a third baby is that it will change the way I love my other two. Because I already love them differently. Not different amounts, but differently. Paul is my baby. My little dude. My snuggler. Margaret is my big kid. I love her imagination and independent play. I love her relative self-sufficiency just as much as I love Paul’s constant need for mama hugs. Would she still be my little baby at almost-four if she was an only child?

Maybe not, but even so, I feel like I gave it up too soon. When she was Paul’s age she was already the “big sister.” (In quotes because Paul wasn’t actually born yet.) I still saw her as my baby, but I knew the days until I’d have a newborn were rapidly slipping away and all the ways in which she’d grown up would be apparent.

I promised myself I’d never be the mother who came home from the hospital with my newborn and said my older kid “looked like a giant now!” She was my first baby. She was only two. I was not going to let her littleness slip through my fingers. I memorized everything about her in the months before having the baby. I noted her size, her weight in my arms. When Paul came home, I took comfort in how Margaret felt the same as she always had. She didn’t grow up overnight. She was still my baby, too.

Two years later, though, she is firmly in the big sister position. She’ll always be the older one. The first to do new things. The one who sets the example.

Who will Paul be? The youngest? The middle child? The one who’s “bigger than the baby”? Or the one who IS the baby? 

Comments

  1. Anna is still my baby at 3.5. I am a tad bit worried about what will happen when a real baby shows up.

    • I think this is the kind of mom I am, too – each child will be my baby long past the time they’re actually a baby. I’m sure Anna will still be your baby even when you have two:)

  2. I admit that I see my kids as “the big kid” and “the baby.” I can’t help it. It’s not that I love them more or less, but definitely differently. I think that’s just the way it is. For me.

  3. I worry about this, too. We only have one for now, but I’m often telling myself to wait a little longer to get pregnant again so my 18 month-old “baby” can have all my attention for a little longer. Although, the second kid will never have the luxury of having me all to themselves so I know that’s completely crazy ….

    • I worry about this too. The middle kid really gets the shaft alone-time wise and I wonder whether it’s fair. But there’s nothing to be done about it, I guess.

  4. Kalena only felt like my baby for a very short time. I’m not sure why, maybe because she was always so independent? I don’t think it would have mattered when Will came along, she’s always seemed like such a “big girl” to me. Will, on the other hand, was my baby for a LONG time. He is just now starting to seem like a big kid to me and Daniel is almost a year old.

    Loving kids is an interesting thing. I love Kalena and Will differently, as you said, not different amounts, just differently. I expected that when Daniel got here I would just love him differently as well. And while I do, he also makes me love my other kids more. He is the first of my kids to make me feel just downright sappy about how much I love them all.