David and I always wanted to have more than one child, and we were lucky enough to have that become a reality. When I was pregnant with Reese, I didn’t give much thought to the inevitability of having two children until the last few weeks.
I started to get emotional about the thought of ‘replacing’ Finn, or having to split my time with my children. I worried I wouldn’t feel the same way about Reese that I did with Finn. I worried I wouldn’t be a good mother to a little girl, because all I knew was being a boy mom. I worried that Finn would be jealous, or confused, or left out.
When Reese was born, a sense of calm swept over me. I remember telling David how at peace I felt. It was completely different than when I had Finn. I knew what I was doing this time, and I knew what to expect.
The reality is, going from zero to one baby is FAR harder than going from one to two.
The First Few Weeks
I decided to keep Finn home with me in the month after Reese’s birth. There were several reasons for this. 1.) Between the holidays and having family visit, I’d be keeping Finn home from daycare more than having him go, so it didn’t make sense financially. 2.) The reality was, I hadn’t spent more than a week at a time with Finn since my maternity leave with him, and that didn’t sit well with me. And 3.) I just like spending time with him. He’s a cool kid.
I had a week at home with Reese before Finn joined us, which was perfect. However, my hormones started to kick in and I wept for my time with Finn. Weepiness is a symptom of just having a baby and it hit me hard! It was perfect that he was going to stay with me, because I don’t think my tear ducts could’ve handled anymore separation.
Reese was a pretty chill newborn, and because of this, I was able to dote on her and Finn in those first few weeks.
How Finn Has Adjusted
I had nothing to worry about with Finn. He is the absolute best big brother. He helps me change Reese’s diaper, gives her his toys when she cries, kisses her on the head repeatedly, and calls her “My Reese”.
Finn doesn’t like to be too far away either. When I nurse Reese, we read books or do puzzles, or just cuddle and watch TV.
I also made sure to do one thing each day just for him. Sometimes we would get out of the house and go to the library or the park. Other days I set up an obstacle course in the basement so he could run wild. Having Reese made me want to be more intentional with my time with Finn, and it has been super special.
Other Tips For Older Siblings
My main goal with Finn is to help him feel included and like he is doing a good job helping with Reese. I try not to scold him if he gets a little rough with his love, but instead remind him to be gentle. We remind him to give her kisses on the top of her head or on her feet (especially now that he is back in daycare with all those germs).
Reese has been a pretty chill baby, but in those moments when she needs me and Finn needs me, I try to help Finn first, just because I know he will remember it. Not to say I neglect Reese in those moments, but I will grab Finn a glass of water or milk before I sit down to feed Reese just so he doesn’t feel left out.
Lastly, whenever Finn wants to ‘hold’ Reese, I let him. I want to foster the relationship the two of them have, and Finn feels so important when he holds her, so why would I say no?!
All in all, the last two months have been so much easier than I thought they would be. I truly can’t believe how different I feel this time around.