These are photos from when Julian was 4 weeks old. He's 6 weeks old today--which should indicate just how busy it is around here and how hard it is for me to get a few minutes on the computer!
Whenever I get the frantic, frazzled feeling that I am becoming overwhelmed with motherhood, I remember the line in "It's a Wonderful Life" when George Bailey (James Stewart) says to his wife, "What did we have all these kids for anyway?". Then I return to my 'parenting manual' for some advice and words of comfort.
In the nuclear family there is only one of each parent. The moment
there is another child, the scarcity of adult caregivers often creates
tension. Competition and self-doubt make themselves at home as though they
came attached to the new child. Who is better and who gets more
attention and love becomes the measure of one's worth. The challenge of
sibling rivalries is not a bad situation to be avoided, simply one to be aware
of, so it can provide an opportunity for growing and not for wilting. The
key to empowering your child in the face of a new sibling is your awareness of
her possible experience and your ability to stay connected and delighted with
Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves, p. 235
So yes, I acknowledge that there is some competition at our house. Mostly it involves Jasmine who always seems to need me whenever I need to nurse Julian. I try to draw her to me as often as I can. Sometimes I can see that Holly is suffering from a lack of personal time with Mommy, but what's great about Holly is that she asserts her needs very well, and she even says
"I want to be alone with you again sometime soon." I do worry about Anna, who tends to be more aloof and less demanding than her sisters. It would be easy to take for granted that she just needs less attention, but I don't want her to feel that she is being pushed away or forgotten. After all, she has had to accept new siblings three times already. Sometimes she is a hard nut to crack and I have to remember to make an extra effort to make sure she knows she is loved and valued and appreciated.
photo credit: Julie Jay (again)