Will My Child Struggle When The New Baby Arrives?
During my first pregnancy, the focus was always on the things I had to pick up and complete by my due date. I had list after list and I felt calmer knowing that things were coming together.
I focused very little on anything postnatal and looked at the birth, in some strange way, as the endpoint. Giving birth was the target. It’s where I had to get myself to safely and with all of my to-do lists done.
Subsequent pregnancies seem to be the very opposite. I am currently pregnant on baby number two and with five years between these pregnancies, I cannot believe how different it feels. This time all of my focus is concerned with how things will be postnatal. I think less about the birth and more about what follows after it - life with a new baby. A new baby that we will welcome into our happy little home.
I find myself worrying hugely about how the change will impact my relationship with my current son. As it turns out I’m not alone in feeling this way.
Nobody knows how things will pan out exactly. So much of life is based on variables and it’s all relative to each person but I think change is a given when it comes to welcoming a second or subsequent baby into your family home. Change is a theme which tends to run through parenting in general. It just changes everything. It changes how you see the world, how you communicate with people and what you deem to be important.
Then you kind of adjust to the change, find your groove and realise that, actually, you are doing a pretty good job around these parts. As I experience my third trimester of this new pregnancy I find myself worrying less about myself, the baby and my husband and more about the way life is about to change for my little boy.
He’s almost five and he’s excited but does he have any tangible idea about how day to day life is going to change? It fills me with anxiety and it’s a real struggle in these later weeks of pregnancy.
If my own personality is anything to go by I think it’s nice to have a bit of a heads up about change. When you are dealing with a four or five-year-old there really is a thin line that you don’t want to cross. I want to inject little snippets of information into his little world as often as I can but without overwhelming him completely. While it’s important to prepare him for the change it’s also important to me that he knows that the fundamentals in his life will not change. He will always have my love and support but I struggle to accept that time will be a different story. I know I will have less time and I’m trying to make peace with that.
I’ve spoken to so many friends who have been in this position and there does not seem to be any secret method to make it all run smoothly. Instead, I am reminded that it’s quality over quantity when it comes to my time. I imagine myself ditching the laundry in favour of doing a puzzle or having a little chat with my little man if Baby is sleeping. I imagine, just like the first time around, so much of what I consider to be important now will feel very different in a couple of weeks.
I’m expecting a bit of a struggle. It’s been just us three for five years now. We’re having daily reminders that he is still the baby and sometimes he doesn’t want to talk about the baby (there was also the unfortunate incident of him attending a scan with me and being totally freaked out by it).
He’s still in our bed a lot of the time and I’m having to gently remind him, when it feels right, that the baby will get its milk from Mammy just like he did (he’s still physically attached although hasn’t fed for almost three years). And in the midst of all of the anxiety, I’m trying to soak up these last few weeks before three becomes four and remind myself, as often as I can, that we are giving him the biggest gift in life because I can’t lose sight of that.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.