As I am about to venture within the remaining 10 weeks of my pregnancy, I have become consumed with thoughts about my son. It really worries me to think about how he will react to the new baby. He will point to my belly when I ask him, "Where is your baby sister?". He will even want to kiss my belly sometimes. But he can't possibley understand the inevitable truth about what it means when baby comes out.
For almost 2 years, he has been my only child. Attending to him and raising him has been the only job description I have held since he was born. That is all he knows of how this mother/child relationship works. He has my full on sole attention throughout the day. When he asks for my help, he needn't wait more than a few minutes until I complete my task at hand. He is used to being the only occupant of my lap. The relationship and trust that has been established means everything to him AND I.
How is that going to change when I bring home our daughter?
From his point of view, he will say goodbye to mommy and daddy for a day or two and they will come back with a little noisy, attention hogging baby. Another child. Another little being that will be sharing mommy's lap. Will he resent me? Will he demand ALL of my attention? Will he be completely indifferent? My biggest fear is the first reaction. When he stays by his grandparents for a few days, it takes him a while to be affectionate with me again. He will greet me upon pick up, but than continue on playing as if I weren't there at all. If he begins to resent me for bring home a baby sister, and turns from me only to land within his father's arms - I will be heart broken. Thankful that he finds trust and comfort in his daddy, but saddened that he won't want anything to do with me. How long will that take to go away? We will have family here to help make the initial transition smoother - by giving him the same amount of attention that he is used to receiving (if only as a distraction at first to the new baby). They will also attend to the baby in ways they can, so that I can have free time to play with Jax. But when everyone leaves and it's just him, me and baby sister - will he feel adjusted yet? He will have to learn to wait a whole lot longer for my one on one attention. How do I keep it fair to him and have the baby "wait" while I am busy with him?
Demanding my sole attention and rejecting the baby's presence will be just as hard to deal with. Jackson will be just shy of 2, not yet in control of all his body movements - how hard and rough he can be. He knows what "nice touches and gentle means" but babies are extra sensitive. How do I handle nursing the baby when he wants to sit on my lap? Will I be constantly saying, "You can't sit here now, sweetheart. I have to feed your baby sister, we will play after she's all done." Will he feel like I am constantly rejecting him? Already he is being forced to give up over half his time with me and I couldn't bare to think that I would make him feel even more rejected.
From my point of view, I will be saying goodbye to my son on the eve of delivery after spending all my waking moments with only him - and bring back another child who demands all of my attention in a different way - but the only thing that will give, is my time with my son.
Have any of you had this obsessing thought before your second child arrived? I have been reading up on ways to help "prepare" the older sibling and help get them adjusted easily. But in the end - all those suggestions are for older children (3+) There is little references out there for the older siblings who are only 2.
Please give me your encouraging thoughts and experiences on this topic. I could use some good thoughts!