A newborn takes so much of your time and attention, all day, every day. Thank goodness for Dads and family members who can help to balance that with the older siblings and give them some extra time and attention. But, us moms still sometimes feel that guilt that we aren’t giving enough attention to the older ones, right? And it’s not that we aren’t but that we really can’t at times even though we really want to.
I was asked to join a moms group and we’ve met twice recently. Making a commitment to meet, even for a couple hours on a Monday night is so good for the soul. I was so relieved to hear others express the same mom guilt I have been feeling, and particularly toward the middle child recently.
I have read Austin Mom’s Blog and different quotes from this one particular blog have resurfaced in my brain and rings through my head almost daily, it seems, since I have had my third baby. She talks about guilt among everything else going on in this phase of life right now. This writer nailed it. If you are a new mom, you have probably read it from a shared link on Facebook. “You’re going to have to lower your expectations and then you’re probably going to have to lower them again.” If you haven’t read this or as a good reminder- here is the link:
So, the middle child… In my circumstance right now, there’s baby hogging most of my attention, I have little left to share some days. And then there’s older brother who is at an age of hitting some major milestones and flourishing. He is starting an organized sport for the first time, turning 5 years old, going to many classmates birthday parties, graduating from Pre-K and starting Kindergarten at a new school in the fall. It has been heavy on my mind to make sure Deacon, our middle child, gets direct attention too.
While I feel the guilt, I am hopeful that he is completely oblivious. Don’t we always feel that way? Like even though baby takes so much of my time, how much are the other siblings really noticing for this short phase in their young life? And to try to ensure that he remains oblivious or at least to try to minimize the impact of his mom-hogging baby brother or super busy older brother, I have done a few things recently to just focus on Deacon.
While Hunter and Daddy go to baseball practice, I try my hardest to get Wyatt down to sleep and focus on Deacon, just me and him for a whole hour to 90 minutes. It is our only one-on-one time and while we don’t need to go anywhere during this time, we can spend it reading (he loves books so much), playing a game, cooking, or like this morning, dancing and just being goofy while “excercising”. I let Deacon play airplane, in the air balanced on my feet for as long as he liked, we did the Hot-dog dance, I swung him in circles till we got dizzy and just had fun playing in the living room. And it felt good to act a 3 year old for a bit.
Last week we got to make pizza which is always a hit with him. He enjoys cooking with me and really wants to help with the ingredients. I know most kiddos love this but being able to do it without brother helping too is special. Deacon made his Dad’s entire pizza, and ate half the cheese and pepperoni! 😉
I also bought this book that I’d like to share. I don’t really know anything about Veggietales so that was certainly not the draw, but the purpose of this book really sold me on it. While I’ll likely read this to both older boys, maybe Deacon and I can spend time reading and discussing some topics too. Again, he loves reading and especially when he can sit on my lap. Here’s an example page of the book too. Important topics are discussed like making friends, good manners, anything is possible, teamwork, and so on.
In addition to the things that I am doing, believe me, Deacon is no where near deprived or without attention at home. Josh does a great job spending quality time playing baseball and practicing with both boys of course, not just the one on a team. I know they really, really love that. It hard to explain to a 3 year old though that he can’t play on a team like big brother until he is 5, in 2 years.
And Hunter and Deacon play all of the time together at home and have all of the same interests in trucks, cars, games, etc… again, its not like the middle child is starving for attention but I am talking about Mom guilt here. The transition from our life with two buddies at 3 and 4 years old to our life with a newborn in the house and 3 boys 5 and under is going well so far but it is a big adjustment for all of us. I’d like to do what I can to ensure it continues to go well. Because, of course I’ll be going back to work soon and we will all have to meet that additional challenge and big adjustment for our family of five.
So, tell me, what else do you do or have you done as a mom to divide your time? What works well to help with transitions and the adjustment period? Please let me know, share your ideas here too. ❤
As always, thanks for reading.