I remember the way that we always locked eyes whenever I fed him a bottle.
As I look down at my growing belly, I wonder if I will look at the new baby the same way. If so, will my first born be able to pick up on that connection and hold it against me?
The relationships that I have kept in my life have always meant more to me than all the money in the world. Being a work from home mom since pretty much the moment my son was born made my relationship with him that much stronger.
Yes, there were days when I would frantically hand him off to my husband as soon as he got home from work, just so I could take a freaking shower. And yes, I had no problem sending him off to kindergarten when the time came, as I knew how important that independence was for him.
But there is absolutely nothing that compares to the relationship I have with my little mama’s boy.
We do our best as parents — but there is no plan or prediction that can determine how our relationships with our children will be, grow, and change throughout the course of our lives.
Fast forward seven years later and we have a new little bundle on the way. As excited as we are as a family, we all know that things will change. I can’t help but admit that a part of me is nervous about how that change will affect my relationship with my son.
I’m doing everything that I can to prepare him for this change and let him know how important he will always be (just that now he has to share the limelight with someone new). And we've kept him involved in the planning process, of course.
But when our new little one gets here, how will things actually change?
I remember the way that we always locked eyes whenever I fed him a bottle. Now, the same thing happens whenever he morphs into what my husband and I call “baby mode” and we have moments filled with cuddles. As I look down at my growing belly, I have to wonder if I will look at the new baby the same way. If so, will my first born be able to pick up on the connection and hold it against me?
We do our best as parents — but there is no plan or prediction that can determine how our relationships with our children will be, grow, and change throughout the course of our lives. That is one of the most unpredictable things in parenthood. I don’t want what we have to change, yet part of me knows that it will — and I’m trying to be OK with that.
Here are a few ways I’m working towards keeping this relationship strong:
1. We’re making memories together.
Even though I’m pregnant, I’m not letting that hold me back from doing all the things that we love to do together.
Whether it is bedtime stories or rock climbing on the weekend (I only observe, these days) — we're keeping the memories coming!
2. We’re making sure to include him in as much planning as possible for the new baby.
We’re not shutting him out of any part of preparing for the new baby. He gets to help pick things out, set things up, and get our home generally prepared.
This is also helping him understand how much work a new baby actually is.
3. We’re working on a “baby project.”
When I was pregnant with him, my project was a scrapbook that was pre-made, ready for pictures from each month and special occasions.
Now we are making a new one, together.
4. We will have special one-on-one time after the baby gets here.
This, beyond everything else, is super important.
Even after the baby has arrived, my son needs to know how important he is — separately from the baby. So we will continue all those mommy or daddy “dates” with our firstborn.