Dear first born,
In a few days, a new baby will be at our house. In the past months, we have talked about his coming arrival. You have heard us talk about how baby brother will be so tiny. He will cry sometimes. He can’t eat the same food you eat or drink the same milk you drink. We have tried to prepare you for what is about to happen. You have excitedly answered people that you are having a baby brother and that you are going to be a great big sister. In reality, I’m not sure anything that we do or have done can prepare you for how your life is about to change. While I know that giving you a sibling to grow up with is one of the greatest things we can give you (I know this because I can’t imagine my life without my siblings) there are some things that I want you to know before your baby brother is born.
* Even though we planned, prayed and hoped to be blessed with your brother, I felt immediate guilt when I found out I was pregnant.
I knew that having another baby would change your world drastically. We had a system down. You had my undivided attention. And even through my pregnancy, you had a little less of a mom than you were used to.
* You were my little buddy for two years and I hope that never changes.
I am your mom first and then your friend. That is how our relationship will work. But for two years, we went everywhere together. You were my shopping buddy, my errand running partner, and my conversation throughout the day. We played, did work, did our chores, and did life just the two of us. Baby brother will join us in this party now, but I do hope there will be times where we can relive the times of just you and me, hanging out together.
* You taught me how to be a mom.
As much as you will grow up thinking that I’m just your mom and that’s who I am, I really had no idea what I was doing at first. You taught me that no matter what the books say about things there are times when you have to scrap it all and just hold your baby for as long as they need to be held and realize that they won’t be 15 years old and still being held through nap time. You taught me that everyone has an opinion about what I should be doing but that I know you and need to trust what I know. You taught me more about love than any person or thing could ever teach me. You taught me that so many things that I thought were important for so long just really don’t matter when there are little eyes looking at you just wanting you to play Ring Around the Rosie. You taught me that even though I know you’re okay, I’m still going to hug you and give validation to the fact that you are sad that you fell down and just really need to be held, even if it does make you a sensitive person. (What’s so wrong with being sensitive anyway?) You taught me so much about myself that I didn’t already know and you will continue to teach me as we go through life stages together.
* Even though my attention will be divided, my love for you won’t.
Yes, you will get a little less of my attention than you were used to. Yes, your dad and I might not be able to both sit in your room for 30-45 minutes every night as we put you to bed. For a while our lives will be in survival mode and we’ll have to figure out what our normal is with our new family of four. But our hearts won’t be divided, our hearts will get bigger with each child we have and we will have more and more love in our home than we could possibly imagine.
I know that life is about to turn upside down. You can’t possibly comprehend the difference that something so small will make in our lives. I know that it will be hard for you to remember what life was like before your little brother came along. It will be hard for your dad and I to remember that as well, but for a few short years, you had my undivided attention, my world revolved around you, my day started and ended with your sweet little face. I cherish those years and can’t wait to see you be the best big sister around.