Last week, my friend and I took the kids to the park. They hadn’t aeen each other since school ended 3 weeks ago and I wanted to talk to an adult other than my mom. It was a nice little time despite a couple of get aways and meltdowns by her youngest son, who I adore!
As we were heading out of the park,my friend starts telling me what a difficult time I’m going to have with Amani once Avery comes. I say to her that Amani understands that Avery will require more of my time because he can’t do anything on his own. My friend says” You spoil her with your affection and after the baby,you will be so exhausted from caring for Avery you wont be kissing on her so much. Plus,she is hitting those puberty years and there will be way more attitude from her. Girl, I know what I’m talking about,I have 7 children”
My friend does have seven kids ranging from 2 years old to 20 years old. Which means there are a few age gaps between her oldest ones(17 and 20) and her youngest ones (4 and 2). I thought about how much extra affection I have been showing Amani since telling her about Avery’s arrival. I waa doing that because I want to constantly remind her that she is my firstborn,she holds a special place in my heart,and that I will love her the same no matter how many more children I have. It really broke my heart to consider that she would ever think I don’t live her as much because I have other babies. Im sure my friend was simply trying to prepare me for the reality of the dynamic between Amani and Avery but she just made me scared and sad.
Amani and I have discussed what a healthy sibling relationship is and she has witnessed it between myself and my youngest brother,who is 20 years old. My friend’s comment made me recall qhen I initially told Amani I was pregnant, she waa very upset and cried. It took me some time to convince her that this was a blessing. She is excited now and enjoys hearinf how Avery is developing month by month. She is also looking forward to the gender reveal at the end of the month.
I’m appealing to you,dear readers with more than one child and significant age gaps between children, how do you handle the gap and keep your relationships with the older children healthy? How do you remind your firstborn that they are still important to you?