When Jake was born, Aiden was 2 years old. I worried throughout that pregnancy about how Aiden would react to a new little brother. Would he be jealous? Would I be able to balance being mommy to both of them? Everything was going to change, and in some strange way I felt guilty.
It seems so silly now, because Aiden adjusted fine and has loved his little brother since the second he laid eyes on him. They are absolute best friends. Giving him a sibling was a tremendous gift, and of course we can’t imagine it any other way. But Aiden and Jake are very different. Aiden inherited my stubborn streak and independent nature. He’s never particularly been what I would call a “mama’s boy,” and while he definitely needs me, he and Jake need me in very different ways. Aiden needs my guidance, support, love, patience and reassurance, but he slipped into his role as big brother seamlessly. Jake, on the other hand, has been our “baby” for four years. He is a mama’s boy through and through. He is much more sensitive, needy, affectionate, and has relished his place as “the baby” in this family for his entire little life. I worry about him. I feel that same stinging guilt that I felt when I was preparing his big brother for his arrival. Guilt for taking away that title of “the baby.” I worry that he won’t adjust so easily. Although I tell both of my boys all the time, “Even though you’re not a baby anymore, you’ll always be my baby,” I know that the dynamics in our family are about to drastically change and I just don’t know what to expect. (By the way, you can read my “rainbow baby” pregnancy update here if you missed it.)
We’ve talked to Jake about how things will change, and how much the baby will need mommy’s attention. He says he understands and is ok with that. So far he has not expressed any jealousy or apprehension about the upcoming birth of his new sibling. He’s excited — after all, he’s been begging for a baby sibling since he was 2 years old. He talks about how he will help, and he looks forward to singing songs to the baby. He talks to my belly and says, “Hi baby! What are you doin’ in there?” In my heart I know he will be fine. But I still worry. This is an extremely joyous time and we couldn’t be happier or more excited, but there’s still that faint feeling of worry and guilt and fear of change.
One of the things we’ve had to do in preparation for baby’s arrival is make sure that our boys are comfortable and secure and have everything they need at our new house before the baby is born. We’ve worked hard to make their new bedroom at this house as cozy and inviting as their old one. We realized a few months ago that Jake was rapidly outgrowing his sweet little toddler bed that I built, and we knew we would need to budget for a new twin bed, but it kept getting bumped down on our priority list. Things like waterproofing the basement and replacing our upstairs air conditioning came first. As luck would have it, a few weeks ago Chris’ aunt and uncle were looking to get rid of a twin bed. They were kind enough to give it to us — they even delivered it to our house! (Thank you!) So now, I’ll have to make a matching headboard since the one I made for his toddler bed is too small. (I made this one for Aiden’s bed and a matching mini version for Jake.) Here are the beds in their old room:
And here they are in their new room:
I want to make sure that the boys are fully situated and their needs are taken care of before I move full force into nursery mode. I still worry about Jake adjusting to the baby, but I’m not worried about Aiden. He’s got this big brother thing down. He’s a wonderful big brother to Jake, and I know he will be to the baby too. I just hope that Jake can follow his lead and love being a big brother as much as he loves being a little brother. I know everything will be just fine, I guess I’m just having some normal mommy anxiety.
Do you have a “middle child”? How did they adjust to the transition from “baby” to “middle”? I’d love tips or advice!
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