Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And Then There Were Four

Dear Abbey,

I am completely enamored with your little face (which happens to have a mouth full of cheese in this picture). You've been getting away with a little bit lately. I just feel like I should spoil you and apologize to you for how your world is going to be rocked in the next few weeks. My 'Parents As Teachers' lady gave me a pamphlet last week on what older siblings go through when a new baby is born. As I glanced down the list of 'Abandonement, Resentment, Loneliness' my eyes started tearing up.

I know it is normal. I know you'll be fine. In fact, I think it is sad when kids don't have siblings. And you are a particularly social kid and become almost giddy when you see babies. But I regret the inevitable transition feelings. And while I can hardly wait to welcome this new baby into our family, a part of me is going to miss this thing we have going. Daddy's school has been demanding and it's just been you and me a lot of days and nights. That dynamic is going to change and it makes me sentimental.

I was talking to a friend about this concern last week. She said something to the effect that even though she couldn't give her oldest all the attention he had been used to, she felt there was even more love to go around when they had their second. More because he had the love of his younger brother now as well. They say a mother's love grows and grows with each additional child but I hadn't thought of the love you and your sister will have for each other.

I hope the feelings of abandonement and loneliness are shortlived. I hope you step into the special role of 'big sister' naturally. I hope you are a good example and show her respect as she will be looking up to you. You sure are lucky little girls.

Love, Mom


kelly said...

Ashley, I felt exactly this way when I was about to give birth to number 2. I told my husband that I felt like I was cheating on Josh by having another baby. When the new baby was old enough to recognize our faces, I had a wonderful realization, and I'm going to share it with you now.
The new baby was just another member of Josh's fan club. It was another person that adored him and smiled and laughed at his antics.

I cried and cried whenever I thought about how the new baby would make my precious boy feel displaced, but he never really did. I'm sure you've read all the tricks to help with the transition, so you're prepared.

I loved reading your thoughts on this, though. Took me right back to that time in my life. Sweet sadness. Great memory.

Jill said...

I felt the same way before I had Grant, I would just look at Alyssa and think I am so so sorry! When Grant first came you could tell it was hard on her. Now they are best friends. I watch them play and have fun, I watch her randomly hug or kiss him, and it is just so worth it.

Now that I am waiting on #3 I feel the same way with Grant, he is use to being my baby, and I feel really bad knowing it will probably be hard for him at first. Then I think of him and Alyssa playing with their new brother and I am really excited for it.

val said...

Such a sweet post. I'm sure Abbey will do great with her new baby sister but you're right things will be different. No more just you and her. I hear your love just multiplies and that's good.

Allison & Noah Riley said...

You are such a great mom. Abbey and Hayden are so lucky to have you :).

(I hope you keep her name "Hayden" so she doesn't get confused someday by reading this... "Hey Ashley, who do you have there?" "Matthew.")

Ashley said...

"Baby Matthew" Ha ha. Unless J has a sudden change of heart and lets me go with 'Ruthie', I don't think there's any changes.

Erin said...

Oh Ashley, you have such a way with words. I totally feel what you're saying. I hope she is able to take the transition easily. And it is kindof bittersweet to see one chapter of life close, even though the next chapter is so exciting. Abbey is such a sweetie, I'm sure she will be a great big sis. :) Love, Erin

twoderful days said...

Oh Ashley, you made me cry! These are the same feelings that I have when I think of having another baby. We can't wait for another to join our family, but at the same time I don't want things to change between Mason and I. I know things only get better, but it is hard to believe when things are pretty perfect at the moment.

twoderful days said...

You've chosen the name Hayden? Love it!

allegra said...

you trickster. with your title you got me excited hoping new baby #2 pictures were following.. but it's coming up soon enough.

what a sweet post. abbey will love her little sis'. no worries

Chelsea said...

what a sweet post...I got teary eyed myself. I've always wondered if my girls have missed out on the one on one with just me...but it is totally worth whatever they "might" have missed out on to have what they do with each other! Nothing is better than watching them love each other which you will see soon! Good luck and its okay and totally normal to feel a little sad:)

Rachel said...

OK, today is the day your mom-in-law said the baby would come... so? Is she here.. we are all awaiting the new arrival with accompanying pictures :) Hope your doing well.

Melissa said...

I felt like there would be no way that I would have the capacity to love my 2nd like I did my 1st, but your abilities truly do double and you will love it.
Make sure you include Abbey in everything, from changing the new babe's diapers to swaddling and feeding her. Make sure you don't shew her away, but turn her into your best little helper and she will feel like she is bonding with you. Good luck! You'll do great!