Have you ever heard young adults argue over who was Mom’s favorite? If you ever sit in a room with me and my two siblings then you will hear us debate back and forth about this constantly. My mother always gets upset because I’m her mind there is no such thing as favorites. Although all three of us are over 20, it can still be a humorous debate to be a part of.
Often you hear about middle child syndrome, where the middle child often feels forgotten between the first and the baby. For myself, as a mother of two, with no intentions of having a third, my biggest balancing act is ensuring that my bigger baby does not feel neglected by my little baby.
For four years, my son Jayden held all the attention. He was the focus for both mom, dad, and the grandparents. Everything revolves around Jay. When he first learned he was going to a brother to a little sister, he wasn’t too excited. He insisted that she would not be able to play with any of his stuff, be in his room, or have anything he considered his. Once she was here, although he stepped into his big brother role very quickly, he still tried his hardest to ensure he had moments that were just about Jayden. When people would ask him about me he would respond, “oh she’s with Jurni”. There was a jealousy and love mix going on there.
I remembered exactly how my son felt because I too was an only child for five years before I had to share the spotlight. I loved my sister and resented her all at the same time because I no longer had everyone to myself.
Knowing how I felt as a child, I try my hardest to make sure I split my time with my kids equally or do activities that both of them can share in. By participating in group family activities, I try to ensure neither child feels left out. When we cuddle and watch movies, I keep one on either side and I choose movies that I believe they both will enjoy.
Jurni is EBF, which has made her pretty clingy and generally you can find her attached to my every move so it’s understandable that Jay craves his alone time. Mommy and son grocery trips or food runs allows us to have time to talk just me and him without distraction. He often cooks with me or helps me with my dessert business and he enjoys this quality time.
MIT is true my daughter is my newest little baby and I am enjoying every moment with her but my big baby never has to worry about me playing favorites. His five year old milestones are just as important as her one year milestones. By creating balance with the two of them, my goal is to promote a healthy sibling relationship that doesn’t influence resentment or jealousy between the two as they both fight for mommies time and attention.
For mothers of two or more, what tips work for you when creating balance for your kids?