Hard, But Worth It

Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings — their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I remember towards the end of my pregnancy with Twig, I absolutely freaked out about what I was doing. How could I possibly be having another baby? How was this fair to Peanut? Was this going to ruin our relationship? Was I going to go crazy?

Obviously, by that point there was no turning back. And I’m happy that I couldn’t change my mind like that because the moment Twig was born, I was so happy not only for my new baby, but for giving my new “big girl” her little sister.

Sure, there are still times when I wonder what in the world I was thinking, but in the end I’m always happy that I have two children instead of one.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being an only child, but there certain things you just don’t get from not having a sibling. You don’t get that constant playmate. From the beginning, Twig has adored Peanut. When Peanut was a baby I could never leave the room without her or I would face her wrath. Twig though, so long as sister stayed, she was mostly good. Of course it was only for a moment, but I could go one room away to put the laundry away without picking up the baby.

With one child, silence is bad. If you don’t hear your child then they’ve probably found a marker to draw all over the wall with or figured out how to get their poopy diaper off by themselves. With two though, silence is often great. As early as 6 months after Twig was born, I would find them together playing happily. Peanut would be playing peek-a-boo or showing her a toy. And even before that, as early as 2 months, they would play together in the tub. Peanut has always been Twig’s favorite person, making her laugh (when no one could) and playing with her. It’s been amazing to watch, both on the side of Peanut being the big sister and Twig loving her big sister.

On the flip side, there are difficulties that siblings experience and only children don’t. Lately, they’ve been driving me crazy with their arguing. Now that Twig is 18 months old, she’s much more grabby. Peanut doesn’t react well and generally starts grabbing things back from her, which ends in Twig melting down. Or Peanut gets bossy with Twig and that ends with Twig in tears. One second they’re happily playing together and the next either one or both is running to me crying. We’ve had lots of talks and we’ll get through it, but I have a feeling this is just the beginning of their arguing.

And then there’s the copying. Twig loves to do everything that Peanut does, even when it’s completely out of her ability (and threatening serious injury). Or even when I’m asking Peanut not to do something (thought the opposite often works and if I ask Peanut to come to me when I really want Twig, Twig follows her). Or when Twig is climbing on me because she’s feeling insecure, suddenly Peanut starts to feel insecure too and copies every move that Twig makes. It’s pretty difficult to handle two children climbing and trying to cuddle on you at the same time without dropping one, let alone if I had anything else in my hands when they started.

There’s definitely good and bad when it comes to having siblings. Some days I’m so frustrated that I wish I could sell them both. Sometimes I’m so happy that it makes me want to have 5 more (don’t worry, I’ll never actually do that!). All in all, I’m happy that we decided to give Peanut a sibling. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely always worth it.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
  • Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
  • Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
  • Baby Brother born from an OceanAbby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister’s new baby.
  • Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it’s definitely worth it.
  • Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
  • It’s Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life’s twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
  • Supportsustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband’s have affected their family and at a time of need.
  • Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
  • Lessening the competitive enviornment in the homeLisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
  • The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that’s maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
  • 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
  • 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
  • Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins’ sibling bond.
  • Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
  • Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
  • Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children’s relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
  • Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
  • For My One and Only DaughterPlaying for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
  • Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
  • The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
  • Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen‘s children didn’t start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
  • Don’t Seek What Isn’t There – On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.
  • Sibling Love / Sibling Hate?Momma Jorje speculates whether her children will have a different sibling experience than her own. Did she make the right choices based on her own history?

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7 thoughts on “Hard, But Worth It

  1. I’ve jokingly told my husband that I’m going to return our son to his manufacturer. It gets more comical as he gets older (and bigger).

    I really like the point about how silence with two is golden, unless of course it’s shortly followed by tears!!

  2. You’ve described so well the same experiences we’re having with the highs and lows of having two! It’s special to see them interact … and then sometimes not so much. ;) And I had that same panic that I’d ruined our older child’s life by bringing in this newborn. But I’m so, so glad now we have them both and that they have each other.

  3. I could have written your post almost word for word :) Kieran and Ailia sound so similar to your two – it has been one of the greatest joys in my life watching them together. We’re thinking about whether we’d like to try for a third, and I’m torn – do I want to have another to experience this awesomeness all over again, or will a third mess up our balance?!
    ~Dionna @ CodeNameMama.com

  4. It sounds like your littles are definitely on the happy end of “normal.” :)
    My DS thinks the sun rises and sets on his sister, but she is usually screaming and running away from (or pushing) him.

  5. I love your honesty–”Some days I’m so frustrated that I wish I could sell them both.” I know the feeling! Seeing your children grow in relation to each other is a perplexing joy, and one you’ve captured beautifully here.

  6. Thanks for this! I felt the same panic during my second pregnancy, especially worries about how my relationship with my older would change. Just barely leaving the newborn stage now, it’s exciting and scary that this huge new kind of relationship awaits my two!! Great to hear about yours.

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