Second babies

Katie is having her second baby. Her oldest, Jenny, is still a toddler, a baby to Katie, her baby. Jenny, at 15 months, doesn't know that her world is about to be rocked, changed forever. Katie is a little sad for her: "She will have less attention...... I think she'll be fine. I hope so". We talk a bit. Having a baby sister can be very hard for a toddler. Very attached 2 year olds act out. They have more tantrums in the supermarket. A potty-trained big sibling may, revert. Most big brothers and sisters do really well. Their excitement and their wish to help can carry them a long way, and we all know kids are adaptable. But I think that this kind of concern is usually a bit more about the Mom than it is about the children. One of the best presents you can give your children is a baby brother or sister! Parents know it and kids learn it soon enough. But the loss of the intense one on one relationship with the first child can be very hard. It's never quite as hard again for subsequent children. Mothers usually love all their children uniquely and equally. But there is always only one first child, and that first relationship has a poignancy and one-on-one power that you lose when you have a second child. So I think Katie's tears are mostly about that loss, and it is a sadness.... but a sadness that adds to their love.