Sunday, July 15, 2007

On accepting a new person at home...

Before I had my second child I was very curious to see her. Just imagining how she would look made me very curious to actually see her. Would she be similar to my son in her looks, her temperament? I was also very curious to see how my son would react to her arrival. I was worried sick for months as to how he will handle my being away at the hospital and if he would create a huge fuss and cry loudly at the hospital when he visited me. Miraculously, he behaved so well and accepted my being away for two days despite never having been away from me for more than a few hours. But when he came to visit me at the hospital his reaction to the new baby was cool indifference. He just took a cursory glance at her, was mildly curious but he moved on to focusing on his mamma...he would come and sit right next to me in the bed for the whole hour and half he spent in the hospital room.
The morning after baby girl's birth, the nurse came to check her vitals. A very experienced older nurse, she was pleasant and asked me about my family and how the older one was taking to the arrival of the new baby. When I told her about his reaction and how I worried if he would be violent with her or would be very cranky from the sudden shift in my attention, she told me this: "Well, some one told me, you know - how would you feel if your husband brought home another wife and told you you had to accept it?!". Goodness - I didn't need that analogy to drive home the point. But it certainly did. Is that how bad it feels for him to share my time and attention (or his dad or grandma) with another new baby at home? Every time he gets cranky these days I tell myself I have to be understanding and be patient. I try, I really do. I spend all my free time with him what ever little there is of it. Even when I check my mails quickly or sit down to have my cereal in the morning, I ask him to sit right next to me and I am always engaging him in conversation. I make it a point to take him for a walk or to the park for him to play in the evenings. We make sure to take him on some outing on weekends. Every effort is being made in my opinion to make him feel secure. So when evening time comes and my husband has not yet returned from work, if my son acts cranky and does crazy things (like bring a sippy cup with Gatorade and reach up the crib and drop it in while I am stuck in position nursing the little one) - I just lose it. I feel angry that I am making every effort to not make him feel left out and yet he is demanding more of my attention. For those few seconds when I am driven to the edge I forget that he is still a child and that he is being incredibly generous in fact in how affectionate he is with his little sister and how accepting he is of her. All he wants is my love and attention and a constant reassurance that that hasn't changed. When things have calmed down and dinner has been fed and baby girl has gone to bed, I sit with him for an hour before he goes to bed. He used to run around the house playing kick the ball with his father during that time normally. But these days all he wants to do is to just soak up my free time and sit on my lap and hear me sing his favorite songs and wait me to ask "Appram yenna?" (what next?) and he will tell me the beginning words of the next line in the song. Those moments are just so precious and I feel so much at peace then. Until the next day...
For now I tell myself the only way to deal with all this is day by day....

16 comments:

Something to Say said...

wow what an analogy the old nurse had. but atleast you are aware and making the effort to give him all the time you possibly can. Cant remember our parents everdoing that. I was the older child - and by that logic alone - I HAD to understand - that mommy was busy with the second one.

30in2005 said...

Noon, You are SO THE MOM!! There's two lucky kids....

noon said...

sts - yeah I do make the effort. And I know what you mean - I come from a family of six - no way my mom could have done anything like this. Even I am not really able to!

30in2005 - you won't say that when you see me losing my patience and yelling at my son and at night even at my infant daughter when she refuses to fall asleep!

utbtkids said...

Hey, you are doing great. If it is hard on the older sibling, it is much much harder on the mom. Not that the kids are manipulative(at this age, later they definiely are :) ), they know the right things to say/do to make you kill yourself with guilt. Its okay to loose patince every now an then, after all we are human too.

noon said...

Hi UTBT, I won't deny that - it is much much harder on the mom. Goodness I don't know how my mom raised six kids. The first five were a pack and then seven yrs later me. Goodness where did she find the patience when I came along I don't know. I would have been soo done by then! :)
I could definitely be more patient but I have come to accept now that this is me and my kids have to learn to accept it - that I do lose my patience but I try to make up for it with as much affection and time for them!

~nm said...

That analogy did hit me hard too!

But you know reading yours and other moms with two kids gives me such conifence and faith in myself that I can do it too! :D I mean not producing 2 babies but managing them well :D

I'm learning from all of you!

Terri said...

All I can say is, "Wow!" How do you guys manage so admirably with two little ones? Hats off to all you young mums.

noon said...

nm - well I can't say I am managing well - just managing - there is no choice but to manage! Hoping that the kids will be friends always and make it worth all the hard work for the parents to have two children! :)

Terri - What's mom talking about - she is the swinging cool mom of two lovely kids and a beautiful dog too! Goodness I can't imagine taking care of three kids!

rbdans said...

Noon, we all lose it at times, bottom line is you are doing as much as you can.
Inspite of D going to day care and H working from home most of the time, I get my moments. Also, H being the listener kind, most of my anger gets targeted towards him :)
I can only imagine what you are going through with 2 kids at home.
Pat yourself girl, you are doing great!

Just Like That said...

well.... that analogy was a bit too steep, wasn't it? B

ut yeah, guess it is difficult in the initial days, for him and for you.. but soon, he'll have a playmate much better than his mom, and then things ought to be hunky dory, till the fights start... ;P

Rohini said...

Hey relax. Like many others before me have already said, we all lose it sometimes. Heck i lose it with much less excuse than you - only one kid and don't spend all day with him...

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

WOW ... The old nurse analogy indeed has hit me hard !
But you are putting your best efforts to spend quality time with the older one ... he sure will appreciate that !

noon said...

RBdans - you are going thro a similar thing..managing two kids. I debated so much if I should put the older one in half day pre school but decided to wait till he is 2.5 yrs old. I wonder if I made the right decision...

JTL - it better better better be hunky dory after the initial difficult years! I am going to get them to sign and give me that they will be friends always! :)

Rohini - yeah we all lose it at times..still feels bad when directed towards a young baby...

CA - he may not appreicate it - but I keep hoping he does...

Swati said...

tagged you for Indian writing.

noon said...

Swati - thanks - I will post about it hopefully in the next week or so! :) Problem also is some of my favorite books are completely missing - made the mistake of lending them to people! And also when we moved some of them got retained in boxes - have ot track them down. I would like to look at my fav books one more time before posting about them - if not will give a sketchy idea...

Mystic Margarita said...

Noon, you've been tagged! :)