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Losing Mummy

From "Mummies of Many" Series

· managing siblings,parenting tips,motherhood,parenting siblings,siblings

It can be very overwhelming for a toddler or a preschooler to have a new sibling. The older child usually has a natural instinct to love the new baby or at the very least have a great curiosity towards this new member of the family. Yet there typically exists a love-hate relationship. The older child might find the baby ever so adorable and feel a strong sense of responsibility to help the parents take care of his younger sibling, yet at the same time, feels resentment when he sees his parents showering so much attention on the new baby.

After my second son came along, we noticed that my older son kept asking for my attention. He would want to be in the room with me when I nursed the baby, and he would specifically request that I bathe him instead of anybody else. My father commented it was inevitable that my toddler was intentionally seeking my attention. I pointed out that I was doing my best to give him all my attention whenever I can, in between nursing the baby and when the baby was napping. My father then said, "Well, previously he was getting 100% of your attention, even if you are giving him 99% now, he still feels a loss of 1%"

As much as we are doing our best to give our older child all the attention we can while adjusting to a new routine of having another baby, it is inevitable that he may still feel a sense of loss -- losing mummy to the new baby.

When we become more aware of his fear and anxiety arising from this sense of loss, we will be more conscious of his feelings. Hence we can be more intentional in reassuring him of our love. As much as he's no longer a baby, our toddler is still very vulnerable and desires all the love and attention we can give him.

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