Second child syndrome

My first child did not prepare me for my second. Regardless of the 3 years of parenting I had up my sleeve, having another child was like being a new parent all over again. I didn’t think about just how attached my children would be to each other, and how hard it might be for my second child to develop his own independence. Everyone says child #2 is always so much more laid back than the first, that 2 kids are easier than one. They’ll play together and keep each other company etc. Who ever said that must have some pretty sweet and chilled little babes. What most people forget to mention is that the second child is usually the first child’s shadow, They follow them around, watching and learning from them..taking in everything about them. They may be their own unique self, but they don’t know who they are without their older sibling. They aren’t sure of who they are yet and the absence of the sibling suddenly feels just as upsetting as dad heading off to work and being gone all day.

Since Willow started school, Ive noticed this is what’s happening with Luka. He’s walking around like a lost little puppy, not really sure what to do now his big sister isn’t home. At first I thought, wow are we onto the terrible two’s already? He’s had more attention and one on one time than ever before, he gets to play with all his sisters things when she’s not home and he’s doted on left, right and centre. Willow being at school meant more meaningful time spent with Luka, more trips to the park, more time for things like baking, playgroups and everything you get to enjoy with the first child. .haha how wrong I was! We’ve been to the park a few times, and everything else is still on the to do list. Our days have been full of temper tantrums, uncontrollable crying, constant cuddles and face time with dad whenever he has a spare moment.

Yesterday I spent an hour on the floor cuddling Luka after he woke from his nap, I wasn’t allowed to move from our spot and I definitely wasn’t allowed to get back to what I was doing before. Eventually I had to get up and carry on with making lunch and getting dinner ready, all while listening to my child scream the house down because he just wanted to be held. It was at this moment that I realised just how hard this new independence is for him. He’s pushing boundaries left, right and centre and needing all the comfort and attention that his sister would usually provide. “No” and “Go away” are the words of the week, and ” Where’s Wah Wah?” is asked constantly. In time, I know that Luka will learn who he is without his sister, and develop his own little personality.. But for now we’ll be over here surviving on caffeine, those much needed 9:30am naps and plenty of cuddles.

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Our Modern Family

 

What makes a “Family”?  We live in a world that is so diverse and different, the idea of family can mean many things. I always felt like a perfect family was mum, dad and the kids. That perfect family with the white picket fence we all dream of having. My idea of family has changed a lot since becoming a mother, so I thought I’d start my first blog post here with the journey of my own little family.

In our household, our family consists of myself, my daughter from a previous relationship, my partner and our son who is 6 months old. We may not be your “traditional” family, but to me our little family is a reminder that there are always second chances in love and life.

Rewind back a few years, I was a new mum living on my own with my wee babe, wondering how I was ever going to get through this parenting journey on my own.  At home, it was just the two of us, but we quickly adapted and developed our own rhythm. We grew together, and I was learning as much from her as she was from me. I learnt to share her, to be away from her when I missed her the most. I learnt to keep a brave face even though I was going through hell . I spent countless nights thinking about how my child might “miss out” because she was having to go between two parents, never experiencing that “family” lifestyle I always hoped she would have. As we grew, I realised that while I was worrying about whether or not I was doing enough for my child, she was such a happy little girl with no idea that she had missed out on anything. She was lucky enough to have two families, two birthdays, two Christmases and twice the amount of love. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it to, sometimes it ends up being far greater than we could ever have imagined it to be. Sometimes we gain so much more from what we feel we have lost.

As time went by, I learnt to let go and completely enjoy raising my daughter and our little family of two. We were never truly on our own, and were lucky to have family members who provided enough love and comfort to keep our hearts happy. Eventually, I met prince charming (down at the pub might I add) and he completely changed my idea of what a family could be. Not only did he take the time to get to know me, he took the time to get to know my daughter. He loved us unconditionally and sacrificed his way of life to fit in with ours.The three of us fit together perfectly, and this year we completed our family with our son.

If someone had told me 3 and a half years ago that I would be a mother of two, happily engaged and living in a blended family, I would never have believed them. Family is Family regardless of titles,roles or bloodline. Most importantly, Family is love.  This has been my biggest lesson since becoming a mother and I only hope to continue to share these lessons with my little ones.