Big Sister Blues

My seven year old has been in “Big Sister” mode ever since she found out I was pregnant. She’s weighed in on decor, inspected every item of clothing, and made a birthday card that read “Happy 5th Birthday, Baby!” As to why she skipped birthdays one – four, I have no idea.

E’s enthusiasm remained steady after little sister arrived. She volunteers to help with diaper changes and baths, and she’s ready to entertain whenever the baby is awake.

I’ve come to rely on her excitement and independence. Perhaps a little too much. I’m still working on balancing the needs of a school-age kid and a newborn.

Last night, my eldest made that all to clear. After pouting though most of the evening, I asked her what was bothering her:

“A is more important than me.”

I know such feelings are normal when a new baby comes home, but I was completely caught off guard.

“Why do you feel that way?” I asked?

“You only take care of me when it’s time for dinner. You’re with A all the time.”

I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer for inspiration. The Cosby Show came to mind.

We talked about how the baby can’t do things like get dressed or feed
herself, but that E can. She knows how to choose outfits for school, make her own bed, and pour cereal for breakfast. These were things she couldn’t do when she was younger. So she needed my help then, just like A needs my help now. Needing me less doesn’t mean I love less. It just means she’s growing up.

“Yah Seven!” (Cosby Show Reference)

E feels better, but I’m not sure I do. I know it will take time for me to get the hang of things. I will try not to beat myself up too much. The baby’s doing enough of that already. I wrote most of this post at midnight.

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