I was warned by everyone, from my mother to my best friend, that Hudson, my 3-year-old, would be devastated and jealous when our little one arrived. Prior to having Crosby, I had it all worked out in my mind. I thought if I simply spent some extra quality mommy-time with Hudson while our newest addition spent time with different family members, it would help him adjust.
The mommy group I had joined after Hudson was born, had recommended I read some great books to him about being a big brother. Not only did I follow through with their advice, but I also showed him baby photographs of himself, and encouraged him help me out around the house, preparing for his baby brother's arrival. I wanted Hudson to know just how much I love him, and that Crosby's arrival could never change that.
During this time, my mother would also tell me, "el vas a necesitar mucha atención," or, "he will need a lot of attention." My non-Latina bestie, on the other hand, warned me not to go overboard with the attention. She said it could make matters worse, because giving Hudson too much extra attention could feed his need of having me all to himself-- and that could no longer be the case. I even asked my pediatrician for advice, and she gave my poor buddy a harsh prescription for "natural adjustment." Whoa.
The worst part, is as much as Hudson felt he needed me, I felt I needed to bond with my new baby! I just wanted to hold Crosby and snuggle with him all day long. In addition to the postpartum hormones, I was one hot mess mama. I felt guilty. I just wanted all of us to be together all of the time, and that seemed nearly impossible. My sweet boy, Hudson, even started becoming aggressive, throwing toys at Crosby, and acting defiant. I kept reminding myself this was temporary.
Crosby is now eight months old and Hudson is still jealous of his little hermanito. But now I'm less hormonal and better able to handle the situation without the guilt I had been feeling earlier on. Plus, my husband came up with a weekend-fix. He takes Hudson out to do something fun Saturday mornings, while I stay home with Crosby. We switch on Sundays. We've found that planning this special time with each of our boys is key--Hudson loves that we still get to do things together like we used to. He also loves getting the extra hour to get lots of abrazos from mama and papa after we've put Crosby to bed.
We're also helping Hudson adjust to doing things together as a family, even if it's something simple like going for a ride to Target. Even though my buddy Hudson is still adjusting, he loves his lil' bro with all of his corazon. He lights up when he comes home from pre-school and sees his little brother, Crosby. My boys make each other laugh and it's the most beautiful thing to see. As hard as it is to see Hudson struggle with his new baby brother, I do what I can to reinforce just how much I will always love him.
So, I want to hear from you. Do you have a little jealous one at home? How do you deal with it?
Do you love how Latina Mommy, Yesenia Almonte, deals with everyday stressors? Read her secrets on how she looks good while she does it!
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Photo via Yesenia Almonte