Full disclosure…100% honesty…I AM TERRIFIED FOR BABY #2! Don’t get me wrong, I’m also immensely excited! Expanding our family and giving Jackson a sibling to play with is a dream come true and many prayers being answered. It’s been the most amazing two years having Jackson as part of our lives. Each day we have more and more fun because of how grown up and independent he is becoming. He’s not a baby anymore who needs constant attention. He’s a big boy with the sweetest personality who talks in sentences and knows what he wants. It’s just him. He gets all of my love and attention. What’s going to happen when we throw a new baby into the mix?
The biggest concern that has been haunting me at night is our relationship. The two of us are like two peas in a pod. He has been attached to my hip since day one. We are truly inseparable. You know how some moms would give anything for a trip to the store without their child or a night out to dinner with their husband alone? I’m the opposite. I like to do everything WITH him. Sure, he gets antsy at restaurants and throws an occasional temper tantrum, but I like spending every minute with him and will always choose to do so. I’m truly worried that he won’t be the momma’s boy that he is right now. I’m scared that he won’t want me as much anymore.
Concern #2: Is it going to be too much stress for me to handle? I work my butt off as Jackson’s mom. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing, playing, shopping, etc. Doing all of these things as a family of four sounds daunting! I made homemade baby food for Jackson and still make him homemade smoothie pouches. Will I have time for that this go around? I know, I know—I need to do a better job of releasing some of that responsibility and ask my husband for help. I’m so controlling! I definitely NEED to let go of some of that control.
Concern #3: Double the worry! I worry so much about Jackson. I want everything in his life to be as perfect as possible. I always wonder if I’m making the right choices or if there is more I should be doing. Come February I will have another child whose well-being I will constantly be worried about. Is it possible to lose anymore sleep than I do now?!
Concern #4: How will the new baby impact Jackson’s behavior? Our current state with Jackson is that of toddler unstableness. One minute he is happy and laughing and the next he is in tantrum overload. He’s 80% sweet and 20% temperamental. I’m terrified that the new addition will make his behavior worsen. I worry that he will purposefully act out because he’s not getting the attention he is accustomed to. I hope and pray he continues to be the sweet, loving, somewhat temperamental, and avid independent boy he is currently.
Concern #5: Saying goodbye to our current life as a family of 3 (+1 dog). Our life is pretty easy-going. We do what we want when we want. We’re not overly busy with activities. We enjoy coming and going as we please. We cuddle in bed watching Mickey and go for bike rides to the park. I feel like our life will be too overwhelming at first to have as much fun as we are currently having.
All of these concerns may make it seem like I don’t want another child to join our family. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I look at Jackson playing by himself and am excited that he will have a sibling to play with eventually. I think about how good it will be for him to have a brother or sister to share things with. I think about how awesome it will be for him to teach his younger siblings what he already knows. I think about how they will hopefully be best friends and will always have each other no matter what. There will definitely be a big transition period for all of us and I know it will be the most difficult for this current only child. But I have confidence that as a family we can conquer the challenges and overcome the transition period.
The best piece of advice I have received so far was from our incredible pediatrician. Anything she says is right in my books, so I won’t hesitate to follow her advice. She said, “This transition will be hard for Jackson but ALWAYS PUT HIM FIRST.” If the baby is crying for a bottle, but Jackson needs something, help Jackson first. If the baby needs a diaper change, but Jackson needs something, help Jackson first. The baby will never remember that he/she had to cry a few minutes longer. However, our toddler who is going through a massive life change, will be greatly impacted if he continuously has to be put aside. He is used to being the only one. He is used to getting what he wants pretty much when he wants it. It would turn his life upside down even more if he feels like he is not a priority.
In the end, I know everything will work out. I know our family will be perfect. I know I will love both children equally. I know we will create amazing memories as a family of 4 (+1 dog) and we will build new traditions together. I know Jackson will continue to grow into the sweetest, smartest, and most incredible boy and be a great big brother. Yes, I will be worried and stressed and overworked, but I will make it happen and I will handle it. Everything will be fine. Although it’s hard to imagine in my current state of thinking, I know the future is even brighter than it is right now. For the time being, I will savor these moments with just Jackson and dream about our life to come.