Annabel is my shadow. Wherever I am, so is she. If I’m on the couch under a blanket, she’s under it with me. If I try to nap, she climbs into bed with me. Trying to leave the house without her is almost impossible. She even started calling out for me in the middle of the night (Mike is normally her go-to for that because he wakes up instantly). We can push each other’s buttons like no one else since we are basically two versions of the same person, but our relationship lately has been everything I always hoped for.
Just in time for everything to change.
“Mama, if I don’t like the baby, can he go back in your belly?”
She’s starting to realize things are going to change, too.
“Mama, after my brother is here will you still read me stories?”
I assure her that I’ll read her stories, take her places, braid her hair – everything we do together now, we’ll still do. We’ll just have someone else along for the ride.
“Mama, can I take a picture with just you?”
I turn my camera on and snap away, and I promise her that we’ll always take lots of pictures. And I tell her that I’ll take lots of pictures of her and her brother, too.
“Mama, I can do it myself.”
We went to the park and she ran off confidently to play with her friends. As I walked towards a bench I heard a cry of “MAMA!” and looked up to find her running towards me with her arms in the air. She’d slipped and scraped her knees and her hand. Playing with her friends took a back seat to curling up on what’s left of my lap to nurse her wounds.
“Mama, will you still cuddle me when my brother comes?”
I will cuddle you forever, baby.
Awww, that made me cry.
My kiddo still doesn’t grasp the concept of having a baby brother, but she’s gotten clingier too. She’s even jealous of the cats when they seek attention from “my mama!”
It’s pretty hard for children under 5 to realize that they’re not the center of everyone else’s universe… and it might take a few more years to realize that just because she’s not the youngest, that doesn’t mean she’s not still your baby, but that knowledge will come about eventually.
The first photo is absolutely beautiful. All will go well with the new addition. She will be an awesome big sister.
I have four babies, my oldest is nine and my youngest is 3 months. Every single one of them reacted differently to their younger siblings being born, including reacting the opposite way we expected. The ones we thought would be fine acted out, and the ones we thought would act out seemed to barely react. But one thing they had in common, was that eventually they all realized having a younger sibling and another best friend, was pretty freaking awesome! It may be rough for awhile, but with all the love in your household, I have no doubt Annabel and the little guy will be best buds in no time!
And you will. My baby is 16 and she still likes to cuddle. We often say that we are the same person…because that’s how it feels. It’s nice to have a BFF living right down the hall!
I must have cried everyday (at least once a day) for the last 3 weeks before my daughter was born. I was SO worried that my son would feel neglected or be upset that he wasn’t getting 100% of my attention all the of the time. After all, it was just the 3 of us for 4 years! I was sad for him. I felt ridiculous for feeling that way and blamed it mostly on my hormones! All went well! He loved being a big brother and was excited to help and to be involved. To this day is still very protective of his little sister, whether he wants to admit it or not!
I’m going through this right now except it’s my daughter I am worrying about and my son is coming in August.
Glad to hear it all worked out!
Guilt was one of the BIGGEST thing I went thru when I got pregnant my 2nd and 3rd time. I wondered if I was being fair to my other kids….if I would love the new baby as much….would THEY love the new baby at all.
But, as soon as the babies were born things went BETTER than planned. If anything, when my daughter was born, my son was MAD at ME – but he LOVED her and when there brother was born, EVERYONE told me my then 3 yr. old daughter would be so jealous since she was a little Diva but to our surprise, there was NO jealousy!!! Just pride and love. Too be honest, now at ages 9, 13 & 15 – they can be VERY jealous of each other which makes us laugh and blows are minds as well since they were so good when they were little.
I know Annie is going to do just fine….how can she not??? After all, her parents are MIKE & HEATHER SPOHR!!! It’s going to be Okay Mama….just you wait & see!!! xoxo
Precious and so beautifully written – the tears came and are still flowing.
I remember a time when you were worried because she always wanted Mike. I’m so happy to watch your bond get stronger. I remember when Olivia came along & I was feeding her one day, Emily came over & asked me if I loved Olivia more than her. It’s hard and confusing for them at first. Especially when they’ve been the only one for 3 1/2 years, but everyone will adjust in no time, I promise! :o) Mine are now 11 & 7 & best friends (even when they bicker).
That is the sweetest thing I have ever read! She is so precious! My daughter is 16; we still cuddle and she still wants me when something is wrong.
I wished for ‘a baby’ (a sibling) over my 5th birthday cake, and got one 8 months later! (who knew she was at my party?) I was ecstatic but almost 39 I still remember having a bit of a sad panic when I realized I would have to share my parents! I also still remember how awfully long the morning of kindergarten was the day she was coming home from the hospital.
The photo of the two of you is stunning!
I will say that having two children at home did mess with my mind for a while. There are all kind of hormones, coupled with crazy mommy guilt. You love your new baby, but feel so much sadness for your older child no longer being “it.” Plus, Mike will likely do a lot of things with Annie to give you time with the baby, and you’re going to get jealous and wish Annie could just stay with you.
It sucks. BUT, it is very short-lived. Likely just a few weeks. And it’s very natural to feel that way when you bring home a new baby.
So allow yourself those feelings. Remember they’re normal and OK to feel. And remember that you’re doing Annie a great service by allowing her the chance to not only be a little sister, but a big sister, too.
There will be growing pains. But they won’t last long.
I was sooo sad when I left my 2yo to go deliver her brother by c-section. And for a week or so after he was born I was still thinking, what have I done to her?, although she didn’t have any issues with him, luckily. But it all settles and is the new normal and is fine. And 13 years later I still have a special bond with her. (And with my son, just a different kind.)
I worried about this when my son was about to become a big brother. Don’t we all! Classic worry, and totally understandable. But truly, I had a harder time adjusting to two little boys – my son (2 at the time) had about a week of escalated tantrums and attention seeking behavior, and then it all went away and he became totally enamored of his little bro. Now they are 5 and 3, and the best buddies.
But they still fight over my lap.
Darn you for making me cry at work yet again. We’re welcoming twin boys into our family (due in Aug) and I am doing everything I can think of to ensure my almost 5 year old son that he’ll always be mommy’s boy.
Poor Annie, being a big sister is hard. You are handling it like a super Momma!
That first picture is absolutely stunning. Worthy of framing. Annie is going to love her brother and be such a help to mamma, don’t worry. They will be great together.
JoLissa J. says:
I was a little older than Annie when my baby brother was born. My mom says I loved him immediately. And even though I’m 24 now, my mom still gives the best cuddles!
oh my. that first picture is just amazing and speaks entirely to the relationship you have with her. i’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a second and how connor (my son) would feel. he’s older (seven) so it would be a little easier for him to grasp but a transition nonetheless. she’ll be fine … probably take a cue from her mama (like she always does) and nurture her little brother just like a mama would.
Love the pics. Annie will do great. The mother / daughter relationship you’ve built will only get stronger. It’s amazing!
Annie will be a great lil helper and great big sister.
Up until I moved out, ANYTIME my dad was away on business I would sleep with my mom in her bed. There’s nothing more comforting than mom cuddles.
My brother and I are 13 months apart, and while I am the older sister, we practically grew up as twins. I don’t remember the transition between singleton and big sister, but my brother has been my best friend from the beginning, and still is. (I imagine much the same the relationship with your brother). Annie will be fine. She will love him to pieces for her whole life.
This is so sweet, Heather. I just loved reading it. I worried some when my second son was born too. However it all worked out fine. It will be an adjustment and will be a little traumatic for Annie of course. However, you already get that and can empathize with how she is or may be feeling. That is half the battle right there. I see a lot of parents who get irritated with the older child saying that they need to get over it, that they are no longer the baby, whatever. Parents need to understand that it is a big change that will mean possible regression of behavior and the older child trying to get used to the change. Some of the things that worked for me was the fairness concept. For example, I would tell my Sam to be gentle with his younger brother Frank but I will also tell Frank to be gentle with Sam. I think one time when Frank was a few weeks old he smacked his older brothert on the arm. LOL! Well, I told Frank very gently in front of Sam, be gentle with brother. That way Sam could see I was still his protector too and that it went both ways :). So it was easier for him. My overall goal for my boys was to be there for each other and love each other and they are like that now. Sure there will be some sibling rivalry but listening to both sides, cuddling them always, will work wonders. Oh yes, and also letting them each have their own day. I just write it on the calendar and they switch off each day of whose day it is. That has worked wonders :).
Your hair looks great!
So sweet. I was too young to fully comprehend that I was getting a little sister when she arrived just after my third birthday, but I’m thankful every day to share my mom and pop with my sibling. I’m sure Annie will be the same way!
I love that first picture of you and Annie!
She looks so much like her daddy!! I am happy you are getting this close bonding time with her before the Acrobat gets here. It will be a big adjustment but I think she will be fine. I also think she will be a great big sister.
Awwwww…I’m teary eyed. Forever & ever.
Amy Stone says:
That got me too, what a sweet post.