Adding Another Baby to the Family
Baby Number Three, That is!
It wasn't so long ago that my husband and I brought home our little boy Maksim. But it seems like we've had
him forever. Today I look at him and I think...'you must have been in
my heart all this time, because you fit here.' BUT if I remember
correctly, it wasn't all smooth sailing during those first few weeks at
As I reflect briefly on our homecoming, (briefly, i say, because its not the best memory), I see all of us; Christian, Cidnée, Dani, Maksim and I riding home in our car and ALL of us crying. The girls not understanding why mommy wants them home with her and not at grammas for another night...and mommy feeling her heart break (irrationally of course) because her girls don't want to come home. Christian was shedding mostly tears of frustration at my crazy hormones and Maksim was screaming for a booby! It was only a 2 minute ride from grammas to our house, but it went on forever.
This didn't last long of course. The tears that so readily made an appearance from my hormone-ravaged body soon dried up and the girls were once again happy to be in their own beds with their mommy and daddy. Christian was home with us and taking care of school and daycare so I was able to stay home with my new baby and relax (?) and get to know the little guy. Life seemed good for the first couple of days and I was starting to think that we were not going to have to worry about any regressions or 'mauvaise reactions' as the french put it, with the girls. Little did I know...
A couple of weeks later, when Christian went back to work, I decided to take Dani out of daycare so she could be with me and Maksim. It was wonderful. Dani loved Maksim and helped me enormously. Cidnée was still in school so she wasn't as close to the little man, but she also wasn't making any great efforts to get near him. Anyways, during a weekend that Christian was working and me and the kids were alone, some things started to happen. The girls were fighting more than they'd ever fought before. Cidnée refused to listen to a word I said and it would take several trips to the corner to get her attention. This was out of the ordinary for Cidnée who is generally a good listener and I was appalled at her behaviour.
Dani was a little mouthpiece who defied me openly and even called me a 'méchante maman' ( mean mommy) on more than one occasion.
Needless to say, I felt like I didn't know my little girls
anymore and that with the arrival of Maksim, my quiet, controlled and
simple family life had spun out of control. This notion horrified me.
So oneday, while chatting with some girlfriends, they asked me if I noticed any changes in the girls. I proceeded to list the number of ways they had become demons and did anyone have any advice? Then one of my girlfriends asked how I was coping with 3. I had to think a bit because I wasn't really sure how I felt. On the most part I felt good. I was definitely having some trouble thinking straight. Chalk it up to hormones they all said. I also kind of felt rushed. Though I could keep up with my housework, there wasn't much time left after that for much else. And of course, I was tired...but not more tired than I was at 9 months pregnant, so I was dealing well with my exhaustion.
getting any advice that day, I replayed everything I had told my
friends in my head while laying in bed one night. I didn't review what I had said because I thought anything of
it, this is just common habit for me because all my conversations are
now in french, and I agonize about how terrible my grammar is and I
wonder how many times someone may have misunderstood me, etc, etc. But
upon reflection, I had a very huge lightbulb moment (oprah annoys me,
but this statement is very true).
'I am having trouble thinking straight', ' I am rushed.' I had said. How did this rub off on my kids? Sometimes the girls would have to repeat questions 3 and 4 times before I caught what they said, and they were even speaking in English. I didn't have a spare minute to play dolls with Dani in between diaper changes, feedings, regular meals and housework and I just assumed my 4 year old would understand. What did this all add up to? I was not even listening to my own children, how could I expect it from them in return? I wasn't even giving them the time of day, why should they do me that favor?
Ahhhhh, it all made
sense now. Even Christian and I struggle to make time for eachother,
and when it doesn't happen, its hard not to feel bitter or even
rejected. I couldn't imagine how my kids had been feeling all this time.
Looking back now, and even right in the midst of things at this moment, I realize that my girls' reactions stem directly from my own. Of course life HAS to change when you add a new life to a family and for sure there will be reactions, but who is REALLY reacting in the first place??? MOMMY!
Now if we as parents could just learn how to take everything in stride and learn how to have unending patience and maybe get a live-in maid, we would never have these kind of problems in the first place. But who are we kidding? We're human and that is NEVER going to happen. So if you are caught in a cycle of 'mauvaise reactions' remember that you can control it to a certain extent. And even if you can't, in the long run, things always work themselves out and routines eventually set in. (so I've been telling myself for the last 2 months ;)
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