Tuesday, 24 August 2010

to sibling or not to sibling

In recent months (well, months are more like years, because it's been 18 months), I have been rethinking just how smart it was to have a second child so quickly. I was a preacher for "siblings will make it easier in the long run!" camp for the longest time. Then the work set in. Even when they play together and give me a few moments of peace, they soon start fighting, so it never lasts long. It really is exhausting having two. Plus, both become more needy and demanding, because they are both fighting for mom's attention at any given moment. God forbid that I am doing something age-appropriate with one child, that the other comes ramming his interest in and essentially ruins the game!

In fact, because of this, I forced hubby to send baby no. 2 (the "easier" one) to his mother's while I was in Washington for my Master's residency: I wanted to ease the pressure on both nanny and hubby.

These past two days I've had alone with Sebastian have been just WONDERFUL. So much easier and relaxed. I am back to enjoying motherhood. Sebastian has been perfectly behaved, not needy at all, eating everything, not whining, regular in the bathroom, etc. It has been just wonderful. He is just the perfect little boy all the time.

BUT... Yes, BUT...

...the absence of his brother also means the absence of obstacles: those of sharing (both toys and mommy's time), and of human relationships, and standing up for yourself, of trusting, of letting go of toys, hang-ups, hurts, problems, the list goes on. And I firmly believe that obstacles are the best way to become better people. Always. So, in essence, having a brother forces my boys to deal with these issues throughout their lives, throughout their development. Their reactions to situations will be influenced by their age, context, and most importantly, by me. By the time they are adults, they will be experienced pros at dealing with these pesty issues of human relationships.

My role as a parent is to keep them heading in the right direction with the right values. Even if it means that I lose my S**T multiple times per week. What IS the best way to react to a situation? What IS the best approach when someone grabs your toys? What can you do when someone doesn't want to play with you right now? How ARE you supposed to manage negative feelings towards people you love?

So, it really was a good decision to have two children. (so suck it up, Nat! :/ )

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