When you enter the time of your life when creating your family starts there are the same constant questions. When you get married it’s “When are you going to have a baby?”. Once you have baby #1 it’s “when will you have baby #2?”. And then baby #2 arrives and everyone wants to know “how is your older child handling the new baby?”. When I found out we were expecting our second child I hadn’t really given much thought to how my daughter would react to the baby. My first worry was how will I be able to love two babies as much as I loved my first. But now that I was facing the world of having two children I became more observant of the sibling relationships in my life. I honestly found myself a little astounded at the number of stories I heard about people whose children simply didn’t get along, whether young in age or even into adulthood, their children were never compatible.
Growing up my sister and I were only 15 months apart, and so our lives were intertwined from the onset. Being only one grade a part, we had the same groups of friends, played on the same teams, and had similar interests. And of course we quarreled, bickered, fought over clothes and accessories, but we were always each other’s closest confidant and companion. Now as adults she is still my best friend. But now that I am a parent I realize how much of a gift it is that she is my sister and she is someone I can be friends with. But truth be told, you may be given a sibling but that is not a guarantee that they are someone you can be friends with. Friends are people who you share similar interests, passions and beliefs with. And sometimes the cookie crumbles and you have two siblings who are complete opposites, oil and water. Everyone claims to have the perfect equation for how many years a part to space your kids out. Or they’ll say it’s so much better to have one of each sex or opposite sexes. But I do not believe there is any equation that can 100% guarantee comradeship amongst siblings.
As an expectant mom of baby number two I now found myself worrying if my daughter and my son would “click” or not. Would they share a close bond, or just be siblings as an obligation and never friends. Sadly, a mother does not really have much control over such a thing. I think it is important not to force them to be friends in an effort to prevent resentment and frustration. We can foster their relationship, and support them as they develop their personalities and grow as individuals. We can watch them and hope that they will support one another especially when all they’ll have is one another to lean on.
For me, I am savoring the connection that our three year old and baby have. I know that right now it is special and over time it will grow and evolve as they each reach new milestones. But for now they are each in awe of one another, and that I will always treasure.