Hello you lovely lot and welcome back to another instalment of the #MotherhoodMondays guest post series; a weekly feature for mothers to share their stories about their incredible journeys of motherhood in all kinds of forms. Don't forget to get in touch if you want out get involved, we're always looking for some more mamas to guest post for us.

For this weeks feature we have the lovely Jo from Pickle and Poppet who has kindly offered to share a beautiful post about welcoming another baby into their family and how the change will affect her son, Reuben. But before we get into this post with Jo, shall we get to know Jo a little better... 

Hi, my name is Jo and I’m a 30-something year old mummy of two and wife from East Anglia. I work part-time in insurance but I'm currently on maternity leave, enjoying the madness of a new baby whilst juggling the busy life of a 3 year old. I have recently found a love in baking and love trying out new toddler friendly recipes. Some of my favourite things to do include family walks (especially in autumn when the colours are so beautiful), reading, and knitting (although I’m still practising this one).

Please Don’t Feel Left Out; You’re Still My Boy

When you have a baby you know your life is going to change, but nothing really prepares you for it. The instant love, the bonds you grow and your completely new outlook on, well everything. This is what happened when Reuben came into our lives.

Everything changed and it all happened so fast. Suddenly we were responsible for this little bundle of joy. Everything that he needed we had to do for him. He grew so quickly and today he is a complete handful, so independent and head strong. We have such a great bond; all three of us.

After Sam and I got married we decided we wanted to have another baby and a few months later we were lucky enough to get the positive we had been waiting for. We agreed not to mention anything to Reuben until after the scan and then we would tell him.

When we told him, he didn't seem very interested. He wanted cake. He was two, so could blame him. Sam and I agreed that Reuben should be included in everything. He needed to see that a new baby wasn't going to replace him or change our love for him; and so he came to every anti-natal appointment and every scan. He watched me grow and he became so excited that he was going to be a big brother. He was happy to cuddle up to me and my bump when I was tired.

As my due date approached we spoke to him about how Mummy would need to go to hospital soon so that Jessica could be born and that he would be with Nana and Grandad. By this point he was bursting, he couldn't wait to meet Jessica and we were happy with how happy he was. He was with us at my parents the day I went into labour and he wouldn't leave my side, he became protective and clingy.

He knew things were changing.

When my waters broke he was going to bed; and as my contractions were painful we were then going to go to the hospital. Ever since he was born I have always sang him "hush little baby" before bed and he wanted me to sing it. I had a contraction and knew I had less than two minutes before another one came, but somehow I managed to sing him that nursery rhyme and he went to bed.

He came to the hospital the next day. He hugged me and realised I had no bump, turned to the cot and beamed. He had his sister. I was glad when it was time to come home. I wanted us to bond as a four. Those first two weeks were hard for him, and for me. Our relationship had changed. Not in a bad way, it was just, different.

I was breastfeeding and Jessica was feeding every two to three hours but each feed was taking anywhere between thirty minutes to an hour. I was struggling to get comfortable and she was struggling to latch correctly. Reuben wanted to play but I was feeding, or was tired, and I still couldn't get on the floor so I would cuddle with him when I could and read him stories but he started asking Daddy more and less of Mummy; Mummy was busy.

It would be bedtime for Reuben and Jessica would want feeding. I would tell Reuben I would go up to sing to him after I had finished feeding Jessica, by that time he would often be asleep and so no nursery rhyme. It upset him but it crushed me. I had been naïve, I had thought that everything would be the same but it wasn't.

One bedtime that Jessica didn't want feeding I took Reuben to bed and he chose a book but then he told me he didn't want me to read he wanted Daddy. I burst into tears, I couldn't help it. He was sad that I was crying and I cried more that I had made him sad. I did read the story to him in the end and sing to him as I normally would have, but that had hurt me like nothing had hurt me before.

Eventually, after two weeks it was time for Sam to go back to work, time for us to get some kind of routine. Things got harder, after all now there was just me. Jessica still needed feeding but Reuben needed me more now that Daddy wasn't there.

I'm not going to lie, we are still fumbling through, making it work but I can tell that sometimes he longs for it to be just us two again. When he throws himself into my lap because Jessica is crying so that he has a cuddle, when he cries for no apparent reason when I'm feeding Jessica. Those are the times that it is hardest. But we will get there, each day it gets a bit easier.

I want him to know that no matter what, he is still my boy. We are still the same and I love him dearly. I want him to know that it will only be a short while until Jessica isn't so dependant on me, when she starts to take a bottle then we can have some time on our own, just the two of us.

I do tell him but at the minute it's just words, he doesn't understand, he's three. So for now, we fumble through. I tear myself in two. I feel guilty. Guilty he doesn't get the same attention he is used to. Guilty that I'm tired. Just guilty.

It wont last forever. I know that. So for now I hug him as hard as I can whenever I can and tell him I love him. I can only hope he isn't feeling left out. I can only hope he will understand that I've done my best.

Thank you for your post Jo. If you liked this post don't forget to share, share, share. I'm sure that it will be more than appreciated. Remember sharing is caring. You can find Jo over at Pickle and Poppet. 

1 comment

  1. Oh, the emotions in this post remind me of how I felt when Youngest was born. The dynamics shift and it can take a while for everyone to feel settled with their new role in family life.