As we prepared for little Tula's arrival, we knew there would no longer just be 3 of us. Adding a baby to the mix was sure to make things more busy and crazy at times. Adding a baby to the mix was sure to make a mama and daddy tired. Adding a baby to the mix was sure to leave the big sister feeling left out when people pour over the new arrival. We knew that welcoming Tula would be welcoming a new normal and we were more than ready for that. Just look at the smiles on the faces of that proud mommy and daddy- we were ready for whatever, with a new baby in our arms!
It has been a priority to make sure Ivy feels and is certain that our love for her hasn't faded, but instead it has multiplied. We have included her in everything possible. She loves the job of helping change Tula's diaper, picking out her clothes, putting lotion on her skin, and even nursing her babies right along side Mommy and Tula. Ivy is a proud big sister and every now and then it seems like a dream for her. She will lay in her bed at night and say "I have a baby sister" or "Tula is MY sister" or "Me and Tula are sisters to each other."
Has the transition to big sister been easy?
For the most part, it really has been! But don't think it has been a breeze for Mommy and Daddy. Sometimes it would be easier to do things by ourselves or get some rest during a feeding rather than carrying on a conversation with a mini-mama. But we feel like we are sacrificing time to help Ivy adjust, and it is working. This is all part of the new normal!
Tula's arrival hasn't been all smiles. (Speaking of smiles... isn't Tula's sleeping smile so cute?? I love when babies do that!) Ivy has definitely had some tears (and so has this Mama). It has made me sad when I have had to discipline Ivy. I worry that she will think "My mommy is mean now that she has a new baby." But it is obvious, that she doesn't think that at all. She can go to time out, kick, scream, and cry and then two minutes later curl up right beside me. We are remaining consistent in our parenting and this makes Ivy feel safe. She knows we haven't changed, we still love her and want what is best for her. Just like always, we are trying to set Ivy up for success (not running errands close to nap, not tempting her with things she can't be a part of, etc) and we are choosing to give a consequence immediately if Ivy's behavior could effect the safety of herself or someone else. Being consistent was a big part of the old normal and it is even more important with the new normal.
All in all, we are adjusting to life as a family of 4 without delay. We are wondering if where we are is a new normal, or if we are still in the craziness of a new arrival. We have went to doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment. We have dealt with baby jaundice, a newborn clogged tear duct, a mommy's reaction to steri-strips, a toddler with a fever and the croop. It has been a little nonstop between us and the docs. We have filled out papers for maternity leave, insurance, and doctors offices. Thankfully, Greg has been off during this time and has been a great support system. We are hoping that as the appointments subside we will feel a little more normal.... or maybe this is just how it works when you have a family of 4? Only time will tell- I am just thankful for mid-day naps, coffee in the morning, a baby that is nursing successfully (praise Jesus), and a family to love!