The Sassy Housewife is a weekly Saturday advice column on momaha.com by Danielle Herzog, a married mother of two. She’ll cover adventures in housewifery — parenting, entertaining and the interests of a been-there-done-that and somewhat-know-it-all wife.
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Dear Sassy Housewife,
I’m pregnant with my second child. My daughter is 3-years-old and doesn’t seem that excited to have a baby brother on the way. Whenever someone asks her if she’s excited to be a big sister, she replies with a negative answer. I’m freaking out that she isn’t going to like her brother and will be jealous or even try to hurt him. What do I do?
When I was pregnant with my son, I worried about the same thing in regards to my daughter. Considering that I’m an Italian New Yorker, worry is my middle name. I was freaked out that they wouldn’t get along and years from now they’d be in a therapy session telling the counselor that they blame each other for all their problems in the world.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. After talking to my daughter one day, I found out why she wasn’t excited. It was because the new baby was a boy not a girl. Here I was thinking she was unhappy about having to share her mommy with someone else, when in reality she was ticked that I was bringing a boy into the family. I reassured her that he would love to play dolls and princesses with her someday and that having a little brother was just as fun as having a little sister. Plus, they probably wouldn’t need to share as many toys – a win for everyone.
One of the best pieces of advice a friend gave me was to have your unborn son buy a present for his sister for when he is born. So when she comes to meet him at the hospital, there is a special present there for her just from him. My 5-year-old daughter still talks about the backpack my son gave her and all the princess stuff packed into it. Every once in a while I’ll catch her saying to him, “Remember when you gave this to me?” It’s adorable and also makes me laugh at the thought that she believes babies come out with a wallet full of money.
And as for hurting him, we instituted the rule: No touching the baby unless you ask first.
That worked like a charm. Anytime my daughter wanted to touch him, she had to ask us. We also recognized that our daughter needed one on one time still with each of her parents. When my son was born was when we began Mommy-Daughter and Daddy-Daughter date nights – a special night once a month where she picks the activity we do together.
And at the end of the day, remember this. They will fight. They will be jealous of each other. But they will also play together in an amazing way that you never thought was possible. And when that happens, sit back, drink your coffee, and take it all in. It usually doesn’t last very long and ends up with someone crying — which at the end of a long night just might be you.
Hang in there, they all go to college someday.
Have a question for the Sassy Housewife? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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