I recently wrote about apologies to my first born, how Miss Rose has been displaced by the arrival of a little person usurping her space in our bed and my lap. How as the first born to suddenly find yourself a sibling can be incredibly hard to deal with.
But today I’m thinking about my second born. My new baby. My new baby girl who will never have the relationship with me that Miss Rose has. She can’t because she’s a sibling.
When Miss Rose was born she was my everything. I stopped working, I had no other children, and my entire life was purely dedicated to her. She rarely needed to cry because I was on hand to attend to her every need. It wasn’t out of fear of her being upset or a choice for her not to cry, it was just never necessary. If she was hungry I fed her, if she wanted a cuddle I picked her up, if she wanted to sleep on my lap then I stayed on the sofa with her until she woke up. If she had anything that she needed dealing with I was right there with nothing to distract me from her. And her needs were met.
For Baby B that’s not the case. Not only do I have another daughter full time and my step son half time, but I have a career as well. Right now she’s having feed as I write, earlier she was having a cuddle whilst I recorded podcasts. Even though she’s more of a priority than my job, it still draws my attention away from her. And she’s not the most important one anyway, not how Miss Rose was. If Rose needs me to help her on the toilet then, no matter what Baby B is doing, he’s put down so I can attend to my other daughter’s needs. Her feeds are interrupted, if she’s napping in my arms she’s put down. If Miss Rose needs my attention that tips the scales against Baby B wanting my attention.
When my husband left, Miss Rose and I lived alone. It was an incredibly insular life. Just she and I and nothing ever came between that. For a year we lived alone in our little world. Our days were devoted to one another and in the night if she wanted me, she just came and got into bed and we cuddled down together until morning. We spent possibly one night apart in that entire time. It was an incredibly simple little life, formative for us both, shaping us both into the people we grew to be. We both changed, we both depended on one another, and our little bubble was filled with just us.
Sure, that bubble had to burst when we became a family and allowed others into our little world, but that time we had together was incredibly significant and those memories will never be lost. It’s easy to miss it, to remember those days and wish we had treasured them more, and I know there are times when Miss Rose longs for that more simple time. But, however hard it is to miss those days, at least she has those days to miss.
There will never be that life for Baby B and I. There can’t be. Life has changed and moved on. Her formative time will not be spent with my 100% devotion and attention, in a little home dedicated purely to our relationship. She has been sharing me and my time and my attention and my love from the moment she was born. And it will mean our relationship is completely different. It won’t be as close and connected because she has others to be close and connected with, so it won’t have that all consuming bond.
The time I had with Miss Rose before she became a sibling was precious, and it was magical. And I do understand why she misses it. But I fear that Baby B is getting a less devoted version of myself compared to the one Rose got.
She is left to cry because sometimes she has to be. She is put down because other things need doing. She shares her cuddles, shares her lap time. Her clothes and toys are Rose’s hand me downs. Her world is one she’s had to slot into, rather than a world built for her. The world is one she rides on, rather than one that revolves around her.
She won’t know any different, but I still feel bad that I know she’s getting second best.
But she’s loved and growing up in a family that will cherish her forever, so I know she’s not going to suffer too badly.
If you have any thoughts or experiences I’d love to hear from you. You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!