It wasn’t the lack of sleep. It wasn’t learning the breastfeeding curve with the little guy. The situation I struggled with the most after bringing Henry home from the hospital was intense guilt and sadness over changing Violet’s world. She’s my sweetheart, my baby girl, my best pal and throwing this whole other human being in the mix left me wringing my hands and examining her every facial expression to see if we had destroyed her world.
I mean, this child is so sweet, I didn’t want to change her personality or leave her feeling unsure of herself and her place in our home.
We didn’t make a big deal about Henry whenever she was around. We said, “Look, here’s Henry”, and pretty much left it at that. If she ever caught me fawning over the little guy I made sure I put him down and picked her up and spend some solid one-on-one time hanging out.
Slowly, but surely she started to warm up to the little guy. From idle curiosity that involved peeping into his bassinet to sneaking up to the napping boy, stroking his forehead and sing-songing HEN-RY, she is coming around.
I’ll tell you what, though. There were some tantrums that first week that, on the face of things, seemed completely unrelated to Henry but I now realize were the result of her feeling out of sorts and nervous about her changing environment.
Everyone, my mother included, warned me that she’d probably attempt to hurt him. My own brother apparently tried to smother me within weeks of my arrival. But, so far, Violet is sweet, if a bit stand-offish. Now, that doesn’t mean I’d leave her alone with him, after all, this is the same kid who spins in circles until she falls into the wall and gives herself a fat lip, but, for the most part I’m really happy with the way things are going and my guilt over rocking my little sweetheart’s world is subsiding.
So tell me, how did you introduce a second child into the mix? What was the reaction of your first child? Like me, did you suffer intense feelings of guilt and moon around looking at old photos of your firstborn and crying over how fast it all goes?