Remember when I said our family wasn't perfect? I know it never will be, but I have made it my mission to work hard to make our relationships stronger, which is how this blog came about.
One relationship I never expected to suffer was the one with our first born; our daughter.
For almost four glorious years, she had her parents all to herself. Again with my romanticizing real-life, I imagined her being the "perfect" sister. In many ways she is an amazing big sister to her brother - but that resentment is still there... towards me,
Here is where some of that "mom-guilt" comes in. (And FYI, dads get "mom-guilt" too, I've seen it in action!)
I feel guilty that we are a family with two full time working parents. I KNOW in my heart that I would feel guilty if I decided to stay home and not bring in an income. I feel guilty that we all have different schedules that doesn't allow for enough family time. Schedules that have us rushing around, jobs that are mentally and physically draining, and the stimulation and activity of school and daycare that make our kids exhausted. It was a miracle if one of us didn't fall asleep during our Friday Family Nights.
What I didn't expect was to have our eldest feel like she was left out, after we tried so hard to make family time a priority.
I thought I did everything right: as an educator and an ex-nanny, I thought I knew what we were doing when we added one more. From day one. I made sure not to be holding the baby when she walked into the hospital room and greeted her first. I made sure to include her in the baby's life by helping with his routine and buying him things. Amazing hubby made sure she got one-on-one time with him so that she got lots of attention.
Last week, while we were having a girl chat (which is far and few between now-a-days) she revealed to me that she missed doing things together - just the two of us.
Before her brother was born.
Three years ago!
I had been working so hard to make sure that both kids felt included and that we did everything as a party of four - I didn't realize that I could be making one of them feel like they weren't getting enough of me all to themselves.
The immediate thought I had was to make her a promise, that after the work week was finished, on Saturday, we would spend the entire day together. We will have a girls day and Daddy and Brother will have a boys day.
After all, there are things that we share in common - things she and I love that her father isn't interested in: like art museums... and tea.
My daughter's words completely made me rethink this project of mine!
Melissa is a mom, wife, and early childhood educator who blogs about her journey looking for new experiences for family time.