Adjusting as a Family of Four

I had two fears of the arrival of our second baby. The first was I would never love her as much as I love her big sister. The second was toddler jealousy. The first was nothing to fear. These two beautiful girls are my heart beat and soul! The jealousy is slightly more than I bargained for. Cora will be two at the end of December, so we are already in the middle of challenging authority and pushing boundaries. A dash of jealous rage has sent us spiraling out of control. The tantrums are more than I can take, especially since she sends me away and will only let Dada in the room. It breaks my heart that I am not her safe place right now. I take solace in knowing it’s just a phase…

We tried talking to Cora about her baby sister as much as possible before she was born. She knew there was a baby in Mommy’s belly and it was going to come out, and she was going to get to hold it. We bought some bedtime stories about becoming a big sister, but she never took interest in them. When Bexley was born and they met for the first time, Bexley gifted Cora a baby doll. We were hoping Cora would take care of the baby doll and shadow Mommy and baby sister. She has no interest in the doll, or her sister. There are random kisses and snuggles with sister, a brief moment at a time. There has thankfully been zero hostility toward the baby. Just pure disdain toward me.

It is an art giving a toddler the opportunity to be upset, without spoiling them and giving in to every request. It’s exhausting. Half the time I’m blindsided. We like to give her two options in most situations to offer her some control. Distraction works great except for at bedtime. At bedtime there are no distractions or options. It’s time for bed, period. The only option (tool from Grammy) is to go to bed happy or sad?

The other night I was able to leave Bexley with Dada long enough to take Cora to a Holiday play date party for some mommy and me time. The few days following our special time have been night and day. Still a few tantrums and tests here and there, wanting to control the situation and not able to communicate her frustrations, but I am so relieved. I am sure we will have a few more highs and lows in the near future, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It breaks my heart to think she feels unloved in comparison to her sister, especially because I love her so abundantly.

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