My son Tabor has been an only child for seven years. To be honest, he’s got a pretty sweet gig going; undivided attention from not just two, but FOUR parents (his dad and I both are remarried). Ever since he was a baby, Tabor has been my sidekick, my buddy, my partner in crime. But to be honest, it can be a struggle to stay connected with my big kid while pregnant with twins.
How to stay connected
Tabor will be a great big brother. He can’t wait for “his babies” to be born, and I know his little brothers will worship him. So I’m doing my best to make sure he doesn’t get lost in the fanfare of the new babies. Here are five ways I’ve learned to stay connected with my big kid while pregnant:
1. Date Night
Tabor and I have always had a “date night” tradition, so this is nothing new for us. But I’ve made sure we don’t lose it, either. It’s different every time and Tabor often chooses what we do. We like to go to dinner and a movie (also a great idea with your hubby!), to a new park, cook a special meal at home, play board games… you get the picture. Just something a little special that we both think is fun.
2. Conversations After School
Now that I’m home on bed rest, I get to see Tabor earlier in the day! But this works just the same for working moms who pick their kids up in the evening. I ask leading questions instead of yes or no. Some
ideas include “tell me something you learned today,” or “what was something that made you proud today?” Questions like these get the conversation rolling and offer a lot more insight than “good,” “bad,” “yes,” and “no.”
3. Follow His Lead
Tabor loves to be involved in “baby things.” He coos over newborn size clothing, puts together gear, and loves to feel the babies kick. He even comes to my OBGYN appointments when he doesn’t have school. However, my husband and I are careful not to force the involvement on him. I don’t force him to help, but I do offer the opportunity to be involved. Sometimes, he chooses to play with his toys while I’m working on baby-related things. But more often than not, he’s right there next to me, helping decipher the instruction manual.
4. Focus on Him
I remind my family and friends that Tabor needs love and attention, too. I have a few friends bringing him “big brother” gifts to my baby shower. When my aunts ask about my pregnancy, I make sure to talk about what a big helper he is. This allows them an opportunity to focus their attention on Tabor and in turn he gets to brag about “his babies.”
5. Be Honest
Tabor and I have open, honest conversations regularly. Lately, I’ve been doing my best to remind him how much I love him and what a wonderful part of my life he will always be. I also take that opportunity to let him know that he can help as much or as little as he wants when the babies are born. His #1 job is to be a kid.
Staying connected to my big kid while pregnant has been challenging but rewarding. I can’t wait to see where this new journey takes us!