July 1, 2015
Firstly, I want to say, Abigail is such a sweet, sweet little girl. She is so obedient, such a sweet listener with the softest little heart, and just such a precious being. I also want to say that she absolutely love love loves her little sister. There has never been a moment of resentment or bitterness towards Mabel. She adores her, constantly asks hows she is doing, wants to help take care of her, and just positively loves being a big sister.
That being said, the massive adjustment that has happened over here has been with Mommy and Daddy.
I suppose I naively believed that 1) she would be happy with the amount of attention because there were constantly extra people in the house after Mabel was born and 2) that she would be able to communicate what she wanted/needed because she is 4.5. But I was wrong about both things.
She couldn’t communicate what she was feeling or needing. First, she became really LOUD. We were constantly saying, “Sweetheart, you don’t need to yell. I’m listening to you.” But I think she just felt like she wasn’t being heard? Or she wanted to make sure that she would be. And it was….yeah, just really loud.
Then she started being so naughty! Things that used to be issues but aren’t anymore cropped back up again. She was constantly testing, testing, testing me. Pushing boundaries and testing limits. I had a total meltdown one morning(actually my only postpartum cry fest!) after she had a total screaming, hitting, explosion towards my Mom. I had been in my room with Mabel and Mom had to drag her into my room to deal with her. It was just…..heartbreaking. I felt so horrible and so sad.
It’s hard to explain precisely what I was feeling because obviously, Mabel is the greatest addition to our family and there isn’t any sort of regret(wrong word but that feeling) about changing our family dynamics. Part of me wanted to be like, listen here little girl, this is like the best thing ever. But, another part of me realized how much was changing in her little world, even a good thing like having Grammy stay with us for so long and gaining a sister.
We saw a major turning point in her behavior after I took her out for some one on one time. I took her for one of our Chick Fil A car picnic breakfasts(one of her favorite things to do) and then we went to Target to play with the toy aisles for a bit. After having some of that solo Mom time, she seemed to quiet back down a bit and settle some more.
Even after that though, we were still having a really hard time with just a general sassy bad attitude. Talking back, screaming, spitting(?!?!), and other super unusual behaviors. It all culminated this last weekend in her having an absolute total meltdown in front of our entire church.
No really. Literally on the stage- in front of our entire church.
But this week, being at home again with just me and Jim in the evenings, has really been more normal. She’s settling back into her usual self with only the random bad attitude instead of it being the majority.
I don’t know if it’s the regular routine she was craving? Or just needing some time? But I feel like I can finally say she is back to her normal Abigail self and has now finally adjusted to being in a family of four. And I guess one hard month out of a lifetime of sisterhood, isn’t so bad 🙂
As far as how we managed her, we kept our usual discipline style. I didn’t let her misbehave and use Mabel as an excuse- but we did try to take her aside a lot and give her extra snuggles, hugs, playtime, and time before naps/bed to talk. We obviously prayed a lot because- hello uncharted territory. And we have tried to include her in anything that she wants to be included in. But even with all of that, I think it really just took some time for her. And of course, I can’t blame her for that.
If you have more than one child, how was the adjustment period for you? What tips do you have for older siblings?
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