Little sister – the second child

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You have been clingy lately, little sister.

A run of illness, conjunctivitis and those two-year-old molars have made you a tad miserable and not your usual smiley self.

You wander around the house aimlessly at times with a low moan which escalates until I pick you up.

I don’t mind though. I’ve needed cuddles myself lately. I’ve been enjoying the quality time with you, the chance to hold you close and to nurture you. Usually you run around a million miles an hour, but now you need me and I am going to enjoy it while I can.

Life as a working mum of two is busy. On the days I don’t work, you have to share me with your sister and your daytime nap means that there’s even less time for us to spend together.

There are times when I worry that I don’t have the same connection with you as I did with your sister at the same age. I invested so much time into her as the first and only child singing, dancing, reading, playing and learning with her.

I would do all of the same with you in a heartbeat, but it’s harder with two. Our one-on-one time together is pretty rare.

You don’t seem to mind though. Most of the time you’re very independent, initiating your own play with Toby your toy dog (which you ride like a horse), playing on your car, or chasing a ball around.

You follow your sister around imitating what she does. You play so well together only occasionally coming to fisticuffs.

You have a bit of spunk, wee darling. Sass is what your daycare teacher calls it.

Whether it’s part of learning your place in the world, being a second child, or just your inherent personality, I’m not sure.

Nothing much usually bothers you, which makes it even odder that you’re out of sorts lately.

When you fall over, you pick yourself back up. When you cry I know you’ve hurt yourself badly.

You talk. Boy, can you talk. You pick things up so quickly even without me there all the time to teach and read to you as much as I did with your sister. Yesterday, you counted 8, 9, 10, 11 to my surprise and when your sister is naughty you imitate me as you say in a stern voice 1, 2, 3.

You walk in big strides taking on the world with confidence, delighting in passersby who comment on how darn gorgeous you are.

‘Bye bye,’ you will say to them or ‘cuddle’ which inevitably melts stranger’s hearts. (Even the old guy at the newsagent couldn’t help but smile as you walked up to him and started rubbing his leg).

A while back I wrote a story about you having an old soul. There is no doubt that is true. There is something special about you.

And while I haven’t been able to give you as much time as I did your sister, I am going to make a more concerted effort to grab snippets of time when I can.

We love our Saturday morning swimming lessons together and I’ve started including you in dinner preparation which you love. You get such a thrill out of throwing the veggies into the pot of water (cold of course) and watching them splash.

While being the second child is not always easy, know that I love you to the moon and back.

You are so special to us, little sister. I hope you feel better soon xx

How do you ensure you spend quality time with each of your kids? Did you spoil your first child like I did? Are you a second child?

Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.

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64 comments on Little sister – the second child

  1. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    September 16, 2014 at 6:42 am (3 years ago)

    We are going through second child issues right now. It seems that our daughter gets all of my attention due to her age and the elevated extra curricular activities. Our son is feeling the need for more attention. We have identified it though and we’re working on it.
    It happens.

    Love that pic of your ballerina!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s great you’re aware of it and working on it, Leanne πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Vicki @ a Knocked Up and Abroad
    September 16, 2014 at 6:44 am (3 years ago)

    I hear your concerns about giving the second as much time and building that connection. I feel bad too about that but I think we’re naturally able to put that the effort into to no. 1 who ultimately ends up teaching the next sibling so many things for us. They also don’t know any better so they don’t long for missed time.

    Sorry to hear she has been so out of sorts. I hope one day soon she wakes back to her normal smiley, sassy self! X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Vicki. And you’re right. I’d never really thought of that before. They don’t know any different x

      Reply
  3. Lydia C. Lee
    September 16, 2014 at 6:47 am (3 years ago)

    Indeed, you notice all the things the second child misses out on, but then you see how much they gain too…

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm (3 years ago)

      Oooh very wise indeed, Lydia πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Bec | Mumma Tells
    September 16, 2014 at 7:07 am (3 years ago)

    Beautiful, Renee.

    I’ve been thinking lately that being number two is sure full of perks. There’s been chocolate tasting and permanent co-sleeping and free access to dummies… all things I’d never have done with my big one. But the juggle is always going to be a juggle, and mastering that skill is an ongoing practise, I think.

    You’re an amazing mama to give thought to it. That’s how I know they think you’re amazing too. You’ve got this. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Aww bless. You are the sweetest! I didn’t think of the perks they get. That’s a great way to look at it x

      Reply
  5. Kathy
    September 16, 2014 at 8:48 am (3 years ago)

    With the gap between our two of 6.5 years I think our little man gets plenty of attention but it is different. I have (or give) less time and hubby is even more active.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm (3 years ago)

      Well that’s great your husband is very involved. It definitely makes it easier.

      Reply
  6. Toni
    September 16, 2014 at 9:21 am (3 years ago)

    I really hope that I can invest as much time with number two, but I don’t see how when I’ll have to be keeping my eye on little miss ninja who’s always into everything. I’ve spent so much time with her I think she might end up getting a bit jealous when number two comes along, but we’ll cross that bridge if and when it happens.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, that jealousy and sibling rivalry is oh so much fun :/

      Reply
  7. Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma
    September 16, 2014 at 10:34 am (3 years ago)

    This is the kind of thing your daughter will be so grateful to have as a keepsake when she is older. Very precious to read about her mum’s love and perspective on her at that age.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Jess. Very kind πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. The Exercise Hitlist
    September 16, 2014 at 11:39 am (3 years ago)

    Agghhh its one my biggest juggles, trying to scratch out that quality time with each of my four boys. The youngest and the eldest are easy enough to separate out but I find separating the twins a little harder. I don’t know why, they are very definitely individuals but I think that because they are the same age and into very similar things how do you take one without the other? We do get there for one on one time but not as often as I like. Anyway I am hoping that what they miss independently from me they gain in companionship with their brothers and the family as a whole. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m sure they do! It must be so hard to find the time with four kids. It sounds like you have a lovely close and supportive family though.

      Reply
  9. Zanni Louise
    September 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm (3 years ago)

    This is very familiar Renee! I feel so similarly about little Rosie. She has spunk too, and I often feel a little guilty about the lack of quality time we have together. Thankfully though we are both the early risers, so that’s our time. I am learning to appreciate that. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm (3 years ago)

      I imagine that would be a very special time of day for you both πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  10. Claire
    September 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm (3 years ago)

    We have the opposite issue. Number 2 is so much more demanding that I feel as though I am neglecting our eldest. She doesn’t require or demand the same level of attention that No2 does. I think it’s easier to ‘balance the books’ when it’s no 1 that is a little left out. I make sure that when no2 is having her nap, I spend time with No 1 -actually interacting with her (at whatever she wants). It would make life easier if I could get a head start on dinner or other jobs, but I try to give that time to her. I also let her stay up a little after no2 has gone to bed, and make sure that no matter what, I go into her room and have a chat with her (rubbing her back as bribery for her talking to me!) even if Daddy has already done her story time. Even if it means I miss out on talking to my husband, or I eat my dinner at 9pm, I make sure I give her that time. It’s always a struggle though! Great Blog Renee!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

      Claire, you are an AMAZING mum. Really you are. You’re so very kind and thoughtful and always putting everyone before yourself. Your girls are very lucky to have you πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  11. Bec @ The Plumbette
    September 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm (3 years ago)

    Well Magdalene has copped it twice now – being the second child and now my attention is on Phoebe being the newborn. I try and spend as much one on one time with her while Esther plays by herself and Phoebe is asleep. Magdalene doesn’t demand attention but I have a tug on my heart that I haven’t been able to invest in her as much as the other two.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh it’s hard, Bec. Isn’t it?! Just not enough hours in the day. I know that you’re doing a wonderful job though.

      Reply
  12. EssentiallyJess
    September 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm (3 years ago)

    I am always trying to find the balance giving kids extra time. Some days I feel bad for my youngest, because even though she is with me every day, she is also dragged from pillar to post with everyone else’s activities. It’s hard work being a mum.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm (3 years ago)

      It sure is, Jess. I feel a bit like that with my kids at times too. There’s always something to be done. It would be nice to sit around and play all day but groceries need to be bought etc etc.

      Reply
  13. Dannielle
    September 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

    This is a beautiful post Renee. You just have a gorgeous way of putting things.
    I look at our little number 2 some days and question whether she has had enough of my time. I figure I must be doing something right when every morning she comes and finds me in bed (and snuggles in next to me) or getting ready for work (and she wraps her arms around me), those moments truly are priceless, I hope she does it forever!
    I was a first child, so lucky in the early days at least but unlucky in the teenage years as I was dealt a very short leash compared with the one my younger brother and sister got! I guess in the end whatever number you are in the family everything eventually evens itself out.
    Have a gorgeous day! xxxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:00 pm (3 years ago)

      I was the first child too, Dannielle, and trust me I know all about that short leash!! Your number two sounds so gorgeous. Those cuddles are just so, so special πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Emma Fahy Davis
    September 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm (3 years ago)

    Awww, two is such a wonderful age and such a horrid age all at the same time! I must admit that I’m loving the two days I have Rosie on my own at home while the big girls are at school, I never got that one-on-one time with the middles as they are too close together in age!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:01 pm (3 years ago)

      That is so great you’re having the one on one time with Rosie now. You deserve a bit of a break after having your other girls so close together!

      Reply
  15. Tegan
    September 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm (3 years ago)

    A gorgeous post about your little girl. I’m the eldest in my family and there is nearly 12 years between my brother and I so I think we both got a very different start to our lives. My parents were just starting out in the world when I was born, but were pretty well established when my brother came along. I don’t think either of us missed out on much though, at least not when we were little.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you, Tegan πŸ™‚ It must have been lovely for you to get a brother after all of those years.

      Reply
  16. Erin
    September 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Renee
    I think mummas carry a huge swag of guilt about so many issues. I get it I really do, I used to fall into that trap big time and still do from time to time. One day I was feeling guilty about a child’s position in family placement, (my first, I was worrying- what a burden) and an older and wiser friend pointed out that God placed her in that position for a reason. Not sure why but it was a life changing comment, I stopped worrying over something I had no control over.
    So yes my other children get a different mumma to my first, that’s okay, they have benefits from having siblings so it balances all out really. And in some ways some things are better. I’m more experienced, I’m more patient etc so it all balances out.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:04 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh Erin. Sometimes you say things and they make so much sense. I like the thought that God places you in a position for a reason. I think you’re right. I really do.

      Reply
  17. Pinky Poinker
    September 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm (3 years ago)

    How gorgeous!! She’s delightful! My second son was fiercely competitive with his older brother. He had to do everything he could to keep up. Even now he’s just beaten his brother to finish his law degree even though he started a year after his older brother. They are 17 months apart but were toilet trained on the same day. He was walking at 8 months. I always thought of him as an old soul too. They all find their place in the family whether it’s first or fifth x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm (3 years ago)

      Wow, Pinky! That is a serious effort by your second son to finish his law degree before your first son. I think competitive is an understatement. I think you’re right – they all find their place. I can’t wait to watch my little girls grow up and see what they’re like πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Hugzilla
    September 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm (3 years ago)

    I have 4 and 2 year old boys and boy, can I relate to this. Pun intended. From the molars, to the clinginess, to the shadowing the older sibling. I can see so much of my family in this.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm (3 years ago)

      Our kids are the same age πŸ™‚ I’m glad you can relate. It makes me feel a little less crazy πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    September 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I often think poor Nick wishes there was a 2nd child just so I had someone else to focus on for a while and stop nagging/annoying him!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm (3 years ago)

      Aww poor Nick πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  20. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    September 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm (3 years ago)

    You will look back on this in years to come and all these great memories will come flooding back. The second does have quite a different experience than the first right?? No better or worse, just different xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm (3 years ago)

      Good advice, Em. I hadn’t thought of it that way πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  21. Carla from My Yellow Heart
    September 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm (3 years ago)

    Yes that poor second child. I agree with Emily, their experience is different, no better or worse, just different x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, I think there’s something in that x

      Reply
  22. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    September 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm (3 years ago)

    Look at that darling ballerina!
    As all kids are different, I’m sure they probably get what they need in different ways. I can remember thinking my little sister got all the attention, when we were young, but I’m sure it must be a tough juggle.
    I have no doubt your two possums are very happy and content xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lisa πŸ™‚ Yes, I think they are xx

      Reply
  23. ann
    September 16, 2014 at 10:36 pm (3 years ago)

    I really feel for my middle boy, he is watching his big brother start school, go to parties etc and he is feeling so left out. It is tough because there is a close age gap and he knows exactly what he is missing out on.
    Love this post of yours.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh thank you so much, Ann! Yes, I bet it would be hard for your younger one. I bet he’s chomping at the bit to join his brother.

      Reply
  24. DruimΓ©@SnippetsandSpirits
    September 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm (3 years ago)

    I just love that photo of your gorgeous smiley girl. I feel the exact same with my number 2. He is amazing so independent but full of cuddles and like you I spoilt number 1. I guess it really proves the different personalities that go with birth order. A gorgeous post Renee You are doing an amazing job the fact that you are so conscious of these things!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Druime xx

      Reply
  25. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    September 17, 2014 at 12:10 am (3 years ago)

    We got loads of time with number 2 when number 1 started Preprimary. In the end he has had more one on one time than number 1 did, it’s just a bit later in life.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh okay, yes that will probably happen with us too. Thanks! I feel better now πŸ™‚

      Reply
  26. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    September 17, 2014 at 11:04 am (3 years ago)

    Ahh, the second child. I can relate to much of what you are saying. When I do try and spend one on one time with our baby boy, I then feel guilty for neglecting his big brother – can we ever win?!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s a juggle, Lauren!

      Reply
  27. Elisha Ross
    September 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Lots of reading books. Thats her fav so thats what we do. Though its been hard to spread myself evenly between everyone at the moment with baby Oliver. I forgot how much time these baby’s take up.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 17, 2014 at 9:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Don’t they just?! Reading is a lovely activity that all of the kids can enjoy. I love that time with my girls with both of them beside me listening intently πŸ™‚

      Reply
  28. Toushka Lee (@Toushkalee)
    September 18, 2014 at 10:02 am (3 years ago)

    I also have a sassy second child.
    We get lots of one on one time while her older brother is at school. But she is already ready to have less time and go out and be a big kid. She really wants to be at school.
    I’m about to have a third child and I know my time will be even further stretched between them. But I’m not too worried. Athough, my first is super duper smart and my second is not quite as advanced as her brother was at the same age and I thought it might have been because I spent so much more time with the first, and the alphabet and books and songs. But I think it’s also a personality thing. She is super social and confident where my son is not.
    Isn’t it amazing how different siblings can be? My two are polar opposites and have different needs. this third one will be different again.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm (3 years ago)

      I find it absolutely fascinating that they can be so different. Their individual personalities are evident from very early on.

      Reply
  29. Elisa {With Grace & Eve}
    September 20, 2014 at 6:32 am (3 years ago)

    Yes it’s so hard to spend the one on one tine with the second, certainly not in the same way you did with your first. I have struggled with this. But remind myself they also have the blessing of growing up with a sister/brother always there for them too. My second has sooo much spunk – maybe it’s a second child thing? Xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 21, 2014 at 7:27 pm (3 years ago)

      Maybe it is!! Yes, I love the relationship my two girls have. It is nice that the younger ones have an older sibling looking out for them x

      Reply
  30. Clare
    September 20, 2014 at 8:01 am (3 years ago)

    One day a week is mummy and Emily day. Last week we went to a free play session at the local gymnastics club. Today was a picnic at the zoo. We play her favourite games and complete her favourite puzzles. Perfection.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm (3 years ago)

      That does sound like perfection, Clare. It’s so great you can have one day out a week with her. When our eldest starts school, I know that I’ll be able to have that sort of quality time with my youngest too πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  31. Sam Stone (@A Life on Venus)
    September 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm (3 years ago)

    At the moment I try to make sure that I spend enough time with our first, she is because her little brother, who is 20 months has been getting a lot of time because he is still little and needing a lot done for him.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm (3 years ago)

      It’s a bit of a juggle isn’t it? I’m sure it all works out in the end πŸ™‚

      Reply
  32. Adam
    September 22, 2014 at 10:10 pm (3 years ago)

    It’s all swings and roundabouts Ren. The first child has loads of attention from parents which is lovely but they never get to enjoy having an older sibling. Second child does.

    Not better, not worse, just different.

    Love

    Adam x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      September 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Very true, Adam. Just different xx

      Reply

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