Mom Unedited: Big Brother is Watching

Mom Unedited: Big Brother is Watching

Real life (if somewhat shameful) stories about raising Winston

In just a few weeks, my family will welcome a little girl into our lives. We're all excited about this, but no one is more excited than our 4-year-old son, Winston. 

His excitement has been one of the purest joys of the entire pregnancy. He talks about "his baby" every day – where she will sleep (he initially insisted that she share his room), what she will eat (olives, strawberries and pepperoni, just like him), and how they will play together (he's set aside special RescueBots just for her). It helps that she is due around the holidays – it adds even more magic to a special time of year.

Winston’s enthusiasm has helped my husband and me get in the right frame of mind (it’s also helped us see past some of his bad behavior these past few months, but I digress). We remember how excited we were when we were anticipating Baby Winston. The beauty of the day he was born – a perfect June day in Miami. The joy of introducing him to our friends and family in those first few weeks of life. The delight in every new expression and every new milestone.

It’s helping us see past what we know is looming in the next few months. The bone-crushing exhaustion, the endless diapers, the feedings every two hours, the challenge of settling into new routines for every member of the household, the mystery of deciphering a baby's cries, the laundry that never quite gets done, the house that is never quite clean, and all that is in between.

And that assumes our baby girl will be an easy baby, a healthy baby (please be an easy, healthy baby).

As you can tell, I find myself more anxious this time around. There have been more tests, more doctors’ visits, and a first pregnancy to compare and contrast with this one. I'm also much more aware of health and safety issues this time –from the nursery to the car seat to the crib, we're trying to ensure the safest environment possible for baby No. 2.

So to keep things in perspective, I find myself living vicariously through my son as he experiences the wonder of anticipating his baby sister. I'm grateful for his morning hugs and belly rubs and for his sotto voce greetings to his little sis. I'm grateful that every picture he draws now includes a fourth little figure. I watch in wonder at his patience and gentleness with his friend's little siblings and it all makes me realize that Winston’s little sister has no idea how lucky she is.

I’d love your advice. Please comment with any tips I need to know when moving from one kid to two.

This blog was written by Shannon Sullivan.