As if life wasn’t already full before, my balancing act is definitely in super charge mode with baby Beau’s arrival! Our newest bundle of joy is already bringing a wonderful new dynamic to the family, and lots of excitement. These first few weeks are so important as everyone settles into Beau’s presence, and adjusts to the beautiful chaos that a new baby brings. Although Liam, Stella, and Hattie have been here before, there is always an adjustment, and of course, this is all new to Finn.
During each of my pregnancies, I put lots of thought into getting the other kids excited about bringing home their new sibling. Making time for everyone is also an on-going challenge, made less easier with a newborn. Below are some of the ways Dean and I try to make each of my other children feel special during the transition, as well as build enthusiasm for their new brother’s arrival.
Welcome Home “Party”
It’s no secret that the McDermott clan loves parties! I can’t plan my usual soiree right out of the hospital, but I can add a little excitement to when Beau comes home by letting the kids plan some special touches for his first day home, such as what we’ll eat for dinner that night and a special dessert. The kids can also plan decorations and party favors for the occasion. Dean and I also present a gift to the family – a new movie or board game, for example, something that we can all do together.
In addition to each of the kids exchanging gifts with Beau, I make sure I have a few wrapped surprises for each of my kiddos so that they have something to open when visitors arrive with gifts for baby.
Everyone wants to feel important, especially my kids! So, I’m making sure each of them has an important assignment connected to Beau. We come up with these together so they feel a part of the plan. Liam is excited to help with Beau’s bath. Stella likes to help me prepare Beau’s bottles, while Hattie and Finn are in charge of entertainment, (aka playing with his toys and making funny faces and sounds for him!).
Although the first few days of baby requires most of our attention, Dean and I are carving out dedicated one-on-one time with each of the kids. Whether it’s reading a book together, having a snuggle fest, or crafting together, we are doing our best to create at least 10 minutes of one-on-one time with each child every day. I find that it doesn’t have to be an elaborate production or a huge amount of time. It’s the focused quality time that the kids really appreciate and get the most out of (me too!).
My to-do list is a new opportunity to bond with the kids! For those daily chores and duties that have to get done, I use them as an opportunity to spend time together. For example, Stella loves to cook, so dinner time is a great chance to spend time together in the kitchen. I also love solo conversations with each child during Beau’s feedings.
It’s never easy and certainly not perfect, but we are finding our new groove with baby Beau while helping the kids find theirs. How do you find time to focus individually on each of your kids?
Photo By: Elizabeth Messina+ Comment