I always wanted to have two kids but when I had my first baby, it felt like my world was complete and I didn't need another. But over a period of time I felt like my daughter needed company. So after 7 long years, we decided to go for another child. With the little one coming into our 7-year setting, there were many things that upset my older one - the biggest being seeing someone else sharing the bed with me. But I couldn't do much since the little one was a voracious night time feeder who also happened to be a light sleeper.
I was already struggling seeing that my older one was getting scolded more. She wanted things to be like before but a lot had changed. It pained me to see her adjust to the new baby with so much difficulty. There were moments when she felt excited seeing her giggle and then times when she would shout and crib about having a baby sister. I kept on telling her that I still loved her the most but nothing changed.
That is when I decided to have a different approach towards this situation. To start with, I told everyone that no one should ever tell my older one that 'wo toh choti hai, aap badey ho'. I had heard from a child psychologist once that unknowingly we complicate matters and make the older one despise the younger one when we ask her to make all the sacrifices just because 'wo badi hai'.
Secondly, I also started scolding the younger one every time the older one got a scolding. Interestingly, she started getting protective about the younger one and the plan worked better than I had expected.
I took everyone from my parents and husband in confidence and instructed them that they have to make sure that they make her feel important. Since everyone who was coming home to meet the younger one ended up cuddling with her and the older one, who was till now the center of attention, was feeling left out. And some friends who were very close to me also did the same to avoid making her feel left out.
Honestly, if you take longer to plan the second child, the first child is already used to the idea of having all the attention to him and him alone. And this is where things get complicated. My older one helps me a lot in terms of taking care of the younger one but there are times when she says - wish I was younger. Only a mother reads such things - no one else does.