The start of raising sisters

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Mia didn’t become a big sister the day Margo was born. She accepted her new role the day she found out we were having another baby.

All through my pregnancy, she’d ask about the baby, talk and sing to the baby and referred to herself as a big sister. She’d tell Margo everyday how much she loved her, before Mia even met her. She’d also talk about all of the big sister things she’d do for her like take care of her, give her hugs and kisses, read to her and share her toys with her.

Both Dominic and I had no doubts about just how amazing of a big sis Mia would be for Margo. We couldn’t wait to finally see the two of them together. It was actually because of Mia that we even made the decision to have a second child. I’ve always thought about having a large family, but it wasn’t until having Mia that I knew I would at least have 2 children. I knew that I had to gift her with a friend for life. I had a sibling growing up and I think I would have been so lonely as a child had my brother not entered my life. Dominic and I both knew that Mia would majorly benefit from having a playmate as well. And now, we’re at the start of raising sisters.

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I’m not going to lie, it was a bumpy transition for Mia at first. Margo has a set of lungs on her that reaches ear-piercing decibels when she screams. The day after Margo was born, Dad and Mia came to visit us in the hospital. It didn’t take long for Margo to cry during their visit and it freaked Mia out! Mia booked it towards the door, hid behind the dividing curtain and just cried. She was scared and then didn’t want to go near Margo.

The photo below is actually from that encounter and was taken soon after we comforted Mia. We were able to convince her to pose for a picture but she wasn’t happy about it at all. For the next week, Mia remained uneasy around Margo, especially when she was fussy and crying (which was more often than not!). Once Mia realized that this is just what babies do (or at least our baby), then it wasn’t so scary anymore. It became the norm. And after weeks of dealing with a fussy baby, when Mia would see me or Dad become flustered over Margo’s crying, Mia would tell us, “It’s okay, guys. She’s just a baby. This is what babies do!” Thata girl, Mia.

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After Mia moved past her “what-the-heck-just-happened-to-my-life” phase, the two of them have been amazing together. Mia has insisted on helping out as much as she can. She often requests to have Margo lay down on her bed with her so she can read her books. And just when I think it’s not a good idea because Margo’s been fussing for the past half hour, I’m proved wrong. Margo mellows out almost every time she’s near her big sister. She hears the sound of Mia’s voice, zeros in on her face and then doesn’t take her eyes off of her. Margo is infatuated with Mia, it’s so sweet. She peacefully listens to Mia read her stories….well, for as long as a baby can be entertained. This usually lasts for about 15 minutes, but it’s the most adorable 15 minutes of our day.

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Mia also loves to help me bathe Margo. I prop her step-stool near the kitchen counter where Margo bathes and I put her in charge of pouring water over Margo’s body (slowly and gently) to keep her warm while I wash her with soap.

Mia also loves to accompany me when I change Margo’s poopy diapers. “Is it poop?! I wanna see! I wanna see!” It’s the most random thing, but she insists on checking out every single poopy diaper before I throw it in the trash. After she catches a glimpse, she takes off back to whatever activity she was doing before she was interrupted.

Anther common request from Mia is, “Can I pet Margo? Can I pet her hair?” Mia is also very helpful when I’m in the middle of something and Margo starts fussing while on her play mat or in her rocker or chair. Mia will try to calm her down by sitting next to her, talking to her, showing her a toy and giving her kisses. She always tells Margo, “Oh, you’re SO CUTE! I love you, Margo!” She also always tells Margo, “You came out of Mommy’s tummy. Yes, you did! Oh, yes you did!” in a baby voice.

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Over the last 3 months, it’s been such a treat to watch this relationship grow between my girls. It’s been a slow and gentle one that has required patience from us all. There’s not a whole lot that they can do together physically, so Mia has taken on more of a caregiver/helper role with Margo than a playmate. I know that in time this will change, but hopefully Mia won’t completely lose her desire to care for Margo. I hope that as the two of them grow, they discover the benefits of having a sister and see each other more as a gift and best friend rather than just someone they can beat up and yell at :)

A few hopes and wishes for my girls as they grow together as sisters:

– I hope you always have each others’ back. Like a mini gang. Never let anyone talk crap about your sister, whether it’s to her face or behind her back. Personal defender for life!

– I hope you find a best friend in each other. Sure, you will argue and fight, have differing opinions and may just want to punch the other in the face at times, but I hope you two have a strong, sisterly bond that will never be broken. Bff for life!

– I hope to continue to save big on money by reusing Mia’s clothes that she grows out of for Margo! That’s right, hand-me-downs are big around here. I saved so much of Mia’s things which has made life so convenient, for now. As you girls grow to where you’re similar in size, when Margo finally catches up to Mia, I hope you two manage to maintain the same body size so that you can borrow each others’ clothes. Not having a sister of my own, I never got to experience sharing clothes with anyone but always thought it would be so much fun to “shop” in a sister’s closet. I bet it’s infuriating at times, especially when the clothing item comes back a little damaged after use…or when clothing starts disappearing because the borrower fails to not only tell you she’s borrowing them but also forgets to return them. BUT… imagine all of the money I’ll save over the years as you two grow up if one item clothes the both of ya! But seriously, double the closet, girls. Double the closet. And shopping pals for life!

– Of course, being sisters means there will be some similarities between the two of you. But…you are both your own unique person. I hope neither of you ever get caught up in constantly comparing yourself to the other. There is such a thing as healthy competition, so I think it will only be natural to want to “one up” or outdo the other. Maybe this will help drive and motivate you to always strive for your personal best. But please, know that I will never expect you two to be like the other, act like the other, nor will I love you like the other. My love will always be different and unique for each of you, but will never…ever run dry. I’ll love you for life!

– I hope you care enough about each other to tell it like it is. That is, if you two are open and honest enough to confide in each other in the first place…which is another huge hope of mine for you two. There will never be any other person besides your sister (and me) who will not only listen to every single detail about your problems (school, friend, boy, body image, financial, passion related…anything!), but will give you an honest response and/or solution. You may not want to hear what we have to say at times, but don’t forget that we’re blunt because we love you. Personal therapist for life!

– I hope to teach the two of you to do each others’ hair (ie ponytails, braids, pigtails, buns…) so that I’ll have one less thing to do each morning before work/school. Hello, personal hair stylist for life!

Like I said before, I don’t have sisters and therefore don’t really know the bond that sisters share from personal experience. I’m sure as I watch my girls grow over the years that I will realize so many more hopes that I’ll have for my girls and their relationship with one another. But at the end of every day, love is really all that a parent can hope for their children. And that’s what I hope for you two. Love each other like no one else, and you’ll never feel alone. You’ll never be alone.

 

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Comments

  1. Aw what a beautiful post! I don’t have a sister or even a sibling so I couldn’t begin to imagine the bond they do and will have. It’s so huge that Mia wants to take care of Margo. And how cute they both have M names, just like you :) I just realized that haha.

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