Friday, April 02, 2010
Growing up as an only child definitely gave me my own unique perspective regarding family life. I remember the looks on people's faces when I told them I was an only child. They often remarked on how "spoiled" I probably was. In retrospect I guess I was spoiled, but definitely not to the point that I wasn't thankful and appreciative of what I had. My mother made sure of that. I did often wonder what it would have been like to have a brother or sister around.
It was a huge leap of faith for my wife and I to decide to have a second child. Our first foray into parenthood hasn't been a cake walk and the sleepless nights alone were almost reason enough for us to stop at one. The utter exhaustion that we experienced in the early weeks and months obviously had an effect on us. However after much discussion and debate and ultimately throwing caution to the winds, we were lucky enough to bring another wonderful life into this world. Thankfully we've been very fortunate as number two has been so much easier and compliant than our firstborn. Maybe you can chalk it up to experience or perhaps it's because we're a little more prepared and easygoing. Who am I kidding, it's mostly due to our daughter herself, have I mentioned how great she's been? I know many parents may hate us, but she was pretty much sleeping through the night by seven weeks. She'll even go days without really crying. Trust me, we thank our lucky stars every night. She's been amazing.
You hear stories and nightmares of sibling jealousy or behavioural issues associated with bringing a new baby into the house. For the most part our son has been indifferent, which is way more preferable than what we were told to expect. Lately, he's even been showing her more affection, odd considering he has never really been the cuddly type.
As parents, my wife and I try our best to lay a strong, nurturing foundation for our children. We strive to establish a stable, warm, and supportive home environment. We constantly stress and try to model the importance of manners and respect. No where is this more apparent than in the things that we tell our son. We try to convey the responsibility he now has as the big brother, to watch out for his sister, to teach her things, and to reinforce that the bond that they share is like no other. We want to be able to see them grow up together and be able to lean on each other in times of need; however, we also know that there are no guarantees. Although we want them to be best friends it may not necessarily turn out that way. So we're keeping our fingers crossed and our hopes high for the future. And if anyone has a magic formula as to how to foster such a relationship, we're all ears.