Since becoming pregnant, I’ve noticed that I’m already guilty of drawing comparisons between now and when I was carrying Sausage, given that the two pregnancies are so different so far. Then, yesterday, Husband and I were talking about the fact that we never really ‘baby-proofed’ when Sausage was tiny, we were just vigilant and taught her what not to do and Husband said “But what if we were just lucky with Sausage and the new baby turns out to be into everything?!”. It got me thinking – we really were lucky with Sausage, in so many ways…what if the new baby just doesn’t live up to the very high precedent that its big sister has set?
I really dislike it when people use the phrase ‘good baby’, as in “little Hermione sleeps through, she’s such a good baby” because it’s a completely unfair standard to set for a newborn; if they want to scream the house down then there must bloody well be a reason for it, in my opinion, and it certainly doesn’t make them a bad baby. However, in the grand scheme of things, Sausage was definitely what most people would call a ‘good baby’. She fed well, napped well, people would constantly comment on how content and happy she seemed because she rarely ever cried. As she got into the toddler stage, she never once had a tantrum in the supermarket (and probably only 2 or 3 at home; her ‘Terrible Twos’ seemed to last about three weeks!), I never had to worry about taking her anywhere because her behaviour was immaculate.
Even now, as a 5 year old, sure she has to be pushed to do things outside of her comfort zone but her current class teacher described her as having “impeccable behaviour and manners” – what more can you ask of a 5 year old, huh? I realise I probably sound like one of those nauseating parents who think their kid is perfect, but it really is true, Husband and I often take a moment to appreciate the fact that she really is a good girl and that we’re hugely blessed.
So, how on earth is a new child ever going to live up to this?! Husband have been well and truly spoilt by our firstborn, but what if this new child is the polar opposite – demanding, ill-tempered, prone to screaming matches in public?!
I have siblings, but there’s almost 9 years between my sister and I, and I was almost 16 when my little brother was born, so there’s not really any element of competitiveness with them as we’re of different generations. My sister and I are literally chalk and cheese, we could be more different and at times we rub each other up the wrong way, but I’m still fiercely protective of her and proud of how kind she can be. My little bro and I are probably more similar in a lot of ways, but I’m more or less old enough to be his Mum and we didn’t grow up together, so it’s not like a normal little brother/big sister relationship and my heart swells with pride when I think about how awesome he’s grown up to be.
I’ve no doubt that I’ll love this child every bit as much as I love Sausage and that will be unconditional, in the same way that my love for its big sister is. But Sausage really is a hard act to follow and I’ve got a feeling in the pit of my stomach which is a combination of worry at how different this child might be, especially if the differences are seemingly negative, and fear that I’ll spend all of my time drawing comparisons between my two children, putting Sausage on a pedestal. More importantly, I worry that other people will draw comparisons between my two children and it could affect their sibling relationship.
Do you have two or more kids? Do you do the comparing thing? How do you deal with other people making comparisons? Am I normal to be worried about this?! HELP!