I’m not going to lie; while I’m really excited about our imminent (yep, less than 8 weeks left now!) arrival, I’m also apprehensive about what it means for our lives. There are lots of things that we enjoy doing, as a family of three, that I’m concerned won’t be able to continue as a family of 4. For instance, we tend to take Sausage to the cinema quite regularly, especially if there’s a new kids film out, but I’m not sure how a newborn would fit into that scenario?
The cinema we go to is a small, independent theatre with fewer seats per screen and early morning showings (it’s also not as loud as a lot of cinemas seem to be, either), so in theory I’m hoping that I can wear the baby in a sling and try to time showings between feeds, that way if she gets fussy during a film, I can simply walk outside with her and try to settle her without disturbing other film-goers. I know some theatres do baby-friendly showings, but I don’t think there are any near us.
Sausage and I like to go swimming together occasionally too, and our pool has strict ratios of how many kids per adult there are. I’m hoping that Sausage will see taking her baby sister as a fun thing, not an interruption of Mummy/Sausage time, although obviously there’ll be times that Husband is able to take care of the baby whilst Sausage and I go for a dip.
I’m also getting pre-emptive guilt about taking Sausage to school and having the baby at home with me. I know I’m being irrational; Sausage had her time at home with us and was lucky enough to have both parents working from home during that time, so a LOT of quality was spent together during those years, but she still struggles on occasion with being left at school while her Dad and I are at home and I’m worried that knowing her sister will be here with us too will make her feel worse or isolate her somehow.
I know it’s totally normal to have all of these worries and, in a way, I’m glad I’m thinking about everything now so that I can be marginally more prepared if these situations arise. However, I most certainly don’t have any answers at this precise moment and it’s causing horrible anxiety levels ahead of my due date.
I’m pretty certain that Sausage is going to WOW us all and just be totally amazing about everything, in that way that she always is, showing her usual levels of patience and understanding. The age gap is both a blessing and a curse – Sausage is old enough to understand everything that’s going on and has been as involved as possible in the pregnancy, coming to scan appointments, helping me to rub cocoa butter into my bump and feeling her sister moving around. But she’s also old enough to feel pushed out when Mummy has to spend her time doing baby-related things, and that’s what’s worrying me.
So, do any of my readers have a 5 and a half year age gap (or more)? Is it possible to continue doing normal family activities with a newborn or am I going to have to compromise on certain things? And is there a good way to make sure Sausage and I don’t lose our special bond? All advice is muchly appreciated.