Lovey isn’t an only child anymore…February 17th made her a big sister to “Snuggles.” So much has happened in the last eight weeks during my maternity leave-I feel like I have had to learn all over again how to be a mom of two and manage the balance of two personalities, two time schedules, two lists of needs…
We started off okay with Lovey continuing to go to day care while I was at home “recovering” for the first two or three weeks. Then the challenges started. Apparently a two-year-old doesn’t understand why she has to go to day care while the new baby gets to stay home with mommy all day. We went through some minor behavior stage setbacks (suddenly Lovey wanted changed on the baby changing table again and wanted to sleep in the bassinet.) Then the real behavior challenges kicked in…form of: “throw your body on the floor and kick your legs and arms while screaming at the top of your lungs” temper tantrums. I was at the end of my rope and didn’t understand what was going on so one evening when Lovey was in a good mood I sat down and talked with her about why she was so upset. I felt like a complete stooge to learn that she apparently felt that Mommy and Daddy were holding Snuggles too much. That night I was putting Lovey to bed and asked if she wanted Daddy to come back and give her a kiss goodnight. She said with teary eyes “No, he is holding baby.” That stung. The behavior problems continued.
I started reading John Rosemond’s “Parenting by the Book” as recommended by Kim. It has a great perspective on age-old parenting skills which helped me really get through this behavior stage. (Please be warned that it does include some controversial behavior modification techniques involving a loving hand and a tushie…) I am happy to tell you that we are doing much better.
The improved behavior has also allowed me to keep Lovey at home with my several days a week during the final weeks of my maternity leave which she (and I) have enjoyed immensely.
I am sure that I will face many more challenges as time goes on which will undoubtedly have me pulling my hair out as the girls get older but I at least right now, I am glad to work for a company that understands the needs of children so greatly and offers the necessary time off to make these important family adjustments.