Brotherly Love

By: Abby Keane

Finn trying to hold Eamon

For about two weeks after finding out I was pregnant with Eamon, every night after putting Finn to bed, I would cry.  I thought Finn would hate me for changing his life, I felt terrible that this huge upheaval would be coming and there was no way to really prepare him, and the raging hormones might have had a little something to do with the tears too.  I worried that Finn would resent his little brother for the changes his existence would cause.  I grew up with an older sister, and although our seven year age gap didn’t engender much closeness when we were young, she’s now one of my best friends and I cannot imagine not having that relationship in my life.  I was thrilled that Finn would have the opportunity for that same relationship, someone to be best friends with, someone who would always be there for him and vice versa.  I kept worrying about how he would deal with the change, but I eventually realized that he would never really remember being an only child once he got over the adjustment period.  I told everyone that Finn had always been an easygoing kid, and I was sure he would do just fine.  And he has!

Finn really does love Eamon already.  He loves to kiss him, and insists that he needs to kiss him whenever they’re in the same room together after being separated.  He likes to point out Eamon’s nose, eyes, ears, mouth, and hands.  He gets upset if Eamon cries for more than a minute or two, and makes sure to let us know that the baby is crying.  He tries to help us burp Eamon, and if Eamon isn’t in need of assistance, Finn’s stuffed animals get burped.

Finn accepts that sometimes what he needs has to wait until Eamon gets what he needs.  I think it helps that sometimes Eamon has to wait for Finn’s needs to be met too.  He likes to tell people Eamon’s name, and that he is his “brudder.”  We’ve tried, wherever possible, to integrate Eamon into Finn’s routines, and not the other way around.  Finn has accepted the changes to his routine with ease – he likes to be read to during Eamon’s feeding sessions, and we’ve made Eamon’s bath time after Finn’s bed time (I think Finn would be a little too eager to “help”).  Eamon helps put Finn to bed, and they always share a bedtime kiss.

So why do I still feel guilty for all the changes to Finn’s life?  He has accepted them and moved on to his new reality, I should be able to do the same at this point.  And I’m getting closer to being able to do that.  In fact, when I started drafting this blog post, it was called “Mommy Guilt” and was going to be about how guilty I have felt about the changes in Finn’s life.  But after writing about how well Finn has adjusted and how much he seems to love Eamon already, it became about the love that already exists between these two little boys.  How can I not be thrilled that Mike and I have helped create that in our family?

4 thoughts on “Brotherly Love

  1. I think many things are harder for us mommies than they are for our kids. I felt the same way with my kids, since my oldest was 6 when his brother was born, but he is a great big brother and my younger son idolizes him 🙂

  2. Great post! I felt the same way when I found out I was pregnant with the twins. I was so upset about changing Grace’s life, but I now know the change was for the better!

    That’s not to say I don’t still feel guilty that Grace doesn’t get as much attention and she often has to wait to have her needs met.

  3. Great post, Abby! Love the honesty about the emotions that go along with adding a new baby to the family.

  4. It is so true that the adjustment to new sibs can be difficult – on momma’s and kiddoes, Momma’s especially! 😉

    On our case, fiercest friends and sometimes rivals is what I have found my kiddoes are. The first child my son ever tormented was his little sister. On the other hand, The first child he ever hit at a playground was someone who teased his sister. (I didn’t know whether to yell at him or hug him for that.) Always an adventure…

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