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Monday, January 23, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: 5-minute game to make your child feel loved

Last night, I was reading the book Playful Parenting, when I came across an anecdote about a mother, who had just had a third child. Her older kids had gotten clingy because they felt that the new baby was taking away from their time with her. So, she made up a genius game...

Each morning, "she would take each child on her lap and say that she was going to 'fill them up with Mommy love.' She'd start at their toes, work her way up and end with a kiss on top of their heads. Then she did the 'love egg.' Do you know that trick where you pretend to crack a egg over someone's head by gently tapping them on the head and then spreading your fingers down their hair? She would call this the love egg and crack it over them, spreading more Mommy love. Both older kids loved this and wanted to do it every day. This five-minute game helped them to be able to play on their own and with each other while their mom was busy with the new baby; it also helped them to be loving and warm toward the baby instead of resentful." -- Playful Parenting

Isn't that adorable? You could do it for many other reasons, too, like if you were going away on a trip or your child just needed some extra cuddling.

How many kids would you like to have? How many siblings do you have? Was it a tough adjustment going from one to two (or three or four...)? How did you (or your parents) try to help smooth the transition?

P.S. Five great parenting moments.
(Photo by Digital Vision/Veer, via Parents Magazine)

112 comments:

TheBeautyFile said...

Love this!! So sweet! Will try the egg on my son's egg! I have a brother and was never really jealous. I just became his 2nd mother!

Amanda said...

I was two years old when my sister was born, so I really don't remember when she was born, but my parents said that my Grandma came from Michigan and stayed with us for about a month I think and she basically devoted her time to me so that I didn't feel neglected one little bit. ;)

Briana said...

Two kids is ideal for me... although at 8 months pregnant, I can't imagine going through this again ANY TIME SOON!

I have 3 siblings and I can't imagine growing up without them. :)

Joanna Goddard said...

i remember my cousin had a tough time when his little brother was born. he got really quiet for months! it's tough for little ones (and grown ups) to make big transitions...this sounds like such a sweet way to help them through it.

Joanna Goddard said...

briana, how exciting!!!

Michelle Parks McCourt said...

We just had our second in October, 2 under 2 is a challenge but not as overwhelming as I thought it was going to be. 2 is the perfect number for me. The one thing I wasn't prepared for was the total 100% daddy love that was to happen when I brought the baby home. Our little toddler was all about Daddy, so really had to carve out time with Mommy...reading, bath time etc...

Tragic Sandwich said...

We'd love to have a second child, but we don't know if that's possible for us.

However, this sounds like a lovely way to start the day with Baguette, even if she never has a brother or sister!

Erin and Andrew Dodson said...

We're still talking about children... definitely at least 3 years away! But for sure 2, maybe 3. I grew up with 3 sisters, and my wife just had one... so I think three kids would be a good compromise! Lovely post!

Andrew Dodson
www.erinandreweverafter.com

Caroline Royce said...

I want 3 or 4. Though I haven't planned it out any further than that.

What about you and Alex? Do you guys want some siblings for Toby?

Anonymous said...

I was a nanny to a 4 year old boy and a 6 month old girl. The little boy would sometimes get upset that I had to pay more attention to the baby instead of him, so whenever the baby took a nap I called it "special Lauren and Cameron time." During that time I made sure to give him my undivided attention and let him play with all of the toys he couldn't when the baby was crawling around (ex. games with little pieces the baby could choke on). He would always look forward to that time and he didn't mind as much when I had to pay more attention to the baby later!

Stacy said...

My sister was six years old when I was born and had a really hard time adjusting to me. She had been an only child for so long and didn't like the idea of sharing our parents. Later in life, our family expanded and we both got 2 step-brothers. We seemed to have a harder time adjusting to each other than worrying about our parents attention.

I would like to have 3-4 children. I think it's so fun to have multiple play partners (or allies!), but my feelings may change once I actually start having them!

Anonymous said...

how old is the egg thing? lol I remember my mom doing it to me when I was young in 1994

melissa said...

I am 12 years old than my only sibling (brother). It was great at times and hard at times because I was much more like a care giver/extra parent than a sibling for most of his life. Also, since I was so much older, I don't think my parents felt as bad about not giving me as much attention when he was born, so I definitely felt a little abandoned at times.

Now that he's 19, it's a very awesome relationship, but I'd like to have my kids much closer in age. My son is 3 1/2 months old and I'd like to start trying again in about a year. :) I really want them to grow up together and go to the same schools--it's something I felt like I missed out on.

chanel said...

I am one of two and I can't imagine not having the consistent playmate (for when I was younger) and the consistent support and confidant (now that I'm older) that I've had in my sister. Although I don't have my own munchkins yet, my husband and I look forward to having a couple of our own.

xo chanel
http://bywayofney.blogspot.com/

Kathryn said...

In my head I want three babies, but I think maybe I should start with one first. :)

Jillian said...

No children for us, yet, but I cannot wait. One of the first things I "knew" when I met my husband was that he was going to be a wonderful father. I'm excited to see him in action... maybe soon?

I would love to have three children, but we'll have to wait and see. Twins run in my family so maybe I'll luck up with two pregnancies for three kiddos!

Karli said...

I am the oldest of 4 and had different reactions to each of my siblings being born. The hardest was my second sibling who was born when I was 7. I sincerely thought she was going to take my bed and all of my toys. I was very clingy to my mom and was "sick" all the time at school so I could stay home with her. I think once my sister was born, though, everything was fine.

My husband and I had our first child 4 months ago and it was REALLY tough the first three months. I am hoping to feel up to having a second in a couple of years, but two will probably be it for us. I loved growing up with sibilings!

Joanna Goddard said...

anonymous, i know! my parents did it to us, too :)

Liv Szari said...

My mom had 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys. We're 23,22,18, & 17...I love it! We're all so close, I'd love the same with my family! Although, I am pregnant with my first now and thinking "How on earth did my mom do it!?"
;)

-Liv
thencomesmarriagetheblog.blogspot.com

Joanna Goddard said...

caroline, definitely! we'd love to have a second, or maybe third, child. we're hoping to start trying sometime this year, fingers crossed.

Amelia said...

My family is kind of nuts because of multiple marriages (both of my parents have been married more than once with children from all of the marriages) so on my Dad's side I'm the oldest and have a sister that's 10 years younger. On my mom's side I'm the baby of 5 with my oldest brother being 14 years older than me. (Freudian fieldtrip: I'm the youngest child, middle child, and oldest child.)

Anyway, all of that is to say that I deeply appreciate the joys of a big wild family, but I think that my husband and I will be stopping at 2 children with the consideration that if we expanded our brood to three one day it would be through adoption. We're so thrilled and thankful for our one healthy gorgeous son, at this point all I can ask for is another healthy child to spill our love into.

Jen said...

I was 7 when my little sister came along. I don't remember adjusting well in the beginning because I had been so used to life as an only child. I wonder when the 'ideal' is for having another. I know it's different for everyone. My little one is just 12 weeks now. I think I'd like 2? 3?

Also, that game is precious. It made me feel so warm and cozy inside. Sounds perfect for sending kids off to school, too!

Sage Crown Parker said...

i don't have kids and i'm not sure why i read your monday post about mothering but i love this one! it's really sweet and nice to remember the egg trick. when i was young i always thought i would have 3 or 4 kids now that i'm almost 33 i wonder if i will ever have one. maybe one day - it's so hard to know if i'm ready or not.

Anna (A Newfound Treasure) said...

I have 1 younger sister. Supposedly, I hated her when she was born and wanted nothing to do with her. It wasn't all about me anymore... so when I had my boys, I made sure that I did everything to ensure that my older, Hudson, felt love and not neglected when Avery was born. He is the best big brother and plays well on his own. It's the only way I was about to breastfeed the baby for a year! So so important to still give one-on-one. Love that "mommy love" idea :)

calcuLATER said...

I have a younger brother, we are two and a half years apart. When he was born, I completely hated him. I requested that my parents send him back, my first memory is of contemplating tossing him out of a cab window, and I tried to smother him with a pillow a couple of weeks after his birth. But after about a month, I got used to him, and apparently loved him a lot. I referred to him as "my baby" and when people I didn't know tried to touch him i would say "Don't touch my baby!"

My parents were really good about spending individual time with me after he was born. They also always told me that they had another baby for me. They said that they wanted to make sure that I always had a friend, someone I could really trust. Phrasing it that way had a really positive effect I think. One of my favorite memories of my brother is when we were about 5 and 7, and we were at camp together. It was a really hot day, and I had finished all my water. My counselor, for some reason, refused to stop and let me get more (horrible in retrospect!) My group passed my brothers group, and I guess I looked all red and dehydrated, so he ran over to me, grabbed my empty water bottle and handed me his full one and then ran back to his group.

aislin said...

That is a really cute idea. Being the eldest sibling of four [and the big sister to three brothers], I don't remember life without my brothers. Growing up, girl time with my mom was hard to come by - there was always a little baby bro attached to her hip, or we were chauffeuring to a practice/game/birthday party. All that being said, my favourite thing to do was help my mom and I always idolized her.
As for me, I want two. Luckily, so does the boyfriend!

MaxxSilly said...

I found going from 1 to 2 was hard. We made sure our daughter (3) was able to help. She was "Official Disposer of Pee-Pee Diapers". She would come running for them and was so proud to help and would ask every few minutes if it was time to change her brother. I think making everyone feel needed is what is important. That is all any of us want.

Lauren Knight said...

Three for us! Which means we are officially done!

I remember a few days after I had #2, I was already thinking that our family didn't feel complete. It does now!

Diana Teodoro said...

So cute! What a great idea!
I wish I could have five children, but I don't know if life will allow me to. I might as well settle for the three my boyfriend wants.
I have a sister, but she's 15 years younger than me, so there was no jealousy just lots of excitement! I became her second mom, which was a great experience for me as a woman. It was a great practice for being a real mom. I'm no longer scared of failing as a mom, cause I've seen how it goes!Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong, but it's all worth it in the end!:)

twelfthzodiac said...

I am the oldest of 5 children in my family. Seven years age difference between me & my youngest sister. It is awesome to have so many siblings/nieces & nephews now! I was the unpaid babysitter/second mother a lot growning up. I resented it sometimes, but loved it other times & the resentment hasn't carried over to my adult life. I wouldn't trade them for anything! No children as of yet, but if/when I do, I am so happy they will have little cousins around to play with. I have 54 first cousins on my Dad's side of the family, so I can't imagine life without cousins! (My Dad was 1 of 15 kids - go Grandma!)

mrs. olson said...

I'm due with our 4th in March. We had the hardest adjustment from 1-2 but 2-3 was amazing. I felt our family grow with love and everything just felt happier. I'm hoping that 3-4 goes the same way. It's really fun the older the kids get, the more excited they are for a new sibling.

Jaimie said...

I have two siblings and so does my husband, but we've decided we're happy with two children. We live in an expensive city in a small house, and we feel like a third child would strain our home, time and finances.

Our two kids are just over two years apart. I remember hearing an analogy about having kids spaced closer together vs. farther apart as being like going through a tunnel: with little ones close together, the tunnel is blacker but shorter (you get through it faster). More spread out, the tunnel is brighter ... but longer! The nice thing about the oldest one still being so young when the baby was born is that their memories are so short. I really don't think my son remembers the time before his sister was a part of our lives.

abigail said...

so adorable! I've been finding with our 15 month old, that being as playful as possible really helps keep the day going at a good pace... I just have to wind it down before nap and bed so that she has a smooth transition that makes it easier to settle into sleep! ; )

I really want to check out this book! This weekend the husband ran up and down the ice sliding around and holding her and she LOVED it, something I would NEVER feel comfortable doing with her, so it's nice to see this balance between our approaches.

We are talking about planning for #2 actually, so this post was funny and serendipotouse! lol There is the whole spreading them out 3 yrs because it feels more "civilized" for the mom, but what about for the kids... I mean this is who it's about from here on out (hard to admit) so we might squeeze the 2nd one in sooner than our original 3 yr span idea. And make it 2 years or 2.5. And I think we are going to stick with 2 kids total. to support the whole population growth idea- (to replace the two of you, morbid but true). Plus financially. AND the more kids I have the more my odds go up of having twins!! I'm a twin, and when my mom was shooting for #3 they got #3 and #4! ; )

abigail

@GrayDayShop and tiptoethrough.blogspot

Molly said...

I am 16 years old and the oldest of four children. Two of my siblings are adopted and I remember being so excited to get them, especially since it was such a process! However, when my youngest sister was born a year after my other sister arrived, the feelings of jealousy began to surface. I am not sure whether it was because I wasn't entirely adjusted to the other new baby already, or whether is was because my mom had physically birthed my youngest sister and was away from us while that was happening.

Kate said...

We initially wanted two... and are pregnant with twins! I'm nervous that I'll get the baby bug again a few years down the road because three just seems like SO MANY. So far, at 24 weeks I LOVE being pregnant, but I'm hoping having two sweet cuddly boys will be enough to keep me satisfied!

Katie @ Noodle and Boof said...

Such a great idea!!

Lindsey said...

this is such a cute idea. My younger brother, Chris, definitely had a hard time when my youngest brother, J, came along. When they got a little older, he used to kick J out his stroller and make him walk while he got rolled around. Fortunately, J was always happy to walk, so it worked out but it took years for Chris to accept J. Fortunately, it was a phase and they are best friends now.

maggy said...

I have brother who is exactely 2 years younger. So, I don't remember life without him. We had really tough time when we were little and he's still difficult person to deal with (we're in our 20). But i can't imagine growing up alone. I can't imagine more unconditional love, than the one i have for him too.
But i always thought it's be nice to have more siblings, not only the difficult one!
I'll see how my life will go, but 2 kids is a "must" for me, i'd be glad with 3, 4 is beyond my imagination (surrounded with 2+2 family model)

Sarah said...

I'm the second of four, my husband is the youngest of five. (Both of us have close relationships to our siblings.) We have one child, and she will remain our one and only. We adore her, but she came 5+ years sooner than planned, so we are enjoying the fact that as she becomes more and more independent, we regain some of that lost couple-time we missed at the start of our married years. We're glad that she has LOTS of cousins to help fill the sibling void. :)

yours truly said...

Such a cute idea! I'm excited to try it. I went from having my daughter only for 4 years, to twins, so she's definitely feeling that lack of mom time, unfortunately. Something else, not daily, although very helpful, is doing monthly date nights. Each month my husband and I rotate taking just her on a date. This month it's ice skating/smores with dad. She's thrilled!

Miranda said...

I have two boys (2.5 yrs and 7 months). The transition to two has been easier than I thought, but I tend to spend more time playing with my older boy, Milo, since he can interact so much more (and we have been building a relationship for so much longer), and I sometimes feel like baby Eliot is the one who needs more love eggs! It's definitely a balance, trying to give endless love to more than one recipient. I'll remember this. Even just for the 5 minutes of individual time...

ps I think my husband probably needs the most love eggs of all!!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

I'm an only child and would ask Santa every year for a little brother (I got a dog instead). I now have two kids (3 and almost 2 - 15 mos apart). Having a second one wasn't as rough as I thought it would be, and I think it's easier when they are closer together. I think two kids is a great balance (for my family). I always figured if I had three kids, I might as well as seven kids, because once my hubs and I were outnumbered, we were outnumbered, no matter how many kids we had :)

Kiley Kate said...

My mom used to do the love egg! Also spiders up your back which is just her tickling with her finger tips. Ideally I want to have three or four, but that will depend on how much money my husband and I make, what we end up doing with our lives, etc. I would be happy with one or two as well. I only have one younger brother and since he was so good at entertaining himself I feel like I still was clingy for more attention!

Arlen said...

I have a sister that is 2 years younger than me. When we were kids we played together all the time but as teenagers/pre-teens we just couldn't get along and I think that was really hard for my mom. Now however she is my closest friend and I couldn't imagine my life without her.

As far as children of my own, I guess I'll have to find a husband first ;) But I'd never want to just have one if I could help it, it's just the greatest gift ever to have a sibling!

Anonymous said...

I nanny for a 5 y.o girl and her little 3 y.o. sister, and I can tell the oldest still finds it difficult to no longer be the baby of the family. It's especially hard because the youngest DOES require more attention, so even if I want to give the oldest some extra time, sometimes that isn't even possible. But i try to find little moments of showing her the great things about being older: helping me cook dinner, giving her more of a say on things like what game to play or book to read, telling her what a great older sister she is, etc. I think it's the little things that make a big difference :)

Alix said...

When my younger sister was born my parents gave me a gift "from" her, I think it was a sticker book. I was so excited and impressed that she'd just been born but was already getting me presents :) I also remember thinking she'd be able to ride bikes and play dress up with me right away. I totally didn't get the whole infant thing.

Kate said...

I was two and a half when my brother Charlie was born and I was a little too in love with him. I used to move him when my mom wasn't looking, and then she'd realize she hadn't heard him for a while and I'd have taken him to the couch, or into the tv room, or swaddled him with a blanket and put him wherever I thought would make him happy. Somehow he survived :)

My boyfriend is the 2nd oldest of 6, two girls and four boys. He is such an amazing brother to all his siblings and I love that about, but it has been a really big adjustment for me. Wrangling 8 family members (10 if you count me and his sister-in-law, 13 if you count all the SO's) is WAY different than my family's 4. I've definitely gone through bouts of jealousy and frustration about having to share so much of our time with his huge clan, but it's getting easier and easier for me and I am grateful for every moment we spend with both our families. Here's hoping he doesn't want 6 kids, though...

Anonymous said...

So sweet! My mom had a really great way of soothing any jealousy or neglected feelings. If we needed a hug or her attention, we would just say, "Mom, I need some EXTRA LOVING." She would make a big deal of dropping whatever she was doing and squeeze us and kiss us until we were out of breath with laughter and begging to be let go.

tinajo said...

That is a lovely way of showing love! :-)

natalie said...

I am the oldest and have two younger siblings. I think I was too excited to have "a live baby doll" to notice any lack in attention.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your Monday posts (even though I'm sans kids). I was wondering if you could do a post on hanging out with your friends that don't have kids. I mean it's tricky, right?

Any tips on how my friends who have kids and I can spend an afternoon?

I don't want them to think just because I don't have kids, doesn't mean I don't want to hangout with them (sometimes). :)

JoEllen Bax said...

I was torn between two or three kids. Then God thought I needed twin girls the second time around - I can not imagine life without them or my son. Guess he knew I never would have been able to handle a third pregnancy.

abigail jane schrag said...

@Abigail. That is so funny about the population growth aspect. My husband and I didn't even want to have one and then we just had our little Evelyn Mae and are smitten. I originally wanted to adopt and love on some forgotten child, but then...whoops! And we LOVE her. But I think 2 is good for us out of my loins for population and financial reasons. Is that sad?

Amy said...

We have two girls, a 3 year old and a year old. The first 6 months of having two was much, much more difficult than I anticipated it being. But now that we're past the baby-stage, having two is so much fun. Seeing how much they love and care for each other makes the difficult few months we endured worth it, I think. I also love knowing that they'll always have each other - a priceless gift.

Alex said...

I second Anonymous's request on tips for childless friends to see our friends with kids! I miss mine so much but don't want to impose on their time at all.

Natasha and Jesse said...

What a great idea for little ones.
I'm due July 4th with our first baby and we would love about 5 or 6 children, but we'll have to see what is in store for us.

I will definitely have to check that book out.

Shannon said...

I could use something like this....especially since I wear new baby all the time, and my almost three year old gets jealous...

Molliee said...

so so so so cute!!! love her!

Annie said...

Joanna, do you have any parenting books that you would recommend? I would love to see a post on this topic.

Brittany Anne Nielsen said...

This is a great tip! I am pregnant with baby #2... Baby #1 will be a year and a half when #2 is born! I'm nervous and love reading what works or doesn't work in other families.

Anonymous said...

Joanna, I love your Motherhood Monday posts! Thank you for starting this. I remember Toby was a honeymoon baby right? Did you know you wanted kids? I can not decide if I do... my husband isn't sure either. On top of that, Dr's are saying it might be hard for me. I wonder if you had any doubts? It seems to me everyone else is so sure! Much love! - Emily

Lindsay said...

My brother and I were adopted and from as early as I can remember my mom explained it as "you didn't come from my tummy, but you came from my heart" and then she would talk about how lucky she was that we picked her. I really think it was the best way to explain it, and it still makes me feel extra special.

Ange said...

My three kids are spaced very close together, the oldest was three when the youngest was born. My husband and I received some wonderful advice from experienced parents that has helped our kids adjust to sharing mom and dad. They told us to tell our kids how much the baby loved and admired them. We would also speak these words of affirmation to the baby, like, "your sister loves you so much and thinks you are so special." I also would make room for all of them on my lap when holding or nursing baby, and let them take an active role in holding and loving on our new family member, even when they were really little themselves. They truly are a gift to us, and to each other.

Michelle said...

my boyfriend just informed me that he would like 4 children... there was 4 children in his family and 2 in mine... perhaps we can settle on 3 and a puppy. I'm bookmarking all your tips...i'll eventually need them!!!

Selma said...

this sounds so great to me! I wanna try it and definitive wanna read more about it! xoxo Selma

Janell said...

This is really too sweet :) I am the oldest of 3 siblings. My parents tell me that they decided to have my little sister sooner rather than later because at 2 yrs old, I had developed 3 imaginary friends. Its funny now but they say they were worried I needed a companion. I don't remember being jealous of my sister but when I was 8 they had my brother and I can remember clinging to my mom and squeezing her. I bet it was for attention.

Anonymous said...

i love the fill up with love routine. You are right. Little things can make a difference. So sweet.

Leslie said...

I love that. I'm the oldest of three children, and I remember that everyday before school, my mom would take our hands and kiss them. That way we had "kisses in our hands" for when we would need them during the day. We loved it too.

Tara Galuska said...

Sounds lovely! It is so nice to have special love family secrets. It was very difficult for me when I was 3 and my little sister came along but qe are very close now.

Ali Masterson said...

You have the best posts! I have a 14-month old son and am ready for another child but always struggle with when the right time is and will I have enough of "mom" to go around for two kids. Also, as a working mom I struggle with that guilt of someone else (the nanny) raising him. I'm going to start this egg thing and "mom love" every morning before I leave for work for sure!

Nina Leung said...

OMG!! I'm reading Playful Parenting right now! How weird is that!? It's a great book with so many wonderful ideas, especially for little boys. I've already tried a few of his strategies and they've worked wonders on my 2 1/2 year old. So glad you brought it up! Thanks!

elise said...

i have a whopping seven siblings! although i think my parents are a little crazy, i can't imagine life without any of one of them. i have one now, and want two or three more...we'll see!

Lexie, Little Boat said...

i am one of four and i wouldnt trade my siblings for anything in the entire world! they are the greatest! it is hard though because we are scattering across the country .. i wish i had more time to spend with them!

celia said...

That is a wonderful idea. It's a beauitful things that she wanted to come up this such a game to make absolute sure that her children felt loved. Thank you for sharing, i am saving this idea in my head "saved" !

Mol said...

I am the older sister (out of two children). I was about four when my younger brother was born and about five or six when he was diagnosed autistic. I don't remember getting any "extra" mommy- or daddy- time, but I do remember being very flexible about my brother's special needs. My natural personality combined with generally amazing parenting from my parents (they never addressed my brother's diagnosis as a "problem", but more as a fact of life)helped us to have a very special, supportive sibling bond.

I do remember almost always reading a book with one of my parents before bed though. This tradition is one that now, as an elementary school teacher, I hope many many parents are doing! I still remember my favorite books and the made-up stories that my dad created to continue them.

Joanna Goddard said...

anonymous, yes! if you hang out with your friend and their child, i'd recommend doing something the child will like, so you and your friend can chat. for example, just going to a playground or a park. if you try to do something more "grown-up," like go to lunch, it usually is more stressful for the mom (at least, for me!) because you worry your baby will make noise/not sit still/etc. but if the little one can run around a bit, you guys can just chill, drink coffee, catch up! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

anonymous, yes, toby was a honeymoon baby. we knew we wanted to have children, though, so he was a very welcome surprise:) i know what you mean about having doubts, though -- some of my close friends have those same feelings. i'm actually going to feature a little essay from my friend about feeling ambivalent about having babies, and i'm hoping it starts some interesting conversation from readers, too. it will be coming up in february. thank you for your lovely and honest comment!!! xoxoxo

Kelli Anderson said...

that photo captures so much childhood happiness. i hope i can be as good a mother as her. that is an awesome tip.

Rinda said...

These ideas are so sweet and thoughtful! I am 1 of 6 children, and I'm a triplet, so I never got jealous of my little sister probably because I had two other sisters to play with.
My husband and I have one child ( a girl- Claire) so far. At first I wanted 4-5 children, but I just don't know if I can do the whole pregnancy thing 3 or 4 more times! Don't get me wrong, I loved being pregnant, I just didn't love the 40 lbs I had to lose after she was born. It's only taken 6 months to lose it all, but still... ugh.

Joanna Goddard said...

annie, yes! i love the books Playful Parenting (for kids of all ages), the happiest baby on the block (for newborns), and the sleep easy solution (for sleep/naps). those are the only ones i've loved so far. i'll keep reading!! xoxo

penelope said...

It's interesting...we never had only one child. We started off with twins and then had a third. There has always been a pack!

evdv said...

Ah, this would have done my mother well! My sister was born 18 months after myself, and I had a difficult time -- at first. As my mother was preoccupied nursing, I would do things I knew she couldn't stop (ie: squatting on the carpet, juuustt out of reach.)

Sooner than later, though, I began to realize how special, and alike, my sister was and best friends we became:)

cora d said...

I swear, having 2 is easier than one! My oldest is 28 mos and my youngest 10 mos. Granted both are fairly easy going and the first was so young when the second was born - she doesn't remember life as an only. And we were totally in baby mode when the second came along.

Bridget said...

I have 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys and am done! I grew up with 3 sisters and a brother and loved it. 4 does get a little crazy now that they are getting older. It really was so much easier when they were younger! It can also get wild and loud at our house and we are an instant party.

Nostalgia said...

I am the only child, therefore having siblings is very foreign to me. Now, that I have twins, I have to learn so much more about parenting, besides just being a parent to a baby...
I still want to have more children and eagerly ask people who have/had twins or who are twins themselves - how do relationships between twins and younger siblings work? Did you have your own world with your sister and the brother was on his own? Were you jealous or didn't care/ignore your brother? Were you excited about having another baby in the family? Thank you so much for writing about your family - it's very educational.

Amanda said...

joanna! i read your blog pretty consistently but rarely comment. i just wanted to say that you do an impeccable job at making your life and thoughts so relevant to people in every season -- what a gift of inclusion you have. :) you must make an excellent friend to the people in your life!

in response to this post: the 5 minute game is brilliant! my sister is about to have #2 and i'll share this idea with her in regards to my nephew. happy monday!

Christine Parent said...

I have a 3 yr old and a 1yr old. I just started recently asking my 3yr old if her "hug jar" needs to be filled when she obviously needs more cuddling. If she says yes, I pick her up and hug her and rub her back for a few min. Now she even likes asking family member or friends if their hug jar are full and need to be filled and then proceeds to hug them if it is so. It works very well for us, at least for now.

Leana said...

Oh my goodness! I have 6 month old twins and I have a 2 year old. Has been crazy and I feel it is a much bigger life change have 3 kids than it ever was with one! one you can take anywhere with you. Nw our parent to child ration is 2 to 3! but so so so lovely to watch interaction between our 3 kids. I have made sure our 2 year old feels like the babies are his, I often tell him how much they love him and think he is funny, big, brave and strong..... now their relationship is a natural, beautiful one with loads of affection

Lolaroid said...

I was 5 years old when, after having spent MY WHOLE SMALL LIFE being a only child+granddaughter+niece, suddenly, in about one year, 3 other brats arrived (my brother+2 cousins).
I remember an afternoon, when i was almost 7, trying to choke myself with the school backpack string to get some attention :)

Anonymous said...

I've got one little man and have always "filled him up with kisses every morning!" when I ask him is he full he always says"maybe just one more!"

Un coup d'aile said...

one can really learn one thing or two here!! i don't have any kids now, but my hubby and i are planning on having one this year... i'll most definitely try the add thing

Un coup d'aile said...

one can really learn one thing or two here!! i don't have any kids now, but my hubby and i are planning on having one this year... i'll most definitely try the add thing

The Zhush said...

I've got a middle daughter who would love this egg cracked on her head! Totally going to shower her with this tonight!:)

ana {bluebirdkisses} said...

i'm going to remember this because I think its a great way to show extra love to all the kiddos. I guess the only thing is that the kids have to be old enough to understand it. I know many parents who have multiple children under 3 and I don't think they would quite get it unfortunately :(

erin k. said...

i come from a family of three - but i'm the youngest so i never had to adjust! my brother just had the first grandbaby, though, and so there are a lot of jokes going around that i'm not the baby anymore... at 28.

i'm one of those who can only picture my future family looking like the one i grew up in, so i want three babes. i had such an amazing time with my siblings, and still love them more than anyone. i can't imagine life any other way!

Renee said...

Great thought, great book! I need to pick it up and continue reading it. :)

I am the oldest of 6; the youngest is (wait for it) 2 months younger than my first son. I remember when my mom had my second youngest brother while I was in high school I freaked out - hormones of pregnant moms and teenage daughters do not mix - but as soon as he was born I was in love (and I'm that brother's godmother). It was also kind of nice being pregnant with my mom - I had no other pregnant friends at the time, and she was a seasoned pro.

With my own first son, we've been playing "baby" lately to give him some time to just be snuggled and kissed and held, but I was worried that he'd think only babies get that kind of attention... so I will try this one instead (and play baby, just to give us some time to talk about when he was a baby).

Renee said...

Oops, it sounds like I was pregnant at the same time as my mom while I was in high school... that was two different pregnancies for her, and two different brothers. My son and youngest brother were born a couple years after I graduated college; they're now 3... for clarity's sake.

sophie isabelle said...

i hope one day to have children. :)

maybe two or three. the boyfriend 'reckons' he wants about six... hah!

but i am the youngest of three girls, so i never really had to be jealous or anything of a new baby -- i just adored my sisters, even though i was the annoying one! haha. :)

Courtney said...

Ha! I just tried this on my 3-year-old and she looked up at me and said, 'Mama, I don't need any love!'. She is clearly not feeling love deprived. :)
xx

Katie said...

I only have the one sister (my best friend and traveling companion) and couldn't imagine life as an only child. My sister is absolutely necessary to make my world go 'round.

On the flip side, my boyfriend is the youngest of 13 children; having met all his siblings and heard stories about his mother, it actually sounds completely wonderful. His parents gave their children such a fantastic gift--12 other wonderful people who will love and protect each other all their lives.

It's really empowering to hear about his childhood. From what I've heard, his mom was a lovely, funny woman who didn't let having so many children define her. He remembers her sunbathing in the backyard, and the children could only come out and bother her when it was time to apply more baby oil to her back!

And the family dynamic is really fun; his oldest brother is actually a few months older than my own dad. :)

Janan said...

I grew up the 5th of 8 and don't remember freaking out about younger siblings. I do know the egg trick though I've never hear it as a love egg. I like that. We have 4 kids 2 years apart each, it's been pretty much perfect. My baby is 8 now and I can't help but think 2 more would be awesome!

krisel keeper said...

As I was reading all the insightful comments my 4 year old came over. I decided to try the "filling up with love" bc I can tell Annika has been craving my energy/attention of before. I'm 33 weeks pregnant with our second and definitely slowing down big time. She beamed like I haven't seen her beam in a while. That look that's beyond happy!

All the comments were great to read. Love to hear what memories adults have of their siblings. So far Annika is thrilled to have a sister join her. She's very aware of how hard it was to have this child. But I'm also trying to foster a good relationship between the two of them. I've had a so-so relationship with my younger brother of 5 yrs. I've been reading 2 books that have been great: Sibblings Without Rivalry and The Birth Order Book. I'm going to pick up Playful Parenting next! I need more tips like that! Thx Joanna!!

M-J Obsessions said...

Definitely need to do this with my kids!!!!

I now have 2 kids and I think it's a great balance, it's a lot, but not unbearable. I am able to provide well for 2 of them, if I have 3 or 4, then I probably wouldn't be able to do as much. One was too lonely, I had to spend a lot of time playing with my son, but now he plays with his sister.

www.fabulositywithinreach.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I'm a single child, never had issues with sharing etc (althought it turned out to be a huge problem later on). My husband and I haven't planned yet, but one part of me wants two kids (so that they could be there for each other) while the other part of me thinks one is probably good enough - may be then we could take Bette care like send him/her to a private school, may be?

As I'm typing this, I've begun to realize how ridiculous my thought on justification for a single kid is! We're definitely going with two! :-)

-Aparna

Key Tags said...

That is such a cute way of giving attention to each child. I have to get that book too.

custom gift cards said...

Even 5 minutes to a child when it is spent like that is precious. I'm sure that the kid will remember it even when he/she is already an adult and it will be a beautiful memory.

Jen @ A Touch of Lovely said...

This is an amazing idea! I'm going to try it tonight when my daughter gets clingy at bedtime!

Charly said...

I have a 2yr old daughter & a 6 month old son. Every night the last thing I do with the 2 year old is lay on her bed with her & talk about her day & what she has done with all the little details that made it special. It only takes a few minutes but she loves it and so do I!

Ashley said...

Are you ready for another baby Joanna?

Fruitie: said...

I tried this with my 4 year old daughter tonight. Her response? She giggled and then kissed each part of me back, ending with her own love egg cracked over my head. It was delightful!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I worry when we talk about how many children we would like to have without considering how many more people the earth could possibly sustain.

KatieK said...

Love this!! My 2nd child is 6 months old, and I'm starting to see how quickly my 3.5 year old can get starved for attention (which seems CRAZY to me because it feels like we're stuck together - our theme song is "Stuck Like Glue"...). I'm excited to try the love egg out! As for readying the first love for the second - we talked with our son a LOT about being a big brother, we used her name with him as soon as we could, and (this was the clincher I think), we took him to pick out a present for her. When he met her for the first time, he was able to give her a gift. To his surprise, she had bought him a gift too! ("How did she know that I LOVE Batman????") He loves her. Too much, sometimes.... Best of luck. These little people always surprise us for the better. :)

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