When I got pregnant with my first baby, I thought that she would be luckier than her future siblings, because she would have the chance to spend more time with my husband and me. She was the first child, and in addition to the joy and excitement of turning into new parents, we were ready to give her our best.
As time passed, I became pregnant with my second baby, which had me thinking about siblings, and the way that the family dynamics would change once the new baby joined our home.
So far, we had focused on how much attention the first baby would receive, as there was no other kid in the house to share our attention, time and schedule. Then I began to wonder if the second baby was actually luckier than the first? What if there were some added benefits to coming second?
The truth is that coming first doesn’t necessarily mean having the best of everything. Similarly, coming second, third, or even, fourth doesn’t mean being less lucky, privileged, or even, less pampered by the parents.
Each kid, regardless of their arrival, gets their own set of privileges.
The way I see it, there are 20 points for being luckier when coming second in line. Even better, some of these fabulous points are so awesome that they affect the first baby who gets to share some of the joy of becoming an older sibling:
- The new baby arrives to an already fully baby-proofed house that is ready to welcome it with the best of everything. The house looks like a tested-and-approved five-star accommodation for babies.
- The parents are more experienced, which means being less stressed out about their roles.
- The parents know what to expect, which is great, as the second baby doesn’t need to wait for any hesitations to fade before being served (fed, changed, bathed, and soothed).
- Along the same lines, as the parents already know what to expect, and have gone through the different stages and explored each milestone with the first baby, they will put less pressure on the second baby to reach these milestones. This way, the second baby can enjoy going through each phase one step as a time without feeling pressured.
- Second babies are not as photographed and as popular as their siblings on the social networks, which is great for them!
- The second baby has a sibling to play with, fight with, argue with, hate, love, etc. (you know, the whole sibling package).
- The second baby has more toys to play with.
- The second baby is exposed to the concept of sharing from an early age, and learns how to share everything, including their parents.
- The second one gets to develop an exciting bond with their sibling. It is the start of a new friendship that will last forever: they will become lifetime amigos.
- In our case, my little boy will have an older sister to take care of him, and pamper him (hopefully, once the jealousy and rivalry stage has passed).
- Both kids can join forces to drive mom and dad crazy (because two angry kids are stronger than one).
- They can have their own little secrets that no one else, even mom, will ever know about.
- This means that they will create and build memories together.
- An important point in the sibling world: both babies will learn the pain of being invaded by a curious sibling who wants to peek into their stuff and find out their deepest, darkest secrets (the ones that they haven’t shared together yet, and that could serve as a bargaining chip).
- They will have movie nights when mom and dad are in a good mood and ready to let them sleep an hour late during weekends.
- They can teach each other stuff, such as the useful ones (how to swim, ride a bike, play a game) and the less useful ones (how to spit, whistle, jump from the top of a tree).
- They can defend one another when annoying bullies try to intimidate one of them.
- They can also defend one another when mom and dad are angry at the mess one of them has made (assuming that the siblings are not in a war-mood, or else, the non-messy one would secretly be enjoying this moment).
- They can sleep in the same bed when a thunderstorm hits during the dark winter nights.
- The difference between our house today and our house in the future: it will look like a little tribe where everyone drives everyone else crazy, and where we can have fun together. I think it’s fabulous.
The way I see it, a home is a place where we feel comfortable. It’s not about being the eldest or the youngest. It’s about enjoying the company of the people we live together with.
After all, this is how a family is created and gets to grow.
It’s the magic we share with the different members of the tribe.
It’s the abracadabra.
And that is precisely the best element that second babies bring along with them.
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