Respect the Struggle – Becoming a Big Sister

Being a big sister is even better than being a princess.

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It’s been over 11 months since Annabel was born. And since then, we’ve all changed. It’s a completely new role that we’ve all grown into, or rather, we’re still learning. I don’t really think we’ll ever stop growing into this role. And that’s a good thing. 

Some days are awesome. Many days are awesome, but some days are a complete disaster. Well, on the grand scheme of things, they’re just tiny bumps in the learning curve. But not on a day-to-day level, where they can be draining. 

“Can we pretend that I’m the baby and I can’t walk or talk?” NO, honey, you’re 4.5, you can walk, and you can talk.

“Feed me” WHY??? You’re 4.5, you can feed yourself.

Don’t stick your tongue out, you’re 4.5 “But Annabel is laughing at it”

“I don’t want to rinse my teeth” WHAT do you mean you don’t want to rinse??? You just brushed your teeth, you need to rinse them out. “NO” Well then, put on your school uniform “I don’t want it to get dirty” THEN RINSE YOUR TEETH!!! You’re 4.5. You can do it.

NO! DON’T DO THAT! YOU CAN DO IT, YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH. 

But is she? Yes, she is capable. Yes she is 4.5. Yet, she’s still my baby. Our baby. And she’s struggling. She was the center of attention. It was all about her. And now it’s not. Why do I expect her to be the perfect big sister, doing everything on her own (which she does many times, but then other times, what always happen to seem to be the worst times) when I’m, with my 35 years, am struggling some days. Joggling the roles of mom of two, wife, daughter, sister, friend, dog mom, health and fitness coach, cleaning lady, cook, accountant.

Some mornings I’m running between her, putting a bite of eggs in her mouth, to checking on her lunch, to putting a bite of bread in her mouth, to making her bed, to putting a piece of bell pepper in her mouth, while Annabel is sitting in her high chair. And I’m thinking WHY CAN’T YOU JUST DO THIS ON YOUR OWN??? She can. But she won’t. Yes I can stick it to her and tell her she’ll just go to school hungry, but here’s the deal.

She knows how to feed herself. She knows how to do pretty much everything. But she wants us. She wants to be the baby. It’s easy to forget she’s only 4.5 because she is so smart. 

Some days I feel like this 20 some year old inside, careless and free, other days the weight of the whole world is on my shoulders – well, our shoulders, it’s a shared responsibility with my husband who is a rockstar dad and husband, I must say. Some days I struggle with my identity, with finding balance, with knowing who I am, and what I’m supposed to do. How and why.

It’s no different for her either. She’s a daughter, she’s a big sister, she’s a dog owner, she’s a student, but most of all, she’s a kid. She’s our kid, she’s our first born, she’s our love. And now that love is shared. Not divided, not less, love knows no end, it’s infinite. But it is different.  

She won’t ask me to feed her forever. She will brush her teeth completely on her own. She will tell us she doesn’t need our help. She will do all these on her own, or rather, with her sister. And I’ll miss my baby. My first born. 

Everything in its due time. 

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