So here is the story of how we told our family our big new... and what the kids thought about it.
My little man and I took a trip to the local Babies R Us store hoping that we would be able to find an "I'm a brother" shirt and found this insanely cute one, which he loved. He insisted that he wear it that moment.
I called my husband. "He wants to wear the shirt now." I told him, to which his reply was an emphatic no, he wanted to wait until Christmas.
So I tucked the shirt away and smiled as my little man chattered away to his sisters about his new shirt that he was going to wear on Christmas... and I waited.
On Christmas day at Grammy's house we gave Josiah his new shirt... it took a minute for everyone to catch on, first the aunts and uncles then their cousin, finally the kids who said "No, my mom isn't pregnant" and we said "yes, she is."
Then comes the reaction. It was pretty much exactly what I expected but still a challenge to respond well to each of them.
Big Sister #1 says I don't want another baby.
Yep. I thought you'd say that, sweetie. I told her that I understood, I listened to her complain about how she would never have any time with us with another little to contend with. I reassured her that we would work hard to make sure that she had special times with just us... and told Daddy that he'd need to take a minute to talk with his baby girl.
Yep. My hubs is a superhero. After their little chat her attitude improved about 80% in the span of about ten minutes and she started talking about baby names. sigh a child after my own heart. I love to hear her discuss with her sisters what we should name the baby. She suggested Edward as a good baby name. I reminded her that we really couldn't name our baby after a popular vampire - to which she replied "Oh yeah, we wouldn't want the baby to scare himself." ha!
Big Sister #2 starts to cry.
I start to have a flashback to when my mom told my sisters and me that we were going to have another baby and my little sister started to cry. So I assume that these are happy tears. She is slightly offended that we kept this a secret from her for so long. I really wish I had told her earlier, but I don't think she would have kept the secret and the hubs really had his heart set on making a big announcement at Christmastime.
She beings to obsess about the new baby. She draws him/her a picture. She tells her sisters to be quiet because we do not want to disturb the new baby. Every day she asks how big the baby is. Every night she wants to give my belly and extra hug and kiss before she goes to bed.
Big Sister #3 still a little confused.
Wait a second... Mommy is pregnant? She doesn't look pregnant to me. Yeah... I'm still waiting for the light bulb moment but it hasn't come yet for her. I'm not worried - she'll hop on board the baby wagon soon enough.
Big Brother I love my baby.
It took him a couple days before he realized what it means that he is a "big brother" but once I told him that he had to be more gentle with Mommy because I have a baby in my belly he caught on really quickly. Every day he asks me if I still have that baby in my belly and if it is going to grow and grow and then come out so he can hold his new baby. I think it is so very sweet that he calls this baby "his" baby. I have always known that he would be a fantastic big brother. From the time he was 18 months and following around all the moms with strollers to watching him now with my friend's babies he is always very gentle and kind.
It is always tempting to worry about older siblings... how will they adjust to having a new baby in the house, will they accept the newest addition... but I try to just let those worries go and make an extra effort to make sure I take the time to let each of my kids know how special they are to me. From letting my oldest make dinner with me, to spending an extra minute with my youngest at bedtime. Those moments are really important - and when those moments happen nearly every day I think my little ones feel secure in my love and we both know that even if life gets a little crazy sometimes. We're going to be okay.
When I first found out that we were going to have another baby I spent a lot of time on pregnancy message board and browsing through some of the blog frog forums to find out what other moms did to announce their news - how about you? how did you share the big news with your family? Do you have any worries about siblings adjusting to the new baby?