One of my biggest fears when I found out I was pregnant with Alice was how Tom would react once she arrived.
I am Tom’s best friend.
((We haven’t made it official. We don’t have “best friends” charm necklaces or anything.))
(((But, I’m pretty sure anyway.)))
And even though (pre-kids) I kind of thought I’d be the type of mom who would be a little on the tougher side — I am totally not.
Tom says, “Mom? Milk?”
I jump up and get him milk.
Tom says, “Outside?”
We go outside.
Tom says, “Love you, Mommy!”
I melt into a pile of mush and play trains with him for an hour.
What I’m saying is — I’ve kind of been at his beck and call for awhile now.
The thing about having an infant is — you really have to be at *their* beck and call.
What do you do when two children are demanding your attention at the same time?
If you’re me, you’ll probably shed a few tears trying to figure it out.
The thing is: Tom is a wonderful big brother.
He truly loves Alice.
He asks to hold her all the time.
He likes to push her swing for her.
He gives her his toys when she’s in the bath.
He likes to try to give her a pacifier.
When we go on a walk, he likes to stand on the stroller facing her so he can watch her.
He’s really, truly great and totally how I expected him to be.
What he doesn’t like?
When *I* hold Alice.
Or when *I* have to feed Alice.
And lately he’s had a hard time if his Dad is going to take him somewhere without me — even if it’s someplace he loves.
Breaks. My. Heart.
I absolutely hate feeling like I’m letting him down in any way.
Even though I know this will pass…
And even though I think it’s good for him to learn that I can’t always do what he wants me to do when he wants it…
It’s still hard for me to hear him cry out, “Mommm–yyyyyyyyyy!”when his Dad is taking him somewhere.
I can handle it a little better when he asks, “Mommy put Alice on couch?”
Because that’s just funny.
But I hate if he cries because I’m going to feed Alice.
(I usually take her downstairs because if I don’t he’s climbing all over me. So he’s really crying because I’m leaving.)
When I explain to him that I have to feed her, he usually reacts fine, actually.
And just like always, once I’m out of sight — he’s *totally* fine.
And I know this!
I feel badly.
I start to think that maybe I’m not doing enough one-on-one with him.
Or maybe I’m not including him enough in helping me with Alice.
I think it’s mom guilt amplified because I’m tired.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
And I’m telling Tom “I love you!” about 5,000 times more than usual.
And I’m buying him a best friend charm necklace.