His laughter all mine

Click this photo to enlarge to see the most amazing eyelashes. Ever.

I took Matthew to the park the other day. It was just the two of us and it was so lovely.

My smiles were all his; his laughter all mine.

Katie bathed in my full attention for two and a half years. Matthew gets only stolen moments.

It shouldn’t be that way and it makes my heart ache.

How do you makeĀ one-on-oneĀ time for the second child?

How do you let them know that they are special on their own?

And every bit as important?

32 comments

  1. Paige Morgan

    Nichole – we think about this all of the time. We set up Mommy Son days/ Daddy Daughter Days and Mommy Daughter/ Daddy Son days. It's hard to get them all in, but sometimes it's an afternoon, an evening or a whole day. All four of us look forward to our special time.

  2. Yuliya shesuggests.com/

    Okay just between us, what is that Maybelline? Lancome? Cover Girl? What is his secret?
    (and obviously I don't know the answer to your questions, since I only have the one, but I already worry about it…of course…)

  3. SquashedMom

    And how do you do that with (in my case) twins? For us it's been a combination of divide and conquer (each parent takes a kid for a few hours for 1 on 1 time on weekends) and also those stolen moments, as you mentioned. Also when Katie goes to school? Matthew will have a lot more mom time. Of course he will likely pine for his sister for a while, but you can then do mommy & me classes with him and he'll start to make his own little friends, which will help make up for that.

    And don't feel like you're short changing him. He is getting so much out of having a sister. His first few years are just different than hers. To (completely out of context) quote Temple Grandin's mother: different not less. And that's OK.

  4. Jennie

    I fight this battle every day. And since my older son has autism, he will always require extra attention. If you find the answers, let me know!

  5. I only have one so I can't really help you out but I was a product of 5 kids and I'll tell you that my mom made us all feel equally loved. Not sure how she did it but she did ;)

  6. Kelly momsgotblog.blogspot.com

    Look at those eyelashes!! I can empathize- you are doing exactly what you need to do- take one-on-one time. Believe me, KEEP doing just that-especially as they enter tween/teen years-it is so very important. You are setting ground that matters.

  7. Klz Www.taminginsanity.com

    I only have one bu I have no doubt hat Matthew knows he's loved

  8. you know, it used to break my heart thinking about how my second would never get that one on one time like my first did, there was a l of of guilt around it.

    And then, my first started preschool and his younger brother was heartbroken. He cried everyday for his big brother, he was like a little lost soul while my oldest was at school. It was then that I realized that my youngest isn't missing out on anything. Unlike my oldest who had me to himself, my youngest has something completely different and yet, just as amazing and important, a big brother.

    And now, he does get my undivided attention for 3 hours every morning, and I'm so thankful for that time. He has adjusted and no longer cries for his big brother and, I think he enjoys our special time just as much.

  9. oh I meant to say with all that, don't worry, as long as you love him and he knows it, he isn't missing anything :)

  10. Those are some beautiful eyelashes! My 2nd and I actually got a lot of one on one time together. When Waylon was born Wyatt was becoming such a big boy and daddy was a huge part of what made his day fantastic. They would go out and play. Something Waylon really couldn't do until more recently. I think from this point on will be tough though. Waylon is wanting to be with daddy a lot more, but we still have quite a connection so he naturally seems to split his time playing with his brother, giving me the kisses and hugs he feels I need, and still seems to "man around" with daddy. I don't think I have realized that until now. With the new baby coming it is going to make it a lot more difficult to give each of them their time. I already find that true with Wyatt.
    Best of luck! I agree with what someone said above about when Katie goes to school.

  11. Sherri

    I often felt that way when my daughter was little and my son was 4….he was talking, busy with stuff all of the time, and I just felt that he used almost all of me! But I also think that the little ones watch you and hear you interacting with their sibs and it's all part of developing that bond with them, too.

    We've been talking a lot lately about how, with our son going away to college in the fall, our daughter will be getting those four years of attention that her brother got before she was born. But she may not want it now!

    Those lashes? Divine…..

  12. MelissaDrMom confessionsofadrmom.com

    Oh, I know. I struggle with this too. Now that my oldest is in kindergarten, Little Sister and I do get some one on one time but she is 3 now, so early on, she didn't really.

    On the flipside, I try to tell myself she is lucky to have a Big Brother to play (and fight) with. I'm glad you had a nice day with your son. Setting aside alone time with each child is important and I'm sure you both will treasure these times for years to come.

    BTW…yes, those are some gorgeous eyelashes!

  13. Jaime ainsleylynn.blogspot.com

    Oh, I struggle with this so much!!! When I first had Ainsley, even though I knew I'd eventually have another child, I thought "how can I possibly give that child as much love and attention?" I would often think (being the eldest in my family as well) that it must suck to be a second or third child because no way do you get the same attention. And I so often have to let Freddie cry in his crib because someone else needs me. Ainsley never cried. I immediately responded. Freddie sometimes has to wait.

    But, I do cherish the time that I rock and nurse him every night. It's just the two of us and it's quiet and he's cuddly. It's one of my favorite times of day.

    Beautiful eyelashes…

  14. I can totally relate…I have 4…and there never seems to be enough time for each of them. I guess, I've come to realize that each of them needs different kinds and amounts of love at different times. That doesn't mean I love one more than the other…they are just all 4 different and require different attention, love and time…and it all depends upon circumstances at the time. It's not easy…especaily once they are in school because you are missing out on "love time" for the entire duration of the school day. It IS the small moments…stolen kisses and hugs, "I love you's", cuddling on the couch, helping with homework, and an extra squeeze with tuck-in's just because! Being a mommy is tough!!! If only I could pause these moments……….

  15. katie sluiternation.com

    This is something I wonder about too. And also? How do I KEEP the time I have with Eddie if/when another little someone arrives? He is used to having ALL of me.

    I love the comments here…I will be back to read more that come in :)

  16. I only know that you will.

    I had only the one as a small child, so I have no strategies to share.

    I only know that somehow…you will.

    It is parent magic.

    Life fairy dust.

  17. Alexandra174

    I'm sitting here, shaking my head.

    Can't be done.

    I remember bringing home my second, and apologizing through tears to my first.

    Then, with the second, apologizing to him for dethroning him with the third.

    As a mother, I can never love them enough.

    sigh

  18. julie juliecgardner.com

    I believe by being conscious of the issue, you are already halfway there.
    And remember. Katie had you to herself for years. But the moment Matthew was born, he had a third person to love him like no other.
    Sibling love is so very special. And he's had it every minute of his life.
    And he has those eyelashes, so….

  19. I hear ya. Having 3 kids makes the guilt ever worse. And why do boys always have the extra-super-duper long lashes?

  20. Hmph. The boys get the lashes because the boys don't care about such things. Boo has them too. People have literally stopped me in public to "oooh!" and "ahh!" over my son's lashes. If he learns how to use them? I am so screwed…as are you Miss Nichole. ;o)

    We're able to find time for both often because 1 goes back to her mother's every other weekend. Beyond that, tho, I occasionally take days off to hang with Boo. This week we're supposed to have our annual day together for his birthday. I'll do that 2 or 3 times a year…and then there are other days when daycare is closed, someone gets sick, etc. But my big strategy? Is to plan one-on-one ventures like that.

  21. dumb mom parentingbydummies.com

    Adorable lashes! We make special days for each of The Dudes from time to time. Plus, there are some things that they get to do alone, like #2 gets to go wash Dumb Dad's car with him every week.

  22. andygirl

    my dear, those lashes are gorgeous! what an awesome photo.

  23. Cheryl @ Mommypants mommypants.com

    The good news is, no one's keeping score. Except for you, that is. What seconds and thirds miss in "alone" time, they more than make up for with time spent with siblings. There is nothing like listening to my three laugh together and play together, games they invented without any help from me.

  24. I worry about the same thing all the time! I have 2 boys and I do a lot of mommy-son (just 1 of them at a time) days. That way, they each get some alone time. It's the best solution I've come up with at the time. Fortunately, as Cheryl said the kids aren't keeping score!

  25. Mad Woman adiaryofamadwoman.com

    I cannot add more wisdom to what has already been said other to remind you that not for one moment will your children ever not know your love for them. Of that I am sure.

    And as Alexandra said, I too will be apologizing through tears to my daughter when this son comes home. And will be thinking of your words.

    Dammit, stop making me cry woman!

  26. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    Matthew's eye lashes look just like Lucas' they are paint brushes! And I'd kill for them.

    I have no advice on dividing your time between your two children… but it worries me too, how I'll do it. Especially after having had Lucas all to myself for so long.

    I think as long as they are equally loved, they don't know the difference.

    Keep up the great work, mama. xoxo

  27. Tim

    Having no experience with raising kids I can't really give you any advice. But it seems pretty apparent that both Matthew and Katie are equally loved.

  28. mommylebron

    I find myself facing this dilemma all the time with my middle child. My youngest is special needs and practically demands every waking minute of my time. My oldest gets to stay up later and hang with us. I'm trying to find a way to carve out time just for LeArtist, especially because he's been acting out lately.

  29. @latorres twitter.com/latorres

    I have always struggled with this since my older 2 are twins. When I had #3, we relished in the alone time we had in the hospital with her. But most of the time it's attention divided 3 ways. Now that the twins are almost 3, we try to take them on small weekend errands to get that individual time, and as they all get even older, we plan on having little "dates" with them. You're right – it is so hard.

  30. Natalie mycrazybusylife.com

    I wish I knew what to tell you, but I don’t. You simply try & find time for each child. Maybe having a datenight with each of them once a month or week..

    Pretty soon, Katie will be in preschool & he’ll have his Mommy all to himself.

  31. As parents we have date night a time to get together as adults to remember what its like to have a real convo with constantly being interrupted!

    With our boys we have date days….once a month for each child where they get sole attention sometimes its just to the park and lunch, other times we do things like Thomas the train, a day out with! And each of the boys 1st times to Disneyland they went alone with mom and dad! That is how we handle special time!

  32. Nancy C npoj.blogspot.com

    My oldest son got my attention. My younger son was also blessed with his brother's love. Just today, on a tedious drive home from the airport, the two of them laughed and held hands and told each other jokes. My oldest never had a buddy like my baby.

    And now, I find that I naturally flit between the two of them.

    Having a sibling is such a gift.

    But yes, I understand what you're coming from. And Matthew is gorgeous.

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