The transition from one child to two children has been hard for me, both physically and emotionally.

Jude has energy, and lots of it. He go, go, goes from the minute he wakes up in the morning until the second he falls asleep at night. Finding ways to meet Jude’s need for movement and exercise and one-on-one interaction has been a real struggle since Ramona’s birth. It still is today, nearly nine months later.

Physically, I’m still struggling with the herniated disc issues I wrote about back in 2010. Actually, I’m in the midst of a really terrible flare-up that has had me bed-ridden for two weeks. Even taking these specific, acute injuries out of the scenario, I still have a hard time running and climbing and physically playing with Jude. Some of it can be blamed on the fact that I’m always wearing Ramona. An extra seven, ten, fourteen pounds make for hard running and climbing. Beyond that, I’m just out of shape. Simple movements, like bending, are hard for me in the best of times. So, once this back/leg pain lets up, I’m going to just commit to exercising. I’ll do my physical therapy exercises daily (and hopefully get to go for some instructed PT somewhere), and I’m going to start jogging. At thirty years old, my body is failing me. I need to figure out how to support it so that I can start interacting with my children the way I want to.

Emotionally, it’s hard for me to not be giving either child all that I can give. Jude ends up playing on his own a lot more often these days because Ramona won’t nap unless I’m lying right next to her (this is one way that she is very similar to Jude as a baby). Ramona doesn’t get all the cuddles that Jude got at her age because I’m constantly trying to direct my attention toward Jude, who most definitely needs and desires more of my focused energy.

Still, we’re making it work. One thing I’m really grateful for is Jude’s smooth transition to being an “only” to being  a big brother. Sure, for the first few weeks he had more meltdowns than usual, but considering his world had been turned on its side, I don’t think that was an inappropriate reaction. Luckily, he has only shown his sister love and affection since her birth. He relishes the chance to help me take care of her, and will even consent to letting her play with his plush Pokemon toys. I think that speaks volumes about his love for her.



5 thoughts on “Siblings

  1. It’s obvious your kids know how much you love them. That makes you great.

  2. Meg says:

    It is very hard when circumstances make it difficult to be the kind of mom you have always envisioned yourself being. The challenge is to figure out ways to express the values underlying that vision in the context of the changed circumstances.

    I hope you feel better soon, Jillian. Let me know when I can do a laundry run, OK?

  3. Sarah says:

    Robbie was very good with Fiona as well, until 9 months, then the honeymoon was over. That said, now that she is vocal and mobile and will go along with a lot of what he wants (though not always), they are great together. My mother noted that they are very devoted to each other and have trouble being apart, especially when they are spending time away from home overnight. The brother/sister relationship is very special.
    As for the need for movement. I am with you. I’ve even looked for parkour classes for Robbie, which, unfortunately, don’t seem to exist. Good luck with your back!

  4. Jillian Frank says:

    Thanks, Erin. You too, Meg.

    Sarah-We coming up on month #9. Hopefully we’ll get through it (and the next, oh, 18 years) without issue. Funny about you looking for parkour classes for Robbie. Josh and I have always said that as soon as Jude gets wind of parkour… well, we’re in trouble.

  5. Leah says:

    It’s so wonderful to watch siblings become “friends” isn’t it? The older both of my under 2 year olds are getting, the closer they become. Watching that love between them is so wonderful.

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