So, recently I decided that this month I would make sure I was ready for baby so that come September there would be no rush to get things together... at first I was thinking just about all the practical things, but then I started to consider that I need to get my girls prepared for the things that they may find... undesirable. Like the fact that I'm going to need to do things for the baby (like feeding) that only mummy can do and that they will, in fact, need to let daddy do things for them! The main thing I don't know what to do about at the moment is the fact that - in all likelihood - I won't be able to lift either of them for quite a while after our baby is born.
Yesterday I was enjoying a really nice day with my girls... like, really - just lots of cooperativeness and enjoying doing things together and it was awesome! Hayley was napping and when she woke up I went in there and when I picked her up out of bed she cuddled right in to me. What a highlight of any day, right? Then all of a sudden there was that moment of realising that I'm not going to be able to do that soon, and I couldn't stop crying over it! Mostly because of how special those moments are for both of us, but the feeling that I just want to soak up every second of it until then, when in reality I should be getting her used to what it's going to be like so that she doesn't feel like I've suddenly become less interested in her because of her baby brother.
I'm trying to remember when she's upset and wants a cuddle that I need to get down on the floor instead of picking her up, but it's easier said than done - especially when I'm also trying to get Natalie to be doing something too. Today I also encouraged Hayley to get in to the car by herself... she managed that, but not actually getting in to the seat. How I'll manage those type of things when I don't have other adult help is something I'm yet to figure out...
In general I am trying to help my girls (particularly Natalie as she can understand more) understand that having a new baby in our home will be a happy thing, but that there will also be things that they'll have to adjust to. I want Natalie to understand that she may have to wait at times when I am not able to do things for her as quickly, or she may have to let someone else help her... but somehow make sure that I compensate for both the girls so they don't feel 'replaced'.
Basically, I know this is a dilemma that parents have faced since forever - and I've done once before - but now I'm trying to find the best way to help our whole family adjust to a new family member. It is a little scary not knowing what to do - feel free to share your experiences!