i’ve been asked about their relationship and age difference a lot so i thought i’d write a little post about our experience with it, at this point.
it’s been a wild ride these past 10 months, having two kids is, in fact, a lot more than having one! just the mental bandwidth alone, my brain is basically mush. even with childcare a few days a week, i still feel as though i get so little done every single day!
getting arlo to actually like izzy
arlo has mostly surpassed all our expectations of how he would adapt and their relationship is so sweet to witness. it took a while for him to adjust. you may remember, he wasn’t super into the idea when we first told him he was going to have a sister. but little by little he got more invested emotionally, throughout my pregnancy he was so excited. he’s always loved being around family so i think to him, it was just more people in our family, which was awesome to him.
when we actually had her and brought her home, the first couple weeks were rocky. he was obviously being extra needy, he finally understood how boring she was at first (despite us repeatedly reminding him how boring she would be, to not have high expectations of a newborn!). but we were definitely like oh crap, this is not good.
i made a giant effort to do mommy arlo dates on weekends, i would take him out to just have breakfast the two of us and focus on him as much as i possibly could.
we made sure to constantly compliment him, like anytime someone would comment on how cute izzy was we would try to divert it back to arlo being cute too.
“izzy is definitely going to be the
funniest baby that i’ve ever seen.
even if i don’t like her, she’ll still be the
best baby that ever exists.”
-arlo, age 5
and lastly, we were always telling him how much izzy would idolize him, and luckily that came true. as soon as she started looking around and laughing, she wanted to look at him and laugh at him and i know it made him feel good. he loves how much izzy loves him. he loves her too, sometimes too much, despite us telling him he can’t he still says he wants to marry her haha.
BUT IT ALL HELPED! it took him a few months but he felt special and loved, and cute still! even now to this day, i notice myself making sure he feels loved by me if i’m holding izzy or feeding or paying attention to her, i subconsciously make an effort to hold his hand or talk to him while i do it.
he still grabs my hand when we’re walking and i’m so sad that might end soon.
some of you may remember for many years he wanted to be a daddy when he grew up and have four babies with nora, he even had names for all of them but after izzy he changed his tune lollll.
“i’m just gonna have one baby now
instead of four babies, because
all those babies would ruin my house
and i don’t want to have to
keep getting new houses.”
-arlo, age 5
there are definitely still times when he loses his patience with her, and sometimes he can be way too rough, and i’m assuming all of that that will only get worse when she’s bigger and fights back!
there are also weeks when he’s completely obsessed with her and wants to hold her first thing when she wakes up, and weeks when he doesn’t pay that much attention to her and would rather just play and is probably resentful that he can’t bring all his tiny toys to the “LILING ROOM” because they’re dangerous now. (not looking forward to him saying living room properly!)
but for now, i feel very fortunate about how much they seem to love each other. it’s heart melting!
my experience with their age gap
most of you know that a 5 year gap was not my plan, but hey, that’s how it turned out. i spent a lot of those years dwelling on how their ages were drifting further and further apart. but at a certain point, it finally clicked that that was unproductive thinking and things were going to be different than i pictured, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be beautiful.
side note : still, anytime i see celebrity kids or siblings with a 5 year gap i’m like ohhhh hey look at them thriving! haha
5 years is not what i pictured, but i feel so lucky when i look at her and think about how hard i fought to get her. and there are so many beautiful things about their age difference.
- getting to REALLY soak up the newborn days. i mean, this is still hard with two kids, but because arlo was in school most of the time, i got to really enjoy those early days because it’s only with the perspective of having done it before that you realize how short they are.
- appreciating all of the baby-ness in general. when they get big, you forgot how tiny they start out! all of those amazing memories and milestones we got to experience with arlo, we get to do again.
- watching arlo become a big brother, it’s been really amazing to see. i wasn’t sure how he’d embrace his new role and his new sister, but he has fully embraced her. even in all hypothetical situations, she is always included and has been since in utero. the other day he told me i was the best mom ever, and someday izzy would be the best mom ever which would mean i was even “gooder” because i was the mom of the best mom. haha.
- arlo is (mostly) independent. he could definitely improve a bit for his age, but he’s still old enough to be able to go turn on the tv himself, figure out things to play with on his own, get himself snacks, etc.
- he’s old enough to help out when i need him to. it’s pretty amazing to have a tiny helper! again, he could improve in this area, but just having someone to help grab/carry/find stuff is really nice.
- i get more one on one time with both kids. i feel like i still get to spend a lot of solo time with arlo, especially because izzy sleeps a lot.
- everything seems more chill. as a first time parent, we sweat the small stuff more, but now that we’ve been doing this for 6 years it feels like everything is less scary and daunting.
- it’s definitely hard getting so far away from the baby years and going back into it. there was baby gear we didn’t keep because it had been so long. i forgot mostly everything, and we were at such an easy stage with arlo where could finally be pretty spontaneous and now we’re very far from that point again. but i know how quickly it all goes!
- they won’t be in the same school. this will end up being inconvenient but i know it’s a common problem, and not a huge one. i mean my brother and i were 3 years apart and we mostly always went to different schools too. luckily izzy qualifies for TK so she will get to be in arlos school for ONE year when he’s in 5th grade, which will be so cute.
- they won’t have the same interests. he’s getting so big and won’t probably be interested in going to baby places with her (but he’s actually pretty into playing with her toys sometimes so i won’t jinx it lol) so there might be a lot of splitting up and doing things with the kids separately, which isn’t the worst thing. if she’s anything like i was, she’ll probably just like whatever he likes and that will make it easier!
overall, things have been amazing. having two kids is definitely a lot of work and can be very hard sometimes, but i feel so lucky when i look at her, and them, and that i get to call this cute little family mine! please let me know if i missed mentioning anything you wanted to know!