A few months ago, Perry and I took a trip to the George Lorimer Nature Preserve in Malvern, PA and took these gorgeous photos with Lily from Jieru Photography. I love how they came out. They’re a nice little reminder of the day and the relationship Perry and I have have outside of our family of four. We love spending time all together, but there’s also something special about having that individual time to get to know your baby in a real way.
I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby, Dylan. Going from one to two kids, I immediately felt this immense guilt that I was somehow doing a disservice to my first baby. Perry, was one month away from turning one when we knew she was about to get a sibling. I felt like I was robbing her of the precious individual attention she was already getting. I thought maybe it was too early and she deserved more time as an only child. Those feelings eventually went away but they fueled an incentive to start off their sibling relationship in a meaningful way.
One of my biggest priorities was setting up a good foundation for the relationship between my two kids. I consider it one of the greatest gifts J and I gave our kids, a best friend for life. They have this unique opportunity to look out for one another.
J and I wanted to do everything we could to make sure those first few months were free of jealousy and resentment.
We made it a point to spend individual time with Perry so she wouldn’t feel like she was losing out on special time with her parents. One of the things I’m most proud of as a mother is the care Julian and I gave to Perry when Dylan was born. He received plenty of attention as a newborn but I knew he wouldn’t remember feeling ignored. Whether it was little things like Perry getting a diaper for me so I could change Dylan or having her next to me while I nursed him, I truly feel like each of those moments made a huge difference. I wanted her to feel like she was part of it all (which she was) and that life was changing for the better.
Even now, we try our best to have dedicated time with both Perry and Dylan. Sometimes that one-on-one time is nothing more than dropping Perry off at preschool while Dylan is at home. Or it could be going to the splash pad for half an hour after school, just the two of us, followed by some ice-cream, obviously. It’s not easy carving out this time and requires some behind the scenes logistics. Even going to the park in the photos shown here required coordinating with Julian and my MIL while Dylan was home but in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. These photos will always remind me of the individual relationship I have with my first baby, who gave me the greatest gift of allowing me to become a mother.
Next month, we’re planning on doing a Mommy and Me challah baking class. We both love our bread and pasta so I can’t think of a better activity. 🙂
What individual activities do you gravitate towards with your babies? Any other tips for fitting in that one-on-one quality time with each child?
Photos: Jieru Photography // Floral arrangements: Heritage