All this got me thinking back to about 3 1/2 years ago when I only had 1 child and was pregnant with twins. John and I would talk about making sure we made the extra effort to take many pictures of the girls even though they were 2nd and 3rd children, because we have SO MANY pictures and videos of E1 and we wanted to be fair. I am an only child so this was never really an issue in my life growing up so I have no personal experience to extract from. John is a second child, so he knows how it feels like, his older brother has so many more baby pictures than he does. When E2 and E3 arrived, we did take quite a lot of pictures and videos of them but not as many as we did with E1, life was busy with 3 kids under the age of 2, we didn't always have time to take out the camera!
Once the girls arrived, we talked about how we would make sure we are fair to all the children and do our best not to play favorites. We didn't want E1 to feel like once his sisters arrived, he wasn't important anymore since they would be getting quite a bit of attention being twins and all. For mothers of multiples out there, you know what I'm talking about. Everywhere you go, people are always staring and curious to know if they are indeed twins and if they are identical. You cannot imagine how many times we were stopped in public, especially when the girls were babies, just because people were curious and wanted a better look at them. So during the early months of the girls arrival, John would take E1 to a playground near our house for some one-on-one time with him. For the most part E1 was a very patient child and would be happy just sitting in his highchair playing with toys during those early months. In fact, secretly in the beginning, E1 was our "favorite" child, just because he was older and better at expressing himself and we had "known" him for a longer time. E2 and E3 were still new to us and it took some time to get acquainted to them, does that make any sense to other parents with more than 1 child? But of course, that was our little secret as parents and we never really let the kids know this, unless they read this in the future =P
By the time E4 arrived, our house had pretty much been "set up" for the 3 older kids. Their pictures decorate our walls and things were arranged for 3 kids, which took some rearranging and we will need to print out new pictures and redecorate some of our walls to include his pictures in the near future. Now that E4 is one and I look back at his first year, we definitely don't have as many pictures of him compared to the other 3. In fact, we even missed witnessing some of his firsts! Like when he first flipped over, it happened while we were all busy doing something and not paying attention, until we looked at him and found him on his tummy! Poor kid! Good thing we did get a video of him when he first started to crawl.
I feel bad sometimes that E4 doesn't have the same amount of pictures, videos, and at times, my attention, because I have 3 other kids to attend to. Then I realized, first of all, I can't beat myself up about it, since it is a fact of life that the 4th child probably won't get the same amount of certain things compared to his older siblings. And more importantly, I love him just as much as his siblings because he is my child! And some might even say I love him more because he is the baby and he is a great baby, really patient and not fussy, content with sitting and crawling around playing along with his brother and sisters. Only "complaint" I might have is that he still wakes up at nights which is getting to be pretty tiring for me but I know this phase will pass as well.
*Image from flickr.com
So after all this reflection, I've come to the conclusion that you can't always have the equal amount of THINGS such as pictures, videos, birthday parties, new toys for all your kids but as long as there is an equal amount of LOVE for all of them, it's all good!
Parents of multiple children, what do you do to make sure the kids are treated fairly? Any thoughts about this topic?
Parents expecting your second child, have you thought about this topic? What are some of the things you came up with?
Parents with one child, do you have siblings? What are some of the things your parents did when you were growing up?