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Dear Darcie, I Won’t Push You Away

Dear Darcie,

As you may have realised by now, there are going to be some big changes in the next month or so. We’ve been talking to you about ‘Baby Ernie’ for a while now, and telling you all about how there will be a new baby soon. We’ve told you about how amazing it will be and how you will have a friend for life. This will be the most amazing change for our family, but still, it will be a change. I’m really not too worried about how you will adapt to life with a baby brother. You have adapted to every change so far in your life and flourished with every new phase you have entered. You’ve actually been loving helping us to prepare for your brother even if you didn’t realise that’s what we were doing. You’ve been putting your teddies in his cot ‘for the baby’, pretending to paint the walls of the nursery and even ‘helping’ me pick out his tiny clothes.

Over the next few weeks you might notice an increase in phrases like ‘not a baby anymore’, ‘you’re a big girl now’, ‘are you going to help mummy look after the baby?’. I’ve started to be given advice, by everyone, advice to encourage you to be more independent and ‘grown up’ in preparation for the new baby, so you can manage better when ‘mummy has her hands full’. I’ve been advised to stop you from sleeping in our bed before your little brother arrives and to start doing less for you now so that it’s less of a big adjustment for you when the time comes.

But I don’t want to push you away, I won’t push you away. Your whole life I have striven to nurture you and to take life at your pace. I’ve comforted you when you needed comforting and followed your lead through each new phase. I won’t stop that now. Not because you are gaining a baby brother. Just because I will have two children to love doesn’t mean that there will be any less love for you. You will always be my baby, even when I see you next to your newborn brother and realise how big you have grown since I first held you in my arms. Yes, I will have less time but I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that itĀ isn’t all time taken away from you. You’re gaining a brother not losing a mother.

I will be tired from looking after a newborn day and night and I apologise to you now if that tiredness turns into a lack of patience for your toddler ways. I’m not denying that things will change, but I need you to know that it will be a good change. Within a month you will probably barely remember life before your brother. I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t make me sad that you won’t remember all the days spent just you and me. Days spent indulging your every whim. Play Doh, Paw Patrol, “drawni” (that’s what you call drawing), playing in the sandpit and then pasta and sausages for dinner. I know I will miss you so much when he is first-born, much more than you will miss me. You’ll be having fun with your Daddy and your extended family while I try to remember how to care for a newborn. You’ll adjust and adapt and I will eventually do the same. Everything is going to change, and that’s exactly why I’m not going to spend these last few weeks together trying to push you away. I’m going to cuddle you more, dance around the lounge with you more, tell you ‘I love you’ more.

When your brother is born we’ll adapt and grow as a family. We don’t need to spend these last few weeks as a three battling with you to sleep in your own bed, or to use your cutlery properly. I’ve never rushed you through any stage or change in your life, and that’s not going to change now. So much will change but I won’t. I will continue to be the same mum I have always been. The mum who comforts you when you need it, who runs away when you want to be a dinosaur, who dances to the ‘Pup Pup Boogie’ with you.

There will be a new baby in my life and in my heart but that doesn’t take anything away from you. My love for you both will double and so will my heart. And, if you still want to sleep in our bed when there is a newborn crying and wriggling in a Moses Basket next to you, then you can. Hearing your little footsteps on the landing will always make me smile, that you woke up and you needed us and you knew you could come to us. There will always be room for you in my heart, in my arms and in my bed.

If you need me, know that I am always here for you.

You might be going to be a big sister but you will always be my baby.

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