Posts Tagged ‘siblings’

Incorporating a New Baby into Your Daily Life

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Incorporating a New Baby into Your Daily LifeI sit here typing this blog at 39 weeks pregnant. I have a recently turned 4-year-old daughter and a newly 2-year-old son. I am either eating, cleaning, or worrying these days about my life with three little ones. So, how do you incorporate a new baby into your daily life? How do you still make sure you take care of everyone’s needs, including your own? Here are some ideas I have on how to make the transition easy for all involved.

Remember, you are supermom. I had a friend tell me that once, and it has never left my mind. Don’t let yourself get hung up on unrealistic expectations. There will be days when no one has real clothes on and you don’t shower. There may be days when your kids watch too much television so you can take care of a sick infant. All of this is okay. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. You can handle it all with grace and a smile. Celebrate small victories. If all you do today is feed your kids supper and snuggle, that’s a victory.

It’s okay to accept help. With a new baby comes new responsibility. Let your husband or friend help as needed. If you have children in school, allow someone to help you get them there. If you have a child that needs more attention, invite family or friends to come babysit. I am awful at accepting help, but I am learning as I age that I need it more often. If friends or family want to bring you meals after baby arrives, take them and show your gratitude. If you have older children, allow them to help in small ways. My daughter is a big help when I need to shower currently.

Start slowly and take small steps. It will be a transition for everyone in your household to have a new baby. Expect some chaos. When my son was born, my daughter wasn’t quite 2. She regressed with potty training, and I was convinced she hated me. Let siblings help with baby duties, such as getting diapers or wipes. If you are bottle feeding, allow your older children to help with feedings. My daughter already loves my nursing pillow, so I plan on having her get it for me when I need to feed the baby. Don’t expect the transition to go perfectly or quickly.

Remember a new baby is also a time of change for you, momma. Take care of your emotions and make sure to take time to eat, too. Don’t worry if things don’t go smoothly for a while. Find ways to make life easier. I know I plan on wearing this baby as much as possible so I can still function. Just remember it is just a stage, and don’t with the newborn days away. Before you know it, your kids and baby will all be in sync with the new routine.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2, almost three, in Arkansas. She is ready to have this third baby…any day now.

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas I never had a sibling to plan my costume with since I was an only child, so I try to coordinate my children’s costumes each year. Elsa and Olaf was a big disaster last year. My 14 month old did not want anything to do with the Olaf head, which made the costume. He spent most of the time crying, so we just went with the bodysuit. And, oh, don’t get me started on how much he loved the hands!

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas




Here are some fun sibling costume ideas for siblings:

Sports Fans

This one is a fall classic. If you like football, you could easily do this with a new baby and older brother. A simple football jersey for big brother and a football brown onesie for baby. You could add more details if you want, like maybe go for your favorite team. You could also do this with baseball if you’re more into the World Series this time of year.

Fairytale Friends

This is similar to what we tried to do last year. If you have an older sister and younger brother duo, try for a fairytale theme.  You could do any princess and prince, or try Red Riding Hood with the Wolf. Just remember kids don’t always love those hooded animal costumes. I am not crafty, but this could probably be a costume you put together if you are.

Sibling Halloween Costume IdeasMoms of Multiples

If you have twins or even triplets, Halloween can be so fun!  Try doing Thing 1 and Thing 2 or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. This is by far my favorite, however–The Three Blind Mice. How adorable is this!  Find one costume and get 3 and add some sunglasses, which my kids would love. I would even be tempted to join in on the fun and dress up with my kids with these themed costumes.

Video Gamers Unite

If you have a husband or kids who like video games, try Mario and Luigi. Have another sibling? Add some characters! Add the Princess or anyone you like. Find some fake mustaches, turtlenecks, and easy outfits. These are adorable and even cuter the smaller your little ones are.

Sibling Halloween Costume IdeasLarger Families Can Still Have Fun

If you have several small children, go with a bigger theme. The Wizard of Oz characters seem to be popular. Dress up a Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow. These costumes could be made at home or bought online. You can always do another movie theme if this isn’t up your alley. Maybe have a family costume of Minions? Get creative!

You can always check out Pinterest if none of these ideas are what you or your kids want. I am leaning towards a cheerleader, football player, and football. Why not? I say dress your kids together as long as they will let you. You never know when they will want to be their own thing, and that can be a good thing, too.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2, almost 3, in Arkansas where she now wants to go shop online for costumes for her littles.

Overcoming Mommy Guilt with the Second Child

Monday, June 27th, 2016

mommy guiltLast August, I was so excited to spend just over a month enjoying every last minute that my older daughter (L) was an only child.  We were going to go downtown and ride the free shuttle bus. Zoo and museum trips were planned.  These last few weeks were going to be awesome, even if she wouldn’t remember them.  I needed these weeks to make peace with the fact that her little world would never be the same, and she no longer would have my undivided attention.

All my plans went out the window when my water broke at 35 weeks and 5 days.  Despite my best efforts to convince myself I was just accidently peeing, my younger daughter (J) was born early the following morning.  While I was overjoyed to meet J and that she was healthy, I had an enormous amount of guilt hanging over my head.

During the following couple of months, I struggled and worked through my guilt while adjusting to being mommy to two.  Here are a few things that helped me to get through this difficult time.

  1. Carving out time solely devoted to my older child: Bedtime routine was the part of each day that I can devote exclusively to L.  On more than one occasion, when she requested five more minutes of cuddles, I gladly gave in, because I needed the extra time just as much as she did.  The more time I could arrange to spend with just L, the less guilt I felt.
  2. Taking time to myself:  While this sounds counterproductive, because there is only so much time during the day, taking a half an hour to walk or run by myself, helped me to reset and improve the quality of time I spent with both my daughters and husband.
  3. Returning to our normal routine as soon as possible: When J was 2 months old, I enrolled L in her weekly mommy-and-me swim lessons and gym class again.  I managed to find times that corresponded with the baby’s naps.  Returning to our routines helped L burn off some of her toddler energy, and, again, carved out some time during the day for one on one time with her.
  4. Prioritizing tasks:  Taking care of my toddler’s emotional needs, establishing breast feeding, taking care of my newborn’s other needs, and keeping us all fed were my priorities early on.  I let everything else slide for a bit.  Doing a few things well (including spending time with L), gave me assurance that I was doing the best I could for my family.



At eight months out, much of my mommy guilt has dissipated with time (and lots of coffee).  My daughters now spend time playing together, and L seems to genuinely enjoy being a big sister.  I look back at the newborn months, and see that while it was tough and adjustment for all of us, L was not harmed or neglected and is still a happy, spirited toddler, and I am incredibly content with our expanded family.

Becky Nagel is a stay at home mom to an energetic, spirited toddler and a happy, easy going baby from Denver, Colorado.  She enjoys running, hiking, and cooking with her two girls.

Becoming Big Brother or Big Sister

Monday, April 11th, 2016

big brother or big sisterWhen my daughter was three days shy of her second birthday, she became a big sister. I had always wanted to have my children relatively close together, so when she weaned at 13 months, I was determined to get pregnant. And two months later, we found out Levi was on his way. While I am no expert on how to make this transition into big brother or big sister any easier, here are some things I have learned on this journey almost two years later.

Proceed with Caution

My daughter has always been a curious thing. Having a baby around was a very interesting thing for her as a young toddler. When I wasn’t in the room, she would do silly things. I caught her sitting on him once. She viewed him as baby doll at one stage. Then when Levi could move around and take her toys, he became the enemy. Currently, Levi is 18 months old, and he has transitioned into the best friend. Just remember that a new baby is a gentle, little thing. Make sure to keep your baby safe. Kids are curious, just make sure you are protecting your littles.

Prepare to be Emotional

When my son became a part of our family, the first 9 months or so were hard. We had to move twice. It was a horrible cold, snowy winter here in Indiana. My 2-year-old started acting out. No more being potty trained for that girl. She began hitting. She would take his toys. All of this set me into a tail-spin. I was convinced in my hormonal state that I had somehow ruined her little life by giving her this amazing gift. Just be ready to cry- a lot. It is beautiful to see my kids now. They truly love each other and can’t survive the day without each other. While Levi is napping, Johanna wants to know where he is. But, this wasn’t always the case. It’s okay for them to go through phases, all siblings do. Lean on your spouse, friends, or family for support. Giving birth causes women to get a little hormone crazy anyways, so make sure to take care of yourself. I eventually stopped crying over “Frozen” and a friend reminded me that I had given Johanna the best gift I could give her when I gave her a brother.

Keep Things Special for Each Child

When my son was born, we brought Johanna a special big sister gift to the hospital. Friends who brought meals to my family included her by bringing her goodies. Remember kids are going to be jealous. I used to have to pull Johanna out of the baby swing, bouncer, and high chair. She’s a little older now, so the high chair has lost its appeal. A new baby is so exciting, and the new role of big brother or big sister can be, too. My husband and I still regularly take Johanna on personal dates. We like to go to Starbucks and Dollar Tree. I remember to play Barbies during Levi’s nap, so she gets one-on-one attention.

Becoming a big brother or big sister is so exciting. Make it fun. Read the cute books, buy the cute t-shirts, but most importantly help your child by being ready for some ups and downs. Someday you will laugh at the stories– someday.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where her kids love each other so much these days, and she will take it. 

When Your Family Starts the Comparison Game

Monday, December 28th, 2015

IMG_1522If you come from a family like mine, there are lots of little ones around. My family has had new babies in 2009, 2012, 2013, and two new additions in 2014. So, my kids are in good company when we are home visiting. But, what do you do when your family starts comparing your kids to their cousins?

While I was growing up, I didn’t have other siblings in my home. My four cousins were like my siblings. We rode to and from school together. We had sleepovers. We sat through each other’s ballet recitals, band concerts, and musical productions. It was expected. But, occasionally, we did get compared. One of my grandmas, who is now 102, used to favor my boy cousin over us all. I can remember her teasing my younger girl cousin like it was nothing. Now, I do love this lady dearly, but often times I recall those memories and wonder why she did that.

I want to protect my kids. I want to protect them from the world, their peers, and all of the evils out there. But, should I feel like I have to protect them from other members of our family? I can’t shield their feelings and emotions, but I can be a voice for them. I can remind my family that they are not something to be compared.

If your family starts to compare, remember to speak in love. Family can’t be replaced. Words can last. I know in these times, we can become defensive. Milestones have been compared, innocent enough, maybe. But, I have heard comparisons of who crawled first, who talks more, and even who has cuter clothes. The list can go on and on.

Here are some great responses when your family starts comparing your kids to other family members:

  • Lead by example. Engage in conversations about your brother or sister’s child without mentioning anything about your own children.
  • Emphasize the differences. When your babies are being compared, shift the focus on the ways they are different and celebrate that instead.
  • Make a joke of it. Claim your baby just mastered long division or learned recite Shakespeare and hope they get the hint.
  • Smile and say, “Well every baby/child is different!” Then change the subject!
  • Talk to the family member frankly–but gently—later when other family is not around. Tell them that you love hearing about your brother/sister’s child, but it hurts you when they compare your children to other family members. Maybe they are just trying to make conversation and relate and don’t realize it hurts, so give them a chance to see it from your side and do the same for them.

Your children are yours. They are the only them in the world. My little silly boy and crazy, funny girl are unique and their own. No matter how different they may be, they are my little loves. My son has had a cranial helmet. My daughter has faced difficulties with her speech. These just make them special. It doesn’t make them someone who needs compared to other children. It doesn’t make them someone to not value or not love.

Family is truly forever. No comparisons are needed. My kids may not be perfect, but they are perfect for me.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She loves going home to visit her cousins and hopes her children will be close with their cousins someday, too.