How do you choose between your children when they both have needs, but their needs are mutually exculsive? I only have two kids, and my second is only two weeks old. This is a new question for me.
Sarah is in the hospital. She is in good hands, between the many doctors, nurses and therapists who visit her every day. But she is recovering from major surgery, and facing still more. It feels wrong to leave her side.
Lily too is in good hands. She is staying at my parents' house, and my aunt with her every day. But, she is used to having Mommy with her most of the time, and I am not. She is used to being the center of my attention, and now she is not. It can be hard when a new sibling comes along, under any circumstance. Here, the new sibling came, and forced Mommy and Daddy to stay away for days at a time. It is hard for Lily, and though I think she is bearing it well, she is certainly showing signs that she is struggling. She has more temper tantrums and she wants to snuggle more. She makes more demands, and her manners have deteriorated. The heart ache, however, comes from her quickness to fall into tears. She rarely cried before. It is awful. I do not want to leave her, even in the capable and loving hands of my family.
Maybe I will take the nurses up on their many offers to put me in touch with an organization that is set up to help parents wade throught these questions with thteir children. I have resisted it thus far. I don't know why.
Part of me wants to shower them both with gifts, I guess because I feel like they are getting inadequate Mommy time. I have mostly resisted the impulse; I know it is not the right thing to do. But Lily did get a little set of Hello Kitty chapsticks.
I took Lily tot he gift shop yesterday to pick out a present for Sarah. (If it is from Lly, it is a lesson, not an unnecessary gift, right?) She chose a little, blue teddy bear. She gave it toSarah, and has, since then, every time she comes in the room, checked to make sure that Sarah can reach her teddy bear. The nurses know it is a gift from Lily, so they tuck it in with Sarah.
I tell myself that I should be counting my blessings. I have been considering how long we will be in the hospital. How long can we sustain this? I should focus on the miracle: I am indeed planning to have both of my girls home together. I do not know when, but I do expect it to happen.