Saturday, September 24, 2011

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. 


  1. Hi Beth,
    Alas, your concerns are very valid. But, I can tell you, the tantrums, the crying, will pass...the best is not to punish her for them and to shower her with extra patience and hugs. If you're going to be at the hospital all day, maybe you can send, or in the morning if you see her give it, a special "mommy" box...that has special little notes and treats just from mommy for her for throughout the day. This worked wonders for us in the past. Whenever said child would miss me, my husband would whip out a treat and say "LOOK what mommy sent for you!" It was amazing.

    There will be plenty of time, once this phase passes of being in the hospital, when you can work on healing your whole family....for now, just know that its okay. Keep being understanding of what Lily is going through, and the less you can punish or react strongly the better better!

    It will pass. She has many years ahead of her to re-work on manners:)

    Praying for you all!

  2. one more idea: when I know I would have to be away, I posted hidden notes throughout the house. She would get so excited and run to her grandparent or whoever had to be with her and ask them to read it to them. All were just cute little notes. For example, over the bathroom sink, "Brush those teeth and make them shiney for mommy!" Or inside her favorite toy, "Boo! Mommy loves you!" These little gestures go a long way. They won't CURE the tantrums, but they help nurture her fragile little heart.

  3. One more One of our 3 daughters, age 3, had to be in the hospital for a couple weeks for emergency surgery and situation last May. My 5 year old and 11month old were in the care of grandparents. Once a day, the 11 month old would come stay with me for a few hours so I could nurse her and snuggle with her. The 5 year old would be dropped off with me so I could take her down to the cafeteria for a special mommy-time lunch or a smoothie date. These little times went a long way. And I never had to leave the hospital...I stayed with our suffering 3 year old (who was actually not quite 3). I did go home each night to tuck my other kids in bed, snuggle with them, and then either get some sleep myself, or head back to the hospital.

    So could your Lily visit you more frequently at the hospital, so you can take her for little 30 minute-1 hour dates? Even just walking around, or playing outside in the courtyard, or playing in the sibbling playroom, can all go a LONG way to help her, and you, endure this difficult time.