Sometimes it's big brother.
Sometimes it's baby sis.
Sometimes it's mom.
Sometimes (I'm outting him here), it's dad.
And sometimes... it's all 4 of us... at the same time.
When I was pregnant with my second, I was a mess of tears. Tears of joy, excitement and anticipation. Tears of fear and anxiety and a desire to just freeze things as they were without bringing a huge change. I was fearful of how it would affect my son, 2 at the time, and how he would embrace the change.
I don't remember if someone gave me this advice or I read an article or these words just crept into my head, but "Take turns crying" became something I paid attention to. While crying isn't necessarily a goal in our household, it's a daily reality. Parenting brings about a lot of tears.
Every single day, multiple times a day, I'm faced with a decision of who to turn to first when two children are crying. The baby- she's so little and helpless. The toddler- he's so perceptive and is learning emotional safety. I want them both to be comforted. I want them both to feel safe and secure in our home and in my arms. I want them both to have the problem solving skills and tenacity for the days when they're more independent. It's not a choice I want to make, but often have to- who will I let cry this time?
We take turns. Sometimes that means a wailing infant who needs a diaper change or is overly tired. Sometimes it means a massive toddler meltdown on the floor. Sometimes, it means both because momma has to use the restroom or grab something to eat for herself every once in awhile too.
Raising siblings means knowing that they need things differently- they'll speak different love languages. They'll express themselves differently. Their attention seeking will come in different forms. Sometimes they'll wait on one another and sometimes we'll all be cuddled up on the couch addressing the various needs.
I don't want my kids to ever feel like they need to be the same. I don't want to love them in the exact same ways. I do, though, want them to always know that we've done our best to be fair and attentive. That we strive to know them as individuals and that means sometimes their needs take priority and sometimes they take the back burner while another need is being addressed.
Raising kids right now means taking turns- even when it comes to crying and receiving attention. Don't worry, we'll wipe the tears and kiss over them.