Big Sister

My Jaina. My sweet Jaina. Oh, sometimes I really worry about her. More accurately, I worry about how I parent her. I know she had me to herself for 3 years, but I can't help feeling guilty that I can't devote as much time and attention to her. Even though she is older and more independent now, I think I take for granted that she IS only 5 years old. My mother often warns me of doing this. Sometimes I forget that she's still a little kid. I find myself losing patience with her just because I've just spent 30 minutes trying to calm down her brother. She comes home from school every day, excited about a new project that she wants to start with me, only for me to be so mentally exhausted from the day's therapies and activities to even deal with her.

Instead I hand her the remote, tell her to watch whatever she wants, then I come find solace on my computer while Jayce naps in his room. I find that I am using breaks from Jayce for myself, not for Jaina. So, that results in Jaina not getting much one-on-one attention.

She plays so well by herself. She is just like me when I was little. Like her, I preferred having friends over or having my mommy play a game with me, but if neither option was available, I could entertain myself for hours with my dolls and stuffed animals.

But just because she *can* play so well by herself, doesn't mean I should shirk my parenting responsibilities either. Its so hard to find a balance, you know?

How do moms with multiple kids do it? I would love to know their secret! I definitely have enough love for both my children to share. I just don't have enough time it seems like :(

I really try to not make things all about Jayce. Yet, that's what seems to occupy my mind and time each day. It really saddened me to discover that my number one reason for feeling like I couldn't successfully homeschool was because I was too busy carting Jayce around to his various therapies. Doesn't she deserve more than that? So, we put her in a school that would teach her what she needed to know to free up my time for Jayce. That still does not sit right with me.

Anyway, I am sure it will all work out. I'm just feeling a little depressed right now about our situation. That's normally not me, Mrs. Optimistic, and I take comfort in knowing that by tomorrow, I'll have a sunnier outlook on life.

Oh, and I am not happy with my blog layout. Expect lots of wishy-washy changes before I get satisfied with April's layout :)


  1. Jaina looks very beautiful in the picture, I like her hair and eyes. Joshua misses her alot. I have some pics I will post on my blog I found of them together in 2004.
    I get depressed about my parenting skills more so than I would like. I sometimes wonder how parents with multiple children (more than 3) do it too. I know you are a great mother, I wish sometimes I could be like you. You cook, keep a clean house, have beautiful children, Mom' Club, LLL etc. You do so much and are so crafty and great photographer. I think we as mother's are really hard on ourselves. I know the older kid can sometimes be put to the side and they are expected to do more and know more. I see this in Joshua all the time. He usually acts out by whining or locking himself in the room. It makes me sad when he says "You love Justin more than him, and smart boys aren't cute boys". I find small moments of time, any kind of time, whether it's a walk, tickles on the couch or reading with him, helps us reconnect. Justin just gets so jealous at times. I do hope it gets better for you. Do you have one day a week you can set a side for Jaina? We have Sundays here at our home. I hope things get better and sunnier for you:) I like your blog and the earth tones.

  2. Anonymous11:14 PM

    You're a wonderful mom, Jess. I think that being so aware of these thing, while more painful for us, makes us better parents as we strive to do better. You have to meet the needs before you, and sometimes one kid is far needier. And Jaina gets the awesome privelege of watching you take excellent care of her brother - and that will stay with her for life as an example of what love is all about.

  3. Anonymous11:49 PM

    These are great eye opening moments in life. We do need to remember that the older child needs our special attention. I do the same thing with IA. Just because she is more independent shouldn't mean that I use my breaks from JA as a means for a break for myself.

  4. Oh, Jess. *hug*

    You are a good mommy.

    If you ever do consider homeschooling, you CAN do it even while carting her around to Jayce's appts. It's not because you failed her or anything.

    But if you don't, it's also OK to take that time guilt-free for Jayce. After all Jaina had you for 3 years all to herself. Jayce can have the weekdays for now. ;)

    You absolutely deserve the breaks you need. I find I sometimes feel better if I push myself to wait until other things are done. Maybe even just reading one chapter in a book with her before you rest your brain would help you feel better? Reading is what I turn to when I'm too tired to do anything else. (purple bouncy smilie goes here)

  5. I so relate! balance is hard - you read my recent post! i feel the same with Ashley too - just go play pets in your room for oh and hour or so ... i always wonder if i am scarring for life :) i've decided i'm not - my mother in law always tells me its good to teach them to entertain themselves, so there :)

    love this photo of jaina.

  6. jess, that was very beautifully put. jaina is a beautiful girl because of you, no in spite of you. she is able to adapt and be empathetic. these are good things. she'll probably worry, too...just like you. but that's ok. that'll be part of how she shows her love every once in awhile.

  7. I could have written this myself Jess. You are a good Mama, Jaina is a great kid because of it. I know you will not let her slip away. I am starting to think we live parallel lives.


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