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Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

Separated family with baby on the way — how will my son feel?
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Dear Grandma Maggie,

I am 5 months pregnant expecting my second son. My first son/child is 14 months old and he will be 18 months once his little brother is born. My son is really attached to me. I am afraid how he will be once I have my 2nd son. I’m afraid he might be jealous. My mother didn’t have this problem with my sister and me. My sister and I are 13 months and 6 days apart. I am 19 and she is 18. I was attached to my father and she was attached to my mother. I don’t want my 14-month-old to feel replaced.brothers-1417788_1920

How can I give him attention while caring for my second son? Also my husband and I are married for 6 months. He is the father of both my son and my expected son. The problem is we are moving back to DC but we will be living separately — he will be living with his parents and I will be living with my mom. There’s a long story why I dont want to live with him at his parents’ house but it’s for my son’s safety. I’m afraid we’re not gonna have our own place before our son is born and I am afraid I will be taking care of both of them full time on my own. How can I break up my time with my two sons?

Thank you,
Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

Just because your husband will be staying with his mother does not mean he cannot be part of the children’s lives. Also, there are plenty of mothers who have children close together. As they grow, your older child will never remember his life without his brother.

It sounds as if you are only worried about your older child. The younger will also need to feel attached. At first the little one will need holding and feeding. Ask the older one to help you. Then that’s a good time to sing together or watch an appropriate video. You could call it, “Our time with the baby.” You will work it out I am sure, and remember you can’t rehearse your entire life because with children it is always changing. One day at a time, my dear, one day at a time.

Grandma Maggie