PREPARING MY SON TO BE A GREAT BIG BROTHER - By Erika Batista

PREPARING MY SON TO BE A GREAT BIG BROTHER

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Huggies Little Snugglers and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always all opinions are my own.  
 So for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a really big family. I say it's because I am an only child. And to this very day, at 30 years old, I still long for a sibling. I truly believe that there is no best friend or cousin that can amount to that of a sister or a brother. I find that the bond between siblings is simply unbreakable and no matter how mad you may or may not get with each other, you will still have each other. Forever. And that's what I want to give to my son. I remember the days when my husband (then boyfriend) and I would talk about what our ideal family would be and I always said I want FIVE kids. I am surprised he didn't run away... but realistically today, I settle at three. And we both agree that's a good number for us all. God willing, of course. So the day we found out we were expecting, we were thrilled and over the moon, ecstatic and just so grateful to God for this blessing. With all the joys and happiness also came my worries on how I would make sure to prepare my son for what was to come. 
Now at 33 weeks pregnant, I am beginning to see the fruits of our labor. I say our, because I am not alone on this journey. My husband plays an amazing and very important role in all our lives. For the past 30+ weeks we have made sure to include B in every important event of this pregnancy and explain to him daily all about his growing baby sister. And looking back, I am so happy I did. Once we were all in the clear and new our pregnancy was a great healthy one, we told B he was going to be a big brother. And the boy couldn't be happier! At the time I wasn't too sure whether he truly understood or not. But today, I know he does. He understands so much more than I even know.
For me, this journey has not been easy, in terms of emotions and overwhelming feelings of happiness but so much bittersweet thoughts. As any mother pregnant with a second child, I began to feel nervous. Would I be able to love my second baby enough? How would I share my love with my two children? Would I have enough time to for the two of them equally? Will B resent me? All these crazy questions, kept popping into my mind. But I knew I had to take over those emotions and tell myself "Erika, you are doing the best job that you can. And nothing is perfect and your kids will love you no matter what".
So as the weeks passed we began to prep B for what will be his biggest role yet. The best BIG BROTHER in the world. He truly has been amazing. The amount of love he has for his sister is mind blowing. I never knew how much he would truly understand at 3 years old that this little human growing inside of me is his unconditional love. His unconditional baby sister.
So I wanted to share some tips that worked for us and hope that work for you too. I know being a mom is not easy. We have the biggest most important role in the world. And if I can help you just a little bit with a small tip or idea to make your days easier I am happy to do so.
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Here's a list of little things we did to make this "big brother"transition fun and comprehensive to B:
Include your child in everything
Take them to an ultrasound and tell them "Look, that's your baby brother/sister".
 Be sure to make them feel special too.
Anytime you can, remind them about the growing baby. 
Tell them how great they are doing in their new role as an older sibling.
Let them help you register for baby items.  
We did this with B and he had a blast and felt so helpful. It took longer than it should have but this is part of helping them prepare for their new role. And I truly enjoyed him picking things out for his baby sister.
Don't exclude them from the baby plans and errands. 
My husband and I made sure that B was included in everything... even building the baby's new dresser. It was the cutest thing. He truly believes he built his sister's dresser all on his own.
Pay attention to the little things.  
It melts my heart every time B is eating, he hands me a piece of whatever he is having and says "Here mama this is for our baby" - some times I really don't want to eat it but I do just so his generous gestures don't go unnoticed. He shares his toys and is always giving her kisses. It fills my heart with joy!
Now-a-days, my belly is full of hugs, kisses... and stickers! 
Let them be active towards their new sibling. First, it is adorable and second, they are really making a connection and growing their love for the arrival of the new baby. 
For our baby shower, we made sure to have B attend for a majority of the event.  
He was so excited for the "Baby's Party" as he called it and the next day said it was the baby's best "birthday" ever! He was included in everything, in all the photos. And of course opening all the gifts and even folding her new clothes. This made him feel so happy and though he made the biggest mess I didn't mind. Some times, we tend to get crazy (I know I do) with messes and keeping the house tidy. But there are just some moments when you have to sit back and take it all in. And this day was one of them for me.
Give them a gift too! 
My mom had special present for B the day of the baby shower. She filled his bag with stuff he loved. Little things like stickers, cars and Christmas shirts and cups and all little things we knew would make him feel special too. She gave it to him as we opened all of the baby's gifts and he was so happy. We plan to do this on the day he meets the baby too. The baby will have a gift for him and he will have a gift for her. 
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I can't say I am doing a perfect job as a mom. Most days, I wonder if I am even just OK. But I know I am trying my best. I hope B knows that. And one day when he and his sister are older they truly hold that special bond I have always longed for. There is no better feeling than love. And the love from a mother to a child is the biggest love I have ever known. Today, I know I will  have enough love for them both. And I will make time for them both. And I know it won't be easy but I think that as long as I try and I cherish the little moments, I believe my children will feel the love I have for them and in turn love each other and be there for each other for always.
This is my last post in collaboration with Huggies and it has been an amazing project to be a part of. With every post I wrote I felt closer to every one of your mommies and mommies to be. I hope you enjoyed this 6-part campaign as much as I did and that my tips and ideas were of some help to at least one of you. I am just 6 weeks away from giving birth to my baby girl. And time is sure not staying still. I am so excited and happy but nervous and emotional. Mostly for B. For his new life as a big brother. I pray I have the patience and the knowledge to be the best mom I can be to the both of them.
Thank you so much for reading this emotional and intimate post. I hope it is a little help to some of you.
xo,
E.

PS: Remember, you can now add Huggies Little Snugglers and Natural Care Wipes to your baby registry by visiting THIS link to enter for the chance to make your dream wish come true. And you can request a sample of Huggies Little Snugglers diapers and wipes by visiting HERE.