Nurturing Your Older Kids: The Tea Time Ritual

I would never say having a baby is easy. On the contrary! But when you have an only child, the focus is simple. There’s only one tiny being to look out for. You can drop everything else for the sake of that tiny being and feel justified.

Dishes? They can wait. Laundry? Whatever. Errands? Hopefully you stocked up on canned goods. Everything else can be put on the back burner if your baby needs you.

But when you get pregnant with your second, you have to start juggling! What were your concerns when your first child became a sibling?

For some reason, my transition from 1 baby to 2 babies was fairly simple. But I did worry when 2 was going to become 3. I found out I was pregnant when my second was only 9 months old. I was elated – but also worried about my baby-about-to-be-a-middle. Was he ready for this? Were any of us? How would I ensure that my boy and his 2-and-a-half-year-old brother got everything they needed? The unknowns were consuming.

Luckily – and as with most things in motherhood – we slowly figured it out. A few months after I had our daughter, we started to find our routine. And one thing that allowed me intimate time with my sons was tea time!

Every day, after my daughter’s first nap (spent in our Beco Gemini – more on that next week!), I would start tea and prepare a snack alongside it – usually trail mix or muffins. Then, we would set our tray (teapot, tea cups, & snack) and head on over to their “kids’ table.” It was truly an event!

Next, the boys would sit at their table. I would sit on the ground next to them. And our baby Ruthie would do tummy time on a soft blanket right there with us. We’d sip tea, eat munchies, talk about anything, and read our favorite books. There, we would linger and enjoy. Endlessly! Well, until Ruthie said No more tummy time!

Even now, I’m sighing at the thought of it! These were truly precious times. It relaxed us and helped us stayed connected with each other. It led us to our newest favorite books. It ensured that I actually looked them in the eyes as much as I should, heard what they had to say, and smiled when they shared their hearts. I know I can get consumed with baby care, so the reassurance that my big kids are also being nurtured is everything.

What helps you connect with your kids when it’s not a daily given? How do you accommodate all your babies when it’s not easy?

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