Thirteen years ago I had a beautiful baby boy! His father and I were overjoyed. He was perfect; so perfect that I decided that I didn’t want or need anymore children. I was perfectly fine with him being my only child. I had a rough pregnancy and his father worked out of the country for most of the year. Children, if you are a full-time parent, require 100% of your time and one was all I could take. Even when the relationship with his dad didn’t work out, I still vowed that my son would be the only child. People would always say things like, “Won’t you want one with your husband when you get married?” Or, they would wonder what would happen to my son when his parents died. Who would be his support system? Who would he visit during the holidays, etc.? I have to admit that those last questions got to me. The one future thing I was definitely worried about was him being alone! I wanted him to have brothers and sisters, but I just didn’t want to be the one to have them.
When his dad got married and was expecting a child soon after, I was happy for my son. Finally, after 5 years of being an only child, he would be a big brother. It took some time for him to get used to the idea, but 8 years later, they both adore each other. I could finally have some peace with this now because I knew that my son and his brother would always be there for each other; I would make sure of it by supporting and encouraging their relationship whole heartedly. There’s nothing like a bond between brothers and I was so happy that my son would finally experience it.
It turns out that my son’s younger brother wouldn’t be the only addition to the family. Last year, his stepmother informed us that she was expecting a baby girl and gave birth to her in November. My son was elated! It’s so cute to see how he speaks of his only sister. Already, he is so protective and talks about the things he is going to do with her when he starts driving. This little girl is definitely going to get the blues from her two older brothers when she gets older. LOL!
And we’re still not done folks because last September, after vowing to never have another, not trying to and being told by doctors that I probably wouldn’t get pregnant again, my husband and I were surprised to hear that we too were expecting. I gave birth to my son’s youngest sibling, a beautiful baby boy, in March of this year. The six months of bedrest, including hospital bedrest, constant vomitting and fatigue, was all worth the daily opportunity that I get to see my two boys interact. My oldest is so gentle, loving and caring with his baby brother, and my baby boy absolutely adores his older brother. His face lights up every time he walks in the room or hears his voice. It is the cutest thing.
Today, I am no longer worried about either one of my sons when their parents leave this Earth because I know that they will always have each other. Not only that, they will also have my oldest son’s brother and sister. My son often talks about the things that all of them will do together in the future. He loves being an older brother. It’s the reason why I encourage and support sibling relationships in the stepfamily. A wonderful aunt, close cousin or a bestfriend cannot compare to a relationship that, if nurtured and supported, you can have with your sibling. And so, my oldest son went from being the only child to the oldest of 4, and I couldn’t be happier – for him.
How important is it for you to support and encourage the sibling relationships in your stepfamily?