Monday, July 16, 2012

Sibling Love

Before the "big/little" kid in this picture was an Uncle Jay, he was my brother....

I can't say every moment was blissful with my brother growing up, but I can say for the most part him and I were always really close whether we'd admit it at the time or not. I think back on my childhood and growing up alongside my twin brother and I can think of many happy memories of being coerced into riding a bike with a loosed front tire off a jump just to "see what happens", of packing my dad's old army t-pee up and hauling it out into the desert to make a camp site, and of many other adventures. When I think of my brother now, I think of one of my closest friends, of someone I want nothing but the best for in life that the Lord has to offer and of someone that I will always love. 

Thing is, this culture doesn't promote sibling bonds. Television shows promote sibling rivalry and reality shows often have scenes of divisive and hateful interactions. Siblings aren't supposed to be friends, they're natural born enemies where it all starts with vying for mom''s attention.

When I found out I was pregnant with my second baby, my husband and I were ecstatic at our growing family and the chance for our son to have a playmate in the days to come. But what we weren't ready for was the reactions we would get from some, such as "oh man, Riley's world is really gunna change!" "His {Riley}life is going to be turned upside down" "He will want to send that baby right back where it came from" "You're really gunna have your hands full" 

While I know {from 4 weeks of expereince as a mama of 2} that some of these statements have some truth in them, I am bothered by the heart behind them.  Sure Riley has had a big adjustment over that last month. He's thrown more fits, he's needed more attention, etc. But all in all I see that he loves Grace. He's thrilled to be with her. He wants to share his world with her and I'm excited for them to be able to play together someday. I look forward to him teaching Grace things. I know they will fight over toys and not get along at times. But  believe that I can start now in creating a good bond between these two. 

I can encourage love and not animosity, by starting with my thoughts of their relationship. I don't want to fall in behind culture and assume Riley doesn't like his sister and would be better off without her. I want to encourage him when he's loving and kind to her. I need to be sure to let Riley know when I'm caring for Grace and not doing what he wants at that very moment that he's important too, and he's doing a good job at sharing me. I try to encourage his help in diaper changes. He reads us stories when I'm nursing Grace. He's a good big brother and I want him and Grace to have a close relationship. Maybe that all starts from the beginning. With the thoughts us mamas have about our children's relationships. Its possible to have siblings that love one another, we just need to encourage it along. 
{this post was written for "Mindful Mothering Mondays" head on over to read more posts and encouragement from other mamas. If you have posts you'd like to include, all are welcome!}


  1. Thank you for this Aubrey, I absolutely loved this post! This has been my greatest have a large family with children who don't like one another. The sibling bond was not fostered in my family and I don't want that for our family. Love how you said It starts with us as moms :) also I had no idea you were a twin!

  2. Wonderful post, Aubrey! I agree that our culture does not promote sibling bonds, and that's very disturbing. It is something that we parents must encourage in our children. I've got 5 kids and honestly, they are human. Sometimes they get along great and play for hours without trouble. Sometimes they don't. I think it is very important to continually remind your children that their siblings are a blessing to them as well as to their parents...and that the sibling relationship is something that they need to nurture and work on as well. Creating an atmosphere of service and family closeness is so important in this area. Thank you for your post and for linking up!