All of our children are spending time here with us over the summer at some point. Unfortunately, due to each child’s schedule, we won’t have them all at the same time. I have one of my bonus children with me now. It is great that they can spend more than just a weekend with us but it is an adjustment. I have two children in the house now instead of just my toddler.
I love to see Jazmine (my toddler) interact with her siblings. She climbs on them, lays on them, and wants them to pick her up. It is really a beautiful thing to see how much she loves them and how they have accepted her as their own. I so wanted them all to love each other equally so I was really surprised by my reaction today.
On an outing today with my bonus baby and Jazmine, Jazmine seemed to prefer her sibling than me. I was heated. I don’t believe I showed it outwardly but I certainly felt it inwardly. This is how I felt. “How dare my baby not want me! No she didn’t choose her sibling over me! I am here all the time! She calls my name when she wants to be comforted not theirs!” I am a stay-at-home mom. I believe that added to my feelings of jealousy that my baby, who always wants her Mommy, didn’t want me.
When it happened, I had to check myself. I in no way should be jealous of my bonus child nor of Jazmine wanting to be with her sibling. I had to remember back when I was younger. I am the oldest of four. Many times, my siblings wanted me instead of our parents. There was nothing abnormal about that. That is how things should be so why, today, did I get angry? It wasn’t because my baby wanted her sibling. It was because my baby wanted her sibling and her sibling isn’t my biological child. The fact that I felt that way hurt me deeply. I felt horrible that those thoughts came from me. (The hidden things of the heart will get you every time.)
We were still on our outing while I was processing this. I had to work through it fast. What I refused to have happen was for me to take out my frustration on two children who had no idea what I was thinking in my head. I would not be the reason our entire outing was ruined. I hate it when people do that to me so I was not going to do that to them. As I thought about it, I realized how my children’s mothers must have felt. They had to share their child with me. It was probably hard enough to share their baby with my husband because you do not have autonomy over your child when you are not married to their father. They have to work together with a man, that they no longer want to be, with for life. That alone is difficult. Add to that the wife that their child’s father has chosen and you can bet a jealous feeling will develop. What you do with that feeling is the deciding factor.
I chose to grow up. I chose to allow for my bonus baby to take as much responsibility as she wanted with her sister. I didn’t act on the feelings of jealousy. I accepted God’s direction. I followed it. I listened to Him and rejoiced in the bonding of Jazmine and her sibling instead of rejecting it. When I see my bonus baby holding my baby I look at them in love instead of jealousy. I encourage Jazmine to want her sibling. I encourage and reenforce my bonus baby’s actions and efforts to be involved in Jazmine’s day-to-day activities. PRAISE GOD!