wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.

4.10.2015

Raising kids, from an only child's perspective.

So, I'm seeing everywhere today that it is National Sibling Day. 

Naturally, this got me thinking about my lack of siblings and that I didn't have anyone by side while growing up. No side kick, no one to run around and explore with, no one to fight with, no one to complain about our parents to, no brothers, no sisters. 

My being an only child could not be helped; it is what God meant for our family. It was no one's fault my mom got sick while in labor with me. 

For years and years I wished for a little brother. For as long as I can remember, I said I would have a big family when I grew up. "5 kids", I said. Being the silly girl that I was, I even wrote down what I wanted to name my 5 future children, first and middle names.

Of course I had friends (Forest Ave. friends and families will always hold a special place in my heart!) that I could play, explore, ride bikes, roller skate, trade baseball cards and imagine with. But  I felt like there was something so special about having a brother or a sister. You grow up together, get in trouble together, know each other better than anyone else. I wanted that more than anything. 

When I met and started dating Jake, I was thrilled when I learned he is one of 5 kids. Finally, siblings! Future cousins! A big family! All I had ever wanted. A big, tight-knit family. 

I am so thankful for my extended family- I have 3 beautiful, wonderful caring sisters-in-law and one smart, artistic, adventurous brother-in-law. So far, I am one awesome niece and nephew. I only wish we all lived closer to each other! 

Once Jake and I started our own family, even though it was sooner than we had expected, we were already talking about kid #2. It was never a question of "if" we would go for more than one, it was when. 

We decided early on that we wanted our kids close in age. And just like that, we had a 21 month old and a newborn. 

Then, 8 months later, God decided our family needed one more. And before we knew it, we had a 3 year old, 17 month old and a newborn. 

As hard as it was (and is!), I am so thankful that they have each other. It has been so fun watching them grow up together and I pray that as they grow, their bond will only get tighter and they will be great friends. 

However, being an only child raising 3 kids, has it's difficult moments. 

I think one of the biggest things I have had to figure out in regards to parenting more than one child, is how they act towards each other. What is normal sibling behavior? I really had no real first hand experience with this. Constant fighting- normal? Tattling, hitting, arguing- normal? I knew that it was normal for siblings to fight, but how much? 

As an only child, it has been so interesting to me to watch my 3 kids together. Some days they are best friends, other days they don't want anything to do with each other. One minute they are screaming at each other and the next minute they are fully immersed in some game they made up. I see a bond between them that is so special and a love that truly can be only between siblings. I am so thankful that they get to grow up together and will have each other for the rest of their lives.