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March 25, 2009


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I am going to be having my second girl in less than 4 months. My first daughter is already upset about mommy having a baby (she actually yells at my stomach & tells the baby not to come out). I think we are in for it in a few months!!

A Love and Logic quote that has been helpful for me when one of my three uses hurtful words to me (whether out of pain on their part or manipulation) is "It must feel awful to think that. I'm sorry to know that you're feeling that way/so upset about this." You can follow up with "I do love you/want you as my daughter/whatever fits the situation." I like the statement because it acknowledges the feelings without affirming them. Good luck. Parenting three kids is tough work! (My oldest just turned 10 and my baby is 5 1/2 and the middle is smack between the others.)

This is such a good post! I have 3 boys, they are 13,9, and 2. My oldest has hit the pre teen stage head on, and the baby is potty training. In the mix seems to float my 9 year old. I always feel like someone is missing out on mom time.

One thing that has helped is making a date day with the 2 older boys.

By the way, Quinlan is beautiful. And, I adore her name!

I was not quite 5 years old when my sister was born. And yes, it hurt being "de-throned" from my cushy place of honor after having been the only child. And yes, it sucked later always having to be the responsible one.


My mom and grandma totally doted over my sister and denied that my jealous feelings were valid. Actually, they made me feel as if I was a bad little girl for even having them!

You are going a long way in helping Quinlan deal with the adjustment and I suspect she will end up fine. :-)

I SO know what you mean. My oldest is now 8 and I have to remind her that she is "Not The Mommy" all day long. Part of this is my fault of course b/c, when my 3rd was born, and my 2nd was not yet 2, I'd ask for her help an awful lot. People tell me all the time how "mature" she is.

And, she's also physically so tall that it isn't easy to even get her in my lap for a squeeze anymore. But, I try to manage b/c she is and always will be my (first) baby.

Great post. As much as I enjoy your funny side and your mominatrix side, I really enjoy when you write things like this.


I really detest when people compliment one child in front of other children and cannot find a compliment for the other children. They use to do it all the time with my boys. Telling my how cute MJ was and forgetting Phabian. I spend a lot of time telling Phabian how sweet and adorable he was.

She is a beautiful little girl!

She is adorable. Thanks for posting this. I am also the forgotten older sister that wasn't as cute as her baby brother when he came along.

She is such a big girl now! And very, very cute.

I'm the oldest too, and highly amused by the recent research published about how parents really are tougher on their older children - it wasn't just in our heads.

I'm having some of these problems with my middle kid. Maybe part of it's the age? I don't know what to say, except they all learn how to make themselves known. Being a first born has it's advantages, as does being the baby and the middle as I keep telling my kid. I am the oldest and while I can see how much easier being the baby would be, I'd never want to give up my place in the family.

I think all kids go through this in some way. Q will be okay. She's a tough chick. And oh my gosh, she's getting so big.

Yikes, my eyes are stinging! :) She is beautiful!

When I became the oldest, I remember thinking "Why wasn't I enough? and What wrong with me?" It helps knowing that you are conscious of the struggles (and triumphs!) of the oldest.

My older sister tried to mail me off, convinced me I was adopted, peed on me, extorted allowance.

We're best friends now though.

Being a big sister (or brother, I presume) really does suck sometimes. I'm almost 30 and still feel it sometimes...

Well, you know my story. And I always appreciate one on one time...xo

While visiting a friend with a 4 yr old son and infant twins, I was busy adoring the twins when the older boy started jumping up and down, waving, saying "Look at me!" It was so adorable that he just voiced exactly what he was feeling!

My oldest is also a people pleaser and has her moments trying to define what being the oldest of three girls (she is 7 and my other two are 5 and 3 months old) is for her. But she has a great head on her shoulders and I know my girls couldn't have a better big sister!

It sounds like to me that Quinlan is pretty lucky to have a mommy like you... Someone to relate with and understand her struggles and perks with being the oldest.

Big sister here too. The one thing I remember being really sad about was that my mother would never go anywhere with "just us". We always had to have a baby brother or sister along. I remember begging her to please please just let's us go...

I have two boys (11 & 18 months) and my girl is 9. And like Quinlan she's my responsible one. There whenever the baby needs to be distracted. She's the one that does whatever I ask just to please me. She is my girl. Nobody else like her in my life. She's only going to be little once and I so needed to be reminded of that today. Thank you.

I was an only child, so I missed out on a lot of the sibling attention battle.

Our house has a strange dynamic at this point. Cordy is the big sister, but in some ways is more like the little sister. She occasionally has more needs than Mira, leaving Mira to pout because she's being ignored.

I have no idea how it will change as they grow older.

It is so difficult to watch older children learn to deal with being the older children. But they are so strong and adaptable. And you're doing a great job as a mom. She knows you love her and that she's still special- that's why she slings those words at you. She knows they hurt. So while it does hurt- well, it's a good thing, too. (Hard to think about when they're throwing that at you, though...)

My oldest is 3 and the youngest is 15 months. The 3 year old is also super-responsible. We talk to him like an adult, and expect him to act like one. Every once in a while, we have to step back and remind ourselves that he's just a toddler. Usually at that point one of us gets down on bended knees, looks him in the eye and tells him how wonderful he is. And because he is wonderful, he rewards us with a hug, a kiss and an "I love you, Mommy."

I hope you print out this post, fold it up, and stuff it in a box just for her. When she becomes a teenager and goes through the "I bet you wish I weren't your daughter" phase AGAIN, you can show her the date on this post and tell her that you've always thought she was wonderful.

I only have 2, but my oldest was 5 when the 2nd was born. He had been an only child for 5 years and it was quite and adjustment for us all. Now he doesn't think it's so bad 2 1/2 years later when his brother gets reprimanded for things because he's old enough to know not to do them now too. I also pointed out that they're far enough apart in age that my oldest still has things that are only his, like his Legos and books. His brother is nowhere near ready for those yet. He likes that.

Oh, the part about her being cute completely split my heart in two. I hope in time she'll realize that plenty of us know she is =)

I'm the oldest in my family. I have a younger sister. We're five years apart. I was always the typical first child: responsible, type-A overachiever. Funny, as we've gotten older, my sister has become the same way, and we've grown much closer as we've gotten older. Hopefully that will happen with Q and M too.

My oldest feels the pressure too. When I've had a tough time and dealt with way too many tantrums, he knows he has to walk on eggshells. Poor kid- responsibility can suck.

what a great post, really struck a chord with me. I have three young children too and am going through same thing.


I feel the same way for my daughter who is also the oldest of three. It is so hard.

Your daughter is absolutely beautiful!

She really is beautiful :) and someday soon she will get to show Margot all kinds of cool stuff. I can imagine that it's hard right now though. Very sweet post!

Yes, she is beautiful. Awww.

I very much agree. I'm the oldest of three, and I often felt like I was tagging along to activities that were way too young for me. And as much as everyone's need to tug on my baby's feet annoys the hell out of me, it annoyed me even more when it was my little sisters who were getting the feet-tugging attention while I was the ignored 4- and then 6-year old in the room.

I totally feel for poor Quinlan. My younger sister is 6 years younger and she must have totally stole my thunder because I was so mean to her and we didn't get a long until I was 16 or 17. It's not something I'm proud of, but adjusting to have one, then two, adorable baby sisters (and a younger brother) was tough. We all get along great, now, but...yeah...hang in there Quinlan.

It's hard being an oldest girl. That I can say both from my own experience, and from watching my oldest girl. Sometimes I feel like it turns into "The Madeleine Show" here as she tries to garner some of the attention for herself.

You just keep telling her how special she is. Take her out for manicures, or an ice cream by herself. That will mean so much to her. Kristen, you're doing a great job with Quinlan. She wouldn't be the smart, charming, funny kid that she is without you as a role model.

Even my oldest, who is twelve years older than the next, sometimes gets jealous about the attention the boys get. It's so funny to see them all bickering in the back seat, like they're only a year apart or something.
My heart is just a little bit sad for Quinlan. But then I thought about her reading this in fifteen years, and I'm pretty sure she will be just fine :)

That is tough. I have big gaps (19, 8 & 5) and my oldest had a hard time too...Heck, she still resents them on occasion.

Your kids are SO gorgeous. Thanks for sharing them with us! :)

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