Sibling Revelry: Growing Up Together

Written by Amy W. on August 12th, 2014

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Balance, Family Structure, Featured, Natural Learning, Playtime
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Welcome to the August 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Friends

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about friends.

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IMG_0396Six years ago, I was only slightly pregnant. I vaguely recall preparing for birth, and holding my children when they were tiny.  It was wonderful.  And now, I have two beautiful children that both inspire and mystify me – two growing siblings that love and challenge each other as they grow up together. It’s pretty amazing.

Growing up with a brother ten years my senior, I am thankful that we have two little Silly Bears closer in age than my husband and I were to our siblings. My brother and I were (not purposefully) ten years apart in age, and while I have a few fond memories of spending time with him when I was small, we did not interact much. He was already off at high school, college, and in his own young adult world by the time I was really interested in having a playmate. I was just the kid sister, never really a playmate to my brother.

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Abbey and Joseph are two and a half years apart, and this seems to be a really fun age gap (and one that worked well for us!). It’s just so much fun for them to play together, bond over struggles, and practice social situations in pretend play. Abbey and Joseph both love and challenge one another.

Abbey is showing Joe all the fun things to do, like pretending, climbing and monkey-bars, doing crafts, and even going potty (yep, Joe thinks it’s super fun – thanks Abbey!).

And Joe is showing Abbey that there are limits to her older-sibling power. He is big enough now to stand up for himself and to report breaches of household rules when Abbey lets her strong will take her off course during sibling play.

 “I’ve been so deep in The Blur for so many years. Not sleeping, eating cold mac and cheese off of Winnie the Pooh plates. Every day determined by nap schedules, nursing, diaper changes and preschool pick up. But that has changed over the past year or so, without me even noticing.” 

writes Juliana Miner, in her article “The Sweet Spot”.

Have I told you yet how amazing it is that I can sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee while our Silly Bears scamper off to play “Frozen,”  “Alice and the Mad Hatter,” “Ninja Turtles,” “Princess Ball,” or draw pictures in their rooms? It’s an intoxicating glimpse into the future, when I can really enjoy “the sweet spot” that moms of older children get to experience . . .

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When I hear my sweet silly bears chattering and playing and growing together in their vibrant sibling revelry, I sit back and enjoy the fact that they don’t need me in that moment. They might need me in a few seconds, but for just that small amount of time, the Blur softens, and I can breathe a little.

I’m insanely glad that we were blessed to be able to give Abbey a sibling within the window that we planned. I love that they’re good friends.  It’s so fun to watch them grow and change, and such a benefit to me to see their relationship adjusting to their growing ages and stages – – – even allowing me a few seconds of down time every now and again.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Sibling Revelry — At Natural Parents Network, Amy W. shares her joy in witnessing the growth of the friendship between her two young children.
  • Making New Mama Friends — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses on how she was able to connect with like-minded mamas and form deep friendships both in ‘real life’ and online. Learn how these life-long friendships, both between Jennifer and other mothers but also between Jennifer’s daughter and the other children, formed and flourished.
  • Family, Friends and Family Friends — Vidya Sury at Vidya Sury, Going A-Musing, Collecting Smiles is reflecting on family friendships, past and present.
  • Arranging friendships in a modern world — From a free-range childhood to current parenthood, how can an introvert like Lauren at Hobo Mama navigate the newly complicated scheduling of playdates and mom friends?
  • Mommy Blogs: Where Moms Make Friends — Mothers make friends with other mothers in new ways. The options from earlier decades remain, but new avenues have sprung up with mommy bloggers. Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence shares her thoughts.
  • Friendship and Sacrifice: Guardians of the Galaxy — Shay at 4HisGlory learned that friendship lessons can be found in unlikely places, like blockbuster summer movies.
  • Friendship – Finding, Forming, Keeping, and WishingLife Breath Present‘s thoughts on finding, forming, keeping, and wishing for friendships as an introvert.
  • Consciously Creating My Community: Monthly Dinners — How have you intentionally created community? Dionna at Code Name: Mama‘s goal for the year is to cultivate community. One way she’s done that is to help organize two different monthly dinners with friends.
  • Adults need imaginary friends, too — Tat at Mum in Search shares why it’s a good idea for adults to have imaginary friends. You get to meet Tat’s friend and download a playbook to create your own.
  • Friends Near, Friends Far — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helps her kids keep in touch with friends 600 miles apart.
  • Which comes first, social skills or social life? — Jorje of Momma Jorje frets about whether her daughter can learn social skills without experience, but how to get good experience without social skills.
  • Snail Mail Revival — Skype isn’t the only way to stay in touch with long distance friends, That Mama Gretchen and her family are breaking out the envelopes and stamps these days!
  • Montessori-Inspired Friendship Activities — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares a roundup of Montessori-inspired friendship activities for home or classroom.
  • How I used the internet to make local friends — After years of striking out at the park, Crunchy Con Mom finally found some great local friends . . . online!
  • My How Friends Change — Erica at ChildOrganics knows entirely too much about how to comfort a friend after a loss.

Photo Credits

Author

About The Author: Amy W.

Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work Amy_willa My NPN Posts

Military spouse, breastfeeding advocate, natural parent, and seamstress, Amy ran into natural parenting by accident, and now blogs at Amy Willa: Me Mothering, and Making it All Work and Natural Parents Network, in order to share her experience and inspire others to live an authentic life and seek peace in parenting. Amy enjoys sewing, selling Silly Bear Handmade cloth diapers and eco friendly home goods at her Etsy shop, and is a passionate and compassionate breastfeeding advocate. She is active in La Leche League International, and pursuing a Public Health Degree and certification as an IBCLC.

6 Responses to Sibling Revelry: Growing Up Together

  1. Dionna  

    Yes, yes, yes! I was worried that Kieran and Ailia would be too far apart to really enjoy playing together (they’re 4 years apart), but there are still often times when I can sit back and revel in the giggles, soak in the “I love you’s” (between siblings), and wish I could freeze these moments in time. Sibling love is incredible.

  2. Crunchy Con Mom  

    One of my favorite things is watching my sons play together. It is so fun to see the sweet nurturing side of my older one and the adventurous side of my younger as the older tries to care for the younger while younger tries to copy older :)

  3. Lauren Wayne  

    What a great glimpse into the joy of our kids having siblings! Mine are farther apart in age (4 years between the first two & soon to be 3.5/7.5 for the third), so I really relish the times they scamper off together into mutual play.

  4. Shay  

    We hear so much about sibling rivalry and how to fix it; it’s refreshing to hear about siblings that enjoy spending time together. Our LO is an only for now but we’re blessed that he has plenty of cousins and friends to get a taste of this joy.

  5. Jennifer @ Hybrid Rasta Mama  

    I always am fascinated by posts about siblings since I am an only child, raised by only children, and have an only child myself. So yeah – no insight here but loved to read yours!

  6. Life Breath Present

    What a wonderful post. We certainly would like our children similarly spaced and though we’re not actively trying quite yet, we’re getting close to that time. I do very much look forward the friendship I hope our children form amongst themselves. Having 3 younger siblings I know how wonderful it can be to have others always at the ready to love, support, and encourage me whenever I need it. :)

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