Anie sent us a question about her growing poly family: How do you get a little kid ready for a baby who isn’t a sibling, but is a big part of everyone’s life?
So I have a, perhaps unique, quandary. My husband and I are one half of a polyamorous quad. Our paramours have two children who sort of sated my baby urges when we first got together. Now, however, my husband and I are expecting a child of our own and I admit I’m a little worried.
There is plenty out there about how a young child, used to being the cute baby of the family, can have feelings of jealousy and resentment when a new baby comes along. I’m not worried about the paramours’ older child, as he is 1) well-settled into his big brother role, and 2) is old enough to be fully aware of the coming baby and what that means. However, their younger son K has definitely been the much doted upon cute toddler — not only for his parents, but for us as well. It’s something he’s very clearly aware of and occasionally milks for all he can. I worry about how he’ll react when we have a cute baby of our own (which I certainly hope his own parents will dote on as well) and he’s forcibly upgraded to the “older child” role.
There are tons of books out there on how to prepare kids of various ages for becoming a big brother — the books discuss how you include them in a sense of responsibility and gradually shift their identity. But K won’t be a big brother — not quite anyway. The reality might be very similar to that of a step or half-sibling, but I would feel a little dishonest using that language and expect it might be confusing for him as well.
So how do you prepare a toddler for a new baby entering his social sphere that won’t exactly be a relative, but will definitely be a huge part of his life?