Sunday, September 14, 2008

You love them more than me!

Sigh. That has been a frequent phrase from our oldest the last week or two. It hurts me to see her hurting, of course, and I feel frustrated and guilty. I need several clones--one to teach, one to clean house, one to be a wife, one for each of my children, and one to just be me.

It is so hard to prioritize some days, knowing that something is going to be left out (OK, so the house cleaning is always the first to be sacrificed--that is an easy one). Lately, with an itty-bitty one and a two-year-old with sniffles, I've taken advantage of Ariana's ability to happily occupy herself (or happily occupy her younger siblings).

She hasn't shown any resentment towards them at all. It isn't that she begrudges them time, attention and affection. She just really needs assurance that *she* is special to me, and that she merits our love.

It is kind of interesting that even though she stopped nursing back in March or April, she has recently started asking again. Every time she asks, I let her, but she has forgotten how, so it lasts barely a couple of seconds.

How do you reassure a four year old that she will always be cherished? We've tried words and logic, and they haven't helped. That isn't particularly surprising, given her age and the fact that it isn't an intellectual issue as much as an emotional one. We've tried giving her extra attention and it helps a little bit, but it seems as if her love-cup has a leak.

The things that have helped the most have been extra cuddles (holding her in my arms until she fell asleep last night) and trying to do special things for her (this morning, I arranged the banana slices on her brown sugar-banana fritters in the shape of a flower, and that seemed to mean a lot).

I think I need to get a copy of the Love Languages for Children. Does anyone have any ideas for helping a little one to feel treasured?


granny2five said...

A "date night" with you AND daddy might be a good idea right now. Maybe someone could keep the two younger ones for just a couple hours to allow you to give her some exclusive time. Just a thought.

dulce de leche said...

That is a great idea! Thank you!

Heather said...

That's what I was going to suggest as well. :)

And if you need a sitter... ;) ;)

Blessed Mama said...

I don't have any suggestions...sorry. I'll keep checking back for others', though. I'm in the same boat and also suffer from Mommy Guilt.

Tia Quel said...

Dulce, I do have the book Love Languages for Children. I can let you borrow. Is Ariana's love language physical touch, quality time, or gifts? It does sound as if she may need her tank filled...maybe we should send Tio Tim over! :-) Maybe, you should have a date with just you and Ariana. Or do some activity by yourselves....It is so hard being a first born! You know that you always have babysitters over here!