Jealous Siblings and Other Such Nonsense

One question I get asked a lot is if any of my children are jealous of the new baby.  I can honestly say I have never had this happen.  I have never had a child ask me to send back a younger sibling or act like they hate the new baby.  Which makes me curious…why is this?

Well, because I’m pretty sure this whole jealously thing is a lot of nonsense.

Jealous Siblings & Other Such Nonsense - the answer to what's really behind it from a mom of 9 | RaisingArrows.net

Before I end up with scads of email telling me I’m all sorts of wrong about this, hear me out.  If at the end of this post you still believe I’m wrong, feel free to let me know.

Sibling jealousy is often nurtured.

Sometimes it comes from mom and dad, sometimes a well-meaning grandparent, sometimes from Joe Schmoe down the street…someone says something that seems harmless and the little kid wheels start turning.  For instance, Grandma tells little Timmy that when his new baby sister is born he might feel like he’s not getting any attention, but his parents really do love him.

Hello?!  Let’s just set the little guy up for failure, shall we?

Or what about mom and dad who bend over backward to try to keep little Timmy from feeling jealous with presents and coddling.  Or maybe the opposite happens and mom and dad suddenly focus all their attention on this tiny creature, all the while making it very clear that Timmy is “in the way”.

Don’t encourage jealousy with your words and actions.  As adults, we are the ones these little people take their cues from.  If your cues are suggesting they *should* be jealous of a new baby, then they *will* be jealous.

Jealousy stems from confusion.

We have always made the new baby a part of the family from the time he or she is a tiny little bump in mama’s belly.  The baby is an addition, not a replacement, and our children are encouraged to dream about baby, shop for baby, talk about baby, and ask questions about baby long before the baby joins the family on the outside.

If you avoid talking about baby and letting your little ones interact with the baby before he or she is born, you end up surprising your child with a kicking, screaming doll that is terrifying.  Mom and Dad spend a lot of time dealing with this tiny human, and little Timmy is totally confused about who this person is and how he is supposed to interact if he’s never been told this baby is “his” too.

Yes, your child may be too young to understand (my little Creed couldn’t even remember me without a belly, and he certainly had no concept of what a baby really was), but don’t let that stop you from talking about baby and including your child in baby related activities like shopping for baby and baby showers.

Jealous siblings see the new baby as YOURS, not OURS.

Jealous Siblings & Other Such Nonsense - the truth behind sibling rivalry from a mom of 9 | RaisingArrows.net

We talk about OUR baby.  We tell our toddlers the new baby is THEIR baby.  We make sure they know this new little one is a part of OUR family, and we talk about what it means to be a part of OUR family.

They come to the hospital.  We encourage them to hold baby.  We let them join in diaper changes, baths, and feeding.  We are in this together ,and baby is an addition to our family dynamic that we all get to enjoy.

But, if a parent excludes their other children from the day to day routine of having a new baby, or they never talk about baby being OUR baby, a toddler or older sibling may get the impression the baby isn’t someone they should pay attention to or bond with.

All this aid, my biggest gripe with this whole sibling jealousy thing is…

Sibling jealousy is talked about way too much.

Any little sign of a child feeling jealous and we jump on the “we might warp them if we don’t do something quick” bandwagon.  We are so busy trying to nurture our poor jealous child’s psyche, we end up making things worse!  We run to grandparents, friends on Facebook, and even strangers in the supermarket to get their opinion on jealous siblings.  All the while, our little children are wondering what you are so in a tizzy over, but the attention they are getting sure is fun!  It doesn’t matter if the perceived jealousy is real or not, if little Timmy can milk it, he will.

He may actually be feeling a little left out and confused by this new person in his home, but if you run around like a crazy person, stressing over everything he says and feels, he’s not going to feel MORE secure, he’s going to wonder what is going on and act out even more!  Stop talking about it so much.  Stop stressing over it!  Bring little Timmy alongside you and baby and show him that having a new baby in the house is just the way things are and everyone is better for it.

I truly believe many “modern” sibling issues are a lot of hype.  We American parents stress over everything it seems.  Somehow we’ve got to get a grip and just be parents…be a family…have a life!  No more majoring in the minors.  Let’s enjoy our families!  Let’s show them just how wonderful and special new babies are.  Let’s try to keep things low key and normal.  No more jealous sibling nonsense!

So, now that I’ve laid it on the line, I’d love to hear from you!  Be respectful, but feel free to share your thoughts on sibling rivalry, especially pertaining to bringing a new baby into the house.  And if you have questions, feel free to leave those here too!  Raising Arrows readers are always more than willing to help other moms out!

DrinkBands Giveaway in Time for Easter!

It’s time to start planning for your Easter celebrations!  One thing you should consider adding this year is a set of DrinkBands.

DrinkBands Giveaway on RaisingArrows.net

If you give gifts to your children for Easter, wouldn’t it be fun to add a personalized DrinkBand in their favorite color to their Easter basket?

Are you having guests over?  Keep everyone’s cups separate with a set of DrinkBands!

Win a set of DrinkBands! | RaisingArrows.net

There are tons of colors to choose from.  You can personalize any color with your child’s name or nickname.  You can also bundle packs together and save!  They are wonderful to have on hand for company, and they make great gifts.  Grab a pack to leave at Grandma’s!  Grab a pack to give to a friend!  Shipping in the U.S. is always FREE!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

You know DrinkBands are a favorite here on Raising Arrows, so how about a giveaway?!

I’m giving away the DrinkBands shown above – a 9 Pack of Regular and a Party Pack (including the new Funky Tie Dye band!)  Enter the giveaway below (click here if reading via email):
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{GIVEAWAY} Kings of Israel – The Cooperative Board Game Your Entire Family Will Enjoy!

Kings of Israel Cooperative Game - Review & Giveaway on RaisingArrows.net

“This game is awesome!”
~Blake (17)

About a year ago, I asked you to help fund the Kings of Israel board game.  Today, that board game is available, and yes, it IS awesome!

Let me tell you a little about how the game works…

First of all this is a cooperative game, meaning you play against the game and not each other.  For our family, this means a couple of things.
1.  Our 14 year old daughter will play the game because she really detests competitive games…and
2.  Our entire family can play together (with help).
Note:  Kings of Israel is a mentally involved game where strategy is important.  Because of this, it is geared more toward teens; however, with a little help our elementary aged students have been able to play.

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In the game, each player is a prophet of Israel trying to build altars to destroy sin as the team works together through the the timeline of the Kings of Israel.  Each player draws a card at the beginning of the game to tell them what special action they have that will help the other team members out.  (For instance, you might draw a card that allows you to destroy all sin in an area every time an altar is built there.)

KOI1

There are 4 things you do each turn, and every player plays every round.  Sin builds with each round.  Where you are on the timeline of kings determines what kind of cards you draw that round.  The game is ever changing, and difficult enough that you will not win every time you play.  Because of the adaptability of this game, it will be a family favorite for years and years!

This has become a game Blake enjoys playing with friends.  He even took it with him on a recent trip!  The other children enjoy it a lot too, but Blake is definitely my kid with the strategic mind. ;)

As a mom, I am pleased with the quality craftsmanship.  I am also impressed that the makers of Kings of Israel (Funhill Games) have created a Biblically-based game that is intriguing, interesting, and intelligent.  I am always pleased when I see Christians working hard to create top-of-the-line products.  

By purchasing products like Kings of Israel, you are helping to support and promote these types of endeavors by fellow Christians.  And stay tuned to Funhill Games…I expect even more great things from them in the near future, including a Kings of Israel video game version!

Kings of Israel Coupon Code

Use coupon code: KINGSPRO when you buy from Amazon and get 20% off retail price.  This coupon code will expire on April 16, 2015. (affiliate link)

>> CLICK HERE TO ORDER <<

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The coupon code is not working properly on Amazon, so Funhill Games has reduced the price there so you do not need a coupon code.  When this issue is resolved, the price will go back up and the code will work.

Funhill Games is also generously giving away 3 Kings of Israel games here on Raising Arrows!  Follow the directions below to get your family entered into this giveaway.  Winner will be announced here on Friday!  (Reading via email?  CLICK HERE to enter.)
(Note:  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only due to cost-prohibitive shipping prices.)

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Upgrading to a Large Family Washer

Having the right tools for the job is such a blessing!  I love this washer and the work it can do! | RaisingArrows.net

Our washer died shortly before our move in November.  Ty decided we would buy a new washer this time – a big step for us!

Our first washer/dryer set was purchased used from my great uncle’s appliance shop about 15 years ago.  When it cratered, we bought a set from my mom’s elderly neighbor lady who was moving to assisted living.  She probably washed a load every 2 weeks.  We used to joke about how that poor old washer and dryer never saw the likes of us!  It lasted us about 10 years.  In fact, the dryer is still going strong (my understanding is dryers can almost always be fixed fairly inexpensively…washers, not so much).

The washer Ty came home with that day has been such a blessing, I wanted to share with you my experiences upgrading to a true large family washer!

Upgrading to a Large Family Washer | RaisingArrows.net

We purchased a Fisher & Paykel WashSmart top-load washer.  Fisher & Paykel wasn’t a brand we were familiar with, but the gentleman who owned the appliance store explained that for the money, this brand was good quality and would do well for our size of family.

The selling point for Ty was the fact that it spins out the clothes at 1100 RPM, leaving less work for our dryer.  When the clothes come out of the washer, they are markedly less damp.  We’ve cut our drying time by about 20 minutes.  Many large families will invest in a second dryer to keep up with the rate of washing; however, there is no need to do that when you’re clothes don’t need as much time to dry.  (You can adjust how fast the clothes spin out if you do not want them to go that fast.)

Upgrading to a Large Family Washer | RaisingArrows.net

The selling point for me was the size of the wash basin – a 22 pound capacity!  The basin is HUGE!  Every time I go to do laundry, I am amazed at just how much I can fit in there!

It is also super easy to add the detergent.  You fill the basin to the line on the agitator and add the detergent to the hole in the center.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Oh, and if you don’t have a super mega load of laundry in there, you can always ask the machine to determine how much is in there and automatically adjust the water height.

The entire console is digital and very easy to use.  Nearly every load only requires me to push 2 buttons – Power and Start.

We love this machine so much, you are probably going to get to see it if you drop by the house for a visit!  We are weird like that.

One reason I’ve had laundry on the brain lately is because our laundry schedule has been all out of whack since the move.  Remember, I told you I had the kids doing their own laundry.  Well, somehow the chaos of moving caused me to go into survival mode and *I* ended up doing ALL the laundry every single day.  Thankfully, the new washer made this a fairly painless event.  (Except the putting away!  Will I ever learn to enjoy that part?)  But, frankly, this isn’t an ideal situation when you have 10 people to cook, clean, and wash for.  This past weekend, I printed off a new laundry sheet and we got back to our old way of washing.  Yay!

Do you have a large family friendly washer and/or dryer?  Please share your experiences!

What I Need You to Know About Being a Mom of Many Littles

This past week my older children were attending an event that ran all day for 4 days.  I was transported back to the years of no helpers as I climbed through the maze of seats in the 15 passenger van to buckle and unbuckle small children and cross streets with everyone as my buddy.  By the end of the week, I was exhausted!

Frankly, my days are rather exhausting even with my big helpers.  There is a lot to do and a lot of people needing me.  I do everything from give blog advice and college counsel to change diapers and confiscate candy!  Anyone not living my life would probably not get it, so I thought it might help if I would write out a few things I need you to know about being a mom of many…

Life is different when you have a lot of little ones.  Here are a few of the things you need to know about my life. | RaisingArrows.net

1.  Things you think are fun are actually very stressful for me.  Please understand if I don’t want to go to the waterpark or take everyone on the bike path.  I get hives just thinking about it.

2.  I don’t like crowds.  We ARE a crowd.  I don’t want to have to search for my people amongst other people.

3.  I will be unpredictable.  I may have all the best intentions of coming to visit you, or finishing that project you asked me to do, but with a lot of littles, things come up quite suddenly.  Let me just say “I’m sorry” right now.

4.  I won’t always remember to tell you I’m being unpredictable.  Um…sorry again.  I don’t always remember to take a bathroom break during the day, let alone call you and tell you I’m not going to make it.

5.  I will probably be late.  It never fails…we are just about to leave and someone needs a diaper change or an entire change of clothes!  One little thing goes wrong and there goes my timeframe.  I try to add in extra time for everything, but sometimes I use up all that time.

6.  I won’t volunteer for much of anything.  I know you could really use an extra set of hands, but my hands come with about 5 more sets of hands that are tiny, busy and often rather sticky.  I’m not a good volunteer because I volunteered to be mom first and I have to fulfill that position.  It’s the season I’m in.

7.  I don’t see these little ones as a burden.  I’m actually not bothered by the fact that I can’t be on every committee or go to every homeschool function under the sun.  Please, don’t feel sorry for me.  Yes, my hands are full.  Yes, there are days when I am frazzled.  But, I wouldn’t trade this for the world.  Someday, they will all be grown up, and I will smile fondly about those days I spent as a mom of many littles.