Sadness Ensues from News of Second Sibling

I have been with my current family for 14 months--since my charge was born. In these 14 months my charge and I have formed an amazing bond and I can really say that I love her as if she were my own family. I have a great relationship with both MB and DB and I live in. We have a great set up...the job has been pretty flawless thus far. I'm writing because my MB just found out she is pregnant and while I knew they wanted to have another baby eventually, I actually found myself pretending to be excited when they told me. That sounds terrible-I AM excited for them because I know they wanted a 2nd child, and I am so happy that they are happy.

I have been through all the milestones with my charge and she is finally at such a fun age where she can run around with me, say things to me, and really show off her personality and in a way I feel almost like it will be more difficult to have the fun we have when there are 2 children to care for. Now it's not that I don't think I can handle it-I was a nanny for 5 children before this job. They were all already born when I worked for them, though so I didn't get used to just having one to take care of before the others came along. I know this is selfish...I'm sure I will hear that in the comments but I just wanted to know honestly if anyone has ever gone through this too? It's just been fun planning activities and outings for my charge now and I'm scared I will be limited to what we can do when there is a new baby. I haven't ever nannied for multiple children when one was a newborn. Does anyone have any insight for me? - Anonymous


Lyn said...

If you really love the first like they are family to you then chances are once you see that second little face you will grow to love them the same way. It can be difficult to make outings with a newborn and an older sibling but I don't think the new baby will cut into your bonding time with the older babe very much. If anything it will give you guys new things to bond over, talk about, read books about, etc.

That being said, I feel that professionally you will be doing your charge a serious disservice if you continue to be apprehensive about the new baby. Even without saying a single word a child can usually pick up on your emotions better than another adult would be able to. And given your close relationship he may "side with you". So even though you are nervous about what this means for the future you need to remember that if you don't like it, you can leave, if the older charge is mimicking not liking it, then there is a serious problem that may take years to work through.

I would "make" myself be excited if I was in your situation. Make a card with your charge, go to the plibrary and get lots of books on the subject, make up games like "sleeping baby" where you both have to tip toe around and whisper, maybe even find a movie about a new sibling and have a pajama day, take care of a baby doll. Then, even if your feelings don't change the sibling is still getting excited and learning to love a baby they havent met yet.

justthenanny said...

I agree with the above poster. Get your charge excited about the new sibling by playing baby and reading books about becoming a big sister!

My charge was 3 years old when #2 came along, so by then I was excited for the baby phase again. :) One thing that my nanny family did was make sure I had time alone with the baby so we could bond. It was a big help! It did take awhile to get used to the new dynamic, especially when baby was a newborn (now 7 months). Activity wise, we do pretty much everything we used to...we just are home at a certain time for nap time for baby now. For me, it is just planning activities around baby's schedule, as where before we could go whenever we wanted as my older charge does not nap. Involving them in helping with baby is great too! Like Lyn said, once you meet that new baby, I am sure you will grow to love them.

bostonnanny said...

I'm completely the opposite, I can't wait to get my hands on a cute baby. About every year and half I get baby fever and usually try to find side jobs with babies. However, I'm strictly an infant-toddler nanny and enjoy going through all the milestones, making babyfood and taking baby on new outings.

It is harder to take a baby out but you get used to it and learn how to pack for two pretty quickly. I've taken babies as young as 2months on daily outings with an older child. You just need a good sling.

Nashville Nanny said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. I worked with a family that had a 9month old girl when I started. A year later, they added a little boy to the mix. The girl and I had such an amazing connection, I loved her more than I thought I could love a child that wasn't mine. When the MB was pregnant, she clearly stated that she would be caring for her infant son (she was a sahm) and I would still only have the girl. It didn't go that way at all. The boy was a screamer, nonstop.. all day, all night. MB decided she would rather dump him on me and spend her days "driving" the little girl to school and back (school was 15 min from the house, yet she would be gone the entire 5 hours). MB would come home, pump, hand me the bottle and head upstairs to nap. I firmly believe she had no attachment to either of her children, but less with the son because he was a very difficult infant. I ended up quitting because I never signed on for 12hrs a day/5 days a week with a screaming miserable newborn. I will say, in my defense, when they hired me they made NO MENTION of extending their family so quickly. If they had, I wouldn't have taken the position. I'm not a "newborn nanny". It isn't an age I personally enjoy. To each their own.

I think if it isn't something you are completely comfortable with, then you need to find something else. Hoping that you can "grow into" a position is only setting you, the parents and the children up for failure.

Texas Nanny said...

My family's second baby was born when the first was 15 months old. People always say "Oh my god, you have your hands full!" to me, but honestly it was easy and great.

When M was a newborn, she would just sleep in whatever room we were in, and ask she got bigger it was still pretty easy keeping up with G with her because I could just carry her into whatever room he wanted to play in. It didn't get challenging at all until she started to crawl, but even then she usually wanted to be where we were.

The kiddos are 2 and 3 now, and they're each other's best friends. We have sharing conflicts and such of course but we negotiate everything pretty easily, including outings. M started coming to storytime with G and I when she was about 6 weeks old and by 4 months she was even going to the pool with us and such. It's really no big deal.

Count your blessings said...

The family I work for now just had a baby and I'm so bummed cause I don't get to care for him everyday. Several months back the mom lost her very good job. I was working fifty hours plus a week with a three year old (since she was an infant) and because MB was six months pregnant when she was let go she decided to stay home until the baby was three or four months old. I had to find a new job in two weeks. I work for them a few hours each week, but I am hoping for the day when they call me be back and I get to care for both of them. The way things are in the job market you should really count your blessings.

Bethany said...

I agree with Lyn that you need to help your current charge be excited about the new baby. Her excitement will hopefully rub off on you.

You can totally go out with a toddler and a baby. Just make sure you have a good sling and double stroller and have all your supplies with you.

I love the newborn stage!

The good thing for you is the places you would bring a young toddler are the also infant friendly.

Also, are you certain you will hae both? Many families put the other one in daycare part time when a second is born. Especially since your girl will be about two when her new sibling is born.

How long is mom planning to stay home with baby?

I understand how the though of caring for two babies would be daunting.

If you really don't think you can do it I would address my concerns with them right away, so if they need to they have plenty of time to look for a second nanny.

Good luck

NannyJenn said...

I felt exactly the same when I found out my MB was pregnant with her 3rd baby when the other two were not even 1 and 3 years old. I was bummed that we had gotten past the newborn stage with my youngest charge and that we would be starting all over.

Once I met the little guy though I fell in love. He was so much fun and we all couldn't imagine the family without him. Give it time, I am sure you will love the new little addition.

OP said...

Thank you all SO MUCH for your mature and honest advice. I have already begun the 'big sister celebrations' with my charge to get her excited...I would hate to have her know I am a little apprehensive and I'm really glad you brought that up Lyn because I will be sure to go above and beyond helping her prepare to be a big sister. So far I have gotten her a few books about being a big sister and we've been reading them together. I also bought her a big sister teeshirt she can wear when the baby is born. She is still very young so I don't know that she will completely understand for a little while. I know I will love the new baby as much as I love my charge now...I definitely wasn't trying to sound resentful just more nervous about things changing. Again thank you all so much for being understanding and knowing I am not trying to sound like a horrible person!!

OP said...

Oh and Bethany to answer your questions, I will have both. My MB will be home on maternity leave for the first 2 months so I think in that time we will take turns with things like some days I will take the little girl on outings to make sure she is still getting what she needs..and some days my MB will have that time with her while I care for the new baby. The more I think about it, the better it seems but I think I am just the type of person that likes what I my reaction I think was largely because of that.

Manhattan Nanny said...

First of all, remember, infants sleep a lot, and you can do a lot with #1 while #2 sleeps. I have found it easy to take an infant along with older children. They love watching the biggies play in the playground.
You sound like a very loving nanny, which makes me think you are going to fall in love with the cute cuddly bundle as soon as you hold him.
An added perk, when #1 starts school, you will still have this job for 2 more years!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I actually had a similar feeling when I was pregnant w/my second child. I was wondering how in the world I would have enough love to give him when I had so much for my firstborn.

I need not have worried.

The love I had for him was just like the love I had for my first born. It just came natural. ♥

I am sure the same thing will happen to you OP. Just let nature take its course and you will definitely see I am right.

Regarding fun stuff to do w/your current charge, like someone above already mentioned....babies, esp. newborns...sleep a ton.

During the baby's nap times, you can still do fun things w/your charge.

Logical Skeptic said...

If your MB "just" found out about her pregnancy, that's means she's probably a few weeks along, assuming she didn't wait to tell you until the first trimester is over. That means you have anywhere from 6 months (if she held off telling you) to about 8 before anything happens. Your charge won't even be 2 years old when the baby comes. You should be careful not to flog this too much, too soon--she's barely old enough to remember what she did yesterday, or understand, for example, why the library's closed on Sundays. Practically a baby herself!

You're right that she's too little to grasp any of this yet; a baby that won't even begin to show in her mother's belly for another 6 weeks is just not within her realm of understanding, and it's not going to change her life for what is a VERY long time for her, unless (god forbid) her mother has complications and needs bedrest or something.

I think you're making too big a deal about this with the books and the conversations and all at this stage in the game. If she were older, like 3 or 4, it'd be appropriate, but not even a year and a half? You might confuse her if you play it up so early--she'll want to know why the baby isn't here already!

I understand that you're nervous about the change, and that's good--it means you really care about this little girl and you want to do the best you can for her. But the other ladies here are right--you'll get the hang of it just fine, especially since they'll be really close in age. So until her mom has a visible bump under her blouse, don't work yourself (or the kid) up about it!

De said...

Yeah...What Lyn said!

gypsy said...

Newborns sleep a lot. But there's so much to do for them when they are taking their naps. Breaks are few & far between. They're a lot of hard work but its a labor of love. Hopefully you'll bond & enjoy the precious new little one.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read any of the other comments, I just jumped right to answering. I started my current job when my charge was 12weeks old. I have been there for 6years now. During those years her brother was born and for me I can't imagine the world without him. For me, when I thought that my job couldn't get any better, it did after he was born. Don't get me wrong here. I love my big girl to death. I could easily kill for her (no kidding) but when the baby came, we both got to do it all over again together. It was fun for her too, helping taught her some responsibility and you can still do those "fun things" when the baby is taking a nap. Don't forget, they grow up so fast! Before you even blink they'll both be running around together and you'll want to pull your hair out trying to keep up! (smile) It'll be fun! Trust me! As a nanny, you supposedly have a lot of love to go around. You'll feel differently when the baby comes and he's in your arms! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

nannyinmanhattan said...
I posted the comment above, sorry...

hap' said...

I know how you feel!!! My sweet lil charge was almost 2 when his new sibling was born.... then on top of that, I got pregnant when the newborn was only 4 months old! Morning sickness for several months with an energetic 2 year old and a newborn... wow. But I forced myself to bond with the new baby, and get him excited about her, too. Fake it til you make it! I will admit, I am more attached to him than to his little sister, but that's natural when caring for kids not biologically your own - the longer you are with them, the closer you get!
And, like prev posters said, we still went to zoo, library, parks, grocery store, everything. Just had to work aroung naps. really, there's only a short time - abt 7 - 9 mo - where baby is too old to sleep on the go, but not old enough to stay awake for a whole morning.

NannyNYC said...

I also felt scared when second baby was born. But you will fall in love again with the little one. I think the key is to have them on a regular schedule (specially for naps). You will see that you will really enjoy it. And ask for a raise!