SUMMER WITH SIBLINGS
One big adjustment for our family when Elle Kade is here is the relationship between her and her siblings.
They absolutely adore (and sometimes smother) her! It’s been a source of happiness and contention which has been really hard for us to balance.
I feel really challenged because I want for them to have so much fun together, but I don’t want to force their relationship. Some days are better than others, and today has been rough.
Elle Kade wants to spend time alone in her room with her phone, and Carter and Clare want to play together in our playroom. They don’t understand the concept of privacy and she doesn’t know how to react to their attention.
There’s only a 4 year age gap between Elle and Carter because when Matt and I got married, we decided to start our own family right away so there wouldn’t be a separation between “mine and ours”.
But we are realizing that just because there isn’t a big age gap doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t differences in maturity.
One reason she finds it hard to adjust is that I usually visit her in Florida where we only spend one on one time together. She gets 100% of my attention and we have so much fun without many distractions or responsibilities.
Another factor is that she has one stepbrother (who is 13 months older) at her dad’s house so her role is completely different than it is at our house with little kids running around.
We are finding it hard to adjust for such a short amount of time, which is something we really struggled with when she lived with us and visited her dad every month. It’s difficult to establish routine and stability when there isn’t consistency. And trying to find balance between normal, everyday life and fun summer activities is something we are still working on!
Our summer bucket list has been a great tool to provide creative ideas to spend time together as a family while letting the kids earn their activities. It’s been a great distraction from the boredom that comes from being at home all day, and it allows us to create memories from this summer!
We are also implementing a morning routine for the days we are spending mostly at home which sets the intention for our entire day.
We’ve created boundaries for the little ones to help them understand when and why Elle has alone time. Elle is also beginning to understand why Carter and Clare are spending so much time with her and she’s navigating her reactions based on love and understanding (with a few reminders here and there).
And hopefully we are doing enough to encourage them to remember all of the good times and not so much of the bad.