“It’s a gift to be able to enjoy a child again after eight years of miles.”

I realize that it is difficult for older children for their parents to make certain choices. Choices that also matter to them and that also affect their lives. I understood well that Louis, the eldest of them at the age of eleven, was very upset when we told him that a brother or sister was coming.

I carried my kids through divorce, a new boyfriend, and a sister within a year. How flexible do you want your children to be?


If I’ve learned anything in recent years, it’s that people are incredibly resilient. I count myself among them, for I too have passed very deep valleys. The moment you think it can’t get any worse, the bottom of the pit looms nowhere and you fall deeper and deeper. Is that bad? number. Do you learn from it? yes. Does it make you stronger? Yes, of course. Certain events in my life taught me that I can always pick myself up and get back on track. It wasn’t fun, but life isn’t always fun. These are lessons I want to pass on to my children. Sometimes there are really annoying things, but let’s see how we can work it out together. Can we help each other? Can we talk about that? Can I support you with anything? I’ve noticed that during my pregnancy, Lois fared better with this approach. We were there for him, and we listened to him. However, the way he would behave once the baby arrived remained exciting.

Don’t let her go again

After Sophia was born, we got home around 8:30 p.m., and the boys were with my dad. We made a video call from the hospital and actually received a picture on WhatsApp of them happily toasting their new sister. Ten minutes later, they returned home and looked at Sofia with admiration. “So sweet and so young…” they said, holding her hands. They thought her voice was cute and they couldn’t stop stroking her cheeks. Louis was the first to grab her and didn’t want to let her go. He was intensely in love. Miles didn’t dare pick her up for fear of hurting her, but as soon as he did, she broke out with a smile of good luck captured in the photo. Very proud and happy. Their reactions made me so happy, that was all I could hope for.

Also Read: Elaine: “What a quick delivery, equally painful, but so special”

More flexible than we think

We are now over twelve days old. Sophia is already part of the family and can’t be ignored anymore. When she’s groaning, Miles is next to console her and Louis admits he isReally very beautifulsays with her. They want to help with everything and laugh their ass off when you burp or fart too hard. She is (so far) a very sweet and gentle baby and is a lot of fun with the five of us. Kids are more resilient than we think, and as long as you’re there for them, they can take a long time. I am convinced that we have done a good job by involving them in everything and by being open to a permanent dialogue.

Super dad

It’s still a special time, that first week with a baby. It might be because she’s the third, but we’re all very comfortable together. Everything is very convenient. Maternity care, dear Anne, only lasted four days. Then it will be rotated, but in consultation with the obstetrician it is no longer necessary. We’d do it ourselves. We also kept visitation to a minimum, and thought it was paramount that we entertain our children in those early days. Nils is a great dad, wants to learn everything and loves to hold or bathe Sofia and proudly ride around with her in her baby carrier. It was so sweet to see what a father he was like immediately after she was born, it was like turning a switch. Fortunately, we have some time together, which is more valuable to me than anything else. You will never get that time back, and spending it together is not only good for us, but for Sophia and the boys as well. We can only grow from this.

It’s a gift to be able to enjoy being a kid again – eight years after Miles. I take restless nights for granted, and being tired isn’t so bad. When you are in a good and happy mood you can take in a lot and I am sure we give that to men. They are content and happy, so what more could a mother want?

Elaine is a secondary special education counselor, author at De Fontein publishing house, is the mother of two boys (10 and 8) from a previous relationship and has just had a daughter with her new boyfriend. Read her previous columns here.

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