In my work with parents and babies I have the privilege to observe love at it’s most luscious. Witnessing the connection between a newborn baby and their parents, the openness and warmth of feeling that surrounds them is one of my joys. Recently I have been invited back to work with the second born children of some of these families and one of the issues that has been alive for them all is how to facilitate a good relationship between their firstborn and their new brother or sister.
It reminded me of the story I first told my daughter when, at 2 years of age, she expressed her worry that the new baby would take all my love and there would be none left over for her. I told her the story with pictures and we coloured them in again and again, it helped. So today, on St. Valentines day, because I am feeling all loved up and marshmallow soft- I thought I would share it with you.
"Love is not like a cake - you can’t divide it up and give it out piece by piece. Love is a whole thing it shines like a light from our hearts. I love you with all of my heart and I love my own mummy with all of my heart too at the very same time. It’s magic, our hearts can love lots and lots of people and things all at the same time.
You can see that all the grown ups are excited about having a new baby in our family - can’t you?
Let me explain why. You see the heart is a muscle and just like the other muscles in our body the more you use it, the stronger and bigger it gets. The more love the heart feels, the more it can give, it’s special that way.
So when our new baby arrives he or she will bring us more love and our hearts will grow bigger and love more because of it. Let me draw you what happens...
before we had you... and then look at our hearts when you came along!
and this is how much bigger the new baby will make them...
We grown ups know that when our baby gets here, there will be even more love for all of us, there will be more for you and more for me and more for everyone. Our hearts will be bigger and stronger. Show me with your hands how big you think your heart will get when baby gets here? “
I recommend plenty of cuddles and kisses as you try to work out physically, exactly how much of your child’s body that new heart might fill. You might also demonstrate the size of your own heart or get them to guess yours first..
Have fun and repeat as necessary!
Happy Valentines Day!!