Re: Stealing her infancy...a worried momma
My oldest was six when we had my second, so he had plenty of time to be the baby. (Sometimes I actually think he had too much time). But when I got pregnant with my third, my baby at the time was 18 months old. I spent so much time worrying about him missing out on being the baby and being pushed aside, because babies can be so demanding. I cried so much when i was pregnant and it was always about that topic.
But looking back on it now, I wouldn't change any of it. And the one I tend to feel bad for his my oldest who has to deal with a six year age gap that separates him from the rest of the kids. When we 1st brought the baby home we tried very hard to make sure that my middle son still got our attention and we included him in doing things with the baby. And he loved it, and when he had enough we made a point of letting him do big boy things that the baby just couldn't do yet.
And by the time my youngest son was 1 year old and my older son was 3 the were inseparable. They are the best of buddies and a lot of that is because they are so close in age and can relate to each other and share the same interests. And it isn't just because they are both boys. My youngest is a girl and there is a 2 1/2 year age difference between her and my youngest son, and they are the same way. The are very close, and play very well together.
I guess what I am saying is there is no perfect example of what a family should be and how far apart you should space out your kids. There are good and bad things about every situation. But maybe you have to start thinking about it like this, you are giving your daughter and your son a friend for life. And I am sure someday she will be very grateful for that small gap in age difference.
Maybe what you are feeling is that guilt, we moms put on ourselves because we don't want our babies to grow up. And having a new baby always reminds us just how much they have grown and that they aren't a baby anymore.
And all the scheduling stuff you will figure out, you will find a way to make time to rock your daughter or read her a story or cuddle and still have time for your baby too. It might be a little crazy at first, but you will figure out what works for you guys. And don't forget that you have an incredible advantage by having an older child too. Make your oldest feel important and needed by leaving him "in charge" of the baby, while you do something special with your daughter. My oldest son used to love chasing after binkies and amusing my youngest son with rattles and watching him in the baby swing. Kids are incredibly capable of helping out and it will also make him realize that he has an important job in the family too.
Your family dynamic has to continually grow and change to suit everyone, this is just teaching you all to be flexible and patient, and work together. It's what makes you a family. : ) Good luck and no more guilt trips for Mama, they only lead to unnecessary stress.