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Tandem nursing, DH, making me question...everything - Page 2

post #21 of 58
I have heard from other friends who are tandeming that they are having these types of almost uncontrolable waves of negative feelings about the older nurse-ling. I think it is probably hormonal like another poster said, you HAVE to feed the infant and that is your biological responsibilty.
But I also wonder if you are transfering your guilt into anger? Guilt about not being able to be everything to both kids, guilt about the evolution of your relationship with dd, guilt about the new baby and it's needs.......

This is going to be a tough time, no doubt, but I think maybe if you can embrace the change and talk to dd about the positive sides of having this new baby in both of your lives and make it more about a big sister thing for her possibly?
post #22 of 58
Thread Starter 

Things are settling down a bit

I think both dd and I have begun to get used to having another person (ds) involved in nursing. She gets that its hard for me to nurse both of them at the same time and usually doesn't insist unless there is a bedtime meltdown of some description and I have gotten slightly better at doing it for a limited period of time. By slightly, I mean, just barely.

DD has stopped asking to nurse as much during the day, and I have tried to make particular efforts to offer to her when I know she wants it but isn't asking, or after ds nurses, and making a special effort to cuddle with her when I can. I realize she is just missing me. Wearing the baby all the time and ministering to his every need (oh, did I mention he's colicky? --that's another thread) has just given her mom withdrawal.

Sisteeesmama, Yes, I do think that a lot of my feelings are welling up because I feel guilty about the change in our relationship. I don't know why I was/am so surprised by it--by the degree to which I would be unavailable to her. It was really a primary fear of mine during pregnancy. You make some great observations about guilt turning into anger, and good suggestions about talking to dd. She's very receptive to helping.

Now, if I could just exorcise this bottomless pit of inadequacy...
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
She's very receptive to helping.

Now, if I could just exorcise this bottomless pit of inadequacy...
Yes, I find my dd is a lot better behaved(20mos) if and when I talk to her about everything. A running dialogue and inclusion are my saving graces along with a nice tone and temper. It's not fool proof and OF COURSE I fail at it, miserably sometimes, but when I manage to do it works about 75% of the time and to me that is a good number.

About the feelings of inadequacy. I totally relate and I have the same fears, that's why I haven't moved into #2 yet, I am so scared of not being able to do it all, of messing up my relationship with dd etc. I think the only option now, though, is to forgive yourself and move forward in your new reality. I mean this baby is here, for better or worse and I do think you have the ability to make it for better, y'know. It's all mental work, which we know is the hardest. Good luck and hugs to you, it sounds hard and I sympathize! SOrry to be OT.
post #24 of 58
Thread Starter 
Sisteeesmama, you are right. Its all mental work. My dd was going to sleep tonight and said to me that she couldn't get Nemo out of her brain. (We accidentally watched it and it scared her, duh) I told her that she is in charge of her brain and tells it what to think about...then I immediately realized that I am in charge of my brain too. I have been taken by surprise.

Really happy this board is here. No where else to turn.

Thank you all.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
I don't want to wean DD, but I don't understand why I have such uncontrollable anger about it.
I haven't read past this, and have never tandem nursed. But, I have a 4 year old and a 6 week old, and have noticed (again - I do every time I have a baby) something that may relate to this.

Is it possible that this is an aspect of the 3.5 year old suddenly seeming much older? I know that ds2 was the "baby" of the family and when I first saw him again after dd2 came along, he seemed so much bigger and older than he had just the day before. I've been having trouble being patient with him (okay - had that problem while I was pregnant, too), because he "should be old enough" to know better/do better/whatever. He just seems so much bigger and older now. Is it possible that this is part of what's going on with your older child, too? Maybe she seems "too old" or "too big" to nurse, now that you've got a small baby again?

If this doesn't ring any bells, feel free to totally ignore it. As I said, I've never tandem nursed, so I have no idea what it would be like. This was just the first thing that popped into my head when I read your post.
post #26 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
is an aspect of the 3.5 year old suddenly seeming much older?
Definitely.
post #27 of 58
Jumping in to add another "you're not alone"! I'm nursing my 3 and 3 months old and my 3 mo. I'm absolutely greatful that we nightweaned at 18 months (I was exhausted and 6 months pregnant with DD2 who was born still) and I started setting daytime limits somewhere around 2.5. Currently we nurse 2 or 3 times a day sometimes once more. It's honestly all I can handle. We nurse in the morning an at night, mostly w/o fail and I'll let her have it once or twice more if I feel okay about it. It's never for very long, I'm always ready for it to be over before it starts , and I count to three. THREE. I'm three months into this and honestly, I never thought I'd tandem nurse after losing my second pregnancy. I'm thinking we won't be doing this for much longer but haven't set a date or anything.

ETA: I count to three once I'm ready to be done, not from the start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Is it possible that this is an aspect of the 3.5 year old suddenly seeming much older? I know that ds2 was the "baby" of the family and when I first saw him again after dd2 came along, he seemed so much bigger and older than he had just the day before. I've been having trouble being patient with him (okay - had that problem while I was pregnant, too), because he "should be old enough" to know better/do better/whatever. He just seems so much bigger and older now. Is it possible that this is part of what's going on with your older child, too? Maybe she seems "too old" or "too big" to nurse, now that you've got a small baby again?
I also definately agree with this! My negative feelings towards DD1 don't just involve nursing... it's everything, unfortunately. It also started towards the end of my third pregnancy, as well. I was uncomfortable, irritated, short tempered, and all the rest, esp with DD1!
post #28 of 58
Thread Starter 
RedPony,
Sounds like we are in the same boat. Your kids are close to the same ages as mine.

I'm just hoping that over time, I can get the tender feelings for nursing my dd back. I feel like its a waste of 3.5 yrs of nursing to have it continue on for very long on this negative note. I hate that its always this negotiation with her nursing and that she feels my negative feelings always wondering if I am going to say no or when I am going to make her stop. Bummer.
post #29 of 58
Well, there is nothing wrong with slowly moving her in another direction(gently weaning) if it will preserve your relationship. Offer other ways to be close and be together.
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Is it possible that this is an aspect of the 3.5 year old suddenly seeming much older? I know that ds2 was the "baby" of the family and when I first saw him again after dd2 came along, he seemed so much bigger and older than he had just the day before. I've been having trouble being patient with him .
I found this to be true for me, as well. I'm still guilty of treating my older dd (who's only 4) as if she should be older than she is. And I can see that she gets frustrated with me treating her this way, too, and sometimes acts out because of it, and wants to be extra close/cuddled/"babied" when all I see is a child who should act grown up now! I have to go the extra mile to remind myself that she is just a little child who still needs mommy. But it's difficult when there's a newborn, too, because the hormones are SO POWERFUL towards the new baby!
post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 

Update

A few months later...dd is down to 2-3 nursings a day. Not her choice. It seems like all I can manage. She is less and less disappointed when I say no. I feel bad for her. She has begun to rely on her Dad and grandma more, which for some reason really kills me. She has never fallen asleep at night without me until tonight. She nursed then started to play around, then asked to nurse again. I said no. Somewhere in there the baby woke and needed to nurse, so I told dd she needed to be still or go to her bed. She said, "you're right, I think I'll go to my bed." She has never slept in her own bed. When I finished nursing the baby, she was asleep in her bed next to her dad who was reading. I was furious. Something about feeling like all I am is a pair of boobs. Why couldn't she fall asleep next to me like that?

I feel such overwhelming loss.
post #32 of 58
I haven't read all the responses but I just wanted to send *hugs*! I'm tandem feeding my 3.5 year old and 5 month old. The aversion to feeding DD was horrific for the first 3 - 4 Months. I had to limit DD (to wake up and bedtime only) for her own safety, it was that awful. I also can't feed both of them at the same time, the sensation makes me want to throw both of them at the wall. Thankfully I was reassured by more experienced tandem mamas that the aversion would fade with time and I'm here to tell you they were right It's still there but nowhere near as bad.
More hugs to you, it's a really tough time!
post #33 of 58
I'm here to offer a and to add support to the idea that it will get better. I tandem nursed my first two dds, who are just under 3 yrs apart. It was very hard for me, too, and I had to limit my older one quite a bit in order to stay sane. And yes, I felt bad about it when she started preferring Daddy to me. But it's good for us to remember that babies do think of Mommy as the "boob parent" and obviously nobody else plays that role for them. Daddy has other tools in his parenting toolkit, and finally he's getting to use them with your dd.

I shed a lot of tears over the slow but emotionally painful weaning of my older dd; my poetry and journal entries about it reflect my own ambivalence at the time. She did stick with nursing until age 4.5, though (gradually going more and more days between sessions), so yours may do the same. Now that we have several years behind us and I'm nursing a new baby, she is proud of her long time as a nursling and has no memory of my occasional surly refusals or other conflicts between us. She's also very understanding of the new baby's needs.

Try to take heart and just take one day at a time. Pat yourself on the back every time you get through a day without her being upset about a nursing issue (even if you are internally feeling bad about it), because her memories are likely to be very positive and your sad feelings will fade with time.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoraP View Post
Pat yourself on the back every time you get through a day without her being upset about a nursing issue (even if you are internally feeling bad about it), because her memories are likely to be very positive and your sad feelings will fade with time.
From someone who is still somewhat in the trenches (see my previous post), this is great! Thanks
OP - those days do gradually become more frequent as I'm discovering
post #35 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you both. I have begun to feel like I am mentally ill with my internal responses to this situation. Your candor has helped immensely. One just doesn't hear about this aspect of child rearing. Everyone acts like they have it all together. The tandem nursing things I had read made it seem so lovely with the kids touching each other sweetly and all while being nourished. WTF! :-)

I have NO nursing support, particularly CLW nursing support, so it is just hard as hell to feel so negative and have no one to talk to about it and feeling like I've just done things all wrong. My mom and DH think I should have weaned dd years ago, so they just have this sort of distaste/I-told-you-so thing going on and they don't even know what its like for me.

My dd is almost 4 and my ds is almost 6 mo. now. I am working toward leaving my dd with tender feelings about nursing instead of resentful feelings of unfulfilled desire, and its hard, hard work.
post #36 of 58
You know, I am not convinced that it is better to tandem in every case. I think it is pretty normal for moms throughout the mammal world to wean an older baby when they feel wrong about the nursing (creepy physical feelings or emotional feelings), and I think they are biologically/psychologically outfitted to handle it. In fact, I think more babies coming along is one of the natural forces that creates more maturity in older kids, and I don't think that is a bad thing at all. Especially if they can begin to form stronger relationships with a dad or other close family member.
post #37 of 58
Thread Starter 
Bluegoat. Nice thoughts. Thank you. I've wondered about this aspect.
post #38 of 58
Like so many of the other moms pointed out, you're not alone! I've had many of the same feelings tandem nursing my 4 year old and 16 month old. I've even posted today that I was so frustrated that I told DD no more nursing after her b-day in March. We'll see....

It's great that we can support each other since it's hard to find other moms who understand. I don't have the answer either, but know you aren't alone!
post #39 of 58
Just coming to post something similar.
Glad I'm not alone.
post #40 of 58
I hadn't noticed this when I posted last time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
Sisteeesmama, you are right. Its all mental work. My dd was going to sleep tonight and said to me that she couldn't get Nemo out of her brain. (We accidentally watched it and it scared her, duh) I told her that she is in charge of her brain and tells it what to think about...then I immediately realized that I am in charge of my brain too. I have been taken by surprise.

Really happy this board is here. No where else to turn.

Thank you all.
We watched Nemo at my mother's house when DD was 2.5 (we don't have a tv) and it scared her too. I've never come across another parent, even a tv-free one who could understand it's a scary movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eko_mom View Post
Thanks to you both. I have begun to feel like I am mentally ill with my internal responses to this situation. Your candor has helped immensely. One just doesn't hear about this aspect of child rearing. Everyone acts like they have it all together. The tandem nursing things I had read made it seem so lovely with the kids touching each other sweetly and all while being nourished. WTF! :-)
WTF indeed!

Quote:
My dd is almost 4 and my ds is almost 6 mo. now. I am working toward leaving my dd with tender feelings about nursing instead of resentful feelings of unfulfilled desire, and its hard, hard work.
Thanks for these words. I need to work on the same thing (we are definitely in resentful territory atm )
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