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Making peace with doing things differently for your different DC...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I never thought I would feel this way, but I'm already feeling guilty about making some different choices for number 1 and number 2. Mostly nursing-- I feel bad looking forward to a long nursing relationship with my dd, when ds has already weaned so abruptly and at such a young age.

How do you experienced mama's make peace with it?
post #2 of 20
Well, I felt pretty bad about not co-sleeping, not BF... my first, compared to my second. But how long can I feel bad about it, and how productive is that? And one day I realized that I made mistakes, but I did the best I could, with the information I had, at that time. It wasn't the best, but if I had known better, had better support, hadn't had PTSD... then I would have made different decisions to begin with.

So I forgave myself and am pretty much at peace. Time does heal most wounds. And I also just did better with what I do know now. So maybe I started doing XYZ with my first, but that does not mean I always have to continue; so I changed my habits and now do ABC instead. I hope this makes sense.
post #3 of 20
When I first had DS2 and was feeling guilty that he was never going to get the undivided attention that DS1 got, and when I was worrying about not babywearing him as much, a very wise mother of four told me this:

Don't worry. Babies will all ask for what they need from you. You will love your kids equally well, but you will do different things for each of them. You will learn as you go, and they will be your teachers.

So, that doesn't exactly answer your question, but maybe it will give you a bit of peace.
post #4 of 20
I felt a little guilty that DD would never have our undivided attention the way that DS did. Then I read somewhere about how the second child doesn't get the undivided parental attention, but they do get the attention of the first child. This has really turned out to be true for us.

Our kids have a significant age gap (4 years) and totally different personalities. When asked to describe them in one word, DH came up with the words "intense" for DS and "charming" for DD, and that's pretty accurate. What would be really unfair to these kids would be treating them exactly the same.

You do the best you can with what you have and that is really and truly good enough.
post #5 of 20
really, my first had my complete and undivided attention, but she was also the guinea pig- there is a lot I do differently now than I did then. I didn't start with cloth diapers on her very early, I nursed her- but I didn't practice CLW, I did try CIO a couple times (it didn't work, so I called it useless then lol) I just didn't *know* who I was as a parent.

Is there some guilt? Maybe, but I have three different kids, and at the end of the day they are all loved and cared for and pretty happy. That helps to minimize the mama guilt. Your ds may not have been able to nurse for as long, but he was able to nurse, and he did have you all to himself, which is something she will not have.

You can't focus on making things equal for your children, you can simply focus on being the best parent you can to each of them- as they will need something different from you at different times in their lives.
post #6 of 20
OP - according to your siggie, you have a 12-month-old and a 4-month old????

Anyway, my first was an only for 7 years, and therefore got tons of undivided attention. I feel bad that the little one doesn't get that as much.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
OP - according to your siggie, you have a 12-month-old and a 4-month old????

Anyway, my first was an only for 7 years, and therefore got tons of undivided attention. I feel bad that the little one doesn't get that as much.

I think the baby's due in 4 months...that's how I'm reading it, anyway.

I think it all comes down to keeping in mind that the kids will be individuals with individual needs. For example, we didn't co-sleep with dd1, because she very happily slept in a crib (or cosleeper) next to the bed. OTOH, we do co-sleep with dd2, who expressed that preference from the time she was newborn, but she'll never have the option of crib in the same room, because (once we moved) her crib is in the bedroom she hypothetically shares with her big sister.

(I'd like to try having the crib in the room, actually, but I don't think that will fly with dd1 and dh, for a variety of reasons. So snuggling with she-who-hogs-the-bed-and-kicks-alot it is. )
post #8 of 20
You could always try offering to bf your older child or pumping milk for him after the baby is born if you are up for it. But if not, think of it this way...you did/are doing the best you can with what you have and know at the time dor your kids, and you definitely have given them an awesome start in life!
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post #9 of 20
I've made some mistakes (as I head to number 4) and I do feel badly about them but I don't feel guilty about the differences in raising my different children. Each child is different, each situation is different and thank goodness there is more than one way to skin a cat.
post #10 of 20
I guess for me, I have realized that they are two different children with two unique personalities and so instead of worrying about what I did with one and not the other; I try to focus on how to fulfill both of their needs through what I see is important to them. That is my daily goal.
So my oldest needs a lot of one on one quality time. My second needs a lot of snuggling. Stuff like that.
I try hard not to spend too much time beating myself up about what I didn't do or haven't done. Hindsight is 20/20. We always improve on anything the 2nd time around.
I try to focus on the present moment and how to be the best Mom I can be in each moment.
post #11 of 20
My 2 kids are completely different in their needs, my DD is a very extroverted, spirited little girl who still can't STTN. Ds on the other hand sleeps 12 hours, with DD we co-slept out of pure necessity, with DS convenience.

I nursed DD for 18 months, DS is probably going to be longer, for whatever reason he needs it more, with DD she just was done. I had to deny her once and that was it, she was over it and was happy with her bottle. DS is not going to be like that and so with him I'm doing things differently.

Kids are adaptable and also they are different people with different needs. I wouldn't worry too much about it, but I know that hard when you're pregnant and worry about all the what-ifs.
post #12 of 20
Not even a little. I mean when you know better, you do better (and there are other things that can factor in as well) and I am not going to "punish" a younger child just so they "match" older ones....
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
But how long can I feel bad about it, and how productive is that?
This is such a good point, and one that I struggle with in a lot of areas in my life. Why worry/stress/panic/beat myself up when it does absolutely no good to anyone-- especially my kiddos?

I will definitley try to remember this.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmamma View Post
You could always try offering to bf your older child or pumping milk for him after the baby is born if you are up for it. But if not, think of it this way...you did/are doing the best you can with what you have and know at the time dor your kids, and you definitely have given them an awesome start in life!
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definitely will pump/ and give milk in a bottle, but I would really like to get him back to the breast, if he's drinking a lot of milk out of the bottle when the new(er) baby comes.

I'm having a real hard time finding resources on how to do this. Currently he won't latch at all, and is more likely to try to eat my belly button than latch on to the breast when I try. It's as if the colostrum coming in was worse than dry nursing-- it's tought him that he def doesn't want to go anywhere near there.

In keeping with the earlier post though, I'm trying really, really hard not to stress and feel guilty about it. If we don't nurse again, than we'll just pump.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
definitely will pump/ and give milk in a bottle, but I would really like to get him back to the breast, if he's drinking a lot of milk out of the bottle when the new(er) baby comes.

I'm having a real hard time finding resources on how to do this. Currently he won't latch at all, and is more likely to try to eat my belly button than latch on to the breast when I try. It's as if the colostrum coming in was worse than dry nursing-- it's tought him that he def doesn't want to go anywhere near there.

In keeping with the earlier post though, I'm trying really, really hard not to stress and feel guilty about it. If we don't nurse again, than we'll just pump.

so, i weaned DD1 when i got preg. def not as close as yours but i still felt guilty. i do pump for her. it is only 8 oz a day but she loves it and she is 3 almost 4. i esp make sure to pump when she is sick.

your babe is 12 months. how long since he nursed for real? and just keep offering it to him. when your milk comes in he might jump right to it. then you can tandem. if not get a pump. pump for him. put it in his sippy. or whatever. but def keep offering to nurse him. he might go back to it.
post #16 of 20
My kids are 15 months apart, and I spent a lot of time with this issue. I got pg with my dd when my ds was only 5 months old, and I lost my milk when he was 9 months old. He had formula for three months before he went to cow's milk. He never wanted to nurse again when dd was born, when he was 15 months old. I felt a lot of guilt over dd having nursed for two years when ds barely got 9 months.

I had to make a lot of peace with that -- my lactivist soul hurt for a long time over this.

Ultimately, parenting two children so closely spaced taught me a lot about compassion and grace. Your parenting is not going to be AP-perfect when two children so desperately need you at the same time. Your house, your life, your discipline, your nutrition...none of it is really 100% perfectly the way you think it should be, but you do the best you can.

When you have one child, you can focus on meeting that one child's needs all the time. When you have two, it's a balancing act. You try to meet everyone's needs most of the time, I think, and make up for what you can the best you can.
post #17 of 20
My kids are different people with very different needs.

Ds didn't nurse as long because he didn't have the intense physical need for it that dd did. Dd doesn't get me sitting next to her listening to her read for 15 minutes every night like ds did in 1st grade because she doesn't need it.

Remember that your kids are adaptable.
post #18 of 20
Well, I already feel a bit bad, all of a sudden, that DD was born in a hospital with an OB (and AWESOME OB) and this time it'll be a midwife at home. We've talked about why, but I do wonder if she'll feel odd about it... but with her, I also was able to take way better care of myself overall, and I don't know how it will be different postpartum, either. I figure it all comes out even in the end, as my mom says. She got some prime attention whereas DS will always have a sibling to play with, etc etc. I do acknowledge the feeling, and then move on
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post
so, i weaned DD1 when i got preg. def not as close as yours but i still felt guilty. i do pump for her. it is only 8 oz a day but she loves it and she is 3 almost 4. i esp make sure to pump when she is sick.

your babe is 12 months. how long since he nursed for real? and just keep offering it to him. when your milk comes in he might jump right to it. then you can tandem. if not get a pump. pump for him. put it in his sippy. or whatever. but def keep offering to nurse him. he might go back to it.
I think he last latched about 2 weeks shy of his birthday. It will be 4 months once the baby is born. I should keep offering? He's actually 13 mos today-- I don't think he'll still latch, and my husband really doesnt like the idea of him nursing without milk, especially since it became so painful for me during pregnancy. I have tried offering the breast when he's not hungry, or just sucky after a bottle, but that's a no go he either turns away, or uses his fingers to 'explore' and pinch. I'm hoping the added incentive of milk will get him back in a few months.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
I'm hoping the added incentive of milk will get him back in a few months.
It might, but it might not. I think it would be awesome if he did, but it doesn't always work - my son never started again after dd was born.
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