i just had ds2 2 months ago after having an only child for 7 1/2 years. things are going ok, although sometimes i am overcome with sadness that i am not spending any quality time with ds1. maybe you all can give me some tips on doing things better, or tell me when i will naturally be able to give him more of myself. right now ds2 only stays asleep if i am holding or slinging him, he takes a long time to get to sleep (often with fussing/some crying and me walking him around while nursing), and my dh comes home in the evening, ds2 is usually at his worst, dinner needs to be cooked and it is hard for me to hand over a crying babe (i feel like i;m deserting him, but maybe i shouldnt). any tips or hope for an easier time soon?! thanks!
when will i be able to have quality time with ds1 again?
Sometimes you just need to steal it. Hand the baby over to Dad - you aren't deserting him, you are allowing them to bond. My DH does baths, and even if she's cranky DD will perk up for him.
Even a quick book to read together helps. My DD likes to sleep swaddled in the swing, which is something to try.
It's definitely ok to hand baby over to dad. It isn't deserting him. It's giving him a chance to spend some time with his dad. My son loves his daddy. It's so nice when daddy and baby head downstairs on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours so they can play and I can steal a little more sleep. They have fun and get a chance to bond, and I get a much needed break. Maybe your DH could take the little one for a stroller ride outside so that you could have a little more time with DS1.
Things will get better eventually. My babe is just under 5 months and he loves to spend time playing on the floor with his toys. At least for us, the first couple of months were INTENSE, but baby has settled down a lot.
Hope this helps!
I too have a newborn and a big boy (4.5), and definitely second handing baby over to dad. The only way for them to learn to be together is to experience it.
On a practical note, I have learned over the past few months that I just cannot make dinner at "dinnertime." Everyone is crashing - hungry, grumpy - including me. I really try to make dinner during my baby's afternoon nap, so by the time everyone's home and ready to eat, it's ready. (I work at home and so have the luxury of setting my own schedule.)
And in terms of QT w the big one, 2 ideas: 1, remember that this infant time is SO temporary and of course it will all even out over time, and 2, try to name your time w the big one so you both notice it -- "mommy/ big boy time," or "time IN w mommy."
good luck! as you know from your first, it's all temporary and you will get through every phase.
I'm probably not much help, but I'm in the same boat... 8 year spread between DD and DS. DS is 10 mo now, and I still feel guilty about how little attention my DD gets. :( I do try to give her some mommy time alone. Next week on vacation, we're getting pedicures together while DS stays with daddy!
Wow - was I in your shoes almost a year ago! My DD is almost 8 and DS will be 1 next month!
Hand the baby to Dad. Honestly, there were times when I would give DH the baby even though he was crying and fussy just so I could take DD to bed because we needed to connect so much.
I can tell you that as soon as the baby got on a semi-regular nap schedule (maybe 4 months?) I could really hang with my DD and do the things we always loved to do - baking, crafting, playing games, etc. Now that he's almost 1, the baby will go to bed around 7:30 so then I can also have that time with her too. He still nurses pretty freuquently but DD and I have even been able to sneak away to a movie or to get our nails done (girlie time!) a few times.
I can say that this was the most surprising thing about baby #2 was how much I missed my DD. It was SO hard, like I was crying every day because I missed her so much. (Some of that was hormones and an undiagnosed case of PPD, but ...) Your LO is so tiny - he'll be OK with Daddy or another relative or friend while you get some QT with your older one. That was so important to my sanity.
The beauty thing is that while your older child is at school you have plenty of time for 1-1 time with your baby and you don't have to feel guilty about it. I swear, this is the main reason why I waited so long to have #2.
It gets SO much better. Hang in there!
Oh - but I have to say that evenings still suck rocks. Baby is cranky. Big girl is crabby - homework needs to be done, dinner needs to be made. I still haven't figured out quite how to get that to go smoothly but ...
Yep I'm in the same boat too. DS is almost 6 weeks DD is 5. The most difficult time of day is 4-7pm baby is fussy, DD wants more attention is more clingy and crabby, and I'm at my most touched out and least patient. HARD.
I'm also in a place of wanting the house to be neat all the time, because I feel more peaceful when it is but that means I start putting these crazy demands on myself (pristine house, great dinner, non-fussy kids)...so I'm trying to remind myself that the kids are more important than a clean house (i feel kind of embarrassed writing that, like what kind of mother am I that I need to tell myself that. But whatever, it's where I'm at). I've also realized that I need to deal with dinner in the morning. It's gotta be a crock pot meal, or something that can be made ahead and heated at the last minute, or salads. If it's not dealt with before the 4pm smackdown hits, DD is eating mac n cheese (AGAIN. if I can get it together enough to even cook it) and I'm eating granola bars and yogurt (and still somehow not losing any weight)!
OK on the plus side here are some things I managed to do with DD: Hand the baby off to DH so i can still read her a story and snuggle at bedtime (if DH is home). Play boardgames with DD while DS nurses/naps in arms or carrier, also reading to DD during long nursing sessions. If DS is sleeping and I'm able to sneak away I will just say "OK DD, DS is napping now we can have some you and me time what do you want to do?" Often it's something as simple as reading or drawing or playing on the computer. Today I handed DS off to DH (after a long nursing session, when I knew DS would fall asleep if rocked/bounced) and DD and I had a whole hour together. All we did was watch a video and eat popcorn but she got to sit in my lap and I really paid attention to the video and talked with her about it (rather than spacing out, doing laundry, or dealing with DS). We both really enjoyed it. Today she actually articulated that she wanted some time just with me--I was so glad to be able to give it to her when she asked--as usually I'm not able to. But one thing that I'm learning is that even one book (5 minutes) helps fill her cup. So OP don't put pressure on yourself that quality time has to be for an extended period of time...just even a few minutes of focusing on your older child can help for both of you. Also my DD seems to be responsive to my saying that I want to spend one on one time with her...I think it helps her just to know that I care about it and value it as much as she does. It doesn't make things all perfect, but it helps.