I am 10 days in to being a mom to two kids...a 3 yr old boy and newborn girl. It has been challenging to say the least, and I have even had a lot of help from family, although my husband did have to work all week, so I thought it would be helpful to start a support thread on here for other moms who have a newborn as well as another child/other children.
My 3 yr old is enjoying being a big brother I think and is very sweet to his sister. However, he has never been a good sleeper (we bed share and are doing this with the newborn too...my 3 yr old on a twin then my husband, me, and the newborn on a queen) and he wakes frequently throughout the night. If he takes a nap (and it could take a decent time investment getting him to nap), it takes an hour or so to get him to sleep at night, but if he doesn't nap even though he goes to sleep in 5 minutes before 7pm he is an absolute mess for a few hours leading up to bedtime because he is so tired. He is so hard to deal with during his crazy tired times and I find myself treating him in ways that I find horrible (yelling, threatening taking toys or activities away if he is not cooperative and then not following through because they were on the ridiculous threat side to start, picking him up abruptly and without respect to carry him away from what he is doing, and just overall getting angrier at him much more often than I ever have before...). I know he is only 3 yrs old and has little to no impulse control yet at the same time I wish he could be more cooperative ( even though a lot of the problem is him being tired, eating like crap this week, his rythym changing, and the huge transition to no longer having mommy and daddy to himself).
My husband and I decided today that it is in all of our best interests to finally try really hard to put my 3 yr old on a sleep schedule... make him rest around 1pm every day hoping he falls asleep for a nap during that time and that his lights off time will be 8pm even if it takes him 90 minutes to fall asleep with one of us in the room with him. We also decided to make a concerted effort to feed him healthier.
Of course all of the above action plan takes time and effort which is really hard to come by with a newborn heavy nursing baby and a demanding job (my husband). We like our tv relaxation zone out time (even though I do not think we watch a lot), I like connecting with my newborn when she has her quiet alert periods and obviously I need to be available to nurse her when she is hungry, and my husband likes going to the gym a few times during the work week for 30 minutes or so. We also need to maintain our house not clean but do things that need to be done day to day- cook food, do dishes, clean up after dinner, laundry...
Any tips, suggestions on how to make this work are much appreciated. Also, any tips on how to deal with my out of control, non listening 3 yr old when I need him to listen and cooperate are appreciated too. Even reminding me that this is too much to ask of a 3 yr old would be helpful! I try to pick my battles with him very carefully but since the baby has been born there are many more battles than ever before. And I feel bad about this because I am sure it is confusing to my 3 yr old.