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how are things going with your older dc's?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
i'm struggling with my older dd right now... i knew from all my friends who had a 2nd one that there would be some adjustments, but i just wasn't prepared for what i'm feeling now: almost constant irritation and annoyance, occasionally resentment, not appreciating or enjoying many of her 3 yo behaviors that i used to think were really cute... and then the heart crushing guilt over the above feelings and extreme sadness over the change in our relationship.

Dd is really amazing about ds... she totally loves him and plays baby all day, but its' often hard to appreciate when i am constantly having to remind and guide her about how to be safe w/him.. it's getting better, but sometimes i just want her to leave him alone! the poor baby can barely nap because she talks so loud and is always in his face saying, "liam is waking up!" when he really isn't, or at least, not until she was in his face. and i try to put him in another room, but he usually wakes up after only 10 min. or so. his best naps are in the moby, which limits my ability to keep the evironment and noise level conducive to good sleep, in addition to my ability to use that time to connect with dd.

on top of everything, my FIL was in a major car acccidnet last week and fractured his c1-c2 vertebrae and is in the hospital, so that is adding to stress and her emotional well being.

ugh...please tell me that things will improve, i will feel less irritated and fall in love with her again. this is by far the hardest part of the post partum period for me...
post #2 of 22
I could have written you post momma - except the accident part - I hope he is OK!

Things here have gotten better. I just let the baby sleep in the sling. *sigh*It's where he sleeps longest and best and allows me to play and spend time with my DD, which honestly most of the time is NOT what I want to be doing with that time (my house - and ME - are a disaster zone - ugh) but since I have been doing this she has gotten a LOT happier and so have I.

Our relationship HAS changed and that still makes me a little bit sad, but I also see how grown up she is becoming and before DS was born she was still my "baby".

I have also made it a point to get her out with friends and on Saturdays we do a just mommy & DD morning which she is loving. This Sat. we are going to see CARS.

I figure this period where he insists on being held all the time will pass (right around 5-6 mos if he is the same as my DD!) and he will be content to sit and explore toys and play.

It WILL get easier. I can say that I was downright annoyed at my DD ALL of the time for the first 4 weeks. Now things seem to be evening out.

- it's SO hard and different with 2!
post #3 of 22
Same here, my 5 year old has adjusted fine, she loooves helping me, and cleaning the house!! My 3 year old has done ok, but I just hate how frustrated I get with her. I babied her soo bad before Alayna came, and now I have so much guilt, because she drives me crazy most days!! I know it will get better, but I just feel like she's been the one thrown from her nest, ya know??
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
yup...sigh... even though it's all to be expected it doesn't make it any easier.

LL- i like the idea of doing a dd and me time. How long do you do yours for? before the accident, dh was wearing ds when he took him morning nap down to the office to work and i often had a nice chunk of time with dd. now that he is often going up to the hospital he's letting me sleep in a bit to make up for the exhaustion of the days he's gone. plus, ds' naps are less predictable, and he's sleeping lighter, it seems.

sydnee, i can only imagine how much harder this is with 3... this experience has really made me think twice about my fantasies of having 3. though maybe the other 2 have each other to play with?

anyway... i know it will get easier. thanks for commiserating!! perhaps if we all get some good ideas about how to handle those crazy moments we can pass them on. i know that i am letting more things go...
post #5 of 22
Mamma(s),I feel for ya.I just had our fourth,and I still miss that special relationship my oldest and I had.Thankfully,some of that stays forever,but it would have changed as they got older anyway.
Do you have any rescue remedy?A lot of what makes this so hard is the pp hormones,and stress.try some rescue and give some to older kid(s) too. A great trick of the trade
post #6 of 22
Well, it's going *better* - most days - but I still miss how it was and I don't like how grumpy I am with DS#1 a lot of the time.

I thought I was going to get all this prolactin and get all my patience back . . . well, I'm sure I have the prolactin, but the patience is not here . . .

But as I said, it is getting better. I can now appreciate it when he is being cute - but I still am so aggravated so much of the time. I think going back to work (slowly, starting next week or so) may actually help because we will have more of a structure again (he has always been fine not being able to get my attention while I'm working - he's always come with me/been @ grandma's house while I work.)
post #7 of 22
awwww,,, you mammas should be so proud of yourselves. I wanted to chime in, i have a 2 1/2 week old and he is my third child. I could have written your posts, and some of it is true now going from 2 to 3, when we went from one to two. It is by far harder than going from 2 to 3. It is such a learning experience and believe it or not, will give you the confidence to handle it again should you decide to have more.

My pp period with my first two girls was HORRIBLE. Not only was my second dd MUCH more challenging and demanding, nursing every 45 minutes, when she was awake she was crying but it wasn't colic, she was just NOT HAPPY outside the womb. And when you have been able to give your first child all your patience, time, love, cuddling, understanding and so many more things, you have every right to feel overwhelmed. It is totally overwhelming and there are many days when I felt like I "did" something to dd having another....etc. all the feelings you are going through. It's still hard, like pp's said having to hold or sling the little one so you can give your other dc what they need. I too find myself very irritated when my dd's are all over my newborn even though, that is what I want! I feel very very jumpy worried that my youngest doesn't know her own strength and will accidentally hurt him. But, you have to take pride in that you are building your family, it isn't easy to do and you are making every effort to help the transition that will impact the rest of thier lives. As hard as it is, it's only a snippet in time and once it does get easier, around 5 or 6 months, then on from there when you see them all playing together (it seems like forever until you'll get there i know!), it will all be worth your effort.

Don't be so hard on yourselves. It takes some deeeeep reaching inside to find that patience needed right now. Our bodies are still healing from birth for crying out loud! Give yourself credit for the things you ARE doing, slinging while interacting with your older ones etc, and the results you are getting. The very fact that you feel things like resentment or impatience is because you care enough to get them what they need and you feel you are falling short. Just try and take it day by day and go with what works and leave behind what frustrates everyone.

You might have to put something in your daily routine that you know works now simply because you have more than one, but would have not been comfortable with your first. ( like with dd #2, she has always taken her naps in the car during the day. nighttime routine is never changed, but that is what worked for us at the time and still does. with my first i NEVER wanted her to fall asleep in the car fearing that is what she'd get used to). But reality is different now, you have more than one and you have got to do what works for your family and give yourself permission to.

Hugs to all you mammas. things will get easier. i'm not gonna lie though, it takes a while. I'm trying to enjoy it at the same time dealing with what you all are. I don't want to miss any of this, but at the same time I'm uttering every cuss word I know under my breath....i've found a few i haven't used in a while!!! :
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks... that was really great to read. you sound like an awesome mama!
post #9 of 22

You might have to put something in your daily routine that you know works now simply because you have more than one, but would have not been comfortable with your first. ( like with dd #2, she has always taken her naps in the car during the day. nighttime routine is never changed, but that is what worked for us at the time and still does. with my first i NEVER wanted her to fall asleep in the car fearing that is what she'd get used to). But reality is different now, you have more than one and you have got to do what works for your family and give yourself permission to.
very well said.

we introduced tv for the first time at about two weeks postpartum. dh went back to work...i was exhausted...recovering from mastitis and i just needed dd (24 mos) to not need me for a little bit each day so i could lie on the couch and rest.

at 6 weeks pp we've already moved beyond the need for tv and have stopped turning it on (dd hasn't asked for it at all ) but it really was helpful when i needed it.
post #10 of 22
oh cool. glad i could help. i just found this site to be so helpful over the years for me in so many ways , i just really try and help when i think i can offer anything in the way of making another mamma feel better!

and that is what i mean about tv or things like that. tv was a big life saver for me too with dd 1 when dd 2 was nursing every 45 minutes. sometimes even when they are older i will get in the shower thinking they are ok not wanting to turn it on but then i hear them in a fit or having a hard time and wish I would have just turned one half hour show on. the way i resolved it within myself was to get tivo and control what they watch, mainly blues clues, barney stuff like that, and limit the time. i would rather have them plugged in for a half an hour than hurt themselves or something. and that is what i mean. all these things i was so adamant about avoiding with my first, i have found the need to lighten up on with both my other children. it's not like it's sponge bob, blech!!!!

Even if it seems off the wall now, think of things that can work to make the stress less. it's so hard in this pp period, more so if you are AP. I told myself this week is the week i get my patience back....i'm trying soooo hard.

i just wanted to tell you all that you should give yourselves more credit and not be down on yourselves. it's a hard time now....give yourselves a break. hugs!!!
post #11 of 22
Thanks for this thread. We're struggling a little bit. DS (2.9) has always been high-needs, and it's a challenge, even though DD is a pretty easy baby. We're using TV more than I'd like, but I came down with mastitis last week and realized I have to find a way to rest/take care of myself a little more. DS is TERRIBLE about playing by himself, doesn't nap, and doesn't like to sit still.

DH and I agreed that at six weeks (two more weeks) we'll re-evaluate how things are going. I also hired a mother's helper. The teenage boy next door is going to come run around with DS for a couple hours in the afternoon three days a week. So hopefully that'll make a difference.

Nice to know it might get better!
post #12 of 22
Hi all:

I was on the June DDC but ended up with a May baby...the 31st! So I've been lurking on your board for a while...

I am very thankful for this thread as well. My 2yo dd is still "processing" that there is a new little person who appears to be getting alot of attention and seems to be here to stay. It is so painful to watch her COPE with this. And of course, I hate not being there for her 100%.

Things are getting better with time, though, and I'm grateful for that. I know that giving Lex a sibling is a good thing, and I love being a mommy, so I feel like things will work out as they should. We are still thinking of having another child.

Thanks to all who post here with their suggestions and encouragement!
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
i'm taking a lot that i've read in this thread to heart and also have decided to take gentle parenting to a new level. i just let most things go and react to things i'm unhappy with in a really loving, mellow way. it seems to be making a difference. and, we have a good friend who is here helping all week and that's making a big difference- he's helping out with household chores and is just another hand for dd. he leaves thursday but... i think the help has allowed me to recharge a bit and catch my breath from both the newborn period and my FIL's accident. the best thing is how much she really loves ds... i never thought she would fall for him so quickly... but of course we all have!
post #14 of 22
Originally Posted by newmainer
the best thing is how much she really loves ds... i never thought she would fall for him so quickly... but of course we all have!
same here!!!
post #15 of 22
Originally Posted by girlsmamma2
it's not like it's sponge bob, blech!!!!
Oh, but it is, it is!!!!:

When DH lets DS#1 pick his own videos at the library . . . sigh. I HATE sponge bob.

However, I want to thank girlsmamma2, too. What you said felt like a big warm hug.

And my DS#1 is high needs, doesn't like to sit still, and doesn't want to do anything by himself either. If anybody has any ideas about things he might want to do by himseslf (age 2.4), let me know!!!
post #16 of 22
Mamabeakley, I'm in a rush here, but just wanted to say that FINALLY at about 2.9, DS is beginning to entertain himself much better. Limiting his choice of toys has helped a lot. Also, he's sleeping better at night so that is helping his overall mood. But hang in there; I really never thought my son would play alone for more than five minutes. It's happening, though -- even with a new baby in the house!
post #17 of 22
hHi mamas...

Things here are not going well for my older dd. She is 2 and has become a holy terror. It's even worse when she's tired. I know that alot of her new behavior is because of the new babe. Just makes me sick. I feel so incredibly guilty.

DD #2 is more awake and alert now (i.e. crying) and it's harder to attend to dd#1's needs.

The last three days have been very stressful...what I call a "major Calgon moment"...but it's even worse than that. I feel inadequate and clueless.

The time has come to start actually disciplining my 2yo and I don't have the faintest idea how to start. She has always been so good that I've never had to really "actively" correct her behavior. She has always done as I asked. Not anymore!

We tried the "time-out" thing yesterday for the first time and that was hard. She kept trying to crawl all over me while dd#2 was in my lap, and I was worried that she would hurt her...when she managed to cause the babe to fall out of my lap onto the couch, that was the last straw...I said "No!" very firmly and tried to explain why she couldn't do that, but she just screamed. I ignored the tantrum. The second time she tried to do it, I told her that she was going to go to time out. I put dd#2 down and took dd#1 upstairs to her room (there's a gate on the door so she can't get out) and I told her calmly that she can't climb on Mommy when Baby is in her lap because it's dangerous (or something like that) and I said she needed some time to think about that. I told her that her behavior was "not acceptable". She was screaming the entire time, so I don't know if any of that sunk in or if she would even understand if it did. I left her there for 2 minutes and she pretty much screamed most of that time. That was really hard to take.

Am I doing this right? I guess I should also post this in the "Gentle Discipline" section also...

Thanks for any advice. I'm about to lose my mind.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
hey juliwan- sounds like things are tough!! i'm sorry. that is a frustrating situation. i think if we'd had our 2nd when our dd was 2, i'd be up a creek right now! cause right now you are not only dealing with the sibling stuff, but with age 2 stuff.

a few things i thought... first, i'm not a fan of time-outs. i think there's a thread right now in gentle discipline that talks about them and explains different ideas, but basically, i always felt like putting dd in time-out was just creating another problem on top of the first one. and really, she isn't doing anything wrong. at 2, she can't understand about her own strength or body awareness in relation to the baby. do you have special toys she can play with while you nurse? can you engage her in a book? give her a snack? can you nurse standing up while your babe is in a sling? when my dd is getting too rough or squirmy while i'm nursing ds next to her on the couch, *i* get up and move. sometimes i stand, sometimes i sit in a chair where only i can sit and there's no room for her, while telling her something like," i'm going to move because it isn't safe for all of us on the couch right now." when she is still next to us, i say something like," wow, it's so nice ot nurse ds next to you on the couch while you're still... thank you!!"

at 3, it has taken dd 6 weeks to even begin to show signs of regulating her behavior around ds, and right now we're dealing with screaming while he's trying ot sleep. especially in the car. sigh.

good luck, mama. "this too shall pass!"
post #19 of 22
Thanks, Mamabeakley, that was nice of you to say!

It's so funny to see so many of us all going thru carbon copy days of each other! Try a having a biting 21 month old!!! I have also found that doing things from a positive point of view like was said instead of what they are doing wrong or what they can't do helps loads. I feel like i"m always "on" my 21 month old....who is now using a new potty step to see baby in the playyard sleeping...hold on.

ok, back. anyways...it takes loads of patience especially when you are mad or frustrated and don't feel like praising with a smile on your face, but it has helped my 21 month old out a lot. I now really really go praise happy when she is gentle with the baby because I know it takes a lot from her. But boy there are times when I DO NOT feel like doing that!

And as far as amusing themselves, what i found to help also is wearing ds in a sling, which is the only way we go out as i need both my hands, and letting both girls run and get their energy out. We do simple things, like today went to the mall to get a cookie and sit on a bench. they both loved it. or go get take out so you don't have to work, and have a picnic in the shade somewhere. do "things" with the older ones that don't require a lot of you, and where you can wear the baby in a sling. find a downtown area to walk around with and go to the local coffee shop, Maybe try replacing toys with things to do and use the nice weather to your advantage. the only problem i have is covering baby from the sun in the sling without overheating both of us!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
has anyone tried any play therapy type things with their older dc's? i feel like my dd would really benefit from being able to express some of her frustration and feelings about having ds come along and the changes in her relationship with me, but i'm not totally sure how to go about doing it. Dh started to tell dd a story one night about a little girl named "Nana" (dd named her) and when he got to the part about the little brother being born, she (our dd) burst into tears!! it made me so sad. i know she has a lot of feelings about all of this and they need to come out. there are some good ideas in Playful Parenting, but i've only read the book once and while it seems like its as easy as just getting down on the floor and playing, it's not! it's hard to find the time (esp. if the baby needs you!) and the attention and all that.

anyway, just wondering if that was part of anyone else's thinking as well.
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