"good enough" parenting - older dc plus baby - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-14-2011, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 2.5 weeks, I have help, but still it seems like things are so much busier this time when I still need to care for, entertain, guide, and just have patience for DD (4)! I feel like I'm doing a bad job with her at times (ok a lot) but think maybe my standards are a bit high. On the other hand, maybe I just need to give myself a good kick in the butt:o. Tired and a little discouraged...

What do you think is "good enough" parenting for older kids with a newborn?
If you've done this before, when does it start to feel easier?

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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#2 of 9 Old 09-14-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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oh I hope you get some good feedback!! My kids are exactly the same ages and most days I struggle to have the patience and stamina to keep up with my 4yr old.   

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#3 of 9 Old 09-14-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Good enough parenting, umm, that is supposed to end with more then one kid? headscratch.gif Semi joking here! My standards downgraded with each kid. Back when I only had one, she was fed all these wonderful, home cooked organic meals that I'd spent hours on. I could cater to her every whim, she was almost 4 when DD2 came along as well, we'd spend the days doing what she wanted to do. Now? I look back and wonder what exactly I did with all that "free" time! You really don't what to know how we eat now, and our days are not spent doing what one kid wants to do, but rather what the majority or mama needs. Sure, I'll take you to the park for an hour but then the rest of the morning you'll get ignored while I frantically put away a mountain of laundry. 

 

 

Good enough to me means that my kids got fed 3 meals that day and I don't care what it was, got where they needed to be (like school, etc..)  get a bath once in a while, we have some food in the house, the house was cleaned at least last week, my oldest got her homework done, and they are alive. Anything else is icing on the cake. 

 

 

When it gets easier depends on the personality of the kids. DD2 was almost 1 before I felt like I had a handle on things, but I never felt like I didn't have a handle on it with #3. Now with DS2, I do not have a grip on it, everyone is just holding on for dear life. I do know that it does get easier, it never will go back to the more peaceful days, but certainly a more manageable level. What I mean by that is that when you have more then 1 kid, and then just just have 1 kid that you are dealing with or with you, 1 kid seems so easy. You have learned how to multitask but back when you had only 1 kid, 1 kid was so hard. I'm just hoping for slightly controlled insanity this time around when it "calms" down!


There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#4 of 9 Old 09-14-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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I'm just starting out in this parenting thing, so I don't know from that end... but from having been a kid with step-siblings and such.. Kids just need the basics - food, shelter and love. As long as you are attentive to know if something is wrong - a friendship has turned abusive, they've been harmed in some way, they just emptied the cat food bag in the bathtub and mixed it up with mayo - I figure you're alright. They'll grow and develop fine, just be there enough that they know you're there and that you would absolutely drop everything if they really needed you to. :)

 

As a teenager I focused on the "daddy was mean!" but now as I look back, I appreciate the time he took, the support he gave when he noticed I had an interest and the space he gave for us to discover the world.


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#5 of 9 Old 09-15-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

Good enough parenting, umm, that is supposed to end with more then one kid? headscratch.gif Semi joking here! My standards downgraded with each kid. Back when I only had one, she was fed all these wonderful, home cooked organic meals that I'd spent hours on. I could cater to her every whim, she was almost 4 when DD2 came along as well, we'd spend the days doing what she wanted to do. Now? I look back and wonder what exactly I did with all that "free" time! You really don't what to know how we eat now, and our days are not spent doing what one kid wants to do, but rather what the majority or mama needs. Sure, I'll take you to the park for an hour but then the rest of the morning you'll get ignored while I frantically put away a mountain of laundry. 

 

 

Good enough to me means that my kids got fed 3 meals that day and I don't care what it was, got where they needed to be (like school, etc..)  get a bath once in a while, we have some food in the house, the house was cleaned at least last week, my oldest got her homework done, and they are alive. Anything else is icing on the cake. 

 

 

When it gets easier depends on the personality of the kids. DD2 was almost 1 before I felt like I had a handle on things, but I never felt like I didn't have a handle on it with #3. Now with DS2, I do not have a grip on it, everyone is just holding on for dear life. I do know that it does get easier, it never will go back to the more peaceful days, but certainly a more manageable level. What I mean by that is that when you have more then 1 kid, and then just just have 1 kid that you are dealing with or with you, 1 kid seems so easy. You have learned how to multitask but back when you had only 1 kid, 1 kid was so hard. I'm just hoping for slightly controlled insanity this time around when it "calms" down!



sounds like me !!

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#6 of 9 Old 09-15-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justthinkn View Post


 What do you think is "good enough" parenting for older kids with a newborn?
If you've done this before, when does it start to feel easier?


Some background on my situation: My DS2 is two weeks old and DS1 is 28 mos; other than at dinner time and during the night, I'm taking care of both kids myself as DH is commuting 2 hours to nursing school full-time. DS1 is in daycare for most of the day which has been invaluable for me because I do not have much outside help.

 

Good parenting has changed quite a lot since DS2 appeared in our lives. I used to spend most of DS1's home time engaging directly with him; now I've to spend the majority of time with the newborn who requires a lot of attention. However, I still try to make sure that DS1 gets some quality time by consciously integrating his routine into the newborn's routine. First of all, I ask him to help with the baby whenever possible. This takes different forms, e.g. DS1 is responsible for getting DS2's diapers to the trash, he gets to pick outfits for DS2, he is allowed to watch and entertain him for short stretches of time, etc. Second, if DS1 is around I try to interact with him even while dealing with the baby; this means that while nursing DS2, I read and sing to DS1,we sit with DS1 while he eats, I talk to him when he's playing by himself. This can also mean that I attend to his needs even if that means interrupting feedings and letting DS2 cry for a few minutes. Finally, I try to spend time that I'm not spending with the baby with DS1 and I do continue to bring him to bed while DH is watching the baby. I do cut DS1 some slack these days when it comes to food and discipline because I understand that he's coping with much less attention than he's used to, but as the baby becomes older the rules that govern our family lives are going to become less flexible again. 

 

 

 


Working Mom to DS1 (05/09) and DS2 (08/11). 

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#7 of 9 Old 09-16-2011, 02:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

Sure, I'll take you to the park for an hour but then the rest of the morning you'll get ignored while I frantically put away a mountain of laundry. 

 

 

Good enough to me means that my kids got fed 3 meals that day and I don't care what it was, got where they needed to be (like school, etc..)  get a bath once in a while, we have some food in the house, the house was cleaned at least last week, my oldest got her homework done, and they are alive. Anything else is icing on the cake. 


yeahthat.gif

 

Im laughing b/c usually at night when I'm putting her to bed,  I tell DD that tomorrow she can help me with chores, putting away laundry, doing dishes.  When they're young it's fun and they want to help!  LOL!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckily View Post

Kids just need the basics - food, shelter and love. As long as you are attentive to know if something is wrong - a friendship has turned abusive, they've been harmed in some way, they just emptied the cat food bag in the bathtub and mixed it up with mayo - I figure you're alright. They'll grow and develop fine, just be there enough that they know you're there and that you would absolutely drop everything if they really needed you to. :)


Indeed!!

 

With littles they also want someone to play with, which can be hard with a new baby.  I try to remember than in a short time, new baby will BE older DCs playmate, and ill be off the hook!!

 

I figure as long as I don't explode and yell EVERY time DD does something wrong or misbehaves, as long as we still get 1:1 time often, and I include her in DS's care (picking his outfits, getting me a diaper, etc) she'll adjust and learn her new role in the family.  


Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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#8 of 9 Old 09-16-2011, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone! I really do need to focus on the basics and let go of the Supermom fantasies. I think I feel it more, oddly, with the help - mother, MIL - around, like I'm imagining what they must think of me and I feel like I'm not doing enough! Or that I need to prove something since all the time I spend nursing and holding DS is not exactly what they're used to!

Really though, here's what I'm shooting for - similar to Carrie's I think )
- I involve her with baby stuff as often as possible so they can bond
- I read to her, set up an art project, respond to her imaginative play at least a few times in the day
- I keep my tone of voice loving v. Impatient as much as I can
- the basics of life, like food, hygiene, not filthy home, are covered
- a little icing - play date or family fun - every week

This is just a season... This is just a season...

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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#9 of 9 Old 09-16-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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I think that's my new mantra: "it's only a season"........that'll get me through some sleepless nights and exhausted days........

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