Life w/ a toddler and a newborn - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 12-17-2002, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD was born in October, when ds was 23 months. Up until she was born, parenting ds was a joy (despite the stresses from life). He was almost weaned (on his own, he'd only nurse at nite to go to bed and 1-2 times during the night). Then all of a sudden, once dd was born, ds wanted to nurse constantly, sometimes even more than dd. At that point, w/ him wanting to nurse so much, it became so frustrating. I didn't mind nursing lil dd, but when it came time for ds to nurse, it drove me crazy most of time time (it was uncomfy for me). On top of that, dd is somewhat high needs. She nurse and falls to sleep great, but the moment I lay her down she wakes up and cries. So she spends most of the day in my arms or in the sling. I know ds is striving for my attention, and I feel bad that I can't have one on one time with him while my husband is at work, but man is he getting on my nerves lately...the constant whining (he doesn't talk too much so he communicates his needs through grunts) is hard to handle at times. On top of that, my reactions to his cries are delayed, wheareas for dd,the moment she peeps, I'm at her side. I don't know why or how I laxed in my parenting of ds, but it's saddening...he's only 25 months and pretty needy, that's something I have to remind myself daily. When we have a good day, it's great, but the days where things go downhill, I'm in tears. It is so hard to balance my time , I am so worn out by the end of the day.

I don't know if this is a vent or a call for advice. It'd would be nice to know that others have experienced what I'm going thru, and that I'm not a horrible mom because my toddler drives me crazy w/ his neediness.
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#2 of 17 Old 12-17-2002, 06:40 PM
 
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well I'm not Supermom, so I don't know if I can help much, but I'm in the same situation, just a few months ahead. big dd is 28 months, little dd is 6 months. I feel the same frustration STILL, after 6 months, but I'm assuming all will pay off when the kids can play together. It's tough on you and the older sibling now, but in the long run he'll be happy to have a sister his same age. That's what I tell myself.
By the way, when I read other moms who have 4 kids close in age and homeschool them too, I think HOWWW??!! It's hard enough with just two little guys...
I feel guilty too, not enough alone time with the older one.
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#3 of 17 Old 12-18-2002, 04:41 AM
 
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Mel, I'm so sorry to hear you stressing out like this....honestly, it sounds like you're overtired and maybe even having a littl PPD? I had it terrible with DS and only until after someone pointed it out, I didn't know why I was such a mess.
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#4 of 17 Old 12-18-2002, 04:51 AM
 
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Hey Mel,

I know we haven't met IRL yet, but lets do it soon. If you feel comfortable enough with me, I can come by and watch the kiddies while you get out....even for just 10 minutes. I really think you need a break, even a teeny tiny one. LMK.
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#5 of 17 Old 12-19-2002, 01:59 PM
 
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You're not a horrible mom. It's really hard to parent a newborn and 2yo at the same time. To be blunt, I don't understand why so many parents opt for 2 yr spacing, b/c 2 is a very difficult time to bring in a newborn. The "perfect time" for every family is different, of course, and having family and resources available can lighten the load and stress.

I can imagine that it is hard having a newborn and a toddler at your breast. My 26 mo DD is nursing and there are days that I don't want to be touched...she's like a vacuum. I know that it makes a world of difference in her behavior to have access to this calming resource. I would encourage you to try and let your DS nurse--it could really help his confidence, behavior, security...the whole sibling rivalry thing. Perhaps you could set limits and he could nurse only at certain times of the day and that could be your special time together. A little discomfort now could make everyone's life easier in the future. He may decide he only wants to nurse for a few months.

Take care of yourself, get your DH heavily involved and talk with an LLL leader. Good luck.
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#6 of 17 Old 12-19-2002, 09:23 PM
 
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I dont think this issue is talked about enough. Its a huge trend to have your children in a 2 year spacing. i dont understand. my dd will be 2 1/2 when my twins are born. she isnt nursing any longer but i know we will have a billion other issues and she will have problems with the limited one on one time during the day. This thread just scares me. i dont think two at any age or spacing would be easy but 2 years definately sounds as if it is not the easiest.

hang in there. it will be nice to have siblings so close as they grow up. i am already planning to have lots of help. i have looked into head start programs or something that would get the toddler out of the house for a couple days a week for her own time. i havent found anything for 2 year old yet that we could afford.

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#7 of 17 Old 12-20-2002, 12:53 AM
 
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Oh my gosh, I too feel your pain. DS is 30 mos. & DD is 6 mos. Every day is a challenge, especially b/c I stay home, we have no social outlet in our town and the daycares are wanting a fulltime commitment, which I am not willing to do. My husband is wonderful, and pitches in lots when he gets home. But lemme be the first to say, come 4:30 pm I am counting the minutes until he gets in, usually about 6:00. My situation is a liitle different though, as the baby is usually an angel and not very demanding, and my 2 yo is the proverbial "squeeky wheel" who always get the grease. His poor sister is the one getting gypped. I just thank God every day that she is so easy going. Please don't beat yourself up over feelings of resentment towards your older child. I think it's perfectly natural, as long as you know when to call in the reinforcements. I only wish I had more available to me. Just try to hang in there and remember that you are not alone!! I think there are lots of us in your shoes and you have found a wonderful place to find sympathetic ears, um I mean eyes! Here, I hope this'll help too...
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#8 of 17 Old 12-20-2002, 12:57 AM
 
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(((((HUGS)))) I have been there (and still am on some days) my ds was 23 months old when dd was born. Now that some time has passed things have changed ALOT! Ds has gone through an amazing vocabulary explosion, which makes communiction much easier.....and dd is less clingy and FINALLY napping somewhere other then my arms. It took a good 6 months to see the light, and even now I am not over the hill yet, but it's looking so much better....

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#9 of 17 Old 12-20-2002, 06:09 PM
 
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Hi - thanks for sharing in your post. I don't have any suggestions for you, just encouragement! You're going through a rough time right now. I remember how difficult mothering a newborn was with just one. It will get better!

Your post also helped strengthen my resolve to hold out for that 3 year spacing! My DH is pushing for earlier, but I know my ds and I know myself. For us, I really think that waiting would be better. DH says that he's old, and we can't wait too long.

Elizabeth
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#10 of 17 Old 12-21-2002, 09:59 PM
 
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Hey all!

My son just turned 3 years old and my daughter is 2 months and there are days when I too feel like I'm being pulled in 50 different directions and I can't find even a moment to go pee!
Luckily my son can communicate exrtremely well and knows how to play on his own and my daughter is a pretty content baby but they are STILL children and when one has a high needs day it seems the other follows suit! Lately it seems we have one or two good weeks and then a really bad one

I just wanted to lend my support and say that you are NOT alone!
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#11 of 17 Old 12-22-2002, 11:41 PM
 
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when her sister came to join us in July and I feel your pain too. My 2 YO is really clingy and wanted to nurse all of the time..but it did get better. Now that 5 mo DD is somewhat mobile ( rolling all over the place) My 2 YO considers this playing... and we all get in the floor and "roll" together.... I know that this probably doesn't help...but I can only tell you with time it is getting better! ANd I am only 5 mos. into our life together and it is so much easier....I can only hope it keeps going uphill...YES we still have reallly bad days....but you take the good with the bad just like any other relationship....You all Take care...

Tara
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#12 of 17 Old 12-24-2002, 01:19 AM
 
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I had to chime in. I only have ONE DS right now, but we are (were?) planning on trying to have another so that they are about 2-2.5 years apart. I've heard mixed things about this age span. But, I did read somewhere in a parenting mag of some sort that experts (peds, psychologists, I guess) believe that the IDEAL spacing btwn. children is LESS than 18 mos., or OVER 3 years. The article said that the 2 year split is particularly challenging b/c children are learning a sense of self at this point. This may be another thread. I hope the other responses have helped you. Just know there are others out there!
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#13 of 17 Old 12-24-2002, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts. It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone, and that I'm not the only one who has rough days as a mama of 2.

As a few of you stated, you don't understand why people opt for the 2yr spacing. I don't know why others choose this, but in our case, dd's pregnancy was a surprise. DH and I wanted to wait till ds weaned before we got pregnant again, but that isn't how it worked. Nature has a strong pull towards the 2yr spacing, IMO (we weren't using BC). When I found out I was pregnant w/ dd, I was really nervous because ds is/was high needs.

I think the hardest part of it all is that I'm 3000 miles away from all my family and friends, so besides my husband, I get no help or breaks from motherhood.

One thing I tell myself when I have a bad day is: they're only small and needy for a short time during their lives. It's best to go w/ the flow and mellow out so that I can look back on this time and remember the good times, not the rough spots. One things for sure, it's MUCH easier than it was when dd was first born, so it's my hope that things will get easier over time.

Kittyb4me~ I can totally relate to you. DH gets home at 430 each day, and the moment it hits 3, I'm counting down the minutes to his arrival. He is a big help and I'm thankful for that. I don't know how single moms do it.

Maribel~ you're a doll, I'm gonna PM ya when I get some time
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#14 of 17 Old 12-24-2002, 02:09 PM
 
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Well i made the comment that i dont know why we would want children 2 years apart. it seems insain reading all the posts i will have 3 under age 3 (set of twins) and it will be crazy but i honestly think my 2 year old will do wonderful with the new additions. I was talking to a women with a baby and a 3 1/2 year old. she said the 3year old hated her little brother, always poking and acting out. i asked her if her daughter like dolls and she said no not really. I think a lot of it has to do with personality. my daughter is so maternal!! She at 2 sets up orphanages in our livingroom with all her dolls and she feeds them all and gets blankets for them all and diapers them. its very cute. i have seen her with newborns and i was amazed. most children will hold a baby for a minute and be bored but after 10 minutes i had to drag her crying away from the baby so she would play with the children her age. she was at a birthday party. all she wanted to do was sit with the baby.

So age doesnt mean a whole lot. sure it may be much easier if the older one is 5 when a new baby comes but most of us dont plan our families. It has to do a lot with personality and eventhough we might do our best to give a lot of attention to our older one they still have to deal with it in their own way.

we will all do great!

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#15 of 17 Old 12-27-2002, 09:10 PM
 
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I don't know that 2-yr spacing between kids is such a trend, but it seems to be what mother nature does for a lot of us. If you breastfeed w/out supplements, etc., on average you'll be fertile again right when your babe is around a year to 18 months, and if you get pregnant at that time then your kids are about 2 years apart. Anyway, whatever the reason, I have a 26 month old DS and a nearly 2 month old DD, and it is exhausting!!!!!!!! My DS weaned himself at 23 months, so I don't have the tandem nursing to contend with, but like the original poster of this thread I find myself losing patience with my older child and have to try to remember that he is only a baby himself. It's hard. I am very happy with my DD and wouldn't change a thing about her, but she was a "surprize" pregnancy and I would NEVER intentionally have kids this close together ever again. Thank goodness my littlest one is an easy baby that accepts being laid down a lot or I don't know what I'd do!
No advice to you, just empathy.: Some days I have to have a glass of wine in the evening. Things will get easier, I guess we just have to remember that.
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#16 of 17 Old 12-28-2002, 03:26 AM
 
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my dds are 20 months apart, the younger one almost two years old now. i empathize with your feelings. hang in there. i tell you it does get easier! but holy cow how hard it can be especially the first year.

a big milestone for me was when dd2 started walking. that was a big help for me just to be able to have my hands free for even just a moment if we were out somewhere...

i tandem nurse too and know exactly what you're talking about when you say your older one wants to nurse so much sometimes. it's so challenging to say the least at times, but i'm so glad i stuck it out.

i too start getting excited about an hour or so before my husband gets home. i'm like a dog at the door "yea, you're home!!! yippee. some help. some company!" i swear i don't think it's healthy or natural for women to be expected to spend their days in isolation raising their children.

i do not suggest to people that they space their children closely. it's just too demanding on everyone.

but i will admit that i would do it over again in a minute a million times over. my dds are now 3 1/2 yrs and almost 2 yrs and wow is it neat to watch them play together. they are so close.

it does get easier, but yes it is a real butt-kicker for the first year or so. at around 18 months is when they really start playing together. i know that sounds so far away to you. hang in there!!!!! and continue seeking support. you need and deserve it. sorry your family lives far away.
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#17 of 17 Old 12-28-2002, 05:08 PM
 
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mine are 18 months apart too. I wouldnt tell everyone to do it but it does get better !!! no matter what the age thing is you will be stressed but with my kids close they play great now. they are both high needs kids but things are so much better now than 1 year ago.they sleep together too !!he loves his sissy and she loves her brother. i have no family here either but have met some nice people though some hs groups.
my 2yo nurses 8 times a day. i asked grace if she wanted me to stop nursing drew cause it takes so much time. she said no, he gets upset sometimes too.
my af came back at 7 5 months pp witha child that still nursed 12 times a day and was preg at 10 months pp. this is our last so... they were both planned.
angel mom to grace 3.5 and drew 25 months
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