My two high-need kids are wearing me out!! - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > My two high-need kids are wearing me out!!
MamaScout's Avatar MamaScout 07:59 PM 08-09-2008
I am a SAHM to two wonderful kids. A four year old boy, and a six month old girl. My first was a very high-need baby who demanded to be held all the time, didn't sleep, and was just very hard to care for.

I thought baby #2 would be different because she was so very easy to care for and peaceful for her first few weeks. Gradually she seems to be going down the same path her brother did, and some days I wonder if it's worse. I am very AP. We co-sleep, cloth diaper, EC, baby-wear, the works. This baby will not tolerate anyone but me. Not even her father! She screams when anyone else holds her. She screams when I set her down. Sometimes she will give me a few minutes to go to the bathroom or start a load of laundry, but for the most part she needs to be held almost constantly. She still gets up alot at night to nurse, and she won't nap during the day unless I sleep with her. She will nap for about 30 minutes and then wake up crying. Sometimes I am able to get in quickly and get her back to sleep, but usually she wants to get up.

I am exhausted. The emotional and physical exertion needed to care for this child is overwhelming. I can't let her scream on the floor or in a bouncy seat, but I just can't hold her 24 hours a day. I am absolutely wearing out and don't know what to do. I feel guilty that sometimes I just want to be alone.

I am so busy taking care of the baby that there is very little I can give to DS, who has been home with me his whole life. He is very high-need, even more so since his sister came. I feel like his needs aren't being met, DD's need aren't being met, and my needs aren't being met. Of course, there is nothing left to give my husband! Thankfully, DS is starting pre-K next week, so he will have a little more activity in his life soon.

I should add that I am alone for 10 hours a day with both kids, taking care of them by myself. We get out alot and go places, do fun stuff, see friends, but DD is always with me and is will not tolerate anyone else.

How can I get a little sanity in my life? How can I encourage DD to not need to be ON me 24/7? To encourage her to be with other people? I can't leave her for a minute with even her daddy or grandmother without her screaming. I am totally stumped. Did my parenting turn her into this? Everyone told me the second one would be different, but here I am, seemingly going down the same path. She was so easy and delightful, and now she's just so demanding.

I am fried.

treehuggermama's Avatar treehuggermama 01:14 AM 08-10-2008
I don't have any great words of wisdom unfortunately as it sounds like the only way you will get time to yourself is to leave dd with someone you trust knowing that she will most likely cry. My dd was the same way and dh and I didn't get a date night until she was well over a year. I wish I had some suggestions but hugs to you Mama!
aschmied's Avatar aschmied 01:28 AM 08-10-2008
Oh, I sympathize, only DS doesn't sound as hard as your DD. My older was just like your younger. Thank god that my younger is a bit easier going. Even so, as my DH said (speaking for babe) "Daddy is cool and fun and all, as long as I am playing with him from MOMMY'S arms..." I think PP is right. Your DS needs you, too, and YOU need you. Your DD will be okay with someone you really trust, and you can get some time, and DS can get some time. You cannot be everything to everyone. Think of it this way, if you try, you will burn out (everyone has a limit) and when you do, it will be a lot harder on DD than having someone watch her now.

Good luck!
OTMomma's Avatar OTMomma 06:53 AM 08-10-2008
My dd was like your dd is- she's still at 6yo a mama's girl. And I know how much it hurts to hand your baby off to dh or grandma knowing your baby is going to cry for you, but its OK to do that and get yourself some space- just an hour or 2 a week I found really helped me to recharge myself. I felt so guilty doing that to dd, but she wasn't being left to cry alone, she was with someone who loved her and would care for her very much. Around the time she turned 1, she got MUCH more agreeable about staying with other people.

Its not your fault your kids are high needs- nothing you did caused it. Some kids are just born that way. I did find that both my kids slept better after seeing a chirpractor. I also think that cutting out sugar and dairy seem to help my kids sleep better (with nursing you have to cut it out of your diet too to see if it helps).

freeflykami's Avatar freeflykami 05:22 PM 08-10-2008
I have to agree with pps, you will have to leave her with someone you trust, knowing that she will cry. I had to do that with my 1st. We started with just 10 min. and worked our way up. It took quite a while but even those few min. away were such a refresher!

I think once your son starts to settle into school he will be much happier. I have noticed this with my dd over the summer. She is much happier when she has some time without mommy, and I have some time to regroup and give ds some 1-1 time.

Hang in there mama!