i don't think i can do this!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you parent more than one child in the attachment parenting way? My hubby just went back to work today (he had six weeks off). I don't know how to give both my kids quality attention. I feel like the baby gets the short end of the stick but the 3 yo isn't geting wahat he wants cause all he wants is my 100% undivided attention.
We went to our Wed. playgroup which we have done since he was 3 mos old. He unlocked the front door and ran out and started heading up the street. While I was helpless (holding Dylan). This was because I brought him inside while he wanted to run in circles in the driveway while I was trying to get our stuff together to leave. The behavior has been horrible on some days and good on other days. But when it is bad, it is bad. I know he is acting out and I am trying to give him mor positive attention but I don't want to ignore the baby by putting him down or leaving him alone in bed so he wakes up alone. Am I being silly about this. I so miss my oldest but I feel like I haven't been able to really bond with the youngest. Is this what parenting more than one is all about cause if it is, it really sucks.
My head is pounding right now from crying off and on for 2 hours today.
Anybody else feel completely overwhelmed and unequipped?
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#2 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 01:12 AM
 
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I am SO right there with you.

The only thing keeping me sane is that I have been getting help. If you can afford to get any help at all, get it. Even an hour of having another person around is so valuable. My family is nowhere near so my only choice has been to hire various people. Even a 12 year old can be a good helper...
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#3 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiralmg
I am SO right there with you.
My family is nowhere near so my only choice has been to hire various people. Even a 12 year old can be a good helper...
Where do you find people and how much do you pay them?
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#4 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 02:30 AM
 
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hve you tried craigslist? Ir possibly posting in the your tribe section here on Mothering?
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#5 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 02:47 AM
 
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I remember reading a valuable piece of advice somewhere....can't for the life of me remember where though.

It basically said that in these times, the best thing you can do is offer your older child(ren) your attention as much as possible. The baby is so young that it doesn't really realize what is going on....this sounds bad but I don't know how to better word it especially since I'm really tired. Basically, the older child is old enough to realize if he's getting the shaft, and the baby isn't. As long as baby's needs are met..don't feel guilty for letting him nap alone, or wake up in a room by himself. It's not the end of the world. Your older child needs to get adjusted to this and needs lots of love and attention. It'll take a while to work the kinks out but eventually you'll find a nice balance. It is overwhelming. But it gets better. I've been having less breakdowns. I was crying, bawling from the overwhelmingness of it all nearly every day..now it's just every few days. You're not alone.

I have no help. I wish I could afford help, but I can't. If you can afford it, look for post partum doulas at http://www.dona.org/ . To the left of the homepage there is a doula locater. Choose post partum and then enter your state.

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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#6 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 02:52 AM
 
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I use the swing and bouncey seat a lot more than I did with my first child... I do feel guilty sometimes, but the newborn is HAPPY and the toddler is getting what she needs in this transition.
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#7 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 04:00 AM
 
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There are days that I figure if we all made it out alive, I get to count it as a good day.

Today, I wouldn't call it good, but we're all alive. Lucy being the one that did the best even... though it would seem she got the least attention. She had plenty of boob time, diaper changes galore, and some good naps. Her needs were met.

The other two? Not enough time or energy to dwell on it.

Some days are hard and it's a learning experience.

I do have to second finding a bit of extra help though. It is a lifesaver. I'm completely lucky to have so much family around!! In fact, tomorrow, my sister is taking the older two for a couple of hours while I clean up the house. HOPEFULLY, Lucy will cooperate and snooze a bit (or I'll just put her in the mei tai and she'll be good to go!) and I can get some stuff done!

Judy, wife to my Catholic deacon husband ... homeschooling mother to my four girls, a boy, and someone new in May '15! Forever remembering our loss (8/11) .
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#8 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 11:20 AM
 
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yes yes yes. that is exactly how i have felt. i am BLESSED to have my mom around. she comes over twice a week for about 6hrs each time and just plays with rowan. for the first 4wks or so she was coming EVERY weekday! now it's back down to twice a week. she's been doing that since rowan was born and it's incredible. rowan is GUARANTEED to have 12 FABULOUS hours a week because my mom kicks butt and is SO fun with him. and usually the day after she's been here i find i have more energy, and i've learned by watching her how to juggle 2...because she often does while i get some stuff done around the house, etc.

definitely get help if you can. it will make a world of difference just to have an extra body around.

it's getting better for me...but i still can't go out with both of them by myself. i get in the car with them and just DRIVE every day because it chills me out and they nap. but other than that, we're basically shut-ins unless it's a playdate (like i'll be doing today)...and even then it gets kinda dicey because i just don't have enough hands.

they say it'll get better...when our babies are old enough to do more things with their environment...sit up, crawl, etc...i hope so. LOL
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#9 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kris10s
I use the swing and bouncey seat a lot more than I did with my first child... I do feel guilty sometimes, but the newborn is HAPPY and the toddler is getting what she needs in this transition.

yep!!! Sada is happy as a clam in the bouncy seat and I get to tend to Josie and have some sanity. I grab her as soon as she cries. But she is definitely not held nearly as much as Josie. I sling her when we are out and walk around with her at home during fussy times but if she is content and I have other things to do she goes in the seat or swing. It took me a while to come to terms with it- but now I think I have just accepted that Sada will be parented slightly differently from Josie, but its okay because they are different babies and I'm just doing the best I can.

Beccalove.gif mama to 2 girls and  IT'S A BOY!! 3/31/11 babyboy.gif
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#10 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindacrunchy
Where do you find people and how much do you pay them?
We live in the city so 12 year olds are scarce and the adult going rate is $10/hr. I bet elsewhere you could find cheaper help and also get younger girls/boys to help. I wanted to do word of mouth but that went nowhere as most people tend to want nannies which is not my thing. My Doulad suggested posting ads at the local colleges - thats finally what I did and have met some great students who will help me. I tried a local homeschool group but got zero response...that would have been great.
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#11 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindacrunchy
Where do you find people and how much do you pay them?
Often times the parks district or fire department runs babysitting classes for 12+. Call and see if you can get a list of kids that took the class. The classes here are first aid/cpr + "how to be a sitter" with info on how to entertain, change diapers, plus info on being reliable, how to communicate with parents, etc.

I'm currently paying college students to come to my office to watch E while I work. I'm paying $8/hr for 20 year olds with gobs of experience. The cost of living is lower in OH than in Temecula, so that might not be a good gauge.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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I have to give DH many many props.



My oldest is very attached to him right now -- he says his daddy is his best friend -- and DH is all about it. He takes care of Evan's bath and puts him to bed every night. He also gets up with him through the night if he needs anything. He plays with Evan, reads to him, and general hangs with him. It's so sweet. And incredibly helpful for me. I think part of it might be that it's not that easy for DH to comfort the baby -- he can't get the cuddle-hold-bounce-and-walk thing down. Plus he doesn't have boobs so he's automatically one (two?) down on the baby's happymeter.
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#13 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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Those of you with bouncy seats/swings - what brand/model do you have? I'm thinking of caving and getting one or the other. We used to have this hideous looking Fisher Price doodah music bouncy seat but it was so ugly we got rid of it. It probably would be useful about now...
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#14 of 18 Old 02-16-2006, 11:54 PM
 
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I just bought a Graco 6 speed open top swing at Once Upon A Child, a second hand store, for $20 last weeked. Sam loves it There have even been times he fusses, no screams, and the swing calms him down. On the positive side h'll wake 6ish, nurse then I can change him and put him in the sling and he will sleep for 2 more hours while I get my oldest to school and the day started for the rest of us.
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#15 of 18 Old 02-17-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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I found a fantastic babysitter on http://www.sittercity.com/ Never had any luck with craigslist - all the people there seemed to want full-time positions. You could also call local colleges & see if they have an "ad" board you could post something on. I found last summer's babysitter though a flyer she had posted at our local grocery store.

Sittercity.com is a pay service ($40 for 3 months I think...search online to find a coupon) and then $5 a month after that, but for me it was worth it. I posted an ad of what I was looking for. DS (2.75) loves her (we hired her about 5 months before the new baby came. You can choose the age range of babysitter you're looking for, so a high school age girl would be less $ than a college age woman.

I pay $10/hour (she only cares for one child - my 2.75 y.o. DS), but we are in the Boston area, so it is more $$$. She comes 2 days per week for 3 hours each day, and it makes a huge difference.

After DS was born, I had a post-partum doula. That was a huge help, but more $$ than a babysitter.
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#16 of 18 Old 02-17-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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Those are great suggestions. Also - when I posted my ads at the local colleges, I made sure to say that I was looking for someone that wouldn't mind helping out around the house, etc. That way, you are getting more than a sitter. You are getting a true helper - you can ask her to run a load of laundry, do the dishes, run an errand etc. This is SO important for me, because sometimes there is so much to do, and sometimes it really is important for you to spend time with your kids, for example while one is sleeping you can spend some quality time with the other - but not if a bunch of dishes are calling your name. I know a lot of people just want to babysit, but you can prequalify any respondents by saying up front that you want help with housework.
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#17 of 18 Old 02-17-2006, 10:37 PM
 
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I agree it is hard! Daph likes her swing thankfully but I feel bad cause she just sits there in it but when you hold/talk to her she is ALLLLLLLLLLLL smiles so I know she needs more one on one too. Jevin is so demanding these days. It's hard not to be angry with him because I think he should know better over certain things. But then I have to tell myself he is only 3. 3 is HARD! Last night we were driving home from Vegas (yeah, I went there with 2 kids alone, smart huh?!) and he was mad that I had to pull over and feed her so he told me to run her over with the car! HELLO PSYCHO! Sheesh!!!!!!!!!! Then today I had her in the swing so I could make him lunch and he is over there pushing her as high and fast as he can!!!! She just had this look on her face like "i'm so gonna vomit." Poor kid!

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#18 of 18 Old 06-21-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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Just wanted to say -- before I read all of the responses or craft my own -- that I'm right there with you. It is incredibly hard. My son (also almost three) isn't acting out aggressively or impulsively, but is mostly sad and has lost a lot of his ability to tolerate frustration. I find it so hard to be fully present for his needs as he deals with this transition and at the same time, follow through with what I *believe* is necessary for my newborn daughter. I've used the bouncy seat far more than I ever thought I would, for example.

And I miss my son, terribly. I miss our 1:1 time a great deal -- as does he (I scheduled babysittting two hours/day to give him some 1:1 time for a couple of weeks, but that isn't viable for long, given our budget). Thankfully, I feel like I've recently fallen "in love" with my daughter ... something I worried about, given how attached I am to my son -- but that also means I feel an even deeper sense of wanting to be with her, connect with her, forge that bond.

I do think -- at least when I'm rational -- that bonding happens in so many ways and that rules we established about good attachment parenting with one child are not always workable with two. I just posted on the toddler board about this ... and I got a great response from someone. Feel free to look it up ...

Becca
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