How to spread myself equally as the only parent? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-31-2009, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure where else to put this so forgive me if it doesn't belong here.

My husband deployed about 2 weeks before my DD was born, she's now two weeks old. My 20 months old DS is not transitioning well to say the least. Prior to the upheaval, he was fairly agreeable and cooperative during the day, he went to bed by himself at night and naps were not an issue. Now we are constantly at odds with each other and everything is a struggle. I do my best to keep him busy and give him attention while juggling a newborn, but needless to say it isn't easy. I know he's attention starved and its showing.

I babywear for the majority of the day but its hard when I need to shower and get dressed or I'm changing my toddler's diaper and he's kicking me, for example. I had help for the first week and even then he was a handful for my MIL and I. Most people do not want to take care of him for any length of time because he's exhausting to them, so finding outside help is difficult. He's always been high energy and has some sensory issues, all of it has been compounded by these two huge life changing events. I'm really having a hard time figuring out how to give myself equally to both children without sacrificing my own needs, how I can still be an AP/GD parent when I only have one set of hands for two little ones. I'd appreciate any advice on how to get all of us through this.

ribbonyellow.gif Army wife ribbonyellow.gif - Mama to Liam waterbirth.jpg (9/07), Laine uc.jpg (5/09), and Eliza h20homebirth.gif (7/11)

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#2 of 4 Old 05-31-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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First of all, .

The changes must be hard on your son, which is is trying to show you through his behavior - not only is his dad gone but he also has to share his mom with a new sister, I can understand that's difficult! I am a single parent, so this issue is somewhat familiar to me. I found that trying to focus as much as possible on DD in the very early days helped a lot. Your son is probably looking for confirmation that you are still there for him. If your new baby is sleeping well in whatever baby carrier you use, you can do lots of things with your son while your DD naps. I don't know whether you are comfortable doing a back carry with your new LO yet, but for me, it allowed me to be more active and do more with DD sooner. As far as showers and so on go, I do put DS down while I am in the bathroom. DD and I take baths together and play with her plastic ducks, boats etc. (: - I found DS goes to sleep right away in his car seat when I put the vacuum on)

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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#3 of 4 Old 05-31-2009, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really lucky that for the most part DD is a super easy baby, she is pretty much happy to be anywhere and is starting to come out of the newborn sleepiness and is very alert now. My heart is hurting so badly for DS because I know he needs a lot of one on one with me right now, we usually get an hour or two every day to do something with just the two of us but its still really hard on him. He has a very short attention span and needs activities that are strenuous in order to burn off energy, he doesn't have much patience for reading a book with me or coloring. Our activities do tend to get interrupted by nursing and diaper changes and such, and he uses that as an opportunity to get into things around the house, things he never used to do prior to all of this. Sleep is becoming another issue, he used to average about 9 hours a night and is now sleeping very poorly for 6 hours or so. That means very little sleep for me. I know he is doing it as a means of expressing how he feels and a lot of it is just a matter of getting into a routine and allowing him time to adjust, I just need to figure out how to survive in the meantime.

ribbonyellow.gif Army wife ribbonyellow.gif - Mama to Liam waterbirth.jpg (9/07), Laine uc.jpg (5/09), and Eliza h20homebirth.gif (7/11)

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#4 of 4 Old 05-31-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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When our oldest was 17 months old, our middle child was born. My husband wasn't deployed, so it was not exactly the same as your situation, but I was alone with them most of the time, so I have a little bit of an idea of what you are going through.

My dilemma came the day they both started crying at the same time.

I just did the best I could. My oldest had to learn that he wasn't always going to be first in everything and sometimes the baby had to wait, too.

You are only one person. You are not going to scar your oldest for life if his wants are not met right then and then. Your baby is not going to be scarred either, if he has to wait for your attention too.

I childproofed the house the best way I could, and after a few weeks, my oldest calmed down.
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