If one of your kids was an "accident," do you think you treat them differently? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even subconsciously? I mean this is not something that can be admitted easily. I love DS2 but this morning, I had an awakening moment, well two actually. One, I let him take a tumble when I could see it coming and two, I was watching Oprah (how stereotypically SAHM) and broke at crying when they talked about a little boy who kept falling and it was eventually found out that he had a brain tumor, which for some reason reminded me of DS2 although I don't know why. DS2 was an "accident." DS1 at the time was only 16 months when I conceived ds2 and I was definitely not trying to get pregnant and had just been irresponsible in birth control. The clouds had only just parted with DS1: he'd just begun to sleep through the night, was becoming more independent, I was coming out of a post partum funk (I won' call it a depression). And although DS2 is so cute and cuddly and very much a mommy's boy, I palm him off to Dh or his grandparents or the preschool as much as possible and I don't watch him as closely as I did with DS1 at that age when he is at home with me. When I used to take ds2 to Gymboree, one of the other moms actually once scolded me for not spotting him.
DH says that his sister doesn't speak to his parents anymore and always had a bad relationship with them to begin with b/c she subconsciously knew that she had been an "accident."
Dunno, just musing here.
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#2 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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My daughter was unplanned, but she was born because I wanted a baby. I would have had an abortion if I didn't, without a second thought. My son was planned a few years later. They both get treated as equally as possible (given different ages, personalities, and abilities), and I can say 100% I love them both the same.

The fact that you're thinking about it now makes me feel like you will do something to stop yourself from treating them differently in the future . . . at least I hope so!

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#3 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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Two of my kids were accidents, the first and the third. Well, the third was sort of planned, just not so close to the second.

Anyway, I would chalk it up more to just being kind of overwhelmed, touched out and tired. I did that with both of my second kids.

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#4 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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I wonder if I will treat number 2 different than my number 1. Not as careful, not as cautious, not as germ-free, additive free--All that stuff. Is it possible your replacing normal 2nd child stuff for what you perceive as a favortism on your part.

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#5 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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All three of mine were very much planned, but from what you wrote, it sounds like it could just be a "second child" thing. I definitely paid less attention to number two than number one (they were two years apart), A. because I already had an older child to watch who was into everything and B. because I learned that taking a "tumble" likely won't kill them, nor will eating off the floor, climbing on the bed or any of the other things. I think second time moms tend to relax a bit in general, so maybe what you are doing isn't so much caring less but just being more comfortable?

As for "pawning him off" as you put it, I definitely did that more. My oldest never met a babysitter until he was about 18 months. Middle started going to the gym daycare at 8 weeks and had a Saturday babysitter from the time he could have baby food. I think with two that young, you need more breaks.

Not trying to dismiss your concerns, just trying to make you feel better that maybe this isn't a subconscious way of treating them differently but a normal part of being a mom of two.
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#6 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since the infancy period was so difficult for me the first time with DS1, when I found out about the second pregnancy, for some reason, I think I was like "OK, I can do this totally different this time," not so much "Oh, I guess I really want this baby." I know, that sounds soo crazy. In my head, I just wanted perfect all the things that I thought went "wrong" the first time around like the labor, not having a doula, the sleep issues. I wanted to see how I could "fix" it.
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#7 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Unless you're actually feeling resentful, I'd think this is more likely a 2nd child vs. 1st child thing. And the mom at Gymboree should mind her own business. Kids don't need constant spotting there.
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#8 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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I found that with No 2 I lost most of that paranoid over parenting that I'd done with No 1.

For what it's worth, I think most people have a much healthier attitude to parenting by the time they get to child 2.
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#9 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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DD wasn't an "accident"... but she was a surprise -- we weren't exactly trying, but we weren't exactly NOT trying either. I was BF and still waiting for AF that never came.

but anyway, YES, I do feel differently towards them. I know that I relate better with DD than with DS. I don't deny it to myself, I can't help the feeling, since DS is very spirited at times, and he wears me out.

I hope that DS and DD will never know, and I do my best to treat them both with the same amount of respect, love and appreciation. They both get special one-on-one time with me, and being aware of my feelings helps me to make an extra special effort with DS when he is pushing my buttons. I think I'm doing a pretty good job so far, because we have a great relationship and they are both wonderful to each other.

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a "preference"... It's what you DO ABOUT IT that matters. Recognizing your feelings and being accepting of them is a HUGE step in the right direction, and finding ways to work with them so that your LOs all get their individual needs met in spite of your feelings will help you to overcome your fears of showing preference.
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#10 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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My oldest son was a surprise. We weren't ready at all, but we dealt with it. So now, I don't think of him differently than my son who was planned.

No "accidents" here, but pleasant surprises.
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#11 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I was an accident! From my perspective, it's never made me feel that my parents feel differently about me. I remember asking "why did you have me then?" when I was early teens, & my dad said "because we knew it was going to be you"
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#12 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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We say that DS came a year early - we weren't exactly planning on a baby at that time. Do I treat my 2 differently? Yes, I do. They are different people with different needs and are at different development levels. For example, even though older, DS needs more help with things like buttons, etc. whereas DD needs a little more help with certain types of concepts. I can't say I've gotten more relaxed with dd about things, but I tend to be wound a little tight on stuff like that, and for germs and such if she gets sick there's a risk of seizures, so I'm probably more paranoid that I would've been otherwise. To be honest, I don't even remember most of the time that ds was a pleasant surprise rather than planned.
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#13 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Are you sure you don't/didn't have post partum depression. What you're describing sounds like classic symptoms to me. Do you have a good doctor you can talk to about it and get their help?
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#14 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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Nope. We say that God allowed us to plan the girls but He planned Dylan. And God loves surprises. It was inevitable that we would raise Dylan differently from his sisters. He came at a different time in our lives and is an "only" child.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#15 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyshoppinghabit View Post
Since the infancy period was so difficult for me the first time with DS1, when I found out about the second pregnancy, for some reason, I think I was like "OK, I can do this totally different this time," not so much "Oh, I guess I really want this baby." I know, that sounds soo crazy. In my head, I just wanted perfect all the things that I thought went "wrong" the first time around like the labor, not having a doula, the sleep issues. I wanted to see how I could "fix" it.
That sounds normal to me.
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#16 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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honestly I think this is less about family planning and more about this being your second. none of my children were planned. if I got pregnant now it would be a disasster (well it would be a freaking miricle but I digress....), beyond unplanned, and I would deifntiely treat this child different because my whole life is different. She would also be the fourth child who gets treated differently than the third who gets treated differently than the 2nd who gets treated differently than the first.......

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#17 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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Are you sure you don't/didn't have post partum depression. What you're describing sounds like classic symptoms to me. Do you have a good doctor you can talk to about it and get their help?

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#18 of 48 Old 01-15-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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Are you sure you don't/didn't have post partum depression. What you're describing sounds like classic symptoms to me. Do you have a good doctor you can talk to about it and get their help?
I'd second (third?) the screening for PPD.

Some of what you describe is also more common with #2. You do get more laid back when you have more kids. But if you're feeling a real disconnect, I'd think about whether this could be the sign of something more.

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#19 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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My son was a Surprise....never an accident.....I mean we had been married 13years and hadn't really decided if we would have kids....Fate made the decision for us

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#20 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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My eldest was unplanned but I didn't have the feelings you describe. Maybe having him first then planning the three that followed made a difference.

Having two kids is not like having one and if you were in a funk before it won't have got any simpler. I would also say that talking to someone about how you are feeling might help. mama.
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#21 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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All three of mine were very much planned, but from what you wrote, it sounds like it could just be a "second child" thing. I definitely paid less attention to number two than number one (they were two years apart), A. because I already had an older child to watch who was into everything and B. because I learned that taking a "tumble" likely won't kill them, nor will eating off the floor, climbing on the bed or any of the other things. I think second time moms tend to relax a bit in general, so maybe what you are doing isn't so much caring less but just being more comfortable?

As for "pawning him off" as you put it, I definitely did that more. My oldest never met a babysitter until he was about 18 months. Middle started going to the gym daycare at 8 weeks and had a Saturday babysitter from the time he could have baby food. I think with two that young, you need more breaks.

Not trying to dismiss your concerns, just trying to make you feel better that maybe this isn't a subconscious way of treating them differently but a normal part of being a mom of two.
all of this exactly

My second son was a surprise and was born when my first was only 17 months old--I was not ready for that! Going through morning sickness while parenting an 8 month old was no fun at all. But we tried really hard for my first and so being spontaneously pregnant really felt like a blessing. Even though it wasn't under the ideal circumstances. However, I do feel differently towards my ds2. He had 9 hour per day screaming colic until he was two months old...that on top of parenting an 18 month old was difficult. He was a horrible sleeper and cried when he was awake. I felt like all I did was hold a crying baby or a sleeping baby. I got really resentful towards this grouchy little creature. It was not the love at first moment thing I had with ds1. It has taken a long time to let go of the negative reaction I had to his crying. He has a more difficult temperament anyhow, and we clash. BUT, he is about to turn 3 and I adore him. My boys are so different and I appreciate them in different ways. I really had to practice finding the awesome qualities of my 2nd son, because he is completely different from my fantastic 1st son, but now--even though he's difficult sometimes, he is also amazingly sweet and adorable. I think when you have a great first child that you adore, unless your second child is a clone, you have to really work at appreciating the different ways each child is amazing.

All that said, I do parent him differently because he is a second child--as referenced in the above post.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#22 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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Our first son was a surprise, and he is 32, still lives at home, his choice, and he has always been a joy to us. But as an infant we did do a bit more hovering, then we did with son 2 who was planned. I just think parents in general are more vigilant with first babies. I have always called son number 1, my trial and error kid. So by the time number 2 comes along, you know what to expect and how to deal with it. Like eating lint off the carpet, mom is not going to pry your mouth open and dig it out and get bitten in the process. That was one of the mistakes I did with son number one. Now I am on my second grandson, and if he finds a crumb on the floor, or lint, I just say whatever. I am just saying the more kids you have the more relaxed you are!
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#23 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On the one hand, I don't think it's that I'm more relaxed with ds2, its more like I have less energy to deal, but that coil of perfectionism is still tightly wound up in me, I've just had to let go of things out of lack of choice. On the other hand, if I don't have a glowing, passionate view of having become a mother a second time around, that means I have an illness? I have a real bone to pick with that whole ppd camp. I don't have a disconnect with ds2, I just like to complain a lot (always have and my friend in college used to motion with his thumb and forefinger rubbing together, symbol for the worlds tiniest violin when I would pour my littany of complaints out to him).
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Originally Posted by calpurnia View Post
I was an accident! From my perspective, it's never made me feel that my parents feel differently about me. I remember asking "why did you have me then?" when I was early teens, & my dad said "because we knew it was going to be you"

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#25 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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I was about 4 weeks post-partum when I found out I was pregnant again with DD. Because there was a good chance I could die during my pregnancy (they're potentially life threatening for me) DH said we absolutely had to get an abortion. So off to the clinic I went. And then I *grabbed* the U/S picture that they did and I said screw this, I'm NOT killing my babe, and stormed out. I wanted DD. And she was a super wonderful blessing. The pregnancy we had feared wasn't nearly as bad as it was with DS, and her baby-hood was completely different. DS was so high needs and had special needs to boot that had DD not come along by accident I never would have had the courage to try for another one. But she restored my faith in myself when she was a wonderfully easy going little baby - and I realized I wasn't a failure as a mother. I am so, so happy she was our little accident. I think, if anything, I treat her *better* because I felt so guilty for a long time for even going to the abortion clinic in the first place - and I feel so blessed to have her. One signed consent form and she could have never been a part of our lives. It scares the heck out of me - I adore her to death.

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#26 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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you got a lot of replies and I agree with the consensus. it's not because your second child was an accident. it's because he is your second child. if you didn't learn to chill with your second child and remained as neurotic as you were with the first you wouldn't make it in the game of life. congratulations it sounds to me like you're on your way to being a fabulous mom!

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#27 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 02:27 AM
 
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My first two kids were clomid babies and when you have to take drugs to get pregnant you just don't think about prevention too much. But what we got was a wonderful tie breaker! I won't lie he came at an incredibly stressful time in our lives so my pregnancy was pretty stressful and I really didn't get to enjoy it. Dh is the one who really felt the disconnect though. Ds#2 was around 2 when he reay warmed up to him. Most of what you described seems pretty normal to me. With each child I got a little less vigilant. I've talked with other mom's of 3 and we all laugh at the difference betwen what #1 got away with bs #3......
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#28 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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On the one hand, I don't think it's that I'm more relaxed with ds2, its more like I have less energy to deal, but that coil of perfectionism is still tightly wound up in me, I've just had to let go of things out of lack of choice. On the other hand, if I don't have a glowing, passionate view of having become a mother a second time around, that means I have an illness? I have a real bone to pick with that whole ppd camp. I don't have a disconnect with ds2, I just like to complain a lot (always have and my friend in college used to motion with his thumb and forefinger rubbing together, symbol for the worlds tiniest violin when I would pour my littany of complaints out to him).
I think there are varying degrees of depression, and not all of them are necessarily an illness. It's more complex than that, you know? You yourself called it a "funk", and it kind of just sounds like you are in one again.

On the other hand, you do sound slightly defensive at the suggestion, that might be worth thinking about.

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#29 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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I have 5 children, all of whom were unplanned pregnancies, and I agree that the difference the OP is noticing is more of a "second child" thing that favoritism.

I love all my children equally, but they're all required being parented differently, from newborns on, because their personalities and our circumstances are different each time.
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#30 of 48 Old 01-16-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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that coil of perfectionism is still tightly wound up in me, I've just had to let go of things out of lack of choice.
my second child was very planned and very wanted, and I went through the same thing. It broke my heart. Unless your kids are like 10 years apart, you really can't parent the second one the same way you did the first.

Quote:
I just like to complain a lot (always have and my friend in college used to motion with his thumb and forefinger rubbing together, symbol for the worlds tiniest violin when I would pour my littany of complaints out to him).
do you want to stay in the "complaining a lot" place, or do you want to move past it? What does staying there get you?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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