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#1 of 11 Old 09-16-2011, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just had baby #4 about 7 weeks ago. I am finding myself slower to respond to him than I was to my others. when i think back, i was slower to respond to baby #3 than baby #2. It's not that I leave him to cry or try to ignore him. But if I'm trying to get something to eat or finish a load of laundry, I'm more likely to finish what I'm doing even if it means he may fuss or cry a little more or a little longer. In my head I'm thinking, "Just let me finish this one thing."

I'm getting a little worried that this means I've become a bit desensitized to my children's needs. Or maybe it's just a consequence of having more than one young child.

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#2 of 11 Old 09-16-2011, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I just had baby #4 about 7 weeks ago. I am finding myself slower to respond to him than I was to my others. when i think back, i was slower to respond to baby #3 than baby #2. It's not that I leave him to cry or try to ignore him. But if I'm trying to get something to eat or finish a load of laundry, I'm more likely to finish what I'm doing even if it means he may fuss or cry a little more or a little longer. In my head I'm thinking, "Just let me finish this one thing."

I'm getting a little worried that this means I've become a bit desensitized to my children's needs. Or maybe it's just a consequence of having more than one young child.


I think it means you are a very capable mom.  You know now- far better than you did with the first or even the second- that they will survive, and that sometimes meeting their needs happens along with meeting everyone elses'. You sound like you certainly do respond quickly- and that 30 seconds of finishing tossing that laundry in really isn't going to cause harm.  We aren't talking about leaving the child for hours, a moment is not the same as many minutes.  You are being the best mom you can to everyone, and you have learned better to balance it all to maintain your sanity. 

 

I have three kids now, and #4 is due in Dec. It isn't instant response to everything, but when I hear the edge in a child's voice that means something really is wrong, that is instant.  When it's frustration or something that really isn't scary or won't cause harm, finishing the laundry happens- even if I just started to move it from the washer to the dryer. :)  The kids are all still alive, and they know that when they really need me, I will be there.  They also know that they live in a family, and everyone has needs, and the oldest is great about noticing when one of the little kids wants something and I am - shifting laundry- or goodness forbid!- peeing ALL ALONE. 

 

Experience doesn't desensitize you, but it sure does help you learn to juggle a little better.

 

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#3 of 11 Old 09-16-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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I think its a consequence of having more then one. I slowed my response time with each one. I don't believe that a minute or two while I finish something equals CIO. Especially, if that something was a quick bite or going to the bathroom.


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I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#4 of 11 Old 09-16-2011, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks. i'm definitely a better mom now than i was with my first. at least i'm confident in that. my 3rd is more independent than my 2nd, maybe from having to wait and share time and attention. shrug.gif i compare my 2nd, 3rd and 4th because they are all still young. my 1st was 12, almost 13, when 2nd was born, so a completely different dynamic.

my 2nd, now 7yo, is really good at helping with the younger ones when i'm occupied. he actually got his 4yo bro in thw shower yesterday when he messed his pants because i couldn't get to it right away. my oldest was helpful with #2 and #3 when they were babies. he's 20yo now and moved out so maybe that's part of my angst. he's not here to help anymore like he used to.

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#5 of 11 Old 09-17-2011, 07:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post




I think it means you are a very capable mom.  You know now- far better than you did with the first or even the second- that they will survive, and that sometimes meeting their needs happens along with meeting everyone elses'. You sound like you certainly do respond quickly- and that 30 seconds of finishing tossing that laundry in really isn't going to cause harm.  We aren't talking about leaving the child for hours, a moment is not the same as many minutes.  You are being the best mom you can to everyone, and you have learned better to balance it all to maintain your sanity. 

 

I have three kids now, and #4 is due in Dec. It isn't instant response to everything, but when I hear the edge in a child's voice that means something really is wrong, that is instant.  When it's frustration or something that really isn't scary or won't cause harm, finishing the laundry happens- even if I just started to move it from the washer to the dryer. :)  The kids are all still alive, and they know that when they really need me, I will be there.  They also know that they live in a family, and everyone has needs, and the oldest is great about noticing when one of the little kids wants something and I am - shifting laundry- or goodness forbid!- peeing ALL ALONE. 

 

Experience doesn't desensitize you, but it sure does help you learn to juggle a little better.

 



+1   I am only on #2 but I already see this happening. It is only a minute or two but I agree it is just learning how to handle more than one and figuring out what is practical and works for your family.

 

 


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#6 of 11 Old 09-20-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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This is just a natural part of parenting.  I think that as long as baby isn't terribly stressed, it's fine.  I have three kids, lots of the neighbours have between 3 and 5 (larger family area) and I think everyone with 3 or more kids has noticed this.  It's probably why people notice that their later born children are more patient than the first couple.  The babies have to adjust to parents being busier, so they learn patience, and if it's only a matter of waiting a few seconds more and then their parent attentively cares for them, they know they are loved.  Besides, your other children need you, too, and if a few seconds buys a little time to tend too the whole family, then it's the right thing to do.


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#7 of 11 Old 09-20-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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You're thinking "Just let me finish this one thing.", not "Oh! The baby is crying... wonder how long that's been going on for?!" You're sensitive to the needs of many people now, and you're finding the balance between them. 


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#8 of 11 Old 09-20-2011, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, everyone. i'd been thinking that it wasn't fair that my 7yo got so much undivided attention while the next two have to share so much. it does seem that my 4yo is more independent than my 7yo. he's able to play by himself in other parts of the house much sooner. That could just be personality, though, because my oldest was able to do that, too, and he didn't have any siblings for almost 13 years.

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#9 of 11 Old 09-20-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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It took me about 3 months with my first to realize this. I don't think it means bad parenting at all. I HAVE to eat to make milk. I HAVE to have showers and clean laundry. I am still a person with basic needs. His two minutes of crying while I finish my dinner will do him less harm than stress and lack of nourishment for the lady who makes his milk will.

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#10 of 11 Old 09-27-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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I have had the same experience but I think it's because I know better now.  I'm not going to let groceries sit on the kitchen floor half the day anymore.  I'm going to put them away even if the baby cries for 60 seconds.  I'm going to take the extra 2 minutes to finish vacuuming the room because I will not subject 5 people to a gross house just to stop the baby from crying for a short time.  etc.  

 


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#11 of 11 Old 09-27-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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I'm only the mom of 2, but I was the youngest of 5. I would say that my mom, far from being desensitized, was a much better mom for me than she was for my older sibs. She knew what she was doing, she had more parenting experience and resources. Just remember that your infant may not be getting as much one-on-one time with you now, but there will be a time when your older kids are off doing something and you'll get to spend that one-on-one time together.


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