Teen, Toddler & Infant? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 11-15-2009, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Are any of you parenting a teen and a baby/babies at the same time?

I have DD1 - 14yo, DS - 19mo, and DD2 - 4mo.

Its a challenge some days, especially the days when all three are crying - DD1 because she is hormonal, DS because he isn't allowed to climb on top of the kitchen table, and DD2 because she's hungry - Most days I love it!

I'd love to hear other's ideas for maximizing our time together as a family and encouraging a strong bond between DD1 and the babies.

"People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy." -M. Csikszentmihalyi
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#2 of 25 Old 11-15-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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I am! I have a 12 YO and 1 YO.

The 12 YO was very standoffish to the baby at first, but now that DS#2 is starting to play, laugh, interact with him, DS#1 is interacting with him a lot more.

I always point out how excited DS#2 is to see DS#1 and how much he already obviously loves him, which makes my older DS more responsive to him.

We have spent a lot of time going for walks together as a family, because there aren't too many other activities that will entertain the little one AND the big one at this point!
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#3 of 25 Old 11-16-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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I have not quite the same but-
almost 15, 10 and 5......
the oldest is awesome with her youngest brother especially.
It can be hard with all three in such a different place but at the park with a soccer ball or tennis raquets- that all disappears and the commen ground has been found!!!!
Also- the older ones can read to the younger ones- ds2 also loves getting his nails done by his older sistr!!!
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#4 of 25 Old 11-16-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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I have a 17 yo and a 4 yo. Next year when my 4 yo starts school, my son starts college. Its an interesting place to be to say the least. LOL Its also made more interesting because my 17 yo decided to finish school living at his dad's but he and his sister have an amazing relatiionship, he was exactly 13.5 when she was born.

I admit sometimes its hard to create family time that covers the span and at this point I don't break my back trying but its great watching them interact with one another.

Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#5 of 25 Old 11-16-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I am - I have a 16 year old daughter, a 2 year old son and a 9 month old son. My daughter is great with her little brothers. She is very much the "back up" mom. I depend on her a great deal as she is so gentle and nurturing with her little brothers. I have a 10 year old son too and he likes to help out but not as much as my daughter.

Everything we do we do as a family so we are together quite a bit. The two older ones are great at chasing the toddler around because the baby is usually hooked up and nursing! I love having the age span that I do. There's never a dull moment at our house...that's for sure!

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#6 of 25 Old 11-16-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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Me...15yo 10yo 4yo 1yo
I dont have any advice...it's not easy....but lots of outdoor, family down time always seems to help...turning of the TV and getting down on the floor time!
Outtings are interesting...i do have lots of help...so it's not that hard!

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#7 of 25 Old 11-16-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I'm not now but was several years ago. When I had my last child, my dd was 15 yo and my ds was 12 yo. They are now 34, 31 and 19 yo.
It was a challenge trying to make sure that I didn't neglect the teens, while trying to take care of a newborn. They were really good with her and very helpful to me. But there still were some issues of jealousy.

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#8 of 25 Old 11-18-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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ugh, me and it seems to be getting harder.
DD is 13 now, was 5 when I married DH, 8 when DD2 was born, 10 when DS was born, 12 when DD3 was stillborn and will be 13 when this babe is born.
She is not fond of the little kids...the 5 year old annoys her, she wants no parts of being with them and is convinced the new baby is only going to make her life worse in that we won't want to take her places or whatever when she is born.
DD is very much into keeping to herself...in her room, door shut, most of the time. Only comes out to eat or use the computer. She is also beginning to "act out" a bit. I don't know what to do to "make" her be more a part of the family. Her only real chore is to empty the dishwasher and that is a daily battle. I am at my witts end with it all, so thanks for such a timely post and reading my rant!

Kelly mama to DD E (14), DD A (6), DS A (4), DD E (born still at 36 weeks April 6, 2009) and fully attached to Ella Faith, now 1!!!
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#9 of 25 Old 11-18-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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I am so glad to have found this thread! I have a 10.5 year old DD and my DH and I are strongly considering having a child (DD is from a previous marriage.)

It feels like no matter what, it's not even close to ideal. I always wanted to have more children but my DH and I need medical help to have kids to it's taken a lot longer than we expected, plus a lot more $$. Now DD is getting to a completely different stage and I am close to being able to work more so my want for a baby has decreased a bit. We homeschool so if we have another child MY career will take a backseat again; which is my choice but still... I want DD to have siblings but I'm afraid she'll get the short end of the stick b/c she's had us by herself for so long.

I'm sorry I'm rambling. This is a hard decision.
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#10 of 25 Old 11-19-2009, 11:19 AM
 
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I have a 21 yo dd, a 10 yo dd, 8 yo ds, 3 yo dd.

It's great to have so much help.. We hs, too, so THAT can be challenging w/a 3 yo in the middle of the table, lol. Or spinning the globe as we look for a specific country...

I love having kids spaced like this, and struggle w/the desire for 'just one more', knowing in my heart that my dh is done.

We get tons of outside time together. We live on a small farm and just this past weekend spent the entire time splitting wood w/a log splitter. Getting the whole family out there is great fun, and we work so well together that we got soooo much done. Even the 3 yo can sort and stack firewood!

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#11 of 25 Old 11-19-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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I'm there too with a 12 yo, 4 yo and 6 mo. My main struggle is that all of my kids are in very different life stages. I'm also very concerned that my 12 yo dd is not as positive a role model for my 4 yo dd some of the time as I'd like her to be. However, overall, the older girls have been so fantastic with the baby and my dd1 does really help me a lot.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#12 of 25 Old 11-20-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I've got 13 yo dd and 3 yo ds. They have a great relationship. I feel lucky. DH and I planned the age difference. Wouldn't have done it any other way.
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#13 of 25 Old 11-20-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom to E and A View Post
DD is 13 now, was 5 when I married DH, 8 when DD2 was born, 10 when DS was born, 12 when DD3 was stillborn and will be 13 when this babe is born.
We have a very similar situation. DS1 was 8 when dh moved in, 10 when dd1 was born, 12 when ds2 was born, 14 when ds3 was stillborn and 16 when dd2 was born. Different ages, but incredibly similar overall structure!

Quote:
She is not fond of the little kids...the 5 year old annoys her, she wants no parts of being with them and is convinced the new baby is only going to make her life worse in that we won't want to take her places or whatever when she is born.
DD is very much into keeping to herself...in her room, door shut, most of the time. Only comes out to eat or use the computer. She is also beginning to "act out" a bit. I don't know what to do to "make" her be more a part of the family. Her only real chore is to empty the dishwasher and that is a daily battle. I am at my witts end with it all, so thanks for such a timely post and reading my rant!
That sounds rough. DS1 gets frustrated with the little ones sometimes, but he mostly adores them. He really wanted a sibling and waited a long time for dd1. It is hard when they feel like they're in competition with each other. Do you have the time to carve out a weekly "date" with your dd, or would she not go for that?


In answer to the OP...yeah, I'm here. My living children are:
DS1 - 16
DD1 - 6.5
DS2 - 4
DD2 - almost 5 months.

Mostly, I don't find it that hard, but I do sometimes feel that I'm slipping from one dimension to another. The lives of a homeschooled 6.5 year old and her 4 year old brother (in preschool, but will also be homeschooled) bear very little resemblance to the life of a teenager in public school...but they're all based here. It's strange sometimes.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#14 of 25 Old 11-22-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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I have a 14 yr old, 8 yr old and a 2 month old. They are all definitely in different phases of life. No advice but I can sympathize with ya.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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#15 of 25 Old 11-23-2009, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad I revisited this thread, I'm so excited about all of the responses. I was feeling all alone for a couple days there. Its so funny all of the looks I get when ppl ask me about my kids and I say "oh, I have a 14yo too!"

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Originally Posted by Mom to E and A View Post
she wants no parts of being with them and is convinced the new baby is only going to make her life worse in that we won't want to take her places or whatever when she is born.
DD is very much into keeping to herself...in her room, door shut, most of the time. Only comes out to eat or use the computer. She is also beginning to "act out" a bit. I don't know what to do to "make" her be more a part of the family. Her only real chore is to empty the dishwasher and that is a daily battle. I am at my witts end with it all, so thanks for such a timely post and reading my rant!
My DD14 was the same way when she found out about DD2. She was SO UPSET. She made sure to remind me often that I chose the worst possible time to have another baby because it was the summer before she started high school and she was already dealing with so much. I think she honestly felt like I was ruining her life. She felt she was going to miss out on so much because of DS and DD2. I was so emotional that I would just cry and cry thinking I had really ruined her life and questioning the decisions I had made for our lives . . . I feel much better about things now (DD2 is 5mo).

Some days I am amazed (and frustrated) that she is so self-absorbed.

I constantly remind myself that she is still a child (even though she is taller than me ) and that her brain is growing and changing rapidly. AND, I remind myself that she really IS going through A LOT! I try my best to focus on the positives and encourage her without nagging. I make a concerted effort to reconnect with her if we've been separated for any amount of time - physically and verbally - by asking for specific details about how her day was and making eye contact, touching her on the arm, scratching her back, flipping her hair. I will not accept "fine" for an answer, I just keep asking and asking until I have some more broad idea of how her day went - usually she will just give up and spill the beans. Some days she acts annoyed, but others she tells me how good it makes her feel. I listen to her rants and try my best to respond instead of react to some of the harsh things she says. I try and reword what she has said, so that she knows that I hear her and she feels validated. If she is having a particularly bad day, I don't force her to do anything but I make sure she knows that we WANT her to spend time with us - but that its her choice.

I do not ask her to help with the babies unless I am in desperate. However, a lot of the time, she will volunteer. Occasionally, I will give her choices - do you want to play with DS so I can clean the kitchen or do you want to clean the kitchen? 9 times out of 10 she will play with DS - and I can clean the kitchen while they laugh. If she spends time with the LOs, I want it to be her choice. :-D

I'm comforted by the fact that she loves her siblings as much as I do. She has told me and DH that if anything were to ever happen to us, that she will raise the babies, that she will NOT leave them. She loves to show them off to her friends and I hear her talk about them often.

So, I don't try and "make" her be a part of the family - I just remind her constantly that she is. I try my best to stay involved - I go to her school for events, I know most of her friends and allow her to invite them over often (I'd rather them be here so I can keep an eye on them), and I try fit small bits of time for one-on-one conversations. The only "chores" she is responsible for consistently are things directly related to her - her laundry, her bathroom, her bedroom, etc. She does them all without question (she is naturally tidy). Its a hassle getting her to help with other things and I often resort to bribery. [Where is that lil smiley with the bag on its head?]

Hang in there . . . try your best to stay connected to her, it will get better.

"People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy." -M. Csikszentmihalyi
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#16 of 25 Old 11-27-2009, 04:39 AM
 
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DS1 is 18 and from a previous marriage. Then dh and I have dd, age 6 and two more ds's four and two! DS1 was 11 before he got a sibling, he also went from it being just me and him for years to sharing me and my attention with a stepfather, new siblings and my fil and a nephew that all came with dh. He has issues. He was thrilled about dd and excited about ds2 but by the time I got pregnant with ds3 he was all like, "ok, mom,stop now, ok?" He has some sensory issues and they are loud, Ive seen him literally break down and cry because the kids are yelling. I thought he hated kids in general til I saw him with a friends family, his buddy also has three much younger siblings, very similar in ages to mine and ds1 was great with those kids. Though he liked dh in the begining, now he hates him and says Ive ruined his life, and he never every does stuff with us no matter how much I try to include him. He says I don't love him as much now that I have my "new family". It breaks my heart and I don't know what to do about it.

Oh, oops, sorry to be a downer, lol! On the up side, they do idolize him, when he wants to help or play with them, there is nothing better! I love it when he sees something in his brother that reminds him of his own childhood and how he is sometimes amazed by them. Like two years ago at christmas when his brother was literally screaming and laughing over a shake and go car and he said, "wow, I wish I could get that excited about ANYTHING, being a kid is great, huh?" I thought it was amazing the see the world through his eyes when he was toddler and it was all new to him, and now I get to see him do the same thing, view the world through his siblings eyes and that's great.

It has it's ups and downs.

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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#17 of 25 Old 12-02-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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Thanks for posting. I am not the only one? I am pregnant with number four. My children are great. I only wish there were more time in everyday, as the teens deserve more of my time. I am also remarried and have found that life is more peaceful and our families are more intergrated. Best wishes to all of you.

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#18 of 25 Old 12-04-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

Mostly, I don't find it that hard, but I do sometimes feel that I'm slipping from one dimension to another. The lives of a homeschooled 6.5 year old and her 4 year old brother (in preschool, but will also be homeschooled) bear very little resemblance to the life of a teenager in public school...but they're all based here. It's strange sometimes.
My head is bent out of shape by this too.

I have a 16yo who has now left school and is working 5 nights a week, a 12yo who is in school, a 6yo who is home schooled and a 3yo.

In some ways it was easier when the youngest was a baby. Now that she is 3 she is a much more forceful personality to add to the family mix.

TBH it is my 12yo who slips through my fingers more than my eldest. He is more self contained and less obviously needy than his brother. I take him to sailing club on a Sunday and hang out there with him and we have lunch there. I make sure I get some information out of him when he gets home from school and we often bake together.

My eldest likes music and I dragged him to a ceilidh last year which he really enjoyed so we went every month for 5 months. He works on Saturdays now so we can't do that and ds2 isn't into dancing.

When you have 2 at home all the time you get into rhythm with them and then when 2 others come home at odd points in the day it kind of upsets the balance somehow, then dh comes home from work and we are all upset again. I don't mean upset as in sad but the whole dynamic changes several times during the day which is sometimes good and sometimes difficult.

I am often out and about with just the girls and people are surprised when I say I have two more but it does explain why we have such a large car

Sometimes I don't think it is so much about doing things together but keeping talking. Or rather sometimes that is all I can do!

Anglyn That sounds hard.
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#19 of 25 Old 12-04-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Yeah, I've sure been there, done that. Actually they are my step kids. We had living with us DSD1 was 12-15, DSS3 was 3-5 and DSD4 was 7 mo - 2 (DSD was not living with us at this time). I was very fortunate that DSS3 and DSD4 were and are such relatively mellow kids, because our oldest was very difficult. (Her mom just left her at our door saying she couldn't take her anymore). Doing things together seemed sometimes very difficult, but then there were times that they were amazing together. When DSD1 wasn't having a rough time, she would put on shows with the littles (fashion or dancing), and she made up all kinds of goofy games with them. They often say they miss her because she played such fun games. Glad they don't remember the drama!

The balance is tough, and I think it would be very hard with a higher needs baby or toddler. I know if DD(5) had come along then life would have been far harder, but sometimes it's so amazingly free and happy, you'd never guess it possible!

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#20 of 25 Old 12-04-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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The balance is tough, and I think it would be very hard with a higher needs baby or toddler.
I sometimes think that ds2 (4) gets more of my time and attention than dd1 and dd2 combined. He's just such a little whirlwind. It's like having a 50 pound toddler in the house...no impulse control, gets angry easily - he's very volatile and prone to hitting, throwing, spitting, etc. I see so much improvement over the last few months (since dd2 arrived, actually), but he's still a handful. I can't quite imagine what it's going to be like to deal with him and a toddler.

DS1 does get shunted off to the side a little. I try not to, but he's so self-sufficient and well adjusted that it's easy to feel that he doesn't need us. I know he does, but he mostly needs us to provide a stable(??) environment as his base, I think. He's always so busy. I really think his siblings are good for him, overall. He adores them and they help keep him steady. But, it just gets...weird...especially when some woman saw me, ds1 and dd2, and thought ds1 was the dad!

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#21 of 25 Old 12-04-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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From the other side: it'll be ok!
There was a time when I had a 17 yo., a 7 yo., two 2 yo. (one with SN) and a newborn that I thought I might have been crazy.
But now, with a 21 yo., 11 yo., two 6 yo. (one with severe SN), a 4 yo. and a newborn, it all went fine! The 17 yo. was a great help when she wanted too, and still is.
Now too, the bigger kiddos love their younger siblings and like to play with them and help out a lot of the times.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#22 of 25 Old 12-08-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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I have 11ds, 6dd, 4dd, and 10 mo dd.

Life is crazy. Unfortunately, no advice, just hugs. We'll get through it...somehow..

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#23 of 25 Old 12-13-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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10yr DD, 5.75yr DD, 11mo DD

I definitely echo the difficult mix of emotional preteen, precocious 5, and infant. we homeschool, so most days are painfully LONG.

we try.

Mama to 3 girls 12,8,3
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#24 of 25 Old 12-13-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Glad I found this thread...I had started something similar in my DDC. I have all boys 13, 10 AND 7. Expecting #4 in March.
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#25 of 25 Old 12-14-2009, 07:03 PM
 
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I have a 13 yr old dd and a 5 yr old ds. They got along famously until a few months ago when dd started feeling like he is spoiled "gets anything he wants" and she wants more attention from both her dad and I. So trying to do this has caused ds to act out in crazy ways to distract us and get attention back to his cute little body. I am really trying to give them both what they need but it is a bit sad to have her so irritated with him. I figure a year or two and it will balance out.
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