6 days and I'm a mess! (rant) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-01-2009, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for the rant ladies: My edd is in SIX DAYS! It's not so much the logistics of baby-care that are bothering me. I think it's more how the family dynamic is going to change. Ds is going to be a great big brother, I know, but he's already showing signs of regressing to his 4 yo self and acting out. His school doesn't recognize this as regression, since he's new there, so I'm in there "at bat" for him again, defending him when I know I'm being judged as the mom who believes her kid can do no wrong (not true!) and defends his every action. Meanwhile, he's pushing every single one of my buttons, and I find myself losing my temper, crying, or getting on his case, which is totally counter-productive when what he really needs is more love and reassurance. So I already feel like a failure to one child - how the heck am I going to be able to mother two well? Then, ds says to me, "Why does Papa always do the dishes and not you?" and I burst into tears because I do SO much that I feel is just not recognized by him or others (granted, not a 5 year old's responsibility to recognize what I do for the family - it's just me being irrational).

And I try hard to help him adapt to the change gently without pressure, not over-talking the changes, but not ignoring them. Focussing on the positives. But what is with others??? I know they are all well-meaning, but really! "You're going to be a big brother. You need to start being more responsible." "You're going to have to help mom out." "Your baby sister is going to be here in a few days. Everything is going to be different!" Geez - could they put more pressure on a child for something he had no say in?? I may be in the minority, but dh and I made this decision independently of him and I don't believe it be his responsibility to be my helper or 'grow up' more because of it (it'd be great if that's the role he takes, but it's not his responsibility). And what person wants to hear how their whole life is going to change or be totally excited about the arrival of someone they can't even conceptualize? It freaks me out, and I'm the mother! Why wouldn't it freak out a little kid who can't understand and articulate his feelings?

I'm just praying that I'm able to come to terms with some of this stuff before baby arrives, so that I'm a more peaceful, relaxed mama when she's here - for all of our sakes!
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#2 of 8 Old 11-01-2009, 09:10 PM
 
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I know what you mean. Ds has been acting out, probably partly due to our recent move and to the coming baby. I've been trying to prep him, but also reassure him that I'll be here for him too.

Dh ( I know is only trying to help). But he's doing the "you need to be a big boy". I know ds is excited about being the big boy and the big brother. But obviously he is showing that he still needs/wants us to "take care of him". Minus the fits (which I know I don't always handle well). I completely understand you here. I feel awful when I lash out and then start crying and then it makes him cry. He has been requiring a lot of help with getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc (something he's been doing on his own for a long time). He's also been great with independent play and is now wanting a lot more play interaction from dh and I.

I'm really hoping part of my reactions are hormonal pregnancy stuff and that I'll relax a little once baby comes. We're also planning for some dh and ds fun time, as well as outing for ds with my best friend (pretty much his auntie --he loves her).
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#3 of 8 Old 11-01-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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lots of hugs to you both!

My DS is only 2.5, so I don't think he fully comprehends what's to come, but I definitely expect some big adjustments ahead...
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#4 of 8 Old 11-01-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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My immediate thought is that all of us, siblings or not, eventually have to take responsibility for big parts of life. It may not be fair on a case by case, but it's part of the give and take of life.

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#5 of 8 Old 11-01-2009, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose-Roget View Post
"You're going to be a big brother. You need to start being more responsible." "You're going to have to help mom out." "Your baby sister is going to be here in a few days. Everything is going to be different!" Geez - could they put more pressure on a child for something he had no say in??
I was 2 when my brother was born. The people who said things along these lines to me were IMMEDIATELY and PERMANENTLY put into their places by my mother. As she later told me, CHILDREN should NOT be expected to be mini-parents to their siblings, especially children so young. She grew up the second-oldest of eight, and remembered well the pressure to pick up the slack and how it was expected of her, and so much of her own childhood went out the window having to be another mother to babies she had no say in.

A child's responsibilities shouldn't change because of being a sibling. I hope you are stepping in and knocking these people down a bit. They're not being helpful and are just gong to make a little boy feel overwhelmed and scared to death and inadequate.
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#6 of 8 Old 11-01-2009, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Noelle C. View Post
I hope you are stepping in and knocking these people down a bit. They're not being helpful and are just gong to make a little boy feel overwhelmed and scared to death and inadequate.
I am probably not as direct as I should be. I focus on ds's strengths as a person, and veer the subject away from all that pressure. I say things like, "Ds is already very responsible. He even vacuumed the house today - who could ask for more?" or "Ds talks about all the things he wants to show and teach Baby. He's a really great kid!" Then, I try to change the subject. I'm usually successful in taking the conversation away from ds's "responsibilities," but it usually continues around Baby. I would love to be more direct to them, but I'm afraid I'll slip and be rude instead. I don't see that as super-productive, either.
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#7 of 8 Old 11-02-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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I think our guy is starting some of the 'regression', even though baby isn't here yet. I have a friend whose daughter had been excited about being a big sister, but when the baby arrived, she recanted and told him, "Papa, I don't want to be big." He told her, "Sweetie, you can be little for as long as you like." I thought that was a very wise and loving response. I told DH we should have the same attitude with DS because, really he IS still a baby himself in a lot of ways. I just hope hope hope that he doesn't do a lot of potty regression.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#8 of 8 Old 11-02-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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Sending some

I have recognized my oldest feeling more stressed lately, too. I still ask him to do his usual chores around the house, but it's helped when I have asked him to do something "extra" and he's told me no, and I have respected that. I think he feels better knowing that he can say "no" when he feels overwhelmed. At the same time, I do insist he does something to help (and he really does a lot to help his little bros); I do let him know that things will change even more after the baby is here, too. I'll still need his help. I guess I could be more prepared and give him a little "list" of his responsibilities (feed the dog, put away silverware, etc), that way he doesn't have to fret that he will be able to help in the ways I need b/c he'll know what to expect. At the least the dialogue is open between us, right?!

I was the oldest girl growing up so I remember what it was like to feel so much pressure from my parents to be almost a parent, too. I think that helps me to keep from relying too much on him.

It's not easy to balance being the parent to the older kids and bringing a new life here, I understand! Be easy on yourself, you are preparing to do such a big work, giving birth.

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
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