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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know where to begin. I posted over in BF, but I think it may belong here. I think I am failing at AP, or maybe AP is failing me. Maybe I should start with DS1 Kearnan. I didn't actually choose AP with him, I just fell into it. I breastfed because I was breastfed and I knew it was the right thing to do. I co-slept because he slept better next to me and it just felt nice. I used gentle discipline because I wanted him to respect me and the rules because it was right, not because he was afraid. I extended breastfed because it felt right. We delayed solids because I didn't want to mess with force feeding him baby foods. We made mistakes, we were young and uncertain, but we made it through. And he did well. He was happy and social and independant and a fairly good sleeper. I felt good about our parenting decisions for the most part. He was diagnosed with PDD NOS at 3, a result of a bad reaction to vax's at 18 months. But still through all of the struggles AP just seemed to be the right thing to do. I didn't really choose it, but it fit us. So when we finally brought ds2 Tharen into the world after losing our daughter and many months of TTC and a hard pregnancy I just knew we would AP again. I felt like this is what was right for us. Meeting our children's needs couldn't be wrong. I wanted to do what was best for my kids and my family. I wanted to raise happy healthy individuals.

I knew things might not be easy, adding a baby to a house with a special needs child was bound to be difficult. But Kearnan was on a therapy regimin, and along with the work we were doing at home he was doing well. I knew we should prepare for things to get difficult for a while. I knew Kearnan might have a hard time adjust and that some of his therapy might fall by the wayside for awhile. We wouldn't have as much time for in home therapy and potty training. But I figured after a few months we would find a new routine and get back to a new normal. Apparently this is where I was wrong.

Kearnan actually handled his brother's birth well. He was totally smitten with his new baby, and didn't mind if he wasn't the center of attention for awhile. But the weeks have turned to months, and Tharen will be 1 soon and we still haven't found a routine. Tharen is not the easiest child. He doesn't sleep well and demands non stop interaction. I can't even look at Kearnan without him screaming. Forget working on therapy or potty training, I am lucky if I can feed Kearnan and get his diapers changed. Kearnan spends most of his day watching tv or playing video games, not something I had been hoping for. And all of this time I spend trying to meet Tharen's needs doesn't seem to be helping him any either. He is clingy and unhappy most of the day.

I need help, I don't know where to turn. We have hit an especially rough patch and I will admit I am feeling very guilty. I chose AP because I wanted to do what was best for my family, to meet my children's needs, but I don't feel like anyones needs are being adequately met. Yes everyone is fed and relatively clean. Kearnan is making all of his appts and managing to make strides in his recovery. But he isn't doing as well as he could be if I had even a little bit of time to work with him. And his need for affection and interaction is just barely being met each day. I can't even count the number of times in the past two days I have had to look into my child's eyes, my child who has worked so hard to be able to express his needs, and tell him I'm sorry but I can't hold you right now, your brother is crying. I cna't get you food your brother is eating. I can't kiss your boo boo your brother is sleeping. I can't take you to the potty your brother needs me. No one's needs are being met but Tharen's, and I don't really feel like I am doing a very good job meeting his needs as he seems to constantly be unhappy. He cries so much. No one is happy in our home. The boys are misserable, dh is misserable and I am miserable. How can I AP two children when meeting one's needs means having to turn away from the other. How is it fair that Kearnan always has to wait because he is older. And I know when people look at our family they are thinking what a terrible job we are doing. My Autistic 5yr old isn't getting the care he needs, and my demanding 11.5month old is running our house. He fusses and I jump. I really never believed you could spoil a child by responding to their cues, but now I am not so sure. Instead of blossoming into a confident toddler, my baby is whiny and clingy and screams if I so much as stand up to get a tissue. He won't go to my mother, he won't go to my father (and we live with them so he sees them every day). He won't even go to his own father. He screams for me to hold him, and then whines while I hold him. I can't seem to make him happy. HE doesn't take naps at all and if I put him in a carrier to try and do laundry or cook or take Kearnan to the potty he throws a fit. He wakes up every two hours all night to nurse, and instead of just fussing a little or nudgeing me he screams bloody murder until I can get my nipple in his mouth. I have never failed to meet even one of his cues, never. I am always there when he needs me, but he seems to feel the need to scream to get my attention. I'm tired and I am feeling incredibly guilty about all of it. I feel like I am permanently ruining my children and I don't know where to go or what to do. I can't talk to my parents, they reccomend CIO, spanking, weaning ect. And I am having a hard time arguing against those things now. How can I tell them they are wrong when my kids are so unhappy and I am so unhappy. With Kearnan I could always say, but see how well he is doing. See how happy he is, see how confident. Even after the diagnosis I could say but see how he blossoms with the right attention. But Tharen has really thrown me for a loop. The more responsive I am the more he acts out. The more I cuddle him the more he demands. And poor little Kearnan just sits by waiting for his turn. Waiting for his mommy to have a tiny bit of time for him. IT is breaking my heart.

I am sorry this is so long, I just didn't know where else to go. Thank you for reading along, more than anything I just think I needed to vent and needed to know that some one understood. Please some one tell me this is a phase and we will get through it, or that there is something I can do to fix this. Please tell me I am not scarring my kids for life here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all so much, you have given me alot to think about. But it is also nice to hear that I am not alone or just being horrible. I really love my boys and I want so badly to do the right thing for them. I am really worried about Tharen though, his behavior just doesn't seem normal to me. I am trying not to compare him to Kearnan, but it just doesn't seem like any child should be so unhappy. Some things I have thought of that might be causing it are -Lack of sleep -Developmental stuff -Teething -Undiagnosed Medical issues I really don't think he is getting enough sleep, he isn't getting much at night (at least I know I'm not) and he adamantly refuses to sleep more than 30 minutes during the day. Things have really come to a head in the past month or so. We went through a period where he was calmer, right after he learned to crawl things seemed to settle some. He was still very demanding, but he could play a bit on the floor and enjoyed riding on my back while I did chores, and he was happy to be with daddy for a bit in the evening. So we started a Mommy and Kearnan night where we went and did things together. We caught a couple of kiddy movies and went bowling ect. It was really great but then Tharen started having these screaming jags when I left him with his daddy so we haven't been able to do them anymore. He is just now learning to really walk and I wonder if that may play into it some. He has never had a really bad time teething, he has all 8 of his front teeth now, so I don't know if teething could have anythign to do with it or not. That leaves medical issues. He always seems to be a robust and healthy child. He is growing well and meeting his milestones developmentally. He had silent reflux as a tiny baby but it never seemed to bother him. We only knew about it because he also had torticollis. But it went away by about 4 months. It never caused weight loss or anything like that, but he was pretty coliky as a young infant. Dh also has cow milk intolerance so we have stayed away from milk products for Tharen. I still consume some, but he never seemed to react to them in my diet before this. I plan on talking to his Pedi about it at his 1yr appt in a couple of weeks. I just wonder if there is something I am not thinking of that could be causing this fussiness and sleeplessness.

I guess what it ultimately comes down to (barring any medical issues) is my need to figure out a way to meet both of their needs. I always feel like the baby's needs come first cause he is a baby, and because he screams if I don't respond instantaneously to him. But I know now that he is approaching 1 his needs are not necessarily more imediate than Kearnan's. But Kearnan is sooo patient and Tharen definately isn't. I dont' want to short change Kearnan though. He shouldn't be punished for being patient. And you are all right, it won't kill Tharen to stay with his daddy for a while so Kearnan and I can have some time together. Maybe we will try to get a nice day planned for an outing for the two of us. I have always wanted to take him ice skating
. I am also going to look into the No Cry Sleep Solution. I desperately need at the very least for him to start napping during the day. First of all because I think he will be happier if he is well rested. And also because if I can get him to take even a 45min nap I can spend some time doing therapy and crafts with Kearnan, which will make us both feel better. I am also looking at a Family music together class that I think might be nice for us all to do together. I spend so much time dragging Kearnan to therapy but Tharen doesn't get to participate. I think it will be neat to do somethign that will not only be therapuetic for Kearnan, but also hopefully fun for us all and show the boys that they really can have fun together. I guess the disadvantage to the boys being so far apart in age is that they don't necessarily enjoy the same things. But music is something we all love.

Thank you all so much for the advice, and the sympathy. It is nice to know I am not alone. Things just kind of got way worse the past few weeks and I was starting to feel really down and like maybe I wasn't making the right decisions. IT is nice to have some feedback that I am doing the right thing by sticking to AP, having a high needs baby doesnt' change that. Keep the good ideas coming, it is great to get some outside perspective.
 
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