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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is something I have been thinking about since my youngest daughter was born. Some history...my oldest are 2 1/2 year old twin girls. They were born in a hospital, I had an epidural, blah blah blah. (That and my birth "revelation" is a whole other story). Anyway, breastfeeding did not work for us (a HUGE regret...not sure if I have forgiven myself for that yet), so they were formula fed. They slept with us for a few months, but none of us got any sleep, and we put them in a crib and actually tried to let them cry it out (and all the variations thereof...that Ferber is a dangerous guy). Guess that never really worked, because we still have sleep issues with them (NOW what to do...they don't want to sleep with us...we're all kickers, and besides there are 5 of us now! ). We did carry them quite a bit (Snuglis, though), but the stroller is still beat up from so much use.<br><br>
Our newest daughter, however, is breastfed (a lot!), sleeps with us, lives in a sling, is cloth diapered, etc. Although I have posessed the necessary mentality for AP for some time, I never really implemented change with my oldest ones. I feel like I just focus on what I do right for Ella, and try to look past the mistakes I have made for Madelyne and Gwenyth.<br><br>
Now, the older ones are at a difficult age(!!!!), there are TWO of them, AND there is a new baby in the house (who is quite content most of the time...wonder why!?). Needless to say, my older ones are quite difficult to handle sometimes....and although I fully understand the reasons for their behavior, I know I come down harder on them than I need to. I don't even spend the time with them that I know would really help make them feel more secure, because I just don't feel like I HAVE time. On top of all of this, any time I do spend with them has to be either shared between them, or split (resulting in, again, not much time at all!).<br><br>
I guess the gist of all this is that I am making up for how things have been for M & G by doing things well for the baby, but now I am too tired/stressed/busy to try to make it up to THEM! Do I put down the baby (and let her cry!!!) so I can play "jungle gym" with the older ones? URGH! I feel like such a horrible mother...I'm crazy in love with all of my girls and I can't stand the idea that I could be so much better for them!!!!!!!!!!! This is killing me. I know I'm not the only one (right?).<br><br>
amy
 

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Sounds like you need a chunk of time individually to rediscover and honor the connection you do have with your daughters. Have hubbie, gma, or trusted friend wach the baby and one twin while you take the other for some really special alone time. Do this with each of them, and try to come up with a schedule to continue (once a month min). They need to feel connected to you, to want to please you, or to share with you. It'll be easier to know how to be gentle with them if you're starting from a place of tenderness.<br><br>
The other thing is you need to do is forgive yourself for not doing things the way you are now. You did the best you could at that time, and it's not fair to take your guilt out on them and make them pay emotionally for something that you did the best you could. It's not their fault you didn't know this approach to parenting. Forgiving yourself is a choice. You will not fall back into that pattern of parenting, even if you stop reminding yourself how "wrong" you were. Forgive yourself sweetie and love those girls with your actions.
 

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holy cow You sound JUST LIKE ME!!!<br><br>
I was JUST telling my DH all this same stuff. We have a 2 1/2 yo. dd & a 1 yo. (bday was yesterday) dd And we have learned SOOO MUCH just since our oldest was a babe. We are now on the natural parenting/AP page and with oldest, Kayleigh, We werent. infact, we were the OPPOSITE! (I read an Ezzo book) Now I just wish Dr. Sears would write a book called "I screwed up with my child, SO NOW WHAT!?" a book of ideas, concepts, ect. on what to do when you now know what you know, but its not too late to change some things... Here's how:<br>
Yanno?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: My MAIN problem is that I dont know how to apply the AP style to Kayleigh, (she is a TRUE product of a detached, independant, Hyper-active, Insecure, HIGH NEEDS Little girl. (All things I feel could have been lessened if not Prevented if I had hindsight)<br><br>
Like I cant say to her ok letts start sleeping w/ mom & dad!! And I have started to nurse her again (long story... BUT she has re-learned to nurse at 23 mo. old, after being weaned for a year!) This is the **ONLY** way I can get her to cuddle with me for more than a second!!<br><br>
What can/should I do with her??? Sighhhhhh.......<br><br>
NO, AMY! You are **NOT** ALONE!!!!!<br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Please forgive yourself immediately! Most of us were raised the non-AP way, and I think we turned out pretty good anyway, so don't sweat it. Obviously you're a wonderful mother for even having this concern. You're in an overwhelming time with 3 little ones, so enjoy as much as you can and don't worry so much (I know, easier said than done, but please try to give yourself a big hug for being such a good mother)
 

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I agree with Jenny. The most important part of being a parent is for your child to know how much you love them. A person is never to old to learn that they are loved. Just try to take a step back and do the best you can. I have two during the day (one is mine and one is not) an 18mo and 8 mo can be a great challenge to AP both of them. I think there is a big difference between children being told that another person needs attention even if they cry in protest than if they are told I am not going to respond just because you need to do it yourself. Simple things like lots of hugs and kisses can heal a lot of the past. They are only two and are at a rough age anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks so much for the encouragement...<br><br>
so we started to make some changes right away. on sunday, i had to take my mom to see my grandma at the nursing home, then to a thrift shop or 2. originally, i was going to bring all 3 kids and leave hubby home to clean the house, but instead, i only took madelyne and the baby (i was going to be gone for a long time, too long for ella not to nurse). i can't believe how different it was just to have ONE two year-old, even with the baby! she was so mellow, and i think that stemmed from not having to compete with gwenyth for every little morsel of my attention. it was wonderful...i didn't once feel stretched in every direction!<br>
i think we all benefited from that arrangement (gwenyth got some great time with daddy, too!).<br><br>
i WAS going to hand off ella along with gwenyth after dinner and a good nursing session , and take only madelyne with me to the park, but things went a little haywire at dinnertime (standard for our house!), and that didn't happen, but i think that making arrangements like this is going to draw us back together (as much as before ella came into our family). next, i'll take gwenyth with me!<br><br>
another benefit...we were all so thrilled to see each other after being apart...you would have thought we were gone for a week! gwenyth and madelyne actually shrieked, hugged, and kissed when they "reunited". that was sweet.<br><br>
anyway, thanks so much for caring enough to share your thoughts. you were more helpful than you know, and really got the wheels turning for me!<br><br>
amy
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Jenny_adoptChina</i><br><b>Please forgive yourself immediately! Most of us were raised the non-AP way, and I think we turned out pretty good anyway</b></td>
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hear hear! I agree!<br><br>
I am the opposite. My first dd was pretty much AP all the time, and my twin girls was a major medical miricle. (you should see the hospital bills, NICU etc.. ) I simply did not have the time to pump for them, we couldnt sleep with em, etc. They are very happy and loved. It gets much harder the more kids you have. Mamas who can keep it up are amazing! But hell, ALL mamas are amazing, bottle or boob, crib or family bed.<br><br>
Do. Not. Beat. Yourself, Up. : )<br><br>
What causes us as mothers to feel so much guilt anyways? So many "experts" telling us this, that or another, every decade or so. What makes us so insecure that we are so swayed (to either pole of the parenting spectrum? I dont get it.
 

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For the record, Amy: you are a great mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> I've seen you with Ella, so I know you are a loving and affectionate mother. I'm sure all of your girls are happy and loved like she is...<br>
Whatever mistakes you may have made with your older gals, you have learned and grown from them. Sure, maybe you wish the mistakes were never made at all...but hindsight is always 20/20. I regret some parenting choices I have made (don't we all) but everyday I feel blessed knowing I have the love and devotion to dd to try to make myself a better mother.<br>
I think spending one-on-one time with your twins is an excellent idea! That story about the two of them shreiking like they hadn't seen each other in days is too cute!<br>
And, if you ever need a sitter... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I'd be glad to help ya out!
 

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That is so cute, them 2 sweeties, hugging each other and being so overjoyed to see each other. So sweet. What a picture you will always carry in your heart.<br><br>
You are not alone. When I was pregnant with my 8 yr.old, I was in great emotional trauma with her dad. I cried nearly every day. I birthed her with an IV full of pit running. Her and I had a very poor nursing relationship. I was working outside the home WAY to much, I had a crappy pump. She was always hungry and never got enough. By 4 months she was on formula full time. She has been angry most of her life. She has a hard time knowing in her heart that she is loved. It's as if she has never felt content and calm and mello. I feel this has much to do with the way she was carried and birthed and fed.<br>
I have a friend who says it's because she is a middle child.<br><br>
With my oldest, and my youngest, I was calm, serene, in much better places to grow and birth babies. They were both EBF. They are calm and happy kids.<br><br>
So even though I feel I did a pretty good job of APing middle child, I feel I have failed her. Some of her ways of being in the world hurt my heart for her. She expects resistence and then meets it head on, full strength, with her sheilds up. I just want to take her in my arms and hold her until she stops struggling and kiss all the sore spots away.<br><br>
I think what you are doing sounds perfect. Finding ways of giving, even just a little extra, makes a difference in our house. She certainly doesn't let me be a lazy parent!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I just read The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff, and she does recommend bringing your children back to bed. She says it's hard for the first few nights to a week (everyone squirming, kicking etc. waking up tired) but if you stick with it, your little ones will sleep with you a few weeks, a couple of months and "make up" for the time they lost when not in your bed at infancy.<br><br>
I brought my 9 yo stepdaughter into bed with me and her 15 mo sis because she has quite a few nervous habits that have not been broken by any method we've tried. The author suggests that those sorts of habits are caused by kids trying to comfort themselves cause they didn't get the in-arms phase to satisfy those needs (nail biting is the habit we're trying to break). So far, it seems to be making a difference.<br><br>
Maybe you could look at the website or book, and give it a try.
 
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