To really be struggling with motherhood?(38 Posts)
At a low point..
Mother to 2 beautiful sons. Married to a wonderful man, and lucky enough to be a SAHM. Youngest DC 6 weeks-ebf and oldest DC 2 years. A small age gap, and knew that it would be tough but didn't realise just how hard it would be. Today I had both of them crying on and off the entire day. Neither slept for longer than 10 mins (ds2 kept napping on me but would wake up screaming). He also has reflux which means I have to hold him upright after each feed, which gets DS1's back up as he wants to be cuddled/carried. I feel lousy and shit and inadequate. I don't think I have pnd as I don't feel like this when I'm not with them (the odd 30 mins I've had making a supermarket dash or going to the GP).
DS1 was a high needs baby-clingy, whiny and really difficult to amuse till he turned 18 months and was a delight to be with. Ds2 feels he will be the same, and I just despair that I have to go through this all over again for another year/18 months until life becomes bearable again.
Desperately looking for the light at the end of the tunnel!
Words of reassurance?
DS is two, that's why he is being unreasonable. Don't fight it unless you need to (for his safety or wellbeing).
also i dont think you need to "palm your baby off" on anyone,your ds1 just probably wants to be involved,let him help you with the babies nappies and baths etc,spend time all the 3 of you together.
get a sling for the baby to keep him near you (which he will love)to keep your hands free,and also keep him upright which helps with reflux
Tryto doas much as you can with your eldest,even just sitting having a cuddle and watching a film is good,as long as you are spending time together and he doesnt feel left out,
I had 3 in 2 years,ad its all about multi tasking,also with a relatively small age gap,you could try to encourage them to nap at the same time,or just take them up to be when you know they are tired and all sleep together?
Hi OP - just thought I'd echo everyone else and say it does get easier. My DCs are now almost 3 and 6 months. Baby was a complete nightmare with reflux for first few months and like yours screamed every night, all night. She is now 6 months and the happiest little thing. My DD1 is no longer as jealous and everyone is happier! Take care and know it will get better :-)
ds1 is growing up, not growing away from you. It's what children do of you're doing it right
I don't think my relationship with my one and only is completely dysfunctional when I say that it has had its ebbs and flows; under it all though it's utterly solid but it took a while to realise that and to not panic too much.
In a few months when ds2 is bigger, it will be easier for you to leave him with someone and go and do stuff with ds2 that is better suited to him.
I've only one child (now 12 YEARS old not months) so I might not be best placed to advise. I just remember a few times when ds and I weren't getting on brilliantly going off and doing something a bit out of the ordinary, just the two of us, and it doing us the world of good.
Can you palm the baby off on the mother's help as much as possible so you can do nice things with DS1?
Your DS is furious with you at the moment, but he will accept the new situation especially if he comes to see that the baby isn't replacing him (probably something he is terrified of, even if he can't put it in to words). If you are then trying to get the mother's help to take over with him while you spend time with the baby it will compound this. I would really try to get help with the baby and spend some time with DS1 while the baby is still too young to care too much.
If the mother's help isn't helping - would you be better off putting ds 1 into nursery for a couple of mornings a week - that will gradually translate into proper nursery.
You are doing the really hard bit and I don't care what anyone says two year olds react badly to a new sibling whether they have earth mothers or normal mothers.
It may be that the mother's help is the problem - not you and what you need is a cleaner twice a week and nursery twice a week. DS1 sounds confused by both new baby and the mother's help.
Pink I am not a mum yet but am 100% sure you haven't lost DS1. No way. You are his mum.
Could it be something like, he is worried about the new baby taking you away so is rejecting you first, sort of a thing?
Anyhow, I am sure it will pass - with my friend who is in your situ, her DC1 started suddenly acting out at nursery after DC2 was born. It settled within a month or two.
I know it is easy for others to say, but you just need to keep plugging on and it will get better, and DS1 will get over it. Any older sibling has to - I know - I'm the eldest of four
You haven't lost him. He's adjusting just as much as you are to a new member of the family.
When my DS was 2 & it was winter & he was bored and full of tantrums I used to give him a bath. Didn't matter what the time was, didn't always bother to wash him just lots of bath time play & that always sorted things. Water really can calm children.
I can't thank you all enough for the positive encouragement. Today has been better-my Mum's been here for most of the day after I made a tearful SOS to her last night. Typical that Ds2 has been sleeping all day instead of screaming the house down, and I'm sure she wonders what the fuss is all about!
My other problem is that whether as a result of the jealousy of another sibling or not, ds1 is getting more and more distant from me. Today I wanted to leave ds2 with my mum for an hour so I could take ds1 to the park and he was screaming the place down saying he didn't want me to go. He kept saying he wanted the mother's help and not me. In the mornings he doesn't ask for me anymore, but for DH. And also bedtimes he refuses to let me put to bed, but wants his dad. I feel so shit, like I've lost him. And by having another child, it seems I can't tend properly to either of them. Does this get better? Will ds1 accept me as he gets more used to the baby?
Hi op, how are you today? Hope life's a little brighter. With regards to getting out with both kids, do you have a friend/relative who could help the first few times so you get your confidence up? Can you go to soft play/toddler group with a friend who can hold the baby/supervise ds1 if you need a hand? This is how I've managed to get out. I've also just tried to get it in perspective - what's the worst that can happen? If there's a disaster, I'll manage somehow and as long as no-one dies, I'll chalk it Jo to experience. So far, nothing terrible has happened, it isn't easy but getting out makes the days go much faster! And at the moment it's all about getting through the days for me....
OP I don't have DC yet so should probably keep my big fat mouth shut, but...
- could your mother's help hold DC2 after the feed? That way it will help with his reflux but DC1 won't get so jealous?
- could you invite your mum to come stay for a week? My close friend is in your situation almost exactly and her mum comes and does midweek stays regularly, amuses the older child or helps cook or whatever.
Also you say you don't have pnd, but you are obviously having a tough time, so maybe just be kind to yourself and do the sort of things for yourself that you would do if you did have pnd - if that makes sense!! - like getting a half hour by yourself, making sure to get a friend over regularly to chat.
With my friend, we meet up for coffee 1-2xweek and I help mind the older boy whilst she bfs the younger. Would that help?
I don't mean me obvs
And FWIW I've now got four DCs aged 5,4,2 and 4 months and it took me about 8 weeks to take them out on my own for anything but the school run and that was only because I had to or I'd have stayed in the house.
My DD1 had terrible reflux and hardly slept till she started weaning. It was aweful especially as DH worked away mon-fri back then. One thing I found which helped DD sleep was to put her on her front to sleep. I know it's against all the advice but after I fell asleep holding her from sheer exhaustion I figured it was worth it. I made sure the sheets were as tight as possible and kept the blankets well away from her head.
It really did save my sanity especially when I found out I was pg with DS1 when she was four months. I was terrified he would be the same but he was the complete opposite, just had a bit of colic.
DD also used to help me with DS1 even though she was still a baby herself she'd babble away to him and as they grew they entertained each other. Just keep telling yourself it will get better, each day they get a little more independant.
Huge dripfeed-I actually have a Mother's help who comes in 5 mornings during the week 8-1. The only downside is DS1 hates her, and refuses to play with her so I have to tend to both myself. The lady then does somecleaning for me, potters around and goes home. I know this sounds ultra pathetic, but I've yet to take them out both together on my own. Partly due to shit weather and partly due to not thinking I can cope if Ds1 kicks off..
Gina Ford refers to the first 3 months post-partum as the "100 Day Hell". She is spot on. It gets better - I promise.
Pink, I've got an 8 week ds and 2.5 yr dd. totally get where you are, especially the feelings of inadequacy- I feel unable to meet either child's needs. In fact I posted a similar thread 2 weeks ago! 6 wek growth spurt was hell. It has already got a bit better, am just clinging on and trying to get through these months until it gets easier, and trying to appreciate the good bit (beautiful smiles, dd being so sweet with him) along the way. You are not alone in finding life mostly shit at the moment! Can you get a childminder/nursery a couple of mornings? Dd still in nursery 2 days and that's a lifeline for me.
Thank you all so much. Just reading your replies brought a tear to my eye. After crying solid from 6.30-midnight, DS2 has finally passed out. I cried so much myself-unfortunately right in front of the toddler who kept saying "mummy don't cry". He then was trying to comfort DS2 by patting him and putting a dummy in his mouth! He's obviously realised I'm not up to the job!!
Hopefully today will be better. Isn't it terrible that I'm wishing away these days, when both DC are so gorgeous and little, in the hope that things get easier? Why can't I be one of those mothers who enjoy their children even when it's difficult?
It's hideous, been there.
Hang in there.
Buy ds1 a dvd, pour yourself a glass of wine and get the baby a dummy.
Yanbu. It's bloody hard work with that age gap, I speak from experience. It does get easier though, and if it's any consolation, you are right in the thick of the worst bit now. the lovely post birth high is wearing off, reality is kicking in and the sleep deprivation is evil when you have a toddler to deal with. I used to say to myself every morning when I got up (assuming of course that I had in fact been to sleep) today will be better than yesterday. Pretty soon it was.
YANBU, Motherhood can be hard, but you can do it Pink, us women are born survivors, we get through because we can, its what we do, your love for your boys will get you thru it.
Babiesinslings has it right, being concerned just shows what a great mum you are, well done you! 6 weeks is such a hard stage, you feel you should have it all together by then when in reality it's still a monumental achievement to even have everyone up and dressed by 10.30am!!
I only have a 2yo DD but am pregnant with no. 2 and my tactic (assuming she's still keen) will be to encourage her join in everything that I do with the baby by doing the same with her doll - sling, feeding, sleeping, playing etc... though your DS1 isn't a girl I know loads of 2yr olds that love looking after dolls, and ELC do a blue version of everything doll related. That's my best suggestion, though I echo others who've said try and get out for a while every day, or failing that, play in different areas of your house so DS1 thinks that even a day spent indoors is varied.
Overall though, it will pass. Too quickly, really, though it doesn't feel like it now x
I remember it well, mine are 2 and 3 now and it really does pass.
The light at the end of the tunnel comes in stages, you adapt, your first born adapts and the baby matures, drinks more/settles easier/sleeps more. Things that I found helped were:
Try to get out for a walk with the eldest each day despite the foul weather, (my second was a winter baby too), wellies and waterproofs and let him splash.
Picnic meals- easy for toddlers (and you) with veggie sticks/ sandwiches. Easy evening meals too.
Get a small break from both of the DCs when you can- easier said than done but at that stage I loved the weekly shop as I could leave my two at home with DH and head out in the evening for an hour to Tescos.
Truly, it really does get easier .
That was me not too long ago. My ds1 was premature so suffered from bad reflux. I kept him upright in baby bouncer after feeds for about 30 mins. Try to sleep when both your sons sleep during the day. Could your partner do a late night feed so you can get an early night? It's hard but will get easier when the weather gets better & you can go out for a walk & trips out.
Do you have good toddler mornings, etc., locally. They get you out for a few hours with people who are also at the same sort of stage. Story time at the library. Wrap them up in the buggy and get out for a walk.
Only a couple of weeks until the days get longer - it's always better the week after Feb half term.
Easy stuff for your eldest - play doh, scrunched tissuse paper - lots of colours - making a tent in the sitting room and having an indoor picnic.
All I remember is trying to get out every day to break up the day. You are doing the hard yards but when you look back you won't remember the bad bits. Just do what makes it easier - easy dinners, tidy once a day, go with the flow and their routines.
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