I feel my bond with dd1 becoming weaker :((18 Posts)
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Oh bless you, it is SO hard early on and it's really early days- don't write yourself off just yet!
I have a 15 month age gap between my DS and DD. DS is now 2.1 and DD 10 months. Those first couple of months were really tricky and it was tough finding my feet looking after 2 tiny ones during the day, but we survived by sticking to DS routine (and incorporating DD into it as much as possible, now they both have a post-lunch sleep at the same time), making myself get out and about as much as possible with them, even just for a walk or to playgroups, and reading/TV/ANYTHING to keep DS occupied whilst I dealt with DD. I remember bawling my eyes out the in run up to DP going back to work after paternity leave, and thinking "how am I going to cope?"- I really did feel sick. Looking back now a lot of this was baby blues and hormones. We survived, and (eventually!) thrived after being thrown in the deep end.
I was also worried about my relationship with DS when DD came along, but my experience was that my bond with DD has actually taken longer to build as I always wanted DS to still be my 'baby', so felt so guilty about him possibly feeling displaced, so I think I lavished more attention on him rather than DD. Now I love DD just as much as DS, but it has taken a little longer to get there. Thinking about it, DS was too little to be jealous and really couldn't have given a crap about DD arriving, as long as he got fed/cuddled/played with- it was me who was fretting too much!
Your DD sounds like she's being a normal toddler. DS would ask for anything fun over and over again, it's normal. There is light at the end of the tunnel- DS and DD get on great, and now DD is older, they keep each other occupied. DD adores DS and follows him everywhere, DS adores DD and tries to play with her (although hates it when she tries to nick his toys!). How I felt when DD was first born feels a world away, and hopefully it will for you too.
I think it's great that you're going to the docs now if you're worried. I didn't have PND with DS, but after having DD I think I had mild PND up until Nov last year, and wish I'd sort help earlier, as I spent quite a lot of time stressed over minor things and in tears on the phone to DP whilst he was at work, and i'm sure this could've been sorted sooner, as the kids were really not that hard work once DD reached 3-4 months.
Oh and re feeding: It's bloody hard work breastfeeding when you have a toddler too. Obviously do what's right for you and definitely carry on if that side of things if it's working, but if it's not, and your struggling to entertain DD1, and it's making you more stressed and everyone upset, then seriously consider switching to FF. I might get flamed for advising this, but (again, my experience) when I switched to FF with DD I found it so much easier, as I wasn't trying to juggle baby on boob with nipple shields/demanding toddler, and DP could help me more.
Good luck- you WILL get there!
Oh and you've heard of the terrible 2's, well in my house they always started at 18 months. Peppa Pig is great, buy a DVD for when its not on TV. (We watched a lot of Thomas the Tank Engine when my two were at this stage.)
Your order of priorities:
food, toilet, drink - you and DCs
Dressed - you and DCs
Attention - probably baby 1st if really needed; then DD
Some time for yourself, to wash face, put on make up, go to the toilet alone, tea by yourself, eat something exotic like a Sandwich you made yourself
Housework, cooking etc. A long long way down.
My DS always used to be naughty when I fed DD as a baby, and just out of arms reach. Try not to reward the elder one with attention - a play pen might be useful if necessary. But distraction before with TV is good too.
When I read the thread title, I knew you had just had a baby and had an older child.
Just wanted to say I've been there, and it doesn't last forever. x
Its really distressing when they behave like this. (1) Its exhausting to deal with and (2) it makes you feel like you are a real failure because they are not happy.
It's hard to remember in the heat of the moment but repeat this to yourself whenever you can.
(1) You in middle of toddler plus newborn fog. It's probably the hardest time of your whole life. Set your expectations very low. Things will not be like this forever.
(2) Your DD is getting into toddlerhood. This is what toddlers do. More than that, it is what they are MEANT to do if they are developmentally normal and healthy. Its hard when you are in it, but when she kicks off, try to remind yourself of that. Likewise elder children react to younger siblings in this way. Its hard not to feel that you have ruined their life, but you haven't. It is good for them, they learn to share, negotiate and especially with a small age gap like yours, they have a little friend for life. My two are 3.9 and 16 months and already there is such a bond between them, for all that they squabble about toys!
(3) She will come out of this phase - when she is a pre-schooler things will be very different. It won't be like it was when she was a baby, because she will be a much bigger personality and you will have to negotiate etc! But it will be easier than now.
(4) You may well feel like you have fallen out of love with her a bit. Its normal. Don't worry about it. You have a sweet newborn who just wants feeds and cuddles, of course your toddler is going to seem like a blooming pain. In toddlerhood, most parents have quite a long phase of not liking their child all that much, even though they still love them. It passes and when they are bit easier to deal with again, you will have times again when you wipe away a tear, you love them so much and they are so sweet/clever. Your DD1 is your first toddler so you have no experience that this phase will pass, but it will, honest!
I think everyone is right I might have to go to the doctor as I'm really feeling so down and it's getting to the point I find dd1 such a handful I don't want to do anything with her because I any cope with the tantrums. It sounds awful doesn't it?!
This was exactly my experience when my dd2 arrived, and I got so stressed, felt like total failure for not dealing with dc1's upset, felt totally guilty at how dc1 reacted, totally overwhelmed, total failure that had to put tv on so much. Then got PND. Awful.
I now have dd3 - is 4 months - and I am really concentrating on praising dd1 (4) and dd2 (2) all the time, spending individual one on one time with older kids, telling them I love them massively, cuddling them loads, getting loads of help round house, making sure I get sleep as much as possible, and making sure I talk to people about how I feel.
It is such a big shock for first child when second comes long. I think you can't reassure them too much that you still love them despite the new arrival. That was def at root of mine's tantrums.
Hang on in there. It'll get better. There is nothing so wonderful as when they start playing together, and you realise they are mates.
Sorry hit post too early....
Speaking to HV or doc sounds a good idea & don't give yourself such a hard time your emotions must be all over the place not to mention tiredness. Take small steps & don't forget the good moments no matter how infrequent they seem.
6-1 praise has helped my ds. Praising 6 times more than shouting/telling off. It's really hard & can feel fake but works. I think it will still work with your 19mth old.
Good luck & remember you're not alone.
There's some good advice here. I am 8 mths pregnant & my ds (3.5) has been a real challenge since he turned 1! I'm excited but also dreading my new baby's arrival. I feel like you do now except I've only one to deal with.
Speaking to HV or doc sounds a good idea & d
I could have written your post except my DC are both a few months older than yours. I didn't start feeling the way you're describing until about 2 months in so the fact you're highlighting it now means you can access help sooner. It takes a while to get things in place but I really think you should see your gp/a counsellor or perhaps your HV.
I'm pretty sure everything you're describing is normal but that doesn't mean you have to deal with it alone.
I'm halfway through "three shoes, One sock and no hairbrush" and it's really helping me see that DS's behaviour and my feelings are very common, this is helpful for me because I sort of have an idea of what to expect next
I too am feeling very stressed. DS has just turned 2 and his behaviour can be very challenging at times. It's the whinging and screaming and flat - out refusal to do/stop doing things that get to me the most. I'm hoping to find the solution in a parenting book but if not I may look for an expert to ask for advice. Do you have family who can help out in the coming weeks?
This is going to sound ridiculous because I'm not doing this at all but I think it's important to try and find time for yourself when you can, even half an hour in the bath can make a world of difference and if you can try and get some early nights too, it's so much worse when you're tired and sometimes you don't even know you're tired until you get a few nights decent sleep and start to see things differently. I'm going to watch for everyone else's advice now because you're really not alone. It's tough but it will so be worth it in the long run when our DC are old enough to play with and look out for each other. Best wishes, hope things seem better soon
You need a plan to deal with flash points.
When I had to feed dd I'd have snacks for ds or stick the tv on or pull out some new magazine or toys to distrac him.
Have a think or ask for ideas for other stressful situations. You need to take the easiest options.
I think you should talk to your health visitor as soon as you can. This all sounds very normal. But we all know it's very hard. Get yourself some help as soon as you can, as you've had problems before.
Two weeks in is such early days and way, way too early to be trying to do anything than just get through the days with everyone fed, watered and clothed. Whatever it takes to do this - and you can get a lot worse than Peppa sodding Pig - is fine.
I agree with pp that the thought processes that you describe sound depressive. Have you thought about speaking to your HV or making a GP apt at all re PND? Either way, it will help if you can find a way to be more gentle with yourself and just put the telly on if that what keeps things calm for a bit.
You're only 2 weeks in, so of course you're feeling stressed, but all those negative thoughts ("She deserves a better mother than me" etc - really??) do point to a return of your post-natal depression, so I would definitely have a chat with your GP or health visitor as soon as you can. You know there's a risk of it coming back, and hey, perhaps it has.. it's not your fault, and as you know it's completely treatable, you just have to ask for help.
I feel like such a bad mother. Things were going so well and then dd1 started to play up whilst I was trying to breastfeed dd2 which is stressful enough. She was pulling everything out and eating little stones she could find and crying at me, screaming. I had enough and really shouted. I really lost it and dh said I was really scary which made me even more upset. I feel awful. I don't know how to control my temper at the moment as everything is getting on top of me and I'm finding everything a struggle and dd1 is fighting me on everything. She deserves a better mother than me. I'm horrible. Who wants a mum that has another baby after them and shouts and says no all the time! I feel useless to both my daughters now.
She's unsettled because of new baby - that is normal.
She likes tv - normal.
She's acting like a 19 month old.
You feel the bond is slipping - absolutely and utterly normal. You've got to split yourself in two now and it is hard.
I had to use a lot of tv the first few months of having two dc. I hated it but it was how we survived. Now my youngest is 15 months and we don't.
So take it easy on yourself and on your daughter. Make sure you maintain her routine to keep stability. That includes rules etc but I wouldn't bother with time out or naughty step. Stick youngest in a sling and go about your day. Get out of the house every day if you can. Meet up with friends and family and take all offers of help. No need to be a hero.
Give your eldest a role in looking after baby and praise her for specific things eg well done for getting the nappy/cuddling baby etc etc. show her how to touch the baby eg tickle their toes etc.
It'll get easier but takes a few months.
There are an awful lot of toddlers the same age as your DD1 that can only be appeased with peppa pig! It's normal.
My DD1 is much more difficult to handle now I have a 3 mo baby. But all toddlers (she is 2.6) get that eventually. I think the best thing you can do is start setting boundaries and find your own way with discipline if she is tantruming a lot.
Some people do the naughty step and the like, I've never felt the need I tend to just ignore bad behaviour.
She needs help to understand the best way to behave and that comes from you. Doesn't mean the bond is less just because she is misbehaving.
It maybe down to a bit of jealousy too but to be honest it sounds like normal toddler asserting independence.
Oh Cupcake, I know the feeling! I had Dd nearly 6mths ago when Ds was 22mths, we watched soooo much kids TV and I felt really bad but it's a bit necessary! He got annoyed when we went back to his usual 15mins before bed but I actually felt like his behaviour was worse when he was watching too much. It settled down after a bit. But in general we had tantrums, hitting and pushing other toddlers and new baby (that was the worst), fussy eating (usually eats everything in sight) and disrupted sleep. It was a crazy time! Also in your case isn't there a developmental leap about 19mths? So that would add to it. It's just such a massive change for them I think it's hard for them to cope.
One thing I found that helped was huge and exaggerated expressions of love for Ds! He was really tantrum ing about getting out if the bath one night and I made a massive deal of how much I loved him and he had a good old cry and cuddle and then seemed generally happier.
Other than that I can just say that it really does pass..I'd say for us about 2.5mths in he was much better. And at 6mths he wants her to do everything with him
Hope it gets better for you soon.
Two weeks ago I had my dd2 and my dd1 (19 months) seemed fine. I had to put on her favourite telly for her a lot as I was breastfeeding and need to keep her occupied. However dh and I decided to stop the tv as she was starting to ask (demand) it and I couldn't have this, it's not fair on anyone. Now she is throwing massive tantrums, screaming and crying when we stop her doing anything, like getting out the bath. She even made herself sick today and laughed. Her behaviour has really upset me and I feel almost scared to do anything with her in case she has a full on meltdown. I find myself shouting at her and then crying myself. I just want her to be happy but everything I do sends her into a tantrum. The only thing that makes her happy is peppa bloody pig!! I'm really feeling down about this and dh doesn't really say anything that will help and I'm really scared about being on my own with the two of them next week as dh is back at work. Last time I had PND with dd1 because I was worried about everything and this time I'm on the verge of getting it again but through stress.