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Second child guilt(14 Posts)
Oh dear, yesterday I realised that everything I do is focused on my toddler. I Had a rethink and spent dedicated time chatting talking and playing with my lovely 9 month old today. Today she clapped for the first time and looks much closer to crawling already. I realise that she has been bundled into the buggy twice a day so that I can let my toddler be active. She really hasn't had as much floor time as she should and as my toddler chats and demands attention constantly she isn't chatted to nearly as much as he was. I feel so sad that I can't have that time back and very guilty. To manage it Today I changed naps so that she was up when he was asleep but as a result no washing done, no dishes done and very basic food eaten. How do you manage it? It's a 2 year gap by the way.
Don't forget that DC2s have a very big help with their development - DC1s.
Big brothers and sisters who have had to learn the hard way, and can help them navigate the development obstacles. And play with them, in due course (it will come, I promise!).
Also, you are a better parent for having made many of the mistakes before and learned from them.
Don't be too hard on yourself!
Don't worry you can make up for lost time when oldest is at school and you can then spend quality time with no 2. I have the same age gap
I have 3dc (3 years apart each) and all their family positions have advantages and disadvantages for them:
Dd1: had 3 years on her own, but also we tended to continue doing things she enjoyed and not things she didn't. So she got her choice in that. Also after school activities, what limited her was money and her time, whereas the other two I have to consider what we can fit in round what we already do. When she's done things it's new, and is often seen as more important (eg homework)
But she also had to be responsible early. I had horrendous morning sickness with dd2, and by the end of pregnancy she was both capable of buying herself lunch (watched by me as the shop has a large glass window) and putting jacket potatoes in the oven (oven off, turning it on after they were on, leaving for daddy to get home to do it). At 6yo she had 2 siblings so had to take responsibility for herself.
She also has our "experiments" that went wrong. For example, we realised when she was year 3 that the amount of pocketmoney we gave was about 1/4 what others had, and she was expected to use it for more. So we altered it to look more comparible-but she'd then had over 3 years of the lower rate.
Dd2: She had her trail blazed by dd1-so preschool, school, some of the activities dd1 had done it first and so we were better prepared and didn't make the mistakes we did with dd1. She was often offered activities dd1 did early-ie younger than the official age, because she was seen by the leaders as around and keen to do it, so they would offer it to her. She's got a lot of things simply by being there when dd1 did it that she wouldn't have. She had the fun of having a friend to play with from the youngest age.
But she has all the second hand stuff, she had a younger sibling at 3yo so had to learn to do some things by herself. She's also found that whatever she does/achieves has often been done by dd1. She doesn't get the choice that dd1 had for activities, and has tended to follow dd1 (not in everything) rather than having an open choice. She also always has had a sibling joining in (eg cooking a cake)
Ds: He's 6yo and things that dd1 had to do for herself, I can find myself doing things like putting his shoes on that there's no way I'd have done for dd1 or dd2. He gets access to things we wouldn't have considered until older because we're there. He has two older sisters (oldest can be very devoted) who will do things like get drinks, make his bed, mend things, find things etc. I also learnt to drive just before he was born so he had access to things the girls didn't, plus he had 3 years of both girls at school with me on my own, so he did things especially for him then.
But as he said once "every time I sit down I have to fetch one of my sisters!" and it can be like that at times. Again, he has the one of my sisters has done it first feeling. If he says XXX is happening at school, he'll often have one or both sisters telling him exactly what happens (even when wrong). I have to be careful not to say to him "no you're too young" only to remember he's 2 years older than dd1 and dd2 were when they did it-he is young for his age, but he is the smallest, when they seemed old and responsible at his age. He also ends up with things left-he's still in the toddler bed that they moved out of at 3yo because the next one needed it and things like that.
Thanks for your thoughts and experiences.
Im trying not to be to hard on myself but I still feel pretty bleurgh as I just feel like the last 2 months have disappeared and I haven't noticed her changing needs. I am massively sleep deprived and have been on survival mode rather than being a proactive mum so that's my excuse. Don't get me wrong she got lots of hugs and kisses and will have been down to play every day but I just hadn't noticed that she was a bit slow with her milestones and looking back I think I know why she is behind. I actually can't believe she is 9 months I thought she was closer to 8 until dh pointed it out.
It is helpful to hear advantages and disadvantages of family position..... I need to remember that I'm the youngest of three and know that my mum was bloody knackered by the time I came along, I think I've turned out ok!
And yes, she will get those years when ds goes to school that is a welcome thought just now, thanks.
Just reread messages, yep she has the advantage of a big bro too! Not sure about me being a better parent this time though. Hmmm maybe I'll feel better about that in the morning.
Don't blame yourself...her milestones could have been the same even if you showered her with attention!
Are you worried about her milestones still?
Amen to this. I feel the same but also feel terrible about the toddler. We had such a bond, and now I am less available and less patient.
Iam so tired too. I can barely function.
This too will pass. But I don't want it to. I just want to enjoy it more and feel like I'm doing a better job.
I am a bit worried about her milestones. Ds was so fast with everything he was climbing the stairs at this stage. Often when I put her on her tummy she does the splits and pushes herself into sitting. I googled it and I don't think it's a great habit so I've been trying to encourage her to push up from her side. I floors are slidy so I've moved rugs to give her a bit more traction too. I'm considering going to the hv because she isn't crawling yet, she does scoot round in circles but mostly she does the splits into sitting.
White shoes I so know what you mean, I don't want it to pass I feel like every second is precious and is passing like sand running through my fingers.
With milestones it almost certainly is just her.
If I compare mine:
Dd1 sat beautifully at 6 months, crawled at 10 months, walked at 15 months.
Dd2 crawled at 5 months, walked at 8 months, but wasn't stable sitting until after 10 months (because if I put her to sit she rolled over and crawled away). This was despite being told she might not crawl and she would find balance for walking hard as she was born without a hand.
Ds crawled at 6 months, sat at 7 months, could walk at 10 months, but chose not to unless absolutely necessary until 18 months as crawling was easier-besides he could push a toy car while he crawled
But now they're 13, 10 and 6 this goes with their personality. Dd1 is careful, won't try something new, and prefers to sit down and look at something than do active things. Dd2 is always pushing to try new things, wants to be doing things rather than sitting still. Ds is lazy and does what needs to be done, but the easiest way as much as he can get away with, but does like sport.
I know what you mean, I have a dd (nearly 3) and ds (11 weeks) and I'm already worrying about the same thing. Ds is an adorable, content, sunny natured baby so I have to remind myself to give him enough attention sometimes... But he really loves watching dd and I try to involve him in play where I can - dd (and he) particularly likes it when he 'chases' and catches her (with me carrying him facing forwards). He also 'kicks' a ball for her to kick back, and he absolutely loves her dancing classes as it's one where parents join in and I just carry him and jiggle him around. Can you find more activities they can both get something from? We've started going to rhyme time sessions at the library that are a good balance of songs aimed at babies and toddlers, so they're both happy. Carrying dd in a sling when we're out makes me feel better too as it's like he's getting some extra cuddle time.
I don't think 9 months is late for crawling though, my dd (who had my total and undivided attention) crawled around then and didn't work out going from lying to sitting for a while after that.
My DD2 is also 9 months and DD1 is 3.4.
DD2 is nearly crawling but by this point DD1 was crawling, pulling herself up, cruising.
I really wouldn't worry about milestones, she'll get there.
DD2 has no real need to move as DD1 brings her anything she might want. I have even caught her pushing her little sister across the wooden floor to move her about!
I do understand the guilt. I haven't done so many groups and activities this time as DD1 gets bored. But they are already starting to play together which is ace.
Relax. I'm sure you're doing a great job.
Mine have a similar age gap but once dd started walking it became more balanced. When at home I tried playing with them both together. Didn't always work though!
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