How did your relationship with DC1 change when you had DC2?

(21 Posts)

I'm going to sound very PFB, but here goes...

I think we have a very close relationship with and absolutely adore DD (2.5). She is fun, imaginative and at times rather determined. We take a "pick your battles" approach with her, so we do have boundaries, but she probably gets her own way more than she would be able to if she wasn't an only child and she gets very focused attention at times. I am a WOHM, so we aren't constantly together. We are trying to decide about whether to try for a second child. I think that I would be unhappy if the quality of my relationship with DD suffered by having DC2. However the idea of having a second with a similar sort of relationship sounds lovely.

Did the quality of your relationship with DC1 suffer with the arrival of DC2?

rowtunda Tue 16-Apr-13 22:40:49

Don't over think it. Sounds to me like you are a great mum and who knows maybe your DD would benefit from having a sibling and a little less undivided focused attention.

I'm currently preggers with DC2, there have been a few threads like this recently. I really don't understand why people worry about the change in the closeness of relationship with DC1 or concerned about not having enough love for DC2 - but I'm a younger sibling so it never crossed my mind that someone would think that way.

Life has lots of twists and turns that you have absolutely no control over - you don't know how the relationship with your DD will evolve and change over time - but there is one thing for certain - it will anyway. Don't worry about how something is going to change in the future just embrace it and go with the flow. If you want a second just go for it - you sound like a great mum and you and your DD will adapt to another little'un around.

I'm a younger sibling too and DD has really challenged my previous belief that second children were the best grin. Before I had DD I thought that one child was a like having a pet and two made a family, but someone suggested that if having one was like a pet, two is like opening a zoo.

intheshed Tue 16-Apr-13 22:51:39

I think the benefits that your DD would gain from having a sibling to play/fight/interact with far outweigh any temporary minor glitches in your own relationship with her. Mine are 5 and nearly 3, watching them grow together and interact is an absolute joy.

sedgieloo Wed 17-Apr-13 07:48:26

I have a 2.5 yr old and a 6 month old. I am going through the pain barrier right now :D actually coming out the other side. I had the kind of relationship you describe with my dd. of course it's different (simply no time, not like before) but wouldn't change it for the world.

I agree with everything said so far above. If I get time I will post again. The days fun is just beginning!

ppeatfruit Wed 17-Apr-13 11:38:46

DD1 was 3 and half years older than DD2 and despite my best efforts was NOT enchanted by having to share me.DD2 loved her and looked up to her soo much and my heart broke when watching her want to play and intereact with DD1 who was cold (not violent or anything she just ignored her).

BUT now, both are in their 30ies, and as they hit their teens they became much closer and love each other a lot and are proper friends which is great.

DD1 just finds change hard to cope with even though she was a proper little mum to DS1 who's 8 years younger! She has said recently that she never remembered DD2 being a cute toddler like DS was and yet she was gorgeous sad grin.

ppeatfruit Wed 17-Apr-13 11:42:51

Sorry OP you were asking about your relationship with DD1. Ours didn't change (excluding the obvious). But everyone is different including L.O.s grin

Andro Wed 17-Apr-13 11:48:53

As long as DD doesn't become disposable to you when you have DC2 you'll hopefully be okay (Me? Resent the fact that I ceased to matter to my mother once she had my brothers? Surely not!).

2BoysAndNoMore Wed 17-Apr-13 14:51:43

Yes it did change. DS2 was/ is a very demanding baby with several development delays. He has demanded such a lot of our time and attention and caused me to become quite stressed out and snappy at times. DS1 and I had always been best friends, I love his company and he makes me so happy. He's 5 now and DS2 is 16 months old. Unfortunately we are not yet reaping the rewards for him having a sibling. We are just stretched a little too far now. I miss DS1 terribly. I miss our time as just 'us', hanging out with him, being able to go wherever we wanted, taking trips to swimming, cinema etc. Now everything is just stressful and has to be managed and timed around DS2's naps, feeds, needs, kicking off etc. It's hard.

cassell Wed 17-Apr-13 15:10:24

I was worried about this too as have great relationship with ds1 (4). He was just 3 when ds2 was born and our relationship has changed but it has been enhanced by ds2. Ds1 has been as excited as me with each new achievement by ds2 - eg with crawling ds1 was encouraging him along and clapping when he did it. We share our pride in ds2. Watching ds1 look after, entertain and show off ds2 is lovely and allows me to see a different side to ds1.

Obviously ds1 and I don't get as much 1 on 1 time as we used to but I always try and find time in the day when we can snuggle up for a story or play a silly game or something. At the weekends I try and get dh to look after ds2 for a bit so ds1 and I can go out somewhere even if just to the shop.

I think it's been good for our relationship as it was v intense before and I think there would have been a lot of pressure on the relationship as he grew up if he'd been an only child. It's more balanced now.

soapnuts Wed 17-Apr-13 15:22:05

I've got a 3.5 year old DS and a 3.5 month old DS - to be honest yes my relationship with DS1 has changed - I don't have as much time and I can't make him the total focus of my world - I probably also look forward to him going to nursery a little more than I should because it is just so much easier with only one child at a time. I have to be stricter with him and we have definitely had some testing of boundaries recently (although he adores his little brother. BUT and it's a big but, I'm sure that this is temporary.

I have a demanding baby who screams if he doesn't get his needs met - DS1 is more subtle in his demands and easier to put off - of course he's going to get a bit less attention at the moment (much as I try to be fair) but there is going to come a point where things settle down a bit (we've also just moved countries and various other issues!) and my DSs will still have this whole other relationship to explore even when I can't be with them. Even at this young age, DS2s face lights up when DS1 comes home from nursery and DS1 goes straight to DS2 to play = it's amazing to see. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I had DS2 because I wanted another baby but the positive impact on DS1 is already more than I could have ever imagined.

Also DH and DS1 have become much closer (and they were already close) and while I don't get as much time with DS1 on our own as we used to, we are still as close as we ever were. I'm not saying that there aren't benefits to having/being an only child, but I think any detriment to your relationship isn't the reason not to have another - it's only temporary and they gain so much more.

notcitrus Wed 17-Apr-13 15:59:58

I was quite worried, as I'm an only child so had no clue about.siblings. I found that emphasizing.the fun things ds can do that dd was too small for really helped, along with lots of reading books, going to play cafes, and edible treats. She's just walking now.and he's loving playing.with her - and sometimes even tidying up to keep stuff out of her reach.

I try to avoid comparing him to her or saying he's too big to do x, and thanking him when he.is helpful. He has been very interested in baby toys and plays with them at 0-5 groups. But it hasn't really affected my relationship with him, maybe helped teach him a bit more patience, or maybe that's just growing up?

It's been a lot easier than I expected, despite a few nights where one child woke as soon as the other went back to sleep. Very glad I ended up with a 3.6 yr age gap not a much smaller one with pre-verbal older child which I had hoped for.

sedgieloo Wed 17-Apr-13 19:25:46

Hi your relationship with your dd does sound lovely and one to be treasure. It also sounds similar to myself and my dd before I had my second 6 months ago. There's a 2 yr gap.

The last 6 months have been full on with both my little ones seeming to need all my attention all at once. It's been rocky at times. I've not had the time for dd as previously and ashe has obviously struggled to adjust to that. I've also really missed her. She has definitely been quite a bit more challenging in her behaviour during this period and I'm sure it is all related.

But things are changing. Baby is in a good routine of naps now and rather than try and do all my chores I'm making that our special time. This is really paying off. Once again we are having great quality fun times together It makes me crazy to leave housework undone but its worth it.

Lots of my friends have had their second recently. I notice things seem to be eased with a larger gap (3yrs +), by formula feeding (I bf on demand) by having baby in a routine of naps and feeds early on (catnapping boobmonster was having none of it) by having one in preschool a few half days, by having lots of family support (hands on grandparents etc)

Positives are that dh is more hands on and she is as much a daddy's girl as a mummy's one now. I also sense a feeling of completeness with my second baby. I am one of 3 and think having a sibling is a big positive especially as I get older, also my dd may have been at risk of being a right princess as an only child. I've heard it said one baby is a 'couple with a child' and two children means a family. And I sort of get that. We do feel like a 'proper' family now - but that may be because there is no time for anything other than caring for them!

I don't know if that helps. An account from someone going through the early days with two. All the best with your decision.

Lots if great replies, thanks. I do need to think of the bigger picture and how a sibling might enrich DD's life. Lots of her friends have had baby siblings recently and she has started to tell people that there is a baby in my tummy confused.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 18-Apr-13 10:29:52

Its a tricky one as before you have a second baby you can't really imagine what it is going to be like.

A good analogy is the effect your first child had on your relationship with your partner. Of course there is less time together. Of course someone other than you two now becomes the priority. But the shared joy of parenting, working together, growing into parents and growing up together, are all very special. Sure you can't pop out to the cinema on a whim together any more. But this is replaced by other things that are special and important.

Its an evolution, a development, in the relationship.

The same thing happens to a family of three when a second child comes along. Things move on; some things are lost but new relationships and dynamics and opportunities are created. And your elder child is growing up and she won't always need or want your attention all the time. By this age they like to amuse themselves and do their own thing sometimes, and their friends and their lives at pre-school become important to them.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 18-Apr-13 10:44:03

Chances are your DD will be 3.5 by the time any sibling came along - she will definitely be starting to need your attention less and look out into the big world to her friends and her preschool/activities a bit more. It's hard to imagine what your DD will be like at 3.5/4, as at 2.5 they still want your full attention as much as possible.

You will find you won't have the same sort of relationship with your second as with your first, because there won't be the time for all that devoted attention! But that is not to say it will not be as nice, or loving, or deep a relationship. It will be different!

You will feel like your DC2 is missing out because they don't get the 100% devotion from you. But always remember that DC2 has something very special that your eldest never had - an older sibling, playmate, friend and someone very close to argue with and love.

My son's infancy has been so different to my daughter's, because she has been around. He is probably a little bit slower at talking than my daughter was, probably as he doesn't have my exclusive attention and chit chat all day. But he knows far more than she did about how to negotiate, how to join in with playing, how to share toys. I took him to a toddler group the other day and was astounded to see him march up to a large group of 3 year old boys (he is only 17 mths) and find a way, without being pushy and annoying, to get himself involved in playing with their garage and cars. DD would never have done that, but would have played by herself or with one or two other girls of the same age and stage.

And siblings love each other to bits - this is something you can't really imagine until you see it. Sure they argue over toys and wind each other up and sure they are in competition for your attention. But you should see my normally quiet and unconfrontational DD step up and protect her brother on a swingset if there are some big rowdy children around and she is worried about him. And you should see my son looking adoringly at his big sister and thinking how fab she is to be able to do all the things she can do. It makes your heart melt like nothing else!

2cats2many Thu 18-Apr-13 10:48:16

Someone described having a second child to me like this: If your love for your child is like a cake, having a second doesn't mean that you have to divide the cake in two- you just have a second cake. In other words, you love each child separately and uniquely.

Your child will have less attention from you if you have a second, but she'll also have all the vendors of a sibling and playmate on tap.

sedgieloo Thu 18-Apr-13 11:34:51

2cats - nicely illustrated esp if you like cake like what I do smile

rrreow Thu 18-Apr-13 16:58:26

It's something I am worried about and feel guilt about towards my DS. I am currently pg with DC2. But I do know that in the long term DSs life will be enriched by having a sibling and DH and my life will be enriched by having another child.

Beatrixpotty Fri 19-Apr-13 14:56:20

My relationship has come full circle with DS1.When I was pg with I felt so guilty that I would have less time for DS1.DS2 arrived 2 years ago and c-section meant that I couldn't do much for DS1 for a month so he became DHs best friend.DS1 was horribly jealous and I spent a lot of time telling him off for scratching the baby etc etc.He was only 19m and it was a big change and I had no idea how to deal with it.2 years later he loves playing with DS2 and now has another brother,DS3,6 weeks,whom they both adore.DS1 often tells me I am his best friend and if he is upset he always says "I want mummy!"Having siblings has taught him about sharing,meal times are sociable(sort of)! and there is always someone to play with

Noggie Fri 19-Apr-13 18:26:09

Yes I think things do change and there are def times when I don't feel that I have enough time/ patience/ energy for my DDs but that is completely irrelevant really considering the benefits I see of them having each other to love and learn from.

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