Normal to feel exhausted/stressed with newborn and toddler?

(37 Posts)
Winetime1981 Mon 20-May-13 19:35:55

My DS is 25 months and my DD is six weeks tomorrow. I'm just getting into the swing of looking after them both after DH going back to work.

I don't stop. All day. And then when DH gets home it's running around doing things I've not been able to do in the day. I feel like every day is a marathon.

I went to a toddler group today and I found it really quite stressful. My friend was there with her six week old and totally unflapped and calm while I was being leaked on by an overflowing nappy of poo, leaking breast milk everywhere after lopping a boob out and trying to stop my son hitting other children repeatedly. When I was a new mum I was even more of a mess, I keep thinking; I've done this before! It should be easier.

Please tell me I'm not abnormal and this level of stress and exhaustion is common!

chartreuse Mon 20-May-13 19:44:25

Totally normal, honestly. It will get easier smile

twirliedobbit Mon 20-May-13 19:45:19

Absolutely definitely 100% normal. Don't worry, it gets easier to pretend to be on top of stuff. I used to try to make sure as much as possible I fed every four hours with nb, and planned feeds around toddler groups and such so that I could concentrate more on older dc's whilst out and about. Obv not always possible, as nb's need care immediately when they need it, but don't be scared to leave them to sleep a while and give your older one some attention.... Good luck, you are doing a great job!!!

BoysRule Mon 20-May-13 19:46:24

It will get easier, remember when you had DS it was really hard and got easier, it is just the same.

Try to get a bit of a routine going with DD as soon as possible - that way you should get some nap times to do jobs/play with DS.

There will always be someone who makes everything look easy though!

mummy2benji Mon 20-May-13 22:19:26

Yes totally normal! To be honest if you made it out of the house fully clothed with matching socks / shoes and hair vaguely brushed then give yourself a pat on the back. Go easy on yourself right now - lapse standards on the house front, no-one died from a bit of dust, in fact houses that are too clean cause allergies. Fact. I had to repeat that to myself the other day when ds1 held up a tumbleweed of dust that he'd plucked from behind an armchair and said "what's this?" I employed a shameful quantity of cbeebies for ds1 while I was feeding dd2 as it made it less stressful for me to have him occupied and not charging round the house shrieking like a banshee. He seems unaffected and his eyes haven't turned square. It will get easier soon!

RubyrooUK Mon 20-May-13 22:35:59

Don't worry - I am one of those people who makes it look easy, so people keep telling me all the time, and it's all lies!!! grin I have a two and a half year old and a nine week old.

Here is how it seems (and the truth).

My toddler is obediently walking alongside his little brother's pram without bolting. (I've bribed him repeatedly with biscuits to move his legs.)

I've left the house and we are all having a delightful coffee with DS1 reading sweetly beside me. (There are three loads of vomit-stained muslins to wash at home but I'm ignoring them. I got him to sit still by buying him that new book five minutes ago in Poundland.)

Here we are at a playgroup and the baby is angelic, sleeping while his brother plays. (I spent the previous four hours desperately breastfeeding him so he'd sleep for this 45 minute session.)

I'm wearing make up and I've washed my hair. (I get up earlier than DH and have completed getting up before he leaves the house or I have no chance at all.)

I have a sense of humour about the lack of sleep or simply don't moan about it. (Well, I haven't slept for nearly three years now, why not laugh about it? It's my reality so it doesn't surprise me any more.)

I'm in the park playing imaginative games with my toddler and the baby. What a wonderful mum. (My toddler only turned off the TV and the iPad ten minutes ago. He thinks my phone is owned by him. It is. This is the first bit of fresh air we've seen in days.)

Honestly, it does get a bit easier even in the next few weeks. But not easy. So don't think that other people are doing better - maybe they're like me! grin

ENSMUM Mon 20-May-13 22:41:50

Definitely normal! Also, other people often look to be going better than they are. Expect onlookers think you are doing really well!

Winetime1981 Tue 21-May-13 02:03:33

Thank you everyone! That's just the boost I needed. Up now feeding mrs and my limbs are actually aching. It's ludicrous! How the 16 kids family off the telly do it...I have no idea.

It's the CBeebies thing I'm feeling shame about at the mo. DS also keeps saying 'Mr Tumble's spotty bag' to people and I inwardly cringe.

Right best get back to sleep. Another day tomorrow...

recall Tue 21-May-13 02:15:53

Normal ! I had a new born, a 15 month old and a 3 year old. I fell asleep at the hairdressers, at the dentist during root canal treatment, and at the osteopath. When I did manage to stay awake, I used to be almost incoherent sometimes, I think I must have sounded drunk to people during the early days. Inarticulate is an understatement.

I remember sitting at those toddler group type things in a trance, and other parents attempting to make conversation, I was thinking "just piss off and let me stare" grin

wintersdawn Tue 21-May-13 02:24:04

my two are almost identical in age to your two and I hear that it looks easy a lot but its all relative, my daughter was an EMCS, readmitted for a week at 3 days old and diagnosed with a heart condition so fed poorly and spent the first year of her life waiting to be strong enough for an operation. my son was natural birth is totally healthy and feeds with ease, so by comparison it is easy.

having said that, if I ever see justin Fletcher in real life I'm likely to punch him for ever having made justins house and I long for the day when I pick up my ipad and its not covered in sticky finger marks.

some days the timings of naps and feeds works well and we all have a great day and some days I consider a success if we are all dressed correctly by lunchtime smile

my priorities have changed, if they are both ever asleep at the same time so am I, the washing/ hoovering be damned. and (as bottle feeding) I freely admit that some nights the wine is poured as dh is closing daugters bedroom door - probably why pregnancy weight isnt really moving!

CassieTheCockatoo Tue 21-May-13 03:34:56

RubyrooUK thank you for sharing your insight -that made me smile!

I look back at that time and feel exhausted just thinking about it (and it was only a few months ago).

It does get better.

MyShoofly Tue 21-May-13 05:16:07

I have a 2.8 yr old and a 3 month old. I got them both out to groups and things right away and was congratulated all over the place for "doing so great". HA! I wasn't doing great at all. The reason we were out at all is I thought I might lose my mind with my jealous toddler cooped up at home literally crawling up my leg shouting "mummy" every second of everyday for the first two months.

I employ several of Rubyroos techniques as well....chocolate buttons, copious snacks, too much television, buying Thomas books when out shopping to name a few.

I am only just starting to get my feet under me - holy it's hard work but it is getting better OP so hang in there.

brew

Gemd81 Tue 21-May-13 05:51:51

Me too I have a 22 month and a 10 wk old I am struggling with tantrums and jealousy - I just wish dd of 22 months wouldn't cause mass scenes at toddler group and tantrum over toy someone picks up even though she wasn't playing with it she thinks everything belongs to her and I can feel everyone staring at us as I leave early again cos I have had two children with an 'insane' gap!blush

PoppyAmex Tue 21-May-13 06:12:30

DD will be 20 months when DC2 is born and this thread is freaking me out!

I'm just blocking out everything and reading the parts that say "it will get easier" grin

MortifiedAdams Tue 21-May-13 06:23:49

DD is 17mo.and we are ttc. I was so nervous.opening this thread but you have all made me chuckle so much grin

Im scared, but sure that while it will be a struggle it wilk be worth it.

Tailtwister Tue 21-May-13 07:54:46

Absolutely normal OP! You may have had a newborn before, but not with a toddler at the same time. You're learning a whole new set of skills and there's very little down time.

I really like Rubyroo's post about the difference between perception and reality. People often used to say how easy I made it look, but they were only seeing a snapshot in time. If they had seen me minutes before they would have had an entirely different impression!

It does get better.

birdofthenorth Tue 21-May-13 08:11:48

Same here OP! DD is 2.9 & DS is 5 weeks. I am a walking, leaking, poo and sick covered shambles, and my house looks like it's been burgled smile

DH works away 3-4 nights a week and on those days I have reduced my ambitions to just getting through the day & making sure both DC are fed and safe!! Didn't even manage bath-time last night. It wasn't the end of the world, it turns out. I am hoping to shower myself today for the first time since DH left on Sunday!!

I am sure people are right that it gets better (& then worse again... and then better). My policy is just breathe deeply, ride our the storm, and be quick to apologise if ever you snap at them/ DP/ the meter reading man!

Winetime1981 Tue 21-May-13 08:27:55

So nice reading these replies! Rubyroo you really made me chuckle as have everyone else's.

I don't know if others feel this but I find with two it's less of a mental adjustment and more of a physical one. By that I mean I was really anxious with DS but now DD is here that severe anxiety had subsided and I just have to try and split myself in two! In that way I an enjoying it more so don't despair people who are pregnant/ttc with baby #2. It's mad but in a nice way.

And this morning toddler is playing on his OWN - yippee!!!

Winetime1981 Tue 21-May-13 08:28:58

Bird - well done you with a DH who works away. I just couldn't manage.

Maryz Tue 21-May-13 08:37:43

For me, having a second was much harder than the first. Because I never got a break.

I thought I would know how to do it because I had done it before. In fact dd was completely different from ds1, in the way she slept (she didn't), ate and her behaviour. She flummoxed me.

And every time she did sleep, instead of being able to relax I had to deal with ds1. It was awful.

By the way, by the time ds2 came along and I had three under four I had sort of got used to the chaos and lack of sleep, and having him was a doddle grin

Winetime1981 Tue 21-May-13 08:41:07

I have a sleeper this time Maryz! I am so relieved as couldn't have coped with another with DS's sleeping habits. He used to be up every 2/3 hours. DD went 7 hours last night. 7 hours! It really makes the difference.

hurricanewyn Tue 21-May-13 08:54:31

There's 18 months between my two. I was convinced I was iron deficient when I had DD - there was no way it could simply be tiredness that I was feeling.

I even went to my GP for blood tests.

It does get easier. I still remember DS going to play school, DD falling asleep & me having a nap. Bliss grin

They're 9 & 10 now and I love the fact that they're so close in age.

Maryz Tue 21-May-13 09:43:56

Oh, excellent.

The difference for me between enjoying my third and having a horrible time with my second is that when ds2 (my third) came along I made a concious effort to go to bed when he did. So as soon as he went to sleep in the evening, I went to bed, usually at about 9 (the other two were in bed). I then got some decent sleep, so even though he was awake to feed during the night, and dd was up at 5.30 every morning hmm, I still got to sleep.

When I had dd first, I used to try to get my evenings to catch up on everything, but it just didn't work.

If you aren't coping, go to bed really early. Abandon the mess, just get some sleep.

Winetime1981 Tue 21-May-13 10:04:23

I absolutely agree. Sleep is the key I reckon.

recall Tue 21-May-13 11:41:10

A tip for the chocolate buttons…buy white ones - less mess, and also, just open one tiny corner, keeps them quiet for ages while they fish them out.

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