...or a bit of a wet PFB mum after adding surprise twins into the mix?(51 Posts)
I'm nearly a month into having three chn under 2 - a 23 month old, and 3 week old twins. All girls. And I'm really struggling with PFB guilt!
Basically I've gone from being able to give my 1 YO all my attention (I do also work FT I should mention - had her young and soon after uni, and had to maintain my career too); to suddenly being a sleep deprived, grumpy mummy who has so much less 1-1 time for her.
I have a lovely supportive OH, and lots of help on hand, all offering to have our eldest for the day.
But I want her! I miss our time just the two of us.
I'm already noticing some difficult and attention seeking behaviour coming through from her as a reaction to all this change.
This makes me really distraught to be honest because she's a really good child by nature. She's a lovely, unassuming little girl. Never attention seeking, friendly and gentle with her peers.
We mainly planned the second pregnancy to give her a little friend. So to see her playing up as a direct result of the new babies makes me think we've make some terrible mistake!
Of course I know that all three of them are lucky to have each other in the long term. And we love them all very much.
But please help me with the short term.
How do you parents with lots of little ones arrange your day to allow attention for all of your children?
The twins are EBF too, so I'm just stuck to them most of the time, and can't get us up and out and playing like I used to.
Am I overreacting to a perfectly normal and healthy part of her childhood?
Because at the moment I'm feeling so upset that my PFB isn't my just PFB any more!
I'm just place marking to see what advice you get. My second is due 2 weeks before PFB turns 2 and I'm already anxious about the effect it'll have on her.
Your first born will not remember life before her sisters. You will all adapt to your new family unit. It's normal for your eldest to play up a bit but she'll soon realise that she'll always be very special to you as will your twins. X
Could be worse, OP, I know someone who had triplets before her PFB was two...
Claire thanks so much. I think I just need some reassurance. OH being a typical bloke and not concerned in the slightest 🙄 But I am. Thank you.
Oyster Good luck! A nice age gap when they're bigger I suppose though ;)
I imagine you are feeding a lot with twins but would it be possible to express at all? Then once six weeks old they could have an occasional, expressed bottle (fed by Oh etc) so that you could get half hour here and there with your firstborn?
Sorry if that's not an option or a bit tricky with two.
23 months old? The behaviour change will likely be a combination of her age and the new arrivals.
If you can I'd try expressing enough milk or doing a bottle of formula each day and get your partner to see to the twins while you have half an hour or so with your daughter just the two of you.
New siblings are a huge deal for older kids but they bring so much more than they take away from them in the long run.
Cannot don't be sorry that's a very helpful suggestion thank you! Tbh we've been doing that since 1 week old, but since they're both on a boob each, pumping just means I'm sat down even bloody longer once they're off!
(And they feed like gannets, so a pump getting a 5 minute look in would be a miracle at the mo 😂)
But yes defintley something I'll have a go at once they calm down a bit on the 24/7 feeding. Thank you.
Congratulations . It is very early days, you are probably exhausted and overwhelmed and it is quite normal for a child to play up a bit when a new baby/ies comes along. If you have a lot of support even going upstairs, snuggling in with her/reading a book/watching a film together might make you feel a bit better.
I've 4 week old twins and a 3 year old. I miss him so much it hurts. Twins are crazily demanding and it's so hard to even have my arms free to give him a cuddle right now. I've no advice just wanted to say you're not alone x
3 under 2 sounds very hard indeed. You are super mum already!
I only have 2, but still remember the guilt I felt when my second was born. It also didn't help that dc1 was insanely jealous of the baby.
I have very few of those cute photos you see of elder sibling with newborn baby - mainly because I was so worried he'd attempt to poke the baby's eyes out!
Now they adore each other. They really really do. There is nothing better than seeing your 'babies' play together and laugh at each other etc.
So please stop feeling guilty!
As for practical suggestions, could you have a 'special' box of toys/books/stickers that only come out when you feed the babies?
sounds like a normal and common reaction for both of you. Could your partner take the twins so you and elder DD get some one to one time again? regularly. Also try to include her in helping with the twins. preparing towels and so on for their bath. give her a dolly to copy you with. ensure you talk to her when doing things with the twins. this way she won't feel left out.
Just seconding everyone saying you are doing great already!!
Your babies are three weeks old - cut yourself and your DD some slack. Things will calm down with the feeding in a few weeks and in the mean time nothing permanently damaging will happen with DD. Se might be a bit bored and tetchy but honestly, she'll be fine.
Take all the offers of help from family etc but on your terms - ask them to come to you so they can at least hold/ watch the babies for a bit and let you have some time with DD. Or at the very least do the mundane chores (cleaning, tidying, washing, cooking) that might otherwise suck your time up when not attached to the babies.
We played singing games and telling stories
We snuck off to play play doh or puzzles when they slept
I also made DD aware Mummy has to feed the babies Mummy has to change the babies
We also walked loads to chat while they slept in the pram
DH also gave the babies bottles while I bathed her and read a story
Things change quickly don't spoltbit by feelin guilty
Congratulations on the twins, you must be struggling to keep your head above water. One thing I did with all of mine, is that when the new baby arrived and I couldnt give the older one the time or attention they wanted in the moment, I would blame myself and not the baby. Sorry I cant do a puzzle with you right now because Im tired and I need to sit quietly for a bit (not that I am feeding a baby) or sorry we cant go to the playground because I have to clean the kitchen (not the baby is napping). Good luck
3 weeks! Such early days.
We read a lot of Julia Donaldson books, anything that rhymed so I could recite them by heart. Going to a class once a day also worked well. Anything - literally anything - that meant she could run about a bit and be entertained. Signing was good (she was a bit old really but the lady who ran it was lovely), and soft play at the local leisure centre. It was giant foam cubes, slides etc and a bouncy castle rather than the frame sort, so very manageable with 1 baby... I guess 2 might be a challenge.
Walks are also good for interacting with the big one while the little ones sleep. You sound like a lovely mum, I'm sure you'll do a great job.
Yes to all the previous posts. My dd was 2y 3m when dd2 was born (who is now 5m). I felt so sad about my lovely girl not having all my attention! But she's fine! We get her to help out a lot. She fetches the nappies and wipes; chooses a sleepsuit for dd2; spashes water over her tummy in the bath. I try and point out all the times her sister is waiting for her so she can see it's equal: dd1 can't immediately have Peppa Pig on as I am bfing but later dd2 is waiting to go to bed because dd1 is insisting she needs a bit longer on the toilet... I think getting them involved and making ecerything fair really helps.
Have you tried any books aimed at toddlers? We found Princess Polly I'm a New Big Sister to be excellent.
OP I had the 'guilt' of adopting a 3 year old when my dd was 9, she was my PFB one and only for 9 years! But she wanted a sibling and we wanted another child, so there we were.
If you were working full time and are now home full time I cannot see how she can possibly have less of your 'presence'. Maybe it feels like she has less time as babies are taking it. Please be careful not to feed that idea, but instead to challenge it and find ways to share your time.
"How do you parents with lots of little ones arrange your day to allow attention for all of your children?" I don't have lots of children but I did need to juggle expectations. We did a lot of things in the early days that were fun for dd. We went swimming, or to the park etc, we watched movies snuggled on the sofa, we did arts and crafts. Some of this will not be possible yet but you can get your dd to help you make finger prints of her and the babies (using coco powder or something safe, please check, it's a long time since I had a new baby!
Get dd to help you photograph her and babies. Snuggle up together with babies in their carry cots and dd on your lap. Dd gets to choose a movie as she is a big girl.
Get dh to take the twins upstairs while you and your daughter do something in the garden.
In corporate your dd into cooking time (safely) (by cooking I mean anything, tearing up a salad, tearing up a head of broccoli, buttering a sandwich, you don't need to use knives or expose her to fire!). Exercise videos etc. Things she can do as a big girl! But only if you are doing them too!
Always say how wonderful and special your time with her is. Don't tell her you feel guilty or bad, say you feel delighted she is your daughter.
"The twins are EBF too, so I'm just stuck to them most of the time, and can't get us up and out and playing like I used to." It won't last forever and she won't remember it all. My 7 year old doesn't really remember being 3.
Take plenty of photos of just you and her. Just her and her dad, her and the twins etc.
"Am I overreacting to a perfectly normal and healthy part of her childhood?" Yes. But it is understandable.
"Because at the moment I'm feeling so upset that my PFB isn't my just PFB any more!" Of course she still is, but she is also one of three and a big sister.
Don't forget a ton of hormones are sloshing around your system. So feeling bad/sad/mad or whatever is all pretty normal.
Don't pass your anxieties about this on to her. If she says anything face her questions or thoughts when/if they come. But don't write the script for her.
I think you need to be much less hard on yourself and lower your expectations!
It's definitely going to be lower standard parenting for a bit but that's okay and perfectly understandable in the circumstances.
Get anyone who even gives a sniff of a hint of an offer of help roped in, start giving them helpful tasks to do. "Oh yes actually could you put a wash on?" "Would you possibly be able to take DC1 out for a couple of hours?"
Does DC1 have any nursery time? That might help take the pressure off a bit.
There is a multiples section on here too, I bet posters there will have survival tips.
Thank you all so much!
Star I hear ya! Hope you get more cuddle time with your little boy soon.
There's some really good ideas here that I will be using in the morning - we'll definitely be pointing out when the babies are waiting for her too, and going for a walk for chats while they sleep.
I really appreciate you all sharing your ideas (and stories and kind words) with me, thank you.
DD was 2 when our twins arrived and I BFd too so I feel your pain.
I'm sure you've had great advice about reading together while they feed - with DD turning the pages! - etc but one thing I did that helped was to really include her in Looking after them so we were in it together.
Little things like saying 'right, let's change the babies nappies then,' and letting her help instead of, 'Wait while I just change the babies nappies.'
Sounds daft but gave her a real sense of ownership.
Oh meant to add that they're at primary school now and all three have a very strong bond, she got two very cool little playmates!
I did feel she missed out on some of the trips out to zoos, museums, friends houses in that preschool time though. Easy to do with one bf baby, not so with two.
Made a big effort to catch up for her once I could.
I think as much as possible you dump the twins on visitors/ helpers and spend time with your eldest. People always offer to help out with the eldest but the youngest will hardly notice whereas she will. My PFB was nearly 3 when I had twins but it changed his life!
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