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Balancing infant, toddler, newborn, me

(9 Posts)
alexisebp Wed 30-Oct-13 15:31:27

Hi all,
I know that if you're looking at this group you can probably cast a wry glance at this and mutter- just three and with child are- wtf is the problem? Just as I now find it hard to remember what was tricky about having one child! Aside from transition from 0-1 it really wasn't that bad, 1-2 was ok too. I think it was a greater shock learning how to parent a toddler than dealing with another baby as DS1 was always super calm. Currently I have DD1 aged 4, DS1 aged 2, and DD2 aged 2 months. The older two go to crèche/ infants a few days a week at the moment. We live in Portugal so this is substitute for help from family, and also important for language learning as my husband and I are both English and we can't teach them anything like native Portuguese speakers.

My recently turned two year old is having lots of tantrums and is reluctant to go to school at th moment. He seems fine when he's there according to his teachers and I know it is a very warm and loving environment. He has a well established relationship with his caregivers. It's hard to tell if he is reacting to having a new sib, is just doing the usual dependence- independence toddler dance, or most probably a combination. DD2 gets wound up and cries a lot even though try not to let her get overstimulated and do lots of baby wearing which helps. DD1 is more independent and seems happy enough. Delighted to be a big sister and fascinated with baby/ enjoys playing with toddler at least when he isn't knocking her dens over or removing important elements from a complex private game he can't understand.

It's just me around while they're all awake as husband leaves for work at 9 and comes back at 8.30 when have just finished putting them to bed. I'm really tired from breastfeeding at night then getting up early with other kids. Husband gets up too so have help at breakfast. When the older kids are away I do all the cooking and clearing up so can focus on them more while at home. I want to be there for my son if all he needs is some extra attention.

So I guess my questions do I find a balance? Should I keep 2 yr old at home for a while? How do I cope with the constant crying from the younger two? I've given up on the idea of time for me for the time being, but where his the line between being selfish and being a martyr?

I'd appreciate any advice and perspectives. Baby crying so off I go again. Thanks! smile

happy2help Thu 31-Oct-13 09:50:44

I feel like I should be able to give some advice because I've been there before, but can't really come up with anything constructive except, for the following...

Be kind to yourself. I need to acknowledge on your behalf, that you're doing a brilliant job - a husband coming home at that time is tough when you're up breast feeding through the night with two little ones to look after.

Maybe ease up a little on the housework - when your eldest two are at creche/school, try and have a little nap once you've cleared up the mess -baby permitting. Failing that anything that makes you feel better - a bath, phonecall to friend, watching tv, mumsnet???

Sorry that there's no practical advice on your upset DC, not sure about that one. But respect to you - you sound like your doing a great job much more calmly than I did!

And by the way, reading your post has brought back how difficult it when they're that age. It gets better quicker than you think it will.

alexisebp Fri 01-Nov-13 12:11:02

Thanks for the supportive wordssmile. I liked the bit about it getting easier! Good to hear it from someone who has been there. Cheers x

NAR4 Sun 03-Nov-13 09:49:39

I agree with happy. I remember having no spare time when my eldest 3 were little. Unfortunately you just need to wait for them to get older and it does get easier. Make sure that the evenings are kept for you to relax and spend time with your dh. Don't spend the time rushing around doing lots of housework or you never get any down time.

Just keep telling yourself that its all just a phase and they grow up before you know it. In years to come you will look back (through rose tinted glasses) and remember it not being so bad.

alexisebp Fri 08-Nov-13 21:41:56

Thankssmile this week has been a bit smoother apart from when the baby was crying, the toddler was wrapped around my leg, the pre-schooler needed a poo and the spaghetti was boiling overgrin. I just want to look back and know I did my best by us all. Sure I will miss them being little. They are very sweet when the pinching, eye- poking, and incessant whining aren't happening! Xx

WeRFamily Fri 08-Nov-13 21:54:23

A boy sandwiched between two girls is ok as far as middle child syndrome goes in my book.. He is the only nobody and that sets him apart.

I would definitely leave him in childcare, even ramp it up a little bit if you can? As far as the tantrums go I'd be gentle for now, let him get used to the new situation and don't impose strict boundaries right now if that is something you have not done yet. In a few months I would look into some simple family rules though and make sure they are followed by the kids.

They all need as much as one on one time as you can handle so the older two know that you still love them.

WeRFamily Fri 08-Nov-13 21:55:29

Oops.. Only nobody? Only boy of course!

alexisebp Tue 12-Nov-13 20:43:39

I hope you're right about middle child issues. I thought it might not be too bad too, him being the only boy. In some ways the fact that he's a bit clingy at the moment is good. He now walks down the road holding my hand, instead of trying to dive into the traffic without me. Have been trying to give him plenty of cuddles, especially at bedtime, and hopefully it's helping. His teachers said he's happy enough in childcare. He's doing half a day less, and is doing ok. Fewer tantrums from him, though big sister has started having meltdowns. Aargh. We have rules about throwing, hitting etc. and trying to keep things consistent. We'll see how it goessmile

tostaky Fri 20-Dec-13 21:40:03

mine are 5, 3.5 and 1.5 and the only I survive is by having a mother's help every evening. I find it easier to have the three children with me during the day to do things and then to rely on someone to help me with the evening routine for 3 hrs.
and play-doh.... they can sit for hours with the play-doh!

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