Help please going from 3-4(10 Posts)
Have lurked on this board for a while but rather feel it's time to ask for your help so please bear with me while I give a bit of background.
I had DC4 at the end of September - he was a bit of a bonus baby and it took me a long time to get my head around having another as I had never seen myself with more than 3 children. So had a very anxious pregnancy wondering how I would cope, then he turned up, proved to be absolutely lovely and we've just got on with it. My other 3 DC range in age from 3-8 and broke up on Friday so it's been really busy with all the school/preschool Christmas stuff and we're now home alone.
DC4 has been very high maintenance from the off - he just cannot sleep unless with me (sling or co-sleep) and wakes as soon as I put him down - not terribly happy even in moving buggy. Have just gone with this aiming to sort out once in January now he's past 12 weeks but he has a cold today and is even more clingy than ever and just won't be put down for more than a couple of minutes. I've had to cancel a meet up with friends as I've only just managed to get dressed, other DC still in pjs but playing relatively happily but I can't see how we're going to do anything over the next few days. My parents are joining us Thurs and DH has a bit of time off but I have visions of spending the next few days firefighting and then having to be flat out sorting last bits Christmas Eve and being knackered all Christmas Day. am also feeling very very guilty that there are so many lovely things I could be doing with DC1-3 and I just can't - DC1 still believes in everything and it's making me so sad that this could be her last truly magical Christmas and I can't give it to her.
What all this is leading to is my very real concerns about not coping resurfacing and mass worrying about how we are ever going to have any sort of normality. Pretty sure I have PND which isn't helping - I had a lightbulb moment about it not so long ago and clearly had it with all 3 (in fact not sure it ever went away - so also feeling guilty that I've had this for so much of DC1's childhood) - was all set to see GP last week then we got hit with vomiting bug so have had children off school and haven't been able to. So that will also have to wait until Jan, though top of the list.
Apologies for the waffle but can anyone who's been in a similar situation give any tips? How do you do things with other DC when you have a very demanding baby? And how do you settle the baby when you can't give him limitless time and he's likely to be woken up even if he doesn't wake as soon as you put him down? I just feel like I'm failing all of them at the moment and can't see how to improve things.
thank you for reading if you've got this far. any tips very welcome. x
I could have written this exact post last Christmas, except he was DC3. I felt exactly like you did. There is nothing I can say that will make it easier for you NOW, just that it's a phase that will soon be a distant memory and in a flash, your ds will be crawling around with and stuck in with your other 3.
Please take it from me, you're doing brilliantly. Last year, I had a small ds who fed non stop, literally could not be put down and would only sleep on me or with me. This year, he's weaned from the breast (I never imagined he could fall asleep without me), he goes to bed when the others are going and he often sleeps all night Right now he is sitting on the floor with his sister. The first few months are all a blur now but I know that I felt overwhelmed, lonely, and crippled with anxiety and guilt about all 3 kids. Everything is so much easier lately. I know this might not help you TODAY but if you could just look at the future and how wonderful 4 LO's will be. You're at the most difficult stage now I think.
Small things you can do is making time for yourself, getting out as much as possible and letting housework slide, generally lowering your expectations. Don't worry about putting your other Dc's in front of the telly for now, or sit on the couch and read stories with them with baby in your arms.
Hope I'm of some help. Basically what I'm saying is, it gets easier! Xx
It doesn't sound like you are failing them at all.
I have 4 including a baby, and it's hard, there aren't enough hours in the day most days to get everything done.
You have to remember that your expectations aren't theirs, you have in the back of your mind lovely day trips and things you'd like to do with them, and then you're disappointed if it doesn't happen, but actually they are quite happy just playing at home. Does that make sense?
They wont look back on this time as 'when mummy didnt bake with us/ take us to santa's grotto, it'll just be 'when baby joined our family' no more or less. They are lucky to have each other to play with as well.
I don't have any tips about the baby, other than it WILL get easier in time.
You are being quite hard on yourself, probably due to the pnd, but even that you are planning to seek help with, so it sounds like you really are coping quite well and doing all you can.
Christmas can still be magical with too much effort. We've just been talking about what to leave out for Father Christmas, we are going to leave 2 different drinks out this year to see which one he has more of! So we can find out his favourite. Sometimes just talking and planning is quite exciting for little ones, and you can do it while holding the baby.
Oh god I feel guilty all the time! We have 3, DC3 was born last January but for months before that I was very busy in work. And then in April we put our house on the market so very busy time clearing it out, continuously getting it ready for viewings etc. We sold & bought and moved into our new house 2 months ago and since then have been working non-stop to get it looking nice. There is a playground 2 minutes walk away and before we moved I used to tell the kids we could go every day. We've been twice!
The guilt gnaws at me at times but we have given them a new sibling (& a new home!) & this too shall pass! As above they won't remember the details but they remember the love so just try to read a book, have a chat etc when you can.
You can enjoy Christmas at home with your DC1 without doing loads of stuff. Watch movies, make decorations, talk about Christmas.
Go easy on yourself, 12 weeks is very very young. In another couple of months you will be flying!
Thank you all so much for replying, I really appreciate it. I know that it will pass having been here before but just have this underlying niggle that I never planned to have 4 because I thought I couldn't manage it and that's proving to be the case. Think I need to stop worrying and focus on the heat and now! Today wasn't so bad in the end, though hard to do much - but they seemed quite happy playing, easy to forget how they miss home during term time. The point about their expectations not being the same as mine certainly rang true.
And thank goodness for Christmas TV
Thank you again.
How are you getting on now op?
I am expecting number four with the other three between 2 and 8 years old .
I'm worrying how I will manage
Afresh, when dc4 was born dc1 turned eight 4 days later. So when my fourth child was born I had a new born, 2.4 yr old, 4.8 yr old and 8 yr old. It was absolutely fine. He did just slot in. Think I was very lucky as he was such an easy baby (is still very laid back at 5 and a half!).
I found it much easier than when my 3rd child arrived. I really struggled to adjust to having a new born, 2.3 yr old and 5 yr old.
My pregnancy with dc4 was ruined by worry that I would have to go through the same stress as I did when dc3 arrived. Yet it was completely different when dc4 arrived. You will be fine.
Lostinmess. Hope things are a bit better no. ttotally know how you felt. As I said in above post. When I had dc3 I felt exactly like you describe in your original post. As long as each day every child is fed, relatively clean and not seriously injured then you've had a good day. I am a few year down the line from you and it is so great. Also, the relationship the kids have with each other is great (most of the time, ha ha). So worth it.
Hello again, all!
Thank you for following up and sorry I haven't got back sooner - I didn't get a notification of posts and have been trying
unsuccessfully not to spend too much time on mn as I really should be doing other things.
So, update - we are all still here, just about alive after a string of bugs last week and the children largely seem ok. DH and I are knackered but we're expecting that. we have far too many children in the bed on a nightly basis, one of which is generally DC4 usually with DC3 although some glimmers of hope in that DC3 has managed a few more nights in his own bed over the last week or so.
- We are generally on time for school and almost look like a normal family on arrival.
- homework is being done, children managing most of their activities
- DH is being a star despite working long hours and being kept awake most nights too
- most importantly, all DC seem happy with DC4 and with each other, so hopefully that will continue - he is absolutely lovely.
-I generally feel as if we are only a few minutes from it all spectacularly unravelling
- Much of the above is only achieved by far too much shouting
- I seem to spend all my time doing laundry, meal planning, shopping, cooking, throwing away uneaten food and then starting all over again. Nothing ever seems to get finished, the house is generally a tip except once a fortnight when the cleaner comes and I cannot get the children to help with anything - I was expecting it but am finding it very difficult to deal with - and I'm not particularly house proud.
- as a result of the above, I am getting very frustrated with my eldest child in particular (8yo) who just doesn't seem to care about anything. We now seem to be in a vicious circle where I am permanently nagging/being negative to her and get ignored until I get cross and she finally does stuff. I really feel my relationship with her is sufferings and I am not being a terribly nice mum
- I have someone helping out 2x week but DC1 and DC3 are very reluctant to spend time with her so I am feeling guilty about that one.
- I basically feel as if I have lost my parenting mojo and sense of humour - trying to work out if I have PND or am just very very tired or indeed both. Every time I plan to go to the doc, someone is ill and off school and I can't go. going to try again this week but only have 2 mornings to do so and if I don't manage it, we then get sucked into school stuff for Easter and then the hols.
- I am slightly concerned that it's all going to get worse before it gets better, once DC4 starts moving. On the plus side, we start weaning this week, but I can' see where I'm going to find the time to fit that in too.
so that's where we are. Not sure where to next but will find out in due course! Really appreciate your help, I have some good local friends but have had to cut down on any socialising as too tired. That and the fact that the only time DC4 reliably sleeps on 7-10pm so everything has to get done then - he's still massively unpredictable in the day.
Any pearls of wisdom greatly appreciated!
I am the same as you with my eldest (I have four) and have been recently practising 'mindfulness' techniques to try to bring some happiness back to my relationship with her. I just tell myself to "make it joyful" so yes it's breakfast but can it be joyful? Yes it's tidying a shit tip bedroom but can it be fun? If there is a sliver of fun to be had I FORCE myself to find it! Its not and I am not perfect, very far from perfect, but this has worked for me.
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