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How do you 'get over' not having small children anymore?

(6 Posts)
cupofteaplease Tue 30-Jul-13 10:44:21

I have 2 dds aged 8 and 6, and I had a third dd who passed away in October aged 13 months. Until she died, I had had a baby, toddler or preschooler at home since I was 23. When she died, I felt like not only was my darling girl gone which was the worst torment, but added to that I'd had that whole period of my life whipped out from underneath me. Suddenly I had 2 older girls who, lovely as they are, really don't need me that much!

Added to that, as I was fairly young when I started my family, my close friends are only just starting to have their first babies now in their late twenties, early thirties. I find that I don't really fit in anymore as my children are older and I can't really share stories of sleepless nights, weaning and baby groups etc. I find myself feeling very jealous of pregnant women and those with babies, because I miss my dd3 and wish I still had her, and was still enjoying that period of life.

I have worked part time up until now as I always had a preschool aged child, but now I have no one to care for during the day, I've made the decision to go back to work full time in September (I'm a teacher). I'm okay with the decision, but I know it's a poor substitute for being needed at home. sad

How do I move on from these feelings? Does anyone else miss the preschool stage? Please tell me what might help me to look on the bright side.

dirtyface Tue 30-Jul-13 10:53:52

aww OP i am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby sad

i feel similar to you although my situation is no where near as awful., well no where near as terrible, but i miscarried twins a few months ago who would have been due in november

i have a 4 and a 7 year old, who will both be full time school in september. i have mainly been a SAHM, i have a (very) part time job but i am going to be lost without a pre schooler at home. as up till a few months ago i was expecting to be at home, enjoying my babies while the others were at school.

so no idea what to suggest really tbh, hoping some others come along soon and offer us some helpful words x

cupofteaplease Tue 30-Jul-13 11:11:54

dirtyface I'm so sorry to hear about your twins sad. How do you cope around other babies?

I have thought about having another baby so I have something positive to focus on, but I feel the age gap would be very big now and it would feel even more obvious that dd3 was missing, as I wouldn't necessarily have chosen to have a 7 year gap.

I feel like I need to change my thinking, rather than missing the baby stage, I need to find the positives in having older children. I just don't know how to do that right now though.

dirtyface Tue 30-Jul-13 14:07:23

it gets easier, i kind of just get on with it really. we are ttc again which is scary as i am a) scared i wont be lucky enough to fall pg again and b) if i do get pg i will be terrified of miscarrying

there are lots of positives in having older dcs, for example, its GOOD they are less needy, life is easier, mine even help round the house now. you can have proper conversations and see their personalities developing into proper inquisitive little people rather than just toddler babble etc, sure there is lots more

a big age gap can be good btw, my friend had her youngest when her eldest was 8 and it really worked well

dotty2 Tue 30-Jul-13 14:25:17

I am so sorry to hear about your losses, both of you.

OP: I have DDs aged 8 and 6 and always at least half wanted a third, but for various reasons it didn't work out. I still miss the baby stage, and get a pang of envy when other people are pregnant/have babies. But just recently I've started to see it differently, and appreciate the children I have in a more 'settled' way - as in, I know this is how it's going to be now.

I wonder if you are finding it hard to distinguish in your mind between your grief for the child you did have and lost (which must be terrible), and the natural sadness we all get from moving on to another stage. IME, it's not that 8 and 6 year olds need you less than a baby does - they just need you differently. Sure, it's not as 24/7, but you can be with them, and do things with them, in ways which are just as special - and which they will remember much more when they grow up. I barely remember my pre-school years, but remember lots of things about the years from 5 - 10 which I think back on very fondly now - baking with my grandma, sandcastles on the beach, Saturday afternoon trips out with my dad, a special family day out to London on the train. So I'm trying to remember that with my DDs and make sure we spend time with them doing things that can be small but special - baking, doing crafts etc. And presumably you still cuddle up and watch TV or read together? Maybe your grief is making you overlook or underestimate the special bond you have with your older DDs? (And btw, I would second the comment about 7-8 years not being an impossibly big gap - people make all kinds of gaps work!)

quickchat Wed 31-Jul-13 22:13:31

Im so sorry for your loss cupoftea.

I really do think you are still in the throws of grieving which is more than understandable. Maybe try Cognitional Behavioral Therapy for now to work out your feelings properly.
I had terrible anxiety after my DD and kept thinking if I had another DD I wouldn't be as scared of loosing her which I realise now was just my way of dealing with the anxiety. That was the reasoning I had given myself if that makes any sense?

On the subject of future children i don't think the age gap is all that important. My mum has 4 big brothers and it's the oldest brother she is closest to. There is 10 years between them and they see each other regularly.

You have time on your side but I think you still have a lot of grieving to do first.

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