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2 under 2 - suddenly dawning on me how hard this is

(39 Posts)
Haddock73 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:14:53

Ds1 is almost 2, ds2 is almost a week old.

I don't know if its hormones, baby blues, pnd...but I've come to realise I don't know how I will cope once dp goes back to work. Freaking out. I knew it would be hard but I don't realise it would be not able to cope hard.

Feel like I've made a mistake and ruined ds1's life, and feel like he feels neglected. I physically don't know how to cope with day to day tasks like changing them both, baths, the baby screams when not held if awake and feel so guilty for the toddler.

Any wise words of wisdom? When will it start to get easier? Have I ruined everything for ds1? We were so close before and now he's more interested in daddy. I feel teary and down.

gutzgutz Sat 31-Aug-13 20:14:16

Can you get a mother's help or similar? I felt the same as you (no help, DM had died, MIL abroad sad) and wished DS2 away for months poor child. Nursery 3 full days for DS1 was my lifeline. I remember crying and crying, plus DS2 was an awful sleeper. Now at 7 months it is a LOT better. Not perfect by any means but better. They are going to be great friends in time, I can already see it happening.

CreatureRetorts Sat 31-Aug-13 18:56:00

Yes. I used a manduca (similar to an ergo) which was great. Do you have the newborn insert?

Haddock73 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:28:35

posh have no help other than dh and ds1 is in nursery 3 mornings a week.

Haddock73 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:25:40

Thank you wallace thats made me feel so much better. I just wasnt prepared for this guilt.

Haddock73 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:20:19

creature I have an ergo will that do do you think?

PoshPenny Sat 31-Aug-13 18:19:38

chin up its very early days yet. I had 13 months between my two and the first year was very hard work, but I'm sure it is whatever the age gap. You haven't had a chance to adapt yet to the new baby being around, once you get the tiniest basics of a routine going, things will start to improve. Is there no grandma type person who can either come and stay or pop in for a few hours sometimes, just to relieve some of the pressure?

WallaceWindsock Sat 31-Aug-13 18:18:46

It is bloody awful at first. You will suddenly find you've worked out a routine that juggles their needs though - literally overnight you'll feel on top of things. Until then just aim to get through each day. The biggest thing that helped me was being told that its ok to let the baby cry sometimes. DS has 2 bouncy chairs and even when a few weeks old I regularly popped him in there and bounced it with a foot while eating or looking after DD. DD and I can eat a meal in 20mins so I always prioritised getting food into her over the baby crying as DS cried a lot as a newborn. That's what it's all about -priorities. It's ok to let the baby cry for 15mins while you sort out the toddler, get them fed etc.

White noise is good if you need to try and stop hours of crying. I've got a free app on the iPad called Sleep Baby which is good. Encourage the older child to help you look after the baby which will help them bond and give them a role which should help reduce jealousy etc.

It will get easier, especially once the baby can be plonked under a baby gym and distracted with exciting toys etc. Just remember that neither of them will remember if you leave them to cry for a few minutes while dealing with the other one. They might be upset for a short while but a big cuddle tends to fix that. You are doing so well with what is, IMO, one of toughest jobs going. DP used to say that he was proud of me for keeping everyone alive until he got home. So if at the end of the day, everyone has been fed and is still standing then you've done well grin

CreatureRetorts Sat 31-Aug-13 18:17:31

Do you have a sling? Pop him in that while you do bedtime. If you don't have a sling I can send you one!!

Haddock73 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:00:43

Thank you both....hes been awake for the past 2hrs already so suspect another sleepless night of screaming. I feel sorry for ds1.we had a nice day though so that helped me feel better and stopped crying for a good few hrs.

Satnightdropout Sat 31-Aug-13 17:56:36

I've got a 6 week old and a 2 and a half year old and I felt exactly how you feel now. My 2 and a half year old is very hyper so a right handful so even though he's a bit older than your eldest he's still hard work. But it's honestly seemed to have fallen into place.
Partner only had a week off and I was dreading it and wished to be back at the hospital where everyone was there to help (even though when I was there I was moaning to get out, lol). I did hear that you get the postnatal blues about a week after which s perfectly normal and goes after a few weeks and that's what I think I had. I think the hardest times is breakfast time and bathymetry /bedtime. But tbh i can only see it getting easier as baby starts being able to sit up, more alert so easier to entertain etc.... I can't stress how important organisation is. I keep on top of everything and don't leave anything till later. And routine. But you'll know that after having a toddler smile Good luck smile

RobinBedRest Sat 31-Aug-13 17:39:20

You can't judge anything by how things are with a 1 week old, they change so quickly and you have yet to recover from the birth. It will get easier.

Do you have any friends/family who can lend a hand. Are there any corners you can cut etc.

Might be worth posting on the bfeeding part of the site too as you will get help woth any specific problems there. Fwiw I don't think 1oz of formula is of any consequence, you can still bf exclusively from here or move over to formula if that will help. Don't feel guilty it is about doing the right thing by everyone and bfing is not the only way to be a good Mum!

MonstersDontCry Sat 31-Aug-13 17:06:25

Hi op. My DD turned 2 a few days ago and my DS is 5 weeks old. I'm struggling a bit too but i just keep telling myself that it will get easier like everyone says on here.

Do you have a sling? I got one last week and it allows me to hold the baby but still play with DD, which helps me feel a bit less guilty about 'ruining her life.' I know in the long run, she will love having a sibling, just like your DS1 will.

Don't feel guilty about the formula. Your baby is fed and that's the main thing.

You are doing well. Please don't be so hard on yourself. Probably a stupid question, but are you getting enough sleep?

mumofboyo Sat 31-Aug-13 16:52:37

You've lasted a heck of a lot longer at bf than I ever manged. Feel proud of that. It was 1.5 days with dd before giving up and switching to formula.

Your baby was nourished, sated and settled. You provided that, even if it was from a tin. You did what you felt was best. Do not feel guilty about it.

Hope you managed to get some rest this morning, everything always seems so much harder to cope with when you're tired.

CreatureRetorts Sat 31-Aug-13 13:55:11

Ok yes it is bloody hard but please don't feel guilty. You do what you must to survive.

Do you have a decent sling?

Iwaswatchingthat Sat 31-Aug-13 13:04:37

Please don't feel guilty - you will look back on this time and wonder how you did it. But you ARE doing it NOW. Last night sounds like torture, but you made it through. Morning came and you are up and tou made it. You did the right thing giving the formula. Your milk won't be fully established yet and your baby was hungry - you met his need. So you have nothing to feel guilty about.

I wasted so much time feeling that way when really I deserved me to be kind to myself and appreciate it was really hard.

lljkk Sat 31-Aug-13 12:51:44

You're not a bad mum, just exhausted. Can anyone else support you? In 10 days the toddler groups start up again, can you get out to some? They were sanity savers for me.

23 months between DC1 & 2, 2-6 weeks after DC2 was born was the hardest.

Haddock73 Sat 31-Aug-13 12:49:11

Yesterday was the worst by far. Ds2 cried nonstop from 5.30pm to 1.30am. Bfing and thought it was going well but he was screaming for more and I didnt have anymore, plus he was hideously overtired. We gave in at 1.30am and he had 1oz of formula and slept til 6am. I feel so overwhelmed with guilt and have cried all night and morning. I am really not coping.

Cosmo89 Fri 30-Aug-13 23:35:56

I've skimmed most of theses, so I apologise for being the xr
Crappest- 1 was hard work enough for me. I am awe inspired that you have 2 humans under 2 and you manage to keep them alive. Well done, Ms. Amazing- you're AMAZING!

Wuldric Fri 30-Aug-13 20:16:16

Hey, chin up!

Is it possible for you to send DS1 to nursery for a couple of days a week? I ask because this is literally the only thing that kept me sane after the arrival of DC2. DC2 breastfed all day long, literally. There was no way on earth I could have looked after a toddler as well so those days that DC1 spent at nursery were my lifeline.

CreatureRetorts Fri 30-Aug-13 20:12:18

It took me a long time to get over the guilt of ruining DS's life when dd arrived! He was 26 months at the time. I remember not being able to do his bedtimes and that was really upsetting for me. What helped was sticking dd in a sling - she lived in it for the first 3-4 months. It wasa bit awkward but it meant she was less likely to get upset and I could deal with ds too. It got harder again once she started grabbing stuff. But we're getting there.

Now, after 20 months I feel guilty that I don't spend enough time with dd as her elder brother is very articulate about what he wants!! So she gets shoved aside and goes off to potter although she's quite happy doing that (cue more guilt).

Try and get your DH to take the newborn in a sling for an hour here and there so you can deal with your eldest (although he may not always want to play with you), involve your ds in looking after the baby and get him to help with chores eg I got ds to chop mushrooms for food etc etc while dd slept in the sling and I prepared meals.

The mornings were the time I got stuff done - so up and showered while DH got ready too. Then dd fed, in sling while I chucked a meal in the slow cooker for dinner and made lunch for me and ds to reheat. Then out for the morning - park/library/playgroup then home for lunch and ds would nap. That remains our routine (roughly) even now.

I had lots of snacks around for me and ds. Also a few little cars and magazines to whip out while I fed dd to keep ds still (especially when we were out and about).

Take each day as it comes and don't worry if things don't go to plan. Just use tv or snacks if you need to!

MistressDeeCee Fri 30-Aug-13 20:11:20

OP, yes it is hard. I got pregnant again when my 1st was 7 months old, so I know exactly how you feel. When DP went back to work, I panicked...I wanted to hang onto his trouser legs & beg him not to go to work ! But what happens is eventually you find your own routine, what works best for you all. & then it becomes easier. As some have said I felt really terrible that perhaps I wasnt giving DD1 all the attention she deserved.

For some reason I got myself into a real tizz, rushing, giving myself deadlines about having to do this or that at specific times. Having nearly reached breaking point with the stress and tiredness I suddenly relaxed and stopped being hard on myself. I found my way, slowly but surely. My own pace and routine, which worked well for me & DDs. After a time I actually found it easier having 2..they were company for each other and could entertain themselves

Im in total agreement with what meandtheboys has DD1 a sibling was the best thing I could have done. Theyre teens now, and still close. I love to see it.

So as said no, its not easy. But it will become easier. You just find whats best for you, trust your own instincts as a mother. Good luck and again as has been suggested up thread, if you feel you need help, counselling etc then dont have any qualms in asking for it

20wkbaby Fri 30-Aug-13 20:04:44

I have a 3.5 year age gap and still identified with what someone else said about missing 1st child and feeling I had palmed her off on anyone and everyone. I think that is just a part of adjusting to having 2 children learning to spread yourself a bit thinner and the older child adjusting. DD2 is nearly 2 and we are still having a few jealousy issues but mainly all settled down now and they do love each other and play together - sometimes!

meandtheboys Fri 30-Aug-13 19:49:03

I have been where you are (only I had a bigger age gap) but I relate to the not knowing how to phyically cope and the guilt you feel about DS1.

You are NOT a poor excuse for a mum but I think we've all felt like that after having number 2.

The task of caring for 2 small people 24/7 should never be underestimated. I was panicking so much about DH going back to work and me feeling out numbered. I'm going to be very honest here and say that in all honesty for the first few months I was not coping. I was floundering around, trying to make life 'normal' for DS1 and I dodn't bond with DS2 for a long time. I felt like if I was holding him and comforting him then it was a waste of time that I could spend with DS1. I feel dreadful about it now but I hated the fact that DS2 cried a lot and needed a lot of attention. I just fel like I was failing both of them. I was miserable.

I was also knackered because DS2 only slept for 90 minutes at a time. But once he slept more it got a lot easier and more bearable. Though it did take 6 months before he slept for 3 hour stretches

Anyway, long story short, I went to the doctors and got referred for counselling. (Not by any means saying that you need to do this but for me the anxiety just wasn't going away and I was not doing anyone any favours by feeling the way I did.) BUT I am happy to say that DS2 is 20 months now and I feel so differently about it all now. I no longer feel outnumbered and stressed out. I know I can take care of them both and keep them both clean (ish!), fed and safe.

I love having two. I love seeing their relationship blossom. I know now that giving DS1 a sibling was the best thing I could have done for him. I adore them both. DS2 is now talking and creating havoc of a different kind and I won't lie and say it's easy but it's actually amazingly lovely a lot of the time.

You will cope. I promise it does get better but if you do feel overwhelmed there's no shame in admitting that and getting help sooner rather than later. Best of luck. It really will be fine.

mumofboyo Fri 30-Aug-13 19:47:25

My two ate 2.5 and 11 mo, I had the same freaking out, oh my god what have I done moments when dh went to work. There were, and sometimes still are, times when I really resented him being able to escape the madness for ten hrs everyday. But I coped.

It has become easier over time, as dd's reflux was sorted out, as she fell into a routine which happened to be the same as ds', it was around the 12 week mark when I noticed patterns emerging in that she got hungry/tired/playful at the same time every day. This routine is what kept/keeps me sane, knowing that at lunchtime I'll get a blissful 2hrs off, because they nap at the same time (as mentioned up thread that was the first thing I sorted) and at 7 they'll be in bed asleep. I can plan my day and any outings around it.

It does get easier, you get better at coping and at zoning out so the screams don't annoy you as much when you're trying to cook tea or change a nappy or grab something to eat yourself.

There are still days when I feel like running away, like today, the last few days have been one long scream-fest, but they are getting fewer and further apart.

If your baby blues don't lift, or you do feel like you need help, don't be scared or too proud to ask for help, be it practical help with babysitting or cleaning or whatever, or emotional help such as counseling. My HV referred me for interpersonal therapy, which finished just before the summer jollies, and it was very helpful, made me realise I'm not supermum, I can't do everything, it's OK to shout and to let off steam, my guilt is unhelpful and unfounded and the judgements of other people really don't matter.

Haddock73 Fri 30-Aug-13 19:28:34

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. I find myself wishing these newborn days away so I can spend time with ds1 again, then I feel guilty for feeling that.

Today ds2 cried so much ds1 put his fingers in his ears and I couldnt do his bedtime. Felt away and burst into tears again.

I feel so.bad saying this but I feel like I've made a mistake at times. Poor ds1 and. Ds2, I'm a poor excuse for a mum.

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