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worried i dont love older child as much

(17 Posts)
givemeevenmorecoffee Sat 03-Jan-15 03:17:03

Please help, my ds is 12 weeks old and a real velcro baby but fairly easy. My older dd was a really tough baby and is a complicated and really highly strung 3 year old. She has been having huge tantrums which have worsened since the baby but she also moans and complaints all the time. I know a lot of this is normal toddler behaviour and that she is adjusting to the baby, but i also find i get really irritated by her and I'm worried that i just find it harder to lover her since the baby came. I feel like a terrible mother for feeling this and i know that i should expect her to struggle to adapt. I spend my whole day struggling with feelings of guilt. I try to have special time with her to build our relationship and I've tried lots of positive reinforcements to help us both feel better but I've just seem to have lost the special connection we always had before. I virtually always have the baby stuck to me which must be awful for her and I'm sure she feels very betrayed. She will frequently reject me and only want my oh

please help, I'd love to hear how other people managed their relationship with older children when they have a baby and how i can help get back that lovely bond we had

ChristmasJumperWearer Sat 03-Jan-15 04:03:03

Oh you poor thing, I have been there, done that, and sympathise completely. Big hugs.

I'm now 3 years down the line from you and it has got easier but DC1 does still get jealous. As do did I when I was the DC1 with the exact same age gap.

But...they play so nicely together now. Not all of the time, but there are lovely moments.

What made it easier for me in those early weeks, which was tough as a staunch breast feeder, was to introduce bottles once a day, expressed and formula, so that I could handover DC2 to a willing DH or grandparent every few weeks and spend some time with DC1. Usually it was as simple as bath/bed time, but we did have a day out together at around the 3-month point which we both loved, although it was tough to be away from DC2 for that long.

Obviously ignore this last part if you are a committed breast feeder. I still bf DC2 to 15mo, but found this flexibility a real help when dealing with DC1.

I've now engineered childcare and our routine such that both DCs get some 1:1 time with me during the normal week and it really helps us all to get along. After two weeks all together over the holidays, we are all struggling a little!

It's tough. Your OH, if you have one, will naturally gravitate to DC1 and you probably need to help redress the balance a little for everyone's benefit.

FWIW with the DD-then-DS dynamic, the DS's do often, I'm told, become Daddy's boys once a bit older, so you have plenty of DD time to look forward to once that happens.

But do enjoy those DS cuddles in the meantime, until they get too grown-up!

rumtumtugger Sat 03-Jan-15 06:00:07

I completely understand where you're coming from. The whingeing just gets to you. I found that 'lovebombing' helped me to love spending time with her more - reconnecting with her. Also take some time for yourself if you can . Hard though.

givemeevenmorecoffee Sat 03-Jan-15 06:15:52

Thank you, i think love bombing would really help dd. I have given the odd bottle of formula but have managed to add that to my list of guilts as I've found expressing hard. Its reassuring to hope that there might be some special mummy- dd time again in future.

CheerfulYank Sat 03-Jan-15 06:51:47

It is so hard! I'm with you. I have a DS who is 7 and a DD who is 19 months, and am due with DC3 in June.

I have had a hard time with DS since DD's birth. He is a lovely kid but very argumentative and it wears me down. DD is "easier" and still in the oh-so-cute stage and it's hard not to prefer her sometimes.

I just keep reminding myself of all the great things about DS and trying to act as lovingly toward him as possible. I know when DD hits the tantrum and talking back stage the wind will shift in DS's favor again anyway wink

DeckTheHallsWithBartimaeus Sat 03-Jan-15 06:59:39

I was tempted to write a similar OP. DS1 is 3 and a handful. DS2 is 8 months and utterly gorgeous.

When pregnant I worried that I wouldnt love DS2 as much as DS1. Now I worry thats its the other way around.

I try to spend some one on one time with DS1, where I aim to be more understanding and less irritable. I am finding it hard to feel the overwhelming love I did before tho. I think a lot of mine is linked to extreme sleep deprivation. I have told DH we're not having number 3 cos Im worried I ll totally lose myself and that the boys will always have a tired, grumpy and distracted mummy.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Sat 03-Jan-15 07:03:31

Ds1 is 2.4 and DS2 is 8 wks. Basically DP and I are both single parents each looking after one son it feels like.

Am really missing DS1, DP and him have so much fun together and I'm just "stuck" with the baby. Feels like ages since DS1 and I have done anything really fun together ( last couple months of my pregnancy sucked) and I feel some of the closeness we had has gone sad

idtwinplustoddlermum Sat 03-Jan-15 07:21:57

What is love bombing please? My 4yo dd has been "challenging" since the arrival of twin boys 9 months ago. I find presents from them to her help (just little things). Whenever they are sleeping I drop everything to play with her (even 20 minutes makes a difference). I find this hard as have the usual need to race around doing household chores when the sleep but no one looks back to the days their kids were tiny wishing their house had been cleaner. X

Violetta999 Sat 03-Jan-15 07:26:39

Read the highly sensitive child by Arun. Look for it on amazon. Will really help you understand and appreciate your DD.

Can you start having fun with DD? Be silly and make fun of the baby's funny faces or laugh at its poo together. Or pretend DD's a dog or the babies an alien? Read to toddler while breast feeding? Save the telly for feeding times too

Violetta999 Sat 03-Jan-15 07:28:09

Also there's a good chance she knows how you feel about her. Agree with live bombing and holding her in high esteem. Lots of little cuddles, pats, kisses as passing

CheerfulYank Sat 03-Jan-15 07:33:48

There's a good chance she knows how you feel about her

sad That is my biggest fear during all of this, that DS will be able to realize that I find his sister easier. My poor boy. I will do better starting today.

givemeevenmorecoffee Sat 03-Jan-15 08:18:10

I know what you mean about feeling stuck with the baby flipflopsonfifrhavenue. I feel so jealous of oh spending time and having fun with dd. I'm terrified that she picks up on how i feel too, she can be very rejecting of me often saying. "not mummy" or "mummy go away" which makes it hard to have quality time with her whilst baby sleeps. It is getting a bit easier but i think she rejects people before they can do it to her. This isn't exclusive to me but it is worst with me which breaks my heart.
generally when she's upset she wont allow people to comfort her which again just makes her a more complex little person.
thanks for the book recommendation violetta999.
and thanks for all the comments, it really helps

summerlovingliz Sat 03-Jan-15 08:22:39

Get some mutual eye rolling and baby going.. 'He's only a baby, not a big girl like you'. Get her involved in helping more with his care showing that you need her, lots of reassurance

AnotherStitchInTime Sat 03-Jan-15 08:36:16

I tried to keep things as normal as possible with dd1's routine when dd2 arrived. Dd2 went in the sling and we went to the park/playground/playgroups as normal. When I breastfed dd2 I would sit on the floor and play with dd1 or read a book. When dd2 slept I had 1-2-1 time with dd1 and did baking/painting/crafty stuff.

I did similar with dd2 when ds arrived. DH also gave the older ones lots of attention until the baby became less velcro. I also got them to help with changing baby and bath time. They all play together quite nicely now at 5, 2 and 1 years old.

givemeevenmorecoffee Sat 03-Jan-15 08:39:03

Also, when they are so grumpy and moany etc what fo you do about discipline? I don't want to pick her up for everything or i would spend all day telling her off when i think she actually needs quality time but i also don't want to just let bad behaviour go in case really bad habits develop! Its all such a tightrope isn't it!

AnotherStitchInTime Sat 03-Jan-15 08:42:08

Ignore and distract for most of it unless they are hurting baby/damaging things/drawing on stuff they shouldn't etc... Humour helps.

dorasee Sat 03-Jan-15 08:58:52

Try including her in baby's routine. Have her help sponge baby in the bath. Show her 'This Little Piggy' using baby's toes. Have her help choose baby's outfit. My 4 year old has a baby Annabelle which we bought for her at 3. We have a 7 month old and my 4 year old has been able to be a mummy to her dolly and mimics my own actions/behaviour with the little one. This has been wonderful!

Make sure you emphasise that the baby is her baby too, not just yours. My mum gave me thus invaluable advice! "Let's bathe your brother/sister" or "You can watch me nurse your little brother/sister." My DD would joke and say her little brother was having broccoli milk or fish and chips milk. I make it sound easy. It's not, I know. And my DD is 4. This is easier than 3. Also each child has their individual personalities and anxieties and as parents we just need to honour this and help them adjust to change and new experiences. It really gets easier once the baby interacts with the family more. Good luck to you and congratulations!

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