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Feel like i want to 'reconnect' with my toddler

(14 Posts)
LMonkey Sat 01-Aug-15 23:46:25

DS is 2.8 yrs and we also have 5 month old DD, who is very demanding. She's lovely but only ever wants me, screams when she's not with me for 5 mins, won't take a bottle and generally wants to be breastfed/cuddled by me/or at least in very close proximity to me all the time. I do feel that I have lost a certain amount of closeness with DS since DD has been born. I try to play with him but there are days where she is just constantly screaming and the poor little lad gets neglected. He has also been a bit cheeky and naughty recently, which I'm sure is a cry for attention. He often does naughty things, so I will ask him not to, to which he usually says "no mummy" and just carries on. I'll ask him again in a more firm tone. And then I usually end up losing it and shouting at him because he's ignored me the first couple of times when I didn't shout. I've been doing the naughty step quite a bit recently but don't want to do it for every single thing. Basically he just doesnt listen to me. He's also a nightmare when we're out - he has now perfected the art of climbing out of his buggy (despite being strapped in!) and totally ignores me when I tell him to get back in/sit down. Physical force is rather restricted having DD strapped on the front of me in the carrier. Don't even get me started on letting him walk anywhere.

I'm sure plenty of you have had this situation after having a second DC? I feel sad that we have lost our closeness and he tends to favour his dad more now. I'd like us to do some stuff just the two of us but as I said it just doesn't seem to be possible at the mo. Any thoughts on how I can make things better?

ouryve Sat 01-Aug-15 23:49:23

Had a similar age gap and it turned out that DS2 wasn't nearly so bothered when I wasn't even around for about 90 minutes, at least. Is it possible to leave your baby with someone for an hour or so and just get out alone for that time with your toddler and give undivided attention for that brief period, even if any longer proves impossible.

Dontloookbackinanger Sun 02-Aug-15 00:01:47

If it makes you feel any better it might be his age rather than his sibling. My DS is 2.5 and also doesn't listen/says "no mummy" and he's an only child. He has also suddenly started exhibiting a real preference for his DF.
I have been trying to do fun activities where he had to follow instructions. We made gingerbread men this week and it was lovely. He felt very grown up and important being allowed to cook with me, and loved decorating and eating them afterwards. As it was a treat, he was really engaged and I imagine think that he's been more responsive since. It made one hell of a mess though grin

LMonkey Sun 02-Aug-15 12:09:41

Thanks for your replies. Love the gingerbread idea, Dontloookbackinanger, may do something similar myself. Yes his behaviour could well be his age. Still feel like I need some time with him though sad

MioNome Sun 02-Aug-15 14:40:20

I started similar posts like this when DS2 was born when DS1 was 2.4yo. I felt heart broken and like DS1 and I would never be the same again. When DS2 was about 2 weeks old, DS1 was looking sad and when I asked him what was wrong he replied "mummy had a baby" sad
DS2 spent first 6mo in a sling (and still only naps on me....) so I struggled to have any alone time with DS1 at the start. Also I think I shouted at him more on the first day I was alone with both of them than I had in his entire life up til then!

You'll get there. DS2 is now 9mo, and DS1 still tells me all the time how much he loves me, so I guess he's forgiven me! The truth is the relationship you have with your first born will be changed forever and I think I actually mourned it for a while. Also DS1 is growing up and is 3yo now and not a baby and that is a bit sad too - I have a 'new' baby now. It's all very emotional and a bit of a head fuck!

For months and months it felt like DP and I were two single parents sharing the same house, each with their own kid. But over the next few months I'll go back to work, DS2 to nursery and (I hope...) out of our bed and into his cot in their shared room. It all evens out in the end, DD will need you 'less' and it gets easier.

As for the naughtiness, i found I lowered my expectations and raised my tolerance. If he wasn't in danger and wasn't hurting anyone or running into the road I sort of let him just do what he wanted. He also watched a lot of TV the early months, but since the spring/summer it's all got easier. Especially as DS2 is now eating with us and requires fewer naps.

It gets easier - Your DS will soon adore his sister and he'll always adore you, don't worry.

MioNome Sun 02-Aug-15 14:43:16

op
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/parenting/2321690-When-do-DC1s-come-back-to-you

Here's one of the threads I started back in the dark early days. I definitely feel close to DS1 again and reading the post again reminds me how much easier it is now. You'll get there.

Racheyg Sun 02-Aug-15 19:36:46

Hi op,
Sounds very similar to my situation, my ds1 has just turned 2 and I have a 9 week old.

Ds1 is naughty just to get my attention. He has since started to pull my hair while nursing ds2 and grabing ds2 head out the way. I dread rainy days as the park is out of the question.

I feel for you op, let's hope it improves for us all xx

waterrat Sun 02-Aug-15 20:39:53

Having been in exact same situation I can promise you its totally normal and also partly his age. The leap in behaviour and language between 2 and 3 is immense and in a few months you will be in a totally different place

I do think it's good to get one to one time with the toddler. . .even something small like going to the library for an hour while the baby naps.

But...im now a year on ...and honestly they will love each other and your son won't remember life without the baby ...and he will also be a different older person.

waterrat Sun 02-Aug-15 20:42:46

Oh and on the buggy thing. .. get a double ! I had exactly the same situation and I really think it's extra stressful trying to control and parent a 2 year old with a a baby in a along. All my most stressful days were when I tried to do that.

Make life Easy on yourself. ..just knowing that you have somewhere to put the baby down will make you feel calmer

Lower your standards on the discipline. Praise the good ..Don't give much attention to the bad unless they are hurting someone ...it will pass ....

NickyEds Sun 02-Aug-15 20:43:08

no advice as I'm in the thick of it myself but many sympathies. My dd is only 2 weeks old and I've been quite shocked by my feelings towards ds (19 months). We anticipated the sleeplessness, bf issues etc but I had no idea just how much I'd miss my boy. I'm a SAHM so for 19 months it's been just the two of us and it's been hard for me watching dp do everything with him. I've started to carve out some time with him on his own, I do ds's bath now , just us two and I wake him from his nap and have a cuddle. I know it sounds awful but I feed and feed dd and get her as settled as i can but if she cried then dp would just have to comfort her as best he could and I'd do the bath anyway-I think sometimes the toddler need to be prioritised a tiny bit! I'm worried sick about dp going back to work though.

LMonkey Sun 02-Aug-15 22:38:14

Thank you all smile. I'm feeling reassured now.

Mionome, sounds like you could be me! Thanks for your post.

DS does adore his sister, so at least that's not really an issue. He always cuddles and kisses her. Any jealousy manifests itself in being naughty to us!

I really really wanted to avoid having to fork out on a double buggy, waterrat, though I know it would make life easier. Im not sure that we could fit it in our car boot for one thing as can only just get the our original pram in there. And to be fair when I've taken dd out in her pram she's never half as happy as when she's in the carrier. But a double would be the ideal.

Bed times would be our quality time but dp doesn't finish work til late so I've got no choice but to put them both to bed on my own, and dd almost always screams the place down during what should be a peaceful process, until story time when she does shut up! DS deals with it really well though, bless him and does usually go to bed without a problem. In fact recently he has started being a little bit too keen for me to leave the room after I've kissed him goodnight! hmm

Shelduck Sun 02-Aug-15 23:26:27

mionome - Just wanted to say thanks! What you said about feeling like you and DP were two single parents sharing a home - I remember reading that on one of your previous posts, and having read a few threads along this general theme, i had a eureka moment, and i thought "yes, that's exactly what it feels like!". Knowing that what I felt was obviously something that others felt too helped me to stop worrying about it, and just get on with things, and I often think of your description, so thank you!

OP sorry I don't have anything to add beyond what others have already said, but I am sure it will get better. Hang in there!

ThewheelThewheel Sun 02-Aug-15 23:32:07

I'm not sure I have much useful to say...am a bit further on from you with DD2 1.5 now...have been through horrible peaks and troughs from mourning relationship with DD1 to feeling guilty for not loving and protecting her as much as DD2 to having the odd snatched moment of closeness again now. I'm glad people are discussing this.

glasshouses88 Tue 04-Aug-15 08:07:38

Hi lmonkey just wanted to let you know that, like a lot of mum's, I know how you feel.
My ds1 is 4 and my ds2 is 7months. Ds1 and ds2 have different dad's so I had this protective bubble thing of ds1.
It does get better. When ds2 was first born I was almost at the point of grieving for the time I had just me and ds1.i cried nearly everyday over it and would sink into deep daydreams thinking of all our adventures.
Now ds2 is past the newborn stage I do feel better. Ds1 dots on him and shows him so much love and ds2 is so responsive to ds1.
I started a similar thread also...and somebody replied reminding me that I will not always be here or times when I won't be very well,(not the nicest rhought but puts it into perspective)and so he and his brother will have each other.
It won't always be like this, the first year can be rough. Get as much time together just you 2 as possible. Me and ds1 often go to the cinema together or walks and he really looks forward to mummy and me time. Keep going your doing great

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