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What am I doing "wrong"?(18 Posts)
I have one DC, who is almost two, and I don't work. Lots of the young families I know have had or are having second children, and it's making me sad.
We had always planned to have two children but just cannot comprehend how it would be possible to cope with two. DH is fine with this decision. I'm very sad about it but know realistically I/we couldn't manage.
I feel like I must be doing something so very wrong for it to seem so unfeasible to have another child, especially since I don't even work.
Sometimes I wonder if it is how I'm doing things. DC is still an avid breastfeeder, and I cannot get him to go to or stay asleep unless he is on me, and has access to my boobs. Consequently the house is a mess, but it should mean that, in breastfeeding, I've still got a wonderful tool to soothe tantrums, bumps and over tiredness, and in having to sit/lie down when DC sleeps I should feel rested, so why do I feel like it is so, so hard work? The only conclusion I come to, is that I'm just not cut out for this, as the only fundamental things I do differently from some are bfing, cosleeping, not working and using a sling not a buggy most of the time, but I honestly think not doing these things would make things harder not easier. It just makes me feel like I'm a really crap mum. I mean, I can't even manage one child.
Is/was anyone else like this when your DC was this age? When does it get easier?
Didn't want to read and run. I don't have much in the way of advice but you have my sympathy OP. You sound so tired and worn out by it all.
When did you last have a break?
I'll also say this; I could not have coped with another child when DS1 was 2. He was a relentless fucking nightmare of a tantrum machine and was such hard work. Now he's 6 and DS2 is 6 weeks old and things are much easier to manage
Sounds like you put DC first all the time, and he knows it. You need to be the person you want to be. You decide to stop breast feeding. You decide where he sleeps, If you are not happy he will be unhappy ... and I would say this ... the older he gets the harder it is to put in place.
You sound exhausted .
I have a 23 month old and a 4 month old. DD2 wasn't planned, and if it hadn't happened accidentally I know 100% we wouldn't even be thinking of another child yet as I would feel like you do! So people may look at us and think we had it 'sorted' enough to feel able to cope with a second but the reality is somewhat different!
DD1 has reliably napped in her cot since she was about 8 months old and I still found the day to day grind with just her exhausting. I know that for me co-sleeping/naps on me would have made it worse not better, but that's not to say it would be the same for you obviously.
Do you get out and about in the day times?
If what you are doing isn't working, do something else. You might have an image of yourself pf someone who slings, long term BF's etc, and thats fine, but if its not actually working for you you might want to reimagine your approach.
What else do you do in a day that is exhausting you? Do you get out without your child?
I have two, 15 months apart. Both breastfed/ co slept/ in sling the first 2-3 years. However I also went to work, dh cared for them half the time, and we did things the same as before children. Just because you do the above if breastfed/ co sleep, you can still do those things whilst having your own life also.
I would continue breastfeeding and co sleeping, but it will be far easier for you if he can fall asleep/ play/ settle without those things. Ie I would put both mine in our bed and read book to sleep, then leave to fall asleep alone, then we would share the bed with them later. I breastfed but never to sleep
DH does help me get breaks, although not normally long ones, I guess. They are off swimming together for the first time without me just now.
I do put DS first a lot of the time, and yes I'd like to change but trying to do anything that might make things easier seems to somehow make things harder to a point that I can't manage, eg getting DS to sleep beside me instead of on me at night results in us all being so sleep deprived I have no option but to go back to what I know works. I know it might be short term, but I just can't cope on that little sleep.
Yes, we get out and about: playgroup, signing, gymnastics, swimming, the woods, supermarket, park, museums etc. Not every day, and we don't always go to each group each week. Some weeks just bumbling round the house and garden is easier, other weeks getting out and about works better.
I guess we probably seem functional to outsiders. I don't feel it though.
DD was similar - high needs baby, bfed endlessly, poor sleeper, co-slept, stressy and nervous around strangers...but from 2yo things started to get easier. At 4yo she is a very easy child, kind, helpful and the best sister to her DS who is 1yo. For me that was the best timing, I could not have coped with a second child when DD was younger but it has worked out fine now. Is there is any reason why you are in a rush to make a decision about a second DC?
What I would say is getting ds to sleep beside you instead of on you might be tough in the short term but it'll be worth it in the long term.
He's at an age now where he can understand that mummy is not going away if he's next to you, it's not like a tiny baby. You have had the best part of three years where your body has not been your own and I imagine having your child sleep ON you at this stage must be driving you over the edge. You need some space!!
Also at 2 he probably doesn't 'need' access to breast milk all the time. If he's using it as a comfort and you're happy with that then great but I would be wary of allowing him all the 'control'.
I think maybe weaning slightly might help, like a breast feed in morning, lunch and before bed and maybe if he's not well but the rest of the time you could maybe look at a snuggly or blanket or something for comfort the rest of the time.
It's going to be hard and if it was working for you then I wouldn't be saying change it but you're clearly completely exhausted and need some space physically and mentally.
Sometimes you have to make a change. What isn't working? If you want to change the sleeping then you can but expect it to be difficult. He is used to a certain regime and won't understand the changes.
Can you get your DS to nursery few mornings a week? It would give you some time for yourself.
Also, there is a huge difference between 2 and 3 year olds. My DS2 was born when DS1 was 2 years and 8 months, and it works great, but I cannot imagine having a baby when he was 2.
As for making your life easier now, I'd suggest to decide on one thing to tackle at the time, and then fully commit. It will take time, but usually first 3 days are most difficult, then your toddler may not even remember what the fuss was about. Can you start changing habits (e.g. sleep) on weekend, when you could get the support from your partner?
I found the constant physical contact of young children hard to cope with. I discovered that I needed periods when nobody was in my physical space (child or DH). I needed changes in the rhythm and pattern of my thinking, so an evening volunteering on a committee when I thought about different stuff and new ideas. I needed to occasionally be able to walk out of my house or go to the toilet without having to plan ahead how I was going to cope with ANOther's needs.
Once I had carved out a bit of space for my needs after DC1 arrived, then I was in a better place to think about sharing myself with DC2.
It sounds like you're expecting too much of yourself. Maybe cut down on the feeds, it sounds like he's using your breasts as a comforter, rather for nourishment. I think it would be a good idea for your son to get into a routine, where he's sleeping on his own, in his own cot, unless you're happy with the arrangements, then that's ok, but remember you are entitled to your own space, which we all need. It's also good for children to learn that we can't meet their needs all the time.
Gosh, having a toddler sleep on you must be giving you quite a poor quality of sleep!
Others have given sensible advice. The other thing to add is that whilst many mums and families look "sorted" they will be feeling the same doubts as you pretty often. Like Grotbag, we had our second surprisingly quickly. I know that to outsiders I look very capable, and I am, most of the time.
On some days, like today, for example, I am just work out. Unfortunately I have drunk too much coffee to sleep when the baby is asleep! But DH knows the house won't be immaculate, he will help when home, and my toddler has had a lovely morning at nursery, so really all I have had to do is look after the baby.
We forced ourselves to do controlled crying with our toddler. It was painful but very short-lived and now she sleeps well. Not saying this is what you should do, but it sounds as though you will have to bite the bullet to change things to look after yourself and this will mean some wobbles and upset.
And folk have their second at all sorts of different times so try not to compare yourself too much. Where I live the majority of mums of babies I know have school aged older children.
I meant too worn out, not work out. I may consider myself fairly capable, but not capable to be having a regular work out!!
Lilipot15-We too used the controlled crying method with DS2, he was such a poor sleeper until 9 months, he used to wake regularly in the night and never slept during the day, we were both exhausted and sleep deprived, once I was so tried, when I drove my oldest son to school, I nearly crashed as I wasn't as aware, due to the extreme tiredness, that's when I knew we had to make changes, as I too used to let my DS sleep on me day and night and I always fed him to sleep, so he never got used to falling asleep by himself, it only took a few nights and DS slept soundly through the night after the controlled crying and started sleeping in the day, which was such a relief for us all. It's not what every parent wants to do, but in my opinion, it helped get my son into healthy sleeping habits.
I agree that you perhaps need to start thinking a bit more long term. Changes are hard and can mean it gets worse for a while but the long term gain can be worth the pain.
I would also say it's still a bit early to completely rule out having another baby. He's still quite young and lots will change in the next couple of years. Unless you are an older parent you may find that when he is older and more independent you could think again.
I couldn't stand co-sleeping or carrying a 2 yr old around all the time. I also breastfed mine for an extended period BUT never used it as a comforter and never as an aid to sleep (well not once they were past around 4 months).
Think about what might change in the near future and see how you can improve your quality of life.
Have a look at the Dr J Gordon sleep training method. It worked rally well with DD when she was 2yo.
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