Toddler + Baby = Severe Mummy Stress and Anxiety!!!(11 Posts)
Warning: LONG and RANTING - sorry.
The reason I am posting is because:
1 - I badly need to rant.
2 - I need to know if this is much the same as other T+B scenarios.
3 - I need to know if I should be asking my GP for anti-anxiety medication (already taken anti-dept).
4 - Want to share with others who feel they are in the same boat!!
Two boys. Exactly two years apart. 27 months and 3 months old. Currently FT SAHM. Partner out of the house from 6.30am - 5.30am. No daytime support.
My partner and mum are only back at their respective works after Christmas only one day and I am already feeling frustrated, stressed out and shedding a wee tear. AND now sitting here typing furiously having miraculously got my two boys sleeping at the same time at 3.30pm. Finally have a coffee and am demolishing the life outta a bag of chocolate money coins from Christmas (so much for trying to lose this 3 stones before June)...
Does anyone else find it SOOOO hard with a toddler AND a baby??? To be honest, the baby is the EASY bit... is it just a BOY thing? Are girls easier to handle?
My 2 year old is an absolute treasure for his age - funny, clever, enthusiastic, energetic, kind (mostly) and a super wee character. What's the problem then, I hear you say...?!?
All day long... is spent firefighting him. You can hardly take your eyes off of him for two minutes - he is into absolutely everything.... a typical toddler, I know. But they don't call it the 'terrible twos' for nothing! the tantrums are about anything and everything... my Mum says that he has a tantrum with her 'now and again' but with me at home it feels like it's every half hour! I just find it so exhausting. I can deal with the tantrums fairly well I feel... I stay beside him, let him ride it out, talk to him... but it's the way they leave me feeling afterwards. Sometimes if I might have raised my voice to him a little too loudly or have shown him more of my frustration than I should be... I feel like shit afterwards. I shouted at him and grabbed him away quite roughly this afternoon when I caught him touching a light switch with wet hands. After me telling him off, he asked me for a pen to draw in a notebook which I gave him but then he started scrawling all over the walls. He knows it's wrong as he was giving me that cheeky face as he was doing it. And when he saw me coming over to him he threw it across the room and it just missed his baby brother. I feel as if we have been ranting at him for 'throwing things' and 'hitting' for months and months now. I mean, WHEN do they start getting it??? Then of course he is upset - because I have shouted at him but also because it's 3.30pm and he is getting really tired. I am wondering if he is phasing out his daytime nap... but then if he doesn't have one he is really tired and cranky in the afternoons. I had coaxed and coaxed him to nap for several hours but then I did give up and let him go about his playing around, hoping he would tire himself out naturally. When he is upset he is all 'Daddy huge, Daddy huge' and I have to tell him that Daddy will be home soon to give him a hug. I, on the other hand, rarely get hugs and kisses from my wee boy. Most of the time, I don't allow it to get to me - he is only two. But then on a few occasions, it really does make me feel like shit!!
I am finding that having two very young kids is pretty much bouncing from one to the other all day which is manageable. But when my toddler is like I described above... my baby spends much of his day in his bouncy chair. I always try hard to not make my toddler feel left or pushed out by the baby but if I am honest, it is usually my baby that comes second. I feel so much guilt as I don't feel I am getting to spend time with my baby as I should and he deserves, playing, talking, holding and cuddling him... and as such he is growing into a little observer. I am stressing that I am not doing enough for his development. Then when I am tending to the baby, I am stressing out and feeling guilty that my toddler isn't getting enough interaction, that he is bored and I feel ENORMOUS guilt if some days we don't have any excursions or outside activities on the go (sometimes it's just too much and I don't make it out).
If I finally get two minutes to myself... I feel guilty for sitting down having a coffee, typing out this HUGE rant and eating chocolate when there are chores, washing, an abundance of things to be done AND last but not least... BREAST PUMPING. My baby is on 100% expressed breastmilk at 13 weeks and I am trying to keep it going until he is 6 months old... or until I start weaning him.
When I go to bed at night FINALLY... I am stressing about whether or not I am doing enough for them both... for their development, for them. As an only child, I worry about how I can or need to nurture their sibling relationship as they grow up. I don't want them to hate each other. Love and kindness are very high up on my priority list of parental guidance.
I sometimes feel resentful that I am not even able to read a book anymore. It is 3.55pm and I haven't even had a WASH. Ok, I know I could have had one instead of typing this but I don't really like to leave my toddler and baby alone in a room together even if they are both sleeping.
Am I being too hard on myself?
DO I NEED TO GO TO GP TO REQUEST ANTI-ANXIETY PILLS?????????
If anyone has taken the time to read off of this - THANK YOU SO SO MUCH. Any comments, views, good or bad are very much welcomed.......
To end on a positive note, I am thrilled to have two lovely boys and feel so blessed and lucky. I just struggle now and again as it's so challenging and I want to be the best Mummy to them that I can possibly be.
Happy 2016!! xxxxx
That should be 'DADDY HUGGY, DADDY HUGGY'............
Happy new year to you too. And yes, you are being too hard on yourself! My eldest two, girls are 17months apart and when the second one was born it was bloody hard work! It gets easier, believe me! I now have three and have managed to keep them all alive thus far!!!
Don't worry about how much time you spend with the baby, he won't mind, or remember! You can't spend as much time with your second child as you did with your first, it's just not possible. But it doesn't matter, he'll gain other things.
What I used to do, however hard it was, was to go out twice a day. It sounds like a crazy idea but I used to go to play groups or the children's centre in the morning and then a supermarket trip or a walk or the park or a play date in the afternoon. It helped to pass the time and gave my older daughter plenty of different things to occupy her with and tire her out!
Not sure if I can offer any practical advice but just wanted to say you're not alone! I was in this exact situation two years ago, two boys, same age gap. I also suffer anxiety and depression (and live in the arse end of nowhere!) and have no help.....completely and utterly get what you are going through and it DOES get better! My guys are now 2 and 4 and play together most of the time, although I'm now at that firefighting stage you describe, 2yr old threw a whole bowl of flour and butter over both their heads and the kitchen whilst baking today!!
Things that help.....once littlest is a bit older and not so dependent on you make sure you get time to yourself at some point, I started running, this also helped my mental health a huge amount.
I also paid for my 2 year old to go to nursery for a couple of hours two mornings a week. Don't know if this is an option for you? I didn't feel bad about it either as was a tiny rural nursery where they did lots of fun stuff so he loved it there. Gave me a bit of breathing space.
Never feel bad about taking some time for yourself, you will be a better mum if you look after yourself a bit better. Eat well, sleep as much as you can and plenty of coffee, and try and find a friend in a similar situation to spend time / rant with and let the kids play??
Oh also, don't know if you use a sling at all?? My youngest lived in it, only place he would nap and I felt a bit less guilty about giving him less attention as he was cuddled up to me at least!
Couldn't read and run. I have a 3yo and newborn and I agree with pp - get out of the house whenever you can :-) I make up a reason to go to the local shops if necessary, or go looking for squirrels/cats/whatever you can convince toddler to walk to find.
Also, will toddler watch TV? My 3yo doesn't nap anymore so I let him watch tv after lunch most days so I can have a sit down. I also let him watch iPlayer on tablet upstairs with baby in bouncy chair in bathroom while I have a v quick shower.
My Dd was 2.8 when DS was born - we are now 6 months in and all is a bit calmer. It's tough- get out the house as much as you can, be routine focussed if it makes you feel better, eat chocolate.
Does your older go to nursery for a few hours? We paid for dd to go to preschool 15 hours before her 3 year funding started and it really helped
You are not alone, I have a 2yr 5month old and 5.5 month old and its tough! My DD currently thinks I'm soft play and as soon as I sit down climbs all over me or demands i play with her constantly. As soon bas I feed DS she wants milk or will hit him or me! We get out every morning, either groups/the park/ play date etc but afternoons are worse as she is dropping her naps! Thomas is my saviour today!
Hi everyone who has very kindly taken the time to comment so far... I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
I am not able financially to get DS1 to nursery until September this year when he turns 3. I am currently not working and DP is self-employed so we will need to wait until eligible for the funding.
I have really thought hard as to ways to make it better and more manageable on myself. I recently got a baby sling off of eBay. But I have struggled to get my baby into it - from the point of view that he just doesn't really seem to like it. It's as if he doesn't feel comfortable and feels too restricted in it or something. I feel so pissed at myself generally not only that I couldn't breastfeed my baby (from one side only so ended up just expressing 100% of the time) but I can't even carry him close to me in a baby sling. I wonder if this is why my DS1 doesn't turn to his Mummy when he is upset or unwell??? I couldn't breastfeed him either and he got only expressed bm until 6 months and I wasn't able to carry him in a sling or backpack as I had lower back issues from epidural.
I think I just feel quite crap generally at the moment re being a Mummy. Feel like I have lost so much confidence. 3 stones overweight and DP and I had counselling for first 6 weeks of DS2's life as DP wasn't there for me during last 2 months of pregnancy. BUT all that's another can of worms so I won't go into all that........ I do know that I am a bit of a perfectionist by nature which I hate and a worrier... so I am trying hard not to be too hard on myself... but I find that hard too... :'(
I think it's GREAT advice about getting us out every single day... But I have to admit that I actually find that quite hard to do... there always seems to be one obstacle or another.... BUT maybe that's the way to go!!! ;D
As for a sling - if you can, try going to sling library. It took me a while to find one that both I and my baby liked. It may be the wrong size, or position, or not ergonomic carrier (some of the most popular carriers are not ergonomic).
As for other points, I always wonder how SAHP do with two children! My toddler is 4 days at nursery, so I only have Fridays with both t+b, and it is hard enough! From what I read, you are really hard on yourself. Cannot advice re anxiety pills, but a chat with GP cannot hurt.
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