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Feeling guilty about how little time I spend with 2nd child

(12 Posts)
MuddlingThru Thu 02-Aug-07 09:55:02

I know PFBs get lots of attention and that 2nd (and subsequent) children just have to fit in but I do feel guilty about how much less time i spend with dd compared to ds. He is 2.1, a typically boisterous boy, so does need a lot of attention. She is now 9 months and has always been very contented to just watch us and/or amuse herself with her own toys. I know that if she wasn't happy she would soon let me know - babies aren't shy about letting you know when they aren't happy!

I just feel that he gets the majority of my attention whilst he is awake and with me. Then when he isn't around, eg nursery 2 mornings, naps, etc, I then want to get on and do all the things that are so much easier to do when he isn't under my feet and as a result she gets dumped in different rooms whilst I clean, hoover, iron and generally get all the household chores done. I am sure that as she needs me more to play with her I will find the time to do so (and hopefully her brother will be older and more able to play by himself or gently join in with her activity).

I guess I was just looking for re-assurance that this is 'normal' and wondering whether there are any words of wisdom out there.

NAB3 Thu 02-Aug-07 09:57:03

Don't worry, your eldest probably needs you more than the baby does and as you said, she would soon let you know. I have 3 and trying to give them individual attention is pretty much impossible.

nailpolish Thu 02-Aug-07 09:58:42

hey dont feel bad

i was like this with dd2, but i think everyday life going on around baby is very very good for them

and your 2nd baby has soemthing your first baby never ever had - a big brother

my dds are 4 and 2 now and dd2 has her own opinions and ways of getting attention (believe me!) and she has certainly no signs of missing out on mummy 1to1 time - and your dd will be the same

lisad123 Thu 02-Aug-07 10:02:10

I have just one right now although due my next in Oct. If your that worried isnt there someone that can help out, eg mother or kids dad, so you can have one to one with both?
Maybe just spend one of the mornings his at nursery cleaning and always have the other as time with dd. Will DS nursery days increase soon?
If you feel bad about not spending more time with dd, then try and make it work, you know your children better than us, and you know if your dd is missing out. Listen to your own views and make changes.
Good luck


Pidge Thu 02-Aug-07 10:03:49

muddlingthru - don't worry - I felt exactly the same, and was wracked with guilt about this with dd2, I also just felt that because my time was divided I didn't feel as passionate about her as I did with my first daughter and I was wracked with guilt about that too. But gradually as she has grown into her own person (she's now 2 1/2) I've grown to love her more and more, and have been able to give her more attention as she joins in with family life. Recently watching her play with her 5 year old sister it really struck home just what an advantage she has getting all that extra stimulation from her older sibling, and I began to almost feel bad for dd1 for missing out on that you can't win can you!!

MuddlingThru Thu 02-Aug-07 10:07:16

I agree that having everyday life just going on around her is very very good for her. DS never got to go to 2nd birthday parties when he was her age! I think that is partly why she has been so contented - watching a 2 year old bundle of energy hurtling around is pretty entertaining, being taken to all his activities provides plenty to see and usually generates lots of cuddles from other grown ups.
I think what has prompted my latest round of guilt (hey I am a mummy, if I didn't feel guilty about something I would feel guilty about not feeling guilty) is that she is on the verge of crawling and I can see how much more attention she is going to need and the UN peacekeeping skills I am going to need whilst they both learn to share (oh well that will only last a few years). It has made me realise just how little of my attention she has needed up until now.

nailpolish Thu 02-Aug-07 10:18:42

dont be sad or worrying

its amazing how things fall into place, including how they share

does your dd go for a nap? my older dd used to love it when dd2 went for her nap - i would say "come on, lets go and play/watch a dvd/wash the dishes/whatever together" she felt like a grown up girl that way

MuddlingThru Thu 02-Aug-07 10:30:22

dd does go for a couple of naps however she actually tends to sleep less than her big brother! I guess when ds does need more 1 on 1 time when the whole sharing thing kicks off I will use her morning nap as quality time with him.

bobblehead Fri 03-Aug-07 02:12:44

I'm so glad you posted this MuddlingThru as I've been feeling exactly the same about my dd2. She is only 17 weeks, but like your dd just a contented little thing. Mostly she is dumped somewhere while dd1 (2.2) gets all the attention, but her little face just lights up when anyone plays with her. I've eased my guilt so far by signing up for a kindermusik class on a Saturday morning while DH takes dd1 to swimming lessons (starts next month).

Sakura Fri 03-Aug-07 02:44:10

I think the way you`Re raising her is perfect. Not too full on, not too child-centred. A busy mother and a sibling is exactly what a baby needs, not a quiet house, lots of toys with a mother whose life is devoted only to her.
I have one child and I admire anyone who goes on to have another.

scattyspice Fri 03-Aug-07 12:53:27

Muddlinthrough. I could have written this 2 yrs ago.

Now DS is 4 and DD 2 and she gets most of the attention. I think 2yr olds have a way of getting the attention (LOL).

So it all works out in the end.

MuddlingThru Fri 03-Aug-07 21:23:43

Thanks for all the replies, especially those who have been there and come out the other side - it is reassuring to hear that it is all normal and that it all works out in the end. I am sure that when dd needs more attention I will manage to juggle and meet both their needs. In the meantime the upside of the all the bustle of family life will balance out the downside of less individual attention.

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