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i am ashamed to write this- but dd1 is driving me mad and i am starting to resent her

(13 Posts)
beforesunrise Mon 15-Sep-08 14:32:02

i have two dds, 2y7m and 4m. dd1 is a really great child and i love her fiercely, but she has a strong personality and is very challenging and confrontational with me. she pushes my boundaries constantly, and behaves with me in a way that she doesnt behave with anyone else. everything is a struggle., bedtime, naptime, mealtimes, going out, going back home etc etc.

she is in part i am sure jealous of her little sister, but 4 months down the line this is starting to wear me out and i was hoping she'd have outgrown this stage by now.

i have hired someone to help me a few hours a week, but she keeps pushing this lady away and doesnt want to be separated from me even for 5 minutes. it is a struggle even to leave her with her dad for a few minutes on a weekend.

i am starting to resent her, i want to spend some time on my own or alone with the baby, and i feel terrible for feeling this way. i just cannot find a way of communicating and relating with her anymore. what is wrong with me? i love her so much and yet right now i want her to be gone. i feel like the worst mother in the world.

PoorOldEnid Mon 15-Sep-08 14:39:36

sorry - bumping this for you

I think its normal behaviour at this age esp with a 4m old

it is also normal to resent it and want some time alone with your baby

can you not put her into nursery for a couple of mornings?

EachPeachPearMum Mon 15-Sep-08 14:41:46

I'm sorry, but she entirely jealous of her sister! She has had you to herself for 2 and a half years, and now she is having to share you with a newborn, who probably unavoidably gets the lions share of attention between feeding, changing, putting down etc.

She wants to be re-assured that you still love her, and she is still your baby too.

Could she start nursery 1 day a week- giving you time alone with DD2, which could then be reciprocated by DH having DD2 at the weekend so you can spend nice one-to-one time with DD1?

I am facing this myself in January when DC2 arrives, and as the older sibling myself, I really really don't want DD to feel pushed aside for a newb, as I felt. sad

Hopefully someone who has actually been through this will be along with advoce soon...

PoorOldEnid Mon 15-Sep-08 14:42:50

agree that time just with her will reap dividends

to be brutally honest, she needs time alone with you even more than the baby does

Marina Mon 15-Sep-08 14:44:25

Get the lady who is helping to mind the baby when feasible and spend that time with dd1.
I agree that they can be most trying at this age, and a baby sibling just adds to the pester potential.

Jic Mon 15-Sep-08 14:45:19

you poor thing you must be feeling dreadful. you are only human and you are allowed to feel resentful even if it is your own child- she is another person too isn't she? My dh reminds me of this when im having a bad day with our dd 2y3m that they do push our boundaries because they understand that we love them unconditionally and that at the end of it all we will hug them and show them love so she knows she can do it to you baecause you'll always be there for her. try not to feel a bad mother im sure you're not and rest assured i feel exactly the same sometimes and feel terribly guilty afterwards. I'm due in 5 wks with my second so im sure ive got this coming too- it must be still jealousy and her behaviour is the only way she can show how she feels. nothing is wrong with you, you are reacting to a very difficult situation, not sure if this helps to make you feel a little less awful, im sure ill be posting the same thread in a few months time. it will pass and things will be brighter.

electra Mon 15-Sep-08 14:51:21

How do you handle the jealousy? It will disappear in time but only if you work on the situation so that your older dd starts to see her sister as her ally and as someone who will love her, and not as a child who has taken her place.

I agree with Enid, too. But don't be hard on yourself - you have two very young children.

bruces Mon 15-Sep-08 14:52:37

When i had my dd 3 years ago my son now 8,began to play up big time at home and school,i read about giving him 10 minutes special time where it's just the two of us,i don't answer the phone and ignore any minor interuptions,we do his 10mins once my youngest is in bed,he doen't get his 10 mins if he has been naughty,i use a sand timer so he can see i'm not cheating with times,we play what ever he wants or i read comics or extra stories,this has helped our relationship.Also i let him help me with his sister and got him to do things like choose her pjs for bed,or the clothes she's going out in(not always the best mix but hey)
Good luck

uberalice Mon 15-Sep-08 14:54:12

You're dealing with a really difficult age. I've got a 2 and a half year age gap between my two, and the first year to 18 months were quite a struggle. Can you try and arrange for someone to look after your youngest DD for a morning, once in a while so you can go out and have some special time with your eldest? I'd take DS1 out on a trip, we'd go for lunch, I'd let him choose where to go, and happily let him change his mind a handful of times. I'd tell him how much I was enjoying our special time together, and that we'd try and do it again soon.

I read this book a year ago and it really changed my outlook on parenting. It is very hard, but it does get better, slowly.

3littlefrogs Mon 15-Sep-08 15:01:33

I posted this reply to someone else with a similar problem a while back. can't find it now, but it was something like this:

Imagine your DH came home with a younger, prettier wife. He tells you that you must be kind and gentle with new wife, and that you must love her etc. He spends lots of time with the new wife, and doesn't seem to have as much time for you as he used to.

As if that wasn't bad enough, everyone else seems to make a fuss of the new wife too.

Also, it seems as if everyone's expectations of you to be able to cope with this new set up, and be more independent than you used to be, have increased.

You find it very hard to articulate and express how you feel.

You are very afraid that DH doesn't actually love you any more, and you feel as if everything has changed and you don't know why.

Would you be able to get over these feelings in 4 months?

It will get better, but dd1 is still a baby herself, and she does need your support and reassurance.

IME it really is better to get as much help with the new baby as possible, so that you can spend one to one time with dd1. she really needs that reassurance.

PoorOldEnid Mon 15-Sep-08 16:23:19

siblings without rivalry is another good book

beforesunrise Mon 15-Sep-08 20:06:12

thanks everyone. I know what upheaval the arrival of her sister has caused for her- she is a sensitive and passionate child, and i am sure it is tough. i understand it perfectly and have really strived to give her all the attention she seems to need, in the summer i had my mum's help and we spent lots and lots of time together at the beach, without her baby sister. i also know that perhaps being back at home without the additional attention of granparents and uncles and having to really, for the first time, share me wit dd2 is hard.

but still... her sister is getting a much worse bargain and it is starting to make me a bit mad too. she is now starting to need the interaction, she needs someone to smile and play with her and i feel that just being physically close to me in the sling all day is not meeting her needs anymore. so i am cross, because i want to give BOTH my children what they need, but i cant. and in the process i am also driving myself insane. and dd1, bless her, really knows how to push all my buttons.

so while i know that i need to give her one on one time, i also know that i need a break from her or i will go insane...

Pendulum Mon 15-Sep-08 21:51:16

Hello beforesunrise, I can really sympathise. I have a slightly larger age gap- DD1 was 3.6 when DD2 arrived nearly a year ago, and the last year has been extremely hard if I'm honest. DD2 screamed constantly for four months, DD1 has really played up, and the fact that I know why she's doing it makes it harder to cope with-I feel so guilty about the loss of our previous intimacy.

Two things have helped:

- passage of time: now that DD2 is crawling and playing, DD1 is beginning to see her as an ally. I'm beginning to feel as though DD1 has gained a sister rather than lost her parents.

- one-to -one time: at weekends we often "divide and rule" for a couple of hours at a time- so DH will take DD1 swimming while I play with the baby, then I might take DD1 out for a shopping trip on our own. We always reconvene for meals and "family" stuff as well but DD1 really seems to blossom under individual attention.

Good luck-it is really tough i know. I am quite cheered by some of the opther comments on this thread about how much easier it gets when they are no longer babies!

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