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Feeling like a crap mum now there are 2 DCs - is this normal?

(24 Posts)
bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 21:42:59

DS is 2.4 and DD is 11wks old. Whilst DD's feeding has settle down somewhat, I still feel like I'm stuck on the sofa half the day and that DS isn't really getting a look in.

I try to play whilst she has her naps, although I often have to resettle her, or she doesn't nap for too long, but at the moment I feel he must be bored stiff and wondering what on earth is going on.

By the time I've fed DD, winded, done nappy etc. I feel that DS needs some time. As a result, I feel that I'm not giving her any time other than the essentials either.

DS isn't his usual happy self, always manages to get a noisy toy out just as DD is going to sleep (and bless her, she is managing to sleep through a lot and I can't confiscate ALL his noisy toys!) or starts asking me to get up and play just as I'm finishing a feed, today I started losing patience, which I hate myself for and I just feel like I'm struggling so much and will never find a balance so they both get the attention they need, as well as [selfish emoticon] just a little bit of time for me too. (heaven forbid me and DH should actually have couple time at some point in the future...)

DS goes to nursery one day a week, so I've started baby massage with DD. I'm not really into toddler groups, although have found a new one I'm going to try on a Friday. I take us to the library one morning, and would love to get out for a walk every day, but DS is at the awkward age of not always wanting to get in the pram and as I usually only have a limited window inbetween DD's feeds, don't usually manage to persuade him (plus this dam heat means staying indoors at the moment anyway, and there I was feeling smug at being on mat leave across the summer hmm)

Please tell me it'll get easier and more enjoyable at some point. I met a mum at baby massage with 2 DCs similar age to mine, who said she struggled to get out and some days just didn't bother so it was refreshing to hear someone feeling the same. (and envy to the mum of four under 6, who were all in bed asleep by 7.30 hmm).

I constantly find I'm beating myself up for not being supermum and feel like i'm getting everything wrong - DS is now a fussy eater, on lactulose for constipation and straining very often, so can't really start potty training as he has a smidge of a poo every couple of hours and i just don't think i could manage it for him with DD needing attention.

How do you get anything done and feel like you're doing your best???

bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 21:44:50

sorry, should have ended by saying, how do you get anything done and feel like you're being adequate!?!

wrinklytum Fri 03-Jul-09 21:50:23

DD was born when ds just turned 2 and she was a total flipping nightmare.She screeched and cried and i HATED it for about 6 months (she had some health issues though).After that it settled down a bit and I came out the other side.IT DOES GET BETTER.

You are normal and coping the best you can atm.It is a shock esp with a smallish age gap.

Mine are 3 and 5 now and it gets much easier (Though there are still days I want to run away and lie down in a darkened room with no small person disturbing me!)

wrinklytum Fri 03-Jul-09 21:52:01

Re second query,lower your housework standards for a few months,Let C beebies be your lifeline and ignore all the other smug mummies,they are probably talking bollocks anyway

malfoy Fri 03-Jul-09 21:57:02

I really feel for you. It is HARD. I have a 20 month gap between my two and I found the first 3 months hard beyond belief.

*It will get easier.*

I found it difficult to get anything done and I found myself resenting my friends who only had one child.

littleboyblue Fri 03-Jul-09 21:58:48

Hi. My ds's are 23 months and 5 months, and OMG these arly days are hard aren't they?
It's only been in the last couple of months that things have got a bit easier.
I found that I was my own worst enemy though, I was expecting far too much from myself and the children. I used to feel like a right failure if at bedtime I hadn't managed to read a story to ds1 or do the washing up, when really it should be if we get to bedtime and everyone's still alive that's a great thing! IYSWIM.
I also find it quite hard to ensure both boys get enough time with me, but am now accepting that it may not happen.
I try to encourage ds1 to help as much as possible and try to make him feel valued and important. For example, when ds2 starts to cry, I leave him for a few mins until ds1 notices and then I say "Oh, shall we see what's wrong with your baby?" ds1 will say "yes" and run over to him and I try to get ds1 involved as much as possible with passing me nappies, wipes, clothes etc.
Ds1 is watching far more tv than I'd like, but is handy because while I feed ds2, I can talk to dsq1 about what's happening on the tv, or can ask him about his toys he has in the room at the time.
I know it seems neverending, but in all onesty, 1 day, it'll all fall into place without you even realising.

Mithered Fri 03-Jul-09 22:02:35

You sound just like me 12 months ago. It does get better and as they say - this too shall pass.

Ds will get used to having DD and they will play together soon so you won't have to constantly entertain them.

Cbeebies is your friend
And I repeat - Cbeebies is your friend.

It is only for a short period of time. You sound like you are doing the best you can but make sure you get some time for you otherwise you can go under trying to be supermum. There is no such thing just mums who try to do their best.

I won't try and give you any advice just empathy that I have been there and keep going. You are doing a great job

malfoy Fri 03-Jul-09 22:04:29

Cbeebies was my lifeline, esp the bedtime hour.

Forget potty training or anything moderately ambitious.

Try and get your DP/DH to look after your DD at the weekends so that you can do something alone with your DS. I felt awful for neglecting my DS because DD was such a clingy baby. I still feel guilty now and he is 5. BTW he is perfectly happy, adores his sister and bears no scars.

wrinklytum Fri 03-Jul-09 22:04:53

The breakthrough will come suddenly one day.

With me it was when they were both splashing each other in the bath and laughing.It all suddenly seemed worth it and I had to wipe away a tear.Tonight I got all choky cos ds sat and read dd a story.She was gazing at him adoringly (Theres nothing quite like a big brother!).I'm not sure how much she understood as she has learning difficulties.But oh it ws so sweet!Last night they were rolling about on the floor together playing "Squash".Basically,dd just lands on ds and gives him a big cuddle and sloppy kiss.Sometimes he "Chases" her.(Shes a bit wobbly as she wears splints and is a bit uncoordinated) and she screams with delight.

Be warned,initially the older one will be a bit miffed by the impostor and rival for Mummys attention 9I well remember the first time I left dd and ds together as i dashed to the loo,on return I found dd had an empty shoebox on her head courtesy of ds who apparently "Wanted to stop her crying".They have the odd ruckus when she destroys his carefullly planned games...but really,one day it will come together,it really will

foxinsocks Fri 03-Jul-09 22:06:10

oh you need to lower your standards which is easier said than done

tbh, it is a shock because you are used to having all your time to dedicate to one child and then you can't do that any more and I can see why that might make you feel inadequate

but take comfort in the fact that this is good for them grin

no-one needs 100% attention all the time - they won't get it in nursery or school

in your whole post, you hardly mentioned time for yourself at all! Don't do the typical mum thing of putting yourself to the bottom of the list. It's so easy to fall into that trap.

you sound like you're doing great, just getting used to having 2!

(will ds use a buggy board yet? he might like that better)

bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 22:08:43

oh thanks all of you, it's just in RL, nobody seems to mention this stuff! and when people say accept all offers of help hmm - what offers???

yes, the tv is my new best friend (the PFB who who never going to watch TV - what was I thinking?!! - he also now eats chocolate, non-organic food and the odd ready meal from M&S) and I do try and talk to him about what's on and I do think he's learning stuff from it (you can hear the guilt in my voice can't you?!!)

bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 22:13:54

wrinklytum that brought a tear to my eye too, thanks what a lovely tale! thank you all, i do appreciate the replies so quickly.

bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 22:16:20

yes, buggy board worth a try thanks, the only problem is that he's possessive of his pram "my phram" he keeps saying, everytime I've suggested trying DD in it, so don't want to take that away form him too! - I use the baby bjorn with DD, and am hoping that by the time she's too heavy for it, DS will have moved on from his pram

wrinklytum Fri 03-Jul-09 22:19:37

Stop the guilt!

You are doing your best.Your dcs are loved and fed and watered and stimulated as best you can.

You are doing a good job.

The perfect mum doesn't exist.You cannot do it all.Hell,you've only recently given birth!Go easy on yourself and look at the stuff you ARE doing.

I repeat IT WILL GET BETTER even if it doesn't feel like it right now,it will.

bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 22:24:39

thanks smile
one bonus is that DH bought us a dishwasher a month before DD arrived grin so that helps. and DH does do as much as he can with them and does a bath with DD so I can have 15m with DS. Some nights I even manage a story before bed with him - DH does DS bedtime whilst I feed DD - at least it's brought DH and DS closer.
thanks you lovely ladies!

littleboyblue Fri 03-Jul-09 22:32:50

Remember CBeebies is aimed at pre-school children. It is tv for them of quite a high quality as is produced in a way that they can learn from it, so don't feel guilty about that. My tv is on all day, sometimes ds1 watches it, sometimes he doesn't.

There is also nothing wrong with asking for help. Needing support or a break every now and again doesn't make you a bad parent, or not good enough.
We all struggle with little ones. If anyone says they haven't had bad stages and felt exactly how you do, they are lying! There is no such thing as a supermum.

I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I am the best mum I can be. Why? Not because ds1 eats organic foods (he doesn't), not because he's never had a fruitshoot (he loves them), not because he doesn't have mcdonalds once a week (sometimes twice actually), but because I know I am doing the best job I know how to and the best that I can. Doesn't mean it's the 'right' way or the 'best' way, but it's my best way. You can't do any more than you can do.

bethdivine Fri 03-Jul-09 22:45:48

I actually had ridiculous expectations pre DS, which I lowered step-by-step - DD will be having petit filous rather than natural yogurt mixed with apple puree (organic of course!) and I'm sure she'll be eating choc a lot sooner than DS did, due to him having it around and she already gazes at the tv when she's in view of it (not often if I can help it just yet tho'), but I suppose I had visions of me and DS having fun in the garden whilst DD coos in her baby chair watching us, i pop over every so often to feed her...
back in the real world, I finally settle DD for her nap, DS poos, by the time I change his nappy, DD spits up, I resettle her, get the jigsaws out, finish one, DD wakes again. i will just accept that c'est la vie and i'm surviving. - and will find time over the weekend to dye my hair and hide the grey peeking through sad thanks again.

littleboyblue Fri 03-Jul-09 22:48:58

Lol. That's how most days go for those of us with 2 or more little ones.
I think my 2 have somehow managed to work out the worst times to poo, plus they have decided to let one scream and when I've settled that one down that the other one would start. Oh the joys........

foxinsocks Fri 03-Jul-09 22:52:27

honestly beth, people in real life may not be saying it to you but I think virtually everyone I know has felt a little like you at some stage

my sister has 4 now and that 4th child has no choice but to just get on with it himself! He practically feeds himself already, sleeps wherever he is put and quite happily gurgles in anyone's arms!

Alishanty Fri 03-Jul-09 23:25:00

Hi I have 2 dc's aged 2.10 and 10 mths so 2 yr age gap. I found the early days quite hard, just felt like I was on the go the whole time and even now (dd doesn't sleep too well but is getting better) if i am tired I just don't feel like going out. I tried to potty train ds and it was a disaster and just couldn't cope anymore so he has gone back to nappies for a while. It has got alot easier though and i'm sure it will get better. I sometimes look at other people at toddler group or whatever and think they are 'supermums' but I'm sure behind closed doors we all have the same worries! Oh and I gladly take any offer of help from family members so I can recharge my batteries lol

Gemzooks Fri 03-Jul-09 23:37:44

bethdivine, I have 14 week old DD and 2.9 DS and I feel your pain! It just seems as if either you're neglecting one, or the other, as their needs are so different. I used to be out all day in the park or whatever with DS, now it's a quick dash fitted around her feeds, or I sit feeding her trying to call him back to me as he teeters on the edge of something dangerous! All I can say is it is getting a bit easier, just think back to week 2 or 3 and how you felt then, that's what I do.

some possible ideas:

bribe DS with little packets of raisins or a small toy to get in the pram.

My hunch, and I could be wrong, is that you're on gina ford, don't be offended if I'm wrong? I did it with DS and am more or less doing it with DD but I definitely modified our routine this time, I think ok, come what may I will get them both out to a playground. Then I will feed DD while DS runs around. this is, of course, hell. I found it really helps to meet up with other mums where they can mind one of yours for a bit while you either feed or play with your DS and the other toddlers. sounds like you're doing all the right things with the playgroup etc. Also, this sounds mean but could you send him to nursery another day? just to get a bit of rest.

Another thing I've found helped is I leave the baby with DH and take DS swimming once a week on Sunday morning, it just makes that bit of time with just me and him, which we wouldn't otherwise have.

also DS has doll and buggy and we both take our 'babies' out, just round the block to the swings or whatever.

Above all, don't beat yourself up! It is so blumming hard and a bit shocking at first..I keep trying to remember that 1) first child already had loads of love and attention and is still getting it and 2) you have given them, probably, a lifelong friend by giving them a sibling, they just have to wait for the sibling to get a bit bigger.

sounds like you are doing great, do some nice things for yourself too, you deserve some breaks!

Pyrocanthus Fri 03-Jul-09 23:51:08

It does get better, honestly. Don't be too hard on yourself: use the telly to keep DS happy if it helps and wean your DD straight on to chocolate to save time (you know it makes sense).

Forget potty training until you feel ready - if you have a bit of time to spend with him don't waste it worrying about his bum.

Acknowledge that the baby is being a bit of a pain with a bit of humorous eye rolling sometimes so DS knows you understand.

Engineer a simultaneous nap if at all possible - by which I mean all 3 of you. Don't engineer it while driving (a friend of mine managed to put herself to sleep behind the wheel as well as her baby and toddler - fortunately nobody was hurt, but it stopped me from using the car to get my 2 to sleep at the same time).

Slings are good for keeping the baby happy/asleep while freeing up both hands and a bit of your head for the older child.

Take care.

shish Sat 04-Jul-09 16:43:47

beth I fully sympathise. I have ds1 3 years and ds2 14 weeks and it is really hard. All the advice on here is so positive and I will be taking a lot of it home. The worst is when everyone else looks so confident and they never let on that they may be finding a little hard. I give you credit for taking them both out by yourself - I've not had the confidence to do that yet. Ds1 is in nursery everyday - I'm a real cheat!

bethdivine Sun 05-Jul-09 21:28:28

wow, thanks for all the extra replies and suggestions/support, I'm so glad I posted this on friday night now, I was worried people would think it was a daft post.

I will try all the suggestions, thanks. Only thing is DS has dropped his daytime nap more or less and will only really go off if we're out in the car, or if I take him in the pram now. I have started introducing "tickets" for things, as he kept asking for teletubby custard, so now if he asks for chocolate or custard, I say ok, we haven't got any, let's get the ticket and go and get some off the man in the shop, so he hands over his ticket as I pay for it and usually drops off, so at least I can get out that way (this of course only works if he asks for it at the right time if we've just had lunch and DD is fed and changed!)

No, not doing GF - this time I've been determined not to read any books having devoured stacks last time in search of the answers that weren't there, so I just try and go with the flow, DD feeds on demand, and I couldn't tell you what time she feeds or naps as just wanted her to find her own routine - I figured I'd just wait till we'd got the 12wk growth spurt out of the way and then see for a few days if we have a pattern, fingers crossed grin. - With DS I timed every feed, start time, how long it lasted etc. and would obsess over it at the end of each day and was so stressed about what time he was supposed to nap and people who would disturb him by cooing at him or jumping over to pick him up if he flickered his eyes - he's been such a crap sleeper I probably made it worse by imposing nap times on him!

DS used to do 2 days at nursery, but I dropped it to one in the end as it's such a hassle getting him ready in time - DH takes him and he does do loads in the morning to get us ready, but DS gets upset whenever he goes (settles down after 10mins or so), especially since DD has arrived, and we just thought we'd save the money, but maybe we do need to rethink that one, even if it's just for the next couple of months.

thanks again for taking the time to reply, I do feel so much better!

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