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New Baby and DD age 4 am I being a terrible mum to DD?

(19 Posts)
onehitwonder Sat 01-Aug-09 13:44:20

My DS is now 8 weeks old and DD is quite naturally being a bit more 'challenging' since his birth. Despite my best intentions pre DS's birth ie: I will look after DD first as she will be aware of it. I won't be precious about the baby etc I find myself pushing her away when she is trying to cuddle him as I am feeding him (he is hard to feed at times and needs a bit of peace and space). I am also sushing her when I have got him to sleep and of course don't have so much time or patience for her due to sleep deprivation sad.

She is a lovely little girl, bright and funny, she knows she is being short changed. I am finding time to spend just with her each day (reading books at bedtime or having a cuddle when DS is sleeping). Any advice on coping better, or when things will improve much appreciated.
DH has taken them both out in the rain today to give me a break smile, but I am sat here feeling so sad for my girl sad.

hunniesugarplum Sat 01-Aug-09 13:52:34

it sounds to me you are doing the best you can, nobody is perfect and i dont think youve done anything wrong you are spending one on one time and it is still early days, be kind to yourself! i honestly dont htink you could be doing any better smile

LIZS Sat 01-Aug-09 13:59:37

Try not to be so hard on yourself . You do make special time for her . Be very positive about praising her good behaviour, maybe stickers for letting you feed even if you put tv on for her, being helpful, playing quietly while he naps (and remind her you have longer together if she does), walking nicely when you go out etc. It won't be forever but you and she need to adapt and develop realistic expectations as ds gets older.

onehitwonder Sat 01-Aug-09 14:04:36

I really am trying, but I don't think I was prepared for how my protectiveness of DS would affect DD. She seems like the 'big girl' now and despite knowing she is really still very young I worry that I am expecting too much from her behaviour wise.

She wet the bed for the first time in over a year the other night sad which I am sure isn't unrelated to the situation.

winestein Sat 01-Aug-09 14:28:43

Wish I had some advice for you sweetie. It sounds tough, but, even though you don't feel like you are, it sounds like you are doing incredibly well.

See you soon hopefully xx

DUSTIN Sat 01-Aug-09 14:57:27

onehitwonder I know how you feel. I have a 12wk DD and 3y DS. It's very difficult to be fair to both children and in doing so I always feel I am short changing them.

I read lots of stuff to try and prevent sibling rivalry but it is hard sometimes to put it into practise.

Take care.

colditz Sat 01-Aug-09 15:16:41

Bluntly,it's a lot harder to be perfect for two children than it is to be perfect for one. Give yourself a break. You'll only fuck her up enough to ensure she's interesting - you're clearly concerned for her welfare so you genuinely won't damage her.

zuzkah Sat 01-Aug-09 15:45:33

Only a mother of one here but there is what I would try...
At four, kids are very social and love role play. What if you go with your dd and buy a special dolly for her. Tell her it's 'her' baby and if she could look after him/her as you do with her brother. So maybe pretending to bf or bottlefeed her when you are feeding your ds etc.? Also, is she starting a reception class in September? It will get better, you ll see. You are doing very well!

maggievirgo Sat 01-Aug-09 15:49:47

i felt like this. My relationship altered over night with dc1 when dc2 came along. she regressed.

My x was no use at all, but I should have made him deal with the baby more. Taht would have made my dc1 less jealous.

Tough times. It gets easier. I don't envy you.

Bibelots Sat 01-Aug-09 15:55:50

Colditz - you're back! Lovely to see yousmile

IMO it is actually better for your DD to go through this now and get it over with, than drag it out and keep putting her first until some future date when your DS starts to be aware. It will be better for their relationship. Your DD is now one of two children, she will always have to share you and sometimes her brother's needs will dominate (and vice versa).

I felt just the same but now DS1 adores DS2 and includes him in his games etc. He can't remember a time when it was just him and nor will your DD in a short while.

theoptimist Sat 01-Aug-09 16:01:41

Yes I felt a bit like that at first. My DD2 is now 3 months old and is getting more settled, although she was really ill last week so I gave my other two almost no attention. But, they understood. I think being that little bit older than yours (just 6, and just 8), they do. But I had the problem when I had DD1, with DS. Still it all settles down over time. Your baby is still so young. But it wont be long before you can get back to giving more time to your DD. And they wont remember this short period of time. So be patient and it'll all come good for you I'm sure. It is temporary! I think most mum's of more than one feel this way at some point, but I don't think most feel this way permanently.

notsohot Sat 01-Aug-09 16:27:55

I felt the same when my DD2 was newly born (now 5!) & DD1 was 5. I found myself being relieved when she went to school so I could concentrate on DD2 (breastfeeding all day etc). I sympathasise hugely - it's all OK now but I do still feel guilty about it when I think of it. Try not to beat yourself up - the very fact that you have the insight to know that this is an issue means that you are a good mum & can be a good mum to all of your children. I strongly felt that there was something primeval about the way I felt about dd2 - nature's way of ensuring that I looked after the weakest member of my brood. Could just have been bf hormones, though! grin

Sophiale01 Sat 01-Aug-09 20:40:24

I know exactly what you are going through. DD will be 3 soon and DS is nearly 7 months so small age gap. I felt guilty for having DS for the first 3 months. I was so concerned about the effect on DD it was awful. However, now its like DS is part of the furniture and has always been there. DD is interacting with him and she understands that sometimes, she has to wait (and so does he as well so it goes both ways). I no longer panic when I have both of them on my own for the entire day. It will get easier.

onehitwonder Sat 01-Aug-09 21:06:44

Oh thanks so much for all the messages! Colditz yours made DH and I laugh - no mean feat tonight.
Well DH got back with DD and DS and I was determined to spend some one on one time with DD, which I did, but by bedtime, when I had got DS to sleep in time to do a bit of bedtime with DD, her banging and shouting just got to me (worried she would wake DS up). I explained that I wanted him to stay asleep because I liked having time with her at bedtime. Five minutes later I was telling her to shut up blush sad as she was yelling about something. Sigh.
I am hoping that DS is at his worst now and that as things with him improve, so will things with DD, as all he has done today is wake up - scream, feed - scream, sleep - wake up - scream, you get the picture.
DH and I are grimly clutching our glasses of wine now grin.

becktay Sat 01-Aug-09 21:36:04

ds1 is 3.5 and ds2 is 12 weeks. we are going through similar situation to you but things are just getting a little better since last week (touch wood)! i find allowing ds1 to play baby quite helpful although yesterday i did think he regressed a bit too far as he was climbing up my top pretending to be the baby in mummy's tummy hmm
good luck!

loobylu3 Sat 01-Aug-09 21:54:38

It is really hard to share yourself out fairly. I have 3 (baby of 5 months, 4 years and nearly 7 years) and I feel guilty too. I think every mother does! I tend to be v protective of the new baby and hate them to cry. The good thing is that you have a slightly larger than average age gap between your two so your DD can understand far more than, say a two year old and therefore be able to accept the new baby better. Presumably, she will also start school in Sept, by which time the baby will be easier as well!

roseability Sun 02-Aug-09 15:25:57

gosh I could have written that post myself!

I have DS aged 3 and DD aged 7 weeks

I felt very sad for my DS and mourned the time when it was just the two of us.

He seems so big and brash and like you I can't stand him jumping all over me when I am trying to feed. I do feel our relationship has changed a bit and there feels like there is a divide in the family sometimes i.e. it is him and daddy and me and my daughter

I feel very guilty as some people have suggested that I should leave DD to cry and learn to sleep - so that I can give DS more attention. However I just can't do that and she is a baby that likes to be held and breastfed a lot.

However my DS is lovely with her (he tends to take his jealousy out on me) and I have a theory that because he sees us caring for her he also feels love and tenderness for her.

If I left her to cry in another room, what would this teach my DS?

Of course I will leave her in urgent situations e.g. my DS needs the toilet. Or if I have started reading him a story I will finish it before I go to her

onehitwonder Sun 02-Aug-09 21:12:43

Your DS's reaction sounds very similar to my DDs Roseability. As you say, she is lovely with DS, perhaps a touch over affectionate, but this morning he was yelling and I laid him down on the sofa to swaddle him. She came over and started to chat to him, kiss him and she calmed him right down smile, which of course she got lots of praise for.

We have had a better day today. I have been less tired and more patient. She and I took the baby for a walk this morning and as he slept the whole time, she got my undivided attention. Then DH just took the baby out at lunch time for a walk, so we had some more time.

So feeling a bit more positive today and everyones post have made me feel like I am doing the best that I can - thanks all smile.

roseability Sun 02-Aug-09 22:03:19

I must get DH to take DD away sometime so that I can spend quality time with DS

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