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feel so sad. Relationship with DS terrible since new baby

(15 Posts)
1757 Tue 04-Aug-09 09:58:26

I have a DS aged 3 and a DD aged 7 weeks

I am really enjoying my DD and have bonded with her immediately

The problem is my feelings towards my DS. I had PND when he was born and found him to be a really difficult baby. However I got over it and grew to really enjoy him and when I fell pregnant with DD we had a really nice relationship. Since DD however we have struggled.

Initially my DH did a lot with him as I was needed by DD. This caused my DS to want his Daddy and he rejected me, even when I was trying to have some time with him. Now DH is back to work he doesn't reject me but he irritates me so much and I just feel he gets in the way of me enjoying my new baby.

He seems so big and brash and noisy. He won't play with his toys anymore but just gets under my feet and in my face. He makes me feel panicky and anxious because I feel I am treading on egggshells not to upset him, or make him jealous or cause a tantrum.

I am so down about it today as this morning I came close to lashing out at him physically. I find myself wanting to push him over or have fantisies about giving him a good hiding. He fiddles with himself constantly which drives me nuts (I don't mention it as know it is natural)

Last night I had to change his nappy as he had done a poo. It was 4am and right in the middle of one of my DD few stretches of sleep (she isn't sleeping well at the moment). It was disgusting as had been there for a while.

I am a terrible mother I know. I am being selfish and understand he is just a baby himself and isn't doing anything on purpose but just wants attention and feels a little pushed out.

I hope it gets better, my feelings towards him because right now I feel our relationship is suffering sad

p.s. would like to add that he is a lovely and well behaved little boy, it is me

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Tue 04-Aug-09 10:08:25

Hi 1757. COngratulations on your new DD.

I'm a new mum of 2 having had dd 3.9 yrs ago and DS 5 1/2 mths ago. I too had difficulties trying to manage both and deal with DD at first. WHat helped me was MN (so your already on the right track) and remembering that 3 is still very young. I made the mistake of thinking that DD should suddenly grow up, when of course she just couldn't. Also, DD was seeing DS getting lots of attention for being a baby so reverted herself a little in a bid to get some more mummy time (wanting to be spoon fed, slip up in potty training, wanting to go on buggy again). It's all perfectly natural, understandable and will pass.

It takes time and pateince, but for me, as I said, the start point was remembering that DD is only little too, that she needed love and attention and she was getting used to the new status quo in the family.

Give DS lots of cuddles, when DD is napping spend time with DS playing/reading/whatever he likes; when your feeding DD, read to DS at same time. You'll find that the more attention you give him the less he'll demand (he's getting under your feet because he wants to be with you, he just doesn't have the words to express that to you)

Having to deal with one child whilst the other one is quiet and you thought you'd get a break is parenting I'm afraid. It'll happen all your life so best get used to it now.

I think you are undoubtedly doing a great job. The fact that you are worried about it and asking for help shows your relationship with your DS isn't broken, just re-defining and your working your way through how to do that.

It will and does get better (we're only a few months ahead of you and I can testify that it does happen).

FlightHattendant Tue 04-Aug-09 10:10:30

This sounds very painful for you both sad

I remember resenting my elder child when I had my second. It was similar - I bonded instantly with the new baby but had never quite got there with ds1.

I didn't want him to spoil things sad

It was early days however, and after a few difficult months he started to bond with the baby in a brilliant way - they formed a relationship of their OWN< which was a surprise to me and really took the pressure off. Ds1 could make ds2 laugh in a way I never could, and they became best buddies despite 4 year gap.

In the early days one tip I found helpful was to sit in ds1's room, holding ds2 on my lap, and talk quietly to ds2 about how great ds1's thing was that he was building, look what clever ds1 is doing, type of thing - just in a whisper - and I watched ds1's little face turn into a silent smile as he played.

I know you know how out of proportion your feelings are, and how much of it is to do with your own thoughts, and that he really is a nice little boys etc, but getting past those resentments is not easy.

Give yourself time and try to get his father to step up whenever possible.
I would guess the sleep disruption is a big issue atm, but that will ease off. Once they are friends with each other you'll feel better.

labyrinthine Tue 04-Aug-09 10:15:53

Just want to say what you feel is a common phase~you do still love him it's probably an evolutionary behaviour to make us look after the new baby.
Accept it as a phase,while the deep bond is still there~you know it is,imagine him getting terribly ill etc you know you'd be extrememly attentive.
Make yourself divide up your time,be patient and kind and snuggle up to him and pick him up a lot to keep that closeness.Get as much rest and help as you can.
And don't feel guilty~you love him you are just tired,adjusting and stretched and protecting the new baby
xx

Aranea Tue 04-Aug-09 10:18:19

It is still very early days. Don't panic. It will take a while for things to get back in balance again but they will do. Especially since you are clearly so self-aware and realise that you need to focus on this issue.

There was a good article in the Guardian on this a few weeks ago:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/parenting/802213-feel-so-sad-Relationship-with-DS-terrible-since-new-baby

Aranea Tue 04-Aug-09 10:19:33

whoops sorry wrong link. Trying again:

www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/04/motherhood-second-child-family

luckylady74 Tue 04-Aug-09 10:28:10

I like what I read in one of those'best friend's guide to babyhood' books.
The gist of it was you enjoy your lovely new baby when you're feeding her in the middle ofthe night. The rest of the time you feed/cuddle/change, but your absolute focus has to be the other child because they need you so much- their world's turned upside down and it's your job to be their rock.
Fake it for now and it will become real. My ds1 has had very challenging behaviour which contrasted sharply with his younger siblings and I find when I'm feeling 'off' him I have to up the amount of cuddles/'mummy loves you so much' stuff to make us both feel better.
Well done for posting -it's still early days -I look back and cringe at some of the things |I did with ds1 when the twins were born, but what's done is done and today is a new day.
If it gets a lot worse I would speak to your gp or health vistor just in case it's depression or something.

1757 Tue 04-Aug-09 10:37:52

Just tried to play a game with him there. Ended up in tears because I lost my patience sad. I can't stand him right now and it is starting to show.

Poor little thing doesn't deserve this on top of having to cope with a sibling. It is my own feelings and not him. The child always comes first and we should always see things from the child's point of view

1757 Tue 04-Aug-09 10:40:46

I know it isn't depression. I had that with DS. I was on a high for the first six weeks and now I suppose the drudge and tiredness is catching up a bit.

Going into town to buy him new shoes. Will treat him to a gingerbread man at M&S

PortAndLemon Tue 04-Aug-09 10:46:05

Also, when your DD is old enough to be left with someone else try to take a day, or just a half day, or just a couple of hours, to go somewhere with your DS and do something he would really like to do and really get involved in it in a non-judgemental and non-directive sort of way.

Even before that, another tip I read that really helped and that only takes 20 minutes or so a day is to properly play with him. The "rules" are simple (although hard to stick to if you are anything like me): you don't ask him any questions and you don't tell him what to do. Instead you say "Let's play!" and just join in with what he's doing (he's likely to ask you what you should play, so just say something like "whatever you like" (note: not "what would you like to play?" which is a question) and comment on what he's doing in a descriptive manner (e.g. "you're piling the blocks on top of each other"). If you're stuck for what to say, listen to what he says and echo it back (so him: "I'm building a tower", you: "The red block and the yellow block make a tower"). Aim for a comment every thirty seconds or so. It sounds silly, but (a) it's surprisingly difficult to do (made me realise how much of DS's life I spend telling him what to do or interrogating him) and (b) if you do it every day for a few days it really does seem to make a difference to your relationship.

LeninGrad Tue 04-Aug-09 10:59:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gateau Tue 04-Aug-09 11:22:07

Intersting portandlemon, partic as I have another DC coming later this year and my DS will be 2.6
Do you think that's a good approach to have with your DC throughout, whether there's a new baby on the scene or not?

PortAndLemon Tue 04-Aug-09 11:26:17

Yes, probably -- but I think a new baby can make any strains in your relationship with DC1 more obvious so that you realise you want to improve it.

1757 Tue 04-Aug-09 14:36:03

Just back from town. We had a nice time and he was so well behaved I felt guilty about my feelings, but also pride and love.

When DD came along I only felt sadness and tenderness towards him. That I had inflicted a sibling upon him and that it was no longer just the two of us. These feelings of anger and irritability have only just surfaced.

I think part of the problem is that I never get to spend time with him, when DD is completely away and I am relaxed. If she naps (and she usually only does so for a a short time) I am conscious that she will wake up soon. Or she is in a sling attached to me or breastfeeding. With the pressure of her waking up for a feed and the need to get chores done as well, I just feel anxious trying to squeeze it all in. I think someone needs to take her away completely for an hour and like someone suggested, I do something with him that he enjoys.

I do love him dearly but I want to enjoy both of my children, not just my DD.

I know the days of resting when baby sleeps are gone but TBH, I didn't get that when DS was a baby because he didn't sleep much!

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Tue 04-Aug-09 15:54:20

1757 - that's great news. I'm glad you had a good time. It is really hard learning how to fit it all in again, but it does come, and surprisingly quickly. You'r just coming out of the first 6 weeks fog of a new born when the broken sleep and monotony (for me anyway) of it all starts to hit home. It's not surprising that you feel irritable.

It's taken me a while to get used to things again with DD after DS was born, particularly (and I haven't said this before) as DD was a nightmare baby and DS is an angel baby - I just felt like DD was always going to be hard and even worse now I had DS. Of course, she's lovely and fun and coping with a new brother too. It all clicked in around 4mths for me with DD and DS together and we are doing fine.

I know you will too.

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