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At an all time low, please talk to me

(28 Posts)
8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 15:24:30

I have a DS aged 3 and DD 8 weeks

My DD is an easy baby (although I am a bit sleep deprived from broken nights), I am enjoying her and really don't think I have PND. I did have PND when my DS was born though

However I cannot cope with my DS or my feelings towards him. At first I felt sorry for him and mourned the loss of our time alone together. Now I just feel anger and resentment. His behaviour has become more challenging (understandably) and I am not dealing with it. It has come to such a low point that I am lashing out at him and saying horrible things sad

I don't want to be this kind of mummy. I have read the books e.g. How to Talk, Raising Boys and Unconditional Parenting. I stay patient and use the techniques in these books, as I don't believe in punishments and hitting, but then a silly thing makes me snap. When I snap it is awful. Last week it ended up with me yanking his hair sad. He yanked my hair back and was shocked and upset. I have pushed him over and today the absolute low point, I smacked him hard on the bottom and said horrible things.

This was in response to him doing a poo and a wee on his bedroom carpet, one of the ways in which his behaviour has regressed. I know I should be patient and kind about this.

It isn't always like this. I laugh with him, read to him and try and spend time alone with him. I don't agree with my behaviour and try to reason, talk and understand. But I am so low because I worry I am ruining my beautiful little boy with these outbursts. Yes he can be challeninging but he is bright, loving and fun. Everyone comments on what a lovely boy he is and he is lovely with his new sister. It is despite of me he is like this, not because of me I am sure.

I am so low about this and riddled with guilt (as I should be) but I don't know how to improve things. I do get help (although not always enough) and I have a loving and supportive husband who is a tower of strength and a great role model for my DS.

It has got to the point where I feel like I love my DD more and it has affected our once strong bond. I have always found my DS challening but I do adore him.

8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 15:26:47

Does anyone else have such issues? How do you deal with it or improve things?

I am sure I am the only mum who is so diabolical to their child

FfreckleFface Wed 12-Aug-09 15:32:49

I didn't want to leave this unanswered.

I'm sure that someone will be along in a little while with experience of the same thing, but in the mean time, can you sit down with him and do something just the two of you.

Just a drink, a cuddle and a story while his sister is asleep, just to reassure him.

And you are not diabolical.

LIZS Wed 12-Aug-09 15:33:34

Sorry you feel so low but you will need to be patient before you get responses. It is very common to feel protective of the lo and resentful towards the elder who somehow should have matured overnight but frustratingly regresses. There was a similar thread a week or so ago which may help if you can find it.Have you spoken to HV about your feelings ? The lack of sleep won't help, do you have anyone who could watch the baby to enable you to spend time with ds one to one. Are you able to take your ds out to any groups to meet friends as a distraction ?

VinegarTits Wed 12-Aug-09 15:33:46

I'm not in the same boat as you but i do have a 3yr ds, so know how difficult a toddler can be

bumping for you

babyignoramus Wed 12-Aug-09 15:38:16

I'm no expert but I couldn't let you go unanswered. Perhaps the fact that you are finding things easier with your DD has highlighted the tough time you had with your DS and has made you feel resentful towards him? I don't think you love her more, it's just that you've found it easier to love her.

I would talk to a HCP - would the HV be the right person? Or perhaps your GP. It may be that you require some counselling.

Sorry I can't offer any words of wisdom, my DS is only 5 months so I haven't had to deal with a toddler.

I hope you sort this soon, and can I just say I think you are brave to come on and admit this. You owe it to your DS to get it sorted though.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 12-Aug-09 15:39:40

Oh I think it's normal really. It's a big adjustment for LO's when a baby comes along.

It's a while ago now but I went through a hellish time when DS2 came along (DS1 was 21 months).

DS1 became a nightmare, his behaviour was atrocious, life was awful. But it did get easier.

In the meantime I would suggest spending quality time with your DS if possible when your DD is sleeping. Just do little things together, make him feel special.

LIZS Wed 12-Aug-09 15:45:16

I was thinking of this one

OmicronPersei8 Wed 12-Aug-09 15:55:35

If it's any help, when DS was born I used to look at him and think he was just so lovely and perfect, then turn to my sulking, tantruming, screaming DD and not like her much. A year and a bit on, I don't feel like that any more (and DS has learned to say 'No!', sigh). I think you have to relearn your relationships when a second baby is born, and it takes a bit of time to make the adjustment.

One day you'll wake up and a lot of the things that are bothering you now won't be happening anymore. I have a wise friend who once told me that whatever you're worrying about, in a year's time you probably wont even remember it. I find this strangely reassuring. I hope things get better for you soon - get some rest/help from somewhere if you can: being with two children means you never get a break, which can't help.

I hope it gets better for you soon.

PinkTulips Wed 12-Aug-09 15:56:18

3 year olds bring out our worst qualities as human beings ime. Please don't beat yourself up too much if for no other reason than if you feel low and guilty you'll be more likely to snap.. it's a vicious cycle.

It can often be difficult when you've had a tough time with one baby and the next is very easy as you feel resentment towards the more difficult child and as a result can feel like the easy one is easier to love. I have this with my elder two, dd has been tough going since the second she was born, ds1 on the other hand has been very easy in comparison. I love both with all my being but ds1 has rarely challanged me like dd does daily.

I snap too... i have an awful temper and can be really horrible when pushed to the brink. It's not right, or good, or even really acceptable but all i can do is try my utmost to control it (good old fashioned counting to ten and gritting my teeth so hard i think i may be causing dental issues) and if i do fail and snap at them to make sure they know i was wrong afterwards by apologising and making up with them.

My kids aren't afraid of me and tell me often they love me and show no signs of of being emotionally damaged so presumably it's not done any permanent damage to have a mother with a temper and as the days and month go by i find it easier and easier to stop myself being that person.... you will too smile

Take time to really appreciate the good qualities he has and overwhelm him with cuddles and affection, you know he's a lovable child, just force yourself to see it again.

8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 16:13:07

I still feel I am the only mum that does this. It amounts to child abuse IMO

MovingOutOfBlighty Wed 12-Aug-09 16:17:25

I think so many people do this, you are not alone. As long as he knows you love him then any thing like this will be water under the bridge one day. It is so so hard with a baby and toddler, toddlers are just designed to press every button.

I hope you are ok soon. I really feel for you, it is so hard at times to control the rage when they are going ape and sometimes nice parents are terrible parents.

VinegarTits Wed 12-Aug-09 16:18:16

8217 you recognise that your behaviour towards him is wrong, you are sturggling and asking for help, this is not the sign of a bad mother, you are a caring loving mother who is under a lot of pressure atm, please go and talk to your gp/hv, you may well be suffering from post natal anxiety, dont try and cope with this alone, talk to your dp, talk to you family, they are all there to support you and help you through this

OmicronPersei8 Wed 12-Aug-09 16:21:43

I feel for you - I always thought I was super-patient, but the magic age of 3 has taught me otherwise. I too have pulled hair (followed by instant tears and regret). I never understood why/how people could hit their children, now I do (although I haven't hit mine). What's important is that you know it's not how you want to parent. You sort of sink to a low, but then (today for you) realise that you have to climb back up again, and gradually you do. I count now - do it by 3 or I'll do it for you - it has saved my sanity. Also we go out a lot, it always seems more bearable when we're out.

8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 17:36:38

It has been just the most awful day. The worst since my DD was born. I swore I would be better this time and enjoy it. I honestly was until a couple of weeks ago

MovingOutOfBlighty Wed 12-Aug-09 17:46:42

And it doesn't matter how many books your have read or 'techniques' you use. Sometimes the 'madness' carries on anyway.

I think alot of parents feel this way. It is really challenging with 2 of that age, Agree with comment about getting out in the fresh air as much as possible. We tend to have flash points when have been inside too much.

8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 18:47:10

I also agree about getting out and I try to organise stuff for each day. He is a very bright and engaging three year old and he needs playgroup/nursery. He will start three days a week at the end of this month and I am sure it will get better then. I just cannot provide the stimulation he needs, especially with a baby. With that comes sadness though, he is moving on to the next phase.

It is very difficult not to feel differently about my two children. I don't think it is so much a difference in love for them but that my DD makes me feel confident in my mothering. I had a lovely birth with her and she is a very placid, cuddly baby. My DS was a difficult birth and was a very rigid, wriggly baby who cried a lot. He on the other hand makes me reach all time lows in my mothering. It is not his fault. I have to find ways to be the best mother I can to him. He is my son for god sake, a precious son who will one day be a man and I can make or break that.

I want my DH to come home to a happy family, not tears and remorse. He came from a happy family, I on the other hand had a difficult childhood and don't get on with my family.

mummysaurus Wed 12-Aug-09 21:02:45

Dear 8217

It's hard - my baby was born when my first was nearly three and we had and still have some difficult times. i've screamed and shouted and put my oldest roughly in corner.Things are easier now (most of the time).
I think it is worse when you have too high expectations. Sounds like you're putting way too much pressure on yourself trying to enjoy it and trying to allow dh to come home to a happy home. Set your sights on just getting through it with your sanity just about in tact!


MogTheForgetfulCat Wed 12-Aug-09 21:24:20

I had this when my DS2 was born - DS1 was just 2, and we all had a hard time for a while. DS1 had been a difficult birth and a difficult baby - it took me a while to bond with him. DS2 was a lovely, easy birth and a doddle of a baby - I loved him instantly.

DS1 actually coped pretty well when DS2 came along, and has almost always been lovely towards him - he loves DS2 with a passion. But his behaviour more generally was very challenging, and I really struggled, and became a snapping, shouting monster - and then had attacks of frenzied sobbing with the guilt, covering DS1 with kisses and promising to be a better mother. It must have been awful for him sad

I too used to feel awful for DH coming home to me in a screaming strop, or sobbing my heart out.

Luckily, my HV is very good, and helped me a lot - just listening, mostly - and I did a lovely art therapy class run by the local council. Took DS2 while DS1 was at nursery.

All I can say is that we came out of it, and I love both my boys with a passion. I think the hormones swirling around after birth can cause real emotional turmoil. Add a challenging toddler into the mix, and it's volatile.

I feel guilty about the expectations I had of DS1 when DS2 was born - he was barely out of babyhood himself, but his normal toddler behaviour irritated me beyond belief, as it seemed deliberately provocative. Am rambling now, so will stop. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone, you're not a monster, and it will get better. Don't beat yourself up in the meantime - I am the queen of this, and it really doesn't help. Chin up smile

MogTheForgetfulCat Wed 12-Aug-09 21:28:33

Oh, and your DS pulling your hair shows he's not frightened of you and what you've done, but outraged. I know it's not good, but maybe can help you get some perspective - you're not ruining him with your current behaviour, you know this is a temporary aberration. You love him, he loves you.

TheArmadillo Wed 12-Aug-09 21:46:09

You say you had a difficult childhood and don't get on with your family - I wonder if you are scared of repeating their behaviour and are anxious that you are showing signs of it.

This is common fear amongst those who have had difficult childhoods and can make you perceive things to be worse than they are.

Are there certain flashpoints that really affect you-things that your ds does that set your temper off?

Remember you are coping with a preschooler at a difficult age and a young baby and that is tough for anyone. Especially as your ds behaviour will be deteriorating with the arrival of the new baby.

What support are you getting atm?

silverandgold Wed 12-Aug-09 21:48:35

Hi 8217
Really feel for you.
Am sure things will get better for you when DS has a bit of separation from the situation now and branches out to nursery. Don't beat yourself up. You sound like an incredibly caring mum to me.

We all snap under duress - how can you give everything it takes to give to both of them now you have another? Its just time to move on and let your son out into the world a bit.

Plus. Have you tried thumping a cushion or screaming into it when you hit that point? I used to find the rage bubble up in me and I would just yell and hit the wall with my fist. DS would just laugh when I did that - like, what the hell is mummy doing?

Now he asks if I am angry and gets upset. But at least I can say sorry and that its not his fault.

We're all human in this together.

Concordia Wed 12-Aug-09 21:58:04

Listen, it's not you, it's just the situation. Having a second child obviously changes the relationship you have with your first, and as that bonding settles in it is perfectly normal to go through a phase of finding the first child (I hate to type this as it looks awful in black and white) irritating / even disgusting, compared to a sweet newborn baby. I have spoken to people in RL who have experienced this total fedupness witht their first (toddler) alongside adoration of second (baby) and are wracked with guilt. I went through it myself. It doesn't last long and soon things will settle and you will love both children just the same. Honestly you will.
You are tired. I think you need some time individually with each child without the other there, particularly your oldest. Doing something the oldest enjoys so that he is likely to be good. This really helped me (HV recommmended it).
Don't panic. You're not unique. This isn't the end of the world. Everyone is human and you and DCs will all get over it.

8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 21:58:19

gosh your words are so kind. There are hormones involved of course. I do put this unbelievable pressure on myself probably because of my past. I definately have a fear of ending up with the kind of relationship I have with my parents.

I do love him, I really do. Tonight I put him to bed and cuddled up to him. He is gorgeous but my word is he challenging! After our row he was lying on the living room floor looking forlorn and I was breastfeeding DD with tears streaming down my face, when he turned round and randomly said a funny phrase from one of his books. It did make me laugh, it was like he perceived humour was needed in such a situation.

8217 Wed 12-Aug-09 22:03:55

Well I had a good chat with DH. He is going to take DD away at weekends for an hour or so and I will do fun stuff with DS.

DS is going to go to granny's house (my MIL who is a huge support is away at the moment which doesn't help!) now and then so that I get a break from him (and him from me!) and I can coo over DD without making him jealous.

He needs to get put and exercise more but the weather has been poor.

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