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How can I be calmer? New baby and 3.10yr old

(8 Posts)
rachels103 Sat 05-Sep-09 14:52:13

Ds2 is 8 weeks old, ds1 a very smart 3.10 yr old who is outwardly being a lovely big brother, but doing lots of subtle things to really wind me up - for example, waiting until the moment ds2 wakes and starts crying to ask for a drink / breakfast / a snack, and spending the whole time that I feed ds2 leaning right over me giving him kisses, sticking his face infront of mine if I dare look at ds2 for more than 30 seconds...etc./ etc.

I know it's just his way of dealing with it and making sure he gets his share of the attention, but it's hard not to be constantly saying 'don't do that' and I hate being negative with him. He's also quite aggressive with me if I do ask him to stop doing something or even sometimes if I just ask him a question, shouting and putting his hands over his ears to show he's not listening.

It doesn't help that until I went on maternity leave dh was a SAHD and ds1 really misses him when he's at work. Dh gets a million hugs and kisses before he goes to work and I know ds1 would prefer his dad to be looking after him still, especially as not only does he now have to put up with boring old mum, he also has to share her with a new baby.

Needed to get that off my chest - feels better already. Pre school starts next week which will hopefully help my patience levels, but any suggestions as to how I can make ds1 feel secure enough not to play these games with me? I'm fed up of moaning at him.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Sat 05-Sep-09 14:55:08

Oh I shall watch this with interest. Firstly I am sorry you are finding it hard, and secondly I am sorry I have no advice to give. But I will be in a similar situation to you in a couple of months, with DD being 3.4 and DH being a SAHD, until hopefully the next month or so, so I am anticipating similar difficulties.

I hope someone comes along with some actual advice for you.

reikizen Sat 05-Sep-09 15:04:01

God knows. I turned into a screaming harpie when dd2 was born and am slowing getting back to normal (with some relapses!) It just changes the whole dynamic, and I honestly don't think it can be solved by making them feel secure, I don't think it is as simple as that as my two argue/wind each other up now at 5 and 3. A lot to do with the personality of the older child I think in my experience.

pregnabrain Sat 05-Sep-09 22:05:20

Be patient. You're only 8 weeks in.

ds1's whole world has been turned upside down (and it sounds like he's handling it rather well!).

Things will improve gradually - fewer feeds, fewer nappy changes, more regular naps from ds2 giving you more time with ds1.

Go easy on yourself - let go of any worries about too much telly, bad food etc. It's all temporary.

It'll suddenly get to the point where ds2 suddenly starts to have a relationship of his own with ds1 (and this happens surprisingly early) and then everything should start to feel much better. The minute they start to mean something to each other, the older one realises that it's not such a bad thing after all to have a little sibling.

I had a similar gap between mine, and went through everything you're describing (and a horrible bout of PND, just to add to the guilt) and I thought I'd destroyed dd1's world forever. Now she and dd2 are as thick as thieves - dd1 asked if she could marry dd2 the other day "so I can see her every day when we're grown up". grin

Now, my biggest joy is seeing their developing relationship. It's wonderful.

camgirl Mon 07-Sep-09 10:16:04

Argh, this is me too. DS1 (2.9) is winding me up horribly with similar tactics ('playing' with the baby when he is sleeping, really refusing to listen to me etc) My tiny pathetic aim is to get him off to nursery in the mornings (the worst time) without shouting at him. I really hate being this shouty, miserable, negative mum.

He does go to nursery every morning, and by the afternoon somehow things seem better, and we are usually out and about. It's just the constant battles over getting dressed and getting out. Today after he first refused to help get dressed, meaning I had to haul him into his clothes, then started kicking me when I was trying to put his shoes and socks on I picked him up, carried him up to his room and told him to stay there until he felt calmer (and until I did.) I am this close to smacking him, though I have not yet

I think tiredness has a lot to do with it (mine) and as you say - he is feeling insecure and as if his world has been turned upside down, and he is showing me that. I don't know what the remedy is, except perhaps time for things to settle down

rachels103 Mon 07-Sep-09 13:25:53

Thank you wise pregnabrain! You are right, it is very early days and we've had a couple of much better days - getting out of the house and keeping busy helps. And I'm trying very hard to let go of my TV fascism and let ds1 watch cbeebies more than I usually would.

DS1 was back at pre school this morning and I really missed him...which means I was pleased to see him and therefore feel saintly and patient for this afternoon...hurrah!

I'm sure it won't last....

CoteDAzur Mon 07-Sep-09 13:37:08

I'm with you. DD was 3.9 when DS was born in May. Now she is 4, and he is 3 months old. Every day is a struggle. She is constantly on top of him. Always appears to be very loving, but secretly hurts him.

I do sometimes wonder if I will succeed in keeping him alive until he learns to crawl away from her sad

I think it helps to hug her and play with her whenever he is asleep. Also, I left baby DS with a nanny the other day for a few hours and went out with DD to a pizzeria. She loved being alone with me and was delightful for the rest of the day.

thehairybabysmum Mon 07-Sep-09 13:48:09

On a practical note...i used to pre-empt the snack type demands by putting a drink/snack out before a feed.

Also no harm in more cbeebies for a few weeks. Mine are older now and it does get easier, honest!! TV back to previous levels also.

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