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How do you survive with 2 children?!
57

SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 17:11

Hi lovelies, please can you share hacks and secrets with me as to how you parent 2 kids?
my DS is 5 and I have 3mo baby. Whilst lovely, she is hard work. I feel like I spend so much time with her, I’m neglecting my son. She’s unsettled in the evenings, so when my son comes back from school I can’t spend any time with him because bm baby girl is so grouchy. My DH is helping with school run sometimes and sometimes he’ll take DS to play football. It breaks my heart when I snap at DS because I feel so stressed with screaming baby (she also likes to put herself to sleep in a dark room with white noise all by herself however she’s a very very light sleeper, so wakes up when DS talks or makes a sound and then she gets really really upset). I feel like such shit mom to my DS. He’s the nicest 5 yo I know, he adores his sister but I can see how sad he gets when we don’t spend any time together or when I’m telling him off (for nothing really, just being a child asking for snacks, to change TV channel etc)…

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BertieBotts · 22/09/2022 17:26

Your DH needs to do a lot more than a "sometimes" school run and "sometimes" football.

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Dinosauratemydaffodils · 22/09/2022 17:28

Would wearing her help? My second was permanently stuck to me at that age so I just wore her/carried her to do stuff with her brother.

Is she grouchy at other times or just afternoons? If just afternoons are there things you can change, earlier nap/feed etc. How close is the dark room with white noise to your living space?

Would she sleep in the pram so you could take both of them out to the park or similar? Can your dh look after her whilst you and ds do something fun?

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dumbstruckdumptruck · 22/09/2022 17:31

BertieBotts · 22/09/2022 17:26

Your DH needs to do a lot more than a "sometimes" school run and "sometimes" football.

Amen.

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 17:50

@BertieBotts to be honest, even this is more than many other husbands I know. I asked around my friends and some don’t ever do any school runs or bedtimes. They just say you learn to cope!

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LegoFiends · 22/09/2022 18:02

Second parent needs to step up, so that the eldest continues to get one on one attention from an adult.
We did fifty fifty (both working part time) and it’s still non-stop until the youngest is 2.5 at least.

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mathanxiety · 22/09/2022 18:06

It doesn't matter how crap other men are. Those men are not a part of your life.

Tell your H that right now you have a lot on your plate and he needs to up his game.

I had a 'high needs baby' who was my fourth. My nerves were shot in the early days, to about 6 months. Once she could sit up properly however, I put her into a back carrier, and took the others to the local playground so they could run around.

I also turned on the TV a lot and we watched together.

Make sure you keep the baby on a napping routine to the best of your ability. Late afternoons were the worst time for DC4, unfortunately coinciding with everyone else home from school and me trying to get dinner together. If she hadn't slept well during the day it was murder. After I got the back carrier it was better.

Try to bite your tongue, count to ten before getting cross with DS. Remind yourself that this difficult time will pass.

But you need your H. You are both parents.

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 18:09

@Dinosauratemydaffodils just afternoons sometimes mornings too. I admit, I don’t have a schedule for her. Just put her in her cot when she’s tired or feed her when she’s hungry. She’s EBF.

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Youcancallmeirrelevant · 22/09/2022 18:09

You need to expect and demand better of your partner! 2 kids and 2 parents means 1 parent takes 1 child for a lot of things.

I have the same age gap and once i've fed baby in the evening, DH has him to i can do bath and bedtime with eldest on my days. Baby is now up to 3/4 hourly feeds so i have more flexibility to leave baby with DH and take DD out to cinema or something.

Stop asking him to 'help' you and hand him his child!

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DinosaurOfFire · 22/09/2022 18:13

My DH and I tag-teamed on everything outside of working hours. So he would put our eldest to bed while I settled the baby, he would play with the baby while I got the eldest ready for school, he would drop our eldest to school, and I would pick her up. Everything that wasn't during his working hours was split. And that continued when we had 3, we are first and foremost a team and both equal parents.

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AllThatFancyPaintsAsFair · 22/09/2022 18:13

My husband isnt as shit as some other husbands is hardly an acceptable standard to settle for

No one should be enabling you to cope on tht basis

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babynoname22 · 22/09/2022 18:42

Your DH needs to step up. Right now. Doesn't matter whether 'sometimes doing the school run' is more than others. Raise your bar.

DH have DD in evening/Saturday morning/Sunday afternoon. Whatever. Set times where you get quality time with your DS. Then vice versa with your DH and DS. Then some family time too.

Do not be grateful for 'sometimes'. Demand more. Structured and clear.

Consider baby sling too this may help.

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 18:47

@LegoFiends @DinosaurOfFire @AllThatFancyPaintsAsFair my DH commutes 3/4 times a week which means he’s leaving at 7.30 and returning around 6/7. Without being sarcastic, I feel that I’m lucky that when he works from home I can ask him to help with the school run considering that there are many many women who just have to cope on their own day in day out. It works well at the weekends when my DH is around, then we can tag team. However, I feel that I’m the only one who can settle my DD which makes it a bit harder for 1-2-1 time with my DS. Hoping that will get easier when she is a bit older …

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 18:51

@mathanxiety @babynoname22
i wish sling worked for her. Sometimes it does, which is brilliant sometimes it doesn’t (I took my DS and his friend for a play date after school, she was up the whole 3h!!! And then screamed from exhaustion…) She likes to sleeping a quiet place. Maybe I can teach her to sleep in a carrier, it will certainly help to take DS to the park after school…

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33goingon64 · 22/09/2022 18:54

I have the same age gap, though my DC are older now. The first year is tricky but they will come to entertain each other and there'll be a period where it all seems like less work than only having 1 because they have each other to play with. I would get DH to have the baby while you have some exclusive time with the older one, bedtime, story, bath, whatever. I remember someone saying that as long as you do one thing per week when you focus ALL your attention on one child, they'll feel they've had time with you. If you can extend this to 15 minutes per day, even better.

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 18:55

@Youcancallmeirrelevant how old is your baby now? It does sound like you’ve got a good routine going. Hope when my DD is a bit older we can do more of 1-2-1 with my son. At the moment baby’s settling for the night at 7, so I have around an hour with my DS. By which point I’m exhausted though…

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Recycledcurtains · 22/09/2022 19:01

I have 4 children. The youngest is a newborn, then a nearly 2, 6 & 7 year olds.

I can tell you, every mother (as it’s invariably the mother!) goes through the same feelings as you when we have a young baby. It will pass, you will figure it out, your baby will become more manageable.

Fundamentally though, it’s important that you know that, despite what you think, these few months out of your older child’s life will leave no lasting scars, in fact, they will probably never even remember any of it!

I know this, because I can see it with my own older children.

please cut yourself some slack. Do what you can, corners do need to be cut, that’s the nature of the beast. But it will come good soon enough!

(I can’t tell you how, because I don’t know, I just know that one day, it doesn’t seem quite so shite!)

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 19:18

@Recycledcurtains thank you, your post is very comforting! I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t do any long lasting damage to the relationship with older kids. I kind of forget that it’s only a season and keep telling myself something similar that growing doesn’t happen without growing pains. So hopefully one day it will just fall into place. I suppose when I look at other moms I don’t see much struggling, it all looks so effortless, I wonder where I’m going wrong.

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Favouritefruits · 22/09/2022 19:20

It’s so hard it those first few months with two, I felt so bad on DS1 I felt like I never had time for him, i decided every night after DS2 went to bed we would play a small board game just the two of us and I told him it would be our special time together. The best words of advice I was ever given was, when both children are crying or need attention always go to the eldest first as they will remember being left to cry and a baby won’t.

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CFinn · 22/09/2022 19:21

I spent most of my second pregnancy reading books about having two children - 'Coping with two', 'The second baby book' and one by Gina Ford I can't remember the name of. They all had practical tips, sample routines, etc as well as stuff about making sure DC1 doesn't feel neglected. I'm lucky that my DC1 is at nursery full time and DH is around a lot in the evenings and weekends, so we've tended to 'man mark' the kids. Tbh I avoided having to look after both of them till DC2 was about 3 months! It's bloody difficult so I take my hat off to you for doing it so regularly. It sounds like you're doing a great job, don't be so hard on yourself! This is probably too obvious to be a 'hack' but make sure you set aside time to spend 1 to 1 with DC1 and make a big thing out of doing something 'just you and me'. I've only started doing this recently and it's been so good for our relationship.

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Favouritefruits · 22/09/2022 19:22

It will get easier btw, my children are now 5 and 8 and just play together and only want to play with each other without me, easier times will come just bear with it!

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SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 19:24

@33goingon64 oh I can’t tell you how happy it makes me feel hearing that your children with the same age gap as mine play together! That’s something that keeps me going - hoping to see them play together. My heart melts every time my boy gives his baby sister a hug and a kiss, he is so gentle with her.
i think I manage around 30 min of uninterrupted play with my son, but he did say the other day “you don’t look after me as much anymore, you just look after the baby” and that was heartbreaking.

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Cinnabomb · 22/09/2022 20:11

@CFinn van you remember what books they were? We’re they worth reading?

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StarsandStones · 22/09/2022 20:26

Can you make a snack box with a few things? That he can take snacks without overfilling before dinner?

Our DD2 of 8 weeks is glued to me. I invested in a new baby carrier as she didn't like the old one. So I can read a book with eldest DD and play a little while she sleeps in it.

Would a bouncer help as well? I was advied to buy a Baby Bjorn one. Haven't done it yet, is expensive. I am thinking about it as our DD has reflux.

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Autumn2022 · 22/09/2022 20:30

It does get easier OP. When we’re both around I find we spilt off, DH with the eldest and me with the youngest.

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benning · 22/09/2022 20:43

SnowBall86 · 22/09/2022 18:09

@Dinosauratemydaffodils just afternoons sometimes mornings too. I admit, I don’t have a schedule for her. Just put her in her cot when she’s tired or feed her when she’s hungry. She’s EBF.

Sorry, but with more than one child you need to get the baby into a routine.

People will say they ‘went with their baby’ but at what cost?

IMO it’s the road to misery.

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