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My younger son is 3 weeks old now, and of course I have my 2 yr old as well. Most days I feel totally overwhelmed. 1 of my kids seems to be mad at me at all times. When Peter was born, I was able to attend to his every need. He spent almost no time out of my arms. That simply isn't possivle for me this time. Theodore wants to be held all the time. But I need to soend time with Peter too, and somethings can't be done while babywearing.
It breaks my heart when Ted cries wgile I am changing Peter's diaper, or when Peter wants to snuggle at night but I am nursing Teddy....
Anyone have experience with this? How do you fairly divide your time between 2 kids?
I'm sorry you are going through this. I have not been in the situation because I only have one child, but I want to let you know I sympathize you. I'm scared to death to have more kids because of this reason. There are more, but this is one of them. I do have some advice, I do not know whether or not you have tried it but it's worth a shot. DH and I have always said there would be key things we would do if we ever had another baby. I would include Drake in everything possible. I would offer him to help feed the new baby or sit with me while I BF. I would have him pass me a diaper while I changed the new baby, hand me wipes. Clean off the bink, pick out toys for the new baby, etc. I would make him feel like I absolutely NEED him to care for the new baby. Have you tried that? I know that newborns basically need all of you and a toddler can feel left out, so maybe make him feel SO important that he forgets all of your attention is focused onto the new baby. What about when Teddy naps? Do you spend that time one on one with Peter? Again, I am so sorry you are going through this. My hearts hurts for you, I could not imagine my baby crying because he needs me and I cannot tend to him at the moment. We have some amazing BTDT Mammas here, I am sure someone will give you some better advice. I'm sorry. Huge hugs to you!
Thank you *Kiliki* for my perfect siggy
When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.
(((HUGS))), Mama...it is hard. Claire was 26 months when the twins were born, and I was pretty unprepared for how overwhelming it was in the beginning. I don't know if I have all the answers; I still have days when it is all a little crazy, but it continually gets better.
The suggestion about including Peter in everything is a great one. The older kids love to feel like they are an integral part of caring for the baby, and they love the praise they get for helping! Sometimes Claire liked to help me with the actual babies, and other times she would have her own baby doll and we would take care of the dolly, too. She was very proud to have her OWN baby to change and feed.
It is easy for the older child to feel that he/she has to wait while the baby always gets immediate care. One way to help this is to verbalize to the baby when you are putting Peter first. Of course the baby won't understand, but Peter will. For example, if you are playing catch with Peter and Ted starts to fuss, say something like, " I hear you Ted, and I'll be right there to feed you. Before I do that, though, I need to play catch with Peter 3 more times," or "Ted, right now I am helping Peter put on his shoes. As soon as I am finished, I will come snuggle with you." This helps Peter feel like sometimes he is first on your priority list.
Of course you already know babywearing is huge
Claire and I read a LOT of stories while I was feeding the babies (we still do). She gets some snuggle time and stories and the babies eat...it is a win-win!
I couldn't find a way to safely bedshare with everyone, so the babies took turns sleeping with me (the other slept in a crib next to our bed). It wasn't my AP ideal, but it was the best I could do. That is all you can do...your best!
The biggest piece of advice I can give you (and it takes practice!) is just to not be too hard on yourself. You aren't Superwoman and you don't have 8 arms...there are times when you just can't do everything at once. And that is okay. Your babies are going to feel loved and cared for. Is it different now that there are 2 kids? Yes. But that is okay! It has been fun for me to see Claire become a little more independent since she became a Big Sister...she really takes pride in doing things "all by myself."
Hang in there...you'll find a rhythm and it will keep getting easier!
I agree that including Peter in everything is so important! My son was only 17 months when his sister was born so I understand how you are feeling. What I did was include Callen in everything. He helped me get diapers, get her toys and everything. He sat with me while i fed her and he talked to her and read stories. I also made sure that whenever the little one was napping or just content in the swing that I spent one on one time with my son. I talked to him about everything that I was doing and made sure to tell him that I loved him and what a great big brother he was and how important his helping was. It is a really tough balance and I know if breaks your heart to hear Ted cry but just call out to him that you will be right there. Even though he doesn't understand just hearing your voice will help. It is important that you don't just drop everything with Peter when Ted needs you. You don't want Peter to start resenting you or the baby because you always go to him. (not saying that you do this at all i hope it doesn't come across like that).
I don't know if your dh is around to help or not but having him spend time with one while you spend time with the other is good too. I understand if thats not possible because my dh was working 12 hour days when my dd was born so it was pretty much just us. He helped when he could. If you need help ask for it. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. It doesn't matter if the house isn't clean or anything. The most important thins is to take care of your babies and yourself. Showers by myself were amazing, they helped me recharge and not feel so stressed.
Also i found that a light schedule was really helpful. Nap times around the same time for the older one and eating around the same time. It helped get my older son familiar with everything and excited to help with his sister.
Sorry I kinda rambled there. It is really hard and don't beat yourself up. You are doing an amazing job!! I know this isn't really comforting but I swear it gets easier. It really does. My two are now the best of friends and it is amazing to see them together.
Thank you so much AlexAiden Mommy for my beautiful siggy!
Sorry I didn't respond right away. Teddy was admitted to the hospital because he wouldn't eat anything and he was dehydrated. He is recovering from RSV. ... we all git it, but it obviously affected him the most.