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I am new to this Forum and I apologize in advance if this post turns out to be long and confusing... I am just greatful if I can vent a little and hoping to get a bit of advice from you ap mommas out there....
I am mother to a beautiful 3 year old boy and 7 week old daughter.... We practise AP instinctivly, before even knowing that there was a 'method' out there! As many of you probably know, ap isn't always easy and can be very demanding at times but up until recently I found I had enough patience and energy to meet the demands with my 3 year old boy.
Since the birth of our daughter things have changed quite dramtically. Thank heavens she is the most easy-going baby one could ask for... just so happy and content, hardly any crying and just generally very relaxed. He loves her very much and even though he gets a little frustrated with the fact that he cannot just grab her and play with her in any way he pleases, he always wants her around. So generally, the transition from being a single child to having a sibbling went very smoothly.
He has always been very attached to me. He can't fall asleep without me, if he wakes and I am not there its a big drama (only ever happened twice) and generally always wants to be in my presence to a point where he will not do anything on his own. We have tried four different nurseries/playgroups in the hope that he might find a place away from me that he can enjoy but we always had to take him right out again because he was so upset whenever he needed to go, it broke my heart and that wasn't really the idea. So now he is at home with me all week and I have no support from family members or others to help out once in a while as they all live far away.
The problem is, since the birth of our daughter, I have found it extremly difficult to continue giving him the same amount of energy and attention as before. As a result of that, he is becoming incresingly difficult, throwing tantrums for evey single small thing, disagreeing with everything I say or ask him to do. He hangs onto me literally all day long, never wanting to play or do anything on his own and wanting my attention constantly. Its costing me sooooo much energy to the point that I feel completly drained. I am normally someone that has a lot of energy and really enjoy to spend time with him but recently its been so hard, every single day is a challenge and I honestly dont know how long I will last before having a nervous breakdown. Every single minute from the moment he wakes until he falls asleep at night (he doesnt nap anymore) revolves around him. Thank heavens that my daughter is so chilled out because I would not survive if I had a fussy baby on top if that. So obviously, although I try my very best to stay loving towards him, its becomes really difficult for me because my nerves are just blank.
At the end of the day, when he is in bed asleep, I find myself feeling guilty for not being the patient loving mum that I was before the birth... I tell myself that I am unfair to him and that surely I must be doing something wrong but it is just so incredibly hard!
My husband tells me that I should make my boudaries more clear but he just gets so upset if I yell at him, because I never did before. I try to make deals with him like 'If you go and play in your room on your own for a while I will come and join you' I try to explain to him that it won't help if he gets so angry all the time but I cant really expect him to understand at this age.
What can I do to to show him my boundaries in a loving and caring way, without having to yell or get upset because I really dont want that?
Do any of you mommies out there have experience with toddlers and a new addition?
I would be really greatful for any advice and if you read this far, thank you!!!!
I dont have any experience with this but I KNOW this is how my son will be if we ever add another child. He cant fall alseep without me and wakes up as soon as I get up, even it if it is just to go to the bathroom. He takes all my energy now without the baby.
This may seem like a weird suggestion but this is an AP forum so I will throw it out there. Would you ever try nursing him again? In the book "mothering your nursing toddler" it makes a really good case for nursing those high needs toddlers when new baby comes. It helps comfort them because they feel threatened and their whole world has changed. I think that is what I will have to do. It does talk about having toddlers nurse (again) if they have been weened. That might be a gentle way of giving him what he needs. Other than that I have no advice. Keep us posted.