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Thread: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    It's only Day 10 and I gotta be honest I'm really struggling with adjusting to having a newborn again! How did you ladies do it? I really valued the closeness I shared with my toddler but I barely have arms free anymore as Ezra is not happy unless he's being fed or sucking and won't sleep for long stretches without being held except for once a night for 2.5 - 3h. I've got my husband home with me until the end of the week then mum for the following fortnight but I know not to expect any major changes in Ezra's sleeping and settling for further 2 weeks. I'm absolutely dreading my husband going back to work as he is currently the main support for my toddler. I try to spend a little uninterrupted time each day with him in his world but it's not really enough. He had a little melt down this morning when he woke and just wanted Matt and I to cuddle him while he cried his little eyes out. I'm going to absolutely hate it if I'm still a mess by the time mum visits. I cannot show weaknesses to her or she exploits them to try to make me dependent on her. I totally understand now why Wet Nurses are/were a thing!

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    Silver Member Tylluan Penry's Avatar
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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    I do feel for you, I really do. Having children is hard work. I had three of mine in less than three years and the only way I managed was by getting to bed shortly after them. Then it was musical beds. If anyone slept until 4.30 am I thought I'd had a lie-in.

    the saddest part of your post for me was that you don't have the sort of relationship with your mum that could help. In fact you have the opposite - a situation where you dread her meddling. You do need support - and quickly. Always best to get in there first rather than try and tackle things when you're really drained.

    The thing with your mum, especially iff she'll be with you for 2 weeks is that you have to start as you mean to go on. Our mothers can find it hard to be grandparents but you can take it from me that there is a steep learning curve to being a grandmother too. Some are better at it than others. But as her daughter you can MAKE her a better Grandmother. You need to talk to your partner - talk to anyone and get some sort of strategy before she arrives. And remember, you are not there to wait on your mother - she is there to help. Make sure - as far as you can - that she does!
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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    My ex and I had two kids about 4 years apart...as I said in another post,having kids is not for the timid or easily overwhelmed. I found you gain that strength as you go along.
    There does come a point where it gets easier believe me. There will come a point where your older child will become the younger ones "protector". With my grand kids the older sister age 7 now is very protective of her brother who is now about 6. Hang in there,you might also be feeling "postpartum" stuff,that should pass soon.
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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    I had to bottle feed both kids. That meant the hubby could help with feeding duty...also that 2.0 slept longer. TBH, even if I had been able to BF, I probably would have given into keeping my sanity and bottle fed. Because of my work schedule, both kids got about 8 weeks worth of pumping supplemented with formula--because of my breast reduction surgery, they weren't fans of BFing, and I never produced enough.

    I used the sling and I swaddled the baby, and I used the heck out of the baby swing. But most importantly, with #2, I learned to let him cry a bit. Compared to his sister, he was super demanding...it was either that, or go crazy. Put the baby down and go do something else for a bit--at best, he falls asleep, at worst...he falls asleep. You can't be a good parent if you are stressed out the whazoo. And guess what, both kids are happy and healthy and have no memory of crying themselves to sleep once in a while (or that they were bottle fed).

    Also, the older one will get over it. It's an adjustment, and he'll adjust. One thing I did with Phee (we started before Sharkbait was born) was to get her her own dolly with a bottle, stroller, diapers, etc and encouraged her to take care of her baby while I took care of Collin--then she could "play the baby game" too. We also kept a bin of diaper changing supplies and other baby stuff at kiddo height so we could send her on errands to be helpful. But mostly, we each made a point to have Chickadee time without the baby. Even if it meant letting the baby cry for a bit, even if it was just 10-15 minutes here and there.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    A friend's daughter has a toddler and a newbie. She had post-partum depression and all sorts of not-fun things going on - but it's all resolving now! The toddler is very protective of his little brother, and all the pieces seem to be falling into place. Most of my friends whose kids are grown look back fondly on those years. Maybe that's dementia LOL

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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    My friend recently had twins a month ago. And a toddler about 1.5 years old. I keep seeing happy pics of her and the babies. But she looks deranged as f. I love her and her strength.
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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    Thanks everyone for the support and helpful replies. We had a full on day yesterday with EJ being teary absolutely all day, Ezra feeding ALL day and myself also being quite emotional. I am feeling a bit more normal now and ready to face whatever today turns out to be.

    I have been talking to a few of my friends and doing some reading and can see this is all really normal and to just hang in there. So...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    My friend recently had twins a month ago. And a toddler about 1.5 years old. I keep seeing happy pics of her and the babies. But she looks deranged as f. I love her and her strength.
    Wow I take my hat off to her! It's amazing what you can do when you have to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkfeathers View Post
    Most of my friends whose kids are grown look back fondly on those years. Maybe that's dementia LOL
    LOL I honestly believe it's nature's way of making sure we keep reproducing!! Just forget the bad stuff.. it's okay! What.. you're keeping a journal? No.. don't do that. Here.. feed the baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    I TBH, even if I had been able to BF, I probably would have given into keeping my sanity and bottle fed.
    I've been seriously considering this. Maybe even going to expressed breast milk to bottle feed and dummies. Matt really wants to help with feeding and I remember hugely appreciating his help with our first baby.


    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    My ex and I had two kids about 4 years apart...as I said in another post,having kids is not for the timid or easily overwhelmed. I found you gain that strength as you go along.
    I felt myself grow in capacity with my first and knew there'd come a time I'd have to face it with this one.. wasn't expecting it so soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    There does come a point where it gets easier believe me. There will come a point where your older child will become the younger ones "protector". With my grand kids the older sister age 7 now is very protective of her brother who is now about 6. Hang in there,you might also be feeling "postpartum" stuff,that should pass soon.
    So much looking forward to this. I keep telling myself that this will be a hard few months and these challenges are just for now. We had a whopper of a bad day today and it's hard to keep the end in sight. I'm feeling more normal now this evening and feel a bit closer to my boys for having survived it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tylluan Penry View Post

    The thing with your mum, especially iff she'll be with you for 2 weeks is that you have to start as you mean to go on. Our mothers can find it hard to be grandparents but you can take it from me that there is a steep learning curve to being a grandmother too. Some are better at it than others. But as her daughter you can MAKE her a better Grandmother. You need to talk to your partner - talk to anyone and get some sort of strategy before she arrives. And remember, you are not there to wait on your mother - she is there to help. Make sure - as far as you can - that she does!
    Spot on, Mrs P. Originally, I had hoped that she could stay overnight with Matt's parents for the time she was here but they weren't too keen on that idea. I just thought it would give everyone some breathing room. She did offer to stay in a motel, but she really has very little money and it would make me feel wretched! We have an agreement that if either one of us start resenting the other, she will leave before things get really bad.

    I recently came across a website about healing the 'mother wound' which made me aware of how overly responsible I feel for her personal happiness. The challenge for me is to accept who she is at face value and to lower my expectations of her as if she were an acquaintance if that makes sense. While she's here, I plan to show her where everything is and give her certain jobs to take ownership of so she never feels like she doesn't know what to do. Mum's love language is 'acts of service' so if she's feeling useful, she's usually okay with the world.
    Last edited by Azvanna; 29 May 2016 at 13:06.

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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    Update: I started giving Ezra formula top ups from the bottle and it's made a big difference. He now settles between feeds and has good sleeps so I can use that time to be with EJ or catch up on sleep myself. We hired a swing from our town's Toy Library and I've gone back to baby wearing. So things are much more manageable now.

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Newborn and Toddler -Why Did I Do This?

    Glad to know you have some sanity back!
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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