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Thread: Just need to de-brief

  1. #1
    Matryoshka Guest

    Default Just need to de-brief

    I don't like to think i regret any of our choices, but the thought that we should have gone for a 3 year age gap instead of 2 years is something that i think about every single day... i almost fantacise about how much easier a 3 year age gap would be and wish we'd had the foresight to see all the challenges we've faced in having the boys 2 years apart.

    I know the problem isn't entirely the age gap, but i surely think it would have been easier if my older boy (now 2 years 4 months) had been closer to 3 when the baby was born. This being the case because - i should have weaned him from BF - the tandem feeding has been so so so hard. This in itself is a huge let down as i envisaged myself having great earth mother moments feeding them both. Instead its been months of having two of them all over me constantly, drenched in milk and the constant whine for "boo boos" from my toddler who stopped eating food almost completely. We are slowly getting there with getting him to eat and drink other things, but the upset associated with it hasn't been good for anyone. I keep saying every day, why did i not gently wean him sooner, perhaps over the pregnancy.

    Well the pregnancy was another issue, i had terrible morning sickness for the first half of it, my poor toddler spent his days watching tv while i lay on the couch. I'd promised myself we'd bond while i was pregnant to savour those last days alone just the two of us.... instead i was miserable because i was sick and hated being pregnant. In the second half of the pregnancy i had SPD so could hardly walk let alone play with my toddler. We were relegated to games on the floor, when all he wanted was me to run outside with him. So i feel bad that he wasn't entertained to the best standard while i was pregnant, i wanted to take him to swimming lessons, to playgroup, but i just couldn't because i felt too crappy. It was a lonely time because we'd just moved away from family and friends.

    Thats another issue... why didn't we wait to try for a baby when we had the support down here? well we didn't know that family would one day plan to move down, which they are now. We didn't know how hard it would be on my own. And it has been so very hard. The past few months i have been utterly consumed with my baby's "health issues", after trying a myriad of things and seeing a million specialists, i've concluded he is simply hard to settle... thats just him. Period. Why did it take me so long to figure it out? i dunno, its been hard to think straight with the lack of sleep or time to really reflect. Of course i'm grateful there is nothing medically wrong with him. But some kind of diagnosis would have seemed to make easier the fact that i had to wear him for 20 hours a day in the carrier, that i'd be walking for hours around the house trying to get him to sleep while my toddler wandered around aimlessly and simply gave up on expecting me to play with him..... I'm sick of saying i'll be with him in a minute. I know he's learnt patience and independance, but i didn't want him to have to yet - another reason i think we should have left a larger gap.

    I also am still struggling with dividing my attention between the boys. How do you not feel guilty when you're paying attention to one and not the other? and because they are at such different levels i find it hard to entertain them both at the same time. My toddler wants to play whereas my baby wants to be held.... I'm trying so hard to make them both happy but come off feeling like i've done a half assed job of both. The only time i feel good about it is when my hubby has one of them and i give one on one time to the other. When does this get better? When it was just me and my toddler, i felt like the perfect mum because i could give and be there 100% for him, now i can't and i think he isn't as happy? I wonder if he'd be better off an only child. He had warmed to his brother heaps, and i can see a bond there... i only hope it becomes really special to him so as to make up for the division of attention he's had to suffer.

    Then my own health issues, i've had mastitis twice, a sinus infection, and now the flu. I have never been so sick in my life. More times where i've been miserable and not "there" for my kids. My mil having to use her saved up days off work to care for me/us and my hubby having to take annual leave as well - because we have no one else to help. I feel like i can't even do my only job properly, that people have to come an help.

    People keep telling me it will get better, and how great this age gap will be later on, but i just can't see it now as having been as ideal as we thought. I cant see much good in the past year, and i don't like to reflect so negatively on life when i'm lucky to actually have a really privileged one. I'm trying to be more positive. I have managed to get to a playgroup which has been really great, and hopefully from there build up some friends in the area. I just wish i felt like we'd done the best thing for the boys by having them 2 years apart in this context. We do have PIL moving to us in a couple of weeks so things will be heaps easier... but that doesn't take away the pain of how crappy the past few months have been.


  2. #2

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    It sounds like you've had a real hard time of things recently and I wish I could offer you some advise to make it all seem better.

    Sleep deprivation is something I can relate to and I know everything seems out of control without sleep. DD1 was a very difficult to settle child, but it did get better and now she is a great sleeper. I always feel like I was coming out of a haze when I actually started getting sleep.

    Just remember, you are a great, loving and caring mother. You will get through this and your boys love you.

  3. #3

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    MummaB, I hope letting this out has been helpful. No advice, just wanted to give you a hug.

  4. #4

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    MummaB

    Sounds like you have had a really rough trot lately.
    Dont beat yourself up for feeling like this, you are exhausted and are still trying to get everything done.

    I know you have hear d it before, but it is a great age gap, my sister and I are a little under 2 years and it was fantastic...
    I was completely weaned when she came along, but decided i wanted to go back to it when she was feeding, a jealously thing i guess, apparently it passed after a while as i got to busy with other things, hopefully this is the same as DS#1, he just wants to feel like he is doing the same thing and thats possibly why he stopped eating solids.

    Its great that your 2 DS's have a good bond, there is nothing wrong with dividing your time up and DS#1 having to understand that it is playtime doing things that is age appropriate for DS#2
    When DSS is at our place, i feel really mean that i cant give him the attention taht he wants/needs (especially as he is not with us 24/7) but having to wait and learn to share me and DH has been fantastic for him and his social skills have improved out of sight. Regardless of 2 or 3 years your DS#1 will still have to learn everything that he is now, yes he would be a little more independent at 3, but he may not have taken to his brother as easily or may have been more jealous... its hard to say, as they say, grass is always greener...

    Can you make sure that you get some one on one time with DS#1 when DS#2 is having a nap, or go to the park with him and DS#1 in the pram or sling (or better still on a weekend and leave DS#2 with Dad)? This could be a trade off for the time that he has had to share you with his little brother

    With DS#2 regarding needing to be worn all the time, great that there is nothing medically wrong, but understandably having to wear him all the time can and will take a toll... have you thought of seeing an Osteo or someone that does CranioSacral THerapy in babies? Sometimes one or two sessions sometimes work miracles and i have a friend that swears by them... you may have done it, not sure if you are keen, but worth a go perhaps?

    The thing that we have found to be most important with DSS (i know the age is different thou) is constantly tell him how lucky DD is to have him as a big brother and how good he is with her and allow him (within reason) to do things with her that he asks to do...

    Hopefully when your PIL arrive things will get better.
    You are doing a fantastic job and you should be soooo proud of yourself with the Tandem feeding, i can only imagine how exhausted you are but WOW, well done

    I hope things improve for you soon, maybe take some time out for yourself too. You are important as well

    Well done you are a great Mummy, and hopefully getting this out will help

  5. #5

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    Oh T it's nothing you've done at all and hindsight is amazing isn't it? Even if you had of waited and had a larger gap, it still would have come with it's own set of problems/issues because L would have been that little bit older again and while that has a lot of advantages it still has a few disadvantages too at times. I know how hard it is when you have a *high Maintenance* baby - the situation was the same for me when our 2nd came along and we had a smaller gap, but you do muddle through it and no one is worse off because of it. You've had a lot of issues compounding things too - your health, lack of support and just generally getting used to life as a Mum of two. One thing I do know is you can't waste any time thinking about how you could have done things differently - retrospect is great but it can't change the NOW - all you can do is look forward and know that it wont stay like this forever. When your PIL move down, make the most of that and get them involved in the boys life as much as they can be - this will also make it easier for you to do 1 on 1 time with each of them. Maybe you can even write down what you would like to change and then prioritise it - so maybe you could put weaning L at the top, if you feel that that is what's going to ease some of the pressue on you (and don't forget that he probably can't disassociate himself from BF just yet - he sees his brother having a feed and thinks that he needs a feed every time too. TBH I always thought that tandem feeding wasn't literally tandem feeding - so you can still feed L, but maybe negotiate a different time during the day to do it when you aren't feeding the baby) Besides at his age he should be having more food compared to milk and you might have to be a little firm on when YOU want him to have a BF kwim? It may not be easy, or pretty but I feel that this is a big part of why you feel so mentally drained - it's hard work feeding two and it's OK to put yourself first if that means it lets you become a better Mum kwim? Can you get involved in a playgroup? It would be great for all of you - you can still interact with both boys, plus it gives you an outlet too.

    Ultimately, the boys wont remember much of this time, but they will remember how much you love them.

  6. #6

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    I hear you loud and clear on all these issues hun, geez it can be hard.

  7. #7

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    no answers or advice (from someone who isn't in the same situation), but I hope things get better soon... FWIW, you really don't know what would have happened in a year's time anyway and you may get to DS1 being 3 and think "thank goodness I'm not trying to juggle these new challenges with a tiny baby"! again.

  8. #8

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    MummaB I just wanted to say that you are doing a fabulous job and I truly hope that things start to go more smoothly for you soon. The fact that you think about these things just reflects to me how you are an amazing mum to your two lucky boys.

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