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Thread: Mum guilt questions: was I unfair to my toddler when #2 was born?

  1. #1

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    Apr 2016
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    Default Mum guilt questions: was I unfair to my toddler when #2 was born?

    I just wrote a huge post and my internet kicked off and I lost it i'll try to be brief.



    I had DD2 when DD1 was just under two and a half, and since her sister was born, I had to stop breastfeeding her and transition her into her own bed (a toddler bed next to mine). I was struggling to establish breastfeeding with DD2 (and in the end, we never did manage it) so my GP told me not to BF DD1 until DD2 had eaten - but she rarely, if ever, actually did, I was expressing all the time instead and getting hardly any milk despite BFing DD1 exclusively until 6 months and still BF'ing when DD2 was born. I saw a lactation nurse but she was frankly useless and told me point blank she had no idea how to help me, and her office wasn't even set up in such a way that you even could breastfeed there (and paying $100 for nothing is a big deal when you're on centrelink living with an abuser who steals your card and spends all your money on drugs for himself!). So that happened, and I was planning to co-sleep with DD1 and DD2 but there wasn't enough room so I had to transition her into her own toddler bed, next to my bed. She coped with both really well but I'm scared she was actually traumatized by it and didn't show it. She's 8 now and has emotional problems (though she's very accomplished at school, doing advanced work, really smart) while DD2 is 6 and emotionally, she's doing really really well, just like she's doing really well in every area. I know a lot of DD1s problems are because of her fathers violence (I asked my parents to take both bubs when she was just over 4 and DD2 was just under 2). Counseling has been a struggle because I have a shared care arrangement with my parents (it was meant to be temporary but, long story) and the child psychologist in their one horse town didn't think DD1s problem were bad enough to warrant treatment by CAHMS (she has trichotillomania and dermatillomania, was wetting the bed until she was nearly 8, and more sigh) and they don't want her missing school, which she'd have to if she was to attend counseling here because of the hours the DV centre runs and the distance to pick her up, plus they can't help with the driving right now because my dad has cancer.

    Anyway sorry if this is a bit all over the place but basically, I know a lot of DD1s problems are from her fathers violence (he's out of the picture now, has been for 5 years) and DD2 knows her big sister is sometimes mean to her because of it (she even said to me, "DD1 is angry because she remembers Daddy, but I don't so I'm fine" after they had a fight), I know all this but I'm worried I made it worse by moving her into her own bed and stopping breastfeeding, like maybe she felt abandoned or alone and wasn't able to express it, maybe it just seemed like she was okay with these things (I was stunned at how easy it was actually) because she was too afraid to get upset.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mum guilt questions: was I unfair to my toddler when #2 was b

    Don't be guilty. The father should be the one feeling guilty!

    Can you look at some counseling for your eldest? Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone uninvolved.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Mum guilt questions: was I unfair to my toddler when #2 was b

    No. Don't do this to yourself. You did what you could at the time. Weaning and transitioning to a bed are all normal life processes, and the thing that was traumatic was the violence you all experienced. That's not something you should feel guilty about, and feeling guilty/responsible is another part of the damage that the violence caused. But please do whatever you (and your supportive family members) can to get help with healing those wounds - not just for your daughter, but for your whole family.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Mum guilt questions: was I unfair to my toddler when #2 was b

    I agree with counselling for you all. you have been through a lot.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Mum guilt questions: was I unfair to my toddler when #2 was b

    Your Dd sounds quiet similar to mine. Her father was abusive also and it has affected her mental health significantly. She is also incredibly gifted academically and doing exceptionally well at school despite everything that has happened to her.
    DD went to camhs and I can honestly tell you it did nothing at all to help her. If anything it caused her more trauma. There is not much we haven't tried in the way of family therapy, psychiatrist, counselling, phychologist etc. what has been the best thing for her is actually her school counsellor.

    As for feeling guilty I wouldn't about stopping BF or cosleeping.

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