Moms With Other Children Please Help

8 Replies
Buffi R. - September 23

Hi ladies.....I'm having a really rough day and hope you can give me some advice. I'm due in December and have a son who just turned five. As you may know from some of my other posts, he was born at 32 weeks and had life threatening problems at birth. He spent 12 weeks in a big city NICU before ever coming home (surgeries, feeding issues, etc.), and at 17 months was diagnosed with a profound hearing impairment. He had major communication delays and behavior problems from the hearing impairment, and I suffered a nervous breakdown shortly after he was diagnosed. He eventually got a cochlear implant at age 2-1/2 and by age 3 or 4, he was really starting to communicate better. He talks so well now that I joke he talks a little too well. Although we love to hear him when he's saying nice things, he can argue with us like a politician, and "no" is a major part of his vocabulary. :-) The behavior problems are still there, mostly hyperactivity and some other typical "boy" issues. Lately I feel like whenever I'm with him, all we do is fight. I have to threaten him with things like timeouts or no bedtime story to get him to do the simplest things like brushing his teeth before bed, getting ready for school, eating his dinner, walking with me at the mall instead of running ahead, you name it. I assume my pregnancy is causing a lot of this tension. Even when he's trying to be funny or cute, I don't find anything funny anymore. It's like I'm consumed with making him grow up and be more responsible because I know I'll have an infant on my hands soon. He seems to be excited about the baby, but he has been acting more infantile himself lately, like maybe he senses he won't be the baby for long. I know so many people who had second children and feared they wouldn't love the second one as much as the first, but I'm terrified I'll love the second one more. Honestly some days he can make me so mad I just want to trade him in for the new one and I'm afraid he'll figure that out if he hasn't already. I don't know if some of these issues came from our problems early on with the prematurity or hearing impairment, like there might have been bonding problems. I just don't know what to do. Has anyone else been through something like this, and how did you all survive?

 

hrsmith - September 23

Your frustration could be because you are pregnant. I wouldn't read into it too much. Maybe he has decided that his terrible two's should be terrible 5's instead:) i have many issues with my almost 2 year old. He hates teeth being brushed, won't stop running everywhere either. I get really frustrated too. I am sure it's just a stage.

 

docbytch - September 24

While I do not have 2 kids of my own (I will but there's a gigantic age diff so it's not the same)..I do have some psychology background. From what I recall it's common for the firstborn to feel threatened by the impending birth of a sibling....because they are afraid of losing your attention completely to this new interloper. Sometimes how those feelings manifest themselves is through a regression back to an earlier stage in development. Example: A child who has been toilet-trained to sleep through the night successfully may suddenly start having bouts of bed-wetting. I do believe some of his behavior patterns will pa__s once the baby is born and he sees that you will still continue to love him. You can also mention this to your pediatrician at your next visit and see what their input is. I hope this helped a little!!

 

mrssolo - September 24

I have and 8 year old son at home and while he is a very good kid he drives me crazy. Even more now that I'm pregnant, its just I have less patients now and I find myself saying to him we have two new babies coming into this house its time for you to grow up and then I realize that he is only 8. What do I expect from him? Should he go get a job? His job is to be 8 and part of being 8 is to drive mom crazy. I know I'll love all my children just as much as the others and I'm sure when the babies are 8 they will drive me crazy too. I hate to break it but children will drive you crazy forever. I had custody of my nephew who just turned 18 and some days I just wanted to beat him. Just be stern with your son, use positive reinforcement and you do need to explain that there is a new baby coming and he needs to be your little helper. I’m sure he senses the changes and he has concerns about that and what it means for him.

 

Tory1980 - September 24

This is typical 5 year old believe me!!! He was born at 34 weeks and I spent a while in the hospital with him but without the operations! I have said to my husband and it may sound harsh that as much as I love him there is days I just don't like him! Arguements are frequent and he questions everything I tell him! Bribery, threats, everything often falls on deaf ears!! I have a slightly different situation though in that I have a 5 year old a 2 year old (3 at the end of October) and a 17month old. I am due 10thJanuary with my fourth and having a slight panic!!! LOL! He will register that there is a new baby on the way and he will look for more of your attention now and after the baby is born. It is normal for them to be jealous. Having a 5 year old though will be beneficial in some ways. Let him help with changing the baby, getting clothes for him/her, maybe let him puck the outfit or baby gro (sleeper?) maybe let him help with bathing the new baby. Try and get him as involved as you can but at the same time don't push him - if he doesn't want to do something don't make it an issue. If you are planning on b___stfeeding (and believe me this is annoying but they get over the novelty pretty soon) let him sit beside you and watch. It sounds a little freaky but he is being included. If you are bottle feeding stand him on a chair and help you make up bottles or let him feed the baby. You will get tempers (mainly out of you! LOL!) out of him on and off - it's normal and expect him to want to act more 'babyish' - like you dressing him or putting shoes/coat on that he has maybe been doing for himself. You can try gettng round it by saying he is the big brother and can he show '?' how he puts his clothes so so he/she might learn etc. It is difficult but it does get easier. If you survive the first few weeks without killing him you are well on the way to a home straight!! Take it one day at a time and breathe!!!! Congratulations on your new baby and having a typical 5 year old trying his luck!

 

Buffi R. - September 24

Thank you so much ladies! All your comments and suggestions really helped. We have our son signed up for a sibling preparedness cla__s at the hospital in a couple weeks, so that should help too. They gear the cla__s towards kids age 3 to 7 and let them talk about how they feel about the upcoming baby, and teach them some diapering, holding and feeding techniques. DH & I will attend the cla__s with him so we'll see how he does and what he has to say. I'm remaining cautiously optimistic that things won't get too crazy after the birth and he won't completely regress into potty accidents, etc. but I know it's very possible so at least I'm prepared for that. I'm just glad to hear that his behavior right now isn't too unusual for his age either. He's just been so stubborn lately I was afraid I had a little creton on my hands, and the more upset I got, the harder it was to get along with him. It's a vicious cycle. :-) Thanks again!!

 

inuk-mama - September 24

When our second was born, our DD was starting to act out. So we made sure tht when the time came, and she came to the hospital to meet her new brother, we had a present for her there. Nothing big, but something to show her that she wasn't forgotten. And once we were home, I would still make sure that DH took the baby for at least an hour every day so I could just do things with DD. She adjusted just fine and loves her brother more than anything. She is starting to act up again as we approach the due date for #3 and we plan on doing the same thing.

 

kaitlin - September 25

I have a ds who is 20 months, and I'm expecting #2 in December. Now that my nesting urges have been taken care of, I have not much to do but sit and wait for ds #2 to make his appearance. All I do is worry about how ds #1 is going to take it. It literally keeps me up at night. Due to his age, there is not much we can do to prepare him for this other than we have mvoed him early into his new room, and started tellinghim there is a baby in mommy and now he points to mommy's belly. He loves babies, but he loves mommy's attention, too, so I'm so worried. He's my little baby, and we don't want him to feel left out and see him go through these changes as well. I'm glad you wrote about this, because it makes me realize I'm not being crazy worrying, and that we do need to be sensitive to him and how he reacts to the big change. From what I have read, your ds' reaction sounds totally normal, and so does yours, due to your pregnancy and limited patience. Give both of you a break and spend some time together doing something fun (without you thinking about your pregnancy). Take care.

 

falafal0 - September 25

Hi buffi R, it sounds like you've been through a real tough time in the past few years. Emotionally and physically. I'm 32 week pg with our fifth child and at the moment our 8 year old child is holding the house at his mercy and we are having a tough time getting through it all. Some days I swear he's lucky to be alive. I honestly know how you are feeling in this regard and how difficult it is. I feel this son is the opposite of everyone else and it's really an effort to love him sometimes, but in the end, so worth it. If you go hard, you'll never win. Because he is your first child you've been able to totally focus on him, but he now knows that he won't be alone. And because of his issues as well, there'l probably a lot more going on inside of him than he tells you but it's let out in other ways (which we've found over the years with our children). You honestly have to pick your batles with children that have behavioural problems, ad also hearing impariments. Our DD who is 5 has both, as with our oldest who is 11, but he has improved over the years. As parents we often see and think things from our own perspective (as you said, trying to get him to grow up before baby comes). It's so easy to do, I do it EVERY day. But you have to stop, relax (I know, easier said than done) and see the child he is at the moment with all the things in HIS world from HIS point of view. This is very difficult, especially when you want to strnagle them :-) But they're not reacting as an adult would, with revenege or getting back at us in mind, they're just kids and will be different again in 5 minutes time. They don't hold grudges (even though you think he might :-)) and love is the best thing. He's probably feeling very insecure about his place in teh family and may not even understand a lot of things you think he does. Been there, done that - every day with our DD ad it stuns us when we realise what is going on in her mind and how wrong we were. I aways worry out aloud about this son and what type of teenager he'll be, we have to get him help now etc, but I'm learning to settle down and see him for the unique boy he is, with all of us to deal with as well and outside environment issues etc. Just take each day as it comes and really, really try to do very small things that will bring you both closer together. Read a book, sit and play cards, watch him favourite show with him and become engrossed in it like he does, talk and talk and talk to him, get close. Don't mention the baby too often otherwise it'll become the focal point in each conversation and he may start disliking the idea all togther. I get consumed sometimes with trying to have my kids behave perfectly, do everything they should etc and EVERYONE gets worn out by it. it's just not possible or pratcial. The stress and tension you all will feel is not worth it or god for you. Just pick a time in the day when you can be together and relish it. Make it the BEST time you can. Slowly just work at it and also feel it out how he feels about the baby, then go from there. Mothering is the HARDEST job on this earth and I tell myself often on the hardest days to NOT walk out the door today - just wait another day! Honestly, I wish you luck, love, and blessings in this adventure and journey before you. XO ps jsut remember it's not forever, it's just various stages. It's all-consuming when in them, but hindesight is a wonderful thing. You'll be onto something else before long. Just stay in the moment...

 

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