Two Under 2

Feeling guilty and sad

DD is 19 months old. DS is two weeks. I am just starting to get the hang of having two children. But I cannot help to feel sad and guilty for my daughter.

She has always been a Mommy's girl. Now I am noticing her wanting Daddy more and sometimes crying for him in instances where she always wanted me. I don't get an overwhelming sense of jealousy from her towards the baby, but obviously she's realizing that something has changed. I feel sad that I cannot spend as much time with her as I'd like due to the demands of a newborn.

I have been baby wearing as much as possible so I have both hands free to play with her, get her food or drinks, etc. I try to focus some one on one time with her when DH comes home from work too.

I imagine that you have all undergone similar experiences with your older child, and I am sure that it will get better with time. What are some good tips that you've learned to still give your older child the attention they deserve while still caring for the newborn?

Please tell me the guilt will go away.
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Re: Feeling guilty and sad

  • The guilt will go away!  It's a huge adjustment for DD, and it's normal for her to favor your DH when you're busy with the baby. My DS was very ambivalent towards the baby, and acted out A LOT when we 1st brought her home, but he got used to the idea.  For you, it's only been 2 weeks, it will get better.  Survival mode!  Just keep doing what you're doing, I promise, DD won't remember this time of less attention (yes, they deserve it, but reality is abiitch Wink)!  Once you get into a routine, it will be so much better!  Just LET your DD be a Daddy's girl for a while, seriously, it will help you! 

    But after that, I would try to involve DD in what you're doing with the baby...I always ask DS to bring me a burp cloth, or hand me a diaper, or put the bottle in the sink after I feed her...he's more than happy to "help"!  And after DD is done eating and I just want her to relax, I put her in her bouncy seat and sit on the floor next to her and read to DS (if he wants to, he's been on a very "independent" streak lately).  I also always talked to DS about what I was doing with DD..."I'm making H a bottle because she's hungry", "I need to change H's diaper because it's wet", "I'm rocking H because she needs to go to sleep"...or whatever is appropriate.

    If you're really feeling sad as your title suggests, please don't discount the possibility of PPD...I didn't have it with DS, but I FOR SURE did with DD...there's no shame in getting help for it!  GL!

    Hang in there!

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  • SInce DD got here 6 weeks ago, DS has been spending A LOT more time with his grandmas, and with his dad instead of being a Mama's boy.

    At first I felt really guilty that he was "replaced" or something, but now I'm thinking of how cool it is that he's building these relationships with other family. And I remind myself that even though he's not being spoiled with attention from me, he's getting it from them, he's not just being ignored.

  • image msualum96:

    The guilt will go away!  It's a huge adjustment for DD, and it's normal for her to favor your DH when you're busy with the baby. My DS was very ambivalent towards the baby, and acted out A LOT when we 1st brought her home, but he got used to the idea.  For you, it's only been 2 weeks, it will get better.  Survival mode!  Just keep doing what you're doing, I promise, DD won't remember this time of less attention (yes, they deserve it, but reality is abiitch Wink)!  Once you get into a routine, it will be so much better!  Just LET your DD be a Daddy's girl for a while, seriously, it will help you! 

    But after that, I would try to involve DD in what you're doing with the baby...I always ask DS to bring me a burp cloth, or hand me a diaper, or put the bottle in the sink after I feed her...he's more than happy to "help"!  And after DD is done eating and I just want her to relax, I put her in her bouncy seat and sit on the floor next to her and read to DS (if he wants to, he's been on a very "independent" streak lately).  I also always talked to DS about what I was doing with DD..."I'm making H a bottle because she's hungry", "I need to change H's diaper because it's wet", "I'm rocking H because she needs to go to sleep"...or whatever is appropriate.

    If you're really feeling sad as your title suggests, please don't discount the possibility of PPD...I didn't have it with DS, but I FOR SURE did with DD...there's no shame in getting help for it!  GL!

    Hang in there!

     

    I love you siggy! 

  • Thanks to you both. It's really comforting to know that others have gone through the same thing. And I appreciate your advice.

    And I should have clarified that I am not sad, but rather feeling sad for my daughter that she's not getting the attention that she was before the baby arrived.

    DH only gets to see the kids about 15 mins a day due to his job. And we have no family nearby, so there's really little help from others.

    I feel like I am managing as best as I can right now, and trying to involve my daughter with the baby as much as possible. I hope that the adjustment for my daughter isn't a rough one.
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  • image downtown80:
    Thanks to you both. It's really comforting to know that others have gone through the same thing. And I appreciate your advice. And I should have clarified that I am not sad, but rather feeling sad for my daughter that she's not getting the attention that she was before the baby arrived. DH only gets to see the kids about 15 mins a day due to his job. And we have no family nearby, so there's really little help from others. I feel like I am managing as best as I can right now, and trying to involve my daughter with the baby as much as possible. I hope that the adjustment for my daughter isn't a rough one.

    Children don't need undivided attention to grow and be happy. While your youngest is currently a newborn that just sleeps and eats, in time he will be a playmate to her. Even if the adjustment is rough it's a short period of life in the grand scheme of things. What she will remember about her childhood is fun experiences with her brother. What she wont remember is when she was 1 and her brother was born she lost her mother's undivided attention. Don't stress over it.

    Also, regardless of siblings or not your kid's loyalties will constantly shift. My DD was all about my DH for the longest time but in the past 4 months has became a momma's girl. My son was all about me for a long time but recently has more interest in dad. This happens regardless of when you bring a new baby home or if you never do.

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  • Hi, I've never posted or commented before...that I can remember!  The fact that you are feeling guilt just means you are a loving and caring mother.  I had 3 children in 25 months...each a year apart.  I had the same guilt, and I felt that my 1st born wasn't interested in me at all anymore after my 2nd was born.  It's a lot for a mother who's body is trying to get back to normal after pregnancy and birth....the hormones and sleepless nights.  It is just overwelming and worry seems to set in.  I promise it will get better, and you're daughter will eventually go right back to needing mommy again...trust me!  Right now try to enjoy it as God's way of giving you some much needed time to adjust to being the mother of 2! 

  • It WILL pass.  But I absolutely felt this way.  DH thought I was going crazy : )  It's honestly probably a little bit of baby blues but now with number two the stress/lack of sleep amplifies the emotions even more.  DS is 19 months next week and DD is 9 weeks and I feel much more "normal", hang in there!  
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