January 29, 2012,
K.H. asks from Silver Spring, MD on April 28, 2009
Help My Oldest Daughter Is Annoying Me
I just gave birth to my second daughter a little less than 3 weeks ago. I love my new baby girl; she is awesome and so much easier than my first. I love my older daughter so much; she is only 2 years old. But when I came home from the hospital my 2 year old started really annoying me. I don't know if she is making herself more annoying or it's just that I am under a bit of stress from going from a mother of one to a mother of two. Has anyone else felt this way about their other children after bringing home a newborn? The only time she really annoys me is when I am trying to breast feed the newborn. I feel so bad and guilty, like I have shoved my daughter into second place, which is not what I wanted to do and not the kind of person I am. I thought after having my baby I would resent the baby from taking away time from my first, but it's actually the other way around. I feel so guilty that I get so annoyed with my first two year old daughter, I love her so much and want her to know that I deeply love her, but I find myself snapping at her and I have never done that before, gosh, this hurts me, I wish I had more time to hug and cuddle and show her I love her. I had a c-section and am in some great deal of pain still, I am hoping that once the pain goes away and the stress of having a newborn plus a child just under two will wear off and her annoyance will go away. I am an only child and never had any brother's or sisters so this is all new to me in that respect too. Help, I just need to know if this is normal to feel this way and need some reassurance. Thanks
1 mom found this helpful
P.L. answers from Washington DC on April 29, 2009
This is VERY normal. Some things that were suggested to me by others when I went through this:
1) have a small basket (or baskets!) of "special toys", things that ONLY come out during breastfeeding time. It gets put away immediately when baby/mommy are done, so that the novelty stays for a while.
2) get new books (send somebody to the library -- cheaper!!) and have story time while the baby is nursing. If you feel like you don't have enough hands to do this, get those board books and start teaching your older child to handle books gently.
3) have a selection of videos to watch during nursing. These don't all have to be stories; if you can find any that have little kids dancing or exercising, etc., it might help her use up some extra energy!
I'm sure there are more -- I just can't think of them right now!
I think that the "learning curve" with baby #2 is sometimes steeper than with #1. It's a whole re-arrangement of family priorities, "positions", etc. It's very easy to worry about not giving the baby your undivided attention, like you did with #1; however, second babies seem to somehow figure out quickly that they need to "fit in", and it's easier for them to handle that, than it is for baby #1 to feel like they've somehow been demoted or are less important. Activities going on during nursing will be the "norm" for this baby; you're not giving her less!! She's part of a "team"!! Besides, I suspect that there are plenty of times (especially during the night) when she will get one-on-one time with just mom. When big sister is around, try to keep her feeling important, needed, and loved. It will all work out -- please make sure you're taking care of YOURSELF, too.
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Richmond on April 29, 2009
I haven't read any other responses, please forgive me if I repeat anyone else.
I am guessing that your oldest is a little jealous of the new baby and/or a little mad at you. Therefore she is probably hounding you for attention which you are finding annoying. You didn't have anyone else to bother you when you had her and now you want that same one on one with your second. I think it is normal to feel a little different toward kids at various ages because of the stage they are in. almost 2 year old kids are generally more annoying then the sweet completely innocent newborn. You start to expect more from the older child. My two girls are also 21 months apart. when my second came home, my oldest daughter was soo mad at me. I could do NOTHING for her. Only daddy and grandma would suffice. It took her about a month to get over it and finally allow me to "help" her with things. After that.. I know I started expecting her to be older and more capable than her age because she seemed soo much older than a newborn. Things should calm down as y'all find a routine that includes both girls. Try to give yourself and your oldest some one on one time so that you can reconnect. Then set her up with a specific activity when it is time to breastfeed.. she may leave you alone so you can enjoy the bonding time with your second baby. just a thought..
R.H. answers from Norfolk on April 29, 2009
Well it seems to me you pref. you new baby over you older one by reading the first lines. You do need to control that you really don't EVER want your older daughter to see that. What you need to do is separate time out for you older daughter. If that means delaying nap time so you have time while the new baby is sleeping, spending time reading to her before bed time. (this can include both but would be better at this point to be just the 2yr old)
L.W. answers from Norfolk on April 29, 2009
awww.. poor baby.. I am talking about you and I mean that in the nicest way. What you are going thru is totally normal and if you had known you would feel like this in advance, you could have put a plan in action and not felt so guilty. first of all, stop feeling guilty. You are a great mommy and you just want to give your 2nd born all the love and attention you gave your first, accept with your first, there was nothing stopping you. If the worst time is breast feeding time, then have your 2 yr old do something very special at that time. I just signed my 4 year old for noggin.com $6 a month for a year. She loves it.. if u look at that and it is to advanced.. starfall.com is great.. if those two don't work then buy something; a dvd, software, something that she can do on her own with very little to no help from you.. and at all other times, try to make her feel included... and definitely get in your snuggle time with her.. not only when the baby is asleep (or she will always want her to be asleep) but while the baby is satisfied and content.. mommy and her two girls can snuggle and have reading time or whatever.. the library is your friend. lol. You are normal... this is normal.. welcome to life with more than one kid!! God's blessings to you mommy! and congratulations!!
P.D. answers from Norfolk on April 29, 2009
I totally understand what you are going through. My son was only 16 months old when I gave birth to his sister. I didn't think it would be so easy to get pregnant again after trying four years to have him. I was lucky that I had my family to help me with the babies. My mom would play with him when I needed to nurse and when the baby was sleeping, I would spend time playing with him. I was feeling really overwhelmed also because I moved back home with my parents when my husband was deployed. I didn't know how I was going to be able to take care of two babies in diapers. I know I needed helped and discussed it with my husband and we decided to hire one of my friends to be my mommy's helper so I could have an extra adult to help when I was feeling overwhelmed or just wanted to take a shower and relax. She was with us for a little over four months until the babies were more manageable for me. I also went to see my doctor and decided that I needed to start back on my depression medicine. Not only did I have a good friend to keep me company she had a child my son's age so he had a playmate over every day. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
S.O. answers from Washington DC on April 29, 2009
What you are feeling is completely and totally NORMAL! And being an only child yourself doesnt' mean you are feeling any differently from anyone else. I am from a family of 6 kids and when my second boy was born I was SO annoyed with the older one, sometimes I just wanted to strangle him. I even called my mother and asked if there had at one point been more kids in my family and she had killed one or two! She reassured me that she never thought it was going to work out when she brought a new baby home, but eventually it did. I would just try and emphasize (nicely) to the older one how many more things your older daughter can do that the baby can't do. Make a really big deal about how helpful you think she is being, and of course do try and spend some time alone with her every day. She can sit next to you and lean against you until your incision heals and be close to you that way. Good luck, this WILL end someday! My two boys are now best friends, it is really nice to see.
A.L. answers from Washington DC on April 29, 2009
I think your feelings are 100% normal. It is very overwhelming taking care of one child, never mind two children. Plus, you want to spend as much time with both of them, and you can't do that right now b/c you don't feel that great physically. I had a c-section with my daughter and I know the recovery is long, it is difficult to move around.
If possible, can you get someone to help for a few hours every week? Maybe a friend or family member can either take care of the baby while you play with your daughter or vice versa? That might help a bit until you settle into a routine and your older daughter adjusts.
Best of luck!
K.M. answers from Washington DC on April 29, 2009
This, too, shall pass. Give yourself and your older daughter some time and a lot of patience to adjust to the huge change in your family life. In a few months, you'll probably feel much better and be able to appreciate both children more. My son was 2-1/2 when my daughter was born, and it took him a few months to get back to himself. I also had a c-section and with the pain and hormones and feeling guilty about how much had changed for my son, etc., it also took me awhile to feel like myself again. Before you know it, they'll be playing together and things will look better. Just hang in there, take mental health breaks, cut yourself and your girls some slack, and get help if you think you need someone professional to talk to or if your afraid of hurting yourself or either child. Good luck!