Father Having Hard Time Accepting Changes from New Baby

Updated on September 09, 2010
A.D. asks from Indianapolis, IN
22 answers

I'm the dad, not the mom. I've posted questions before somewhat related to this but wanted to get some fresh perspectives...

We just had our third baby boy 2+ months ago. He was a planned birth but didn't arrive until 7 years after his next oldest brother (his oldest brother is 10). After a M/C 3-4 years ago, we decided that we'd just give it a few more years to see if it happened naturally and were about to stop trying when she became pregnant. We were both pleasantly surprised.

Since his birth, I've been having a hard time accepting this change in our family. I've been prone to depression before and realize that I'm deep in it now. I find myself struggling with three major issues:

1. My wife and I are both 40/41 and I feel now that maybe we were too old/selfish about having a third and made a mistake by bringing this guy into the world where he has older parents. Thankfully, my wife and I are in excellent physical condition and take very good care of ourselves. Nevertheless, I worry that we may not be around very long for this guy and I can't shake this feeling of being people that are showing up late to party that they weren't invited to. Truth is, I think much of what I''m feeling right now could be the mid-life crisis triggered by just turning 40.

2. There's a 7 and 10 year gap between the baby and his brothers. I worry that he won't know his brothers very well as he grows up. He'll be 8 when the oldest leaves for college, 12 when the next leaves for college, and then be an only child until he goes to college. This is nearly identical to my family growing up (I was the baby and 6 and 10 years younger). In truth, I don't remember ever really even thinking about our age gaps when I was growing up or being unhappy / lonely, but now in hindsight I think things might have been better had I been closer in age to my brothers. I have a good relationship with each of them so I don't know why this is bothering so much.

Further, going to family events is especially tough now. My brothers' kids are anywhere from 14 - 21 and then mine are 10, 7, and now 2 months. The Labor Day weekend get-together made me feel very uncomfortable. This baby is just so isolated from the others by age.

3. I've considered if we should think about trying to have another child. I feel like this would give the baby someone close to age and lessen the isolation as the older kids move on and as my wife and I get older. I hate to see this guy be so "alone". I know having another child just to give a child a playmate is not a good reason to get pregnant again. Further, I get sad because I realize that at our age, getting pregnant again is pretty unlikely and would probably just make me feel worse about issue #1.

I feel very ashamed because I have this inability to accept our family situation now. I love this new little guy, but I'm filled with so much sadness about these issues that I find myself wishing we hadn't done this.

I should also add that my wife and so very happy with this new little guy. She feels that he's been a blessing and has enjoyed every minute of this new guy probably more than she did with the other kids. She desperately wants me to get over all this as she thinks these issues are non-issues.

Does anyone have any experience with similar situations? Yes, I know I'm depressed and am taking the required steps to deal with that, but hearing words of encouragement or reassurance from people that have been through similar experiences is helpful.

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answers from Tampa on

I am the oldest of 5. My youngest brother is 11 years yougner then me. We have ALWAYS been close because our parents instilled in us the importance of being a close knit family. My youngest brother just graduated high school and it is a great feeling to know that he can come to me with things that he may not feel comfortable telling my parents. Being the oldest, I always told my younger siblings how LUCKY they are to have me, because I have to go througheverything first and then they learn from my mistakes LOL

As for having a child at your age... WHAT A BLESSING! God knows what He's doing... trust in him and your life will be filled with joy.

Every child is an adjustment. My advise is to stay positive and look at all the great things you have in your life... This too shall pass, and you will feel like energetic, fun and loving Daddy again soon!

Best wishes

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Every family situation is different and none are perfect. I know a family of 8 with 14 years between oldest to youngest, they are adult now and none of them have regrets about age gaps. Sometimes, I think the young ones get a better experience because the older ones know not to hit them, pull their hair, etc!

The ages of the kids around other family members is no big deal. Guess the ages of the children of that family of 8. There are around 20 years diff between the olders and the youngers. but that doesn't matter, they all enjoy each other.

I do not think you should have more children - I think that would add to your emotional strain. I think you should enjoy this baby for the blessing he is. I think you should take them all out to pitch the ball (when baby is a bit older) and simply pitch the ball in varying degrees of difficulty. If you act like a cohesive family, you will be!!

I am proud of you openly discussing that you know you are depressed. That gives other people encouragement too. You might be amazed what some medication? and some sleep will do for you.

Just enjoy - if you love these children (and I can tell you do) you will raise them with this love and they will all have their own experience and their together experiences and be happy and well adjusted.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It is natural for you to start doubting your decision to have another chid after all these years, but I don't know ANYONE who has done it and regretted it in the long run. I know several families who have done it, with even greater age gaps.

My best friend in high school was 16 years old, and the baby of the family, when her parents announced that baby #4 was coming. Her older brother and sister were already away at college. She was resentful for about a year, but now she and her baby brother are INCREDIBLY close and she cannot imagine life without him. (Her older brother died in a horrendous military accident a few years ago and the little brother has been a source of consolation for the entire family.)

My aunt and uncle had 2 kids, 17 and 12 years old when my little cousin Danny made his debut. Yes, again, some initial resentment from the middle child, but once again, so close and loving now. Danny just started high school this year, and when I saw my aunt and uncle a few weeks ago (after not seeing them for over 4 years) I realized that he is keeping them YOUNG! While my own parents are acting like old folks, my aunt and uncle are still doing all the fun stuff that parents of high schoolers do, like football games, hosting teen gatherings, taking their son on fun and active vacations.

My neighbor and his wife just had baby #2 last year. Their older child was 8. She adores her little brother and is so helpful. Yes, a major disruption in their lives, but they have adjusted and love him so much.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hey there Daddy!! My husband was 39 when our first was born and will be 41 when our next one arrives in January. I'm in my mid 30's. We have had similar feelings about our ages, but instead of looking toward your not being there for your son later in his life, focus on how much you are going to be able to be there for him now! He deserves to have a Daddy that is living in the present and not the future. As far as a playmate goes, we have a similar situation there also. My kids will have no cousins on my side of the family and the only cousin on my husbands side is 22 years older than my son. Your son will make friends in school that he will be as close to (if not closer) as he is to his brothers. My best friend from toddlerhood is still my best friend today. She is much closer to me than most of my family. You are going through a very natural part of fatherhood right now. Congrats on getting yourself some help for your depression. In the meantime, focus on being the BEST Dad you can be for all three of your boys. If you and your wife decide to have another child, then awesome! But remember, #4 could be a girl and that could open you up for a whole new set of uncertainties!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

In terms of age spans, my brothers are 13 and 10 years older than me. The oldest one was married when I was 10 and had children of his own by the time I was 11. Talk about being in different worlds. . .
that said, my parents were so great about keeping our family close. Not just on holidays, but weekend trips and holidays They would come to my ball games, I was at their track meets, etc. THey treated the age difference as a nonissue and as a result it was.
I have the BEST relationship with my brothers now as does my sister who is three years younger than me. We are all very close, so while it does feel like there is this age gap now, once your youngest is up walking and getting active and invovled, the difference in age will be less and less of an issue.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Honestly, my first response I wanted to say to you was "Come on, snap out of it, you have a great family and you are far from "too old" to raise this baby." But it sounds as if you are depressed and no one can related to a depressed person unless they've been in your shoes. I wouldn't call myself clinically depressed but I recently started taking Zoloft to see if that will help my anxiety and depression I've been experiencing since becoming pregnant. I was so ashamed to ask my OB for anything because I know I'm not a "depressed" person and don't have any real stressful factors going on in my life but I'm always so sad and moody lately, enough to where it's affecting day to day life and caring for my kids so I knew it was time to speak up. I hope you are doing the same with your doctors.

Anyhow, I think you need to realize this time will pass! Don't be so hard on yourself, this baby is a blessing and it may just take you a little longer to bond with him but that's nothing to be ashamed of especially if he has a loving mother in awe of him doing most of the work anyways. I'm sure it's not easy on your wife seeing you so down over a new child you two created together but she needs to help support you in this time and understand that this will all pass. Quit thinking about the age gap between your kids,, really that's NO BIG DEAL! Your baby boy will still grow up and live a great life and have many friends to bond with so don't feel pressured to bring another child into the world for him. And you're not going to just croak one day while caring for him, you're 40 not 80! You have many many many years left to raise this boy and my own 63 yr old father has more energy then me so your age should not be a factor in whether or not you will be around long enough for him because you will be! Any of us could die at anytime for whatever reason and leave our children with no mom or dad but that doesn't keep us from having children. Feel blessed you are so healthy and understand you are not in any way too old to raise this baby. I'm a young mom, 29 fixing to have # 4 and sometime I envy the "older" parents. I feel as if they're much more mature and ready to raise families....and more grounded I guess you could say.

So hang in there and please seek help, next time you're on this forum I want to hear about what medical steps you have taken to seek some help for yourself. : ) I know you may get lots of good advice on here but none of it is going to really "change" how you are feeling, you HAVE to do that for yourself and seriously get yourself some help w/out feeling ashamed to do so. I wish you the best of luck with everything and know that all these feelings you are feeling WILL PASS so hang in there!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

We are very young well I'm 25 and my husband is 29. We only have one child so the situation is different but i remember him telling me about how he had so many issues when our son was first born. He felt he couldn't calm him when he cried....he had feelings of unattachment because the child couldn't express love in a way he considered love..ect. He did not struggle with depression but i do feel that perhaps you are similar. As the child grew older and started moving more and smiling and becoming a person he snapped right out of it and loves his child more than anything. He's even talking about number two now even knowing he will probably have the same feelings again at first. He had told me he didnt' want to do it again. I am very excited to know he's almost ready. Hang in there...things may get better. In my family I didn't have any cousins similar in age. It didn't affect me any...I did have a closer older brother but we were just at each other's throats all the time, my poor parents, LOL :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

First of all, I think you should talk to your doc about depression. It might really be coloring your view of your current situation.
I had my (only) son at 39 (3 M/C before him) and my husband was 42. Hubby is now 49 and having the time of his life with him coaching his baseball team, watching/playing football together, etc.
As for the age difference, I just wanted to tell you that I am the youngest of 3. My older bros are 7 and 9 years older than me and I love them dearly, we never did fight, and they're my heroes. Your little guy will be just fine in his pecking order. He WILL know his brothers and they'll show him a lot of the "important boy life" stuff. Enjoy all of your kids!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

First of all, get over the guilt, feeling ashamed, etc. They are wasted emotions that get you nowhere good. You are where you are and it's OK. It really is OK to be human.

I alwasy tell people that the perfect PHYSICAL age to have children is 18, but the best EMOTIONAL age is 40. LOL

Being 40 is not being 70. My husband will be 43 in 2 months and I am 6 weeks pregnant with our 4th. When this baby is born, our kids will be 8, almost 5, and just 3. I try to look on the bright side - only TWO in booster seats that they can buckle themselves and a newborn....not 4 in carseats, like some of my friends have done!

I have to give you kudos for even thinking about your children and their well being. That shows me you are a responsible dad, but really, you need to put all your fears, guilt, and other emotions in a box and ship them off. You don't need them. What you need to do is be ok with where you are and be thankful that your little guy has such a great dad.

My husband is 5 years older than one of his sisters and 9 years older than his other sister. They are close and have great relationships, but that has to do with how the parents cultivate the relationships.

I have some friend who are 38 and 45 - they have 4 kids: 13, 10, 4, and 2. They are a super close family. The decided that the last lingering one needed a closer sibling, so they had another one...BUT that might not be what your family needs. DO NOT DO IT OUT OF GUILT. Your son will be fine either way....as long as he knows his parents love him.

A friend of mine was 48 and he died 3 weeks ago suddenly. He left behind a 17 and a 14 year old. Then again, my kids have 2 great grandmas who are 85 and 84 and both have all of their faculties together. One of them drives my son to soccer practice each week. You never know when it's your time and it doesn't matter. You have no control over the quntity here, but you DO have control over the QUALITY. It's the life in each moment. Don't fill these immediate moments with the worry about your future, things that will probably never happen.

Time is like a river.
You cannot touch the same water twice,
Because the flow that has passed will never pass again.
Enjoy every moment of this life.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Don't worrry about the age differences, who gonna leave at this time cousins and al that other stuff. Family always finds a way to be around each when they want to be. my family (1st and 2nd cousins) and vary alot. i was the youngest for a long time then came my sister 11 years later! and we all come together! my little sister is 18 now but as she was growing up everyone was there for every birthday celebration, recital, school function whatever because she was "baby cousin", ( i was little cousin lol). but don't worry about these things as i got older things got better for just like for my little sister. the older kids like to see the little ones grow up, and can start including them in thigns that they do. i think when i turned about 20? my cousins finally invited me to my uncles house after a family function one day and was wondering all my life what was over uncle randy's house that everybody would say "Party at randy's"! well when i got over there he had a liquor closet from HEAVEN!!!! but as i made my rounds everyone was so happy that i could "kick it with the adults". so don't worry what ever changes that baby goes through in life his family will be there! helping him grow up, helping him with milestones that only big cousins and big brothers are worthy of! let go and let flow!!! good luck!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

time to wear the "big boy pants", Dad! & welcome....it's nice to have a Dad on here.

Anyway, talk to the dr about your worries/depression. Or start taking a power walk everytime you feel this stress. It really will help!

& as for you being too old, BULL. Take a look around you. Yes, we older parents are a minority....but we're still out there. I'm 48, husband is 56. Our sons are 14 & 23. 9 years in between.....long story.

Our sons are close, they share a lot of common interests. Our younger son's baby years were interesting.....we'd push our older son in his wheelchair (a temporary need off/on thru childhood) & he'd push the stroller or hold his brother. Life was never dull.
& when our older son learned to drive.....whoo-boy! Nothing like having a 6y.o. in the backseat saying, "way wrong way to drive, Justin". OMGosh, it was a riot!

As for my husband & myself, yes.....it's frustrating to be called "grandma/grandpa". Yes, there's young parents out there who won't give you the time of day. & yes, it's awkward at times. BUT we're good parents, we're strong parents......& that's all that matters. & !!! teachers really appreciate older parents!!! Oh, Oh...& how about my uncle: he's 62, his wife is 48.....& their kids are 13 & 17! Sooooo, relax & enjoy!!



answers from Boston on

I have to tell you the ages of mine, 23, 21, 11. He is the best thing to ever happen to us. He is a well adjusted child. His sister and brother love him so much and do spend time with him. His like an only child at home, he also has tons of friends! I was 40 when he was conceive and hubby was 40 also. I to think of the age thing, we always think we are the oldest parents when we go to an event. But their are a few that are our age. I think of when he is 40 I will be around 80 and that bothers me. But then i think that I do have a lot of time with him and he has his old siblings. I call him the glue of our family. He makes everyone want to stick around! He keeps us young and have no choice but to stay active and in shape.

Enjoy him and have a ball with him. Don't waste time on things that have not happen yet. Take life as it comes. Think of him as a blessing!! I wish luck!



answers from Detroit on

My husband is turning 40 right before our second child is due (this child will be 5 years younger than his/her sister). I am 37, so not very far away from that 40yr. old mark. My husband and I have talked a lot about the fact that we are much older than many others starting their family in their 20's. His family doesn't even live in this country, and my family is very very small, so it does scare us that our child (now children) may not have us around as long because of our age, and there is not a lot of family out there for them. Honestly... we have really tried to stick with the positives, because I think there are many. We are both very healthy and having young children keeps us motivated to stay active and healthy (as you have also stated). We are much more financially secure than we would have been when we were younger and have much more flexibility in our work schedules because we have "put in our time" sort of speak... and it has allowed us to both spend much more time with our child. We are much wiser and patient and prepared to have more focus and attention on our family and with each other than what I would have been capable of 15-20 years ago. I am also a firm believer in the fact that you can "make" your own family... they don't have to be blood related. I have wonderful friends... even childhood friends, that I regard as my extended family. Your little one is not going to be "lonely" just because his sibs are older. I know many only children who never felt "lonely". That is a state of mind, as loneliness can exists even if there are a ton of people there for you/him! Your guilt, as you know, is not useful to you or your family. You have nothing to feel guilty for. You have done nothing wrong and I'm sure very soon, you will fall in love with that little boy of yours and I'm sure he is going to be very lucky to have a man like you in his life... you still have half of your life to live... so live it up and enjoy your new bundle of joy and all the things that come along with it.



answers from Medford on

Here is a different perspective. I am the child of two parents who were middle aged when they had me (Dad 49, Mom 37). They both had children in previous marriages and have since divorced and remarried so I also have step-siblings. I have a half brother who is 25 years my elder and a sister who is 10 years my elder.

It is hard. My dad is going to be 75 this year. My children are two and three. My mom is about to turn 63. I am close with my sister, but the rest of my extended family has either passed away, lives in a different country or is so much older than me that we have nothing, literally nothing, in common except some shared genetic history. When my Dad would pick me up from school people thought he was my Grandfather. Both were in great shape, but my Dad certainly lacked the energy (especially once he turned 60) of a younger parent.

So my parents are older. It has affected my life. But it did not affect the amount of love I was surrounded by, nor the amount I love them. I was not lonely, I just did not have brother's and sister's my age. I improvised, had friends once I was in school and turned out fine.

Heck, I stand out at functions because I am considered a "young" mother, or (gasp) an unmarried young mother. Oh well. I still am a good parent, as you seem and my children do great, as yours will. All of us are unique, different and don't fit in always. We get to learn that lesson often and throughout life.

As to your mortality.

Really, no matter our age, we risk death. We will all pass one day. Yes, you are older than some and you may die sooner than another child's parent. On the other hand my partner's Mother died when he was a little kid, in a car crash. She was young, healthy, fit and a great Mother. We don't get to decide these things. We just get to appreciate the moment's we are given. That doesn't mean you don't get to feel worried, or sad or even despair. Feel those feelings. Do something to honor your aging. It is part of life. At some point, we will all have to move on from our children and from this life. In the meantime, let's celebrate our life and health as well as the birth's of our children and their most amazing affect on our world.

Hard times happen. We get to feel those times, those feelings and then must make peace with the issue and move on. Congratulations on the birth of your son.



answers from Indianapolis on

I am the 5th of 6 children with a 10 year gap between me and the next oldest. My parents were 41 and 39 when they had me. I may not remember much about my older sibs when I was very young but I have a wonderful relationship with all of them and we had very special moments growing up because they were so much older.

In turn, I have 2 children: the first born when I was 39, the second when I was 42 and both my mother and father have passed away in the last 2 years. So I know what you are thinking about first hand from both sides. Yes, it is diffifult to have children this late in life to think that you won't be around until they are in their 60s but I had 40 great years with my parents, they said that I kept them young and we were able to do so much. I hope that I will be there for my boys but there are no guarantees in this world, the best we can do is live life to the fullest!

I am glad that you are taking the steps to deal with your depression. You will soon realize that this new little guy is going to have a very special place in your heart and he will keep you thinking and feeling young. He is also very lucky to have older siblings that will help him along the way!

Best of luck!


answers from Sioux City on

I am 42 and my husband is 43. We just had our fourth child last year. The next child is 7, then 10, and 14. We had two stillbirths between the 7 and 1 year olds. I have found that our youngest is a blessing. She has taught our other children so many wonderful lessons. I know that they will be close for life. They adore her and enjoy every moment with her. When she wakes up in the morning they love to get her out of bed and they continue to enjoy caring for her throughout the day. My children have become more caring, kind, sharing, patient and the list could go on. I find that her birth has made my other children and myself a better person. I can't find even one reason to be disappointed in her birth.

Has it always been easy. OH NO! She is a very strong willed little one and I know I don't have the energy I had when I was younger. THANK GOD for my older children. I am sure they will be the ones to teach her to ride her bike. LOL!

I guess I look at each and every one of my children from the living and those that aren't, as gifts. God gave me them because he felt I was the one that would best raise them and they would help me to get a foot in heaven. I am not going to be the one to argue with his wisdom.

Sit back and enjoy that baby. Smell that little head and cuddle his little body on your chest as he sleeps. Let him hold you finger with his tiny hand and know that you are absolutely blessed. Sit back and just take in all that God has created and be awed! Just wait until that little fella can smile. Oh and think of the first laugh. Having children is the most natural thing on the face of the earth. It will all work out, just you see!



answers from Chicago on

I hear the pain in your post & it is sad, please get help sooner rather than later. My friend is 46 she has a 17 year old, 4 yr old & 18 month old. She tried for years & did 8 invitro's that didn't work. Then she stopped invitro & progesterone shots for a couple years then decided to do accupuncture for a couple months. And within a year she conceived her now 4 yr old & then accidentally conceived her now 18 month old. So you both are not to old plus your new little one is so young she probably could get "knocked up" real fast right now :) ......either way be happy, you have 3 beautiful children, thats more than some people can have. Get strong for your family.



answers from Cincinnati on

Ok, I am 35 and 11weeks prego and my husband is 40. I think what you are feeling is normal I have been having some of the same feelings. We already have 2 children. Oldest is 17 and youngest is 11. By the time the baby comes my oldest will be 18. So me and my husband joke around to everyone how we like to spread them out. We will have a 18 year daughter and 11 year old boy and a newborn talk about spread out!! I am just now getting excited over the baby. My youngest is super excited while my oldest hasn't said to much just she isn't sharing her room! My thoughts are I am going to be giving birth while my oldest is graduating. My husband has been supportive and actually acting happy. Where I've been told I don't look to excited. I've always wanted another child but just didn't think it was going to happen. Everyone in my family is super excited. I think I was worried about what other people thought. But I've come to a conclusion, that this baby was MEANT to happen and who cares what other people think!! And I am positive my other children will adore the new baby so it's time for me to quite thinking negative and start preparing for our new "blessing".
Good Luck!!! And you sound like a wonderful father look at the bright side you got future babysitters!!


answers from Kansas City on

I was the oldest of 5 children and my brother, who was 10 years younger, has few memories of me living at home. We have 8 grown children and the oldest was 16 when the youngest was born and she and the next two older don't really remember much of him being at home either. Yet they are all close, my brother and I were close although we don't 'hang out' and there is love there for each one in the family. I would not worry about the age span but he will be like an only child at some point. I don't think I'd have another child just to 'even it out' but if you'd like another child then that's a good reason to have one.
Age, well I was 38 when I had my last one and thought I'd be in a wheelchair at her high school graduation. Instead I baby sit grandchildren, and enjoy all the blessings and think that keeps you feeling younger. I know people in their 40's when they had the last ones they too are still going strong so far. That part depends on you and your health and even if you had one you could be feeling old if you aren't well, etc.
I hope whatever you decide that you enjoy all 3 of the kids in every stage of life and not let anything get in the way of that.
Our older boys had only cousins older by about 4 years and didn't see them much, then none for years. They were more or less alone in that area. I would think the older cousins would enjoy playing with a baby or younger child. Hope the family will work on that with you.



answers from Chicago on

First congrats on number 3! I/we are having number 6 in December I am 40 too so is my hubby. And yes I am a little concerned that we are the old parents for this one but we have more experience and more people to help love this new guy too.
It is important for you to get the help you need to cope with your emotions and concerns and once to get a handle on those things you will able to enjoy your son more.



answers from Washington DC on

My first two are 2.5 years apart and we planned to have a third with a similar gap, but health issues and a severe injury to my first born got in the way. However, the whole time I felt someone was missing. When my middle child was 10 and her brother 12 we had baby #3 - I was a few months from 40. As soon as he was born I finally felt like our family was just the right size.

I've worried about all the things you mentioned and yes sometimes it's hard to find a movie everyone can go to, but we just had a great week at the beach as a family and the kids hung out together every day.

My sister's twins are 13 and they and my youngest (now 9) had a blast for 3 weeks this summer with my parents. We used that time to go to movies with the older two (now 21 and19) and eat food the little guy doesn't like (Indian and Thai!).

On the playground I don't feel like the oldest mom (in part because I'm not) and I feel like I'm cheating time - I get to re-live this age group. At the same time I now know not to sweat every book report or bump in the road. And I've made some new friends with parents of my son's classmates and we now have friends who have kids even younger than ours. As other friends send off kids to college, I'm really glad I don't have an empty nest yet.

Depression runs in our family and I've been doing some research recently. Seeing your doctor is a good idea, but so is getting a lot of sunshine - especially as fall starts - it can make a big difference. Also just heard an amazing piece on the Kojo Nnamdi show

These academics offer some really compelling evidence that increasing Omega 3s and DECREASING Omega 6s can make a huge difference in depression.

Sometimes it is hard to navigate the age gap and right now our son is worrying some about how long we'll be around, but takes comfort in the fact that his other grandma just turned 90. Good luck and continue to enjoy your little guy. Mine is the funniest, sunniest most out-going guy ever and I'm so thankful for him and the things he's brought into our life every day.



answers from Columbus on

First of all, please do not feel ashamed by your depression or by your confused feelings about this situation. And thank you for being honest--I think part of the problem is that society expects parents to be enraptured with joy upon having a new little baby, and those are crazy expectations. Infanthood is an exhausting, exhilirating (sp), frustrating roller coaster ride and it's a lot of work (good work, worthy work, but tough work sometimes, nonetheless)!

I think, given how you are feeling now, you should re-think the idea about having another baby. At the very least, wait until you have your depression under treatment and in control.

I'm sorry your family gatherings are so uncomfortable; however, it could be that you are the one feeling uncomfortable, because you're overly self-conscientious about the age difference. You might ask (maybe via someone asking for you) what the other think (if you really want to know!).

I do think that you should try to surround yourselves with "newer" parents--you already have parents you know with kids your older sons' age, and it will probably help a lot to find parents with newborns or really young children to hang out with and do stuff with. That will give you the support and understanding you need from other adults. In addition, you'll be building up a group of possible friends for your youngest by doing so, so he'll have playmates his own age.

I think that you should start to engage the kids with the baby, if possible. Get them excited about it, and helping with it. Maybe get the kids to help pick out some music to make the baby a CD. Have them help with the bath, with picking out Christmas and birthday presents, with planning the baby's birthday party, etc. Get them excited about this new little guy, and start helping them form a bond with him. Yes, the age difference will always be there, but that doesn't mean they can't have a wonderful relationship with their little brother! :) If you need help, maybe go to the library and ask the librarians to help find some good books on the subject of bridging the age gap in kids, or ask a family counselor for some suggestions.

Please do get the help you need. I sounds like you might really be helped by having some one-on-one time with a counselor to help work through your depression and anxiety.

G-d bless you and your family!

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