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Now I Feel Even Worse

At Least Football Makes us Smile.. Though Our Team Didn't PlayI’ve been struggling. I’ve written about finding my groove with two. And it’s true. I’ve found a groove. We’re getting things accomplished. The laundry isn’t too far behind itself. I’m making meals. I’m getting books read. And I occasionally can shower and put on makeup and feel, almost, like a human being.

But my emotions? Yeah, I don’t suppose I’ve discussed those, have I? And why, you ask?

This is freaking hard, folks. And I don’t like to admit when I’m having trouble. But, goodness sakes, this is hard. By the end of every evening, I’m left feeling like a total failure as a parent. I’m usually close to tears, insanely overwhelmed and nursing a pretty major headache. I sit and recount my day and wonder where things went wrong.

As of late, BigBrother has had some sleep issues (which caused me to buy The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers but, unfortunately, the book is 400 pages long and I fear I’ll never find time to finish and figure out what is wrong). Those issues have made evenings and mornings rather hellacious. Starting and ending your day with screaming and tantrums and whining and tears is not particularly joyful. Add in the fact that LittleBrother has taken to cluster feeding in the evening and I’m just downright exhausted by the time I get to lay down in bed. Which is never for the whole night, whether it’s one or the other that needs tending to in the dark, midnight hours. My favorite was the time that they were both up three separate times which made for six awakenings for me.

This article on Parent Dish only made me feel worse. Not the article, exactly, but the comments from those who have been there and done this. Really? It’s supposed to be easier when the second one comes around? Then what the heck am I doing wrong? While my anxiety has been easier to handle, most likely because of my work in therapy and the mechanisms I have learned to properly cope with it, this overwhelming feeling of “I Suck As a Parent” is hard to get past! A few commenters spoke up and said things that fall in line with how I’m feeling but the general majority agreed that things are just “easier.” And I’m left feeling even more alone.

Trust me, I love these two boys. But it’s hard. Yes, things are getting done both house wise and kid wise. Children are being bathed and fed and loved and played with and so on. But this Mama is tired, worn out, overwhelmed and worried. And now I feel all alone. I feel as if all these other mothers have something that I missed out on when they were handing out parenting abilities. Seriously? My eyes are filled with tears. I feel inferior. I feel like I’m short-changing my kids.

But that’s enough of the pity-party, right? I’ve got laundry to do.

27 replies on “Now I Feel Even Worse”

I hate when people use the word “easy” (as much as I hate when people use the word “hate” lol. “Easy” means so many things to so many people.

Sometimes, “easy” means “less work to do”, sometimes it means “less confusing” or “I know what to do now” and sometimes easy means “not hard to understand”.

Just because you’ve done something before and kind of know what to expect doesn’t mean it’s going to be less work for you. And I have a sneaking suspicion that those women meant “it’s less confusing because I’ve done it before and know better what to expect and how to handle things” and they DON’T mean “I have less work to do”. Because the truth of the matter is that two children is twice the work and I dare any woman to tell me differently so that I can smack her around a little.

You’ve got twice the laundry, twice the stuff to pick up, twice the little smiles to encourage and twice the tears to quell. You have twice the attention to give and half the time to do it in. You’ve got twice as many butts to wipe and twice as many mouths to feed.

It’s ok and it’s normal that this isn’t “easy” for you. Geez… two little boys is a lot of work! I’m glad you are reading and reaching out and trying to find others who can tell you “it’s ok, I feel terribly overwhelmed too” but be careful not to read all of the “it’s great being a mommy” and then judge yourself accordingly.

You do a good job and you are always going to be over anxious and a bit critical of yourself. But please please please know you aren’t alone – it’s not an easy job and you do the best you can and hell, if my children can survive relatively unscathed, intelligent and healthy, then I’m pretty sure your boys will be ten times better!

It’s ok to be exhausted. It’s ok to cry at 3 am because all you want is a little sleep. It’s ok to look in your closet and be sad that you haven’t gotten to wear your favorite dress in a little while. It doesn’t make you selfish, bad or otherwise anything other than a woman and a mom and a wife who just happens to sacrifice a whole heck of a lot for her family.

Just know that this will pass. Big Brother will grow up and sleep through the night again… baby brother will not always be attached to the boob and you will (I promise) know again what you like like in the morning after a full night’s sleep.

(and that’s enough of my rambling – sorry)

Nikki Jo’s last blog post..Rudy Guiliani was my prom date.

Well, I have to say, for me, getting started with 2 was easier than 1 – the time right after we came home from the hospital. I knew how to BF, we weren’t tracking every poop and pee, we brought the baby home and kept living.

But, I’ll tell you, after the hooneymoon period, it was HARD for me. HARD. Even though I knew there would be an end to the sleepless nights (based on my own experience), it didn’t make me feel any less overwhelmed. So, you’re not alone.

What I can now tell you, however, is that I do love my kids being so close in age (2 years, 11 days) now that they are almost 3 and almost 5. Yes, they DO eventually sleep and it does get better. Hang in there and get help when you need it.

BethanyWD’s last blog post..Five for Friday.

I also think it’s hard! I have a 21 month old and a 5 month old at home and some days I just don’t know how I will make it through. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone and that I think you don’t suck! Be well and do something nice for yourself today!

lori

Man. It is hard going from taking care of one to taking care of two. I can see how it is easier in a sense you have done it before but everything else is harder. And every child is different too and comes with there own different things you have to deal with. I have three children that are now six, two, and almost four. It was hard every time I brought a new baby home. I feel like I am now just finally starting to find my groove with mine. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad because its hard for you. Everyone is different but I would be surprised if it wasn’t hard and an adjustment for most family’s.

My husband and I have always thought we would adopt an older child at some point in our lives. You’re making that choice look smarter and smarter the more I read. I need sleep. A lot.

Also, do you know how much I love that photo? I love that photo. I love it nearly as much as I loved watching Brady go SPLAT! yesterday.

Burgh Baby’s Mom’s last blog post..Go Ahead. Hate Me.

You are stating exactly how I felt when the second one came. It was SUPPOSED to be easier, that’s what everyone said ! But it was soooo much more difficult! Big brother wasn’t sleeping through the night. Post-partum was hitting me hard. It was so difficult, I felt like the worst parent on the planet. I couldn’t get housework done, I couldn’t sleep, I wasn’t getting naps and I was lucky to nuke something for dinner. I felt like such a failure!
This is about the time I started back to therapy with a woman who specialized in over-stressed young mothers with post-partum. She helped me get it all in line and I went on a very low dose of an antidepressant. There were other outside things going on in my life, too (including understanding that our younger child had some neuro issues and possible autism. We knew even at 6 months of age). I was still nursing but we found something “safe” to take (even though they say nothing is safe) and life started to get easier and easier. Five years later, I’m in a good place.

I guess what my rambling point is, is that it takes a looooong time to get into a groove, to get organized for two children, to get things prepared ahead of time, to get sleep schedules sorted out, yadda, yadda, yadda. It ain’t happening over night. I thought, “heck, it’s only one more kid! How much more work could it be?” The answer? MORE THAN YOU WOULD THINK REASONABLE OR POSSIBLE!

Hang in there. It will get better, with help and support. Do not even think you can do everything on your own. Just do what abso-smurfly has to be done each day and the heck with the rest. They are only this tiny once, so enjoy it while it lasts!

The Domestic Goddess’s last blog post..Dear Mr. Superintendent

I’d certainly never say that two is easier at all. Sure, the baby care is easier this time around, since I know a lot more about diapering, feeding, sleep routines, etc. I’m a little more confident in my skills of taking care of a baby.

But when it comes to the totality of caring for two? I’m flying by the seat of my pants here. With two kids, there is nearly always someone who’s needs aren’t being met. (I’m including my needs in there as well.) It’s tough, and you feel like you don’t have enough of yourself to give to get through an entire day before you have to start all over.

Only now, eight months in, am I starting to notice a bit of depression. I think the reason I didn’t have PPD from the start this time is that I was too busy throwing every ounce of energy into all I’m doing to be depressed. But now it’s catching up with me, and it sucks.

I know how you feel, and you’re doing a great job. Having two is so different from having one, and the first thing you must do is give yourself some slack to not be as “good” of a mom as you were with only one. You’re allowed to be upset, and you’re certainly allowed to not always meet all of their wants in order to fulfill some of your needs. They won’t see you as a bad mom for it – they’ll grow up knowing you’re human and you have needs, too. They won’t be short-changed, because whenever you need some time, they’ll always have each other. (Especially in a few months, when they’ll make each other laugh and laugh!)

Hang in there. It’s not easy, but it will get better.

Christina’s last blog post..Why Must Healthy Be So Hard?

Oh, Firemom ((((HUGS))))

I have always heard the hardest adjustment is going from one to two kids. With the first, you can sleep when they sleep. You don’t have to divide your time and attention. Then once you have 2, if you add more, you know how to divide your time, so it is not as hard. We are ‘expecting’ our next baby and I am worried. I think it will be so hard this time. I keep remembering how I got to nap when Cameron napped and I could just lay on the floor with him on bad sleep days. I won’t be able to do that next time.

You are not a bad mom. The fact that you are getting laundry done and making meals shows how great you are doing. Heck I don’t get meals made most days now with just my one kiddo and 2 I baby-sit!

Hang in there. It will get better. (Right? I keep telling myself I will have a few really bad, exhausting months and then things will be great…)

I’m a surviving mother of four kids under 8 (actually the current range in age is 3 to 8), so am proof that it can be done. But in my experience, the first thing you need to do is LET GO OF YOUR GUILT!! Luckily for me, I learned fairly early on that no matter what you do as a mother you will find something to feel guilty about. Recognize that, cut yourself some slack, and let it go. Take care of your kids’ most pressing and basic needs, and do the best you can (or even less than your best depending on the day:) ) with the rest. From there, life will return to some manageabilty and normalcy.

However, also realize that having two is different than having one, so just as life with one is not ever going to be the ‘same’ as life before any, life with two is not the same as life with one.

Accepting a change in life, taking on more when you can, and letting go of the guilt will help get you through. Of course, none of this will stop intermittent feelings of guilt, but it will help you manage them.

In short?

-know you will feel guilty about something
-know that you are doing your personal best (regardless of someone else’s personal best) and that your kids’ needs are being met (even if that means you left a baby crying in a crib for a while because you had to)
-remind yourself that guilt is part of the parenting bag, and that not all guilt deserves to be addressed
-forgive yourself your shortcomings and hug your kids!

Hope this helps…

Been there and done that and lived to tell about it…..

Look at all the encouragement you’ve received already. If you could just take a glimpse in our home at bedtime, naptime and the times inbetween it’s craziness! And you just try to deal the best you can. Hey, it’s almost 1pm and I’m just now fixing lunch, still in my jammies (so are the girls) and I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.
It’s just one of those days.
And James is out of town so I don’t think we will be brushing teeth, hair, showering or getting out of our jammies anytime soon.

Hang in there. You are a great mother. Cry if you want to! Plead with your kids and bribes work occasionally too. I got Adeline to go to hang out and let me finish some work by giving her a couple of mini m&m’s and watching Max & Ruby on tivo.

Somedays you just have to make it to bedtime without any bloodshed. And those days are good too.

Loves of love.

Jill’s last blog post..We did it! We did it!

I almost left a comment on that post yesterday saying that the first was sosososso easy for me, and it’s the second that is kicking my butt, but then I realized that Linda was hours away from meeting her son, and I didn’t really want to put a cloud over that. But yeah, I too read through the comments and wondered where these people got their energy, and limitless patience. Having a younger sibling does not automatically make a toddler less insane. In fact, at Casa Marfil, it makes everyone a little more insane. I think all of these people had 10+ years between kids, or have selective amnesia.

*hugs*
We’ll get through this. In a few years, we will be having coffee, watching our preschoolers fight over a crayon, and our toddlers running as fast as they can into table legs and we will be able to laugh at how desperate we were to just feel good again. It’s coming. We’ll be okay.

ivymae’s last blog post..Links and updates on many unrelated things

Oh, Sweetie – because, you ARE very, very sweet – I wish I could tell you that, yes, parenting gets easier.

You know, I can’t.

However, what does work is (after 4 kids) my husband and I began to trust our abilities to know what does or does NOT work for our family.

Each child is different – #1 girl slept, #2 didn’t (until she was about 11 months) #3 was
a boy (‘nuf said) and #4 is a challenge, period – and we handle each and every one, accordingly.

Even discipline methods, vary.

So, I guess what I’m saying is DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF and give yourself some time to, you know, get used to each other!

In the meantime, keep posting those ADORABLE pictures.

They’ll come in REAL handy, one day ;o)

Liz’s last blog post..How many Sears representatives DOES it take to screw a dissatisfied customer…DAMMIT?

I agree with Nikki Jo’s comment. Its only easier because you already know what to do. Its not easier in the fact that there are now 2 little beings that need your attention ALL THE TIME! My kids are 2 years, 3 months apart, and let me tell you, it was tough. Not to mention that my 5 year old is autistic, and we didnt know it at the time. So now, its like I have 2 almost 3 year olds. Neither are potty trained, the younger talks more than the older, etc. They both need constant attention. I completely understand. Remember that this too shall pass. Trust in God. He has everything in HIS control, and He only has your best interests at heart.

I read this right in the middle of one of my tear-fests. I have six kids…yep, six. They are all adopted so I guess I can say I didn’t go through labor pains. The kids have all come at different ages and stages of the game. My youngest two were the only ones we had come to us as infants. Honestly, after having four, I never thought that the two would be “hard.” Ummm, I was mistaken. The sleepless nights and tantrums, etc made me feel like a candidate for worst parent ever. All I can tell you is the best thing I did for myself was to stop reading what other people said about how easy it is for them. I trust my pediatrician completely and he and I had many talks about all of it. He assured me that I am a good parent and that my kids are pretty typical.

I feel for you and will definitely keep you in my prayers! Just hang in there and know that you are doing a great job mothering. In the words of Tom Hanks in the movie A League of Their Own (I know, I know…but sometimes it gets me through the day), “It’s the HARD that makes it good, if it were easy anybody could do it.”

Take care.

You are not alone. I found adding a second child to our family to be incredibly hard. Si is now almost 20 months and just now, I think I might be finally recovering from the struggle of that transition. I have felt guilty because I love him so much but it’s just been hard and hard not to be resentful at times for how hard it was AND how I felt others made me feel because “when they had kids that age”…yadayada…

We have to remember that each experience for each person and family is very different. Unlike what some other mothers might be going through, you are dealing with a whole host of underlying issues that complicate how you feel about this whole experience (not about your children, just the experience of adding to your family). At least that is how it has been for me. And it has taken me a long time to even get through the layers of those other issues to begin dealing with them and figure out what it all means in our life.

Alot of “stuff” was triggered for me by the arrival of our second child, including all sorts of grief I had stuffed down and now had to face, some of it related to the possibility that this second babe might be our last babe, among other things.

I hope Jenna, that you will be kind to yourself. You are strong…you are an amazing mother to all your children…

Bless you…

Tammy’s last blog post..Blessed.

Take to heart everything that has been said above and frankly, lower your standards :).

Seriously, the jump from 1 to 2 is only easy because you know what is coming, but you’ve forgotten enough of the hard stuff (otherwise you would never have tried for a second, right?). Two is at least 3x the work of 1, and mine are 4 years apart.
You’re doing great, but it is VITAL that you take care of you. Whatever that means, time by yourself (even just a 15 minute shower alone can work miracles). Please be on the look out for Post Partum Depression. It snuck up on me, but once I sought treatment the world was a better place.
Take care!

Thank you for your honesty. It’s not easy! It is really hard! Some days are harder than others! I had my third last June. My oldest isn’t yet 4. I don’t really feel like its having 3 kids that is overwhelming, but that its having any kids thats overwhelming. Overwhelming and worrisome. Am I doing enough? Am I screwing these kids up? I think my 3 year old would be screaming at me and blantanlty disobeying even if he was the only child. I think my 2 year old would cry over the littlest things for what feels like hours even if he was the only child. I think my 7 month old would still be getting up in the middle of the night even if she were an only child. I can say that you’re doing an amazing job just by reading your post. Give yourself a pat on the back. You love your boys, and they no that. Good luck with the sleep issues. Follow your intuition and trust your instict. You know what to do for your boys. You just have to clear away the worry and tiredness enough to find it.

I found you via your comment on BlogHer – Shannon’s post about being pro-life. I appreciated your honesty and popped over.

I am sorry to hear you were having a rough day. Having two isn’t easier or harder, just different. As for as I am concerned, having an infant is hard…the sleep deprevation and constant neediness is killer. Throw another kid in the mix who isn’t old enough to “fend for themselves” and it a recipe for feelings of inadequacy!!!!

I have three kids: ages 5, 3 and 1. Hang in there. You are a completely normal mom of two little kids. There will be days like this to come again and you’ll need to constantly remind yourself that “this too shall pass” AND you need to find some time for a break!

Certain things will get easier as they get older, but that brings its own set of issues.

In the meantime, know you are one normal momma adjusting to live with an infant and little one!

Mary@notbefore7’s last blog post..Monday Meme – Books

I am not a mother of two, but I am a mother of one in the process of adopting number 2. My daughter is very close to Nick’s age so I look to your experiences to see what it is like. That being said I am a worrier and struggle with anxiety and mild depression at times. Having one child is hard sometimes and I worry about two being even harder. You are not alone. In fact some of my friends scare me to death saying stuff like, “you think one is bad…just wait till you add a second one” or “adding a second one doesn’t double the work it quadruples it.” I think you are doing a tremendous job and breastfeeding too! I applaud you so much. I do think some people look at it as easier because you sort of know how to care for a newborn. You don’t have that whole scary thing to add into the mix, however, you do have the uncharted waters of two at the same time and the worries about how they will interact. Forget those people who lay it on about how easy it is (maybe they aren’t doing that great of a job) or maybe they just forgot what it is like with two little ones!

I’m right there with you (my daughter is nearly three and my son is 5 weeks). It is SO hard right now. And just when I think I’m starting to find my groove, something happens to throw me off and make things even harder (like when both kids got sick for two weeks!). I have no answers but will definitely be reading all of the comments on your post closely for answers and, even more, for hope that things can and will get better soon. Thanks for posting about this!

Aw, hon. ((((Firemom)))

Listen, it’s incredibly easy to have selective memory about things when you’re posting an article about parenting, when you’re on a forum giving someone else advice, even when you’re commiserating over coffee with your BFF who you KNOW gets you.

The fact is, we rarely get to see other moms in all their own less-than-stellar, I’m-not-proud-of-me-right-now glory, at 3 AM when the baby has just barfed for the 3rd time in 30 minutes and there are no more clean sheets in the house, and the 3 year old is screaming bloody murder at the same time, and they lose it and start yelling/crying themselves. And reading about it, even an honest account of it, isn’t the same. Somehow, some other moms just seem to get it better than we do.

But here’s the truth as far as I see it:

Nobody has the all secrets. There ARE no secrets, I suspect. We’re all just in it, muddling along as best we can, and some days are easier than others. Some WEEKS are better than others. Anybody who tells you they have all the answers is selling something. ;)

You’re doing fine. You’re still adjusting. It’s OK. You’re a good Mom. I promise. Hang in there.

Coco’s last blog post..The Toe of Woe

It’s hard to say if 2 is easier or harder. I think when I say easier I mean it as it is all not completely new. I had been through it before.

It is definitely harder in that your time is stretched more thinly. You are more exhausted and pulled in more directions.

The guilt is overwhelming at times. Alot here lately.

Did I spend enough time with both kids? Oh crap I forgot to click the babies fingernails. Unfortunately I have to work outside of the home so the time issue is a biggee and I feel completely and totally helpless with the house work. I can’t keep up. If I were to get everything done all the time I would never have time for the kids but then the clutter gets me also.

I just want to stay home. Raising kids and keeping a home is more than enough work. I don’t think I’m cut out to do anymore.

I hope my pity party makes you feel not so alone.

jessicab’s last blog post..Kitty Kitty Gumball

I forgot to add, don’t forget that BigBrother is adjusting too. The sleeping issues are probably arising from that.
My daughter started having separation anxiety issues at the pre-school she had been attending for a year when my son was born. She loved it there and I trusted the staff 100%. The issue? She felt she was missing something at home while she was at school (she was, my napping and desperately trying to get work done!!). It eventually passed.

BigBrother has probably just realized that this cute creature that he loves, but who takes some of your attention is NOT leaving. BB is just feeling his way around the new relationships too.

Good luck to you!

Lee’s last blog post..All together now . . . AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I’m so late to comment here (we’ve been away) – but I felt just like you do! Ours were 20 months apart, and I spent the first 6 weeks thinking “What have we done?” I thought we should have waited until our first was in college.
It did get better though. Getting them both asleep at the same time in the afternoons was huge for me. After about 6 weeks, No 2 got a better nap schedule going and started having decent 2 hour naps. Once I got No 1’s programme lined up with this, they both slept for 2 hours at the same time. Made such a difference to Mama’s outlook.
Really – it was just hard at first. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer WORK of parenting (you know – laundry, food, cleaning). I thought I would never emerge again into a space where I could actually parent the way I wanted to – listening to the kids, spending time with them, teaching them stuff.
Please feel encouraged that it does get better. And it’s so sweet having a roly poly 6 month old and a busy little toddler together. You have such fun ahead.
Love Fi.

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