Tuesday, May 22, 2012

sweating bullets

I drove to Arizona for the weekend with my friend, Kristi, who was also heading to the heat for a girl's weekend with her high school friends. It worked out perfectly for her to drive with me - we were able to split the gas and she was so helpful with the boys! Plus she is always so fun to talk to and be around so it was a win-win for me. I'm sure she was dying inside to get out of the car the whole time with my children being nightmares! What a bummer way to start her girl's weekend without her kids!
I got there about an hour before my nephew's wedding reception which was held in my parent's backyard. I'm so sad I missed the sealing ceremony and the luncheon (I heard it was delicious!) but at least I got to see my new niece in her beautiful dress, eat some cake and popsicles and spend time with my family. Of course I have no pictures of the event (except a few random shots on Instagram) to prove I was there but I was and it was beautiful.
my dad holding Fritz.
I also got to go to lunch with my sisters, go to Target by myself one night while my mom babysat (one of the highlights of my whole year) and also hit up Last Chance as fast as I could right before leaving town. It was sooooo hot! I have never done well in the heat but living in San Diego has spoiled me forever, I think. William didn't seem all that phased by it since he spent every minute possible on the trampoline.
I love that kid dearly (I mean, look at those puppy dog eyes) but he has been quite the handful lately. I think he's finally having the reaction I was anticipating him having about the baby. He still loves Fritz and enjoys holding, kissing and touching him but then he mostly enjoys hitting, kicking and shoving him, especially while I'm nursing. I'm a pretty patient mother but most days I'm about to pull out all my hair while sobbing into a pillow by bedtime. I just have to keep reminding myself - it gets easier, it get easier. That's the good thing about having done this whole newborn thing before. I know it's "normal" and that he'll eventually get over it but if anyone has some tips on how to make it easier on our family, I'd love you forever.

10 comments :

  1. It can be really helpful to give the older child a doll or stuffed animal and invite them to sit next to you while you nurse. Having a simple conversation about how he is taking care of the doll and engaging with him while nursing the baby can work wonders. Helped me.

    Not every nursing session needs to be bonding time meant only for mother and the new baby.

    Don't forget to patiently mother yourself. You are doing great.

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  2. I'm still going through this with my oldest (3) and her baby brother (7 months), but as you wrote, it has gotten much, much better. I found that reprimanding did not help. She was so starved for attention that even a reprimand was rewarding (she was my 1st and used to 100% mommy time). I found that quietly getting up and walking out of the room seems to help the most. It took a few times and a few tantrums and occasionally I still have to do it, but over all it been effective. It isn't always possible, but proactive steps help us a lot too. Before I sit down to feed my son I ask my daughter if she wants to read a book with me (watch a show, talk, listen to a story, etc.) while I'm feeding him. I also let her pick where we will sit and chose the book. Giving her control often helps.

    She says a lot of unfriendly things about her brother and I've found ignoring works best for that too. Of course I'll need to re-visit that plan when he is old enough to understand.

    I try to focus on the sweet moments as much as possible. Apparently I was terribly jealous of my little sister when she was born. Everyone still talks about it and I feel strangely guilty for something I have no control over and almost no memory of. When we were young my sister & I didn't have the best relationship and I wonder if the tales of my jealousy became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I try to compliment my daughter and speak highly of her big sister skills whenever anyone asks in her presence.

    Also (sorry - this is turning into a novel!) my daughter LOVES a book called, "How to be a Baby...By Me the Big Sister." It is a very funny and touching book of advice about being a baby written from the perspective of the big sister.

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  3. For a while, I'd let Gideon play with my iPod Touch on airplane mode whenever I nursed or put Oliver down for a nap. And then Oliver started trying to grab the books I was reading, so then I took back my iPod. By then, it wasn't a big deal, though.

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  4. Reading stories to my older kids is what gets me through nursing a baby--I just make sure that the wiggly toddler is sitting near the baby's feet, not his head!

    Good luck! It does get easier but it's hard to focus on that in the moment.

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  5. I love the suggestions other gave! I'm getting induced tomorrow and also have a 2.5 year old.

    I've noticed he's testing me in new ways and being particularly ornery ALREADY, so some of it may just be that William is 2.5 - hooray for new developmental stages!

    I got my son some flash cards and a matching game, and along with some of the suggestions here about book reading and individual lap time, I plan to do those with him while nursing since they only take 1 hand!

    Good luck!

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  6. I will pass on the advise my mother gave me that worked for me so far with an almost two and a half year old and my five month old: make everything about how much the baby likes the toddler. Saying things like, "oh, baby likes you! See, he's waving at you!" or "that's so nice of you to hug the baby. He loves you! He likes it when you give hugs!" at that age it seems very important to them to be liked. This decreased any jealousy and he willingly shares his toys and is affectionate. I give positive reinforcement in the form of praise for his good behavior. Occasionally, if he's having a rough day, I will put him in his room with a couple of his favorite toys and a couple books and announce that it's quiet time. I have him stay there for about 30 minutes to re-group and I usually use that time to put the baby down for a nap. Another thing that has helped is to save movie time for when i am going to nurse. So he's getting to watch his favorite show and is distracted. Other times, I'll go in the backyard and sit to nurse the baby while he plays in the sand. If he asks me to come, I tell him I need to finish first and then I go play with him afterward. If William is especially jealous of the nursing, then when you are done nursing the baby, ask him if he wants a turn. Pull him onto your lap and let him try. He's not going to be able to do anything because he can't remember how it works. With my boy, i think he was mostly curious about what all the fuss was about. That helped ease his curiosity. I realize every child is different, but these are things that worked for me. I hope you will find the things that work for you! Your boys are both darling!

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  7. I've got no tips but your kids are simply adorable.

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  8. Liz im a mama and I totally understand that road trips with kiddies is super hard! A newborn and a 2 year old...I mean you really do deserve a metal!! Coming from someone who has lived through 1 kid with he terrible 2's it does get better. They stop throwing tantrums. But pick up whining and talking back :)) but it's easier. Hang in there. Consistent disapline I think is key, but man it is hands down the hardest thing about parenting!!! Your kids are absolute dolls! Are you are a terrific mother!!

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  9. It's actually a good sign--William feel comfortable enough with you to show you how he feels (Brady had a lot of trouble with that). He obviously loves his brother, so just think of it as William communicating with you. Respond to it they way you would if he were able to vocalize his feelings. If he came to you and said, 'Mom, I think you might love Fritz more than you do me. Do you?' what would you say and do?
    love you, Liz!
    You should bring your boys up to visit us in San Francisco!
    -Laura

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  10. Aww, it's tough for big brother! My "big boy" was 22 months old when his identical twin brothers were born. You're got the right mindset; remembering that it really won't last forever. That helped me get through it all, too. As difficult as it was to have a toddler and twins, I was so thankful for the experience that I already had and for the perspective that I had, knowing I could get through this short time (even if that short time felt like YEARS while I was in the middle of it)> No great advice here, except to do what you gotta do to get through. For me, it was the TV. My big boy seriously never watched a single TV show before I got pregnant, but when I was throwing up 7 times a day, the TV started. And then he watched it while I nursed anf held babies for hours. I feel bad, but I can't beat myself up about it. He was safe and happy, and usually sitting right next to me. The twins are a year old and now TV time only 1/2 an hour twice a day, when I put the babies down for their naps. Just because I let him watch TV for hours for a few months doesn't mean he'll turn out addicted to the TV. It means we got through the newborn stage with colicy newborn twins :) good luck!! you're such an awesome Mommy!

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