I think you are doing fabulous.
When you have a sick clingy baby and you are away on holidays .. yes if your DP has been out having fun in the snow all day and comes back its pretty normal to want to hand over the sick/clingy/little one. Even if she hadnt been sick, taking turns so that each of you get a break from a small child is normal. Its healthy.
It makes you a better, happier, more relaxed and loving Mum to have a break.
As for your 8 yr old - yep sadly its normal for them to say things that hurt at times. Kids can be cruel and they say things ... sometimes intentionally to lash out, and other times because they dont really think about the consequences of how that will make the person feel.
its a normal part of them growing.
I tend to respond with a 'That doesnt make me feel very good, its not a nice thing to say' and walk away. Later when I am not so emotional I will explain that 'those kind of comments hurt Mum and make me upset' and try to instill some compassion
hi freyamum. I remember your posts about the counselling session that ended up being more about your daughter than about you. I think you have a very difficult relationship with your dp because of his work schedule and other things. and also your relationship with your children is not on the best footing. I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a big hug. you are doing a great job, and you need to start building up your own self esteem. when you say you have read many books that you are more confused? that makes me think you have really tried to be every thing to everyone, and that is simply not possible. please remember, life is a work in progress, no one has all the answers, and no one is perfect. can I suggest you start putting yourself first just a little bit. I don't mean you become some queen in her castle, but just that you start meeting your needs at least slightly more often. perhaps your 8 yr old has seen you being last on the list too many times. big hugs, marie.
@Freyamum is it possible she's being bullied at school? I know when my eldest turned into a monster at home she was being bullied at school and having a horrible time so coming home and taking it out on us and her younger sister in particular. She didn't admit it for a while but a lot of what she was saying at the time was similar to your DD.
We wound up seeing a child psych and it was the best thing we did. She was able to talk through what she was going through and also be given boundaries about appropriate behaviour. She was still having a hard time at school but at least it wasn't coming home anymore and I could work with her rather than against her.
Just a thought.
I have a strong belief some children (particular girls) never really recover from having younger siblings. Like they would have been much happier as only children. This is just my pop psychology from watching a number of my friends kids over the years. I definitely think oldest children can often feel as if they are the only ones who ever compromise. I know that's how my oldest sees the world.
I think it sounds like she needs professional help, hard as that is to acknowledge. It hugely helped my DD.
Interesting idea that she isn't coping with having siblings. I'm the eldest in my family and never ever remember feeling any less loved because of subsequent siblings. 3 is seen as a big family these days but was pretty standard when I grew up and we all coped.
I don't have any advice OP, and it seems others do.
But I wanted to say that yes our two do say hurtful things (to me and their mum as we are their primary caregivers) but only when they are upset or frustrated about something.
E.g. DSS was in time out for throwing a book at DSD a few weeks ago and he kept going on and on about how this is H's house and not mine.
I calmly but firmly told him that my name is on the lease too, H and I are married so anything that is "his" or "mine" is now "ours" as that is how marriage works. And I walked away.
He had said it before and been warned by H, so this time H said to him that if he could not respect that the house is mine and his (and theirs) that he was free to not come at all. DSS didn't like that but thought about it and apologised.
Usually it's only stuff like "you're mean/unfair/etc" and always when we are correcting behaviour, but the above example has happened a few times and always bugs me... I guess because I am their stepmum and there will always be a small part the feels outside the unit.
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