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  1. #11
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    I would accept the help for just a little bit longer and use the time to go and see someone to get the anxiety issues sorted out. Then I think the decision will be a bit less complicated.

    Also, maybe try to think about how you will feel in the longer term. In 2 years, your DD1 will be at school full time, so your thinking will be different. Do you want to take more time with your DD1 now before she's at school or is it just a bit too stressful?

  2. #12
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    I have 2 who are similar ages and also suffer anxiety. I agree with some of the previous suggestions - not saying this is what you have to do but this is my routine with my 2.
    My mum takes DD to gymnastics Wednesday morning, while DS naps and I do housework. Then when he wakes I take him to my parents place and we all have lunch then go home for afternoon nap time. Fridays my in laws take DD out for a few hours in the morning then stay for lunch. Mon, Tue, Thu I have both on my own.
    When we are home with just me we stay home in the mornings, DS naps and I do a 'special' activity with DD. usually playing outside, painting, play do, something where I'm giving her my full attention. Then when he wakes we all go out - might be a picnic lunch, library, play centre, play date, something where I can manage both kids fairly easily. Home for afternoon nap time then when they're both awake we go to the park to exercise the dog and DD
    I find small amounts of time without DD better than a whole day. I also find adult company really good for my anxiety so spending time with other adults (my parents, in laws, other mums) really helps me get through the day happily with the two kids.
    I'm sure once your baby is a little older and less needy you will find your groove with both kids.

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  4. #13
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    Hey Hun. First of all you do what you need to do. Stuff what anyone else thinks.

    Secondly - I hear you. I was in your shoes a couple of years back. I dreaded days when I was on mat leave and both my kids were home. My eldest stayed in daycare 3 days per week. God bless the daycare workers!

    What worked for me on those 2 days that I had both kids on my own - routine. Did the same thing over and over and by the end of it we did it with fewer hiccups than at the start. The first day I went for a walk with a friend and the prams to the local coffee shop. Then a play in the playground. Then home for a rest in the arvo. The second day I walked into the local shops (great exercise!) and took the kids to the library. Read books, grabbed a coffee. Each time we did it I learned a new trick to make it easier: pack a hand-towell as the public toilet only had a hand dryer which ds1 hated. Keep both kids strapped in the double pram when I had my hands full getting the copy. Make sure my phone was fully charged before leaving as ds1 liked watching abc kids while I relaxed having my coffee. So many trips, so many lessons.

    Regarding your family's offer to help - that's awesome. For my situation my only concern would have been my child having 3 different carers during the week (childcare, Nanna 1, nanna2). My ds1 wouldn't have coped. I would have preferred to have ds1 in childcare 3 days, the 4th have Nannas take turns and then the 5th day use that to practice having the kids on my own.

    Hey just had a thought - how about on day 5 Nannas take turns coming to your house and helping you while you have both kids? An extra set of hands while you walk to the local coffee shop/park. Practice doing things yourself, but with a safety net.

    Hope this helps.

    Hang in there mumma
    Xxx

  5. #14
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    I don't have anxiety...but my youngest was a surprise and a difficult child and by 2 years of age I needed a break...so family babysat three days a week whilst I did my own thing. I have zero guilt (despite all my other kids being at home with me until the age of three), and my youngest is the most social, friendliest kid out of all of them. Even at pre-school and school...all I get is comments about how socially advanced this child is. I imagine having different carers weekly helped a lot there. It had no ill effect on our relationship either. That kids loves me more than life itself! 😂
    Don't feel guilty...but do talk to your healthcare professionals about getting a plan in place so you can feel more confident on your own.

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    Hi op. About a year ago I had a newborn and a 17 month old. I had the option of having my mum take my older child for a few days per week. I declined. I regret it. This past year has been the hardest of my life. When you said that you feel guilt because everyone else can manage their 2 kids so why can't you..... OMG this resonated with me. This is the exact thought that has played in my head a million times. I want to tell you that I can't. I mean I am keeping everyone alive but I don't feel like I am doing a good job of it. I'm drowning. It's hard. Soooooo hard. You are not alone and for what it's worth I think you are doing a great job. I'm not sure what you should do with you mil and mother. You need to find the right balance. Sit and think about what you REALLY need. Without letting guilt or pressure sway you. Good luck. Xxx

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    Ok. I am a lot like you. Especially when it comes to this.

    I am coping ok (mostly) except the last week or 2 where I have been more sick (I have had a cold for at least a month!) and DD got really sick this week. Sick, exhausted and stressed was making it hard for me to cope.

    Last week I asked my MIL if she wanted to take DS for a few hours. He had a blast. I did not have to deal with him and sick me/DD.

    He goes to childcare 2 days a week and has for years so I am used to it. I still miss him but it has been so so good for his development and he loves it.

    Take the help. Do half days with MIL/your mum to start with. If you can pick a day that is hardest for you to deal with.

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    Thank you so much for the replies. There are some great suggestions here. In theory I'd love it if my mum and mil could come to my place or I could go to theirs so I have help and company at the same time, but I don't think they would be open to it, they both seem to like the idea of having DD to themselves so the can spoil her without me around which is part of why I dislike her spending time alone with them.

    I feel so torn. She has such a good time at her grandparent's place and if I keep her with me I know I can't give her the attention they do. The baby is so clingy, she literally wants to be held all day and I know it frustrates DD1. But like others have suggested, I feel the longer I leave it the harder it will get and I should just dive in and learn to cope with 2 children.

    I might try having her go to their places once a fortnight so every week I have both girls for 2 days. The thought alone stresses me out. Adjusting to 2 children is so much harder than I thought it would be.

  10. #18
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    Accept the help. Accept it. It's there, it's been freely offered, not asked for, and you're struggling. It's ok to struggle. You won't struggle forever.

    Guilt - many cultures and societies for many years have had villages raise their babies. A baby who grows up surrounded by family members who love them and care for them has extra support networks, extra security, and extra love. There is nothing to feel guilty about here.

    Sadness - sure, you will miss DD. But it doesn't have to be a forever thing. You'll probably miss her when she starts school but you know you're doing a good thing for her by sending her, right? When we are prone to depression we can hone in on the sadness thing - but sometimes we feel sad and it doesn't mean anything bad or wrong is happening.

    Relief - of course you'd feel relief! And that's ok! I've been sick in bed since yesterday afternoon. Relief that FOB has come up to look after DS doesn't even cover it. I am ecstatic. I am overjoyed. I feel relief at the start of a working week after a tricky weekend when DS can go to childcare and someone else can deal with him for a day :-) I love him, but I also love having a break from him. He probably feels the same.

    Frustration - well, that's a tricky one that I feel with my mum. I'd stick to one or two absolute do not break rules ie about sleeping or eating and the rest is kind of the payoff IMO. You can tell your DD that xyz is ok at grandma's house but not in this house. Kids understand that.

    I'm sorry to hear you are struggling, and congratulations on your new bub. I've been missing you round here :-)

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  12. #19
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    I too feel guilty about DD1 being cared for a few days a week, but I KNOW I shouldn't.

    Your newborn is so young still. Give yourself time to adapt & find a routine with baby. I'm only just working out DD2s pattern at 11 weeks old. Once things are easier with baby, you will likely feel you have greater capacity to have your daughter home more.

    Also, like anything, you just get a bit better at the juggling act with experience, so the more you have the two kids the more you will learn how to manage them.

    Just give yourself time. Do it when you feel ready. Your mental health is so important for your family, try not to compromise that.

    And 100% what Harvs said about using your village. It's not normal for us to parent alone. Don't feel guilty about using your network & enriching your daughters life with strong family relationships.

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  14. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mama Mirabelle View Post
    Thank you so much for the replies. There are some great suggestions here. In theory I'd love it if my mum and mil could come to my place or I could go to theirs so I have help and company at the same time, but I don't think they would be open to it, they both seem to like the idea of having DD to themselves so the can spoil her without me around which is part of why I dislike her spending time alone with them.

    I feel so torn. She has such a good time at her grandparent's place and if I keep her with me I know I can't give her the attention they do. The baby is so clingy, she literally wants to be held all day and I know it frustrates DD1. But like others have suggested, I feel the longer I leave it the harder it will get and I should just dive in and learn to cope with 2 children.

    I might try having her go to their places once a fortnight so every week I have both girls for 2 days. The thought alone stresses me out. Adjusting to 2 children is so much harder than I thought it would be.
    Two things jumped out at me.

    First it's unfortunate your mum and mil won't compromise and come to you. Could you even ask them to bring her home at lunch time and then help you get through the witching hour? It will help you grow your confidence with both girls and if you are feeling overwhelmed they are there to help.

    Second your daughter will adjust to having a baby sister. But that again will take time. And it will get easier the older your second gets and the more time they spend together.

    It's wonderful to have a village and to have support, but it's also wonderful to put yourself in situations that challenge you and come out the other end knowing you coped.

    You just need to find the right balance for you.


 

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