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31 Mar 2003

Post- AND Pre-Natal Depression??
I'm expecting our second child in July and our children will be 18 months apart.

I'm finding it extremely hard to get excited about the birth of the little one. Instead I get anxiety attacks every time I think about having a new born and a toddler!! Right now the eldest is more than a handful. It feels like I've made the biggest mistake of my life by conceiving again, as I'm only an okay mother to the eldest as it is.

I have a great support structure, but often feel like a failure when my mother babysits, or gives the little one a bath, or such.

Do you have any advise? I don't want to blame my children one day for being unhappy, and would much rather sort out these issues right now and give my children the best they deserve!!
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear motherofnearlytwo,
I am conident that ou are, and will be, an excellent mother, and far better than OK. And remember that research shows that all a kid needs is an OK, good-enough mother. We don't actually need a saint in the family.
What you're describing sounds less like a pre or postnatal depression ( though post-natal depression is, I suppose, possible and more like natural anxiety and lack of self-confidence ; perhaps exacerbated by dealing with the handful that the first child is. Children differ surprisingly, so this new child may be different, maybe quieter.
Anyway, maybe an important focus needs to be NOT allowing yourself to feel guilty when your mother, or anyone else, helps out. Grannies usually greatly enjoy helping out ( kids can be great fun to care for when they're not your immediate and total responsibility and you can go home afterwards ! ) --- so why deprive your mom of this pleasure ? Far from it being any indication of failure on the pat of any mother to accept and welcome help from caring family and others, it's more of a failure to insist that one has to do everything oneself.
What next, feel guilty for feeding the child milk from Woolworths, instead of milking the cow yourself, personally ?
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