To feel like I'm doing this on my own

(40 Posts)
pissedandsickedon Fri 13-Sep-13 06:56:43

I've name-changed as I'm deeply ashamed to admit that I'm struggling so much.

I had a baby 6 weeks ago and I find myself feeling totally alone in parenthood. I'm married to a very considerate, caring man and have a big supportive family so I shouldn't be feeling like this but I just am.

It's culminated tonight as my husband's been working away and just got back yesterday. So he spent yesterday working from home. There wasn't much to do so he took the baby a few times but only when the baby was happy or sleeping, as soon as he started grizzling my husband suddenly had to make a call in the other room, or go to the toilet, or do something, anything other than settle the baby. He's not always like this though and in the first 2 weeks would regularly take him when he was crying.

Last night my husband had the baby, who was awake but happy and content, so I asked if he minded me going to bed (I feel like I have to ask if I'm allowed to leave the baby with him, because it;s my responsibility really). He started making all these passive aggressive comments about how he was tired too (despite being away in a quiet hotel for the last 3 nights getting undisturbed sleep).

I am awake now after getting up every hour since midnight to feed, change or comfort the baby. The last time I changed him I got through 3 nappies as he kept immediately shitting in each new one I put on. Then he pissed all over me and the floor and the changing table, then sicked on his new piss free clothes. All the time grizzling loudly. My husband slept through all of this. At the last shit I just sat down and started crying, covered in baby-piss and leaking milk all over myself. My husband woke to ask if I was ok, but immediately went back to sleep before I could answer. I feel like this just sums it all up - he'll sound very concerned and helpful but when it comes down to it he either can't or won't help me. But he does have to work during the day whereas I'm on maternity so I know that it's my job to do all the night stuff and not his.

I don't even feel like it's me and the baby "in it together", if you know what I mean. Sometimes I look at him and I just see this little alien. It's an awful thing to say about my own son but sometimes he really creeps me out. I do love him and I feel so terrible and guilty for feeling like this but sometimes I just want to be able to give him to my husband and have a night off but I can't.

I know it's not really my husband's fault because he has to work, and he can't feed him or comfort him like I can, and I know it's not my baby's fault for needing feeding or comforting, but I just wish one of them would give me a break. And then I feel horrible for thinking that because I should be able to do this on my own, my mother could, and millions of other women do. Anyway, it's 7am and I haven't slept and I'm rambling.

Thank you for reading, if you got this far.

Crowler Fri 13-Sep-13 15:24:57

I feel for you, OP. These early days are brutal.

Your husband is being a bit of an ass. You have to move past the guilt of wanting the baby more than him. The baby is here and he is the dad, and you're his wife. You deserve time to take a bath FGS!

Please know that we all are in EXACTLY THE SAME SPOT when you have a new baby - it is so hard, and you often feel so alone. I promise you, it will get better and your life will return to a new kind of normalcy.

pudseypie Fri 13-Sep-13 16:45:02

If you dont know anyone else with dcs locally can you go to any mother and baby groups? I did a postnatal course at the local children's centre and am now friends with most of the group and they are invaluable support, especially when you are tired and don't have family nearby. It's hard to motivate yourself when you are so tired but it is so worth it. Your health visitor should be able to tell you what's on. I think your dh is probably just like many others in the beginning and you just need an honest chat with him.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 13-Sep-13 16:56:38

I felt like this. I actually used to wish I could break my leg or something and go into hospital so someone else would have to look after the baby. I went and registered DS1 on my own just to get away on my own.

And my DH is lovely. But adjusting to not working and feeling alone with the baby and powerless because you feel (misguidedly) that you have no negotiating power because you wanted this and he's working so hard .... And looking after a tiny baby is relentless and nothing like any job you've ever done before.

The guilt is not rational, and might be a sign of mild depression.

It will get better. Ask for help. Share the fact that it's hard for both of you, but it just is harder for you so you must not feel guilty. He gets to go out and be the person he was before he had the baby - no matter how much he dislikes his job. Your world has changed completely and it will take time to adjust

That's all the bad news. But Be kind to yourself and each other and it will get better and better.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 13-Sep-13 16:57:57

It's not your job to do everything because you are at home. Knock that one on the head right now.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 13-Sep-13 17:00:35

Oh. also. Try not to worry about not feeling overwhelming love for your DS. You have a lifetime to get to know each other.

TheTruffleHunter Fri 13-Sep-13 17:01:24

I echo everyone else's comments - the first few weeks are so hard and it can be hard getting your husband fully on board. I do think it is confidence - when I tackled my DH about it he admitted he was worried that I would think he was doing everything wrong as like yours he was full of praise for how I was coping (must have looked better than it felt!), but actually he was lovely with her. Can you try to compliment him (DH) when he is with him (DS)?

I also found that between 8 and 12 weeks things improved dramatically - we had a bit of a routine, we'd kind of got used to each other so I had more confidence, both sleeping better etc. But the big thing for me was that our bond grew as she started to become a little person with smiles and personality. When they're tiny newborns they don't engage much and that can feel pretty unrewarding sometimes.

Keep going, it just gets better from here!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 13-Sep-13 17:05:24

Me again

I wonder if all the old stuff is weighing you down and you need to talk to someone about that so that you can go ahead rationally and assertively asking, no, telling your DH he needs to do more. Because he does.

I am concerned that all the guilt is weighing you down.

hackmum Fri 13-Sep-13 17:08:08

I felt like this too and I think most mothers probably do.

Have you managed to get out to any postnatal groups at all? I think in a way it's the loneliness that's the killer. The lack of sleep is horrendous, the boredom, frustration and constant demands on your time are terrible but it's the loneliness that really gets you (or got me).

And maybe you could ask your DH to take on some specific tasks that are his alone, e.g. the evening nappy change or whatever it is, so you don't have to be always asking him for help.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 13-Sep-13 17:11:26

He needs to do more at home and moaning about being asked to take the baby occasionally is really, really shitty of him.

Just because you are on maternity leave and he is at work doesn't mean we've gone back to the 1950s.

Tell him to do more useful housework and insist he gives you breaks.

And stop feeling so bloody grateful that he goes to work every day. He's been doing that for years. It's really no big bloody deal.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 13-Sep-13 17:28:03

"And then I feel horrible for thinking that because I should be able to do this on my own, my mother could, and millions of other women do"

Millions of other mothers suffer in silence and plaster a smile on, and you only find out years later when you meet them at the school gates, that they were finding it very hard too.

pissedandsickedon Sat 14-Sep-13 08:21:36

Thanks everyone. I had an honest conversation with him last night and while I still think he didn't quite get it, he was very upset that I hadn't told him sooner.

He took the baby into the spare room last night and fed him EBM while I had a complete night's sleep (of course on this night the baby only woke 3 TIMES!) And hopefully this weekend will be better too.

I do need to get out to parent and baby groups, it's been hard to motivate myself to do anything other than keep us both alive but I will research it today and start going during the week.

bonzo77 Sat 14-Sep-13 14:17:42

Well that sounds positive. Keep asking when you need help, and remind yourself and him that things change and what you need of him will change too.

pudseypie Sat 14-Sep-13 19:37:29

Agree that sounds really positive. And the mother and baby groups will give you a great support network of other mums in the same boat. smile

McNewPants2013 Sat 14-Sep-13 19:58:01

The first few months for me was a blur, every day tends to merge together.

Hope you are ok and talk with DH regularly.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 14-Sep-13 21:06:34

pissed

Good start. And keep on it. Don't feel so grateful for any piece of help that you can't ask for it regularly wink

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