To ask for a kick up the bum/ some practical advice?

(44 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 12:40:09

I have a DD aged 8 weeks.

I am a bit at the end of my tether today.

Had very little sleep for last few nights and a row with DH last night (he'd had a bad day at work and was being an utter arse; he's usually not) which resulted in me throwing dinner in the sink (not proud of myself) and not eating any dinner. DD has been grizzling/not settling all day so far so all I have managed is half a cup of cold coffee and a piece of toast three hours ago so am now feeling even more strung out and knackered.

Wanted to nap in the 20 mins that she did but had to stay on hold to HMRC to deal with stressy taxes matter.

I am just sitting here pathetically crying because I just don't know what to do with her for the rest of the day. I am so tired I can't think straight. We went to the park for a walk earlier so I guess I could do a repeat? I feel like I am failing her by not having the energy to chat or sing or something like usual.

I know I am feeling pathetically sorry for myself so would really appreciate a kick up the bum or any suggestions how to get through a long long day today

Do you have any friends or family who could come and give you a break? Even if they just hold her for you while you have a hot drink and something to eat

Oh emerald stop beating yourself up. sad She is 8 weeks old, it's very early days.

Don't cry. How about getting a cup of tea and putting DD under the baby gym or similar just for ten minutes, and have a few deep breaths.

It's been 11 years now but I have been where you are. You can't see the wood for the trees as they say. Lack of sleep is sooo hard.

mameulah Fri 03-May-13 12:45:51

Our ds is 5 months old and I totally get where you are coming from. One midwife said to me that babies can't retain any information about routine (or anything) until 12 weeks. I am sure that many other professionals would disagree but for me, that piece of information was worth its weight in gold.

Stop beating yourself up.

Before your dh comes home from work...

Have you got something sorted for your evening meal?

Have you 'cleared the decks' in your home? (No breakfast dishes kicking about?)

Are you clean and presentable?

Get that done then sit on your backside, cuddle your baby and put the tele on.

Let me know how you are getting on. I will report back to you with a large kick up your backside if necessary!

And you are not failing her. If she is fed, has a clean bum that's fine, and she's had some fresh air today.

You could put her in the pram and sit in the garden. My two used to like lying under the washing and watching it flap on the line. smile

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 12:46:12

My mum is away and I am rubbish at asking for help from MIL, who to be fair isn't the most practical of people anyway. I have lovely friends but live miles away from most of them.

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 12:49:48

Thank you mamaleuh and everyone!

DD currently asleep on my shoulder and daren't move for dear of waking her. Don't want to be crying at her poor thing! The house is a bit of a tip so I could definitely tidy a bit which would make me feel better but hard to do it with DD asleep on me...

Is the TV remote the other side of the room too? grin

ShirazSavedMySanity Fri 03-May-13 12:52:22

You are not failing her at all. She is 8 weeks old. All she knows is hunger, tiredness and dirty nappies. As long as you're there, she's fine.

Get out in the fresh air this afternoon, a walk will enable a change of scenery from the dreariness of the same four walls.
Or is there a childrens centre nearby you could have a see if there is a stay and play on, just something to get you out of the house.
Even a walk to the supermarket and a sit in the cafe with a cup of tea will get you out of the house.

Is the house tidy? Can you make something for your evening meal which is quick and easy, therefore enabling you to rest when DH gets home and he can take over with DD?

I'd be looking at going to bed when she does tonight and trying to share the overnight childcare stuff as it is a 3 day weekend, so an opportunity for sleep catch up.

You're doing great

afussyphase Fri 03-May-13 12:56:43

Oh, I remember those days! Know that it will get better, much better, very soon. It's so hard. For now your baby is as happy as can be sleeping on you! 8 week old babies need milk, clean nappies, sleep and cuddles, and you don't have to sing and chat all day. You're doing a fabulous job, get some tea and biscuits and relax on the sofa all afternoon if you want to smile

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 12:57:09

No indeed, the remote is right next to me! That's how bloody out of it I an, it hadnt even occurred to me that I could put the tv on...

I will tackle the evening meal in a bit if I can. I have been doing ok previously at breaking the day up into little chunks and tasks to fit around her (shaky) routine but today I just don't seem to know where to start

NoSquirrels Fri 03-May-13 12:57:15

Do you have a sling? Put DD in it right now. Make a sandwich/cup of coffee/long cold drink, add packet of biscuits under free arm and any other easily portable snack and go to bed. Straight away! Take delicious squishy 8 week old (congrats), snuggle up and don't attempt anything else. That worked for me. I breastfed though, so could feed to sleep (both her and me!) and not feel too guilty. Afternoon naps are the most restorative, don't you know?

No need to chat and sing and do a song and dance. You're not failing her. Your needs are extremely important. Just try to be for a little while. If she won't sleep again anytime soon, you can watch the light on the bedroom ceiling, give her nappy-free time and stroke her skin, rock her on your knees, play finger-counting or tickle games all from the comfort of your bed.

Then, about 3-4pm, you can get up and go for a wander to the local shops/park etc, buy yourself an ice cream/coffee/whatever your poison, and hope she sleeps again in the pram while you enjoy the late afternoon sun.

Text your DH whilst you're in bed and say, I'm sorry we rowed, I'm really tired but I'm looking forward to seeing you this evening. Spread a little love his way (even if perhaps you are not feeling it due to row) and if he is indeed a good 'un you will get it back tonight, hopefully in the form of takeaway/early night/taking baby while you have a bath/ etc.

This will be of no comfort to you, as it wouldn't have been to me at the same stage of DC1's life, but I would dearly love to have one afternoon like that again, just to smell their little head and snuggle down. You gave birth a very short time ago. You should not be attempting anything much at all. Try to enjoy this moment if you can.

DublinMammy Fri 03-May-13 12:57:20

Get into bed with her for a while, I find just being horizontal even if not asleep really helps. Also a cup of tea , although hard to drink while lying down. You are doing great, it's very tough in the first weeks and a row with your OH doesn't help. Plan on getting a takeaway tonight and go easy on yourself this afternoon.

Tryharder Fri 03-May-13 12:58:24

Are you breast feeding? If so, I would go and lie down on your side on your bed, breast exposed with her next to you and doze/listen to the radio so she too can help herself to milk and nap intermittently.


I wouldn't fret about the not singing etc.

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 12:58:56

Thanks afussyphase. I have just got it into my head that if I am not fabulously entertaining her in some way that she is bored and fed up with me sad

MousyMouse Fri 03-May-13 12:58:57

park is great.
and if she falls asleep there lie down next to the pushchair.
take a blanket and snacks/drinks.
as soon as dh is back through the door, hand him the baby and go to bed. tell him to order a takeaway or take bany in pram to the chip shop.

DublinMammy Fri 03-May-13 12:59:39

Squirrels put it much better!

IllegalYoniFarm Fri 03-May-13 13:00:23

Awww, nosquirrell, thats great advice smile

putyourhatonsweetie Fri 03-May-13 13:00:28

I was there once. Rubbish isn't it?

While everyone is different I found that the best thing was getting out of my own head for a bit (no, not by hitting the gin!) so a walk in the park didn't cut it as I still had to take myself with me iykwim. I really needed external stimulation - so a walk round the shops, coffee with someone (though I realise you have said your friends live far away, anyone you can Skype with a homemade posh coffee and fake it?) or even just watching a film. Anything really that took me out of myself for a bit and enabled a conversation with dh that wasn't about how miserable I was

Yes interacting with baby is best, sure but as others have said on days like today clean bottom and full tummy is definitely good enough.

Fakebook Fri 03-May-13 13:03:29

Try to eat something and then go to sleep with her and leave the tidying. I hate those first few months with a out of routine baby. I always tried to eat and sleep when my babies slept. I did tidying and other things when they were awake and I was rested. I used to plonk them in the middle of the room and watching me walk around used to be enough entertainment!

mameulah Fri 03-May-13 13:04:32

I agree with Shiraz, get yourself to the supermarket to get something super easy for tea, it will get you and out and make the evening easier for you and your dh too.

Also, don't expect yourself to manage a proper tidy up. I just wrote about this on another thread, but when I am not coping I make myself put/sort ten things. Like fold the washing, (ONE) do the dishes (TWO) empty the bin (THREE) put on another load of washing (FOUR) make the bed (FIVE)...

If I am really not coping I would count folding ten bits of washing...

It probably makes me sound mad but honestly I either forget to count because I have managed to get focused or I at least get ten things done.

Buy, one of those take away Indian meals for dinner tonight.

Buy a chicken, some stick in the oven potatoes from the fresh aisle and some a prepared salad for dinner tomorrow.

Buy yourself some bubble bath, a new magazine and some chocolate.

Buy some more milk.

Go home and be delighted with yourself. You are sorted now until Sunday. (Apart from 10 tidy up jobs)

And the whole way round the supermarket everyone will admire your baby!!!

putyourhatonsweetie Fri 03-May-13 13:07:16

Just also recalling the most dreadful day when dd1 was around 8 weeks and cried all afternoon. stopped the minute bil walked in and picked her up ....and then I started and cried for the evening. 7 years ago and I can remember feeling so utterly useless. But I'm not and neither are you.

It really is hard some days. thinking of you

mameulah Fri 03-May-13 13:08:18

What nosquirrel said.

Also,I used to say (regularly) to my dh 'I am sorry, I have NO resilience.'

IllegalYoniFarm Fri 03-May-13 13:08:29

Mameulah great advice, this thread is lovely smile

OP some fantastic advice here, scoop her up and go out in the fresh air, its amazing what a difference it makes

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 13:09:52

Thanks so much everyone. I do know I am being a bit of a wet weekend. I think I feel a bit more rubbish as have managed a few good days recently and think I have worn myself out a bit in the process as am a bit of a stupid perfectionist and need to be feeling like am being a lovely jolly Mary poppins of a mother or I am no good.

putyourhatonsweetie Fri 03-May-13 13:14:59

chin up, your last post is more evidence of what an utterly marvellous mother you are!

And seeing as you mentioned her....what would mary do? She tell you to start gallivanting round like a kangaroo, or fly a kite, though to be honest given the portrayal of the suffragettes in the movie you should probably bugger what Mary would do and go to bed with the baby, a crossword and three packets of hobnobs

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 13:17:20

Nosquirrels that has helped a lot, I am trying now to remind myself to enjoy cuddling her... All just getting a bit on top of me today. Will try to chill out here for a bit then wander up the road for a sneaky frappucino or something before hitting tesco

pigsDOfly Fri 03-May-13 13:17:41

Absolutely what NoSquirrels said. Forget the housework. Baby won't judge you, honest.

The first months are hard, very hard. It's very early days yet but things will begin to get easier eventually and you'll feel less tired and overwhelmed. Meanwhile, be kind to yourself.

MagratOfStolat Fri 03-May-13 13:17:54

The best advice my mother ever gave me was to pu the baby down for five minutes in the morning and five in the afternoon, either in a bouncer or under a gym. Then go and have a cup of tea in the next room. If they cry, leave them until the five minutes is up. After a few weeks, up it to ten minutes.

It reallly REAAAAALLY helped me when I felt like I was drowning. I'd have a cuppa and go on mumsnet take some deep breaths.

mameulah Fri 03-May-13 14:00:44

What MagratOf said...that is BRILLIANT. And NoSquirrel......

Bottom line is if you, your dh and ofcourse your dd are clean and fed then you are doing a great job!

NoSquirrels Fri 03-May-13 14:07:55

Shhhh, everybody. Don't wake the baby (or emeraldgirl1)


curryeater Fri 03-May-13 14:19:27

Congratulations on your lovely baby.
Eat something. And have a hot milky coffee.
Everything Squirrels said is spot on.

About the tidying up and getting dinner on.... the people who are suggesting ways to do that mean well, I'm sure, but I am a bit conflicted about whether that is good advice, because

a - looking after yourself is very important right now (if you feel better in a tidy house, I get that, but maybe you just need to go to a different room);

b. if you are not perfect some days, your dh might appreciate what you managed on the others. I am not advocating game-playing, just saying in my experience if you bust a gut to maintain certain standards, what gets observed tends to me what are now minimal levels, rather than the gut-busting

Lambzig Fri 03-May-13 14:26:01

Definitely second leaving the house. A sling will make her feel close to you if you have one/like using it, but the pushchair is fine. Put some music on (I have my iPod with one earphone in so I can listen, but still talk to DS, hear every murmur. Have a coffee or smoothie, or whatever you feel like.

I would say stuff the housework.however, if you want to do it try putting DD in a sling while you do it.

Kaekae Fri 03-May-13 14:30:50

Lack of sleep is like torture, I have been there. DS1 is five now but the first few weeks of him being born was hard. I felt like a zombie. I didn't have any family support at all and spent days on my own as DP worked long hours. It was loney and I got bored. BUT after a while things got easier, I made lots of new mummy friends and made sure I got out everyday. I would put DS in his moses basket or chair and take that into the bathroom, put on the radio/ipod and have a nice bath. It will get easier.

emeraldgirl1 Fri 03-May-13 15:02:48

Thanks again everyone
Have managed to make a cheese sandwich and a coffee so things are looking up smile

shewhowines Fri 03-May-13 15:16:37

Relax about the state of the house etc. This stage will pass and then you can have a tidy house.

If there is something you really need to do, or if you need 5 minutes to tidy up/eat/cry, then do so and let her cry without feeling guilty. You would have no choice if you had another toddler claiming your attention. It won't hurt her to cry for short periods of time.

The sling idea is a good one. Do things/go places to make you happy and then she may be calmer. She may be slightly picking up that you are stressed. Go to the library, walk round the shops, look round showhouses - anything to keep you sane.

shewhowines Fri 03-May-13 15:18:43

I had to get out every day for a few hours. I would have gone round the bend, at home for most of the day.

putyourhatonsweetie Fri 03-May-13 21:23:10

how are you doing? did you get through? smile

mameulah Fri 03-May-13 21:51:01

curryeater, I think you are right. I wish I hadn't even mentioned cleaning in my post. I think my cleaning advice would be helpful on another day but when you are utterly done-in you need to just get through it and most definitely stuff the house.

I really hope OP that you got through it and are feeling at least a little bit rested.

Pilgit Sat 04-May-13 11:28:15

Hi OP. hope you're feeling better today. I have a nearly 5 month old with reflux and so can really relate. I found putting classic fm on and putting her in her pram calmed her. She loves listening to the music. My LO hates there being too much going on (have learnt this the hard way) so have really taken a step back and observe her rather than lead play (iyswim). She is happiest sitting propped up in the pram/on the sofa/in bouncy chair watching me do stuff (for some reason cutting the hedge was the funniest thing ever...).

Tailtwister Sat 04-May-13 11:41:25

I know it might not seem like it, but you are doing brilliantly. The newborn days are absolutely knackering. You've had loads of good advice already, so I won't add to it but just wanted to say we've all been there. It's extremely tough, but does pass.

emeraldgirl1 Sat 04-May-13 21:30:58

Thanks so much lovely MNers.

I did indeed get through the day, didn't feel like I would but lo and behold I got there and had a VERY large glass of cold white the minute DH walked through the door... Today has been much better, not a huge amount of sleep last night but manageable and the weekend could not have come at a better time as I handed her over to DH at 5 this morning and want back to bed for another two hours! Bliss!! Having DH around today has helped massively and have managed a nice day.

I am getting to grips with the fact that it doesn't help to pile pressure on yourself to be some kind of all singing (literally) all dancing supermum...

I just hate that horrible empty feeling of utter exhaustion where you feel you have nothing to give and dread them waking up as you don't know what in gods name you will do with them and how to cope when they cry...

Got some heavenly smiles today though which really were a tonic!!

emeraldgirl1 Sat 04-May-13 21:34:41

Pilgit, just to say that yes music is a big help with DD too, sadly nothing as sophisticated as classic fm but she loves billy Joel and a bit of bob Marley smile I don't know why it didn't even occur to me today that I could have put a bit of music on for her. Only trouble is she won't really go in her pram to listen to it, she likes to be held so it does still make it tough to get much done at the same time... I should probably try her in the pram with music more often though to see if she might stay longer

Kaekae Sun 05-May-13 15:53:10

No such thing as an all singing and dancing supermum, don't care what anyone says. We all have our off days so don't beat yourself up. You really don't need to worry about doing much with a baby so young, save your energy for when she is running about everywhere and really needs a bit of entertainment!! Glad you are feeling a bit brighter. smile

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