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Oh god have I damaged DD forever?

(75 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:44:46

We have an 8 week old DD and it has been tough, no more so than anyone else coping with a newborn but tough.
DH and I have just had a screaming row right in front of her while she cried.
I feel physically sick with guilt.
It was a stupid row, I was trying to sleep after a bad night and DH was 'looking after' her... I know I am being unreasonable but he was not doing a stellar job, she woke up and was crying and for some unknown reason he decided to suddenly sterilise a load of dummies rather than just pour boiling water over one and give it to her to soothe her. I had managed fifteen mins sleep and all I could hear was wailing from the kitchen, he wasn't even talking to her, just waiting for the steriliser to finish. He is a good DH but I think he has no real instinct at the moment for the difficult moments of fatherhood.
I charged downstairs criticising him,I know it was unhelpful but I was just so desperate for a sleep and I couldn't believe he had only managed fifteen mins with her. He obviously felt defensive because he screamed at me which isn't something he normally does. I screamed back and whacked him on the arm sad
I am ashamed of myself and feel sick. Poor little DD she was crying even more.
I always swore we would not row in front of her, my parents did it a lot and it is frightening.
We have a great relationship usually but this is taking its toll. I just want to feel I can rely on him so that I can get the occasional bit of extra sleep, I am struggling with DD in the week as I am so tired.
Have I damaged poor little DD permanently? What can I do to make it ok for her?
DH has taken her off for a walk in pram which I think was the right thing to do to calm us all down
I can't possibly sleep now, I am scared of what impact this has had and am scared we will do it again and frighten her even more.
Sorry for rambling, am in a bit of a state here.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 05-May-13 15:48:12

Your dd will be fine, and completely unaffected.

But if you have been reduced to hitting your husband, your marriage might not be.

I think you should be thinking about that more than anything else tbh. A certain amount of unreasonableness is allowed when you are sleep deprived with a small baby, but you crossed a line there.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 05-May-13 15:48:33

No you haven't. If this were a regular thing throughout her childhood then yes you would, but a one off sleep deprived fight isn't going to ruin her.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Calm down and go and have a sleep. When you've had a nap you and your DP can apologise to each other for over reacting. It is difficult to let someone else do things with your child as you do feel like they are doing it wrong. You have to get past this. Even if she was crying whilst he was sorting dummies, its ok, it's not going to hurt her.

Please try and get some sleep smile

MajorBumsore Sun 05-May-13 15:49:27

It's fine, please don't beat yourself up. If it continues to happen, then start to worry, but we've all been there at the beginning, when terribly sleep deprived and unsure of what we are doing.
Get some rest, deep breath and start again when they're back.

GiveMumABreak Sun 05-May-13 15:50:43

You ave not damaged your DD for life! It happens, you'll do better next time. Rationally explain to DH how you feel, apologise for your outburst and....try to get some sleep it sounds like you need it wink

perplexedpirate Sun 05-May-13 15:51:38

She is eight weeks old! She will remember NOTHING of this.
DH and I had some corking rows in the newborn months. It's part of the reason we're only having one.
Get some sleep now, things will look so much better when you wake up, and then have some snuggle time with DC and DH.
And cut yourself some slack!

LadyVoldemort Sun 05-May-13 15:52:55

She'll be fine! And this probably won't be the last argument you have in front of her you know. As much as we all want to bicker and argue privately you don't always have that choice with kids around.

You're both going through a tough time right now, give yourself a break. Calm down, get some sleep or even just lay still and relax while he is out. When your DD gets back you can make it up to her by having some extra squooshy family cuddles smile

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:56:17

Yes you're right I definitely crossed a line sad I know that wasn't ok.

I am utterly ashamed of myself.

Ashamed of DH too for starting the screaming.

I shouldn't have criticised him, he was doing his best but it was just so frustrating as I had literally just dropped off.

I feel I make a tiny but of headway with DD in the week, I am knackers but she seems to start to settle.

At the w/e I feel that DH is too adult-centred, he adores her but doesn't seem to realise that her needs are paramount, he hopes she can fit in with our routines rather than the other way around. I worry that this unsettles her. When I tell DH this he just gets defensive and I am too tired to keep explaining in a way that will make him listen.

I can't believe we have just behaved this way in front of her. I am horrified.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:57:53

Thanks for reassurance everyone.
I will try to make things ok when they come back.
This has just been a shitty week tbh.

Notafoodbabyanymore Sun 05-May-13 15:57:53

I reckon most new parents have found themselves in very similar situations, please don't worry. Your lovely baby will not remember this at all, nor will she be scarred for life.

Use this as a good opportunity to talk through some of the differences in your parenting styles and ideas for conflict resolution in future so it doesn't become a habit. Obviously wait until your both calm to have that conversation!

And go easy on yourself and your dh. Having a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting and you will both make mistakes. Nobody's perfect, and your dd will be ok as long as she knows she's loved.

brew Try to get some rest.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 05-May-13 15:58:42

Your dd won't remember. The first weeks are a teeny part of motherhood. You got this wrong - DH got the dummy stuff wrong. Next time make sure there is a sterilised dummy in the fridge at least he was sterilising them - my DH wd have run it under the tap and I'd have been none the wiser (seems to recall ds surviving a bottle made in an unsterilised bottle and with tap water at that stage). As ds wd say now "chill ur bean mum"

All will be well - we all make mistakes.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:00:57

Thing is we are quite a bickery couple but we have been v v happily together for years and years and (honestly!!) have a great relationship. Bickering in front of her probably isn't great either so I do know we should work on that. It is a bad habit we have got into over the years. Screaming rows are just not ok though.

NaturalBaby Sun 05-May-13 16:01:30

You are both at the end of your tether and I very much doubt that it will be the last time you both scream and shout at each other in front of your DD. You have not damaged her forever, but you do need to support each other and be kind to each other.

When I'm at my wits end I do stuff like that - instead of stopping my dc's from arguing and fighting at bedtime I end up sorting the recycling downstairs then taking it out on DH the minute he gets home from work. Parenting is not glamorous, it'll bring out the very worst in you both, put your feet up and get some rest while you can!

GiveMumABreak Sun 05-May-13 16:02:21

It gets easier i promise flowers

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:04:24

NaturalBaby thank you, but the physical part scared me, I have a vision of poor DD seeing me hit her dad and I just feel awful. Ugh. I can't shake off how ugly it must have looked. I am trying so hard to give her a calm and relaxed little life. It is the thing that matters most to me and then I go and do the opposite sad

squiddle Sun 05-May-13 16:04:49

Oh OP, don't be horrified. My kids are 9 and 5 so it's been years since I realised I wasn't the perfect parent I'd imagined I would be. I have broken pretty much all my rules at one time or another... Mostly when tired and stressed. You and your dh are learning to be parents and it is tough. The odd screaming match or whack on the arm from you isn't going to affect your dd, honestly. And crying for her dummy isn't that big a deal - I never left mine to cry and always picked them up when distressed but there were times when for one reason or another they ended up screaming. It's the majority of your parenting that counts not the odd moment. And you sound like you are doing your best to love, cherish and care for your baby which is what really matters.

countryhousehotel Sun 05-May-13 16:06:39

She will be fine. DH and I had many rows like that when our first DC was born. I remember similar rows (when I was trying to catch up on sleep and she would just scream the house down in the other room, i would literally accuse DH of neglecting her or doing it on purpose to disturb my rest). It DOES get better and you will start coping better. Maybe ask him to take her out for a walk in the pram next time you need to sleep?

Nope, love her up she will be fine, she will love you unconditionally and you will work things out. She was just scared.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:07:12

Thanks sqiddle.
I just want them to come home now so I can cuddle her and apologise.

badbelinda Sun 05-May-13 16:08:36

Cut yourself some slack, you're knackered and DD is only 8wks old. But cut DH some slack too. As you say he's not doing it all week like you so he doesn't know your routines. He may have been panicking a bit and not thinking straight, faced with a screaming baby, but sometimes you've got to let Dads find their own way of doing things. If you keep telling him he's getting it wrong it will knock his confidence and he may just revert to letting you get on with it as a safer option (I've seen this happen with a few friends). As for arguing in front of DD - my parents never argued in front of us to the extent that I truly believed they never argued at all (which I'm sure now can't have been true) but it meant when I had my 1st argument with DH I thought it was the end of the relationship. If you can try and keep it from getting too out of hand and let DD see you can apologise and make up, especially when she's a bit older, I don't think you'll be doing her any harm.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:08:55

spoony, that's why I feel so terrible, I grew up scared of my mum because she was so unstable. I can't bear the thought that I have scared a tiny eight week old because I couldn't control myself

LEMisdisappointed Sun 05-May-13 16:10:05

Look, you are knackered, your DH is knackered - you have a new baby and its a massive shock to the system. You haven't had time to adjust to the sleep loss yet - its bound to be fraught. I'm sure she will have been distressed by the shouting, but its over and done with - i wouldn't make a big thing of it to be honest. Just write it off and move on. Then when you are calmer, talk about how you both like to do things - He probably just wanted to make sure the dummy was clean and wasn't thinking straight. It also wont hurt your DD to cry for a bit, not too long, i am not a fan of cry it out or anything like that but you have to remember that crying is the only form of expression a baby really has, they may not be as distraught as we think they are.

countryhousehotel Sun 05-May-13 16:10:50

emeraldgirl1 DH read an article when DD was very small, after a series of terrible rows, about how it's not unhealthy for children to hear their parents argue, in fact conflict is healthy (to a degree, obvs) - the most important thing is that they see and hear you resolve the conflict, so I have had terrible rows with DH within hearing of DD but one of us usually swallows our pride and says sorry, we make a big thing to have a hug and make up in front of the DCs. These are just everyday disagreements that can escalate to shouting....it happens, we're all human. If you feel the urge to hit him ( i so know that feeling, i have kicked walls instead ) just walk away until you calm down.

poozlepants Sun 05-May-13 16:13:42

She'll be fine. I doubt it will be the last time she hears a row.
You need to leave your DH to it. He may not be doing a stellar job but he'll cope. I found myself far too controlling in the early days. DH would do something wrong and DS would cry and I would feel I needed to sort it out. I didn't- I needed a pair of ear plugs and a sleep mask. I was so sleep deprived I was conviced if it was done right it was a disaster. I only realised when I saw other new Mums doing the same things and realised I had been a fecking idiot and should've just have let him get on with it.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:13:55

Thanks again everyone I so appreciate the advice. I logically know you are all correct but I can't shake off feeling dreadful.
I don't think I am going to feel better until I see her and cuddle her tbh.
I think DH and I need to be a bit kinder to each other.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 05-May-13 16:14:09

You need sleep! You are so tired, everything looks bigger and more important than it actually is smile I do remember those feelings very well indeed.

Try to relax, get some rest and then talk calmly to you DH

It does get better xx

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:16:53

And yes I think I do need to leave DH to it.

I was so fed up as I had only just gone to sleep and was feeling like h couldn't even manage to keep her asleep/happy for long enough for me to rest. I was up with her a lot in the night while he slept in spare room and slept in til 10am(!) as I thought he could do with the lie in... I just lost it when my catch-up got wrecked almost immediately

LEMisdisappointed Sun 05-May-13 16:18:49

I also think its unreasonable to expect to never argue in front of children, it can be so stressful when you have stuff going on and and a crying baby/demanding toddler/child not letting you hve a minute to think straight. So you end up chipping at each other and sometimes it explodes.

A friend of mine said something once, that she feels that its OK for children to see arguments so long as they see the making up, the "i'm sorrys" and the cuddles. That gives them a sense of security apparently - i can see she has a point, i think this would be bad if all the arguments were explosive and of course no physical but it makes sense.

It does get easier - life is so much harder without sleep

poozlepants Sun 05-May-13 16:19:27

That was my DH. When I did get 15 minutes before the next feed there would immediately be crying and bawling. Ear plugs are the way to go.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:20:47

Yes lesMis, I kind of agree, I just feel awful about the sheer intensity. I mean both of us were literally screaming, not even just shouting sad Christ knows what the neighbours thought...

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:23:20

Hadn't thought about ear plugs... Good thinking.
Maybe I could also get a pair for DD and a blindfold so she can't see and hear the next time we row... Black joke btw...

Emerald, just try and be a bit gentler on yourself and DH, your daughter will be fine.

badbelinda Sun 05-May-13 16:28:47

We have no neighbours so nobody can hear the screaming!

Pusspuss1 Sun 05-May-13 16:29:39

She'll be fine - you're just sleep deprived. It brings out the worst in everyone. Things will get easier as your baby gets a bit older and starts sleeping better.

StuntGirl Sun 05-May-13 16:31:26

Your daughter will not remember (or even be aware of) even a second of today.

You and your husband however...how would you have felt if he thought you were doing something wrong and he hit you? No matter how tired you are it's no excuse. I hope you've apologised and are looking into strategies to avoid losing control in future. Ear plugs sound like a great idea, perhaps put some music or the tv on quietly as well, if you can sleep with them on, to try and block out other noises coming from the house.

Why was he sleeping in the spare room while you did all the night wakings? Do you share the load at night usually or is it all on you?

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:32:03

Thanks spoony. smile
I am not good at just chilling, I am a very anxious person. But so far I believe I have been doing a decent job at being relaxed around DD and making her the pretty calm little soul she miraculously seems to be.
I hope I can get the equilibrium back now.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:35:32

Stunt girl, he does the (roughly) midnight feed and then I do everything after that.
He has gone in the spare room for the last two nights, I can't quite work out how we made that decision...
Trouble is that he is hearing impaired so even if he were going to do a full night of feeds I would have to wake up to wake him when she cried.
It is quite a lot of pressure on me tbh and I am not sure I anticipated how much.

She will be fine, sleep deprivation is terrible and can lead us to act out of character.

When your DH gets back with your dd, apologise, have a family cuddle and chill out with a brew

When calmer sit with DH and talk with him about tricks you have learnt to make things easier, remember you spend every day, all day with her learning as you go along. When I went back to work when dd1 was a baby (DH SAHP) I had to leave lists for him to refer to. Being a new parent is hard, a steep learning curve, be gentle on each other.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:43:20

Good advice Stitch thank you

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 16:47:17

emeraldgirl, I remember your post from earlier in the week.

Both you and your DH are feeling under pressure. I think you said he's had a bad time at work, you are stressed and sleep-deprived and 8 weeks is pretty slap-bang in the middle of the hardest time of having a newborn. Your baby is 'old enough' that you expect your life to be getting easier, but actually it feels harder than when your little one was born.

Chin up. It will all come good soon. Babies change really quickly, honestly. It feels like for ever at the time, but it's not.

Please be kind to your DH. Please give him the cuddle that you are desperate to give your DD (she'll get one too, but give him a hug first. Honestly.) As you know, you've got to let him get on with it. Stick in your earplugs, bury head in pillow, don't come downstairs unless ABSOLUTELY VITAL. If your DH can't cope he will come and get you. If you don't let him find his own way, then he may stop trying. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

(BTW, I would say that one small baby can sort-of fit around your needs, you know. They are quite adaptable, and it's only when they get bigger and much more established in a routine, or you have a second child, that you need to really adapt to them rather than have them fit in with you.)

Doubtfuldaphne Sun 05-May-13 16:49:43

Everyone's tired and stressed when they have a baby and lots of couples row because of it.
It sounds like you really need a break- can you alternate night shifts?
The fact you hit your dh is a sign this is serious and you need to talk - now! Come up with a solution and talk about your differing parenting styles as everyone's different and you need to work as a team more than ever now
It does get easier, you'll be ok and your dd won't remember any of this.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:50:09

NoSquirrels yep it's me again, sorry... I was so grateful for your very sensible advice before.
It does seem to have got harder these past few days, I think I have been misled into thinking eight weeks would be an improvement!!

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:52:48

Doubtfuldaphne, tricky to completely alternate night shifts as I say due to the hearing problem... I guess I could try to get my mum to come and stay for a night or two but I have a hard time relinquishing control (can you tell?!) and not sure I would like to sleep apart from DD so I don't wake at all overnight and have my mum feed her...

WafflyVersatile Sun 05-May-13 16:56:39

You have not ruined your DC's life.

However thinking 'I don't want to parent the same way mine did' sometimes isn't enough to stop you repeating their mistakes.

Maybe a parenting class* or therapy?

*this does not mean I think you are a bad mum, but everyone needs a bit of help and guidance sometimes.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:58:38

Waffly, have had therapy sad which just makes me feel like more of a disaster-mum as I really SHOULD know how to deal with anger triggers by now.

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 17:00:09

Do you have any other help you can call on, emerald? Could you draft in your mum/DH's mum/sister/aunt/kind friend to come for a day or 2 in the week and let you have some morning or afternoon naps while they take the baby out for a walk? Even my MIL, who is a champion chatterer and can be quite hard to have around due to the nonstop talking was a wonder when our first baby was born as she insisted I go for a nap whenever possible and I was only too happy to oblige! Could DH take a day or two of annual leave? Honestly, now's the time. I often think that paternity leave comes at totally the wrong time, when the baby's no trouble and you're coasting on euphoria.

8 weeks in and you are EXHAUSTED. Your brain, your body, your soul. At the same time you are totally in love, it's all consuming and you find it hard to hand over control to anyone when you most need to, because you are worried about what will happen to this precious little person if you're not on duty. You are learning so many new things every day, you have been through a huge physical experience with pregnancy and childbirth and your hormones are doolally. You have little to no sleep (torture!) and you can't see an end in sight. I promise you there is one, and this too shall pass.

In the meantime, just remember that you and DH are both trying your best. Maybe he feels guilty about the hearing impairment making things harder? My DH did no night duty, it is a tough one, no doubt, but you sound like he is doing the midnight feed which should give you a chance to get a good block of sleep in if you can put everything else aside and just go to bed. Prioritize sleep over everything at the moment.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Sun 05-May-13 17:02:06

I was ready to strangle exP this afternoon. How many times can you show one person how to strap a bloody car seat in. it isn't that hard. I tutted loudly, he reacted, luckily no row but it is only a matter of time before we have an almighty row and I will cause it because I'm sick of him not taking the care that I do, where DS is concerned.

examples :

not applying the break on the pram.
not testing the car seat after strapping it in.
leaving DS with no nappy under him while he wraps the old nappy up, resulting in DS peeing everywhere and ME having to sort it out as he will probably fuck up the clean-up too angry

All pathetic stuff but my god it winds me up. I sound like a nag "dont forget this,.have you done that?" If I don't remind him, he doesn't do it though.

Then he tells me how tired he is, after his full night's sleep in his house that his mum runs, cooks, cleans, washes wipes his arse for him.

If we were still together I dread to imagine the rows we'd have had by now.

I'm a grade A bitch. He loves DS and is trying his best BUT I.am fucking exhausted and don't want to have to second guess everything he does sad

So, OP, you aren't alone.

((hugs)) brew

Svrider Sun 05-May-13 17:04:18

Just to echo what everyone else has said
It took me a while to realise that dh's approach wasn't wrong, just different
Take up an iPod next time, and plug in some music
Don't interfere
Enjoy your rest

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 17:10:59

And go easy on yourself and your dh. Having a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting and you will both make mistakes. Nobody's perfect, and your dd will be ok as long as she knows she's loved.
Op that is good advice.

I'm so pleased that the majority of posters acknowledged that when op struck DH arm it was unacceptable. There simply is NO excuse.

When I had my first dd , my dp at the time was never good enough at dealing with her and I wouldn't let my self have a break as I would all ways butt in and take over. Then cry because I was so tired and didn't get any help. Maybe your dp is feeling inadequate, you don't seem to be supporting him either.

Your DD will be fine, I'd concentrate more on dealing with the issues of you and DH . Woman seem to 'know' what to do easier At the beginning than men do. Support him rather than expect him just to know what to do.

I would be apologising to DH too.

sarahtigh Sun 05-May-13 17:14:27

you have had a chance to calm down when DH gets back you need to give him a hug and apologise for hitting him that was wrong even if you were right in the argument and so you have to be very sorry for that as you know it is unacceptable

then you can discuss the rights and wrongs of argument, you are anxious but you have to let him parent his way, your way works for you but it is not necessarily the best or only way; neither does it mean his way is best either, your DD will not be damaged by one screaming row nor was she damaged waiting for dummy to be sterilised my DH would have washed under hot water

it does not do her any harm to cry occasionally I remember when DD was a similar age riving to my mother stuck on motorway in traffic she was wanting fed but she just had to cry until i reached next service station, it was almost certainly worse for me listening to her cry fr 35 minutes as we crawled along at 10-15mph but there was no alternative, hard shoulder closed signs to keep in lane etc but she would not even remember an hour later never mind now, your DD will be fine and if your relationship is basically good you and DH will be good too

Yeah DH needs some loving and appreciating (and some apologising)

How about a glass of wine for you both.

Babies (and big and bigger kids) go through periods when things are rougher and harder. Often they are about to grow a bunch or learn a new skill. Often you can look back and go 'OH, so THAT's what all that was about!"

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 18:49:51

Thanks again everyone. Squirrels, thanks so much for not only your advice today but also on Friday. I am so bad at asking for help in RL, pathologically so, I need everyone to think I am coping brilliantly... I need to get better at asking for support.

Fwiw DH is back now, I have apologised unreservedly for whacking him and we have talked, I do think he felt fed up at being criticised but he knows he shouldn't have yelled at me nevertheless. Things are much calmer, we are cooking dinner together while DD finally sleeps, we had a nice cuddle and played with her together. Also we made sure we changed her together and chatted while we did so. We both told her everything g is fine between us; I hope she understood in her own little way. She is smiley as ever so I feel less wracked with guilt about that at least.

Flappingandflying Sun 05-May-13 19:03:49

Um I think you need to cut yourself some slack. You had a baby eight weeks ago. You are hormonal and gone through the biggest change you can have. Hubby too has also been through a change but they don't really 'get it' in the same way until the babies start doing more and they can be interractive. Then Daddy becomes King and you are reduced to boring old mummy who does the drudgery. You seem to be trying to get it all perfectly right in an effort to compensate for your upbringing. You are on. Hiding to nothing and will make yourself ill. Do the best you can and realise that if 80 percent is ok the other 20 can go hang. You are clearly caring and love your baby. You are going to make mistakes. I remember virtualy throwing flyingboy when a baby at my husband who had just walked in from work, saying 'here's your baby' and legging it out of the house. It was either that or leaving him on a door step! Flyingboy is 18 now. Needless to say he is not scared for life.
You are right i's not good to argue or bicker in front of them but one or two isolated occasions are not going to ruin a baby.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 19:36:25

Thanks so much Flying. I have really appreciated everyone posting. I find MN so great because I struggle so much with always presenting a cheerful and positive face in RL and I can't ask for help or advice even from my best friends. I think I am setting unrealistic goals for myself. I just can't bear to be without my DD at the mo or leave her to anyone else. I thought this was normal at this stage? But maybe it is not? And I am putting too much pressure on myself by 'needing' to do everything. That said it is not easy that DH can't do the night feeds without me needing to at least wake up... I knew this but didn't anticipate the importance of unbroken sleep. I haven't had more than 3 hours unbroken sleep in two months and actually the last 6 weeks of my prsgnancy I never slept through an entire night anyway. I had a c section so recovery has been slower than I thought. I am not moaning, I adore DD and am so lucky. But yes I think I am trying too hard and it is not helping.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 05-May-13 19:58:11

You really do remind me of me!! C section, not expecting the broken sleep, too much pressure on myself.... All of it!!

With hindsight I think, yes it is normal but you do need to take the pressure off yourself needing to do everything. It will get easier once she starts sleeping though a bit longer.

Then you'll find it's a distant but vivid memory that comes racing back to you when you read threads like this one smile

Really really do cut yourself some slack. Realise that you and dh are battling through new and scarey stuff together and that nothing is sooo bad that a quick nap cannot make it better (this last point was so important for me to get...I remember thinking it so many times and so many times it turned out to be true)

McNewPants2013 Sun 05-May-13 20:07:40

Cut your self some slack.

Looking back I can't believe the silly arguments me and she used to have over the simplistic of things.

When DS was about a week old it was over a packet of wet wipes, I couldn't get the packet open and a hell broke loose.

McNewPants2013 Sun 05-May-13 20:08:09

Dh not she

Fairylea Sun 05-May-13 20:16:08

Don't panic.

Dh and I had some of our worst rows in an early baby weeks sleep deprived state. One night springs to mind in particular - dh sitting there at the end of the bed at 4am holding a screaming ds who'd just been sick all over dh, literally dripping down his arms and legs and dh and I bickering over who was going to go and get a bottle for ds. All kinds of shit happens when you're tired and in baby shell shock! ... we look back and laugh about a lot of our rows now. It does get better.

If you can keep talking to each other and allow each other to do things your own way without telling each other what to do then things will be ok. Dh said one of the reasons I annoyed him so much sometimes was because I'd step in and take charge too quickly rather than letting him find his own way. I know it must have been annoying listening to your dh sorting out the dummies like that but I guess he was trying to do the right thing.. it's really tough in the early weeks.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sun 05-May-13 20:17:57

You sound very critical of your DHs parenting. Having been in this position myself (i.e. the one being criticised) I can say it is very undermining and destructive of the marriage. Please cut him some slack. Unless she is genuinely unsafe in his care then please just let him get on with it, and be happy that he adores her. That one row won't have scarred your DD, but combined with the DV, if unchecked it could do in the long term.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 20:26:15

WhiteBird I haven't intended to undermine him but I can see that this is what i have been doing. Fwiw I have also given him huge boosts and told him he is doing a great job so it is not a permanent state of criticism, only when I get tired and fraught, not saying that maes it ok but I am still being encouraging to him too. He is a lovely dad and we agree on most things. I can be a control freak so I have to watch myself. I don't want to put him off trying.

Fairy lea thank you for making me smile smile and feel a bit less dreadful.

humberthumbert Sun 05-May-13 20:26:28

My two daughters' sleeping patterns and found the clock breast feeding (Sometimes every hour through the night)

God, I yearn to have a newborn and be on maternity. My second used to sleep in 4-5hour chunks! Now at 20 months I'm lucky if we get 2-3 - and c

likeitorlumpit Sun 05-May-13 20:35:14

over reacting a bit , do you remember anything from when you were 8 weeks old ?

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 20:40:51

Likeitorlumpit, overreacting is my speciality these days... Lack of sleep and hormones...
I just want to do my best for her and today was not my best.

humberthumbert Sun 05-May-13 20:53:20

Sorry , I lost my earlier message.

I meant to say I understand sleep deprivation. Both my daughters were fed on demand ( which could mean 3-20 times at night) for two years apiece. And they've only ever napped in slings. Most times it's nice and livable with. Part and parcel of small children. Sometimes I resent my husband's easy sleep ( although not often really as he also works night shifts) ! He can never truly feel what it's like to breast feed a rambunctious toddler 10 times a night!

But he is an amazing father -- gone part time to be a sahd while I worm part time, and he brings other talents and kindnesses and mentoring that i lack. If I'd sweated the small stuff let ALONE HIT HIM I'd be controlling his relationship with his daughters and I don't think that's a line you can criosscand go back from. Think about your four year old seeing that.

It's tough, it's an adjustment , sleep deprivation is awful and leads to irritation. But hitting? There are plenty tougher challenges ahead. 8 weeks I is nothing. Newborns just need the breast and you can co sleep or stick them

Don't minimise it with lighthearted language ( whacking fe hitting

I hope you get some sleep . And don 't worry about your daughter, it's your marriage that needs some tll

humberthumbert Sun 05-May-13 20:54:36

Sorry , I lost my earlier message.

I meant to say I understand sleep deprivation. Both my daughters were fed on demand ( which could mean 3-20 times at night) for two years apiece. And they've only ever napped in slings. Most times it's nice and livable with. Part and parcel of small children. Sometimes I resent my husband's easy sleep ( although not often really as he also works night shifts) ! He can never truly feel what it's like to breast feed a rambunctious toddler 10 times a night!

But he is an amazing father -- gone part time to be a sahd while I worm part time, and he brings other talents and kindnesses and mentoring that i lack. If I'd sweated the small stuff let ALONE HIT HIM I'd be controlling his relationship with his daughters and I don't think that's a line you can criosscand go back from. Think about your four year old seeing that.

It's tough, it's an adjustment , sleep deprivation is awful and leads to irritation. But hitting? There are plenty tougher challenges ahead. 8 weeks I is nothing. Newborns just need the breast and you can co sleep or stick them in a wrap

Don't minimise it with lighthearted language ( whacking instead of hitting

I hope you get some sleep . And don 't worry about your daughter, it's your marriage that needs some tlc

humberthumbert Sun 05-May-13 20:57:04

Sorry , I lost my earlier message.

I meant to say I understand sleep deprivation. Both my daughters were fed on demand ( which could mean 3-20 times at night) for two years apiece. And they've only ever napped in slings. Most times it's nice and livable with. Part and parcel of small children. Sometimes I resent my husband's easy sleep ( although not often really as he also works night shifts) ! He can never truly feel what it's like to breast feed a rambunctious toddler 10 times a night!

But he is an amazing father -- gone part time to be a sahd while I worm part time, and he brings other talents and kindnesses and mentoring that i lack. If I'd sweated the small stuff let ALONE HIT HIM I'd be controlling his relationship with his daughters and I don't think that's a line you can criosscand go back from. Think about your four year old seeing that.

It's tough, it's an adjustment , sleep deprivation is awful and leads to irritation. But hitting? There are plenty tougher challenges ahead. 8 weeks I is nothing. Newborns just need the breast and you can co sleep or stick them in a wrap

Don't minimise it with lighthearted language ( whacking instead of hitting

I hope you get some sleep . And don 't worry about your daughter, it's your marriage that needs some tlc

GirlWiththeLionHeart Sun 05-May-13 20:57:38

You're not alone op. just today I had a row with my p infront of my ds while he was crying and upset too sad feel so awful about it. Glad you two have worked it out

humberthumbert Sun 05-May-13 21:00:42

Sorry about the triplicate, wifi issues!

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 21:27:10

I'm glad you and your DH have made up, emerald. I hope that you are tucked up in bed right now and sleeping.

If not, that's what you need to do for the next week at a minimum. Dinner as soon as you can, bedtime for baby, bedtime for you straight away afterwards, possibly after a nice warm bath. Asleep by 9 p.m., giving you at least 5 unbroken hours (if DH does the midnight feed).

And think seriously about getting some help from someone booked in, either DH (annual leave) or friend/relative. If that's really not possible, you still need to be napping when the baby naps. Nothing's more important than sleep!

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 21:31:22

PS On the 'coping brilliantly' thing - I'm really not sure that anyone at all 'copes brilliantly' with first-time newborn days. You can survive them, but unless you have a TON of support around every day then I think you're setting your sights too high! So cut yourself (and your DH) some slack, because if you are coping at all then that's plenty. Leave brilliant for another day. smile

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 05-May-13 21:49:36

Something that works well for me when I'm too tired, stressed or emotional to talk directly to DP about something is writing it down as a letter or email. It gives me time to get out what i want to say without saying something wrong or getting distracted by his reaction.

Be kind to each other. Parenting is hard and its good to know that you're in it together, not working against one another. It can also throw up all sorts of issues that you thought you'dd dealt with, especially if your own childhood wasn't always rosy and idyllic. I'm actually reading a really good book at the moment which is called "When your kids push your buttons" - your DD is too young to be pushing buttons but your Dh isn't smile its about the stuff we overreact to without knowing why, it helps you to identify tgose triggers and defuse them. Maybe when you have a bit more time on your hands!

jamdonut Sun 05-May-13 22:05:27

My DH always did things differently to me,but that is just the way he parents. Its not wrong, just different. And sometimes, babies do have to fit in with what you need to do. In my opinion,you can get too bogged down with being "child centred". But it IS hard with a first baby, a huge learning curve. Please don't beat yourself up about it.

greenformica Sun 05-May-13 22:08:50

Take the experience and learn from it. Decide what you will both do next time there are issues.

It's OK for a child to see adults disagreeing to a certain extent, working out a problem and then making up. I think babies just need to be surrounded by calmness but this one off incident won't impact her.

LaGuardia Sun 05-May-13 22:11:14

The baby won't remember a thing. My DD doesn't remember the screaming row I had with her father when I got home from work to find he had unplugged the slow cooker six hours previously to charge up his fucking phone . I opened to door expecting the gorgeous aroma of coq au vin, and just got a dickhead looking vacantly at me.

LondonNinja Sun 05-May-13 22:53:58

Crumbs, if you have damaged your DD (which you haven't) then there are a lot of others who will have done the same...

Seriously, don't beat yourself up. You could apologise to DH in front of your DD if you will feel better - even though DD won't understand a word of it, she may pick up on the vibes of kindness between you and in your mind at least, it will help?

I am pretty sure that if children see parents apologise and take responsibility for being cross, it helps them to see how to resolve things (as long as it doesn't happen too often). We all lose our rag from time to time - it's only human. Of course, this principle applies to slightly older and much older children in particular, but it can't hurt to start showing them how to hold your hands up and apologise when they're young.

This is a tough time and I send you oodles of sympathy. Sleep deprivation and the overwhelming emotions of new motherhood (and the high expectations we place on ourselves) are not to be underestimated.

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