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Hi everyone, I wrote a while back while pregnant and having many second thoughts about my boyfriend then. We moved in together when I was 5 months pregnant, after 3 years together, and all along it seemed the differences were truly irreconciliable. We have had some scary fights and once I even went to my mom´s in the middle of the night with the baby because I was scared of his behaviour, very mad and unable to calm down (all over little things that seemed of no import).
Last night the most awful thing happened. We were at dinner in a restaurant with my inlaws and my mother asked my boyfriend for the baby, he refused to give it, she proceeded to get up and try to get him (going as far as scratching his neck!) and he then threw her against a wall and called her all sorts of names. She then slapped him I think, I was too busy having a breakdown and getting the baby from the two.
Needless to say I haven´t slept and have cried intermittently all night and day. But I did not want to go home with him (in case he would be mad at me the same way) and felt he shoudln´t have acted that way, her being an older lady (albeit pretty insane and aggressive) and he a tall 35 year old. He says he was only defending himself, that my mother is the worst person in the world, and that I should have stood by him. I cannot get that image of her thrown against the wall out of my head and asked him to stay elsewhere. Today we talked, and he wants the separation to be definitive, for the reasons stated above.
I guess what I want people to address from their experience is about being a single parent of an infant, although I feel we moms do most of everything (which of course he failed to see routinely) and so I wonder if this could not be some sort of blessing in disguise.... Specially since I had been fantasizing with this for some time... But also wonder about the challenges ahead, and very much want a civil relationship for the sake of the baby. Anyone else split up when their children were so little? Any tips?
I split up with my STBXH when my DS1 was 17months and my DS2 was a 16 week feotus, so I guess I can lay claim to being a LP with tiny babies.
First things first, in my experience you need some boundaries around you and your baby. That means you get to say who, when and where, when it comes to other people seeing you both. It's early days and you are still in the danger zone medically speaking for PND and postnatal exhaustion etc. So don't be afraid to say no to visits when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Obviously it's important for baby to see dad, but not at the expense of your routine, sleep, good emotional wellbeing etc. (this goes for grandma too, and anyone else who wants to demand seek time with your baby right now). There is plenty of time to work out reasonable contact arrangements over the coming months, so don't be in a rush to formalise anything in the first instance. Generally, if dad is seeing baby 2-3 hours at a time, several times a week, then you are doing well for a recent separation. Now is not the time to be negotiating overnights etc so don't feel rushed into that if it comes up.
And the second thing I can say I really benefit from is routine. Not a militant Gina Ford style routine I mean, Mon - Fri I know roughly what I'm doing morning and afternoon. I've got playgroups I go to (to save my sanity) and regular baby clinic, as well as a slot for a supermarket shop etc. I know when I'm buying milk and bread and when I'm seeing other grown ups... both very important when baby chaos sets in!! It's helped enormously to build up a little life for myself around what the children need and going to the same baby groups has helped me establish mummy friendships, which are really, really important.
You will be fine, so most of all don't panic and remember to give yourself a break. I had my first baby in a relationship, the second one arrived post split - I'm no worse off than I was the first time tbh, I was messy, forgetful, ate crap, slept badly etc when my husband was around just as much as I do as a LP so don't compare yourself to anyone and think you're doing badly. You won't be doing any worse than any other new mum I promise!
What a horrible tosser. I can tell you that single parenthood will be a piece of piss compared to living in fear of a bully like that.
I wasn't in a relationship when I got pregnant so I have done the whole thing by myself, more or less. One thing I will say regarding contact is don't tie yourself up in knots trying to get the father to agree to/keep to contact arrangements - if he doesn't turn up it's his loss - please don't waste your time and energy thinking about 'poor baby' for not having a dad, baby doesn't know any different and there is plenty of time for contact in the future. Just saying that as I had massive expectations of contact from my son's dad, he couldn't be arsed and it ate up lots of worrying time.
Practically, I guess join some baby groups, call in favours from friends, try and get some time off even if it's an hour or two. I joined a gym and put DS in the creche from 12 weeks old for an hour at a time. Sometimes I just went for a shower in peace and had a coffee in the cafe. It was great.
Good luck with everything, you can always post here for support .
Thank you so much to the ladies who responded. This is an old thread, but I wanted to post an update anyway, in case anyone else is in a similar situation or has a bit of advice. Now my baby is almost four months old and we have split up definitely. I have a lawyer and we are due for a hearing to settle visitation and payments. I have avoided being alone with him, just doesn't feel safe... Besides this, a few months earlier, i was diagnosed with some benign cranial tumors, doctors are in disagreement over whether I need to get brain surgery or wait it out. Everything has been rather overwhelming and it feels so lonely. My mum helps out a lot, but also relishes on outlining what a bastard the babys father is- this is not helpful to me at all, more hate is the last thing i need right now. Babys father is very involved with baby, and even wants much more visitation time than I am comfortable with, but thatś another issue. I have a few good friends, but everyone has their own life going. I often wonder at all the ways I did things wrong, but of course my baby is a gift from life and I want to be the very best I can for him. I will be seeing a psychiatrist and am in psychotherapy, so perhaps with some medication things will become a bit easier. I neglected to mention I live in a small south american country and although prejudice is a non issue, it seems there are not quite as many parents and play groups as in the UK.
I want to have faith sometimes though it feels like the hardest time of my life. Any stories people want to share?