I'm a mother on the edge! HELP ME!(37 Posts)
I'm a single mum to a 4 month old baby, I have no support unit at all. At first it was brilliant, i was loving being a mum but that's because I possibly had the most perfect baby, she slept through the night from being 2 weeks old & hardly ever cried. Then it changed! From being about 8 weeks old she began teething so she was a bit teary & grumpy but it was on & off & fairly easy to deal with. Then at 12 weeks she had her second lot of jabs & we had 4 weeks where she pretty much screamed all day & night, not helping with the fact she got a cold so was struggling to breath through her nose. After about 3 weeks of no sleeping & having no break from a screaming baby I had a little meltdown, it was dropping a plate that set me off but I smashed up the kitchen, punched a wall, broke my phone & slammed numerous doors around the house & finally collapsed in a heap on the floor & sobbed - I even contemplated killing myself - all whilst my poor, ill baby cried in her Moses basket. I felt awful & like the worst mother in the world but the only reason I didn't kill myself that day was because I couldn't bare the thought of leaving my precious baby girl all alone, I love her to bits & I hate the thought of her being left with no parents or family, so I pulled myself together & carried on. Soon as her cold had gone & she had gotten over her jabs we had 2 weeks where it went back to just the odd fit where her teeth were hurting, which again was easily solved. Then last week (at 18 weeks old) she had her last lot of jabs & since she has been screaming non-stop again but she also seems to have learnt how to squeal which she does whether she's happy or not. It is the most horrendous noise, sounds like a fucking banshee (mind my language) & no matter what I do. She refuses to go to sleep at night even though she is knackered, she just screams, squeals, pulls her blanket over her head, throws her dummy & teddy around & kicks & head-butts the cot (luckily there's bumpers). I've tried cuddling her but if I try to cuddle her to sleep she try's to throw herself out of my arms & I'm scared I'll end up dropping her. I have no idea how to get the nice little baby I once had back & to stop that horrendous squealing. I can feel myself getting more angry & exhausted, literally living on red bull which I know I shouldn't because I will crash & burn when I stop but it is the only thing giving me the energy & strength to carry on. I feel like the worst mother for getting angry when I know she is feeling a bit rough but I suffer with headaches/migraines & the squealing isn't helping. I have also had the worst earache the past few days. I just want to give up, curl up in the corner & die. I feel like I am a crap, useless, worthless mother & that maybe she would be better off with an adopted family but it hurts me so much to think that because I have so much love for her & deep down I know it's just a rough patch but without any help I just don't know how to carry on. I cry myself to sleep every night, on a few occasions I have got myself that worked up that I hyperventilate, end up shaking, feeling sick & getting really bad stabbing pains in my chest.
Sorry it is so long just wanted to give as much information as I could. Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop the squealing & to settle her down?
Singlemum91 check out Home-start.org.uk they are an organisation of volunteers who help struggling families (nothing to do with social services). You need emotional support as well as practical help. Being a new mum is very hard work and your experience is not unusual, so don't be shy to ask for help in real life.
Oh bless you. You're not a bad mum at all. I found the first few months so so hard but trust me, it does get better
For the time being, make sure your eating a drinking enough and grab sleep when you can. I would get your dd checked out but the doctor to rule out reflux/ allergies as the cause of the screaming.
If your having a really bad day try ringing your health visitor to get some additional support.
You're doing a brilliant job
SpongeCakeBigPants thank you.
I've got to say i do forget to eat & drink some days because soon as I get her settled I run round catching up on the cleaning & washing, I've started keeping a litre bottle of water with me at all times so I can keep hydrated & have filled the house with cereal bars so I can keep myself going until I have chance to sit down & have a meal.
I will try & get her an appointment with our gp but I don't think it's that as she only gets really bad after her jabs. I spoke to my hv the other day & she suggested I started to wean her a little bit & up the amount of milk she has at each feed as she was having 8/9 210ml bottles of milk a day, plus 2 bottles of cooled boiled water & she still kept crying for more food. So I've just started giving her extra milk & one bowl of pureed food a day & she doesn't seem as hungry. Gone down to 5 bottles. Maybe that was part of her problem.
Just hoping she gets a bit better after she's got over these jabs, I hate seeing her so unhappy. Just miss my happy, smiling baby. We still have our happy moments though
Tell your GP about your own emotional state and ask if he/she knows of any help available.
I fell off the edge earlier today. currently lying at the bottom contemplating getting up and climbing back up again. if you fall off tonight you are guaranteeed a squidgy landing as in an attempt to not fall off I may have been comfort eating.
all of which is no help at all other than someone else has been there.
some days you just have to hang on in there as best as possible and hope that tomorrow is better.
I found myself nodding along to your post, my DD (10 months) was exactly the same - my god that squeezing!! I found it so hard and I had my DH to support me, I can't imagine doing it alone.
You are doing amazingly well and I take my hat off to you.
This phase will not last, you know that. You know it will get easier but it's shit while you're going through it. Is there nobody at all that could help out? Sure start are great if you have a centre nearby, they can send someone out to help you or just play with baby while you have five minutes peace with a cuppa. Is childcare an option for an afternoon a week to give you a break?
Don't put housework before eating well. Look after yourself first then you'll have a fighting chance of coping with everything else .
Oh bless you. You are doing amazingly well/ I know you will say 'don't be silly has she read my post ' but you really are - to do all this without support is amazing. Also if you had posted this in AIBU or chat you would get lots more replies- maybe re post for more tips and hand holding
I have a 5yr old and 10 month old and going thru divorce. But I do have help. To be doing it alone, you deserve a medal. I know from my 5 year old it gets easier. You just need to keep going and it gets easier and actually fun and from the way you write of course you love the little thing, you are just knackered. I have slammed doors , screamed and shouted, it's all normal. But try and reach out for help... Meet more mums, use the health visitors, see your GP, see if there is a ginger bread group near you for single parents , see what groups the council runs. And re post this where it will get more traffic and other people will give better advice
Take care but pls remember don't be scared by feeling angry or crying - it doesn't mean you don't love your child, it's just that you are tired and you need a break - not that you don't want them.
And buy bananas to eat - better than cereal bars
Thank you so much everyone. It's good to hear that it's not just my child that has gone through this stage, was starting to think she hated me. Hopefully it'll all get better soon. Also thank you for the advice I will be taking it all on board & trying to find someone who can help.
I'm pretty new to this area so I don't know anyone or if there's many mother & baby groups. I remember asking when I first moved but I had so much going on I can't remember what the hv said. Might have to ask again.
Wifofbif, unfortunately I do not have anyone to help. My daughters dad left when he found out I was pregnant after demanding I had an abortion & then he messaged a few weeks back to see how she was & then gave me loads of abuse & said he wished I had had a miscarriage. So he's a total ass, wasn't horrible at all until I got pregnant but guess true colours start to show. My family & friends don't live anywhere near me as I moved about two years ago for work & then again 2 days after giving birth to a completely different town. I have my daughter booked in to go to nursery from the start of May as I will be returning to work (I can't afford anymore time off even though I'd love to). Will have a few visits next month just to get her settled in & so I can meet all the staff but until then I have her at home. I'm struggling with coming to terms with having her in nursery 3 days a week from being 5/6 months old because I never wanted that but obviously being on my own I have to get money from somewhere. Luckily my manager was happy for me to go back in part time though, it is meant to be a full time job but I just couldn't leave her in nursery all day everyday. I want to be there, watch her grow up, have the cuddles & laughs. I know money is going to be tight but at least I won't miss everything.
Whinfell10 I always have some fruit in to snack on
I hope things get better for you.
What are your neighbors like? I am not a "kid person" or the world's most touchy-feely neighbor but if someone in the area came to me and said they were alone and desperate due to a crying baby I would drop what I was doing and help them in an instant.
You need sleep and some fresh air and time alone. Hopefully those HomeStart people can help you but if not do not be ashamed to reach out to anyone in the vicinity. Most people can understand the frustration and would be happy to let you have a couple of hours to nap and freshen up.
If nothing else call a church or two in your area and explain your plight to someone on the pastoral team. Even if you aren't religioius (I certainly am not) -- they will find a couple of people who can help you.
Don't let yourself get so over the edge that the baby is in danger.
LeaLeaner my neighbours are lovely but both have professional jobs & work long hours. I apologise constantly for the noise when I see them but they say that they don't hear her much & not to worry, they completely understand what babies are like. It's good that they are understanding, just don't see them often & I don't know them enough to ask them to have her. My best mate is hoping to come see us on his long weekend, he's said he'll take over for a bit so I can have a long relaxing bath or go out somewhere if I'd like, just so I get a bit of a break.
well he is a right arse isn't he?
so, doing this on your own, for the long haul. you need to look after you. if you go down then dd goes down with you. try not to do too much. food before housework. sleep. but try to keep it ticking over becasue if ti gets out of hand then it is harder to get back.
Yes but ask them anyway. That's what I mean- even strangers will help if they know you are desperate. I am a busy professional and if a young neighbor came and told me she was at the brink I would go stay with her child so she could sleep. Even if I didn't know her well.
I realize it will be embarrassing for you but you have to get over that for your child's sake. A distraught and frustrated mother must be terrifying for an infant.
Either that or as mentioned call a church or other reputable organization. Salvation army? What about those women's institutes? Even if they have no formal program a kindly pastor or leader might find you some help.
LeaLeaner I'll definitely be looking into it, hopefully get some support. Even if it's just an hour a week where someone comes over & plays with her whilst we have a chat about stuff & I can have a warm cup of tea & maybe a proper meal. I think I just need time to just sit down & have some adult conversation & then I'll be able to carry on. It's the high pitched squeal that is getting me more than anything, it just goes right through me & it is painful to listen to when I have one of my migraines. I'm going to ask my hv tomorrow if there is any groups around that we can join. And today I will try & find a local home start or something like that to contact, probably contact a few.
Thank you all so much for the advice.
The squeal would drive anyone insane.
Can you get some noise-blocking headphones or earplugs? You'd still be able to hear what you needed to hear but they would tone down the squeal.
Just put her in her cot or car seat or whatever and take a long hot shower. Babies aren't going to die or be damaged if they are left for 20 minutes to screech and cry. As long as she is clean and safe you don't have to be with her every minute of the day. You can even step out the door and take in some fresh air for a few minutes.
As to that thrashing and flailing - I take it colic has been ruled out?
Good luck to you!
Singlemum, I was in your position with dd 14 years ago. You are doing a fantastic job. It is important to look after yourself, get the balance right between you and her, there has to be enough for both of you. I am now a Homestart volunteer, please contact your health visitor, they are lovely people and can really help you through this bit.
Sorry missed your post. Agree with Lea. Nothing bad will happen if you leaving her crying in her cot for 10 minutes while you are out of earshot. Look after yourself so you have the strength to deal with her. Hope you get sorted with a volunteer.
Thank you everyone.
Yes Lea colic has been ruled out.
I have just rang my hv to see if she can pop round this afternoon for a chat & to see if she can give me some advice on the squealing. She has said to just ignore it, as long as my dd isn't in harm's way then to just leave her because she might be doing it because she knows I respond to it. She is just having a look to see if she can move stuff around in her schedule to come for a home visit, if not then she will fit me in for an appointment tomorrow after the drop in so I can get a bit more time to discuss everything & to get some information about the local groups.
Single mum, that sounds positive. Please be reassured that you are doing a great job, I can hear the love you feel for your baby loud and clear. Feel proud of yourself and what you have accomplished. We all have days where we lose it, by listening to yourself, respecting yourself, you will find that it becomes easier to cope with the shit moments.
Get some soup or broth in that you can heat up easily and sip like tea from a mug to keep yourself hydrated and keep your electrolytes in balance. I always feel better when drinking a mug of that vs tea or god forbid Coke.
I hope your health visitor has some useful suggestions.
Even in the your HV has groups and people to help still contact Homestart, you can never have too much emotional support
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