I don't think I can do this anymore.

(53 Posts)
Jennyrosity Wed 12-Dec-12 13:41:03

At the end of my rope with my 10 month old daughter, I just don't know how much longer I can keep going. She's just so intense, always has been, needs my constant attention and physical presence.

She doesn't nap unless I hold her and even then she breastfeeds throughout, so I feel stranded, unable to move, unable to use the time to get anything done. She barely sleeps at night, wakes up hourly, can't self-settle, wants to breastfeed, screams if her Dad goes to her instead of me.

I want to stop breast feeding but don't know how because its the only thing that always calms her. But she's so aggressive - I know she's not really, but she bites and pinches me, pulls away with the boob still in her mouth, climbs all over whilst still trying to feed.

She screams and has full on tantrums whenever I leave her alone - I just left her cot for 4 and a half minutes (I timed it) while I washed my face and brushed my teeth (can never manage to have a shower except when her Dad's home) and she screamed the whole time. When I went back she had tears streaming down her face, was pulling at her hair and had marks on her face from pulling at her skin. She howls whenever I leave her alone, it's a struggle to even make meals for us.

It takes all morning just to get us both fed, cleaned and dressed, by which time it's lunchtime and I have to start all over again so it feels never ending and I never get to go out and see anyone so I feel lonely and isolated. She physically fights me on everything - bathing, putting clothes on, nappy changes, getting her into her pram, all become screaming wrestling matches and I worry she'll hurt herself. She quite often deliberately headbuts things if she thinks she's not getting my full attention.

My DH does his best but he works really long days - usually leaves the house at 7am and isn't home till after 9pm so I'm on my own with her the whole time.

I can't bear it, I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.

fryingpanalley Fri 14-Dec-12 13:47:45

Hello Jenyrosity
I hope you're still returning to this thread because I have been thinking about you loads. I have a 10 month old DD as well and I totally know how you can feel stranded, lonely, at the end of your rope, like you can't get anything done, like she demands your constant attention and won't have anyone else. It's exhausting, isn't it? I counted yesterday all the things which happened- having to leave a cafe because she wouldn't feed only for her to scream for food outside so I had to pay to get a drink in another cafe <aaargh>, she was up four or five times in the night, she yelled during my shower, she hates getting dressed and we missed getting off the train because I couldn't get her buggy straps done up because she was protesting so much! Had to get off at the next stop and walk back!
The difference is that my DD is my second child so I knew to expect all of this. I didn't expect it with my first child, didn't know that other mothers were going through the same and thought either I had done something wrong or that she was ill. Either way, I had rollicking PND. This time I have been very careful to rest whenever possible, to make mum friends, to see people as much as possible, to eat properly, exercise and- most important for me- to make that separation from her by leaving her with DH whenever I can for a couple of hours to go off shopping, hair dressers, MN blogging conference, whatever. I had real problems separating from DD1, feeling both like she was living in my hair and demanding every cell of my body, but also feeling like I couldn't possibly leave her with someone else. Of course I do with DD2 and she is fine, and it is so important for my own mental health.
I wonder whether it would be useful for you to do the Edinburgh test online to see if you have PND (google it), and to look at ways in which you can address your own social isolation, especially with a DP who travels and with no prospect of a return to work. Tiny things like arrange to hook up with an old friend and leave DD with your DP for the afternoon this weekend while you go shopping or to the cinema or something that the Old You used to enjoy. Honestly your DD and your DP will cope and it will help her to understand that the boob is not always there. Also, do you have a good sling? My DD naps well in a sling while we're out and about, feels close to me but I can get things done. If you post under sleep I am sure people will have ideas about how to get her to nap in her cot.
I also want to recommend a really great book called 'What Mothers Do: Especially when it seems like nothing' by Naomi Stadlen, as the only book which really seemed to get the experience of being a mother and totally devoted to your baby but also finding yourself feeling like you just can't do it anymore.
You are doing a hard job and it sounds like you're giving it your all. Please PM me if I can help any more.

sipper Fri 14-Dec-12 15:14:27

fryingpanalley what a lovely message xx

henrysmama2012 Fri 14-Dec-12 19:22:20

Poor you! I know how it feels to be on your own long hours as my husband has a similar schedule...my solution was basically to head out of the house immediately when my LO was being difficult - actually I went through a few weeks / months of that - heading out in the morning and not coming back til late afternoon/early evening. It was really nice actually - Id plan day trips out, and hed be really tired by the time we got back. He loved being out and about...but if he stayed indoors it felt for some reason 100% harder. He's a lovely smily little boy but always needs stimulation so thats why I think getting out of the house was a good plan.... good luck and I hope it gets better x

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