close to breaking point ... really had enough :(

(62 Posts)
Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 14:04:48

I'm literally ready to walk out and leave the kids with my dh, for a weekend or more. Just had enough and really need some support and help especially from those who have big age gaps.

I have dd aged 9 and ds 7 months. Both difficult ages and stages in totally different ways. The only luck is that dd adores ds so plays with him and I might get 5 seconds break.

My dd is very demanding at the moment. Ds is very demanding at the moment.

I spent a long time being a single parent to dd and to be honest I had forgotten how exhausting the baby stage is. Ds is a much wanted baby but I find myself tearing my hair out several times a day as I constantly run around after him as he's rolled himself awkwardly or whinging because he's lying flat and wants to sit up or vice versa.

He is impossible to get dressed as he hates putting clothes on and literally cries, same with putting a coat on even though I am being gentle. This means every journey anywhere starts with me being in a stressed and bad mood. Even though I try not to show it.

He doesn't like going to cafes etc no matter if we bring toys or not. He sits and moans and makes enjoying anything impossible.

I am in the middle of weaning and that's going ok but he is still drinking as much formula as he ever was.. which is fine.... but I feel like I really don't have a clue what I'm doing.

I never have any time to myself. At all. Unless dh has them which he does sometimes but he works 6 days a week at the moment 14 hours a day. I can't trust my mum with them (long story) I have no friends in real life.

I feel like crawling into a hole.

overtheseatocalais Sat 19-Jan-13 14:23:12

I could have written this at various stages ... just wanted to let you know, you are definitely not alone and there are many wise people on here who will come along with supportive words. With your DD this may work as an incentive, I am using it with mine and it's working wonders. It is an app for ipod/pad/phone called 'iReward' You link the behaviour you want to rewards. Someone on here recommended it and it is worth the £2.49 it cost! (You can also get a free version with less options) May be worth a try if you have the pod/pad/phone!

Andro Sat 19-Jan-13 14:27:11

Par tof DD being so demanding is possibly as a result of DS being do demanding - she likely feels that if she doesn't 'demand' she'll be forgotten (vivid memories).

loveroflife Sat 19-Jan-13 14:31:33

Don't worry - first of all it WILL get better. Probably really annoying to hear that, but it will...

Try and establish a routine where you get an hour to yourself each morning but 'are still there'. By this, I mean after breakfast, put ds into his cot or playpen with some toys. He may scream, but just smile and say Mummy's here and then potter about around him tidying. I did this and it was difficult at first but now ds(2) is very happy and it allows me to get showered and clean up all the breakfast stuff. I will sing to him and always pop my head in the living room every 10mins or so to let him know I am there.

In this same hour slot, can you give dd some chores at weekends. So, you get showered and she tidies up? Gives her some responsibility and helps you...

So, that's an hour in the morning sorted.

Then in the afternoon I do find even though it's a pita go out rather than stay in. Soft play for ds as his screams will 'mingle in' and no one will even notice. DD could read/have lunch with you/go on an ipad/or could she take a friend to soft play for a chat or play - do 9 year olds still like soft play?

Walks -again, it doesn't matter if he screams his head off - just keep pushing the buggy and you can take dd to the shops to choose a treat or help you get stuff for dinner.

Swimming - dd goes in alone (or with a friend) and you go in with ds.

Library - dd gets to choose her books and ds plays on the floor

Zoo/parks - both entertained.

I presume it's the weekends are the hardest as in the week dd is at school.
Is there a creche at the leisure centre you could put ds in (if you feel comfortable?) Could you find a childminder for a couple of hours at the weekend for ds? Give these people (Home Start) a call - they are amazing - www.home-start.org.uk/

It sounds like you are the doing the right thing -keep going as you do have to get out and eventually ds will get used to it.

What's the bedtime routine like? Can you get them down within an hour of each other so then you have time at night for you. What about setting up playdates with dd's friends so then it is just you and ds for a bit.

I don't have any experience of big age gaps but am sure plenty of helpful mn'etters will be along that do, but I would try and get the older one to help as much as can as she is not a baby and that would be a huge advantage.

Also, when ds goes to bed that is your chance to spend quality time with her just the two of you, and thank her for being such a wonderful big, grown up sister!

Maybe, contact a HV and have a look on amazon for any helpful books. Also, DH will need to have them for a couple of hours on his day off so at least you get some time alone - he may be tired, but that's life!

Re:weaning, speak to the HV, go onto this site www.babyledweaning.com or post here in the weaning section.

Re: friends - if you take ds to groups you will make some, it's just finding the locals one that you like.

Good luck xx

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 14:43:49

Thank you for all the advice and tips.

I think part of my problem is I find ds crying or whinging soooooo stressful. I just can't bear it and it actually makes me really angry sad I just can't cope with the noise sad

Dd isn't actually being naughty. And I'd hate for her to feel pushed out so if anything I'm bending over to do things with her. I took her to lunch in her favourite cafe today even though ds moaned the whole time except for ten mins when having a bottle. I didn't get to eat anything because I sat with ds on my lap.

Ds sleeps from 5-5 every night so I have 5-8 with dd on her own and I go to bed at 9.

I just feel too tired sad I have no energy for any of it.

I will try out some of the suggestions. We did the library yesterday... everything has to be done at break neck speed though as ds won't sit still in The buggy without starting to whinge.

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 14:44:41

Sorry for short reply... ds is waking up from a short nap ! Will reply in more depth later.

loveroflife Sat 19-Jan-13 15:00:32

I know it's hard but just try and block it out. Some babies just whinge. ALL. DAY.LONG. There's nothing you can really do, but just check he doesn't need changing, feeding etc and then carry on as normal and eventually he will give up.

Maybe, take a look at the weaning - is he hungry/too much milk/constipated - there could be a whole range of reasons, once you get that cracked that will be amazing and it might all stop

Don't do stuff at break neck speed - just carry on as you would and ds will eventually stop whinging.

That's great that dd had a special trip out to the cafe- why don't you get them both wrapped up and go for a walk now in the snow? DD can take some pictures, play and ds can whinge in the buggy - it's better than whinging in the house and it will break up the afternoon.

Speak to the Health Visitor about the whinging and do give Home Start a call when you have time.

Can you push ds back to 7-7 routine as 5am is very early for you to get up every day - you must be exhausted. That way you will still have an hour with dd before she goes to bed at 8 and maybe 2 hours for you before you go to bed at 10?

mummy2benji Sat 19-Jan-13 16:49:27

Yes I was going to say the same with regard ds's nighttime sleep, can you try pushing it back a little? It may take time to achieve this but if you could gradually push it back by even just 1 hour, 6am is a far preferable time to have to get up than 5am. If you aren't having to get up at what definitely still feels like the middle of the night, you'll have a bit more energy and could manage a later bedtime - even if you spend that extra hour watching crap tv, it is bliss to just have a bit of peace and quiet and time "off".

I can totally empathise with the feeling of 24/7 childcare and demands. I have 4yo ds and 12 week old dd and due to dh's long hours at work and upcoming exams, and now family illness, I have been doing it alone for the past few months. Over time it wears you down and you need to look for ways to find some enjoyment in life again. You have to make this happen as it is all too easy to just sit at home, get more and more depressed and short-tempered and end up having a meltdown. Is there a decent mums and toddlers group near you where you can meet a few other mums for a natter and sympathy and a cuppa while ds plays? Knowing some other mums who can empathise would really help I think and make you feel a bit more supported.

Even if dh works very long hours, I'm sure he could manage to give you an hour's respite - maybe find a yoga class or zumba or anything that takes your fancy one evening a week when he has to babysit and you get to go out by yourself. You'll find that even a short time to yourself regularly does wonders for the sanity. I actually intend to take my own advice soon - right now I'm struggling to find time to even have a shower... x

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 17:48:17

Thanks.. the bedtime IS a nightmare. I've tried everything but ds seems to have an internal clock which switches to I must go to bed now (and I mean now) at 5pm whatever I do sad ... it is so frustrating!

I've tried letting him have a cat nap at 5 and waking him but all he does is literally scream to go to bed and then he wakes at 5 anyway.

However I am persevering with trying to get him to bed later.... tonight it was 5.20 which is an improvement. Well an improvement from the 4.30pm it was a few weeks ago.

He has never slept much in the day either... currently got the best naps out of him yet (must be upstairs in bed in his cot in the dark) for 2 x 1 hour naps. When he was 8 weeks old he stayed awake for 12 hours straight. I kid you not.

I don't mean to sound so defeatist and I do appreciate the suggestions. I will try some of them tomorrow.

I just feel like I'm not living I'm existing.

Dh and I are in the middle of a day of terrible silence. Basically I got very angry yesterday as dh came home for lunch and ds was having a nap and I was stressed out anyway... I can't stand banging or random noise when I'm stressed and dh kept fiddling with one of ds rattles. (God this sounds stupid). I playfully said could he stop it and he did but kept holding it and absent mindedly kept touching it and the noise sent me mental. I just wanted one hour where I didn't have to hear rattles. So......

I asked him to give it to me. And I was angry and I threw it. Very hard. And it accidentally smacked him across the knuckles. Oops. It really hurt him and he stormed back to work. I have of course apologised but he is saying I was wrong to lose my temper like that.

Well maybe I was but the noise was driving me fucking mad.

I just sometimes feel I can't cope with going through all this again, another baby. Dd was so independent and we could go anywhere, do anything. Now whatever we do is accompanied by a whinging soundtrack.

I'm sorry, I give everything to ds and I bend over backwards to make sure he has a happy life, playing, cuddles, love etc. But everyday feels like a life sentence.

I don't enjoy working either (on maternity leave but I mean any job) and I don't want to go to baby groups as I find it all too intimidating.

I just miss my old life and I thought I would feel better 7 months in but I don't.

I have completely gone off sex (in general) ... I just don't have any energy and I couldn't even care less about it. Dh finds sex to be a really important part of us and I know he feels sad but to be honest I just have no sex drive whatsoever.

I was like this after I had dd and I ended up leaving her dad because I just felt fed up with the weight of the relationship as well as everything else.

Someone shoot me. Really had enough.

there is a 6 year gap between my 2 ds's, so not quite the same.

however it does get easier over time.

ds2 loved his baby bouncer (the ones you hang from a door frame) and he had a motorised swing.

it helped when ds1 had a friend round as they would amuse themselves. it also meant this was reciprocated, so ds1 didn't get as bored.

I second going swimming. tiring for both children.

also parent and baby groups. it's easy to get very isolated, and the feel as though you can't cope as you have no one to of load to. it will also give Ds(?) the chance to get used to being held by other people.

ds2 was very clingy, and is now 10 and still holds my hand, sits on my knee and gives me lots of hugs, so there are plus sides (eventually).

you need to look after yourself and get a bit of exercise and fresh air. even an hour a week by yourself - have a walk to a cafe and read the paper with a hot drink can be enough sometimes.

be kind to yourself. this stage won't last forever and time will fly by smile

have you tried turning the getting dressed into a game is where's baby's hand, there it is! when putting arms in sleeves, blowing raspberries on his tummy when putting on a vest etc. dancing to music we whilst holding your baby (obviously gently, not breakdancing etc!grin )

hope this all helps.

and I agree with previous posters about bedtime. 5 is a mad time to be getting up, even if it is after 12 hours sleep, which is great. push the time back by 10 minutes a day till you get to a time which suits you. maybe put did to bed at 7.45 and get her to read for 15 minutes by herself. aim to get 9 hours sleep every night, maybe go to bed a little earlier and read for 10 minutes yourself.

it's easy to think you aren't doing a good job, but you have obviously done fine for the past 9 years, you just need a few tweaks to your routine to suit you. but try to be flexible, and if it all gets too much, just hop to the loo for 5 minutes for a time outgrin

there is a 6 year gap between my 2 ds's, so not quite the same.

however it does get easier over time.

ds2 loved his baby bouncer (the ones you hang from a door frame) and he had a motorised swing.

it helped when ds1 had a friend round as they would amuse themselves. it also meant this was reciprocated, so ds1 didn't get as bored.

I second going swimming. tiring for both children.

also parent and baby groups. it's easy to get very isolated, and the feel as though you can't cope as you have no one to of load to. it will also give Ds(?) the chance to get used to being held by other people.

ds2 was very clingy, and is now 10 and still holds my hand, sits on my knee and gives me lots of hugs, so there are plus sides (eventually).

you need to look after yourself and get a bit of exercise and fresh air. even an hour a week by yourself - have a walk to a cafe and read the paper with a hot drink can be enough sometimes.

be kind to yourself. this stage won't last forever and time will fly by smile

have you tried turning the getting dressed into a game is where's baby's hand, there it is! when putting arms in sleeves, blowing raspberries on his tummy when putting on a vest etc. dancing to music we whilst holding your baby (obviously gently, not breakdancing etc!grin )

hope this all helps.

and I agree with previous posters about bedtime. 5 is a mad time to be getting up, even if it is after 12 hours sleep, which is great. push the time back by 10 minutes a day till you get to a time which suits you. maybe put dd to bed at 7.45 and get her to read for 15 minutes by herself. aim to get 9 hours sleep every night, maybe go to bed a little earlier and read for 10 minutes yourself.

it's easy to think you aren't doing a good job, but you have obviously done fine for the past 9 years, you just need a few tweaks to your routine to suit you. but try to be flexible, and if it all gets too much, just hop to the loo for 5 minutes for a time outgrin

there is a 6 year gap between my 2 ds's, so not quite the same.

however it does get easier over time.

ds2 loved his baby bouncer (the ones you hang from a door frame) and he had a motorised swing.

it helped when ds1 had a friend round as they would amuse themselves. it also meant this was reciprocated, so ds1 didn't get as bored.

I second going swimming. tiring for both children.

also parent and baby groups. it's easy to get very isolated, and the feel as though you can't cope as you have no one to of load to. it will also give Ds(?) the chance to get used to being held by other people.

ds2 was very clingy, and is now 10 and still holds my hand, sits on my knee and gives me lots of hugs, so there are plus sides (eventually).

you need to look after yourself and get a bit of exercise and fresh air. even an hour a week by yourself - have a walk to a cafe and read the paper with a hot drink can be enough sometimes.

be kind to yourself. this stage won't last forever and time will fly by smile

have you tried turning the getting dressed into a game is where's baby's hand, there it is! when putting arms in sleeves, blowing raspberries on his tummy when putting on a vest etc. dancing to music we whilst holding your baby (obviously gently, not breakdancing etc!grin )

hope this all helps.

and I agree with previous posters about bedtime. 5 is a mad time to be getting up, even if it is after 12 hours sleep, which is great. push the time back by 10 minutes a day till you get to a time which suits you. maybe put dd to bed at 7.45 and get her to read for 15 minutes by herself. aim to get 9 hours sleep every night, maybe go to bed a little earlier and read for 10 minutes yourself.

it's easy to think you aren't doing a good job, but you have obviously done fine for the past 9 years, you just need a few tweaks to your routine to suit you. but try to be flexible, and if it all gets too much, just hop to the loo for 5 minutes for a time outgrin

ffs sad grin

Journey Sat 19-Jan-13 18:56:16

I think you're finding it hard because everything was probably very civilised with just one dd of about 8 years old (since it would have been before your ds was born). When I've talked to mums who have dcs of this age they sometimes come out with things and I think wow you've totally forgotten what it is like having a baby. (I've got four dcs and so seem to have had a baby for ages).

You need to learn to accept that you can't do what you did before with your DD, and I think the root of your problem is you haven't done this.

Next time wait until your DH is at home to look after your DS so you can take your DD to a cafe. Accept it doesn't work taking them on your own for the time being.

Looking after two dcs is very manageable, however, a screaming moaning baby is draining. You need some time to yourself when your DH is off work. Try and sort something out with him. You deserve a break from the dcs if you've been looking after them for six days on your own.

loveroflife Sat 19-Jan-13 19:31:16

It sounds like you are rather depressed fairylea and everything is getting on top of you.

If you can sort the sleeping pattern I PROMISE you everything will get better. Sleep deprivation is the biggest bitch ever and a complete killer - those that can cope on 4 hours sleep a night sadly don't understand.

Having to get up at 5am every day and then manage all day as a SAHM with 2 dc is enough to drive anyone to despair.

When ds was born I used to rock to him sleep EVERY.SINGLE. FUCKING. NIGHT. I literally used to walk around our flat all night and every nap time. It nearly drove me insane.

Then I read this book - The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan after a friend told me about it - www.amazon.co.uk/Sensational-Baby-Sleep-Plan/dp/0593062817

Please order it, it changed my life, she basically tells you how to get them sleeping from 7-7 and how to manage daytime naps. I did have to stay at home in the day for about a week to get it all sorted but it was the best thing we ever did. I enjoy ds so much more now and he adores his sleep and routine.

I do think (and I'm sure many posters will disagree) but a good routine, sleeping, feeling confident with your weaning, gettting out regularly and structure has saved me as a SAHM. Without the above, I'm depressed, ratty and everything is manic. Yes, it's boring but it will save your sanity.

The baby groups can be boring but no one really cares about anyone apart from their own child screaming/pulling hair etc. No one will be looking or judging you and if you don't like one, find another.

The key really is getting out of the house, keeping them entertained, tiring them out and establishing good routines imo. Then everything else falls into place, they're not ratty at home all day, you're not pissed off with them, tired, sick of entertaining them and desperate for freedom.

sorry if this has been mentioned but have you tried wine a dummy

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 19-Jan-13 19:47:48

OP do you have diagnosis of PND?

9 months is a really hard age. They know what they want but cannot either speak to ask for it, or move enough to get it. It will get better soon, it really will.

And try to block out the whinging, I always found that easier if I was outside. Makes cafes hard, but places like the zoo are brilliant because you can just tune the noise out and it doesn't really bother anyone else.

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 19:53:58

Thanks, I will order the book .. willing to try anything. Dd was a Gina ford baby (ha!) ... I gave it a go with ds and he effectively laughed in my face when I tried to put him down for a nicely timed nap... he stayed awake the whole time and then for four hours afterwards. So I threw the book out and now I think I was lucky with dd as she just settled into 7-7 but ds natural sleep pattern is 5-5 ! So yes willing to try the book. And yes I am crawling the walls with depression and exhaustion.

I will go to my GP this week I think. I'm just scared of going on anti depressants as I took them with dd as I had bad pnd then and everything became a big fog. But maybe a fog is better than this sad god I sound so pathetic. And I feel angry because I should be able to look at dd and think all I have to do is get ds to that stage and it isn't long really but it seems a million years away.

I think it's fair to say I haven't come to terms with my life changing. I don't know how to. I go to bed at 9 because I want to sleep and wake up and get the days over with.

Life has been really tough the last couple of years. I fell out with my alcoholic mother and moved her out and into her own house ... I'm an only child and I find myself still worrying about her and missing her too even though she isn't stable really. She sees the kids here with me once or twice a week for an hour. She isn't awful awful - she is only 62 and works etc. She drinks too much in the evenings and when she lived with us she would swear at me and shout at me and the next day forget shed done it at all.

We were very close as she helped me during my single parent days (before she became such a heavy drinker).

I also nearly bled to death having ds as I had undiagnosed placenta previa. I opted for a section as dds birth was difficult and then that..!

And ... our roof has gone and needs replacing. And we have no savings.. we have used them all... The only bit of light is we got a ppi refund this week which will help.

I was in a shop today and a song came on and I remembered listening to it two years ago in my car in the sunshine, no worries, no stress.

I've aged 20 years in the last 2.

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 19:55:24

Oh sorry yes he does have a dummy but only wants it when he naps.

He isn't constipated or anything like that. I think it's just frustration. He wants me to sit with him all the time literally all the time. Which I do mostly but even if I leave the room he will start.whinging.

Daisy17 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:56:56

I second a check for PND, esp as you say in your post you were the same with your DD and it affected your life so badly then too. Many sympathies, I only have one but he was hard work too and used to drive me to tears of frustration most days.

Daisy17 Sat 19-Jan-13 19:58:59

Cross posts, OP. It doesn't have to be ADs, CBT etc has helped me enormously.

madwomanintheattic Sat 19-Jan-13 20:04:55

When dh gets in from work, hand ds over and fuck off out of the house for an hour. Go for a walk.

For the first three posts I thought you were a single parent.

Where is dh in the bedtime trauma?

Where was he on a Saturday when you were in a cafe with two kids unable to eat?

Why didn't you leave ds with him, and take dd out for lunch?

Life is stressful. Hopefully if you have undx PND the anti-ds will take the edge off it, but in the meantime, you need a bit of support, both practical and emotional. And you need a break.

And a formula fed fed baby with a father in the home makes it pretty easy to get one.

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 20:10:32

Dh works odd shifts. Today he was out of the house at 6 and home at 6. Yep he works weekends too sometimes.

Some nights his shift finishes at 10pm so he doesn't get in till 11.

He is very hands on when he is here. Will put ds to bed and feed him etc.

But yes it is hard as for 6 days of the week I am basically on my own with ds again because of the awkward bedtime which I am trying to change...

Fairylea Sat 19-Jan-13 20:11:08

True about the cbt etc. I will ask about that, thanks.

You say 2 years ago you were carefree. 2 years ago you were still a mum. That time will come again and very very soon. Your DS is at an awkward age - too old to basically sleep all day, too young to be able to do anything to independently entertain himself. If you're breastfeeding you're probably still responsible for most of his dietary needs.

You're probably back to being a first time mum, as there's such a gap, and finding it just as hard, without the help, support and understanding that first time mums get. Take a break wherever you can. Count down the days - I have only just stopped grin It won't be long before you wake up in the morning and decide what you would like to do, as opposed to what you have to do, or are restricted to.

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