Coping alone with newborn once paternity leave ends - am I mad?

(27 Posts)
eagleray Thu 07-Feb-13 22:35:11

I have 10 day old DD, and currently sharing care with DP while he's on paternity leave. We've had a few problems - I had forceps/episiostomy, and am currently on antibiotics for minor infection. Baby has had feeding problems/tongue tie and we are still trying to get up to speed with BF, and topping up with formula feeds (DP sorts out the FF, plus shares the nappy changes, and does a lot of the cooking)

In the first few days, we probably overdid it with visitors and there's been lots of MW visits too, so feel like the house has been permanently occupied with various people coming and going. I've also struggled to get enough sleep and do get a bit overwrought at times!

Anyway, DP is back to work next monday, and because he works at least two hours away, is normally away all week, although I think that now the baby is here he will try to come back midweek for an overnight visit.

I am slightly split between wondering how I will cope on my own, but also looking forward to having my own space/peace and quiet and getting into a routine with DD.

Anyway, I found out this evening that my mother (who lives 1.5 hours away) assumed I would just need help immediately and was planning to turn up Sunday evening and stay for a few days. However, she's in her 70's, can't drive and frankly I'm terrified of having an extra person to 'look after' and also feel my space is going to be invaded! We get on ok, but am a bit worried about overreacting to comments/criticisms around DD's care etc.

Can anyone out there give me any idea of whether I can expect to cope on my own next week, or should I just be accepting any offer of help that I can get? Clearly lone parents just have to get on with things, so I guess it is possible? I have suggested that mum comes mid-week instead, so that I at least have a couple of days by myself to see how things go. I don't have a vast support network close by, but have a few friends/neighbours to call on if I need help.

Thanks for any advice anyone can give!

blueblackdye Sat 09-Feb-13 17:00:38

Eagleray, as you know I stayed at my Mum's when DD was born as I also had DS to look after. It is hard as you put yourself in the daughther situation again. I did that actually for both kids. the first time was difficult, easier the second time. My Mum was not for BF and expected me to help her, or so I thought. We had a bit of arguments but eventually you are now a Mum and the Mum of baby Eagle. Your Mum will help, cooking, cuddling, tidying up a bit. You will have company. And if you two disagree, well you can always retreat in your room with baby. But tbh it s very nice to have someone with you. Elserly and experienced people are interesting, they have things to tell you about raising kids, whether you agree or not. Baby Eagle is still tiny, unless your Mum is a threat to her, which I don't suspect, she won't get any bad influence from your Mum if your parenting style differs from hers. Surely there will be times you will snap at her or DP, sleep deprivation, tiredness, clueless about what to do when baby still cries and you have tried everything, hormones, feeling down.... All that is normal. Don't beat yourself too much. Motherhood is hardwork. But it will get easier. See, she has already accepted to sleep in her cot ! Congratulations ! I think during the first 5 weeks, I have barely put DD down, could not sit down and have a proper hot meal, she was sleeping on me, feeding all the time, needing my presence day and night... Try to enjoy, these moments will pass. Too quickly. I know, you think I am mad, you just want to be able to go to the loo or have a shower without rushing ! And I understand that. She now hardly falls asleep on my shoulders, wants her cot, she has enough trust and confidence to settle herself down to sleep on her own. And somehow I miss the physical contact.
Big hugs from BBD aka Hpbp

eagleray Sun 10-Feb-13 17:03:54

Thanks for all your replies - some interesting perspectives!

BBD - I think I am lucky in that Baby Eagle is pretty good at settling herself and I do get little gaps when she's sleeping where I can run around and do things. However, the feeds take a long time thanks to the BF/expressing/formula regime! It's good to be reminded though that she won't be this size forever and I should make the most of close contact with her.

Chunderella - we are already using the premade formula - no idea how we would cope if it didn't exist!

I feel a bit more able to cope with DM's arrival now that I've had a bit more time to get used to a routine. It's a sign of the times I guess that we are no longer automatically surrounded by family members and have help to hand when babies arrive. Also, because I am an older mum, this means my mum is older too and therefore the dynamics are a little different!

I will keep you all posted as to how it goes... smile

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