I am losing it

(23 Posts)
London444 Fri 25-Oct-13 18:28:45

I have a seven month old, he has not been sleeping for a while, which I guess means that he is overactive and I am just simply so fucking tired. It's Friday, and I am trying to hard to keep it together until the father comes home. Father works long hours, so it is me and the son for the entire week. I am on mat leave. I have enjoyed it so far, but I can't take it anymore. It is so fucking hard. I am losing it.
He sleeps little during the day, the house is a mess, the pet is in so much need of cuddles and I just can't get close to her without son screaming and wanting attention. I am not sleeping enough, I can't even piss without having to do it in a rush.
I am in tears. Fuck, this is driving me bonkers. He has just broken me and I have no solution.
I should be preparing good meals for him, get a bedtime routine started, smile at him. And instead I can't even fucking piss one minute.I can't eat without gulping down the food. I put the first clothes I find in the morning, I can barely brush my hair. My life is a fucking mess and I do not have 10 minutes to sit down and think of how to get out of this.
How do you manage.
I don't have a job now, I am well off, I have friends to go for walks and I could have nice food and so forth. And yet I cant fucking make it.

CityDweller Fri 25-Oct-13 20:02:26

You poor thing - you sound like you're having a really tough time. Sleep deprivation makes everything seem worse and you lose all perspective. This will get better, your LO's sleep will improve and you'll get a sense of balance back. To help that happen, is there anyone in the real world who can help you out while your partner is off working? A family member or even hiring a babysitter to come and entertain LO while you get some kip/ have a shower/ stare into space for a few hours.

If the sleep is a real persistent issue (rather than a blip due to teething or a developmental leap) then there are sleep consultants who'll come and teach your LO to sleep better. Andrea Grace has had good reviews on here

Hang in there - it will get better, I promise.

Fishandjam Fri 25-Oct-13 20:10:08

Sleep deprivation is SO hard. There's a reason it's used as a torture method. I second the suggestion of getting some help. I have no rellies who could help, so I paid for a wonderful postnatal doula who saved my physical and mental health more than once, by minding DS while I had a bath, a leisurely lunch and then a few hours' proper kip.

You CAN make it - get some help, and remember, this too shall pass smile

RunningOutOfIdeas Fri 25-Oct-13 20:11:15

You need time for you. Does your DH take over the care of your DC for at least a few hours at the weekend? Or could you get a nanny or childminder to take your DC for a day?

It is so hard if you have no time to just be yourself. Getting bedtime sorted would also help. The routine doesn't need to take long. My DD2 is now 1. Her routine is change into pyjamas, bottle of milk, brush teeth, read a book, into sleeping bag and into cot. This usually happens around 7pm. Maybe a sleep consultant would help you sort out a routine.

mumofboyo Fri 25-Oct-13 20:13:29

I have no advice really although I do know where you're coming from. It's so hard isn't it, going from a working, self sufficient and independent adult who had friends, a social life and time for yourself to bring a full time parent. It's such a shock to the system that it's difficult to adapt and yet we're expected to. Society, the media, even looking at our friends' lives from the outside, make us believe that parenting is the easiest, most natural and enjoyable job in the world; yet the reality couldn't be further from the truth and that makes us feel like we've somehow failed.

I'm no good at giving advice but I'll try and offer some suggestions; of course you may completely disagree.
Fuck the house work for now: so long as it's not an actual death trap I don't think it really matters. All I do is run the Hoover around once or twice a week (dd loves the sound and will follow it around), wipe the surfaces and wash up after I've cooked anything and do the washing a few times a week. Our laundry pile is humongous I even had to go out and buy more socks, pants and bibs cos we'd run out of clean ones and had no time to wash/dry the mucky ones but I try not to let that bother me. If it really does your head in is there any way you could afford a cleaner for a few hrs a week?

I feel terrible about this but, after dd was born, we got rid of our dog. My beloved Jess, a gorgeous little dog I'd had since she was 6 weeks old. There was just no way I could give her the live and attention that she needed and I came to resent her in some ways because it just seemed like someone else who's needs came before mine and yet more shit that I had to clean up. I'm not suggesting you get rid of your pets; I'm just saying that I felt the same as you.

I know that you are wanting more time to yourself but have you tried a sling or baby carrier if your baby isn't resting or settling away from you? I never did this but many people on here swear by them, saying how at least they have their hands free to cook/clean/tidy/have a drink and that the baby gets some sleep and that therefore overcomes the problem of chronic over tiredness. Either that or will he sleep in the pram or car seat? With mine I've often gone for a walk or drive until they fell asleep and I'd find a car park or bench somewhere and have a quiet half hour or so until they woke up.

Have you thought of putting your son into some form of childcare, even if you're not planning on returning to work? It might just give you a break for a few hours a couple of times a week and you'd be surprised at how well babies and toddlers settle into nurseries or childminders. I know it goes against everything that society (ie. Daily Mail readers) says about mothers being happy, able and willing to look after their children all day but I don't actually think, evolutionarily or socially speaking, that that's a healthy or natural thing to do; I don't think we were ever meant to bring our children up alone in isolation from the rest of the world. I think that child care should be shared through the community.

Knackers to the idea of "I should be preparing delicious meals from scratch for my family every day" because with an unsettled baby that's just not possible unfortunately. It's important that you eat of course but there's no harm in buying ready meals. Until my dd was about 5 or 6 mo I relied on them; I wouldn't have eaten otherwise. Now I prepare things like stews, chilli, curry etc in the slow cooker by just chucking it all in, switching it on and leaving it until dh comes home to dish it up. Either that or he does it the night before. We then have enough food for 2 nights plus extra that I can freeze for the dc for later in the week.

Re the routine! I found that, with both dc they just fell into it on their own accord. I would try to do the same things in the same order at the same time each day, following their cues and eventually it just happened.

I really struggled whilst on mat leave and couldn't wait to go back to work. In the end I think it's that that saved my sanity. Despite being a teacher I felt I couldn't cope with both dc all in my own all the time whilst dh was at work do made the decision to return to work early. Even though, financially, it's almost ruined us. Dh agrees that my mental health matters more than money. We can afford to house, feed and clothe ourselves and that's what matters.

I also had depression after the arrival of dd because of the massive upheaval of going from one easy baby to having a marauding toddler and difficult baby. If you feel that you're struggling I would strongly urge you to speak to your gp or health visitor and ask for help and advice, whether it be ADs, counselling or just practical help and support with your baby.

It does get easier. At the moment I know that's of no help but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's just so far ahead for the time being that it's difficult to see. It will improve and you will be happier soon, you must believe that.

Sorry for waffling on, I'll stop now. I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. flowers

London444 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:27:40

Thank you all, you are really helping me and I am grateful for it. DH takes over during the weekend, but by Friday I am just a total mess. DS is teething, learned to stand on all fours and tries hard to crawl, started eating and his 'language' has developed a lot, so I know he is trying hard, but I just run around him all the time! He sleeps only 40 min during the day, 3 times, so by the time I clear the table and put my feet up he is awake. I am giving it a go with the No cry to sleep or whatever it is called, but I will look for a sleep consultant otherwise. He was lovely before the six month mark. Now it's like having a despot around. He screams I run. He cries I walk faster to get home quickly, I try to have lunch he doesn't like being put in the highchair. When he is asleep I pass in front of coffee shops and long for a coffee to go, but I am too afraid of him waking up to actually stop and order one. Or that I get too much caffeine between that and the morning one and the lunch coke to keep me awake.
Plus the book today killed me. I thought I was finding some solutions for my problems and instead I realised that a) if he needs to sleep earlier than usual bedtime I will need to give him all my baths, instead of waiting for daddy to do it. But he is heavy and my back is already half dead, so I am really not looking forward to that. How do you bathe your baby and keep your back lifting him out or putting him in? b) I am already struggling enough as it is, but soon I will have to start seriously feed some good solids to him. So far it has been bananas and avocados and some of what we eat, but it should be more ad hoc than this. So here is another thing that I can do, given that dh works long hours.

We don't have family around, only friends without kids or just-met people/friends with ds of similar age but not that close really.

Thank you all, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

gloucestergirl Fri 25-Oct-13 20:28:26

I'm wishing you all the best as well. DD was like this and it is really hard. She was a real little sleep-fighter. We tried EVERYTHING to get her to sleep during the day. When she had good naps during the day, it really helped at night.

At various stages these things worked: carrier, pram walks, swaddling, rocking to sleep, car rides. And a dummy was essential all the time. Once she slept during the day, I conked out in bed too.

You say that you have some money. I would pay for a trained babysitter to give yourself some time to yourself.

London444 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:09:54

We employ a cleaner once a week so I am really lucky but I guess I have been used to clean clothes all day long, to be able to put my plate/glass/fork/bread/tablecloth away after lunch, to not have unopened mail all over the place and laundry always and so forth.
DS never used a pacifier, so that does not work, he HATES the car, and being 10 kilos I just can't carry him in the sling. DH does it at weekends and he likes it a lot and falls asleep happily for the usual 40 min, but it kills my back/neck/shoulders and that's not good given that I have the rest of the day to go through.
I will need to think about a baby sitter I suppose, though I thought I was on mat leave to do it! I don't think I need - yet - medical help, but a punching ball/bottle of wine/jog in the park would really help on Friday afternoons.

angel24711 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:32:22

Sleep deprivation is so hard and it makes everything seem impossible. We have an 8 month old, was was waking all through the night and the sleep deprivation was driving us crazy. We had a sleep nanny come and stay for 2 nights and I can honestly say it has changed our lives. Not cheap, £500, but I justified this to myself with its the same sort of money as getting the car fixed.
Our DS sleeps really well now. I just wish we had done it earlier and not waited 4 months as the impact of getting a proper nights sleep has made us so much happier.

a few thoughts:

- sit him in the shower if you have a stand alone one. baths are not compulsory. also does not need to be done just before bed.

- try toast / bread or cooked veg for food for him. just buy the steam packs from the supermarket and eat the rest you self if you can't manage to chop and cook (added benefit of some nutrients for you even if not deliciously tasty on their own)

- accept that sometimes he is going to cry so use that time to clear the table quickly and then feet up when he is asleep.

- you will feel much better with some sleep so prioritise it. go to bed at 7pm on a Wednesday to get you through the week? sorry if he doesn't sleep in evenings - I'll reread it properly now but I skimmed through and you seem so desperate!

remember if it was good at 6mo it will be good again in a short while.

OK I've reread!

- what is the pet? cat?

- what time does dh get home? all well and good him helping with bath but if ds needs to be asleep it can't be done like that (fwiw I have an 18mo and 8 week old and sometimes if dh is late he gets home at 6 and we have all lost it and are practically all crying on the sofa waiting - it is better if is sort dd1:s tea and get up to bath as even if I am shattered we are not just dwelling on it. just because I know this doesn't mean I always do it

I believe sleep begets sleep so maybe if you work on getting him down in the evening it might help the day, and at least you have something to look forward to!

do you want to tell us the timings for stuff in the evenings?

- also re food it took us til dd1 was nearly one to get up to 3 meals a day, I'm not sure what you are trying but don't feel you suddenly need to do a full gourmet food day.

ChipAndSpud Sat 26-Oct-13 20:24:36

Teething is a bitch! Don't make the mistake I made and worry about giving them medicine 'too often', try teething powder, teething gel and if that helps then great! If it doesn't help, try calpol!

With the baths, I totally know where you're coming from, I ask DH to do most of DS's baths as it makes my back ache. I was fine in pregnancy but I felt very weak in my lower back after the birth. I feel it's improving now, but that's with pilates!

With food, please don't get stressed about it, just think it's what they eat over the course of a week, not a day. I recommend getting in some jars of baby food for if you're going out or if you're just having a shit day! I also agree with the slow cooker suggestion, it can put put in there in the morning and dinner is ready when you are! Plus using the slow cooker you can make extra and freeze portions for the baby.

Lunch can be sandwiches or toast or crackers with cheese or meat and yoghurt and fruit. It doesn't need to be home cooked, it can be simple.

I think with the sleep if you baby is teething it's going to muck up their sleep, so I think you've got to at least put your feet up when your baby sleeps!

Housework can always wait, it's a never ending task anyway!

If you need to have a shower or go to the bathroom, just go for it. I used to put DS is his bouncy chair on the bathroom floor whilst I had a quick bath, so even if he cried, he could still see me! Sometimes they just have to cry, don't worry, we all hate leaving babies to cry, but it's got to be done sometimes especially if they're in that sort of mood! If it's just a few minutes it's not the end of the world.

SheldorAFK Sat 26-Oct-13 20:42:37

I really feel for you. I have a toddler and 9 week old and can totally sympathise. You're not alone. The best advice I can give - not that I'm in any position to be giving advice tbh - is try not too feel guilty if he cries for a bit. He's going to cry, and it doesn't mean he's upset necessarily. He's going to cry, god mine do all the time. I just say to myself "they're fed, dry and warm, I need to do x (toilet, cook dinner, clean etc) in order to look after them properly".

I'm literally on the verge of a breakdown though, I don't take my advice all the time, I can't cope with either of them crying, so not sure if I'm the best person to listen to.

It sounds like you're absolutely shattered and think you're doing really well.

BotBotticelli Sat 26-Oct-13 21:50:25

OP don't underestimate how much angry frustrated crying can occur when babies are building-up to beig able to crawl. My DS was an absolute horror show for about 4 weeks whilst learning how to crawl. I was at my wits end. Then he crawled and was much happier and settled for a while. Now he is desperate to walk and can't do it and we are getting back to the horror show again.

What I mean is, these shitty stages do pass.

Also agree: is he teething? Have you tried giving a dose of calpol or baby nurofen if he has been grizzly all morning for example? I too used to worry about giving medicine too often but in the end he ended up having nurofen at least once a day for about 2 weeks when he was really miserable at around. 8mo...turns out he was cutting his 4 top front teeth at once, so probably needed the drugs the poor little thing!

cantthinkofagoodone Sat 26-Oct-13 22:00:11

You'll get there. It just takes a while.

If you're going to be a sahm then consider nursery for a couple of mornings a week. It could help you both enjoy your time together.

I'd sack off the bedtime bath. A quick once over with a flannel and then pjs, milk book bed. If it gives you a bad back it isn't necessary everyday.

plummyjam Sat 26-Oct-13 22:02:30

Jumperoo? Absolute godsend for me, somewhere safe to plonk baby for 20 mins whilst you race around tidying up or have a cup of tea.

QTPie Sun 27-Oct-13 09:19:22

Hi

You say that you are "well off". Can you afford a nanny for a couple of mornings a week?

I had a nanny for two (4 hour mornings) a week: just to give me some "me time" and time to do things. I would go to the gym, then the supermarket and then run around doing errands. Wasn't relaxing, but it was very helpful and good for the soul. Nanny was also available for babysitting (so could spend the occasional date night with DH - also very healthy).

You could consider a nanny/housekeeper a couple of times a week who can help with a bit of tidying, meal prep or something too (my nanny used to do the ironing whilst DS napped).

I would also say "don't be scared of what DS will/might do (ie if you go into a cafe to grab a coffee); you need to live your life and not be scared - yes there may be consequences, but you can deal with them. It will be ok.

London444 Sun 27-Oct-13 10:55:06

Thanks everyone, really appreciate your input!
Teething is a real bitch, isn't it? Last night ds woke up at 12, dh and I have decided that I am not going to feed him at that time given that he can't be hungry (7mo, ate well at 9pm, usually could sleep 8-9 hours without a sound), so dh walked him up and down, cuddled him, and listened to him crying/screaming for a good half hour. As soon as I put some teething gel in his mouth he went limp and asleep. Whether it was a coincidence or not I don't know, but...
Yes, so far I have been refraining from giving medication because I thought it would be more harm than good, but I need to start using it, after all he will not become addicted to a bit of Calpol or teething gel, will he?

I have also used some of my weekend while dh and ds are out to cook a big batch of food for him. Put it in the freezer, planned some easy meals for me and dh that ds can also have, so food wise it should be easier this week.

The crying I will have to get used to. The problem is that a couple of months ago ds cried only when he was uncomfortable about something. He has now found out that if he cries/screams/screeches really loudly mummy runs to him and entertains him, so he is becoming a bit naughty really. Does it get worse? I think I already know the answer.

The cat hates the screaming too. I love her to bits, I would never be able to decide to part from her, she is a member of the family. But I am aware that she passed from a blissful existence where it was me and her most of the times (I work/ed from home some days of the week, and during the first/last weeks of my pregnancy I was in bed with her ALL the time) to one in which the only good thing about living in the family is that she gets food. These should have been her retirement years!

Dh and I have put a bedtime routine on paper, and he will do most of it apart from the breastfeeding, so that should also help, we now know what happens from 7 to 9pm rather than taking it as it goes. I have also managed to get ds back to sleep after a sleep cycle during the afternoon, I read that that should help with the night sleep as well, or at least it should help with him being tired. The past week has been pretty horrible really. He wakes and is already tired but gets into full activity as soon as he opens his eyes, then he is cranky until the next nap that does not last long enough to make him rested and so on and on and on.

The jumperoo and the high chair are helping quite a bit actually. He likes being in both, so that buys me a couple of half an hours to run around the house and fold laundry etc, but by Friday I am simply shattered.

And yes, I will 'have to' look into having some help a couple of mornings a week. I have not done it so far as I can imagine how time consuming the search will be and it would be another thing I have to deal with alone. So it sounded like the effort was more than the benefit, but I am starting to realise that I need a break.

Sorry for the 'well off', I was writing in a rush and did not want to sound smug, I meant to say that luckily I do not have financial problems, so knowing what the reality is for many other families I should feel lucky and enjoy this time, rather than being so low!

Also, apologies to those who have a toddler AND a newborn. I can only imagine what double the dose means. I was hoping there could be another baby on the not-too-far horizon but some days I just wonder whether I am completely crazy. So if all of the above sounds like a walk in the park compared to what you are going through, I apologise!

If you see a disheveled woman trying to get a cup of coffee while not waking her baby, and crying happy tears if she makes it, it will probably be me...

TarkaTheOtter Sun 27-Oct-13 11:10:44

Probably not popular on here but when I was in a similar state we did some sleep training at bedtime (controlled crying). I still fed her if she woke in the night but didn't feed to sleep at bedtime. I did read the "no cry" books but found the (harsher) millpond sleep book more effective. Once we had our evenings back everything seemed easier. Bedtime routine was dinner, play, bath, milk, into sleeping bag, story, bed. As she got older we moved milk before bath. Then into cot awake.

Naps are another story. She catnapped until she started walking then suddenly decided on a 2-3hr lunchtime nap.

TarkaTheOtter Sun 27-Oct-13 11:15:02

Although if it's teething an calpol works I'd go with that!

AmandaCooper Sun 27-Oct-13 11:22:42

I felt just like this. I went back to work to get a break - and with the money I pay for a nanny. I couldn't do what you're doing OP. If you are well off, why not look for a part time nanny. Lots of people are looking for wrap around care for school age children and would nanny share with you.

HeroineChick Sun 27-Oct-13 15:07:46

Just wanted to add my support, and as tough as it is, This Too Shall Pass.

Hang in there. You will get through this.

speaking as one with a toddler and a newborn you situation still sounds hard. my firstborn always slept well - else we would have had another so soon!

in any event just because someone also has a hard time it doesn't make yours less hard.

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