12 hour day with 3 week old

(24 Posts)
mustardtomango Wed 06-Nov-13 18:25:19

Dh is back at work doing newly promoted job, and today it'll be 12 hours before he's home.
Baby is fine but everything else is, frankly, falling to rat sh*t. Our cat's been attacked outside and now gone missing, fireworks are taking place literally next door, I ate rubbish for lunch as he's been almost constantly feeding /sleeping on me (non negotiable right now it seems), have drunk way less water than I should because it's always on the wrong side of me /I can't open the bottle one handed, haven't managed to shower etc etc.
Dh due home at about 7,how do I not pick at him for my discontent?

ZuleikaD Wed 06-Nov-13 18:37:38

Shower before he leaves. Drink tap water so you can do it one-handed. Get DH to make you a sandwich before he leaves in the morning.

The early weeks can be rough, but get yourself set up at the beginning of the day and you and your LO will be happy on the sofa with a boxset.

MrsHY1 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:41:49

Hello mustardtomango, I didn't want to read and run. I'm due 4th Dec so no baby yet, but my DH leaves for work on a normal day around 7.30am and generally doesn't get home until 8/8.30pm so I'm guessing I'll be in a similar boat come late Dec/ Jan!
Sorry to hear about your cat - I'm also a cat owner. She/he is probably staying away because of the fireworks I'm guessing? She/ he'll be back when they go quiet I'm sure. I wouldn't worry about the eating rubbish for lunch thing. Could you get your DH to do you a bit of a packed lunch when he gets home for tomorrow? Ditto get a large jug of water put somewhere you can get to it? Sorry - I know bog all about this stuff and it probably isn't answers you want, just a rant! I don't know the answer to your last question as my DH would probably get it in the neck even if it wasn't his fault. I guess smile sweetly, ask how his day was and wait for him to spring into action by helping you out? xx

tattychicken Wed 06-Nov-13 18:42:33

I would feed and change baby, make sure they are warm and comfortable, and then put them in their cot/basket and leave them. Time yourself. In 10 mins you can have a shower, get dressed, drink 2 pints of water and make a sandwich to take back and eat with the baby. They will prob cry for a bit, but you will feel much much better, and I truly believe its better for the baby to yell for a few minutes rather than have their Mum go under. You are doing a great job. smile

mustardtomango Wed 06-Nov-13 18:57:32

Thanks for the replies... Have retreated to bed with chocolate, water, lip balm and Masterchef. Somehow even just sitting somewhere different seems to help. Positive decisions and all that.

Peppa33 Wed 06-Nov-13 19:10:38

I have a two week old and after some nappy changes he likes to stare at a white candle standing in front of black fireplace....at which point I race to the loo, refresh the water, make a cuppa, or a sandwich, etc. i normally get five minutes cry free, and another five of escalating alarm.

This is dc2 and over time I have mastered the art of some household jobs one handed with a baby in the other. I can fill and empty dishwasher and washing machine, and - ta-da! - make a cappucino on fancy machine. Everything takes an age to do but I figure I am time rich right now.

On the other hand, re discontent, you have a right to be right now, it is a huge life change. It truly doesnt stay like this forever (not that i ever believed anyone who said that to me)
You might find Naomi Stadlen, What Mothers Do All Day a good read right now. It saved my sanity...

mustardtomango Wed 06-Nov-13 19:36:14

The one armed thing is truly an art... Especially when they wriggle so much. I think he's a fish in disguise smile

I think maybe I lack confidence in leaving him (still so new and small), but so far my mini tests have gone ok. Maybe should try more

Dh just returned to head straight out and get me wholesome food for dinner - thanks everyone for diffusing me enough that I smiled instead of ranted on his return xx

mustardtomango Wed 06-Nov-13 19:48:19

Ps peppa, great looking book, thank you

ababycalledbrian Wed 06-Nov-13 21:08:50

Sorry, not much time to write but do you have a baby sling - maybe a moby or similar? My baby hated it but many love them and means you can achieve things like basic nutrition for yourself while s/he snoozes on your front. On the water, sports caps are your friend. Good luck - it is tough to start with but don't be shy of asking friends or family for help and food! X

Thurlow Wed 06-Nov-13 21:15:40

You get used to it, really you do, but it takes a week or two of everything going wrong before you work out your routine!

The moment he seems happy in a baby bouncer, take it into the bathroom and have a shower! At one point I ended up wheeling the pram into the bathroom blush

Try and make some food the night before and get that ready so you can grab it when you can.

Put glasses of water everywhere around the house so you're hopefully near one.

Most of all, as you've said it's important that you don't take your frustration out too much on your DH. Remember he's not really seeing the baby, that's it's own hardship. But if he's had an hour lunchbreak, you deserve an hour in the evening doing nothing as pay off too!

But I promise you, in even just a few weeks your baby will probably start being happier for 5 minutes in the bouncer or on a mat and you can start to get things done. It's amazing what you can achieve in 5 minutes when you put your mind to it.

upanddown83 Wed 06-Nov-13 21:32:55

My ds is 5months now but I remember when he was tiny bringing his swing/bouncy chair or Moses basket into the kitchen with me when I did the dishes and his bottles.
I did the same for when I was having a shower ds was in his bouncy chair at the bathroom door as I was never comfortable leaving him for any length of time on his own!
It took a few weeks for us to get that sort of routine I found he was happiest when he 1st woke in the morning after his 1st feed so that would be my window to shower etc.
No housework was done until dp was home and then either of us would be able to settle ds the other doing anything else that needed done needed being the word!
Let things slide for a bit and just enjoy being with your baby and feeding yourself that should be your main priorities each day and anything else is a bonus.
As I said earlier ds is 5 months now and I still live like this if we're having a good day we're both dressed bottles and dishes are done and possibly some washing on a bad/unsettled day the bottles are done and ds and I are still in pjs and tv has been my best friend.

TarkaTheOtter Wed 06-Nov-13 21:38:53

Agree that it helps to find some way to be hands free - swing/bouncy chair/sling - whatever works for your baby.
Also agree that baby will survive if you put them down long enough to have a cup of tea/make a sandwich etc. second children just have to get used to it and don't seem majorly disadvantaged.

SmallBee Wed 06-Nov-13 22:21:14

Hi OP! I'm trying to get my own 3 week old to burp on my chest as I write this so sorry for any mistakes.
The three tips I've found useful are,

Have a bottle of water with a sports cap.

10 minutes of a crying baby in a cot isn't neglect, you can get loads done or just sit quietly without someone on you & I've found sometimes after 5-10 minutes she actually settles.

Get loads of box sets. Currently I'm on Greys Anatomy but I'm looking out for other long running shows as well. I'm thinking 24 next!

Can't help too much on the food front as I'm having the same issue with junk, I'm just trying to find a variety of foods you can eat 1 handed!

BeCoolFucker Wed 06-Nov-13 23:47:46

I also used to put dd in car seat on floor in bathroom and she would watch me shower quite happily.

Sling sling sling for those babies who like to stay close. I also had a carrycot on buggy and both dds would sleep for ages while I got a good walk.

I recall living on Dorset muesli for a couple of weeks with dd1 and nine bars with dd2. One handed food is great.

This too shall pass smile

mustardtomango Thu 07-Nov-13 01:33:37

Glasses of water everywhere... Like it. Interesting what you say about just leaving for 10 mins or so and crying not actually mattering for that little bit of time - in the car, on the two outings we've done alone together, he's cried on the way home and run out of steam pretty quick each time.

I think maybe what compounds it is that when Dh is home I think he feels I sometimes 'pick' at him over the care of lo, so that time can be stressful too (Dh is wonderful, think this is just new baby stress). I honestly don't think I do pick, but if something seems dangerous I'm obviously going to point it out - as I'd expect him to do the same for me. Example being: woke this eve to find lo face down in a (non cellular) cloth on sleeping Dh's chest. Thought I was exceptionally restrained to not lose it straight away. Result though is a kind of unspoken simmer about who knows best

Anyone else in the same boat?

I think its normal to have a bit of bickering at this stage- lack of sleep will do that! I got my DP to make me snack boxes (carrot sticks, oatcakes pre-spread with cream cheese etc) and leave them in the fridge. That way I could just grab and bring back to sofa during day. Second leaving glasses of water everywhere and a big sports bottle next to main feeding station.
My DP does 12hr shifts and I do think he felt he was getting a baby shoved at him the second he came through the door. Fortunately (!) I looked so harassed, he understood!
My dd is now 14weeks and is sleeping and eating better. Im more rested and we're talking about how we care for her rather than each doing our own thing as the other one is sleeping.
Sounds like you're doing great x

WifeofGru Thu 07-Nov-13 03:32:28

I used to always grab a large glass of fruit juice, a packet of oatcakes and tub of houmus before sitting down to feed. It takes an extra minute or two but is worth it when you get the intense thirst at let down and an easy, healthy snack.

Peppa33 Thu 07-Nov-13 09:18:09

Glad you like the look of the book.

Dh and I bickered loads, we had never really had to work as a team before and I felt suddenly dependent on him which i resented. And he took longer to realise how much our life had changed.
Nearly three years on and we are much stronger for it. I found i had to do nearly everything for the first six months because I ebf. But after that things shifted and going back to work helped with this. He does just as much for dc1 as i do now. He even took her to nursery the other day still with ten hairclips in his hair that she insisted on! Nursery workers thought it hilarious smile

ShoeWhore Thu 07-Nov-13 09:23:54

YY to sports bottles of water and a sling.

I found I felt much better if I managed to squeeze in a shower before dh left for work.

Does your dh get back in time to do the baby's bath? I found it really helped making this dh's thing that he did. I kept out of the way and it was nice for him to have something where he got to decide how to do it and was the expert.

Thurlow Thu 07-Nov-13 10:06:32

The bickering is completely normal, I imagine it happens with every couple and especially when one goes back to work. It's also very normal to want to correct things he is doing. I was a nightmare for this.

Just remember to be nice when you can, and if either of you have been particularly snappy, take a second to apologise when you can. You're both exhausted, stressed, scared, overwhelmed - just be honest and say that's why you are snapping, not because you actually have an issue with your partner.

And YY to trying to remove yourself from when your DH is doing something with the baby, there's nothing worse than hovering, for either of you.

mummyxtwo Thu 07-Nov-13 10:26:55

Hi mustard! At 3wo your lo is still tiny and totally helpless and dependent on you - things start to get easier fairly quickly. In another 3w time your ds will feel sturdier and less 'breakable' and he'll be easier to pop in a little bouncy chair or on a playmat so that you can actually manage to do a few things like get dressed, make some food, have a wash. He'll also be starting to smile at you, so you feel like you're getting some love back! The sleep will improve too. How things are now is NOT how life is going to be with a baby! In a couple of months times things will be vastly easier. The early weeks are exhausting and yes, you feel like you've achieved nothing all day apart from allow the house to become even more of a state and the laundry pile to breed and multiply. But, what you have achieved is looking after a tiny helpless little person, keeping him fed, clean, cared for and loved. Don't forget what an achievement that is! Once you feel up to it, or even before then when it still seems hugely daunting, try to take him out during the day, just the two of you. Get yourself one of those pretty breast feeding covers (not pricey on eBay) so that you don't have to worry about flashing all and sundry, and take your little man to Starbucks for coffee and a cookie or some lunch. Push him round the shops or the park in his buggy, or go and feed the ducks. You have to remember to take the kitchen sink with you - nappies, wipes, spare clothes for poop emergencies, changing mat if you have a travel one as lots of baby changers are hard surfaces, plastic bag for poopy nappies in case no nappy bin - but actually getting out and about is hugely satisfying and builds up your confidence no end, if just for the fact that you managed to get yourself dressed! Local mums and baby groups are also excellent. All the best - and keep reminding yourself that this is the tough bit, it will get easier, and it just doesn't matter right now if hubby has no clean underpants (he can wash them himself!), the house looks like a drunken elephant has charged through it, scattering muslins and packs of wipes everywhere, and you're still in your dressing gown at 2pm. We've all been there, survived, and come out the other end! with only a small gleam of insanity in our eyes thanks

BeCoolFucker Thu 07-Nov-13 10:40:47

I used to make massive flasks of herbal tea and keep them by my side - I drunk lots of it so at least stayed well hydrated.

I also brought an additional water filter jug and kept it next to the sofa.

ZuleikaD Thu 07-Nov-13 12:25:22

Actually, 10-15 minutes of crying is a lifetime to a 3 week old baby. Going quiet doesn't necessarily mean they've settled, it means they're exhausted.

mustardtomango Fri 08-Nov-13 09:52:31

Thank you for all the comments... It has made me feel better. It's funny how just one thing can push you to think things are less manageable, getting a bit of perspective (and help!) makes a difference. My mum came up all day yesterday and that was great, and overnight I was more consistent with putting him in the bedside crib, so at least now I know my shoulder ache really is mine (rather than from holding him all night)

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