Does it get better??!(26 Posts)
My dd is 8 weeks old and I'm mentally and physically exhausted.
I'm anxious about everything, am I doing things right, could I be doing things better, will dd get settled...........will she ever go to sleep on her own in her own cot, will she ever sleep more than a few hours, what can I do to get her to sleep on her own longer, will her colic get better, will I ever get a shower without her crying, should I carry on with on demand feeding or is routine better-if so how do I establish a routine, will things improve ready for my return to work, I miss sleeping next to dp........so many things going through my head.
Does it honestly improve???!!!
Good call op - asking for help definitely does not mean you've failed; quite the opposite. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength. Good luck with your continuing journey as a mum!
Is this your first?
I remember a midwife saying to me that the first 6 months of your first baby's life is the hardest thing you will ever do, and she was right. I found it so incredibly difficult. You are absolutely not alone. I was anxious about everything and thought I was doing everything wrong.
It DOES get better - it really does. I found I made it through my focusing on milestones. For example, I found 12 weeks a milestone - it got a little bit better. Then 6 months. Then 12 months. Each day for me was a bit of a survival mission. I also went back to work full-time when my first was 14 weeks old and to be honest, I think that saved me because I got a break from it all.
For me, the real turning point was around 18 months old, where it started getting exponentially easier. Then 2 years and then 3 years. I remember some people would say to me "it doesn't get easier, it just gets different". That is bullshit. It does get easier. It's not "easy" dealing with a 3 year old, but it sure as shit is easier than dealing with your first baby who won't sleep and won't feed and you have no idea what you are doing.
I now have a second who is 8 months old and I have found her first months of life a breeze compared to my first. I know what I am doing, I stress less. Again, I still struggle with looking after a baby because I find the lack of control difficult, but it's way easier than the first. And my three year old is so much easier.
My advice - ask for help and don't feel like everyone else finds it easy. They don't. I was literally brought to my knees on several occasions with my first baby (and my second!). Just try and focus on a small light at the end of the tunnel and you will make it through.
It's such a relief that it isn't just me who is experiencing this craziness and that it's not down to something I'm doing wrong.
Being a mother is undoubtedly the most difficult thing I've ever done. I have a great admiration for all mums out there!
I'm going to start asking for more help and that by doing so it does not mean I'm a failure as a mum.
Thank you to everyone!
Yes my lovely, it definitely does get better
until the teenage years in the meantime, don't be afraid to ask for or accept offers of help.
Yes - it honestly, honestly does
They get bigger and they smile at you and they are naughty and exasperating and funny. Mine made a lasagne this week but answers back all the time.
Yes, yes yes. It seems interminable at the time! 8 weeks was probably the WORST time ever - a succession of burnt dinners and screaming. I honestly had thoughts of throwing her out of the window. Not serious ones, of course, but anything to make the noise stop. 2 months later, she was sleeping through the night - well til about 5/6am.
YES it honestly does get better. LOADS LOADS better. To be truthful I have felt exactly like this both times with our babies. Didn't enjoy it at all. It didn't help that they were both extremely cranky and restless babies. It knocked my confidence straight away. I remember sobbing through exhaustion and just wondering why the hell we ever wanted a baby
both times . It is hard work, especially if your baby has colic.
Yes your baby WILL sleep longer one day, YES she absolutely will settle and stop crying every time you have a shower! Even though it seems to last forever. For me the first year is just such hard work but also monotonous and drudgery. I was also riddled with anxiety. I worried they'd never settle, never sleep, worried I was doing it wrong, worried it was my fault they cried, worried they wouldn't develop properly. You name it, I worried about it!
It will get better. If you have a decent health visitor, have a chat with her about how you're feeling, or go and see your GP. Main thing is not to put a front on like everything's fine when inside you're crumbling. I am speaking from bitter experience here! first time round, I kept smiling and made everyone believe I was fine and loving motherhood when in fact I wanted to cry every day and DS1 cried relentlessly as a baby. I became depressed and practically a hermit! Second time round I was far more honest, told my friends how hard DS1 had been and how hard I was finding it with 2. I got a lot more support and I think that saved me.
Try to get out as much as possible. Even if the baby screams or you think you look shocking, fresh air and a change of scenery is good for you and your baby.
Agree with above comment, don't set a date of 12 weeks or 6 months etc when it'll magically get better and suddenly you'll love it and your baby will sleep through etc. For me it was a gradual thing. Basically them just growing up!
Anyway, just to give you some perspective, my DS's are now 6 and 2 years old, they are walking, talking, funny, clever, interesting little people who make me laugh and fill the house with love and fill my heart with pride every day. I am still not a huge fan of babies, but children are amazing! Hang in there xxx
Getting out every day is a must. Cosleeping has really helped with dd who is a terrible sleeper.
I think it is accepting loosing a certain amount of control also like violater said about not setting targets, also comparing.
I'm sat feeding again with a very colicky baby and dreading the night shift but I'm going to listen to some relaxation podcasts to help pass the tough night hours.
What does/did everyone use as coping strategies??
Yes. Try to let go of the pressure to "do it right." The first few months are purely about survival. Just do whatever works and don't worry about routines or bad habits. Things will get less chaotic.
Yes it gets better. The only advice I'd give is not to set a time limit on when it gets better.
I was told 6 weeks. Nope. 12 weeks. Nope.
Everyone is different and every baby is different.
You will wake up one day and not feel quite as exhausted and overwhelmed. It might be next month, it might be next year! But you will, I promise.
I'm in the USA so not the middle of the night for me but glad to have helped keep you company a little
Thanks for this thread which has really cheered me up at 4am as I feed my 5 week old! I've been quite stressed as mine seems to suffer from lots of crying - maybe reflux/wind/colic but I keep telling myself it will get better!
I also feel reassured that I'm not the only one awake at 2am!! Lol
Yes! The beginning is so so hard and exhausting. Dd is 3 now and infinitely easier than her 8 week self!
The first 6-8 weeks are definitely the hardest. The quote "the days are long but the months are short" (possible misquote!) really summed it up for me. Now I have a 21 month old and I'm 12 weeks pregnant with dc2 so I will be doing it all again in July!
Thank you thank you for your replies!
It's reassuring to hear your experiences and that it does get easier!
Life with a baby is crazy and so so tough and it's easy to lose a sense if reality.
Ive just subscribed to a relaxation podcast and will try to relax, accept and go with the flow!
I have to say I didn't enjoy the first 8 weeks, but the 9th week, suddenly it felt a bit easier, a bit less stressful, and at 5 months, it is still stressful sometimes, but so joyous! Hang in there, it will get better I absolutely promise )
Oh yes it all gets easier - in stages - easier when they go longer between feeds, then easier when they can sit up in their own, easier - much easier- once on solids and the while stressful feed on demand vs routine worry vanishes because they have 3 meals a day like a normal person!
Re feeding on demand or trying for routine - one thing that helped me is to try and remember that this worry - which also used to make me anxious - is such a tiny tiny part of your and the babie life. In 5 months they will be eating food and you will have found a rhythm to your day ....
Personally the middle ground if vague schedule but feed if seems distressed worked best!
Have you got any relaxation tapes or meditation you could do?
Just remember its really doesn't last long until they are see babies then children and you won't even remember any of this ...
You sound just like me. I worried about EVERYTHING. If I couldn't think of anything to worry about, I'd worry that I must be missing something.
For me, a lot of it is around control. I put a great deal of importance on what I did as a mum - I was desperate to make sure I was always doing The Right Thing with my baby. Things felt a lot easier once I acknowledged that a) you can't control everything, quite often babies just please themselves and b) whatever phase you're going through eg refusing to sleep by themselves, is just a phase and regardless of what you do, it will probably change soon enough anyway.
Does any of that sound at all familiar/helpful?
This morning I woke up at my leisure at 8 am after a full nights sleep. Came down to 3 kids pottering around on computer, dsi etc, and I sent them off to get dressed (themselves) so we could go to see Granny.
Children are a world apart from babies, really they are great fun once you get past the sheer relentlessness of those first few weeks.
That first night when you wake up and realise you have actually had 6 hours sleep in a row...
Yes yes yes. There is nothing harder than caring for a newborn. My eldest is nearly six and I can honestly say each stage is easier than the last. Be kind to yourself and don't worry about being perfect.
Neetalu it better! My DS is 5 weeks & I'm in a similar place. Maybe not quite so frazzled (but check back in 3 weeks!) I was just reading about when is best to establish a routine!
Let's cross our fingers & hope it gets easier!
Congrats on your baba though.
Yes they do. They get much better. This is very very early days. I think that anyone who is very worried about whether they are doing a good job are most likely doing a very good job indeed.
It's tiring, it's new, it's life changing.
You will adjust and start to really enjoy motherhood especially when they start doing amazing things!!
When my DS was tiny i used to put him in his bouncer in the bathroom with me whilst I showered so he could still see me.
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