Has parenting affected your mental health?(1000 Posts)
There seems to be a lot of links about Mental Health affecting your ability to parent but nothing about parenting affecting your mental health(beyond post natal depression).
Yet although there have been times in my life when I've felt low, anxious, possibly more than that, I've never felt as anxious, stressed, neurotic, controlling, irritable, occasionally close to the edge as I have had since having children. I have no desire to have a relationship or go out (beyond doing stuff with the children as they are always much easier when out).
I do work part-time and that provides some relief but I wish weekends were something to look forward to like they used to be pre-children. Now they are the most tiring shifts of the week.
Having one was fine and didn't change me or my life that much (and I had a high needs baby) but having two for me is a whole another level.
I am tired very tired. I've not had an uninterupted night's sleep for about 5 years so I think that might be a major contributor but I find the fighting between siblings, the noise, the whining, the whinging- the demands of "mummy" shrieked in stereo are occasionally just too much to bear. I sobbed in front of them this morning because I just wanted them to leave each other alone. I sometimes fear picking up by daughter from school as I just don't the energy to cope with the afterschool grumpiness/meltdown/rudeness.
I know parenting isn't easy and I'm full of admiration for those who have more than two, do it alone or unsupported or have children with complex needs.
I do hear stories of women locking themselves in the bathroom to escape their kids and I know a lot of women got by on valium in the 70s and laudenum in the 1870s(or earlier) so I know it's not uncommon.
But I'm wondering why there isn't more written about this? Is the stress etc actually doing damage to my physical health? Is it normal? Does anyone else think they are going mad?
Thankfully, they are out with DP this afternoon as I've been on the go since 6.
I too have huge expectations for a lovely house.
I am going to try and not get upset about it.
My dds are little still there is time for order later for now we should be decreasing the pressure on ourselves massively and concentrating on our children.
Today I simply took dd1 for a walk and she got her night garden comic and some chocolate buttons and was beaming as we carried them home.
So simple yet so sweet.
Half term madness.
And there's a thread on AIBU telling us to make most of it but all I have around me is crying, wailing, bickering....
I noticed that sauce.
So. I have an issue which is that if I am stressed about something else, I tend to tell my children off more forcefully than I would otherwise. (eg yelling way longer than necessary) it makes me feel shit but I don't know how to stop doing it.
What's up Saucey ?
We're going out in a mo -
Could you do that too ?
I actually love the school hols. I find the break from routine very refreshing and love not having to make sandwiches or get dressed at 7.
Pity about the weather tho.
Dd1 and I have made
flat macaroons and are now watching pitch perfect
Dd2 has been napping but is awake now and standing in front if the tv
I've just dropped eldest at a play date and driven long way home!!
Had such good intentions for a fun love filled day and then I'm telling off, shouting, huffing. It felt like I was trying to catch water. I can go from "this is fine, this is nice" to "oh my fucking god I can't cope any more" in about 20 minutes! It's like I lose all perspective. I dunno, I'm tired and got the guilts because I'm too tired to make the effort. Should've faked it till Made it...
Some days can just feel like death from a thousand cuts.
springymater I was going to ask you about your very interesting post in the night but it looks like you have regretted it so I won't.
Hope you are ok.
Hang in there sauce! I know what you mean about how suddenly it is all too much...
Sauce- same here exactly. I'm Disney mum with my walk and baking with dds.
We watched our movie. Then it all kicked off.
Dd2 inexplicably poured water over the sofa and floor.
I'm shouting and trying to clear it up dd1 decides she's off to her room with normal paints to paint her face. I say no and she's straight off crying "I'm so bored I've been in all day" I spent all day doing stuff with her and also helping her contact friend to come over.
So I'm off on a rant then. Just can't help it
I've been reading about adrenal glands & adrenal fatigue - seems inevitable for mothers/non-sexist fathers of young children. Symptoms include being too quick to anger - because there's not enough cortisol so adrenaline kicks straight in. Or something. 3G rubbish round here today, I'm following my scooting 4yo around the streets whole baby naps in sling as it's far less work hearing whining outside than in (tbf I've whined at him too).
While baby. And whole baby, I suppose.
That's interesting Mavis. Ill look it up.
Are you walking in the rain?
No, but through puddles. We crossed one road 8 times to make the most of a big one (Disney mum) but had spent the first ten mins howling (him, wanted to be in house watching telly) & snapping (me, fishwifely, 'We're not going home until I've had some fun.')
That everything turning to ashes thing from upthread again - I tried to explain to ds that I needed not just to be out, but to not be whined at, to have a nice time for a bit. Can't say it worked but he did cheer up eventually, as did I.
Just said to dh (who must have regretted phoning home) it must be far easier to parent when it's not constantly raining.
Dd2 is feral and needs to be outside at all times.
I'm thinking the weekend at a festival will be successfully.
<checks macs and umbrellas again>
Tewi, I'm sure everyone is either more quick to anger or less restrained in the way they show their anger when under stress.
I suppose. But it's just normal everyday stress most of the time. Like today someone was visiting briefly, and I wanted the house to be fairly tidy Before they arrived. 1yo kept throwing things around (normal behaviour) then 4yo kept getting in the way and crowding around me while I tried to clear up after him - she ended up hitting me on the head. It was an accident, but I lost it.
Things like this happen every few days, and I know it's not fair on the kids that my temper is so short.
Dont forget that ups and downs and grumpiness are a normal part of life .
Some tips from an old hand
Dont take their howling/ grouchiness personally- its not a reflection on you its part of their developmental process .
Once you stop taking it personally you can detach a bit . They will still howl/cry but it wont get to you in the same way.I would sing "bring me sunshine" in my head
Whining- OMG whining makes me go from zero to explosion in 30 seconds .I cannot tolerate it and even now I go rigid and have to put my hand over my mouth if I hear a whiny child ,even if they are someone elses ! " I will listen when you stop whining/speak in a normal voice"
Repeat as required !
The adrenal thing up thread is very interesting . My GP diagnosed severe adrenal fatigue ,I was literally shaking with anxiety and stress. She advised reducing tea,coffee ,caffeine ( I lived on black coffee) regular meals ( I skipped meals to save time) and HAHAHA getting more sleep.
I took up running
The effects of exercise were amazing and it also gave me thinking time .
That is what I was craving and missing - time to just be and think before the next demand, meal,problem to be solved.
This thread makes me feel normal! Thanks all for the stories. As for me, am complete non-coping loon.
Thanks so much OP for starting such a brilliant thread. I have taken much comfort from the fact that I'm not the only one feeling inadequate. Neither dh nor I wanted kids at all but he changed his mind after 6 years of marriage. There followed 6 years of failed fertility treatments eventually ending with a beautiful ds born just after my 40th. The first year was really hard emotionally. I have since got used to the cocktail of anxiety and guilt that seems to define motherhood for many of us. In the early days I craved time away from ds but often felt bad when I got it. I too worried/worry about my own mortality (feel guilty in advance for possible long term damage done to ds - WTF?)
I hated the sight of myself in the mirror (old, haggard, tired) and doubted my lovability as a mother partly cos of how I looked (again WTF) on top of my more obvious failings.
I chose an elective cs cos I was absolutely terrified of giving birth and I never even considered bf to be honest.
On the upside ds is happy & healthy and seems to be very fond of me despite everything My dh is very happy with his son and we are fortunate enough to be in a position to have plenty of babysitting. Still the anxiety & feelings of inadequacy. DH does not recognise those feelings so maybe its a mothering issue.
My own mother seems amazed that we like her at all even though we think she's brilliant whilst acknowledging she's not perfect. She is still parenting & supporting us at 80!
I'm trying not to give myself too hard a time and am trying to accept that I'll be a "good enough" mother, it's the best/all I can do.
I have only read the first three pages but this has all made me feel quite tearful. So much resonates here with my own experiences and feelings, so articulately expressed.
I have had depressive episodes and unstable moods all my adult life and in some ways parenthood has helped as I am forced to 'cope' for the sake of my family. I don't know what the mental health/emotional cost to me will be it the long term of that. Ironically it was a work issue that finally triggered a near breakdown last year and drove me to my GP and then some CBT. It was helpful but inadequate in that it can't address the anger and the feelings around your whole sense of self being destroyed in those years with young children.
I have name changed for this post partly to protect my privacy but also for a more appropriate name because what I have realised slowly and painfully over the past two years is that although I was not cut out to be a great mother to small children I am a good mother to teenagers. And somehow all my screw-ups when they were small have not affected them too much I hope in that they both seem pretty well balanced and sane. I went to some dark places in those first 7 years but good old Julian of Norwich is right and it all does pass although I would have become hysterical with anyone who had told me that at the time. Now they are in their mid teens and we are four sensible and intelligent people living together and I am still their parent, but the things I am good at (reasoned argument, liking music and reading, talking about current affairs, going to the theatre) and that make me 'me' are valuable and of benefit to them in a way they are not to a five year old.
I am overwhelmed with regret for some of my choices and actions when they were young. I wish I had had the courage of my convictions and been the best kind of parent I could be instead of a second rate 'normal' parent. I wish I had done what I wanted instead of what society thought I should do. I suppose I will get over that eventually. Seeing so many of us here writing the same things, I would like to believe that it's our social constructs around motherhood that are 'wrong', not us.
Going to read the rest of the thread later but wanted to post as I am not brave about sharing this stuff and if I reflect on it to much I will lose my nerve.
You're all awesome
mavis I've seen the odd article about adrenal fatigue and it sums me up perfectly.
Has anyone read Valley of the Dolls? IIRC there was a character who went to some bonkers clinic to be drugged up with sleeping pills to recover from something or other. Someone needs to bring it back.
Don't read the 'is shouting at your kids abuse?' thread either, although it was this morning so may have 'finished' already. I read 'how to talk..' and realised it was what I'd been trying to do anyway, to no avail. So I shout.
ontheotherside that's very reassuring and well put, that the "real" you, the cultured you, is a good parent. Thank you. Can you elaborate on what you could have done better when they were little?
I was thinking about this thread on the bus this morning.
curry, have you heard of gaslighting? It sounds like your DH might be doing it to you. Ahah! I've found where I first read about it: gaslighting
The basic idea is that someone constantly minimises your experience by turning it into him(usually)self and how your overreaction is hurting him. Things like "I can't talk to you while you're like this" or "You're too sensitive", etc.
I've noticed DH does it to me to some extent, and now that I know about it I've been trying to call him on it. I don't use the term 'gaslighting' because I feel it might be too combative (as I think he's read the same article I have), but I point out when he says something by telling him things like, "When you say X, it invalidates my experience. I need you to understand that my experiences are valid." Or "You might think you're making a joke when you say Y, but it has the effect of minimising my feelings. I need you to recognise that I am having these feelings, even if you don't understand why." He is slowly starting to understand.
I feel it most keenly at imbalances in whose 'fault' it is. I constantly find that things are my 'fault', but then when the tables are turned, they're still my 'fault'. For example, if I misunderstand something DH says, it's my fault for not understanding -- I should have known what he meant. But if he misunderstands what I say, then it's my fault again -- I should have explained better. I try to point out the unfairness of this, but I'm afraid I tend to do it at a heated moment and it doesn't work so well. I have found using the terms 'minimising' and 'invalidating' work better, perhaps because DH has read the articles and so recognises them, but since I'm not accusing him of anything it doesn't put him on the defensive.
I've been having a real hard time this week. We had to put my cat of 17 years to sleep on monday, and it seems to have tipped me over the edge. The cat was ill, and has in fact lived about 3 years longer than we expected, so it shouldn't be impacting me so much. But it seems like it might have just been one thing too much. I've gone through the work week in a daze, barely accomplishing anything (taking extra long lunch breaks reading MN...), and just kind of feel a bit removed from everything. I feel like I just want everything to stop so I can get a little rest. And I was short with DD on monday after we burred the cat (she woke up after I'd put her down and I snapped at her), and since then she's been extra clingy and completely will not sleep unless I'm near her (we have a side-car cot, so that works fine, but I used to be able to put her down and have an evening bath, chat with DH, etc.)
Yesterday morning I flipped out at breakfast when DD had finished eating but I had not, and she was tossing her plate off the high chair and I just kept moaning, "I know you're done, but I'm not, and I want to EAT". DH came to rescue and cleaned up the baby, which I really appreciated. I'm just trying to push through to the weekend... when I have to clean the house that is getting close to unsanitary. Gah! Well, I'll probably end up doing the minimum for health.
And ledkr, I completely agree with difficulty making time for people! I feel bad because I have few friends and I'd really like to make more, but I just don't have the time or energy to do all the 'friend courting' business. I really knocked myself out in DD's first 6 months, because I desperately wanted to make friends and knew that a new baby was an ideal time. I went to the local baby group and to the NHS's breastfeeding group, and made a real effort to meet people. Then we moved before I really got a chance to know anyone deeply -- not far, but enough that those groups are no longer practical and in the opposite direction from work. So all that effort wasted and I'm really not up to doing it again yet.
So after my brief positivity my day has been a fucking nightmare and I feel practically ill with stress.
I'm not pmt I'm not tired I'm just completely fed up with my chikdren.
Dd1 has been bored but I've tried really hard to entertain her but she's gone from one thing to another making a mess and I've said some awful things to her and we've both cried.
Dd2 has ripped off a drawer front hanging off it and then got hold of some of dd1 make up and got nail varnish everywhere.
As I'm clearing it up I'm going between screaming and crying and literally considering my options.
Shall I leave? Shall I take dd1 cos we were ok before the baby came.
I feel all uptight and foggy headed and totally overwhelmed.
When will it ever end? I'm already payi g for two days nursery I can't afford anymore but I just can't deal with this child who is like a human demolition machine.
I had 3 boys fgs but my dds are breaking me down.
I'm sorry for rant but I've got nobody to speak to.
I text dh at work to say if he doesn't fit a stair gate my Monday I'm leaving him and I meant it.
Quick stomp round the garden to catch your breath while they watch telly??? Say nothing to dh, sleep on it and tell him you NEED an early night?
Ledkr- i take great comfort in the saying " you are not your feelings" of that helps? You understandably feel overwhelmed.. Ok, don't beat yourself up for it, this is how you feel now.. But other feelings will come along soon enough especially if you've been able to rest/take a break...
It sometimes works anyway, other times i do just think, "fuck it, I've had enough"
There are so many amazing women on this thread. I don't have time to add much just now, just wanted to say hang in there and well done to all of us who have managed another day at the coalface. Weathers been nice here, that helps a bit.
Ontheotherside - another request for more detail please! You sound wise!
Thanks ladies. She's finally settled. I just left her to whinge I needed it. I'm needing to apologise to dd1 I'm so afraid ill mess her up with my rants and outbursts.
I'd rather be dead than be here I said.
Also told her to fuck off. I scare myself I really do.
Ontheotherside, me too am v reassured by what you've said. Always got on much better with teens than littlies yet beaten myself up SO much for my lack of patience or fun so dar with mine! Maybe there's hope then?!
Ledkr- not always been a saint myself- told dc they were both horrible today and dc1 said "what kind of mother are you to say that!" I was still FUMING but managed to correct myself to "you were behaving horribly and am sorry for what i said". Sigh. Had enough of 'em, esp dc1 right now...
Ontheotherside, thank you so much for your post. It really gives me hope: like you I can do rational argument, theatre trips, talking about books, and it's sod-all use at the moment with a 2-yr-old.
On the positive side DH has taken DS to visit MIL for a couple of days (I couldn't go as I have to work) so I'm on my own till Saturday morning and it is bliss. I really need time alone and almost never get it as I work in an open-plan office. It's a bit sad that I didn't realise till I was married with a child that actually I should have been a hermit.
Ontheotherside A wonderful post- thankyou
Ledkr Sorry you are feeling so low today.Wish I knew what to say. 2 year olds are hard(esp difficult ones).
I've had a better few days as I've been working the last couple of days so I feel quite rested!
I can cope much better when I only have them for half a day plus I've had a spare pair of hands around some of the time- the weekend looms ominously ahead though.
4yo DD is still going strong upstairs, she went to bed almost 2 hours ago. I am so sick of not having peace and quiet in the evenings.
Aw Raggedymum, you poor thing. You must feel so numb & not able to process your feelings over your cat. 17 is a good old age for a moggy & would of been a huge part of your life, who you are. You probably need some time to yourself to just feel sad about your pet dying, but unfortunately babies do not get that in the slightest. I was shocked when a little cat we had died years ago & my then 6 year old dd said "can we get a new one?" I was in bits and thought she would be sad. She then lost her Nintendo ds an was devastated as her Nintendo cats & dogs would need fed & only her voice could feed them! I thought what is wrong with my child??
Sorry for all the mums struggling with half term. Ours are in school & nursery just now, thank The Lord but only 4 weeks til Summer hols!!
This thread is fab. So reassuring to know your not alone.
I also so get the not having energy to make new friends yet find I get quite lonely so vicious cycle.
I feel like I just want to be holed up in my house. I used to be quite sociable but now it just doesn't seem worth it. Especially when you know your up so early with a full on day next day.
Ontheotherside, I salute you! Such wise words and so spot on.
In fact, I salute you all. Here's to a good day tomorrow.
And sorry about your cat, raggedy x
Sorry about your cat Raggedy.
And sorry about your hellacious day yesterday, Ledkr. Does your 2yo have a cot? Can she get out of it? When you are really losing it can you just corral her there for 5 minutes while you go to another room and scream? sorry if that is a stupid suggestion.
ontheotherside, thank you for such a positive post. I too would like to hear more from you about what you wish you had done differently. And I too hang onto Julian of Norwich! Some of the most compassionate writing ever. Right now under my pillow (no bedside table in the tiny bedroom in our temporary house) I have a card of piriton, a handkerchief, and a small Julian of Norwich reader.
Lovely to hear from you all. Have to go now but have a good day all, will be back later xxx
Thank you for those nice comments. Gosh, that was unexpected. I'm not sure I'm wise. I just just been there, that's all. Sorry I didn't reply last night - evenings not so good for me so I don't look at the internet before bed.
PeggyGuggenheim, MacMac123 and curryeater particularly asked for more details. I feel cautious about 'advice'. What was good or bad for me might not be right for everyone. I also remember all too well being enraged by 'advice' even when I had asked for it. I see now that I was so deep into my entrenched ways of thinking that I was enabling my own failure by refusing to listen but it's taken me ten years to to realise that <wry smile>
I'll try to overcome my reticence as when my children were small I did get very good and supportive input from women on another forum (now sadly imploded and defunct). I also worry about being patronising. Telling my stories in this context might make it sound as though I think i have the answers and I'm wary of that because I know I still have far to go on this journey.
When I ready NutsinMay's OP one of the things that struck me was that prior to having children I had never felt the need to conform socially. But once I had that baby home in my tiny one bed flat I did want or need to conform but I didn't know what it was I was meant to be. A quirk of demographics meant that I was very lonely in my experience - my friends weren't even married, let alone having babies. They had careers and we drifted apart. My new friends with babies were all older than me and had well established careers and a good deal more money. My parents had brought me up in a very traditional way (think Fifties, not Seventies!). I became very involved in previously mentioned online forum which had a feminist/gentle parenting slant and a local co-operative playgroup. I was casting around in this very conflicting range of 'sources' for a plan or a scheme, a way to live and bring up my children that would fit with who I was because I didn't know who I was any more.
My poor children - we swung around from one methodology to another. All my working life has been about organising, categorising, codifying, scheduling. I think I felt adrift and wanted a plan to hang on to. I tried to make being at home with the children into 'work' that I could make sense of. In my personal life I am actually quite chaotic, don't ever have routines, quite impulsive. I think now that all that planning and scheduling is overrated - partly because I'm not convinced that children need it (they just want love and warmth and food) but mainly because I think it stops you focusing on the moment - you are always thinking ahead and planning and worrying. I know now that I am happier if I don't make lists, elaborate plans and schemes, have expectations. But it's a really hard habit to break. I'm not there yet, by a long chalk. And you do need a partner/husband who pulls his weight (and emotionally, not just practically). And you have to let him do it and sometimes screw up too <hard lesson>.
I wish I had just carried on being me instead of trying to be someone else - magazine mother with perfect children, perfect home, perfect life. I wish I had not worried about being sociable and making friends and interacting. I was always happiest on my own.
I am sorry about your cat Raggedy. I think the death of a pet is always hard and often also brings up other feelings and memories of other bereavements. And everyone who had a bad day yesterday: today is a new day and it can be different. It's hard to see it like that though, I know.
That was epic. Sorry!
Thank you for explaining, ontheotherside.
I will try to bear all that in mind as I have the same tendencies. I wish I hadn't read all those stupid (and contradictory) baby books when dd1 was tiny - although now I think of it, it was a good lesson to see how contradictory they were. dd1 was not an appallingly difficult baby (though not a dream baby either) and I think I was just having a huge culture shock and trying to rationalise everything - trying to manage by getting it right.
Raggedymum, dp is not consciously gaslighting but he is sort of in that space where he is always right. When we fight, and feelings are hurt, my feelings are hurt because I am oversensitive, or wrong in some other way, and his are hurt because I hurt them because I am mean. That sort of thing. He is a man and an oldest sibling and they are always so sure. IGood tips there on language to use to address it. I think we have a difficult dynamic because I come from a family where I was supposedly the naughty one and my older sister was little miss perfect. He is the same age gap older than me as my sister, and his sister - same age as me - was "the naughty one" and I think we fall too easily into roles where he is immovably in the right and I am placed in the wrong and feel very injured about it, but utterly defeatist about anyone ever seeing my point of view, and then destructively angry.
My dd1 is looking unbelievably grown up and clever and calm today, and my dd2 is a tornado of crossness and egg and buttery toast and spilt milk and I must make sure I don't make another pair of the same sets of frustrations. I found myself looking at dd1 thinking "I can't wait till dd2 is like her" and then thought I must never articulate "why can't you be like your sister?" dd2 is a ball of snot and egg today but still, I will miss it when there is no baby left in her and she no longer has buttery chubby thighs and can be rolled up in a ball in my lap. dd1 sits on my lap and her big-girl legs spider off.
I really sympathise a lot with the OP. Being a parent of young children is very hard, and people rarely acknowledge how stressful it is. (In fact, as a society we seem hellbent on blaming mothers for the difficult behaviour of their children, rather than offering sympathy or help.) It's relentless 24 hour a day, 7 day a week stuff - there is no other job that demands that. I was very unhappy and stressed during the toddler years, and nothing I did seemed to work - when you have a child who wants to do the opposite of what you want, how do you change their mind? It was beyond me. I have no idea how people cope with two or more.
Like ontheotherside - and contrary to received wisdom - I find the teenage years easier, for exactly the reasons she states. I wouldn't say it's all a breeze, but it's a damn sight easier than the toddler years!
Still following this thread. It is comforting but also a bit depressing that so many other people feel and have felt the same as I have.
I am sure it is the attitudes of our society which makes being a parent, and a mother in particular, harder than it need be. It imposes a set of unrealistic expectations which we then feel disappointed and guilty that we can't achieve.
Ledkr, I have much sympathy with your last post. I have a two and a half year old demolition machine too. I love him dearly, but sometimes I don't like him very much. My older DC just didn't trash the house like this one does. It is exhausting clearing up after him, esp as I have a baby too.
My saving grace of the last week or so - Fireman Sam. It is the only programme I have found so far that he will watch for more than a minute, giving me a bit of time to clear up the last round of mess / bf before he starts over again.
I'm quite looking forward to teenagers now!
I am sad I have got to the end of this thread and hope it continues
I know what you mean. I'd love to be more relaxed about things, especially the house, but I feel as though somehow the state of the house is the state of my mind. My favourite time is when I come in just after the cleaner has left. Everything is nice, neat, in it's place. I feel calm and in control.
From there it gets steadily messier, dirtier and I start battling it. I feel if I let the house descend into chaos then I'll lose it completely.
I'm only as sane as my house is perfect basically. How sad is that!
Mac mac, I am absolutely the same as you! No one else cares about my house but it really effects my well being! Sad but true x
curryeater thanks so much for that David Sedaris link - I've never read him before and he's hilarious!
Sorry, what was the link again? Not heard of DS,rather but intrigued!
"I am so sick of not having peace and quiet in the evenings."
I am exactly the same. My two are not settling until after 8pm most nights, and they're both up at 6.30am every morning. I don't know how much longer I can go on like this before I crack.
My only coping strategy when DH is night shift is to go to bed myself until I know they are both asleep. By that time though, I'm too knackered to read or do much else apart from veg in front of TV...
Every day is like Ground Hog Day.
I have d&v today.
I am so tired and have so much to do - we are out of bread, she has a prescription I need to get and I am meant to be sorting out a rail card before next week and the house is a tip.
DD is thankfully being really good, but I just want to go back to bed Worst bit is knowing she will probably have it tomorrow too.
Saw this on facebook and felt it matched up what a lot of us Mums have been feeling and also shows it's not just us.
Steve Wiens: To Parents of Small Children: Let Me Be the One Who Says It Out Loud
I am in a season of my life right now where I feel bone-tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.
I have three boys ages 5 and under. I'm not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter and chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month, for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that will come at a later date.
But right now, in my actual life, I have three boys ages 5 and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week, when Isaac told my sister-in-law that, "My daddy has hair all over." Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, "Daddy! I have a beard just like you!" Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, "Daddy and Ben time."
But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I'm going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.
One of my children is for sure going to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents. He has a precise vision of what he wants -- exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes, it's the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look -- with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it's exactly right.
I have to confess that sometimes, the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.
There are people who say this to me:
"You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!"
I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.
If you have friends with small children -- especially if your children are now teenagers or if they're grown -- please vow to me right now that you will never say this to them. Not because it's not true, but because it really, really doesn't help.
We know it's true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn't feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn't for you, and it isn't for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.
If you are a parent of small children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and you can't believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:
You are not a terrible parent if you can't figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend's children do. She's obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they'd be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can't figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you'd rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can't wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You're not a terrible parent.
You're an actual parent with limits. You cannot do it all. We all need to admit that one of the casualties specific to our information saturated culture is that we have sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we're failing horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch TV in the morning.
One of the reasons we are so exhausted is that we are oversaturated with information about the kind of parents we should be.
So, maybe it's time to stop reading the blogs that tell you how to raise the next president who knows how to read when she's 3 and who cooks, not only eats, her vegetables. Maybe it's time to embrace being the kind of parent who says sorry when you yell. Who models what it's like to take time for yourself. Who asks God to help you to be a better version of the person that you actually are, not for more strength to be an ideal parent.
So, the next time you see your friends with small children with that foggy and desperate look in their eyes, order them a pizza and send it to their house that night. Volunteer to take their kids for a few hours so they can be alone in their own house and have sex when they're not so tired, for heaven's sake. Put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they're doing a good job. Just don't freak out if they start weeping uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we're botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they're older.
You're bone-tired. I'm not sure when it's going to get better. Today might be a good day or it might be the day that you lost it in a way that surprised even yourself.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
You're not alone.
Oh yes, wonderfully and sadly accurate
must mail to MIL .
I love that OhClutter. Especially the drink and never stop.
I love the holding under water bit
thanks for that ohclutter.
trying CC tonight - short term pain, long term gain I hope. Feel terrible, but impressed w ds's persistence!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Just read that. Ok. Yep, help needed.
The water thing is directed at the people making the comment about it being a stage, not the children!
This was a fathers blog about his experiences and feelings about being the father of 3 small boys under 5. Where he writes that he wants to "hold them under water, just a little" is to all the people that say to him "enjoy every minute of your boys being young, these years go by so fast"
My interpretation of him wanting to drown these folk (hypothetically) is that his day from 6am to 7pm drag let alone years fleeting by.
It was Not, any parent, no matter how tired or stressed thinking this of their child
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Maybe the father who wrote the blog does need help? I only have one small boy under 5, I can not imagine having 3
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
I've got two small boys, and yes it's hard work. There's a lot of competitiveness. And it goes on from morning until night! Can be very stressful being referee.
My interpretation of what ohcluttergotme posted was that the father felt like holding another adult under water if they came out with 'enjoy every moment of them, they grow so fast' type comments. Not literally, but in a hypothetical sense. No need for over reactions shitsinger.
Brilliant cut & paste, Clutter, btw.
A lot of us are seeking help by letting off steam on a discussion forum where it's safe to just offload the day's events if it's all been getting too much. It's a safe place to vent, surely? Better than keeping it all to yourself which just makes the situation worse.
Actually on reflection am with Ohclutter's interpretation and think it was worth cutting & pasting!
Let's not derail such a supportive, insightful thread.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
ohclutter that blog is so funny .
I've survived another day. We've been to London, I didn't lose either of them, DS was beautifully behaved and DD wasn't . She was running riot on the train and I think the carriage was torn between adults giggling at her and the rest pulling cats bum mouths. She's lovely but draining .
don't have time to read all the posts right now because I have an opportunity to sleep
but please..OP could you ask to have this thread moved to parenting or mental health? i can relate to so much that is written here and it's helping to know I'm not alone. would be great to be able to keep re-reading without it disappearing at some point
I've been reading this thread since the beginning and I'd just like to thank everyone for articulating how I feel. I can't articulate at all at the moment, my brain feels like it is stuffed with cotton wool; a combination of bfing hormones, sleep deprivation and boredom, I suspect.
DS1 (3yo) went to his GPs for tea and a sleepover last night and I felt lighter than I had for weeks. I got a shit load of washing and ironing done while the baby slept, me and DH went out for a meal with the baby and I got a bit pissed. It was amazing. I don't want to have to get my DS out of the house to feel like that though.
DH makes me feel like an inadequate parent every day. He has a natural ability. I too think I will make a better parent to teenagers.
Well I too have survived another day.
I've been reflecting on just how awful pregnancy has been for my health - I am another that got pregnancy induced asthma like Curreyeater - that with 2 x 3rd degree tears, massive weight swings of 4 stone up and down, incredible non stop morning sickness and ongoing sleep deprivation.
I've been trying to make changes -
1 - On Friday evening DH worked very late - I knew I was not going to make it to dinner time sane so I kept the children out late and found a busker band to watch which was lovely.
2 - I have just exercised today which makes it the third time since I started following this thread.
3 - I have also insisted my DH help out more.
So far it has been a disaster in some areas but better in others, on the disaster side - my toddler is still up - because I am refusing to put him to bed - but this means that now no one reads to him as DH just can't get it together to read to him and I am leaving it to DH. Total nightmare but I am not doing it all anymore.
Also I stayed in bed today until 12.30pm - mainly bfing and reading but it meant that DH just had to do housework and look after the toddler.
I made sure I did no housework weds to today. It has meant that we have bought lots of take out food so it is costing way way too much but I decided I just can't go on.
All in all I don't think I am coping, but hey it is a start.
I've been lurking and every time I come back the threads moved on so posting now and will then go and catch up !
3 DC, DD1 11, 8 yrs. of secondary infertility and then DD2 3 came along 21 months later and DS1 16 months is born.
With DD1 I was one of those smug parents, she was a nightmare sleeper and we had huge bother BFing BUT she was an angel child I didn't even know I had her. DD2 amazing baby took to BFing like a duck to water, happy contented and even now despite some odd tantrums/meltdowns is a very good girl.
DS1 screamed for 7 weeks, couldn't put him down. Turns out he is lactose intolerant so that sorted and he's better as such. things go ok for a while and then he starts walking at 9 months ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
DS beats the crap out of DD2, he's very strong willed and will not do anything he doesn't want to. He is mummified to the extreme, will NOT go anywhere without me, hasn't stayed with anyone over night as the time we tried he screamed blue murder for 2 hrs for my Dsis and stopped as soon as I went to get him (we thought he was poorly).
My life is currently just madness I feel like my head will explode several times a day. It doesn't help that I have alittle OCD where the housework is concerned and have to do it everyday (I don't make my life any easier) but I cannot relax if I don't do it.
I always worked but am now SAHM I thought I would love it but I just don't, it's mind numbingly boring. Plus DH thinks because he works and I don't I do everything in the house, he does help with kids a little but i do most things and spend my time with that anger under the surface.
Yesterday was good, we stayed and in laws the night before and DD2 stayed on overnight last night. I cannot believe how much easier it is with just DD1 and just one other, it's the 2 younger ones together that are a nitemare as DD1 spends most of we time in her room.
I feel terribly guilty as I spent 8 yrs TTC and wanting this and now I cent cope with it.
Yes it has affected my MH I think I'm going just a tiny bit mad every day, oh who am I kidding a lot mad every day .
I also gave up smoking 5 months ago (stopped through pregnancies but started again) we just couldn't afford it any more, I've also been on a diet, get fit thing because I didn't want to put on weight through not smoking and have so fat lost 15lb. I feel like I don't have anything I enjoying I need a hobby and ideas would be welcome please.
Hi didn't mean to cause upset with cutting and pasting blog of Fathers experiences. Sorry if this upset people.
I read it and thought it was a brilliant, honest account.
Life with small children is bloody hard.
I have a teenager and a toddler and sometimes feel pushed and pulled from morning til night. I think reading this thread has helped me to stay sane and know I am not alone.
Wishing everyone well today x
Woke up (ha! Was woken up of course, by baby) this morning feeling so angry. Another disappointing weekend, dh ill - genuinely run down ill, still carrying on, he does half around here, but being a bit down about it. Groundhog days of trying to manage a too-small home and too much stuff. Realisation hit me like a train last night that the baby is going to create more mess/work as time goes on, not less. 4yo v neat wrt clothes & food but likes his toys spread out. We don't want longer commutes for more space so I have to do something. Chuck out stuff. Another thing I have to do. Along with not suppressing my anger as that's unhealthy, and not directing it at husband/kids because that would be unfair and upsetting.
Ohclutter, you're right, it was a brilliant and honest account.. Think some of us are feeling a little raw/sensitive due to the nature of what we're confessing on here.
Well am currently in A & E. feel like an epic failure as a mother will post more later but just want to sit in corner and cry x
Ray I'm sure you're not an epic failure! And a huge well done on your weight loss too - that takes will power and determination.
Failure is not taking them to A&E when they get hurt, not the giving them the freedom to get hurt in the first place.
Firstly, <<hugs>> to Ray from a total internet stranger for your a&e experience. The children's waiting area is full of varying degrees of guilt, warranted or not, and I have been there a lot.
Secondly, I have at last read the whole thread (took me 5 days) and want to express messy, snot-soaked, puffy-eyed gratitude to you bunch of articulate, clever, kind women who are putting words to this THING, this STATE we are going through into words.
Thanks to Nuts for starting it off and Curry, your rage written down is a gift.
Thanks for the support guys, well it goes like this ........ We decide to go for breakfast this morning, DD2 is with grandma so just DH, me DD1 and DS1.
Have a nice breakfast although DS was being a pickle as we were in a booth so he was climbing around and we are trying to get him to sit still even for 5 seconds. It was not to be, what was to be however was him slipping, hitting his chin on the table very hard and blood going everywhere. I have never seen so much in my life (other then labour ), he starts choking because he cannot get it out of his mouth quick enough and all I'm thinking is ' OMFG my sons going to die' slightly over reacted in hind sight but honestly there was just s much bloody. Ambulance called because he also has a cold so it really looked like he couldn't breathe/was choking and started throwing up everywhere. The ambulance arrived and checked him over as much as they could on the basis of him being hysterical and said he needs to be checked at hospital but he should be fine.
Down to A & E we go, at first they were thinking stitches as it is rather a large cut but as he was so hysterical would need to put him under. They decided to give it an hr check and see how is was and go from there. The bleeding stopped, lip started to heal and no stitches or general required thank goddess for that.
We are now home and I am lying down in bed, I never lay down in the day but I do suffer with IBS and another stomach condition which cause awful pain and they are brought on by stress. They are flared up and I am in agony so DH was quite happy for me to lay down for bit. I want to cry, proper hysterical crying but holding it together by the skin of my teeth.
In the 11 yrs I have been parenting I have visited A & E 3 times and all for DS, he is only 15 months FGS, I really am going to need to get used to having a boy because my boy just seems to like to hurt himself all the time.
I am so tired, DS (co-sleeper) did not sleep well last night, along with massive adrenaline rush and crash has made me so very very tired.
Thank you to the OP for starting this thread. I think its important that more people discussed this and were honest about parenting.
As someone who doesn't have any DC's and so cannot comment on this front, I just have a question for you all...
Given your time again, and what you know now about parenting/weighing up the pro's and con's, would you choose to have children again?
(I dont believe he answer says anything on how much you love your DC's etc I do not doubt that at all, just thinking about it objectively. Maybe you'd wish to namechange to answer).
I am just very very curious, at a point in my life whereby in the next three years I will be making the decision regarding whether to have a family or remain childfree, and when I have asked previously I felt I didnt really get an honest answer
Well, my children have reached new levels of bad behaviour. Even the regular supermarket staff are giving me sympathy now. One of the ladies just gave me a sad (non-judgy) look and said maybe I should just not feed them so they don't have the energy to run riot. I think she's sensed my utter despair.
ray Are you feeling a little better now? My IBS flares up when I'm stressed, although I've recently started low-carbing and it's much better than it was.
My ex-h was always very helpful - much better at parenting that me.
But he was also angry. Angry all the time, he just kept a lid on it. If I brought anything up, or said anything wrong, he would be ANGRY. Blank me, or just not speak for a couple of days.
We could go for MONTHS without him getting angry. If I didn't push things.
Then one day I met someone at work who was a really nice, polite boy. Who never got angry, and just smiled at me and was polite and carried my bag and opened doors.
One day I was out with DH and I accidentally stood by a door, thinking he's open it. "What the fuck are you waiting for?" he said, "If you think I'm ever opening a door for you, you have another think coming."
I left him, after that, with everyone wondering why I left my perfect husband and perfect house and perfect life.
The fact was, I wanted my own space, I wanted to be able to decide what music I listened to and what I wore and what I did without worrying all the time about making him angry.
I've never regretted it. I'm as poor as fuck and the children are still demanding as hell - but at least he takes them 50% of the time... and then I just have hours of peace and sunshine and I can watch the motes of dust floating in the air and Just Do Nothing.
And a couple of years down the line and I'm dating the nice, quiet boy, and he is calm, and gentle, and goes for walks with me and holds my hand, and never shouts at me, and even if I'm being crazy and hysterically he just holds me tight and tells me everything will be ok and he loves me just the way I am. And I could call him now and tell him to come and find me and he would drop everything and come and put his arms around me and kiss me on the forehead and tell me that everything's ok.
Anyway - just to say, things can change. You can make decisions about what you want. Not all men are angry men.
lollydolly, I think I would, but for DH's sake, not mine. He adores DS, more than pulls his weight with childcare and housework, and would have been a very unhappy and disappointed person if we'd remained child free. And my experience is not as bad as many of those on this thread - my career hasn't suffered and although in the short term I'm finding life hard, DS is nearly 3 and I'm already getting glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel.
In the short term, I want to scream and throw things quite often! And what I certainly wouldn't do is have a second child. I think DS will be fine as an only and it's just too big a risk in all sorts of ways to have another.
Ray DD2 is my most accident-prone one out of three. Her most recent a&e trip was when she split her chin by falling over while holding on to the pushchair (you'd think that made it safer). Lots of blood, all fine now but I am left nervous of her every stumble, hovering around waiting for the next accident I might be able to prevent by being quick enough. Makes me jumpy and anxious, so you have my every.sympathy.
Meglet - not feeling to much better really, didn't manage to have a sleep just a lay down as MIL brought DD2 home so didn't get a chance.
I find that when my IBS plays up I feel even more tired which doesn't help matters. I will be going to bed as soon as DCs are asleep.
Sorry about our DCs behaviour is it actually being naughty or just general children running around ifkwim.
Lastyear - I think DS will be the same, he's just into everything and climbing OMG the climbing I have to have eyes in the back of my head, he will climb anything it drives me mad.
I would still have had them or maybe limited myself to one(but DD2 is so adorable I couldn't not be without her now I know her) but I would have done a lot more before having children.
I had my children quite late as it is but I wasted a lot of those years because although I was never a party animal with a huge social life, it's only since I've had children that I've really started to think about lots of things I want to do that I can't do at the moment.
It's almost as if when I had the opportunity I didn't have the desire but now I have the desire I don't have the opportunity before.
Sometimes it was circumstances that stopped me at other times pure laziness. Since I've had children, I don't have time to be lazy, so in a way I'm more driven.
The things I'm talking about are more travel, running marathons, learning to climb(perhaps), going away for weekends on my own, going to a nunnery on a retreat etc.
Yes I could do some of these things now but I don't want to/can't take my children along to all of these things plus I don't actually want to be away from them whilst they are little.
So Yes I would have children but I'd change my life first- part of the mental challenge of having children is not having the freedom, or spontaneity you had before but it's something you don't really appreciate at the time.
Lolly I definiteely would. Kids are amazing! Despite all this I'd still have more.
But if I knew what I knew now, I'd do it with a rich man so I could have a large house for them, live in help, holidays, the choice of whether to work or not and so id be able to provide all I want for my kids.
Lolly, I adore my children but naively had my daughter at 21 and wish now I'd travelled more and experienced a bit more life. Also wish I'd been sensible with house, money etc before having children.
So much for an early night DS is still awake now, I feel like rubbish, haven't managed to eat since breakfast and don't want to really as in a lot of pain with stomach, at least it will help the diet! I just want to sleep why won't my child go the F to sleep. Ill get to bed and then he will have a crap night and tomorrow will be spent mostly tired again.
DS please go to sleep.
Ray have you tried buscopan? two of them and a couple of nurofen plus used to stop an ibs attack in it's tracks for me. Can't take them now as breastfeeding but really recommend.
I'm starting to think it's not just having children that affects your mental health. I think it's perhaps the massive responsibility, worry and guilt that comes along with it coupled with your emotional needs taking a backseat. I was at my results of this test
financialnightmare - I am not sure which parts of that are directed at me. I do not have an angry partner. I am prone to being angry myself. Are you suggesting he might be better off leaving me?
I am glad I have children, in answer to that question. I am very happy that they are growing up though. I know I will miss them terribly eventually when they are finally grown up, but as people to hang out with I much prefer children to babies. So far.
Heavy weekend - dd2 suffering badly with a virus and teething - screaming in my ear all night on Saturday. Dp sent me to sleep in the sitting room and dealt with her all night last night. Feel a lot better for it and very grateful.
It occurred to me that the horror of parenthood, when it is horrible, is its innate tendency to pile things up one upon each other - of course it is the case that your child is demanding when ill at the same time as you have the same very nasty virus yourself. You realise this first when you have the baby and miss two nights' sleep or whatever and tear to bits etc etc and this is precisely the moment at which you are handed a hungry newborn baby.
We have the house. phew. Need to arrange so many things now - primarily moving into it. I feel like shit on a stick with this virus and asthma, but there is so much to feel good about.
Hope you all have a good day x
Nothing much to add in terms of help and no time to catch up properly on the tread (inset day so have DD plus two of her friends and DS and trying to do some work FUN!).
But just wanted to say happy Monday (!) and hope you all have a good day today. xx
I am a long time lurker and can totally relate to these posts- I have 8 month old twin boys and a 3.8 year old dd. dd is going through a very 'challenging' phase at the moment and the tantrums and whining is endless. The twins have never slept through and I have completely run out of patience.
Friday was one meltdown after another (me and her!) and I ended up in tears on more than one occasion. My dh is out 7.30-8pm in the week so everything is down to me. I can't work now I have twins due to double childcare costs.
I have turned into a shouty stressed mum and at times feel very isolated. I live for the weekends we dh is here to help. Dd does 16 hours a a week at preschool which can help but sometimes the logistics of dropping her and picking her up with 2 babies in tow is exhausting. I'm hoping things will improve when she starts school in September..
Dh is away overnight with work tonight and i feel resentful that he gets a night in a posh hotel while I am stuck at home with 2 babies who wake lots and a 3 year old - all of them are full of cold as weldodo the chances of a reasonable night are greatly reduced!
It is comforting to know i am not alone
Clockers just wanted to give you a virtual hug. You must be exhausted, no wonder you were in tears on Friday.
I have a 3.8 year old son and can sympathise with the constant melt downs, tantrums, whining & just general relentlessness of it all! And then....you have 2 little babies too, you poor thing. Do you have any help at all? Can your dh have them for a few hours at the weekend. 1. To experience your day & 2. To give you some much needed you time x
Thank you ohclutter - no help really in the week - the grandparents are about 40 mins away and they do sometimes take dd out for the day/overnight.
dh is an absolute star and very hands on at the weekend but it does tend to be a team effort rather than him going it alone - I'm know he would give me any time I asked for though so maybe I should take myself off for a half day out or something! I bf the twins so I have been a bit tied to them but now they are on solids I am dropping a few feeds and moving them on to formula s I do have some larger windows now where I could escape.
I am feeling a lot more positive today - they are beautiful boys who we very nearly lost due to twin to twin transfusion and my dd has had a lot to compete with in the last few months. If I have a crap night tonight though I may feel differently in the morning of course!
Hi Clockers, hi clutter, hi everyone else.
Clockers, great to hear about the freedom from the end of ebf - I remember it well, but with twins it must be a whole bigger world of pain - you must grab that freedom and get a real break. Often on here I see people advised to run out of the house and take 3 hours shopping or something, but when I was in that state I wanted to kick them out of the house, not pound the streets. Maybe that comes later. Do you think you could negotiate something regular that you could forward to and use as a mental anchor while the insanity is whirling around you?
How are things this week, ledkr?
We slept well last night - the relief is immense. Everyone is getting over this vile cold finally.
Have a good day all x
A resounding YES! The main two probs I would say are worry and anxiety it's pretty constant over one thing or another. There's the constant day to day issues not to mention the outside world and how they will handle everything that life throws at them?
I understand why my mum looked so stressed all the time since having my DCs!
Well done OP this is a good thread.
Clockers, you really need a break! Could your dd go to a creche 2 or three mornings a week? It will do you and her a world of good.
I hear you all and many of you are me!
I have a PFB who I really love being his Mum but.....
DH being made redundant meant I had to return to work full time. He has work now but not permanent so I daren't cut my hours. I would be a liar if I said I didn't feel resentful.
DH is just like many of you describe. He can do things but needs my involvement. He will do the laundry but I have to sort into colour piles. He will go grocery shopping but I have to add stuff to the list and he insists on my looking at what he has bought. He will do all sorts of other things but either wants me to make a decision about it or needs reminding and as I don't have the mental capacity anymore to remember and remind him, it's easier to just do it myself so that at least it's another thing I can scratch off the list.
I have a hobby job that I have no time and mental capacity for, but it's the only thing that feeds my soul. Continuing with it exhausts me but i fear the alternative is far worse as I feel there will be nothing left of the true me.
I feel like I do a half-arsed job of everything and it makes me feel shit about myself.
I had a spell on anti-depressants but I don't think I was depressed. Just exhausted, and the kind of exhaustion that a week of early nights is not going to solve.
My DS arrived 7 years after we started trying, 3 IVFs and eventually adoption. I am so very grateful for him as I am glad I have not missed that love for a child that I never knew existed. He didn't have the best start in life so the anxiety I feel about trying to fix it and in the process, making sure I don't screw him up further paralyses me sometimes.
I feel like I am giving everything I've got and there's nothing in reserve.
Some days i feel like I am being sucked dry and that I will never feel normal again.
Hope things are looking up for you all.
Flossy - you will feel normal again. Just a new normal I think.
How old is DS? I was full time and exhausted when DD was small (from 6 months) - but I found things improved once she was three (but then we had DS, which is a whole other story).
Flossy it sounds like you have 2 kids, albeit an older, more helpful one in your husband. Can you talk to him? Make him see that he needs to be a parent, an adult, take half the mental strain? I'm sure you've tried. Your life sounds knackering at the moment.
Hi everyone, I found this thread tonight whilst sitting feeling enormously guilty for telling my 3 yr 10 month ds to eat his tea through gritted teeth ! I turned into a monster, I feel bad.
I asked my dp to put him to bed tonight, and read the story, a first, as my ds always insists I do it.
He has winged and moaned for weeks and we are generally calm parents ( have 16 yo ds, 14 ds and 11 to Dsd) but this little surprise of ours stretches me to the limit.
I have decided on putting him to bed an hour later, to avoid the constant wake ups at 4 in the morning wanting to be up, me not being able to get back to sleep, and trying not to be cranky during day. This is yet another phase I'm sure, but ' hi my name is 2sugars and I'm on AD's ' hugs to you all x
Hi twosugars x sorry this is so hard for you at the moment
do all the big kids live with you too?
I hope you are tucked up in bed safely now and maybe we can talk tomorrow
big hugs to everyone else. Anyone up?
Having my ds has destroyed my mental health and almost killed me. I had crippling pnd following a horrendous labour, Caesarean section and a vaginal wall tear that needed sutures (caused by the doctor being excessively rough during a vaginal examination). Although I love my ds dearly, the last 3 years have been a dreadful blur of depression, antidepressants and anguish.
Recently I began having suicidal thoughts and started self harming. Thankfully, I have been back to my gp, changed my medication and finally feel alive for the first time since he was born.
He will be an only child.
Glad you feel much better shaky.
Curry... Yes all 4 children here.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I have barley had a big enough attention span, as 3 yo takes it all, they are great though, I think they share bliss of peacefulness with us once he is in bed
My 16 and 14 yo ds's were once 2 and 4... I'm still here to tell the tales
Well here we are this morning, having breakfast, he slept all through, after dp putting him to bed, story, bath, everything, for the first time !
I just had to take a step back last night, to give myself a break, and it paid off.
I will do it more often
Hi 2sugars, I can totally emphasise with your situation. I have a 3.8 year old ds who completely rules this house. I have a 14 year old dd & I think she goes out to get away from him. He is a nightmare. He is utterly gorgeous (think cherub on old stamps) but really a devil in disguise. I am completely exhausted by him and he wakes at the crack of dawn and his demands start and he doesn't stop until he goes to bed at night. If I put him to bed late he still wakes early but is just really grumpy and more whiny!
I feel sorry on my dd as all my attention is always with ds .
On Monday night we had 2 very tall police officers turn up at the door because apparently my dd had accidentally dialled 999 and so they came to check everything was ok. I said to ds they are here to make sure you are being a good boy and the police man said that's right little boy you need to be good for your mummy and daddy!
Ha this is now great, if he starts to play up or refuses to eat, put clothes on, get ready for bed I have been saying "do you want me to phone the police and let them know you are being a naughty boy?"
For now its working and he's behaving! Not sure how long I'll be able to pull it off for though!!
Hope everyone has a good day with their little darlings today xx
at ohclutter how handy was that !
Yes hope everyone has a good day.
I have promised new stickers today, only to be used on his chart, for not winging, being kind, and doing as he's told.
It worked last time, for the constant waking in the night for me to pick up his hanky, teddy etc.
There are no sweet treats today until I think he deserves them. This needs nipped in the bud, I feel at fault as I
Put him to bed too early, start bathing at 6.30, only for my own selfish reasons, to finally get some peace and quiet, it's no wonder he has been waking at 4 or 5 any whingy.
He is my little mate, who has been Molly coddled and wrapped in cotton wool by me.
Today is the start of me being firm and fair.
I'll be back tonight to update, and see how everyone ekse's day went.... Deep breaths everyone x
Hello new friends, sorry to hear you're up against it, you're not alone on here x
This thread is fabulous and I am so glad I came across it today.
I have 2 DS 4 and 6 and DD 6 months. Not sure why but this last month has been horrendous. Yes, I have had bad days/weeks before but this is different, I am feeling so much anger and resentment towards them. I just want to go to the toilet by myself, to not hear MUUUUUUUM screeched a zillion times if I don´t go running within a nano second, to get in the car and not have to remember anything, or fit others seat belts you know, just DRIVE.
The monotony, the boredom, the relentlessness is driving me insane. DS2 is going through yet another whinging stage and the tiniset little thing (think a splash of water on his top whilst washing his hands) will send him bonkers.
I have had mental health issues in the past and they have definitely worsened since I became a Mum. The anxiety, inability to switch off, the responsibility for years to come, the fear that I am not doing a good enough job is so overwhelming. WORRY, WORRY, WORRY and all the what ifs....
Oh and I am brain dead, can´t even follow a TV drama these days and my memory is useless now
I have often wondered if people like me who are naturally shy and introverted, and to be honest, something of a loner don´t make the best parents. Sorry if this seems a huge generalisation and I am not saying this to offend anyone. What I mean is, because I enjoy my own company so much and don´t mind being on my own, this seems to go directly against having small children who are noisy and demanding and want to be with you ALL the time.
Having children has also brought up lots of difficulties I have had with my own parents, my mother in particular. How they left me to my own devices, never encouraged me, never told me I was worth anything, concentrated on my weaknesses instead of my strengths etc Their inadequacies and downright lazy parenting is probably causing me more problems now then it did when I was growing up. I look at my own children and want to weep for my own childhood, then the other half is terrified I will turn into my mother and do the same to them.
God, it is so hard.
Hello Peterpie, hello everyone.
Sorry you are struggling. I totally get your Catch-22: sometimes I feel that I want everyone to go away and leave me alone, but I worry that perhaps one of the things that makes LYFE so difficult and stressful and people such hard work for me is that my mother always wanted me to go away and leave her alone... and so I am doing it all again to them AAAAAAARGH
Honestly, I am a raging introvert (in the Myers Briggs sense - I started a thread about this once) and I think that although some of what we are in terms of very strong tendencies can be innate, I also think that I am wary of and exhausted by people because I do not expect, have not been conditioned to expect, that they will meet my needs or be considerate towards them. And I think that is partly to do with being a middle child of very busy parents with a very bossy older sister. So I try and try and try to "be there" for my children....
Last night was a minor disaster. DP was out and had asked his mother to cover the hour or so gap between him having to leave and me coming home. Usually by the time I get home he has already got them in the bath, but we can't ask his not-super-fit mum to do that. The girls were thrilled to see her and playing in the garden while she watched them, but the whole thing was just too late. I felt I should socialise a little with MIL as she had done us a favour and is always making slightly loaded comments about not seeing us (meaning dds) enough. I really just wanted to come in the door, drop bags, run a bath and herd them into it, but felt this would be rude. So dd1 (especially, dd2 is more resilient as she naps) was exhausted and putting herself to sleep on the sofa by the time MIL finally toddled off. She was covered in grass stains and grubby all over and I couldn't not bathe her. So there was a melt down. Real proper screaming and hysteria. I got dd2 bathed and pyjamaed but she started creating when I was trying to look after dd1. When everyone was finally all clean and cuddled up in my bed for their story (the usual habit as we all fit), I was so relieved and enjoying their calmer company so much, that I'm afraid I read to them far too long. I was exhausted myself and inertia took over. So they went to bed far too late and this morning it was back to square 1 with the overtired screaming. dd1 just wants to hang out here with me and is pretending to be ill and I felt like the biggest cruellest evillest wicked fairy tale evil witch kicking her out the door. I know it is my fault because everything slid out of control and was too late last night. but I don't want to be that super efficient mother that gets everything right but never spends any time with them.
Was it the INTJ thread curry? I remember as I identified with it, as with this thread. Would be interesting to know if there is definitely a personality/parenting correlation. But what can be done? CBT along with antenatal classes?
I am so fucked off that I got educated with two degrees, had 10yrs of a decent career then when I wanted to have kids there was no usable mechanism of being able to return to work, ie affordable flexible childcare in a suitable location, assured flexi/part-time job options, guaranteed breaks for expressing/bf-ing the child. It is illogical & the country is losing millions as well as the mental health of mothers going down the pan (altho I realise not feeling able to work is not part of the problem for some). Why doesn't every workplace have associated childcare options as part of employing a women of childbearing age? Is it OTT to think it's almost a form of discrimination?
Hello came back to this thread - apologies, I got upset due to personal experience.
peterpie and curry I can really relate to the thought that introverted parents find it harder. I am so happy alone and cant bear to be in big crowds at all. I had a friend who adored it when the neighbours DC would all pile in her her house and scream . OMG it was hell for me I literally cant bear to be surrounded by so many people and I often felt that I couldn't bear the clinging/touching all the time of small children.
I should add that peterpie there is no reason why you have to respond the minute your DC call and in fact I refused to respond if my DC shouted or whined - they knew they had to come and speak to me . They wont go through life with people jumping when they demand it and so I think insisting on politeness is doing them a favour longterm
curry it was circumstances not your fault .
Have been away for a bit because I had a problem with my username hence NutsinMay1.
I am pretty ruthless when it comes to bedtimes as if I've been up since 6, I'm just desperate to get them off to bed by 7 (though DD2 resists until 8 if she's had a nap) so I can start to recuperate(have an uninterupted cuppa/something to eat/do the online shop/ wash my hair before the inevitable broken night ahead.
But I understand it's harder to do this if you've just walked in through the door and haven't seen much of them in the day.
The benefit of my half days at work means I do get some time with them in the afternnon(though they are not usually at their best then).
Hi all - hope your weekends are going ok. Thank you for your support - timetoask - dd is in preschool 15 hours a week which does help. It has been a very tough week - the twins have had colds so have been up several times a night.
However my lovely dh has sent me and my breastpump off to a spa hotel for the night! Dd is at her grandparents for the night getting spoilt rotten and dh is getting some time with the twins (dd is very much.a daddy's girl so he spends more time with her usually)
So everyone wins! I havent slept all night since October so can't wait for tonight and so far the solitude has been wonderful. I am already feeling so much better and having lots of warm fluffy thoughts about my children!
Wow clockers that's sounds just heaven! Enjoy the peace and relaxation x
Clockers, I hope you get a wonderful rest tonight. Enjoy it x
Hi nutsinmay. How are you feeling? I am usually take-no-prisoners about bedtimes but I couldn't ignore MIL and couldn't get rid of her either and was feeling guilty about being annoyed about this when she had come over to do us a favour. (I have this at work too - extreme impatience with the inordinately long period between it being established that the meeting is over and the people are going, and them bloody well going. I hate it especially when I am knackered and I have got up to strengthen the hint that they should go, and they don't, and I can't sit down again in case they stay even longer)
hi idlevice, yes that was me, the INTJ one.
shitsinger, damn right, you should not jump to it ... it's hard to discipline yourself sometimes not to, because you are finding the noise of whining excructiating and your exhausted impulse is to do the thing that stops it... is that what is happening peterpie?
I have wry neck and it is hurting like a bastard and has been all day. Went out looking like a massive dork wearing the weirdest collection of clothes and a scarf tied a hundred times tightly around the neck to try and keep it still, and dd1 in the pushchair even though she is 4 and I usually prefer her to walk, because a. couldn't be arsed with the whining while in pain myself b. certainly can't do piggy backs today in emergencies c. it is genuinely quite far into town for her on foot and I thought I was not safe to drive while I can't look sideways suddenly, or at all in one direction. Bumped into an acquaintance whose younger child was striding about like an Enid Blyton character. I was feeling like an almighty dork in my stupid clothes. Then she went on to ask what I was doing about dd1 not having got into the school we wanted, where her children go. Erm, nothing, what can I do, she has a place at an ok school, what else can I do but keep her on "continuing interest". I feel like shit about the whole conversation especially the implication that I can't just be accepting this school place. Why not? how not? What should I be doing? What don't I get, that proper, effective mothers get?
Really fucked off about this neck thing. Trying so hard to pull myself together. got my asthma medication (another fucking battle that reduced me to embarrassing tears, did I come on here to whine about that?), staying off the booze, trying to eat right... but now this, it is as if whatever I will do I will feel shit. The pain runs right through my body and makes it really hard for me to do even tiny things. dp is fucked off with me and thinks I am a whiny prima donna.
On the upside the vile cold that laid us all very low has almost completely left my dds and they are both cheerful and fun and adorable and I am so happy to have their playful selves back.
hope you are all having an alright weekend.
ledkr, are you still there?
jollyhappy how are you?
Awww curry sorry about your neck - its excruciating isn't it .Miserable every time you move , have you taken some NSAID -ibuprofen ?regular paracetamol 4 doses a day helps .
The school situation - is there chance of appeal? if not make the best of it and ignore her attempts to make you feel bad. Getting into the best school is not everything, being a supportive, interested parent is.
Thanks shitsinger, I scored some ibuprofen at about 4pm so I am on the second dose and I think it is helping.
And about the school - we can't appeal (unless our new address will help but I think it will be too late and you can't do anything in anticipation of it being your actual residential address, and anywa it is still not that near) and honestly, I had made my peace with this and really shouldn't be letting other people fuck with my head.
I have read the first page of this thread and plan to read the rest when I'm not as fucking exhausted.
I spend my days wondering if I have flipped, if my brain will ever work right again, if I'll ever be me again: in short my mental state is really, really not good and hasn't been since the birth of DS just over two years ago. It almost broke me. I'd never suffered mental health problems before and then all of a sudden WHAM neurotic fruit loop.
I've had DD since then so am now trying to cope with a newborn and a challenging toddler. I'd give my life for either of them and they are loved so much it frightens me but Jesus I feel totally screwed up. DH has annoyed me tonight so we're in foul moods with each other but truthfully if it wasn't for him I'd have gone under.
This cheers me up: m.youtube.com/watch?v=Z18vJwmxFFY
Aw curry feel your pain. Last year I had a similar episode and was driving out of a junction and turned left but couldn't turn my neck properly and a car nearly cut me up, very very scary!
I had been really stressed at work and think this caused it. Went to Gp, was given various medication, signed off work & referred to physio. The meds that seem to work best are co-codamol and diclofenic. Also the physio felt that a lot of my back and neck problems were stress related so "all in my mind" so I was referred for 6 weeks counselling. All these things did help.
You have been under tremendous stress lately with feeling nearly homeless, rented house, fleas & finding new home plus children, schools, job, life so its no wonder this has happened.
I would suggest co-codamol you can buy over the counter and also try to take some time just for you. Some gentle swimming, a walk to clear your mind and to be kind to yourself.
I've since left job that was stressing me out but now so is my new job! Maybe it's just me?
I know that feeling that no matter what you do it feels the Gods are conspiring against you but there not.
I have a 14 year old dd and I can see how me being negative is making her the same so lately I've tried to teach her to be thankful for what we have. Such as we can go to the tap and pour a glass of water some children are dying because of lack of running water as things like this.
I'm trying to be more thankful for what I have. But the daily grind of looking after young children especially when you have mortgage worries, huge childcare costs is draining, stressful, exhausting.
Wishing everyone well today.
for Shakey. Glad things are starting to look up. You're not alone.
I am still reading this AMAZING thread as it's giving me so much hope that I not totally mentally deranged. Please can MNHQ turn this into a book?
Yes there are things you aren't told about bring a parent but even when people say 'ooh it's the sleepless nights,' it just sugar coats it. Like calling PND the baby blues - it's hell on earth is what it is, and quite common too. "Hey become a parent! Risk hell on earth!" I suppose that doesn't sound too good though does it?
Disclaimer - PND is hell on earth I mean, not becoming a parent...although sometimes it can feel that way!
Hello there. I too read the first page and the last and will go back and read through some of the other posts when I feel less exhausted and mentally deranged.
I had my moments of getting stressed and being impatient before becoming a mum but oh my life, having kids has magnified that tenfold. Or a hundredfold. I am sitting here having finally got the dc's to bed, munching on chocolate because I am at the end of my tether. Dd2 has a cold and has cried / screamed hysterically all day - dh is working all weekend and not home till 10.30pm ish so I have had to cope with dd2 and ds1 (4.5yo) all weekend by myself, including barely any sleep last night. How do mums with babies who just cry all day long cope????? I feel like I've lost my marbles after one day of constant crying. I have been so snappy and shouty with ds1, I feel so sad for him and ashamed, but felt unable to get a grip on myself and stay calm when dd2 kept screaming. Argh. Trying to tell myself he won't be damaged for life and there is still time to turn it around and not have him look back at his childhood and think his mother was a shouty witch.
How are you all doing?
mummy2benji - you've had a hard weekend. Please don't be so tough on yourself - DS won't remember you as shouty; it is very very hard to keep patient when you've had the day you've had.
Enjoy the chocolate - you deserve it. please please be kind to yourself.
Oh god yes. I had a very stressful upbringing where my dad was verbally abusive most of the time and sometimes violent. I was always on the edge that he might kill my mum or make her leave.
My brother was 5 years older and very mixed up. He hated me and was very jealous.
I luckily, met and married my lovely supportive DH and didn't realise I had any issues at all until I had children 13 years into the relationship.
I was very anxious after DS1 but it subsided after a year. I always doted on him and wasn't bothered about having a boy or a girl, just wanted a baby!
After DD though I was very ill with anxiety. I ended up with an under active thyroid so I don't know if the stress caused it or if the condition made me more anxious.
I found on one hand I was so glad to have this mother daughter relationship to look forward to and found I had a deeper relationship with her as I understand her more than I do my DS. But I found myself unreasonably anxious about things happening to her.
I worry endlessly about when she is out of my sight or when she grows up a bit and wants to go places on her own. I also worry about how her life will turn out. What if she marries and awful guy or emigrates or gets ill or worse . I used to convince myself that if I had another daughter i'd feel calmer but I didn't have the courage to go through it all again.
However, I then fell pregnant by accident with 3rd child. This sounds terrible but the thoughts going round my head were just awful/mad.
I NEEDED it to be a girl. I started thinking what would be the point in another boy? I have one and I love him dearly but everything about boys annoys the hell out of me and after all my hard work he will most probably never bloody visit me and marry someone who hates their MIL .
I fantasised about my two little girls running around with long hair and summer dresses, playing nice fairy games - not bashing the hell out of things and irritating me to bits.
I imagined how much more relaxed I would be with 2 daughters. If one emigrates I have back up!!
Yes, it was another boy. He is now 9 months old and although I love him it has pushed my anxiety about my DD over the edge. I nearly died having him so im not going for #4. I certainly don't want to risk having 3 boys charging around the place! My chances of having a 2nd DD are now gone.
I have convinced myself im going to loose my DD somehow one day and it will destroy me. I realise this probably stems from my fear of loosing my mother as a child and the anxiety comes from there but nothing is easing the horrible fear I have and Im worried I will feel this with DD forever.
Ah, yip, im nuts!
Mummy2benji - I'm usually close to totally losing my mind (not exaggerating) but when DCs are ill? Fucking hell. New level. Can you have a glass of wine too?
I really identify with the 'loss of self'. Funnily enough (actually it's not funny) but when I was in the depths of PND after DS I can remember looking in the mirror and not even knowing who I was.
This might get a bit too philosophical but I've now had a DD. Not planned and I was PETRIFIED that I would suffer in the same way. I never really stopped suffering though - crippling anxiety, panic attacks etc. I just got more used to it I think.
So when I had DD I was shocked that I wasn't automatically plunged back into the depths of despair. I had learned how to cope in the main part with this new 'self'.
I blamed my PND (anxiety based) on everything - hormones, diet, lack of sleep, breastfeeding, etc etc
Actually with a bit of perspective I think for me (and possibly others?) it's a loss of your old 'self'. I denied myself any time for 'me' and solely concentrated on DS, becoming quite the martyr. I went from über confident, life loving, career minded woman to an anxious shell of my former self.
I'm starting to piece things back together. Some say yoga, some say religion, some say herbs, some say work will 'fix' you. Actually I think it's all of those things for different people - whatever makes you feel like you again.
Don't deny yourself that. The phrase 'you time' is overused and a bit cringey. But don't do what I did and lose yourself totally. Remember who you are and integrate it into being a mum too.
Sorry if this has gone off track a bit by bringing PND into the picture but a few have talked about loss of identity so hope it strikes a chord with someone.
By the way I'm still not there but it gets better every day - and I have 2yo and 2mo!
I'm feeling good now as DC are in bed. We had a good day today. DD1 woke at 5.30 but I managed to get her to go back to sleep so I had a lie in till 7 (fantastic and very rare).I worked bloody hard in the morning to keep them busy and entertained. In the afternoon we had some child friends over with a couple of adults so more hands on deck helped.
Yesterday was awful. I was very tired and got up at 6 after staying up too late the night before. My DD1 repeatedly refused to listen to me and come home when I asked her to(she tried to run off down the street with me in pursuit carrying a heavy DD2 with no puschchair) and I got so exasperated I had a huge meltdown in public (not shouting but sobbing).
DP has said I shouldn't let the DC see me like that and I do worry I am scarring them for life but then I also think that sometimes children push and push and push until they see the boundary(whether that be a sanction or a reaction of some sort).And in fact when they know they have pushed you to your limit they do stop.
On a bad day it does feel as if you are being slowly tortured. It's as if they have to continually test you just to make sure you won't abandon them no matter what. It grinds you down and when you are vulnerable due to tiredness etc, the straw that breaks the camel's back is not far away.
Will they remember this when they are older- I can't remember what my childhood was like when I was 5. I do remember it from about 6 or 7. I'm hoping that if there are more good days than bad, they won't remember the slightly unhinged person I became at times during years 0-5 (I'm optomistic that the worst is surely behind me).
We've had a terrible day - whingey, clingy DS who now just will not go to sodding sleep. DH is trying to settle him now. His settling is getting worse and worse: before we moved it was 7.30 sleep time, we moved house last year and it slipped to 8.30, now it's more like 10. We have no adult time to have an uninterrupted conversation, ever. I would do CC in a heartbeat but DH won't, and we can't discuss how to tackle it because we have no time for adult conversation. I am so fucking sick of this.
shitsinger - I also hate being part of large crowds, although these days I find that´s quite rare. I would love to be more extrovert and happy around people, have people over etc as I think life is easier that way, but it causes me so much anxiety that I avoid it for the most part. I worry that it will affect my children in a negative way, or they will start to think as they get older that I am weird. One of my reasons for having 3 was that I am an only child and I think that has influenced my personality in such a way. Daft really as DH is one of three and is also an introvert
And yes I know I should not go running every time and I have tried to lessen this lately and make them come to me, although with DS2 especially this isn´t working very well. curryeater hits the nail on the head, I think I do it as it avoids me having to hear more whining and/or to save me blowing up at them and then feel dreadful, vicious circle. Really need to work on this...
Thanks again NutsinMay for starting this superb thread, always helps to know you are not alone in this made parenting lark
Dogs sorry to hear about your evening, I miss adult conversation with DH so much...
Hi all, hello peterpie, hello again Clutter. Did you go to mass yesterday? And how was your ds? did the old dears adore him again? I bet they did.
The day I was dreading came: I was asked to help out at Sunday School. I was selfishly hoping being in the choir got me off that hook as being some sort of contribution, but I knew in my heart that most people do more than one thing. I got out of it in the short term by reminding her I have a two year old who is sometimes with me and not of an age for sunday school. this is a big con because I often leave dd2 at home with dp and have a lovely child free service while dd1 is in sunday school. I am just battening on the kindness of those who do do sunday school and I should get a grip and contribute.
dogsareeasier - nothing worse than a child who will not sleep. I feel your pain on the dh resisting cc. I wonder if someone else could talk to him for you. I don't know who or quite what I mean by this - I sometimes used to think that dp would see my point of view better if he heard it from someone else - that might just be paranoia.
stripedmum - yy about loss of self. very weird, very strange.
I slept well two nights in a row while dp was on the sofa. he is not happy with me this morning. ok I know it's his bed too but goddammit the difference a night's sleep makes is absolutely insane, is so extreme, I can't believe I have somehow organised a life for myself where it is considered a luxury I have to feel guilty about.
Someone above mentioned the book "Life after Birth" I think, though I couldn't find out who when I just searched for it. one of my friends read it when our babies were tiny and I meant to but never got around to it. So I bought it on kindle and it is ok but she is not like the world's greatest writer or anything, but it is great to see a lot of stuff written down, a lot of the stuff we are saying on here, and acknowledged.
I think she is afraid that she is falling into the trap of just being negative about all the awful things you can feel so she attempts to leaven it with positive suggestions about what you can do. Which can be very annoying as they are just hollow suggestions for many people - noting the outcome you desperately need with no actual practical nuts and bolts of how to get there - the equivalent of sitting down with a starving person and doing a head tilt and saying, "I think, sweetie, you are going to have to get yourself some food from somewhere, hm?"
I think this habit comes from an unwillingness to acknowledge how all the things that could help are completely dependent on other people's good will, or having the money to pay them, which are outside the grasp of many. The latest gems I read this morning on the train were "build back in something selfish and indulgent for you a few times a week" (if I had read that when either of my babies were under 6 months I would have wept, and had an imaginary hysterical conversation with her where I shrieked HOW? HOW? WHEN? HOW?) and "play to your strengths. If you like stickers and colouring but don't like playgrounds, avoid playgrounds, or let someone else take them there." Seriously? When you have an incredibly physical two year old child trying to climb the bookcases you are supposed to say, "no, I don't do playgrounds. Do some colouring instead."
I know I am lucky in that I don't have incredibly physical children and I can play to my strengths, which are things like books and lego and imaginative play; and also in that I have my job and while I am at work someone else can stand in for me, and be not-me, and do the things I don't want to do. This is pure luck.
Mothers should strike (of course we can't because we would never risk neglecting our children) - but we are asking, asking, asking, or not daring to ask, for what we need. Other workers only got their rights by taking them by force.
Have a good day, all you heros.
Oh right, about mn making this into a book: while they do have copyright, it is not exclusive, and I think I could write a really good book if I were to interview you lot (on the phone or by email or in person) and if anyone wants to take part in such a project please pm me (see how bumptious I get when I have had more than 3 hours' sleep and a few days off the sauce)
mummy2benji I don't have to write anything cos you've just described my life too - other than mine have the squits not a cold.
My 2 DS are amazing and beautiful and I would DIE for them in a second but my god.....the sleep deprivation, the noise, the constant, constant relentlessness of not being able to think straight or finish a conversation.....
I have days when I feel like the shittest Mother in the world, know that they would be better off without me, that I don't deserve them then I get a decent nights sleep and I know all of it is tosh.
It is such a privilege to have these beautiful little people to nurture and cherish but the responsibility is so massive, some days running away up a mountain seems the only option - which is what I used to do pre DH & DC
Stay strong everyone x
Hugs to everyone! Thanks for the nice responses and hope you are all doing okay today. Was going to write a proper post but I can hear dd2 waking up so my little break is at an end! Will write later. Hope you can all manage a and to keep sanity intact today. That is my goal for the day! Not to shout... It's gonna be a challenge! x
Hi mummy2benji, good luck and have a good day
nutsinmay, I meant to say that I worry too about how often my children see me crying - especially that they want to comfort me which I think is bad for them and too much responsibility. Now they are a bit older I try to rationalise it and make it not seem scary by telling them it is ok and simple not-the-end-of-the-world, but truthful, explanation of why I am crying (so "I am tired and cross because I have a sore neck" instead of a complete lie or "oh god oh god will I ever be well again I could just lie down and die"). I know it is not ideal but I think that talking to them and giving them some non scary context helps. BUT if DP said "you shouldn't cry in front of them" or "you shouldn't cry" I would say, "ok what are you going to to do help to stop this happening?" Ok that is what I would say in theory. maybe not in practice.
quickchat, I found your story very interesting and heart rending. I wonder if talking to someone irl would put your fears about your dd in context. Sounds very hard. I think you have a lot to deal with from your deep past and maybe a professional of some sort might help you balance it all out. Just a thought though: in Ireland it is a sort of accepted fact that sons are closer to their mothers than daughters, kind of the opposite of here. Some of these expectations are cultural and you could have two lovely big grown up sons loving you and being close to you your whole life. Just a thought, don't mean to be annoying or minimise what you are feeling.
Sorry about all this rambling on, I know I keep posting these outrageously long posts but there is so much to reply to in what everyone is saying
curryeater- Yes I normally do say I'm just feeling very tired to day and people get sad when they are tired. To which they often say "Why does Daddy never get sad?" To which I say some people keep it all inside.
Sometimes I do feel I am the tantrumming child (I apparently never tantrummed as a child so must be all coming out now) and I know I should be the adult. When I cry, my youngest always bursts into tears and tries to comfort me which is very sweet but does make me feel guilty. It makes me feel so much better afterwards but must make them feel very scared.
Hello, who? Fellow sufferers? Comrades? Lovely Laydeez? Not suggesting we/you need a name but I felt a formal greeting was called for.
I really appreciate everyone continuing to post their thoughts and experiences. I haven't managed to get free time, inclination and ordered thoughts together simultaneously until now.
Introverts - I cannot believe I didn't know I was an introvert until recently. I did a free personal development course at our children's centre because there was a free creche and I got to drink hot, actual hot tea for two hours straight. And we did stuff about not defining yourself through your roles (mother, daughter, colleague, wife, etc) but rather than who you actually are - your values, beliefs, principles, etc.
And personality types - a bit like Myers Briggs but not as in-depth. I came out as a screaming introvert and it's been such a relief to know that's why I like spending time alone (in fact, I have to - that's why small children are so hard for me) and that just because I've developed coping mechanisms over the years around talking to groups of people, doesn't mean I enjoy it or that there isn't a cost to me (ie I need time alone afterwards). I do avoid people but I'm not shy. I just like my few good friends.
I've been very depressed lately, a sort of downward spiral of decreasing confidence, increasing demands from my 3 DCs, lack of effort and understanding from DP. But I've been seeing a counsellor and am finding out that my lack of self esteem is at the root of most things, and that it comes from what my Mum felt about herself (I've done as she did, not as she said) and being taught to squash down my emotions (using eating as a coping mechanism instead) and put everyone else's feelings before mine. Which means I haven't been saying what I feel, or thinking it was important, or saying what i wanted. Have also been incredibly conscious that this is not the example I intended to set for my DCs (more guilt).
So, the counselling has been invaluable - apparently I just need to identify my emotions, act on them if needed, and my brain processes them and they pass. Have had a couple of HUGE conversations with DP where I've brought up hurts from the past (been together many years before DC) and expressed my feelings, cried A RIVER and... well, early days, but I'm getting some clarity on what I feel. We still need to do couples counselling too.
Curry - yes, I'd be interviewed for a book if you need me.
One more general thought from the 'What Mothers Do' book which raises the question of why does so much of what we do not have a name? No word to describe your state of constant interruptability? The irritation of waking up early even when your child sleeps through because you're so damn used to a 2am and 4am wails? Are there no words because what we do isn't valued enough?
Glad to hear you are getting some help and getting some solutions.
"why does so much of what we do not have a name?" - this is why mn is full of jargon like "velcro baby" et al. and and you take it up, because it fills a gap, because there are not "mainstream" terms for things. Then you feel like a massive dork because you have allowed your brain and vocabulary to have been colonised by a website. But it's just professional lingo, innit - all professions have it.
When I had a version of cbt when dd2 was tiny I was furious with the practitioner for not knowing anything about babies or motherhood. Not just my experience - I mean the whole thing. I was referred by a peri-natal team, yet found myself having to explain to someone that tiny breastfed babies can't be left with babysitters willy nilly, and they wake you up quite often in the night. It enraged me, partly because I was used to mn and had started to think EVERYONE KNOWS THIS
oh gosh thank you you two I must get straight in my head what I want this to be and think about how to write it and who to sell it to
Would love to be interviewed too Curry x
'Then you feel like a massive dork because you have allowed your brain and vocabulary to have been colonised by a website. ' Exactly! I find myself using these phrases and putting air bunnies round them. I mean actual "finger quotes". Pre-DC I would have had myself shot for less.
Can't believe (well, yes I can) that your therapist knew nothing of babies or motherhood. Not ideal.
I really thought that having had my "career" (there I go again) I would quite happily settle into motherhood, secure in myself and able to give myself over to the needs of my family. Was not prepared to be completely subsumed by the incessant demands, the lack of respect, lack of help, lack of understanding, lack of choice I faced. It could be the jump from 2 to 3 that's really done me in or perhaps I would have felt like this by now anyway.
This is a slippery subject to think about - the thoughts wriggle away before I can articulate them.
I've always been prone to bouts of feeling down and 'hollow' though never got diagnosed or treatment for anything. Since DS1 was born 5 years ago I went through a massive low for about 2 years after he was born. He was a very very difficult baby and my anxiety and depression was crippling. I doubted everything and questioned my maternal ability constantly. I compared him and myself a lot and felt like I failed him.
Things gradually got better as DS1 got easier and more interesting. By the age of 3 I remember looking at him and being so in love and for the first time in my life I felt truly happy on a level I didn't know was possible. I felt settled and stable.
.....Then we had DS2. He's 17 months and the last year and half has plunged me back into the depths of depression again. I worry constantly. I panic that DS1 will not feel as loved as before. I worry endlessly that I haven't bonded with DS2 as much as DS1. I feel sad and bored most of the time. I miss DS1. I feel low.
I did go to GP and get diagnosed with PND about a year ago. I got referred to counseling and started AD's. None of which seems to have helped much so far. Yesterday I didn't want to live anymore. I'd never leave DS1 but these are the fleeting thoughts that haunt me. I don't want to kill myself. I'd never ever do that to either of my children but there are times when I am just too bored of living to want to carry on. So yes, in short, it has definitely impacted upon my mental health.
I want to do better for them, I just don't know how.
Yes sometimes I get woken up at 5.30/6 on a weekend and think I just don't want to do this today. I just can't face doing this today. I want the day(preferably week off) and then I get up and do it anyway.
Even if I am away from them (at work etc, with GPs), I can't get away entirely because I'm still wondering what they are doing, eating, whether DD2 has napped etc. Being a parent is a bit like running your own business, it's not so easy to switch off.
Has anyone questioned life more since DCs? This is what depresses and confuses me. I get upset about the 'big questions' that I never did before and it's slowly driving me mad as there aren't any certainties. Is that depression? Or the anxiety/depression?
Oddbod poor you, that doesn't sound good. Can you go back to your GP and explain that you aren't feeling better? Have you had any CBT?
Curry you made me smile mentioning sunday school - my dh was working over the weekend and I find it very hard taking both the dc's to church on my own (ds1 4.5yo, dd2 7mo). But the lure of the sunday school and ds1 taken off my hands for an hour is a strong one!
possibly stronger than the service That was a typo...
Lots of people have mentioned anxiety about lo's - I think that is natural to an extent for mums to feel irrational fear for our babies. Suddenly this tiny precious person arrives in the world and we are given sole responsibility for it - what if we drop it? break it? do something dreadful to it? When ds1 was born I used to get vivid images in my mind of terrible things that could happen to him - if I was pushing the buggy by a main road, I'd see a lorry hit the buggy and it go flying. Or walking down the stairs carrying him, I'd see myself dropping him or banging his head on the door frame. Apparently that's normal...
This is probably going to sound very cheesy and self-helpy (which I am usually totally not) but I'm currently reading a great book called The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters. I got it because I'm a GP and he was the guy who interviewed me for med school
and let me in whoopsie and he was our head of Psychiatry and realy good and entertaining. It has really good and simple ways of helping you handle your emotions, anxieties and stress levels. I haven't shouted at ds1 today! Eek that's terrible that I clearly shout all the time... I have found it so hard lately not to get very stressed and impatient during the day and taking it out a bit on ds1. Kids are just so relentless! I'm on maternity leave and go back to work part time in September and, while I'm dreading it, I also think work will be a piece of cake compared with looking after small children all day. Parenting is the hardest job in the world! I've worked 120 hour weeks and I still mean that...
Well am just having a before bed
which I have been driven to by my darling dc's to unwind. Good night all and wishing you all good sleeps (miracles happen!)
I am very late today this thread. I think my mental health has taken a hit since becoming a mother.
I feel like a failure. I am not a good mother. I barely keep my kids fed and clean and get them to school on time. I feed them crap and they watch too much TV and they're half feral.
Katy it is darn hard work keeping kids fed and clean and to school on time. Despite getting up at 6.30am today I only just managed to get ds1 to school on time, with much nagging to put on clothes and eat his toast. I did the school run unshowered, with no make-up on and not having drunk coffee - this is very bad! Usually there would have to be a fire to make me leave the house without mascara.
My ds1 also watches too much TV / disney dvd's / online computer games such as Numberjacks and Fireman Sam and City Lego (incidentally these are AWESOME way of entertaining small children for a bit!). Sometimes it is a toss up though between him not watching TV or me losing my rag because I haven't had a second to myself all day and am about to lose it. I think TV is preferable to meltdown-mum in that case. Try not to beat yourself up - parenting is hard. If you genuinely think it's all going wrong, it's never too late to turn it around.
I'm late to this thread too, but read it this morning and definitely rang a bell for me. I have just had a horrendous weekend - dh was working, and I found that I was willing the time with the dcs away, literally praying for it to be bedtime. On Saturday as soon as they were all down I had to clean up the kitchen after their tea, sort out washing, ironing etc, bring all the stuff in from the garden, I worked until 9.30pm then fell into bed. Got up three times in the night with bf baby and then started the day on Sunday with more of the same. I was on my knees sobbing with the children (I have four under 6) several times throughout the day. They don't listen. They fight. They hit each other. They shout at me (the older two). I've read 'How to talk so kids listen', 'raising boys', 'raising girls', been on positive parenting course (triple p) - have a bloody degree in Psychology and used to work with adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour ffs, so know all about reinforcing the positives.
I just find motherhood so utterly relentless. It has affected my self esteem immeasurably. I find being talked down to by toddlers day in day out makes me feel utterly rubbish. The feeling of not even being able to successfully get out of the door. You know, open the door and walk outside without someone having an utter meltdown?!! Every day is ground hog day - I have to race to get the washing done, and three meals a day for a family of six, it seems to dominate everything. If I don't get stuff done (and I'm talking about basics like getting food in, getting clothes washed, not 'icing on the cake' stuff like dusting skirting boards) I'll have too much to do the following day, because it just won't go away. There is too much for one person to cope with. People say, "Have a break" but how? Family support less that useless, if I do go out with friends in between bf baby then I have to come back and work over-time to deal with all the jobs that need doing. I'm not a single mother. Dh works hard, and works hard at home too - we've just got a lot to do.
I saw a counsellor when I was diagnosed with phd after my second, and she asked what I did to 're-energise'. Re-energise? Hobbies and interests have gone out of the window. I try - I get the sewing machine out and try to be creative, to achieve a small thing at the end of an otherwise monotonous day, but am so tired that I usually end up just falling in to bed. I don't spend enough time with dh. I don't enjoy my time with the dcs. I can't tell people in rl the full extent of my misery because people are almost allergic to it. They want you to say "I'm ok, doing fine" smiley face.
I told dh I was going to go to the doctors this week to see if there was a 'quick fix' that would help me get through each day without wanting to sink to my knees and scream with every shout of 'Mum!!!'. I've tried hiding in the bathroom. The best solution I've found is driving to the tip with the children all strapped in the car, because I get a few minutes of peace where they are all safe and listening to music, and there is no expectation that they are all going to get out and go crazy, driving me mad.
I think 7 years of interrupted sleep, spending best part of 7 years breastfeeding and being pregnant for best part of three years hasn't helped, but is it depression, is it anxiety? or is it just parenthood. So, I didn't go to the gp, and just vowed to try harder. I don't think it matters how many dc you have, there are phases and stages which are bone-numbingly draining and tiring, and you can only really understand when you are experiencing them yourselves. I don't know what kind of support/behaviour is helpful, but I know that once in a blue moon when some kind soul says to me that my children are lovely, and I'm doing a wonderful job I could sob with joy. There is so little positive reinforcement for us as parents - I certainly don't get anything positive from my own immediate family. I wish I could offer more help - but I do think I know what you are talking about. Good luck op.
happynappies, what an incredibly eloquent post.
How are you feeling today?
How is everyone else?
Toddler and baby asleep. Thank The Lord. All morning they've taken turns to need something from me their only provider.
I think I've finally worked out that the weird 'I'm going to go mad' feeling is just in fact stress as it subsides when DH gets home/the rare occasion others have DS.
The baby is easy. Although I love DS more than life I think I'm a bit allergic to him in that stress accompanies looking after him. He's your average toddler but I just don't seem to have the mental resilience to cope.
mummytobenji Thank you. I feel like I sholuld go back to the doctors but it's a bit like playing a broken record. I keep saying the same things but noone really hears me. There's nothing anyone can do for me it seems. I feel stressed and on edge all the time. There's nothing I can do but wait it out I think.I keep hoping once DS2 is older and more verbal, less whingy, less likely to go into meltdown everytime we step out the door.... I don't know.
I feel like I failed the baby bit spectacularly with DS1 and I wanted to somehow 'get it right' this time....but again I find myself feeling anxious and literally on my knees every time he cries. I can not handle it at all. I care for him, make sure he's fed and well. I appreciate how lucky I am to have 2 healthy beautiful boys. I adore DS1 and enjoy my time alone with him but DS2, whilst I do love him, I can't deny he has made me miserable and his constant demands bore me to tears. I also find myself snapping at DS1 everytime DS2 cries or needs something which is completely unfair and I always apologise but feel guilty constantly.
happynappies I do feel for you. It's just endless isn't it? Same with me really, is it depression??? Or just parenting??? I don't know. I had really only just begun to enjoy parenting before we got pregnant with DS2 and then of course it was like starting from scratch again. I feel like I could cry every time DH heads out the door for work. In my head I see myself every morning clinging to his neck and begging him to not leave me with the baby (I don't do it purely because he CAN'T stay with me and he needs his job and also because it would distress DS1 to see his derranged mother like that!) I find that although DS1 (now nearly 6 yrs old) still irritates me at times, it's nothing I can't deal with and nothing that drives me to the very edge. DS2 (17 months) I just am so so so bored with every day. I know that sounds horrible but I find the first 2- 3 years just so mind numbingly boring, yet I am on high alert all the time waiting for the next melt down. How old are your children now? Have you found there are any ages you find easier than others? Just wondering if maybe you could kind of look forward to the age you enjoy iyswim and know that one day it will get better??? I am currently on a countdown to DS2's 2nd birthday.... then I am looking forward to next summer when I turn 30 and hopefully my life will be back in some kind of order. At the moment I just feel like I'm drowning in the chaos and I still feel in a 'baby fog' which most of my friends seem to emerge from after a matter of weeks. I still feel like I'm floundering around even after a year and half! I am also drinking faaar too often in the evenings. Just as an attempt to relax and try and have some kind of 'adult' life when the boys are in bed. Like a lot of people on here, we have no family support what so ever. I have a few friends but all of which just come round and add to the stress and chaos. I feel like I can not make cups of team talk to people and entertain them in the way they seem to expect. I feel at breaking point as soon as anyone comes round because it's just one more person to 'look after'. Arrrgh.
Sorry, I am rambling and ranting but just needed to vent!
Oddbodd I feel very similar. The friends coming round thing strikes a chord. I make an effort to get to mother and toddler group (they fix everything don't you know?) but then I'm so fucking stressed while I'm there with DS hitting everyone I wonder why I bother. It's my own mind I need to escape I think.
I've struggled with the quandry of is it better to get out - e.g. to toddler groups etc, or is it better to stay at home? Everyone says you feel better if you go out, but I think if you do a quick cost/benefit analysis you will know yourself whether or not it is worthwhile. At times I feel better for being out, away from my own four walls, with some other people to chat to - a change of scene. Other times I think the battle to get out in between the school run and picking ds up from pre-school, the stress involved, just to chase around endlessly, fretting from one moment to the next, then dashing home... is it worth it? Friends coming round is a mixed blessing!! I do get the house tidier and more presentable in the hour before anyone comes around so feel a bit more positive, but often feel like I can never actually have a conversation with them because I'm so busy 'firefighting' and dealing with issues like not being able to share, not playing together, wanting x, y, z.
It is a bit like being in a glass box. You can see your friends through the glass, having a lovely time, chatting, enjoying themselves. But you are inside, unable to string a sentence together, unable to reach them. And making cups of tea, 'looking after' even more people, yes yes - totally exhausting.
I think when you are exhausted, and burnt-out with parenting, anything adds to your burden, even small things make you feel at your wits end.
My dc are 6, 4, 2 and 9 months, and on the one hand it is a lot easier now than when I had 5, 3, 1 and newborn, but on the other hand the older two get increasingly difficult to manage behaviour-wise, and that isn't really going to change. My youngest two are generally a pleasure to be with, but practically there is a lot of looking after (nappies, bf the youngest, closer supervision, naps etc, double buggy) but maybe the practical side of looking after them wears me out more than I realise leaving me shorter-tempered with the older two? I'm sure that when the baby is 1+ things will feel better, and maybe when my 4 year old ds starts school in September again things will be a bit better.
I think I've given up hoping for 'better' and just hope that a change is as good as a rest, and look forward to things being 'different' rather than better. Perhaps that is too pessimistic an approach, and perhaps I should be thinking more seriously about seeing my gp - not sure! My sister has just had her first baby and six weeks in she is struggling through the sleep-deprived fog as you do, wondering if she should stop bf because it may be detracting from the pleasure of parenting. I'm hopelessly negative at the moment because of my tiredness, and of course I love my dc and there have been lots of positives along the way, but honestly - pleasure of parenting? After 7 years lots of things detract from the pleasure of parenting in my experience, and they are not easily fixed. And then I have parents of teenagers telling me what I'm experiencing is nothing, wait 'til you get to the teenage years!!
Sorry, its all me me me - but it is really good to vent. So good that people understand, and know where I'm coming from!!
just read a bit more of this thread as I'm feeling a bit low today.
HappyNappies I grinned when you said 'have a bloody degree in Psychology'! But that is definitely part of why it is tough. All the jobs we do and things we study before becoming parents don't prepare us.
In fact I relate to everything you wrote - that is exactly how it is for me. Every single thing you've said. I wanted to slap the counsellor who asked me about what I do for myself. Well obviously, nothing! That is the fricking problem. And yes to having to work even harder to catch up if I do dare to go out for a few hours.
I actively dislike DS3 at times. He just makes life so unpleasant -shouting, running around, chucking stuff all over the place, making a mess with food / mud / paint etc. I don't have the energy to deal with him.
I also have a problem with friends who come over. I am in a dilemma - do I invite them and have to do all the work, or do I not see them? Everyone seems to want to come to my house. I love my friends, but I can't cope with 2 or 3 or 4 extra people to look after too.
Sorry that sounds so awful about DS3. He is a bright and cheerful little boy, chatty and funny and full of beans.
Just <<<hugs>>> to everyone. YYYYYYYYY to kind older ladies who give you a knowing smile and say what lovely children you have or a pat on the arm when you have a screaming child in the trolley at the supermarket. I once cried all the way home after a lady stopped me in the street and said 'It may be fraught but it's such a lovely time and you're doing so well'. Never met her before or since, no idea what prompted her as we were just walking home, nobody was screaming at anybody.
I know it's a lovely, precious time I will look back on with fondness when I have 3 sulky teenagers, but knowing that just makes me feel guilty for not enjoying it more.
Our budget is really tight but I refuse to feel guilty about my cafe habit. I pay someone to make me a really nice coffee, bring cake my DC will crumble onto the floor and pour juice on, then I get to walk away and leave the mess. I am finding I do less and less tidying up before leaving cafes. But I get a small sense I am doing something for me.
Have really been thinking about a point upthread about the misogyny of medicating mothers - is that what's happening? Motherhood is that tough we need tablets to get through it? Have always been resistant to idea of ADs even when I've had them prescribed, but this point has made me wonder about the bigger picture. No conclusions, just ramblings.
LimeLeaf how old is your ds3? My ds is also my most difficult one - and everything you say resonates: shouting, running around, chucking stuff, making a mess. I do love him. I do. But he is hard hard work. Really hard work. I wonder to myself if he is ADHD or something, but his behaviour at pre-school is perfect. He just behaves like I don't know what at home... its so hard isn't it??
I know what you mean - when dp takes dcs away I feel immediately less tired, the very second they have gone out of the door, and I feel awful for it. I noticed it first when it was just dd1, before dd2 came along, and in theory I was going to rest and recuperate when they had gone, and having a few hours off was going to make me feel better. And I was shocked with guilt to realise that even before the couple of hours off, I felt immediately better the second that dd was gone. And the second she returned I felt exhausted.
Happynappies, I have a 14 year old dd and 3 year old ds and just wanted to say my dd is a breeze compared to my ds. Of course the teenage years are hard and have their own demands but teenagers are just not as relentless as toddlers. Well in my experience anyway. My son is a whirlwind of energy, he souts at me, dictates to me, has me in tears. I can talk, laugh and enjoy hearing about my dd's day. she leaves in the morning for school on her own, is out the house from 8am til 4:30pm, in her room or out with friends. she does her own thing most of the time (her choice). My toddler is with me all the time telling me I'm his best friend one minute, having a melt down because he can't have an ice-lolly at 8am, shouting he's done a poo, throwing toys at the cats, banging a thor hammer off the walls, throwing all the covers off all beds, tipping the dirty washing out.....the list goes on.
In my experience living with a teenager and toddler, the teenager is much easier so there is hope!! xx
Curryeater - I soooo identify with the immediate sense of relief!
It's like a vice being taken off your head.
I mean one of those medieval torture headband things.
I don't know why I thought of that, I don't think about torture a lot.
Is anyone else feeling the pressures of what they think they "should" be doing as a mum? Like playing games, baking fucking fairy cakes, reading educational stuff all damn day?
I am better now that I'm working, but I have a physical job and am exhausted at night. Throwing some chicken nuggets in the oven is sometimes all I can handle.
My husband is working up in Scotland, and I am doing it all alone, but at least I have my in laws to do a lot of babysitting while I'm working.
YES to all of you! katythecleaninglady I had to laugh at the baking fucking fairy cakes comment! Haha, yes exactly, I always feel guilty that I'm not talking to DS2 constantly or baking fucking fairy cakes with DS1!
And the immediate relief when they go to bed or out with DH is something I thought only happened to me! It's like at 3pm I am so tired and close to tears needing a nap, then DH comes home at 6pm and it's a little easier, by 7:30 when the boys are both asleep I feel recharged the second I'm away from their constant demands. To be honest DS1 isn't even hard work any more (usually anyway, obviously being 5 he still has his moments) but on the whole he is pretty reasonable and fairly easy to entertain...without the baby constantly grabbing, pinching, screaming at him .
This evening DS2 has just wandered around crying, everytime I've looked at him, talked to him, cuddled him, it's ended with him sobbing and screaming over fuck knows what. I am so exhausted by him. i actually said to DH tonight 'I hate him, I can't do this anymore.' The sad thing is that whilst I feel guilty for admitting it, it is the truth. I actively dislike him and his attitude towards everything and he's only 17 months old! He just makes everything so much damn hard work. Meal times are a nightmare as he doesn't seem to want to be in the high chair but won't eat anywhere else, just drops all his food on the floor then whinges and cries to get out. After school I took DS1 to get his feet measured at Clarks and to buy some new trainers for him, DS2 spent the entire time crying and sobbing because the pushchair had stopped moving for 2 sodding seconds. I am exhausted by him. Nothing pleases him and he is draining so much from our family that I don't know if my mental health will ever recover.
Oddbod my DS is the same. They need to create a new word for exhaustion.
I don't give myself credit though. My mental health is extremely poor but as silly as it sounds it's only now in linking it to the unrelenting nature of motherhood. I thought it was just me rather than an external factor but the truth is like curryeater says as mad or as mentally fucked up I feel it seems to ebb away when I have more than 20 minutes to myself. Hard at mo with bfing too. I feel I can never truly get away. I went on a jog last night and my DH sent me a text message asking where DSs water bottle was. I couldn't fucking believe it - I get half an hour to myself ALL day.
DH has to come home and literally scrape me up sometimes, like to tonight. He gives me pep talks but as great as he is he doesn't understand what it's like. I feel on edge all day and it's a miserable way to go on. I've got the baby now and DH has been getting DS ready for bed and getting extremely irritates by his whinging etc - he gets it for an hour, I get it ALL day as well as the baby's physical needs bless her.
I fucking need wine. Desperately.
Sorry for typos. I'm fucked.
It's so hard isn't it striped. I feel like DH will give me a stern talking to tonight....it upstes him when he sees me hit rock bottom because he doesn't understand what I find so damn hard about it all. What he doesn't understand is that he gets to escape for 9 hours a day. His life has carried along the same route it would have done before having the DCs. My entire life is completely stopped and been taken over by these 2 ,(beautiful it has to be said) unreasonable, people who make demands and whinge and cry no matter how much effort I make.
DH usually says something dead helpful like 'we've just got to carry on, it won't last forever.' Arrrgh, I KNOW there is no other alternative and that's what is so fucking depressing. It's just existing. Just surviving. There is no escape. I never get to switch off like he can at work. Even when I worked, I was constantly thinking about DS1 and was he OK, had he eaten, had he had a nap. Now we have DS2 and I have given up work, it's 24/7 and I feel like a failure because nothing makes DS2 happy. It's endless frigging crying and whenever I look at him he has his sad sulky cry face on and it makes me feel so deflated. DH seems to think that it's my job to enjoy it.... pah!
None of my mum friends feel like this. It's not even that they're lying. When I tell them how hard it is they just look sympathetic and tell me how amazing their babies are. DS2 is like noone elses baby and I know his endless misery is contributing to the depression but even if he was an easy baby, I'd still be bored shitless and irritated. Maybe I'm just not very maternal.
Honestly I'm exactly the same. I can't wait to get back to work in an attempt to make myself feel less insane.
Your friends are lying. Make no mistake about it. They are not confident enough to admit to it. Yes there are blissful moments - heavenly even - but they mostly pepper the shit.
I've just said I want to go back to work to feel more like my old self and DH veered toward snapping at me saying he'd like to be 'fucking five again but it's not going to happen'. Helpful. No idea I tell you. I realise I sound like a downtrodden whinging wife but it's true. If I'm close to
a mental break down he'd have had one if given the same set of circumstances. Ahhh and it was me who chose all this!!!!!! Fucking hell.
Yeah, that's the problem that just confounds all this guilt. The fact that we chose this life and we should feel blessed to even be able to have children. Blah blah blah. Yes, I do feel blessed that I am fertile. I do feel blessed that I have had 2 healthy gorgeous boys. BUT that doesn't stop me from wishing things were easier. Just wishing things weren't so damn impossible at least. Sorry your DH is about as sensitive as mine striped . I don't want to bad mouth DH because he is great with the boys. He really is a great dad and a pretty amazing husband BUT he just has no idea what it's like to have all the pressure of children on his own and the constant worry and anxiety. He works full time, yes I am sure he faces stresses and strains but he really doesn't understand that we do too. Only we don't get paid for it. We don't get dinner hours and we don't get days off. We don't get to clock out. He comes home and finds it manageable here because I am already here keeping things ticking over. The kids happiness and behaviour feels like if push comes to shove then it's solely my responsibility. It's me who feels crap everytime DS2 has a screaming crying fit over nothing. It's me who people come up to and ask 'what's wrong with him?' and it's me who has to fucking smile and make the excuse that he's tired or ill or teething AGAIN.
I just can not keep doing this. DH is asleep on the sofa after a 'hard' day. The boys are in bed. Once again I have no adult company and absolutely nothing to show for the day of hell I've just survived.
Are you me?! You really sound like it!
I just come downstairs and the baby had no blanket over her and DH is sat watching shitty sitcoms with his beer. This is the kind of thing that's really starting to piss me off - I have to micromanage and I feel the overwhelming sense that's it's me having to have the constant underlying worry to keep them alive.
The other day we had the grandparents and friends around and so it was a bit of an open house. All I did was constantly make sure where the children were and if they were safe. If I just failed to do it DS would use it as an opportunity to run down the street.
Am so glad I found this thread, I thought it was just me . I've found that people treat me differently since having my fourth, which I don't really understand... I suppose on some level I understand - people think 'why on earth did you have four if you find it so difficult?' but you wouldn't say that to a person who had one child and found them difficult, and each child is different. It is my second child who wears me down to the bone, the third and fourth are a breeze!
So - I get a lot of relatives who think we've made our bed and can damned well lie on it, and won't help us out in any small way. So I totally agree, it is the monotonous relentlessness of it - I would love to be able to escape even for a few minutes. In fact, in the evening I often volunteer to drive round the corner to the Co-op to pick up a carton of milk or something - it feels like a holiday!! My Mum actually sat with my youngest two for 20 mins today while I dashed to get my ds from pre-school, and without the double buggy felt I could take on the world... well, I could get through the doorway un-encumbered anyway!! Then ds started howling and yowling all the way home, and I feel like I'm on one of those flat escalators at an airport, but instead of going forwards I'm sort of slipping backwards with all the things I should be doing but haven't done yet.
Exactly right that dh comes in to a relatively organised house because of how much hard work has gone on in the day - but there is no insight into how draining this is. I find the constant noise, the whining, the droning, the tantrums... the shrieking and shouting... it just wears me out completely. I often say to them 'Just let me think!!' while I'm, e.g.standing trying to choose a bag of apples or something equally mundane which a normal, sane individual could do in the blink of an eye. I'm fed up of telling people I can't think straight any more. And yes yes yes, I've chosen this, so that just makes me feel more guilty. And then they'll grow up and I'm worried that I'll regret either being 'cheated' out of this phase by this horrible depressive/anxious awfulness, or just that I've blinked and missed it - although at the moment that feels far from likely. Even if I slept for a year I don't think any of the 'challenges' would have changed remotely!! Anyway - here's hoping you have a peaceful evening, and enjoy that time away from the dcs.
Oh God striped maybe I am you and parenting has affected my mental health so much I am infact talking to myself!
I sympathise with the worry about you having to keep them alive. We just got back from holiday last week and I noticed the whole time it was ME who had to pack drinks for the boys in the changing bag, apply sun cream etc, little things like this just don't enter DH's head because either he is clueless or he just knows I will do it. DH is now awake faffing on his phone while I have been cleaning the kitchen after dinner, making DS1's packup, cleaning DS2'a bottles, sweeping etc. He's had a nice little power nap and is now in 'switched off' mode. Arrrrgh. I could get angry but then I don't think I have the energy to. There'd be no point. It wouldn't change anything.
This is why I don't invite people over because it's me who has to keep the children alive AND entertain people while DH kind of gets to float around socialising and looking happy. I feel exactly as someone upthread said. I can see all my friends and family having fun. I try to join in their conversations but it's as if I can't get through. I am stuck. Trapped in a glass box where all I can feel is worry and my own sadness and failures.
YYYY Happynappies , that's exactly it. People probably wonder why on earth we had another child but like you it's our second that drives me mental. DS1 is a relative breeze by comparison. That said, he wasn't at the age DS2 is now. I seem to remember feeling fairly similar back then only I dodn't have to keep a front up for DS1 when he was a baby. I could nap when he did and cry in the next room and he had no idea. Now of course, the endless keeping up appearances and TRYING to have fun with DS1 while DS2 screams or moans at me is maddening.
Happynappies! I went to Tesco solo a few weeks ago (yes a few weeks ago was my last solo venture out) and I felt like I was in Disneyland. It was amazing. This from a pre DC well travelled woman of the world. I came back home excited at my trip to Tesco. Jesus.
Have just read all your recent comments and have lots of sympathy / empathy with everyone. I hope you are all feeling a bit better now that dc's have hopefully gone to bed. I have a glass of wine in my hand and am listening to weird music coming from ds1's monitor - on investigation he appeared to be snoring in musical fashion. Finally got him to sleep after his attempts at staying up for longer - "I need a poo" (he didn't), followed by trying to look out the window and slipping and banging his head. Threatened him with no swimming tomorrow and that seemed to do the trick.
It has been a bad few days here too. Dd2 has a cold and we have both been constantly covered in snot / dribble / poo. She cried allllll day Sunday and hasn't been a whole lot happier since. I find I can cope with her but end up losing it at poor ds1 instead. He's a sweetheart but very lively and can be difficult at times, but he doesn't deserve my snapping at him when I'm fed up. He asked me this morning if I was tired, followed by "and do you feel a little bit shouty?" Ashamed and guilty but can only try harder not to lose my rag. I think part of parenting is the feeling that you are constantly failing and screwing it up.
Oddbod do please see your GP and have a chat about how you are feeling. Perhaps there are avenues you haven't explored. I am sure they would be happy to help you (I'm a GP and I would) Same goes for you too happy At least be open with your GP about how you are coping and feeling and see what someone objective thinks. Yes parenting is extremely hard, and I'm not surprised you're run ragged with four dc's, but stress and generally feeling at the end of your tether most of the time can also cause depression and anxiety.
I have times when the kids have been at me constantly all day that I really feel quite unhinged and borderline insane, then once I've got them to bed and there is finally some blessed peace the feelings of insanity subside. Almost like the memory of childbirth - really quite awful, but once it's over and you're holding this cute tiny person you almost forget what the birth itself was like
except with dd2 who flew out in less than 3 hours with her hand up by her face, she's grounded till she's 16 Like right now, I don't feel too nuts... whereas earlier when I had grumpy snotty dd2 screaming and fighting in my arms while ds1 sulked I was really feeling like jumping out the window and legging it off up the street.
Anyway, enough waffle from me. Hugs to you all and hope you're all hanging on in there x
I get excited if DH sits outside the supermarket with the kids in the car and I stride in quick for a bottle of milk. It's pathetic isn't it? What the fuck happened?!
at Oddbodd talking to herself on MN.
"I have times when the kids have been at me constantly all day that I really feel quite unhinged and borderline insane, then once I've got them to bed and there is finally some blessed peace the feelings of insanity subside."
This is so true(sitting with a cup of tea on mumsnet in a quiet house is bliss) which presumably is what reassures most people that they are suffering from stress and exhaustion and not something more serious.
DH and I almost never argue when DC are asleep but when children are awake we irritate each other immensely.
Ha ha this is cheering me up no end!
Mummy2benji - you have it so right about the insanity subsiding once DCs are in bed. I feel exactly like that. I feel like I'm past help with my own strange worries and the effect stress has on me through the day and on a night with my glass of wine I feel human again. For me though it's coming to terms with the idea that I'm not mad - just temporarily whilst looking after DCs. In the midst of it I worry there's no hope for me.
Before DCs I honestly thought I knew what stress was. I had a really 'stressful' job with thought deadlines, mean bosses. I also have a chronic illness which is very difficult to manageon a day to day basis. But looking after DCs? Jesus.
It does make me wonder if this could be the real reason many women go back to work full time as I know we wouldn't be in a better position if I did due to child care costs. However if this level if torment ensues that's exactly what I'll be doing. I'm rapidly coming to the end if my tether and have had quite enough of putting everyone else's needs above mine.
X post with Nuts!
I am not mad, I am not mad. It's my new mantra.
Also when I talk to my mum about this she doesn't understand what in talking about...
"Also when I talk to my mum about this she doesn't understand what in talking about..."
I'm lucky that my mum is very supportive( though I wished she lived nearer). She does empathise with my situation despite the fact that she "loved every minute of parenting". And yet I do know she went through some real hardships at times (financially as a LP etc).
Whether it's selective memory I don't know. She does say she thinks it's harder for our generation as we live in a more child-centred society. She didn't have any family support (and no toddler groups) but I suppose as a society people expected children to fit in with their parents and we were just happy to be observers at times. I was fascinated by adults and loved listening to their conversations, rarely tempted away by the promise of a video upstairs.
And my parents generation always seemed to be able to kiss their children goodnight and shut the door- children of that generation always seem to put themselves to sleep (is that selective memory again).
My mum is lovely and supportive - and really tries to understand but the while stressed to within an inch of my life thing she just never experienced. I think she was less of a mummy martyr if that makes sense? Like you say nuts - quite happy to shut the door. And it's had no ill effect on me...or has it and hence my current mental health situation! Ha!
nutsinmay I don't think children of that generation went to bed any better than ours do, I understand that Phernergan was an fairly acceptable way to drug them to sleep.
I was very lucky in that my DC's slept as babies, but my now pre-school DD raises hell every evening. She'll be the death (or sectioning) of me I'm sure.
Yes meglet - I was in my own nursery from a week
old as mum couldn't bear the 'snuffling'. No monitor...maybe they had it right! No drugging mind
I don't think
I've just found this thread & have sat here for two hours reading, gin in hand, in blessed relief. The timing could not be more perfect.
I never really wanted to be mother, never had the burning desire for children people talk about, never felt the need. I had a foolish first marriage very young & slipped off one weekend, never to return, the world was mine, I could do as I pleased & pretty much did, & it was fun, glorious fun & fulfilling & airy & bright & FREE.
& DH (2) along & we were so in love & made that stupid pact that people so thrilled with each-other & themselves often make, 'we're so perfect, so happy, so full of possibility & bloody life, just imagine, just think, think of the amazing children we will have'. We made lists of names, made love, made plans.
& lo, I was fecund, they popped out a breeze, I popped back into shape, they suckled like lambs & slept like cherubs.
So easy, so breezy, so perfectly me-sy.
Six years down the line, I am a shambling wreck of a woman, I realise I sold my life down the river on a narcissistic dream of perfect little mini-me's, who would thrill the world with their beauty & wit. It turns out I did get two little me's & I never realised what a pain in the arse I actually was. For that I thank them every day (when not feeling the urge to stick my head in the oven).
This thread has actually been a life-saver for me, it's been liberating & such a bloody relief to hear other people say this. I seem to be surrounded by a sea of seemingly perfect mothers who float through life in a cloud of fucking fairy-dust & endlessly picture perfect days, where the last rays of sun shine poetically through their mountain-side sausage cooks with their adorably grubby offspring & mama's always laughing in the (vintage) rowing boat whilst papa heaves manfully on the oars, (it's just Face Book, it's not real-life, repeat the manta whist sobbing , silently into the nearest alcoholic drink & ignoring the constant mama, mama, mama, ma mammmmmmmm blends seamlessly into the background of the endless washing cycles, feeding cycles, clothing cycles, cycle fucking cycles).
I once tried to share how I felt, thought we could laugh about the indignities & horrors, they looked at me as though Id suggested gently barbecuing the first-born with a few springs of thyme. I've shut up since then.
I did wonder recently if I was depressed, I decided I'm not, I'm just suppressed, which is different, but when they go to school & I lie in the bath, staring at the blank, white tiles, I wonder what became of me.
Oh & I think it was Shakey who said up-thread she freezes when her child runs off, I do the same, I stand there, frozen, as they career off to uncertain fate, caught in the moment of fear & indecision. I know I can't catch them, can't get there in time if they go flying down the hill & land in a heap. There's nothing I can do. Most of the time it's ok though. It's just ok.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Getting strong, I COMPLETELY understand re going to bed late. I need time, I need to be me, I suck in those hours between their sleep & wakefulness. I'm a vampire, a night-crawler, I seek solace in the empty hours where I can smoke fags in the kitchen & drink tea or gin or any variation of.
I love the quiet. Not even a bird sings.
Long-time lurker here, I've joined MN just to post on this amazing thread. Thank you so much for it. It's barely an exaggeration to say reading it has kept me sane over the last week or so! The feeling of not being alone is amazing.
Sorry if this is a bit incoherent-it's late, am on phone, plus first post! Like others I NEED time to myself so go to bed too late, which probably doesn't help matters. Did sleep earlier in the eve, though.
I have had some MH issues in the past, so I suppose it's not a massive surprise that I struggle with parenting so much. DP is wonderful, but as others have said, doesn't get it. We both work shifts and cover childcare for toddler DD between us. I'm pt and he's ft though, so I have her on my own more. She is better-behaved for him, which obviously I blame myself for, but he is only just coming to realise the difference in her behaviour with us both, and that that might affect what I can and can't do in a day.
He said the other day that he didn't understand why I found it so hard to get chores done in the day when I was on mat leave, and even now (obviously better now, but still tough sometimes), when he gets stuff done. Well, let me see. Could it have been the lack of sleep? Think someone upthread mentioned bfing whilst DP snored next to them-YYY! Drove me bonkers. He'd wake DD up just as she's dropped off, after maybe an hour of feeding. He'd then get cross if I woke him up to ask if he could maybe move so he wasn't snoring. It would then take another hour to get DD back to sleep. He'd then yawn pointedly throughout the next day because being awake for two whole minutes in the night is clearly KNACKERING. Phew, am quite cross about that, clearly!
Also, bf DD was very, very clingy with me, to the point where I couldn't put her down for months. That made chores a little tricky. Plus bf itself took forever in my day. Plus she'd never sleep in her cot so needed holding if we were in the house. Plus even now she will often whine and shriek and pull at my clothes if i so much as try to make bloody beans on toast, whereas she'll play happily for ages while he makes a proper meal. I could go on!
I just can't believe that I tell him all of the above and he STILL doesn't get it. I'm sure it's annoying coming home to jobs that need doing, but I work too, and it is SO MUCH EASIER than being at home (and I work with kids! Mad, I know).
God, I've gone off on a massive tangent, haven't I?! Sorry for using you all as some sort of therapy! DD is such a sweetheart and I can't believe how much I love her, but the RELENTLESSNESS of it all drives me mad. The washing/cleaning/meals, the having to PLAY all the time, the feeling guilty if I try to read a book for 5 mins whilst she's having her lunch. Before I had her I thought I'd be good at parenting but I'm not. I remember looking at a woman feeding her baby in a cafe and judging her harshly as she dared to be looking at her phone instead of gazing into her baby's eyes. Was I completely nuts??
I SO relate to the story early on in the thread about being at the zoo, and also to the great descriptions of having people round but not actually getting to talk as they sit about demanding tea and not helping whilst you're making tea, getting snacks AND looking after child/ren. Some of them spend this time moaning about how they never had any help when their own children were little. I'm looking at you, DM!
Sorry again for huge, ranty post. Hope you are all enjoying restful nights and thank you again for making me feel less alone and mad.
I remember being chided for reading while my first son nursed. I had forgotten about that. But, I think that was the beginning of a theme for me: I love my kids, but I resent being expected to focus solely on them, all the time.
I sometimes hear other mums talk about how hard it is in this sort of way: "It's so exhausting and boring to take my child to the park and push them on the swings every day, but I do it."
See, I don't do it. Oh, sometimes I will, but I hate it so much that I almost never do. I just let my kids amuse themselves, which means telly and quarrelling.
When I was a kid, kids played outside, but now they can't. It's not safe for my children to do that where we live because of traffic, etc.
I do do some things. I will load them in the car and take them for a day in to York or something maybe once a month. I also separate them for one on one days, leaving two with inlaws or husband to take one on a day out with me. I have one or two of them in my bed at night, and I will cuddle and watch movies.
What I won't do is play with them or stand there and watch them play. I feel guilty about that.
Well I do wonder who has or right. DH off today and giving me a MUCH needed lie in after a week of the both of them (however DD will be politely delivered to me at the slightest whinge with declarations that 'she must be hungry').
You see he has switched on the TV and is watching his sitcoms while DS plays. This would not happen for me as DS knows if he paws at me and brings me books I'll eventually give in and give him attention. Like others though I love the pants off him I find toddler play such hard work - and he is only ever interested in something for 15 minutes max.
Oh God yy to the ducking constant washing. It's funny as the things I moan about are soooo typical. I find myself saying typical 'mum' moany things like: "This basket is never empty," and cringing. It's just not me. The sound of the washing cycle now makes me feel sick as its going all day.
I never had any concept of babies/children and happily admit that I felt it was time to have them as my friends were!!!! The shame! I clearly never learnt the 'if your friends jumped off a cliff would you?' lesson as a child.
at ducking. You know what I meant.
Also * it's and a few other things I can't be arsed to correct.
What brilliant writing. I love you all.
Handfulofdust, the vintage row boat cracked me up.
Something I have been musing on, since saying the other day about how we can't strike, and this is how other workers achieved their rights: how to make our problems other people's problems. How to force the people around you to take on what you can't take any more. Asking doesn't work. Struggling on doing the very best you can, hoping that virtue will somehow be rewarded, doesn't work. Enraging and infuriating people doesn't make them want to help you. Making your problem their problem makes them want to solve it. How to do it?
A small victory in this area last night: to cut a long story short, a segment of a rather snippy conversation with dp:
me: "but you were the one who wanted to do x!"
him: "I was wrong. It isn't working. Let's not do x"
Silence. I was floored. This has never happened before. I firmly believe it is because I made my problem his problem, although only partly consciously. This is my conscious goal from now on.
Sorry if that sounds bitter and uncooperative and unloving. I do love him. I just can't trust him to take my problems seriously unless I force him to. And I bloody well will from now on, wherever I can.
I was in John Lewis when DH said he needed to pop into the Apple store to buy a present.
I jumped at the chance and said he could take DD with him while I had a coffee by myself; he looked at me as if I was a loonball and pointed out it was raining outside and he couldn't take the baby out on that deluge.
This hit me to the core, I actually felt like my whole body sagged and my eyes filled with tears immediately - I'm still shocked at how violent my reaction was, but for a few seconds I had envisioned 20ms of bliss nothingness and when that was taken away I couldn't cope.
I'm never alone and my 15 month old still wakes up 6 times a night, so going to bed at night is just "more of the same" but in the dark.
Doddammit Poppy, that makes me fume - if the baby is small enough to be in a pram, you use the rain cover; if the baby is big enough to walk, (s)he has a coat and a hat and is not water-soluble. I am not having a go at you because I know that if you need to get something done that means taking the baby out in the rain, you will get that goddamn thing done. It's only an obstacle when it suits someone else.
I would have killed for that coffee too.
I know what you mean by "more of the same but in the dark". But I didn't have that at 15 months! Is he bfing? Is he sick? Is it always 6 times? My heart absolutely bleeds for you. I have only had 6-times nights recently when someone is ill. Do you want to talk about this and see if anyone has any helpful suggestions, or would "helpful" suggestions just make you want to kill us? If the latter, then please accept a virtual hand hold, and consider us people you are allowed to swear violently at.
Oh bless you Poppy I do understand that reaction. And however nice and supportive
or not your dh might be, he probably isn't going to understand that feeling of desperation that arises from not having a minute to yourself all day. And night, too. I nearly had a wobble this morning whilst trying to make ds1's breakfast, as dd2 is now bottom shuffling - at 7mo - and there is nowhere I can safely put her down so that I can do anything. I struggle to go to the loo or get dressed - I went to the loo this morning with her sitting on the landing surrounded by pillows. She can escape from anything - bumbos, playnests. She particularly likes breaking free and diving on her head. She's having a nap currently and ds1 is at nursery for the morning, so I am enjoying a little peace and cup of coffee while reading this excellent thread!
That's clever of you curry to turn problems around so that your dh helps you find solutions. I hope it continues to work!
Welcome to newcomers, and handful your eloquent posts made me chuckle.
Oh geez dd2 is stirring - feels like I've had about 5 minutes!
typing furiously The relentlessness mentioned above is what gets me - I feel like I could cope with the stresses and business of motherhood if I could have some regular short breaks from it, but it is constant. I don't remember the last time I didn't have to get up at night with one or both kids. I think it may have been in 2011. I'm now a GP but I used to work in hospital and did daft hours - longest shift was 56 hours nonstop. Parenting is like that - there is always a darn bleep that can go off at any moment, for any reason. At least after the crazy shifts I could go home to bed!
Okay okay dd2 I'm coming.... Hugs to you all x
I second curry's handholding or happy to give suggestions if that would be helpful, or just be sympathetic if suggestions would be annoying...
I have eaten lunch over the last week mostly with a boob in DDs mouth and DS whining for 'mammy apful' (some of my apple despite the fact I've already given him his...). A lunch break would be nice.
They both went to sleep at the same time yesterday for a nap and it really was heaven. Although DH doesn't want DS to have a nap as it takes longer to get him to sleep on a night. Ha!!!!!! Like I would wake him up if it means 5 mins to myself! DH doesn't understand this. I envy women with children who all fall asleep for a nap at the same time in their beds.
Oh yeah keep the daytime nap going for as long as possible! Totally agree Lunch 'break' is an amusing term, isn't it. Who actually has a break at lunchtime?! Lunchtime is manic - heating up mush for baby, trying to feed her, making separate food for ds1 as he has had feeding difficulties and subsequent eating phobia and then nagging / cajoling / encouraging him to eat /
trying not to lose it and yell "just eat something ffs!" One day our dc's will all be at school and we can enjoy lunch 'breaks'.... daydreaming Except we'll probably be back at work or suffocated under the overflowing laundry pile or something. A nice thought, anyway. (Lunch breaks, not the suffocating, although there are times I'd welcome that too).
"mammy apful" is funny.
dd2 "I have it! I have it! Dis one! I eat it!" pointing wildly like a starving child at the food I am in the act of putting in my mouth
me: "This is the same cheese that you have. Look, here it is, on your plate."
dd2 "No no no no no, not eat it, dd2 NOT eat it! I eat dis one, mummy one sheese!"
Wow brillant posts from AHandFullofDust and GettingStrong I had to laugh at the friends looking at you like you suggested barbecuing the first-born. That's exactly it. Every time I say something about how hard I find it or make a joke about DS2 trying to torture me, people look at me like I'm insane or just laugh and look a little shocked- then scuttle away to their perfect lives and amazing children!
I try to tell my close friends that I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall just trying to survive the day and they just kind of sweep it under the carpet. My BEST friend has a 15 month old baby and they have custody of her husband's 3 sons from his previous relationship....even she NEVER EVER has admitted to feeling the way I do. She just breezes through it. She'll complain if the baby has kept her awake or mention if one of the boys has done something to annoy her but she's not struggling on a day to day basics just to survive til bedtime. Or if she is then why wouldn't she tell me??? She knows how I feel. I can only assume that she's made of stronger stuff than me
My cousin just had her 3rd baby in 4 years. She seems to be loving it. We talk often and never ever does she say it's horrible.
Today DS2 decided to wake up screaming and get the whole house up at 6am so of course he's even more tired and crabby than usual. He's having a nap now (normally has it at 12) so it means he'll be horrific by bedtime and tea time will be dominated by him crying and whining.
I am still stunned that even after what I said yesterday to DH that 'I hate DS2 and I can't do this any more' he has not once asked me if I'm OK. He hasn't discussed it at all. I am screaming out for help. I am telling people I AM NOT COPING. I was expecting a bit of a bollocking from him but it seems he's just immune to it. I'm not sure which I'd have preferred. If he'd have been mean about it, at least I would have known that he cares. It just seems like he doesn't give a shit how I feel. He knows I am drowing and he's just watching me.
Oddbodd, can you just leave for the day? Grab the keys and run out the door and leave your husband to get on with it?
No where really to go
Plus when I'm away I miss DS1 and I worry that DH won't be coping and that DS1 will be having a crap day because DH is run ragged by DS2. I feel so tied to them. I feel like my place is here with them, whenever I go anywhereI can not focus on anything anyway. I wish I could just go. Go for a trip to Costa on my own without having to keep a 17 month old pacified. I long for a quiet hot chocolate or a chat with a friend that isn't punctuated by crying or DS2 smacking me or DS1.
I am thinking this weekend of taking DS1 out to Costa for a hot chocolate and having a little chat with him while leaving DS2 with DH. Does that sound pathetic??? I'd love a little day just with me and DS1.
Oddbodd re. Other mums I think they are just not up to discussing feelings. I'm a person who likes to discuss feelings.
My best friend has just had a baby. I know for a fact she's not coping as DH works with her DH and has told him chapter and verse about it. However despite knowing I had extreme PND with DS1 she will not mention how she feels, despite me trying to open the gates for her. It's all 'mummyhood is marvellous' garbage, via FB of course.
She even went as far to discuss a woman who told her about her PND and said it was 'distasteful' this lady shared her personal feelings. I think this is how a lot of people are raised. In fact the more perfect things seem I truly believe the more fucked up things are. Of course I don't wish suffering on anyone but this is universal stuff - however only a few are honest enough to put it out there. Look at the response this thread has had.
To be fair to DH, we didn't have the rain cover at the time and I hadn't noticed it was raining, but that fleeting moment really drove it home.
curry and mummy2Benji thanks for the support; DD is ridiculously healthy, but it would appear she just doesn't need much sleep. I'm also an absolute wuss when it comes to sleep training, so I'm in a state of reluctant acceptance at the moment.
She'll get over it... I think.
I worked all over the world, did crazy hours and suffered Investment Bankers and Hedge Fund prodigies; I used to say having children would be a walk in the park <hallow laugh>
This thread has been a daily balm and the writing is superb (curry I would buy that book). Thank you everyone.
* disclaimer - I don't think these women are nasty in any way but not sharing, just raised differently.
Imagine my when another friend referred to her may leave as a holiday! Now that did have me scratching my head a bit. I suppose it is different strokes for different folks.
Oddbodd, you are doing this to yourself! DS2's father must deal with him while you take care of yourself.
You know how on airplanes they always say that you must fix the oxygen mask to yourself before doing so for your children? It's the same principle. You can't be of any use to others if you are not ok, yourself.
If a chat with ds 1 is what you crave, then do it. I still encourage you to go somewhere by yourself, as well.
Hello all. I completely relate to what everyone's saying here, just before I found this thread I was sitting at the kitchen table explaining to DH how I felt, that I'm tired, that I can't do it all anymore, that I'm dreading the Summer holidays. He was, until recently, working away during the week & has recently jacked in his (very well paid) job to start a business, which is great, I fully support him & it's something he's always been passionate about and I think it will be a big success. BUT I see him even less now, he's working weekends & evenings too, we've put all our savings into this & a goodly pile of debt, & now I'm working for the business too (which is brilliant in many ways as I'm using skill I'd forgotten I had).
My stress levels are through the roof, I lie awake at night with so many things whirling round & round, I had to let the cleaner go because we can't afford her at the moment, I can't afford to do much in the Summer holidays until things start taking off, I just feel that my bloody life has been compromised and made so much harder because he's doing what HE wants to do.
And DD has been having problems in her first year at school, & I'm the one going to meetings & fighting the fight & talking to ed psychs & worrying myself to death about her & coping with a very angry little girl.
And it's all Just Too Much.
I was waving my arms at DH & and telling him i'm sick of knowing where the light-bulbs are & where the socks are & where the tupperwear is & school lunches & school plays & school trips & homework & fucking Biff & bastard Kipper.
And told him one day I'll have a dream & he'd better bloody support it. Which is a joke, because I'll be wibbling in a corner by then.
Sorry for the epic posts - seem to have a lot I need to get out.
<faints at mat leave as 'holiday'>
Ohh my lord, that does make me feel like I am just getting it all wrong!!! Surely noone thinks like that!
Anyway thank you striped you could be right actually. I am definitely a person who likes to connect with people and I do constantly feel things and want to discuss things. I guess not everyone is that same. I know one of my other friends who has 2 kids similar ages to mine never really questions if she's doing a good job, never really analyses how she feels or if her kids are happy etc. She just gets on with it and it very thick skinned. She doesn't seem to feel things on the same level as I do but that's not to say she doesn't inside but she ccertainlly would never dicuss it.
I suppose this thread is testement to the fact that we are not alone! I am not an evil miserable cow of a mother simply because I do't adore every single second of being snotted on, hit, cried and screamed at. That is reassuring!
And I also completely agree re the medication of women, I was thinking of taking myself to the doctor's & throwing myself at her mercy but decided against it as they'll just give me drugs, I don't want drugs, I want help, but I don't think you can get that on the NHS.
Ohhhh fucking wankers Biff and sodding Kipper. Those twats.
Anyway, I guess I'd better sod off & do some more soul destroying wife work. Thanks for this thread, thank you all for posting what you have, it's given my cold, dark heart a little succor. It helps to know I'm not a terrible person for feeling the way I do.
I've often thought there's a conspiracy of silence surrounding motherhood, no-one tells you the true horrors because they want you to join them in the dark & parents beg for grandchildren because they want you to suffer as they did. I tell any childless friend who'll listen not to bother, I see it as my contribution to the sisterhood.
I guess I'll be checking in regularly. Keep fighting the good fight.
DS thinks wiping snot on me is a huge joke. It is funny actually and one of those times in the day I really laugh despite having felt like I've climbed a mountain in order to put make up on. I think that's what people mean when they say 'it's all worth it'. There are those high highs. Like really pinching yourself high. But the crashing lows - oh God. I really feel that when you have children in the waiting cubicle for this life you took the ticket from God for the rollercoaster rather than the little fun train. I think we were probably warned that it wasn't going to be easy but took the ticket regardless (possibly drunk at the time). I hope we made the right decision taking that ticket. I hope the rollercoaster doesn't derail through a technical fault....
I've been trying to decide whether to post on this thread all day... so much resonates with me, but rather than be cheered up by people being in the same boat as me, it has made me feel down and lots of much more eloquent posters than me have put what I'm feeling into words, and having it articulated just brings at all up again.
DD is 6 months and she is a joy. I think I'm good at this. I have been ebf so she has been with me almost 24/7 and its been ok, for the most part. I had a good pregnancy and birth. I did the lot with very little support - I'm not in my home country, not fluent in the language and DH works All. The. Time. I think I've been superwoman, frankly. I don't worry too much, I let people help when they offer, I don't think I'm fussy, or precious (nothing wrong with that at all btw, just trying to say that I have no problems per se with DD)
DH thinks I've been a whinging nightmare. When I was pregnant and tired he was telling me off "you're not THAT pregnant you know". After the birth I had to wake him up to help me go to the loo and he shouted at me.
He's CRAP with DD. I've been waiting and waiting for it to get better. He does nothing around the house at all. So its more that DH has been affecting my MH than DD. When DD was 7 weeks he said I was no fun anymore. I've been told I've "changed", I should be wanting to go out and socialise etc. I do every feed, every night waking. He sleeps the whole way through and then tells me he's tired the next morning.
I've told him I'm leaving twice so far. Then I look at DD and I can't do it to her. Can't take her family away. I have to go back to work FT in August because DH's business doesn't earn any money. I don't think DH will cope when I'm not here to do everything. But finding a flat for me and DD near work, and a childminder just seems too hard. I have no energy.
Last week he had a breakdown. Might well end up in hospital. So I have to carry on coping because HE can't cope. I want to give up bf'ing so he can do more, but I can't put more "pressure" on him because he's already not coping. I'll just have to rely on him even less. He's having a breakdown and I just resent and hate him for it. He also is now blaming all his failures during my pregnancy and DD's life so far on this looming breakdown. So I'm being asked to forgive EVERYTHING because apparently its "not him", its the stress.
So, having DD is great, I just wish I hadn't her with DH.
Urgh I've read that back and it doesn't even say what I wanted to say. I also used to be an intelligent, interested and articulate person. All I've done today is walk the dog. Ok I'm just going to hit "post" now and hope for the best....
Feel awful today, went into town with my 3 year old after he had had his pre-school booster. He had massive tantrums in Asda, people were looking, I ended up talking to a staff member, I told him he was horrible several times. Please feel free to flame me. I walked homw, or should I say struggled the 10 minute walk home with him thinking that I may work full time and have him in full time child care next year. On days like today, really don't feel that I am cut out for this. Have been crying on and off for the last hour (in between doing chores of course). have been unable to interact with him since we got home, have made him lunch, but just feel so drained and angry. Have to take him with me to something at my Son's school at 2, don't feel up to going, have a headache, feel exhausted, will have to reapply make up - just so wish he wasn't 3. Don't feel this bad everyday, but time of the month and I have recently found out that I have got quite a bad iron deficiency, am taking supplements and have started eating meat (after 20 years plus), as there is no room for me to be ill, it is just not an option. Sorry, I know this is a bit of a pity party post, just feel that I need some sympathy today, although I know I should be cuddling and bonding with my Son right now. Feel like such a cow, he was probably playing up cause of the jabs, although he seemed ok and got chocolate afterwards, but cannot help thinking that its just cause he couldn't have his own way. Sorry.
Octopus can you stick him in front of Disney and have a cuppa? You need some time to calm down by yourself or you'll keep seething. You don't need to cuddle and bond 24/7.
Stripedmum "you took the ticket from God for the rollercoaster rather than the little fun train." TOTALLY.
Even when the roller coaster is not actually killing you with fright at this precise moment, you know it is just building to something.
I sometimes think that motherhood seems so terribly unfair, relative to fatherhood, because in Ye Olden Dayes, everyone's life was terrifying and exhausting and shit, or if it was not, you were pretty much on a par with your partner. I mean either you were posh and had staff and your husband had a comfortable job in an office, or you were not posh and did everything yourself including laundry by hand, and your husband was up at 5 am to go down the mines and risk death in a day's backbreaking, filthy, exhausting labour.
I am not from outrageously posh stock but my grandmothers did not expect to do everything; they had au pairs, sent laundry out, had cleaners, someone to do the garden. and did not woh, or not constantly, not when the littles were little. My maternal grandmother worried about my mother working, and liked to send gifts and things to try and help. I cannot imagine - really cannot imagine - her not going out for months or years on end, she was terribly glamorous and it was clear even to me as a child that it was accepted that adults have adult times and adult privileges and although she was incredibly kind I just can't imagine her putting her life on hold for longer than the baby-baby stage.
Must think how to channel her spirit!
Oddbodd - totally take your ds out and have a nice time, but please please try to work out how to disconnect totally for a few moments while dh takes over - I am always burbling about them on here, but there are some really good audio thingies you can use to relax, you need the kids to be taken care of by someone else for 20 mins so you can use them but if you have that in place it is a way of not worrying - try it maybe and see, it is not healthy to be on all the time
x-posts with two cris des coeurs.
Sorry KingRollo and Octopus that you are having such shit days. I feel guilty for being so flippant about attempting to be glamorous and go out like my grandma now, when you two (and so many on this thread) are just attempting to survive. Big hugs to you both.
Curryeater you make a good point actually. I didn't realise how 'on' I have been but it's not healthy to be on high alert all the time. God knows what my blood pressure must be like, I feel like I am in a constant state of 'fight or flight' which can't be healthy for my body or my mind.
Sorry about your crap morning Octopus pretty much everyone with a 3 year old has been there! Well for us, it was more when DS1 was2 we liteally could not go anywhere without melt downs and him crying over everything. DS2 is similar and he's only 17 months. I am so bored of listening to the crying and trying to prevent the next melt down and whinge-athon. Just to reasure you though my DS1 that was horrific as a baby and toddler is now the most even tempered, lovely little 5 yr old boy. you already know this passes if you have an oldr child but it really won't last forever.
KingRollo I feel for you. I always feel guilty when I read or hear of people with husbands who just don't pull their weight. It makes me feel so crap because actually on that front DH is pretty lovely. He does more than his fair share of entertaining the boys and is great but like I said up thread, it's the boring but hugely important keeping them alive things that seems to always fall on my shoulders! I think you need to let him know that you aren't happy. Why should he get to have his meltdown while you cope and take on the whole burden. It's not fair. He needs to know how exhausting breasfeeding and taking care of the baby and the house is. This is something my DH stuggles to understand. Even now DS1 is at school, DS2 is asleep, I am still on high alert. Can't do anything or go anywhere so I have to try and get all the chores and cleaning done before DS2 wakes up and begins his crying and tugging on me.
Ahhhhh annnd breeathe!
I'm on high alert until DH comes home
This thread is actually frightening me how many people feel in the same boat. I have been on high alert for several months (think meercat with adrenaline pumping and raging at silly little things) and have just been diagnosed with PTSD, it can apparently effect anyone and doesn't have to be caused by one specific event - I think it's called complex PTSD. I've suffered with lots of mental health problems over the years and just assumed it was my personality, I'm now starting to see that my personality is very different and the depression, anxiety etc are just a reaction to a shit childhood - the stress of having a baby and toddler seems to have triggered the PTSD.
I can't keep up with all the posts on here but lurk almost daily because it's so helpful to me to know I'm not alone in finding things a struggle. I'm so glad the thread got moved to a permanent board.
I'm really hoping all of us will get better at juggling our own needs with those of our children. hope everyone is feeling a little better today
happynappies DS3 (aka house destroyer) is almost 3. He is at nursery now and it is blissfully quiet without him. The buzzing sensation in my head dies down when he's not here. I have a moment to make him a drink and wash some strawberries for him, for when he gets back, and look forward to liking him again for having had a break.
Yes, I have found people are unsympathetic because I have 4. 'Well it isn't as if you didn't know it would be hard' is a recent comment.
It is tough for you because yours are so close in age. My eldest is 8 1/2 and although he does still obviously need a lot of attention, he is more physically self sufficient, and actually quite helpful with lots of little things like helping to carry stuff in from the car and clearing the table after tea. Well, he is when he's been reminded 10 times, anyway! I've also found if I can get him to behave, his good example will encourage the others to do the same.
YY to 'baking fucking cupcakes'!! I have long ago decided I am not going to submit to some daft external pressure to do activities like that. Fair enough if it is your thing, but really there's no need if it isn't. There are so many ways to spend time with your kids, you really only need to do the things you all like.
KingRollo I feel for you too. I always think my dh pulls his weight, but I know from speaking to others that they think my life isn't fair - he gets to go out to work, I get to look after the dcd etc, and they would have a very different take on it. I see friends rolling their eyes when I say how hard he works. My dh would never contemplate taking any of the dc with him e.g. to a doctors/hairdressers/optician etc appointment, whereas I always have to. Going round the supermarket with at least three of them in tow, then coming back to him saying 'Why did you forget x? Did you not have a list?!!'. I have spent a long time 'battling' with dh - totting up mentally (and a few times on paper!!) how many tasks we both do through the day, and trying to prove who has it 'worse' as it were. I find ultimately it is futile. If they go out to work they will never really understand the life you lead back at home. Its not just the tasks, its the emotional impact it all has, and the fact that this is your life, not just a novelty day 'off' or whatever, it is day in day out without a break. It is the way other people assume you can't have a brain if you spend your day with babies or young children, it is the way you have to hold about 18 things in your head at once, and when you forget something although the consequences aren't 'life or death' as one male friend once patronisingly put it, sometimes they can be, and sometimes it can just lead to a hundred other things going wrong/being late etc, which is so hard to deal with when you are up against it anyway.
If you can get your dh to change his ways then that will be great for you, but if you can't try to work with him with what you've got if that doesn't sound too patronising! My dh responds when I hit rock-bottom and sob, and will renew his efforts to get to bed early so he doesn't wake me up (along with all the dc waking me up at various points in the night) and will try not to moan quite so much about the things I get 'wrong' if you like. Sometimes I think it is like looking after another child, having a dh. Obviously they do some things, but so many other things need doing for them, and while they are very good at playing with the dc, when you go out for the day, who packs the picnic, suncream, hats, first aid stuff, changes of clothes, camera etc? Who remembers to charge phones/camera battery? Who does all the logistics behind the scenes to enable a simple thing like a trip out to actually happen? They'll tell you that if you left them to it they'd cope, and I've no doubt they would. But it would be in a very in-efficient way. They would leave late. They would forget half the stuff. They would have to buy e.g. a new hat or change of clothes. They would probably end up visiting their mum who would make lunch for the dc (speaks from bitter experience) and they would bring tired dc back late, with no washing done during the day, no house cleaned or tidied, toys left out from before, umpteen jobs to do, and no thought as to what is for tea, packed lunches for the next day, what 'top up' shopping needs getting...
Oh it's so depressing... I wish I could offer a way ahead, as simply going over and over it and putting into words how I feel doesn't seem to help. I'd like to make positive changes for the better, but can't even string a sentence together most of the time so have no idea where to begin. Having some 'headspace' is key I think. Just being able to think about what might help, what might be worth fighting for e.g. a trip to the hairdressers or something? Being able to focus on something for more than three seconds. I calculated three seconds is about as long as I ever have before one of the children shouts/wines/makes a demand. All day long from 5.30am until 7.30 pm, that is a lot of 3 seconds, then I've got the nightshift too. No wonder we go crazy!!
KingRollo just read your post. Your DH is crap. It really annoys me on your behalf that you are expected to keep going because he has had a breakdown.
Only stay with him if you love him and if he is the right life partner for you. Your DD won't want you to always be stressed and unhappy because you stayed with
a lazy arsehole the wrong person for her sake.
KingRollo just read your post again and realise that things are not good for your dh and his mental health, so realise it is far more difficult that I'm suggesting, and he's not in a place to help you. This sounds so difficult. Without meaning to sound flippant, I nearly keeled over at Christmas when my dh had 'flu and took to his bed for two weeks. I was begging him to get up and help, and he couldn't understand why I was being so 'unsympathetic'. I was frightened I was going to go under, and he was amazed that I was asking him to get out of bed. We argued so much, it was an awful time. So I can't even imagine what it must feel like for you, but hope that you don't feel so alone with the friendly people on here.
Just wanted to check in but will catch up properly this evening...
ahandfullofdust - conspiracy of silence around motherhood YES, I have thought this so many times since having children, why can´t people be honest and tell it like it is...I don´t hold back one jot when my 2 childless sister-in-laws ask me what it´s like to have children.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Speaking of conspiracy of silence: I have a friend who had a very hard year or two and eventually split up with her husband. He just didn't help at all and she was going under. Anyway all the time while this was going on I had no idea that her life was basically untenable. We did 2 mat leaves together and on the second one we would often send texts saying "coffee this pm?" and get a reply saying "omg yes I need the caffeine and i need the company" but I didn't realise that she was slowly and inexorably making a decision that she had a shit life and something had to change. I suppose she "didn't like to moan" - but it makes you think, a lot of the people you see every day might be in a much worse state than you realise.
The absolute worst thing for me is the guilt for feeling this way - I'm terrified anyone (especially DD) will think it somehow influences the "amount" of love I feel for my child.
It really horrifies me, so I'm scared to talk about it.
Does this make sense?
Poppy I spent the first year of DSs life worried about the "amount" I loved him I.e was it the right amount?
I have a DD now and I'm 'over it' so to speak but it wasn't pleasant. It's silly - you only feel what you feel.
WOW, there's me feeling like I wasn't normal. I am a working single mum with 2 kids but I don't think worry and tiredness is different for any mum even one who is with a partner and has 2 kiddies your still emotionally and mentally drained. I panic over everything I find yoga and mediation helps a lot. I panic if I go to the nursery and a new nursery teacher is there I'm thinking could they be a weirdo or panic over them eaten grapes if I cant see them. I get up in the night randomly and check on my boys constantly I cant sleep. If I hear a ambulance I panic thinking like where are they going if i am in the area of the nursery or school. I say don't touch that wall or money it has germs but when I look back my mum has taught me a lot of these things and my Nans worse. I swear you develop PARENTAL OCD. That's whats draining. IF WE DON'T STOP THIS PANICKING OUR CHILDREN WILL BE AFFECTED. Me i am going to try the Bowen Technique.
Thanks for the support.
It has prompted me to speak to DH again
I've decided to give it until Christmas. I'm ready to leave, and he knows this. But I go back to work at the end of the summer and that will be make-or-break time as if this carries on we won't cope. Definitely not.
At Christmas I'll have been in my new job three months. I'll know the lie of the land and if I have to move out I'll be in a much better position to look for a flat near work.
In return I've agreed to draw a line under the crap that has already happened, try to forgive him for it and to support him through this breakdown.
Its soooo hard, but I have to, for DD's sake. Even if it doesn't work I want to able to say I tried.
This is the shit they don't tell you isn't it? I mean, I knew about the crying, and the lack of sleep and all that stuff. But the pressure - that you have to keep this little thing not just alive, but healthy, happy and undamaged. On yourself, not even to be the perfect mother, but just to be an ok one. On your relationship..... It never lets up. And I'm only 6 months in <oh shit>
Hope everyone else has had a better day today.
Hello folks, and good to see new names posting all the time. to all those have a tough day/week/month/marriage.
What's chimed with me today was someone's comment about sharing food - this makes me fume! I remember someone on MN ages ago saying they cured their DS of begging food from her by saying 'Only dogs do that'. Brilliant as it sounded, it hasn't worked on mine. I find myself eating in the kitchen standing up just so it won't get begged off me. Not helpful when I'd rather be open and honest about eating with the DCs, not eating in secret and setting a bad example. Noticed DD1 eating her toast standing up in the kitchen rather than taking it to the table. Seems she is already following my example.
Night-waking and bf - I firmly believe the answer to when they wake but you're sure they're not hungry is for Daddy to do it. Say you can't go as the baby will want feeding and you know they're not hungry. Big full stop. Close eyes. Gently assertive.
Gotta go, house is on the market (more stress, anyone?) and viewers due on a mo.
yup, definitely although infertility and reoccurring miscarriage affected my mh in a much more profound way.
"yup, definitely although infertility and reoccurring miscarriage affected my mh in a much more profound way"
I guess most of us are lucky not to have experienced these things- so we have no comparison
YY to the poster who talked about late nights- I stay up way too late. People have told me I should be going to bed at 8.30 to catch up on sleep but I'm a person who never napped when my babies napped- I love that quiet time
I have just read a ton of comments and wanted to respond to many, so I have just done something seriously nerdy and written a few headings in this comment box, so I don't forget all of them. Although I've already forgotten some peoples' names and points I wanted to reply to, sorry. It's the 'baby brain' - that never gets better! I used to have a good memory, now I have to write endless lists or I forget everything. I walk upstairs and forget what I went up for. The other day I walked into the bedroom after using the toilet and found dd2 playing with a toy on the bed - I was like, "oh right, yes that's where I put you..." I've even forgotten I had dd2 and been surprised when I heard the baby monitor. Yet I am responsible for two children.... ha! Eek. I think it's the neverending sleep deprivation and slow killing of brain cells due to constant cries of "Mummy Mummy Mummy!"
KingRollo and Octopus I am so sorry you're having such a hard time. Octopus - three year old boys are horrible - four year old boys are much nicer! Ds1 is 4.5yo and generally lovely, apart from constantly demanding I put on voices for his toy cars (from the disney Cars film) and play the same game with them over and over [naughty cars bash good cars, good cars chase naughty cars, naughty cars go to car jail]. I feel part of my brain has died just by playing this game over and over again. But, what I mean to say is, the difficult phase your ds is going through will get better, I'm sure, you just have to ride it out and try to hang onto some shreds of sanity in the meantime. We've all been on the receiving end of a horrific tantrum where ignorant passersby mutter to each other darkly, probably wondering if they should call social services. Sod em all.
Oddbod that sounds a good plan to get out of the house for a bit at the weekend. Can you not leave dh with both dc's? Because you might have some nice quality time with ds1 but you may still feel like you haven't had a moment to yourself. In terms of your dh listening to you and caring that you're okay, dh and I have had some communication issues regarding this and have talked it out. Dh apparently listens and takes me seriously when I remain calm, and bring up the fact that I'm stressed or struggling with something in a calm and rational-sounding manner. It would appear that I annoy him if I rant at him like a wild-eyed loon, and he assumes I am ranting in the heat of the moment rather than coming out with something that I am genuinely feeling a lot of the time. So I get a much better response from him if I save it till the dc's are in bed, and explain myself calmly when we're sitting down in the evening. I know that sounds a faff and maybe why should you need to go to such lengths when you're feeling borderline deranged and stressed out of your eyeballs? But if you both have different personalities sometimes you have to work with each other a bit. I don't always do that. Sometimes I just rant. But I am more likely to get the reaction I want from him if I try not to. KingRollo I understand you must have a lot of frustration and anger at your dh so communicating calmly with him must be difficult. I know it must feel like "why does he get to have a breakdown when I'm the one feeling like having a breakdown?" In a way though, there might be a positive in this - if he's been slowly and steadily losing the plot, then depression and anxiety will have contributed to his behaviour towards you. Otherwise, he would have just behaved like a complete arse for no reason. He has still behaved like an arse, of course, but as he gets better he will hopefully realise that, appreciate you more, and try to make up for it. I wish you all the best, please feel free to rant here anytime.
Finally (I'll quit soon - sorry for epic post, I've got carried away) I do agree with the conspiracy of silence theory. I have one good friend who I can be totally honest with when the kids are driving me nuts, and she is like a breath of fresh air to me. I know that she knows I adore my dc's, and if I slag them off then it doesn't mean they aren't my sun, moon and stars. She just understands that it's bloody hard work and often a thankless job raising kids. We text each other saying "I feel like drop-kicking the baby out the window". She told me that she said something similar to one of her other friends who also has kids, and her friend looked absolutely appalled. So we decided to only text each other these things, and not risk having someone else call social services on us! (Just to clarify, in case you were considering calling SS - I would never drop-kick dd2 out of the window... And ds1 is too big to drop-kick)
Me too to late nights even when I'm exhausted! I sit and furiously MN.
Nananaps - sorry to hear about your experience. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that's massively affected my MH too and sometimes it's really difficult to separate out 'mum' stuff and 'illness' stuff and 'childhood' stuff.
Late nights here too! I need the sleep but I need the quiet time more, so I choose large quantities of caffeine to get me through the day (frequently microwaved as I haven't had a moment to drink them before they become stone-cold) over sleep.
I am quite incredibly and unreasonably hacked off with the fact that 3.9yo DD3 (who we ttc for 6.5 years, so definitely very much wanted) has not slept through the night since she was 4mo that I
sometimes often wonder why on earth we had her. She is delightful and wonderful but I can very rarely feel that. In truth I think I have been suffering from low level PND since losing a pregnancy to a MMC 7 fucking years ago. I have not been the same since. And I echo every single thing that curryeater said early on expect that DH was and is very good with the children. I just feel exhausted and worn out. I work (supposedly full-time) from home while we can usually only afford part-time childcare so I spend a lot of my working day with DD3 bugging me constantly and with gnawing feelings of fear about not meeting deadlines.
My father died a month ago and I am at his house at the moment with my oldest DC (19) who is being helpful and my DD3 (3.9) who is not and who I actually want to shut in a padded cell
and throw away the key at the moment. I am supposed to be sorting out my father's belongings and putting a load of it online to sell, do an immensely complicated bit of work and field both my needy and grieving stepmother and DD3 at the same time and I am really really struggling this evening.
On top of that my DH's mother's boyfriend died yesterday, so everything's pretty shit all round. Having failed to do anything of any significance today due to having to change DD3's pants every half hour I am now contemplating a night of work to try to catch up so as not to miss my deadline.
Been away from this thread for a bit but it remains a breath of fresh air.
My 3 year old is being a total nightmare at the moment. Will not do anything he is asked to, refuses to eat, refuses to go to bed, throws things around if he doesn't want them (often at the baby), screams and screams if he doesn't get his own way. Everything is a battle and I dread the days he's not at nursery.
If I put the baby down to pour cornflakes / get DS1 dressed / teeth, etc, etc he cries. Whenever the baby cries DS1 tries to compete by screaming. I just want to scream back at them both to shut the fuck up.
I can't admit to anyone (apart from DH) that I'm struggling. On the surface it should all be wonderful - DS2 is generally an easy baby, he sleeps well for 12wks old, feeds well and will happily be pushed around in his pram. I'm still exhausted by the night wakings. And just by being touched all the time. But people tell me I'm lucky etc when they ask me about sleeping and you can't come back from that with I don't feel fucking lucky - I want to get my body back and go back to my much loved job.
DH is massively supportive. Does loads round the house, will always do whatever is needed to keep going. I can rely on him to go to the supermarket without forgetting anything and do things like packing a change bag with everything we need. Emotionally though, he's not always so great. I told him I thought I had PND and he just didn't say anything. He's a man of actions, not words though and the physical support kept on coming.
I'm another one who stays up far too late as I'm alone and it's quiet. I also need to actively not drink, if you see what I mean, or it could spiral into drinking far too much.
If the baby is asleep I also refuse to get up and give my DS1 the iPad in the morning and leave him playing Temple Run and watching Lego / model diggers / unwrapping fucking Kinder Eggs (wtf?) on You Tube while I snooze next to him. I feel v guilty about this but I'm just exhausted and can't face the day.
Sorry for not name checking anyone but you're all brilliant.
Unwrapping Kinder Eggs?! Ha ha ha! What?
Happy nappies LOVE your description of blokes 'cooing' with kids
on their own. So true. I went through a (psycho) stage of banning DH from taking DS over to his mums when he was looking after him, because basically he handed over all the looking after DS to her. He always said it was nice for his mum to have time with DS and him but I felt it meant he never had any idea what my day was like!
Have been lurking throughout this post but barely any time to respond.
However, just to say this thread has really got me thinking about motherhood and I've bought and am now reading a great book called what mothers do. Get it, read it. I wish I'd read it before. A lot of the stuff we talk about here, ie only having 3 seconds to think about anything, is talked about. The book and this thread are really helping me accept the way I am finding motherhood to be, so much so that I'm back to enjoying it more again.
Ps happy nappies I meant COPING not cooing!!!
duchesse what an awful time you've had lately. And it must be so hard trying to work from home with kids at you at the same time. I hate it when I have to send a work email or get something done and dd2 keeps crying and ds1 is constantly nagging me to come and play or can he go on the Fireman Sam website. Go easy on yourself, you're obviously having to deal with and come to terms with a lot right now, and I really hope it starts to get easier soon.
Flosshilde I can totally empathise with struggling to get anything done as dd2 cries when I put her down, or bottom shuffles then falls backwards and bumps her head - cue more wailing. She is 7mo. It is so darn hard! Is there anywhere your baby will be happy for a short time so you can get jobs done / have a minute's peace? The jumperoo is the one place that dd2 can't escape from, and she will happily bounce in it by herself for a short time, if in the right mood / not too soon after a feed or she is sick. It's really handy though.
Part of feeling stressed / tired / fed up is that I also feel more irrationally emotional. I felt quite tearful this morning dropping ds1 (4.5yo) off at school because some of the boys have been a bit mean to him lately, "you're not our friend" etc. Ds1 is very chatty and sociable, sometimes a bit much for other kids as he'll bound up to them full of beans and want them to play. He also hasn't yet learned that being a bit too bossy / know-it-all won't go down well. He'll also argue back, so if they are mean to him he will probably argue and make it worse as at that age they don't seem to be able to just let things go. I'm anxious that his sweet, sociable, happy personality is going to be crushed if the other boys won't play with him and aren't nice to him. Part of me knows I really need to get a grip - he's not actually being bullied, they are only 4yo, there will be far worse things for me to get upset about as a mother in years to come, if I fall apart at the suggestion that ds1 is a little upset then I will have a breakdown and be a hopeless mum when the proverbial does one day hit the fan. Yet I can't shake off the over-emotional feeling a bit teary mood I'm in this morning. Probably lack of sleep (dd2 still up loads with her cold and snot++) makes it harder to gain perspective on things. Or as a perpetually sleep-deprived mum am I doomed to be forever over-sensitive and an emotional wreck?!
Good morning to you all
Duchesse sorry for all the troubles you and the family are going through. Sounds like you are juggling a lot of balls and despite what you think, you are doing a wonderful job.
It does make me realise that in general, I have nothing to be miserable about. I have a wonderful husband, a healthy family. I should be walking on air, yet I feel like I am dragging my self uphill through custard, stumbling and spluttering away desperate for someone to offer me a hand... yet like someone else said, what can they really do to help??? Nothing! DS2 won't go to anyone who is not me or DH. DS1 would feel pushed out if I plonked him on family members (who actually wouldn't be available to help anyway) and I'd miss him too much. It does feel a bit like there's no alternative. I have made my bed so to speak.
Arrgh. Why does it all have to be such hard work?? Before we had children, I'd look at adverts for holidays, you know the Haven ones with the slim, carefree, smiling mother, the handsome dad and the two giggling children, and I just couldn't wait to start a family pretty much as soon as we got married. Even pampers adverts with the soft lighting gently bouncing off the beautiful cherub like cheeks of a smiling baby. What a fucking lie. I feel robbed! What the adverts don't show is the baby whinging, crying, pinching, throwing himself around in a strop. The exhausted wrinkled, flabby mother, the stressed out dad and the poor neglected older child moaning and arguing just for attention. Yet still we keep our silence. I feel like roaring 'THIS SUCKS!!!!!! It's all a fucking lie!!!!'
It's my ds1s 10th b day today.
He is a lovely kid.
Ds2 is 4 and much harder work obv.
But I am broken
10 years of sleepless nights, not eating enough, worry, anxiety....I am undergoing tests for a heart condition and my parents are both getting more frail.
It's been unremittingly bleak for months now....ds2 was recently dx as asthmatic but he had a dreadful winter. He was also in hospital last week with a nasty infection and it still not well. Back to gp tomorrow. I was rushed to hospital 3 weeks ago and again on Monday.
It's my lovely boys birthday today and I am doing a family party for 20 later on and - this is awful - I don't want to.
I want to run away.
I am so tearful and anxious today. I even asked dh to have a day off work as otherwise I just couldn't cope.
Good luck with the party Badvoc. Hope your DS1 has a lovely birthday. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Pleased your DH has taken the day off though.
I'm actually wondering if it's not parenting that I'm finding hard, it's parenting with DH that I'm finding hard.
I just wish he would once say " let's get them ready for bed", "let's get their teeth brushed", "I think I ought to get started on their tea".
I don't want to be the domestic managing director. I don't want to have to say "please could you change DD2's nappy", "please could you brush DD1's teeth". If I'm on my own with them I just get on and do it. If he's there I feel we should tackle things as a team. If I see DH put the kettle on before tackling a nappy change one more time, I think I'm going to go postal............................
But then I think lone parents must have it so much harder
Huge sympathy to everyone who feels they're doing this in spite of their DHs, rather than with them.
Have just got DS to bed - I had to tuck him into my bed and lie down with him to get him quiet enough to go to sleep, and then move him into his own bed asleep. Why is it so damn difficult to get a small child to go to sleep?! DH is out so I have a few rare moments of a peaceful house to myself - does anyone else find that that's such a treat that they almost end up paralysed with indecision trying to think how to use it and not waste it?
I'm going to work like crazy this coming year on getting DS to learn to read. If he can read, he can hopefully entertain himself more and the whole sodding bedtime routine will get less awful. And with luck we'll get through the potty training, which is the other thing making life unbearable lately, and this time next year we might have a slightly nicer human being.
"Why is it so damn difficult to get a small child to go to sleep?!"
You must have heard Samuel L Jackson's famous audio version of Adam Mansbach's book?
Nutsinmay I was a single parent with my dd after leaving her Dad who was no help and it was a relief being on my own. I didn't have the resentment and anger simmering away because I was having to do everything yet also pick up after him like he was a child.
Ohcluttergotme Yes I feel I'm silently and not so silently seething for much of the time we are together. It's no life to lead.
He loves them dearly, I just wish he would take the initiative. Is he not doing taking the initiative because I micro manage or am I micro managing because he's not taking the initiative? Who knows?
Nuts, I get a bit cross when people on here say "if you want your dp to help you have to let him do it his way" because the person who is saying it doesn't know what they are talking about, frankly. I mean I know that there are lunatics who have to hang the washing out with colour coordinated pegs, and they should probably take a step back if they are nagging their dp to do the same, but there are ways of cocking things up to the extent that the other person has to do it all over again, or things get lost or damaged or wasted, and it costs time and money, and it is reasonable to object to all this.
Anyone who is looking to put some fire back into their relationship should read this and be inspired.
Yes from me. Im spending £750 pm on Nursery fees to help me stay relatively stable. What did I know hey??
Hi ladies. Well a new high (sarcasm) today when ds1 had a friend from school and his mum come over for lunch and to play for the first time. I wanted us to make a good impression so the house was clean and tidy (I should have taken photos to remind myself what the living room floor looks like), I had tasty food in for lunch, and dd2 looked cute and presentable rather than covered in snot / dribble / the mush she ate for breakfast. Unfortunately last night's sleep was poor due to dd2 recovering from a cold, so I slightly overdid it on the caffeine front today. Resulting in my getting up from the table, walking into the kitchen, passing out on the floor and cutting my elbow / smashing a plate to smithereens all over the tiles. Well it'll give the mums something to talk about at the gate...
You poor thing Mummytobenji! How do you feel now? I didn't know you could faint from too much caffeine, although I did feel bloody peculiar from it the other day.
My new low today was crying in front of DD's teacher. Go me. DD is having 7yo 'nobody plays with me' strife and told me she always feels unhappy. It was like looking into my own eyes, and was very upsetting, so when I went to discuss it with her teacher, I just filled up again. Teacher doesn't have kids - she's lovely, but looked a bit scared.
mummy2benji poor you! Hope you're feeling better now.
issy that's awful and the just the thought of having to deal with that for my DD (only 6 months!) is upsetting. I hope the teacher came up with some ways to help her make friends. I used to teach year 2 and the girls' friendships were a neverending source of strife.
I've spent large parts of today in or near tears. I've got no idea why, well apart from life being shit and a worry and DD getting up at 5:30 and DH not getting up with her even though it's meant to be my day for a lie in. And then I did a load of washing, got a load out of the dryer and folded it, did the washing up twice, tidied, changed two stinky nappies and got DD ready for the day.... and DH staggered out of bed, got himself ready and breakfasted and said he couldn't watch DD while I had a shower as he was running late....
Anyway it got me in a tizz and I was down all day. I probably could have been cheered or chivvied out of it but DH wasn't around and DD's not going to do it and I don't have anyone else so it sort of set in. So DH had some time off around 3 so we went for an ice cream and I had a bit of cry whilst he looked at me dumbfounded.
All's well that end's well though as I then bumped into a friend who asked me to go for a walk, so we had a big chat and a beer back at her's - I was magically feeling much better afterwards!!
So frustrating though - DH is so wrapped up in his own problems if I'm having a down day I feel like the solution is either to cry on my own all day or find some way of cheering myself up. No other fucker bothers about me! <pity party>
Very interesting thread this is. And bizarre that this is not in the mainstream public awareness. Perhaps us men don't get how you feel because you don't tell us. We are not psychic, don't take heavy hints and need to be told how things are for you. Like it or not, women are physically programmed to nurture children to the state of independence. Men are wired to hunt and protect. Civilised society allows us to manipulate this to a major degree. There seems to be flaws in how the stresses and mindbending hollows experienced by mums are conveyed to dads and vice versa. My wife is the tops with our child and I do lots of cooking/ w/up blah blah. However we row because I'm not doing my bit. Really? I do mine and more. True my wife does majority child care, play group stuff etc. What is always forgotten is that I ......
Work full time trying to earn the money
Do A LOT of cooking, shopping, washing up, daily stuff
I also.... Fix the car - from replacing clutch to a bulb
Unblock drains, fix broken stuff, get rid of scary critters, stay up late so you can have an early, get up early after doing the late.
I may not be in tune with you, but I'm on your side and with the same team.
So talk to me!
Other than to point out that the "hardwired" stuff is not true, no I will not be talking to you, dicotomy. This thread is not a place where I am on presenting, selling, show and tell mode. This thread is not a place where you can come and order me to do more work, which I have plenty of in real life, to please you. There are lots of people here I can speak to who already understand me and that is very relaxing. You can listen if you want to learn. Or better still ask your wife and listen to her. This is the last time I will address you on this thread and if you try to derail it and make it all about you I will report you
Hi kingrollo sorry you had a shit day. I know what you mean about someone else being able to pull you out if a funk. I had a great friend for that in 2 mat leaves. Maybe you can get on emergency texting terms with a friend? Or there's us! But not the same as coffee face to face.
Dicotomy you can only talk about your own situation. I will also be working full time from August but will every chore then be split 50/50? No, it probably won't, and to say I'm "hardwired" to raise a child is a cop-out. I knew absolutely nothing about babies before I got pregnant. I read, and asked people, and learned. There is nothing to stop a man doing the same thing, but they don't because they know the mother will so they don't have to.
If men are hard wired to hunt and protect how come I earn more than my husband when I'm working? Or am I hard wired to nurture, raise children AND hunt and protect? Exactly - I do (almost) all of it.
And I can talk until I'm blue in the face. Makes no difference.
curry this new friends has turned out to be a blessing. Her husband had a nervous breakdown which lasted two years, was hospitalised for 6 months and she raised twins and a newborn while it was all happening. She is AMAZING!!
Hi bigdom's wife
Bennie, are you ok? Do you need to be checked out?
Issy, I can so imagine doing that. It takes a very. Small amount of sympathetic attention to make me well up. Don't worry. I hope Dr is ok.
Have a good day all x
Dicotomy - It doesnt matter if you work full time and do chores if you dont do much childcare you still arent being a good dad.
Hi ladies. You dropped off my threads I'm on.
Must be a good sign.
I've been feeling a bit better as dd is sleeping better and I e been working more
I had my cleaner last week and it was amazing.
I felt I could enjoy my weekend more and could cope better without having to fit cleaning in too.
Git a bust few weeks ahead with end of term stuff to do so will probably have a bloody meltdown especially as dh working so much.
Hope you are all hanging in there.
Hi ledkr good to see you. Glad things are going ok!
For now curry for now.
Second weekend on my own though and weather not great so will be on my knees later.
I think reading the first three pages alone of this thread has led me to a seminal moment in my parenting and has moved me to tears.
This thread is very important...thanks OP
I think I'm the same as everyone else after all - much relief.
I'm off to read the rest of this supportive, honest, refreshing and inspiring thread.
Thanks for your sympathy about DD and my wobbly moment. Sharing and bearing the emotions of 3 little people is hard and wearing for me.
I get a little thrill of satisfaction when someone finds solace from this Very Important Thread. I have been linking to it all over the place.
Well done Curry for baring your teeth and growling at the interloper.
Feelingood I hope your find some kindred spirits here.
Having a better day today. DH got up with DD even though he didn't finish work until gone midnight, so I had a lovely lie in!
I have enjoyed giving DD her lunch today - she wasn't impressed by her first try of avocado though! And fed all her bread to the dog.... She's now having a nap, I've brushed, hoovered and mopped and I'm hoping for half an hour for a cuppa and a bit if a read before she wakes up. Fingers crossed!
Hope everyone is having a better day and has supportive husbands to do nice family things with this weekend....
Hi everyone, been so busy here I haven't really had time to catch up with the thread fully. Sorry to everyone having crap days. Mummy2benji I hope you're recovered and OK now.
DS2 has decided to spend the past 2 days moping around looking close to tears or screaming for God knows what. Tried nurofen, cuddles, popping him in the pushchair just to get out for my own sanity but nothing seems to have lifted his mood. I am assuming it's teething or something but the problem is he spends so much of his life frustrsted or whinging about something that it's so hard to know when there's actually a problem .
DS1 on the other hand has been amazing this week and seems to know that I have been struggling. This of course makes me feel guilty that a 5 year old can pick up on it but he is just being so helpful and lovely which I really appreciate. DH remains oblivious despite the fact that I've told him on more than one occassion that I am struggling.
All I keep thinking about is the summer holidays looming. I used to love summer and couldn't wait for the time DS1 had off school. Now the thought of having them both to entertain and no car while DH is at work for 6 whole weeks is terrifying. I fear I may go insane! I have nowhere really to go and no family that are any help. I have a feeling there will be some very long frought days ahead of us.
Durning the holidays DS2 will just spend his days moaning and crying, trying to play with everything DS1 has and screaming when he can't I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep DS2 occupied as he gets older and wants to explore everything but has the attention span and patience of a gnat. I keep hoping it'll get better and easier once DS2 is of an age where he can 'play' rather than just snatch and chew on everything but somedays that seems a lifetime away!
I sympathise with all of your comments about DH's not taking the initiative to actually get things done. Our evening routine has pretty much been the same really since DS1 was born... Yet still every night I'm left cooking tea whilst trying to stop DS2 whinging and touching anything hot, dishing everything up, feeding the baby, clearing up after tea, flapping about trying to run the boys' bath, getting milk warmed up and PJs laid out while DH just kind of flounders about on the outskirts. He's actually a great dad but sometimes it's a bit like having a third overgrown child to try and navigate through the chaos and I can't help but think 'JUST DO SOMETHING!!!'. He knows what needs to be done but he never ever offers to grab the boys PJs or bath the baby, warm up milk etc. I feel like I need to tell him EVERY night what is going to happen next, like guiding a toddler but he's frigging 30 years old. He's lovely really... I just feel sometimes that he does get under my feet a bit and I feel like an old nag when I tell him what needs to be done (especially when if he really tholught about it, he already knows!).
Little things like today, we've been out and done some quick shopping at the local market, then took both the boys to the garden centre to see the animals and fish, all lovely but then come home. DH slinks off upstairs to poke about with some new modem or something for computer while I'm left down stairs with 2 hungry children, one of which is filling his nappy and whinging for a nap. I have to change the nappy, make lunch for them both, assist DS2 with eating his, put DS2 down for a nap, make DH's lunch too or else he'll insist he's too busy to eat... all the time I'm thinking, it's weekend, the time when we're supposed to work together and have family time but basically it's just like when he's at work only I have to make HIS lunch too. I never get to go off and have 45 minutes upstairs alone!!! I know I'm moaning over mundane things that I'd do ordinarily but sometimes I just wish DH would think and pick his times more carefully and actually THINK about what is going on in the house at that time and what needs to be done. I think I'm just sick of having to run the boring everyday things that I think he could help with.
Anyway this turned into an essay...sorry. Just wanting to let you know I feel your pain!
oddbod sounds like my life.
Took dds to a food fair but couldn't get round with the buggy as too crowded and selfish people getting impatient so ended up stood in rain whilst dd1 went round with her mate.
Dd2 is 2 and her nappy leaked so had to change her completely she refused to nap so ended up hysterical as I walked stoically back to the car then fell asleep to be woken at home with yet more screaming for ages.
I saw some child free friends there just drinking at the bar with their perfect figures and gorgeous friends while I felt like a fat frump in my PAC a mac and screaming toddler accessory.
I am now drinking wine and having a sneaky fag before the bedtime rush and the day starts again tomorrow before 7 but worse as dd1 goes to her dads so no help.
Dh is working. Weather looks vile too so no chance of doing much.
Looking for positives but not much luck
Well I could write so much about this thread but thought I'd share a snippet or two:
Me <whines> look the clothes horse fell over and it is raining (on patio)
DH chill its just a bunch of clothes they'll dry again...
Me <reading this thread in-between reading a few outsized toddler books>
DH <sat in kitchen with door shut listening to music> Shall I make lunch now? What shall I make?
Me Ok this, this n this...I'm off for a soak in bath (which I did for an hour)
Me right DS1 get in shower <lays out clothes> I'm off to shop now....
DH well hurry as we need to leave for cinema
Half hour later....
Me <return from shop> Is he still in shower?
DH err DS1 get out now......get ready, get dried, do you do anything you are asked, get dried now, get dried. Is that all you've got on (and so it went on and on)
DH <walks downstairs naked (open plan)> Do you know where my socks and underpants are?
Me <snirks> Yes they are on the clothes horse out there....
Well I barely kept a straight face as this was all said as he came down the stairs and his dingdong was bobbing about!
To say I was a bit smug was an understatement - glad he experienced the incompetent drying and dressing that DS seems to be suffering from at the moment.
Well I hope it makes someone smile.
Feelinggood ha ha that would of made me smirk too!
I am very impressed (& a little jealous) of your 1 hour midday bath, sounds lovely! x
Hahaha love it Feelingood .
Ledkr I hope your day has improved. DS2 has actually been not too bad this afternoon. (Well not too bad for him anyway, still horrific compared to most I'm sure). I always find my mental health seems to improve and my outlook on life seems a whole lot brighter when DS2 isn't shrieking and screaming every 2 minutes! I find I lose my mind trying to pacify him and keep DS1 happy.
DH in true DH style has sat on his lap top all afternoon fiddling about with the damn modem upstairs trying to set up somekind of wireless network or something????? No idea. Don't care. Just I'm sure the boys would have liked a little interaction from him. I'm bloody knackered.
Does anyone else find that each day they are just killing time? This is how my life feels every day now . I just feel like every day I am struggling to get through another day just trying to get through until things magically improve. Then there are moments when DS2 is lovely and DS1 and him are playing together and I adore them both so much I could cry. BUT still I can not relax or let my guard down because I know tears and more demands are only ever a few moments away. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess I am just waiting for happier times. Waiting for me to live again.
Sorry, posted at the beginning but am useless at keeping up with this kind of thread OddBodd I sooo know what you mean about coming home from family day out - DH sits down for a lovely long go on his playstation clearly feeling that his work is done But no DH, the children need, variously, nappy change, taking up to loo, coats and shoes off, their tea needs cooking, baths need running - I need to sit down and bf the baby which he clearly sees as me relaxing on the sofa !!!
Oddbod so relate to the killing time. My ds is up at 6am (at the latest) every day and every day is a Groundhog Day of trying to amuse him, pacify, cajole to eat something decent, say no to more ice-lollies until I can get him into bed.
I sometimes feel brain dead and as though I'm just going through the motions. He wants me to see and give him feedback on his every move. i.e. "Mum, mum, mum look at me jump" Me. "Oh, yes darling that's a lovely jump" in my head I am so numb, I just feel please leave me alone for 2 minutes.
If I try to fob off with a mmmm he'll say mum, mum talk to me!
This is the 4th weekend in a row my dh is working all weekend and I know he's not at the pub (as he keeps saying) I don't think he appreciates how exhausting our 3 year old is.
I work 3 days a week & that 2 is stressful (started 8 weeks ago as Health Visitor) and feel I bounce from one exhausting situation to another.
I've got to get ds ready every morning as dh leaves at 7am and I have to pick him up at end of day as dh doesn't have car as I need it for work.
I feel that I have to constantly fit everything around ds while dh just carries on.
Also I had to drop to part-time as was too much childcare for full-time but dh couldn't negotiate any change to his job. It just feels unfair at times.
I know dh is a good dad, he either makes tea or washes up. Gives ds a bath or reads story or tidies up. Plays with him constantly.
I know he would rather be at home and is working to provide for us....but still its hard always being left dealing with ds.
Sorry epic ramble but this been going round my head!
Today going to visit in-laws & my parents for Fathers Day so should make today an easier day (hopefully!)
Wishing all you fab mums a good day today x
ohclutter my dh works weekends too.
I started a thread about it.
As if having kids isn't stressfull enough then the weekend comes around and it's worse.
I've been up early and been alone with them all weekend then start my working week tomorrow having had no break.
Then wonder why I'm always tired.
Only good thing is dh does a lot if full days with then while I work so dies get it. In fact yesterday he told me off for being so positive about dd2 as I'm normally complaining can't win really.
Ohclutter Your DS sounds so similar to how my DS1 was at 3. Must just be a typical 3 year old thing but I so remember the needing to acknowledge his every move and the 'Mummy look at me' 'Mummy watch this' every second of the day. Also annoyingly around that age he seemed to have this need for me to repeat EVERYTHING HE SAID back to him before he would accept that I was acknowledging him. Eg. DS: 'Mummy I am going to draw a dog' ME: 'OK' DS: 'Mummy, I'm going to draw a dog' ME 'OK darling' DS: 'Mummy, I'm going to draw a dog' ME: 'Oh lovely you're going to draw a dog.' DS: 'Yes'. ME: 'Great, what a wonderful idea.' <<<silently dies inside.>>> It's just the never- endingness of it and the repetative mind numbing things we have to say and do day in day out.
I should add that at age 5 DS1 is massively massively better than he was at 3, he doesn't need me to repeat what he says now thank God and actually is pretty interesting to be around....sometimes at least!
DS2 on the other hand,well, 17 month olds are not really he most interactive, interesting people are they?? But whingy, clingy, moody, constantly crying and niggling 17 month olds are something else all together .
Ohclutter totally know what you mean by your DS wanting feedback all the time. Mine, also 4, is the same. Even when he says mummy , if I just say 'hmm' that's not enough because he wants me to say 'yes!'
However, despite the frustrations am feeling massively validated in the way I feel and also not alone by this thread, in which almost everything everyone says resonates, and continuing to read What Mothers Do book.
Funny moment (or not) with DH today which made me think of you all. The baby (7months) starts moaning for food. He says cheerily, I'll feed her. I say great and then root around in the freezer for her food (lots of the ice cube portions I've made her look the same and shed already had chicken once so didn't want her to have it the same). I explain I'm just identifYing a non chicken meal FOR HIM TO FEED TO HER.
I put it in the microwave and suddenly he's on a work call, that he has made himself.
I ended up feeding her and was chuckling to myself (thanks to this thread was no longer as angry as I have been). I was just wondering what planet he was on and thinking how I would never had made a work call at that moment. Even if I'd wanted to, even if it was urgent, the fact the baby was minutes away from crying would have come first.
He can tell I'm a bit pissed off so he's lingering around trying to take over feeding whilst waffling on his work call. Ridiculous
Mac that made me chuckle! Sorry, probably shouldn't be chuckling, should be sending sympathy instead. Sympathetic and amused...
Yes yes to the repetition of small children! (Or should that be yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes......... and so on). Ds1 is lovely and I adore him but as I may have said before on this thread (apologies for repetition... ) he wants me to play cars with him all. the. time. He has most of the cars from the Cars2 disney film, and his play follows the same pattern: naughty cars bash good cars. Good cars chase bad cars. Bad cars get put in the car jail. Accompanied by lots of "ahahaHAAAA!" and "you can't catch me!" There is only so much of this I can do before I start to want to stab myself in the eye with a fork. But he asks so sweetly "Mummy, can you play with me...?" just when I am about to sit down for a blessed few minutes of peace (when dd2 is having a nap) I can't refuse and see his downcast little face (accompanied by "no-one EVER plays with me...") Gah!
Oddbod I think it was you who mentioned school holidays. Could you look up any summer classes that are running near you that your ds1 could go to? Your local sports centre or health club might have some, and that would give you a bit of a break from having both the children as well as giving him something fun to do.
Hope you've had a nice weekend ladies. Since passing out on friday, probably due to constant lack of sleep, I went to bed shortly after the kids on friday night - but then ended up getting up repeatedly during the night for dd2 Dh doesn't wake up whereas I am instantly awake when she cries, so I have always done the getting up at night. He did give me a lie-in on Saturday though, so I feel a tiny bit more human. Just a tiny bit - dd2 has decided that 5.50am is the time to get up now, so I was up at hideous o'clock this morning again. Need to purchase blackout blinds...
I love you all. Can't post a lot on phone but want ti say that.
Bad day for me. Thought about staying for coffee after church as someone I don't see a lot was there but was on my own and felt too guilty to hang about having coffee while do was with kids, more to the point was suffering tears incontinence. Afraid to stay out as not sure if I would cry, or cry too much. Don't mean to be flippant, apologies to those with urinary or faecal incontinence but sometimes I fell like it is maybe similar. Driven indoors by embarrassment.
More to say to all of you when I have a keyboard. courages mes braves. X
mummy2benji I bought blackout blinds a couple of weeks ago and on average DD has slept about an hour longer every morning.
DH also works weekends and I understand other posters saying how they stretch out in front of you. I'm going back to work in August Mon-Fri and I can't imagine how I'm going to manage! No breaks ever again... but I'm a teacher so I'll just be counting down to the holidays.
Trying to wean DD - made her porridge, didn't eat it, fruit, didn't eat it, bottle of formula, didn't touch it. Have given up and am bf'ing. DH still in bed.
curry sorry to hear you're feeling down. Hope today is a better day x
Hello i posted up thread and haven't stopped thinking about this thread since I read it Sat am.
What is lovely is the supportive dialogue that has evolved between posters on the last few pages beyond comments in relation to the OP.
I have decided that there are many bits of the parenting day/routine that I just don't blooming well like, in fact irritate and bore the life out of me, but I have decided to stop beating myself up about it and accept this is the case. This does not stop me feeing guilty or selfish.
I am a SAHP to my second DD (16mnths). I previously had a career and worked full time and part-time around DS (7) so been all sides of the fence so to speak and think it is mostly a case of grass is greener, each with drawbacks for either family/child/individual parent.
So as a full time SAHP with DH who does long hours during the week.
I accept I got through the motions of doing a playgroup almost everyday - sometimes I enjoy a chat sometimes I barely mutter a word to anyone until DH comes home. It took me a while to accept Im not 'employed' but I still work my butt off IYSWIM. I see current role as enabling DH to do his job and thus do not feel guilty anymore about spending my pocket money on me!
I try to see the trade offs more -
I am pressure/stress free from the type a job can bring and thus I get nowhere near the amount of coughs and colds.
I can do nice things (on the days it comes together) like going for a coffee - I no longer feel guilt about spending money on lunch out a couple of times a week when it may be the only time away from house - BONUS if DD asleep!
Im studying for a degree with OU - this is MINE it keeps me sane, I can chat to others online and attend tutorials - I'm very excited at prospect of study weekend! So I still feel like I'm investing in MY future.
I think I cope better with homework/school bags better than what I or we would if i worked.
I don't mind saying, when I am busy/tired I cut the following corners -
I use the much loved Disney channel - favourites off planner
I know if I take DD swimming she will sleep and I can have an hour's peace (self motivated)
I resorted to the driving around in the car with DD until she sleeps in daytime (I used to be very judges about this)
I put things off if I am tired e.g. painting with DS but always do do it
I sometimes feed the kids out even at MC D's or use ready meals. I cook a lot other times so whats the big deal.
I plan holidays to do stuff with DS but also stuff he can goto without me. - Last year I did 6 weeks with two kids on my own, I've scraped money together for weeks holiday in August using telco vouchers to break this up.
I enjoy spending time with DS but I cannot stand the constant commentaries he provides with whatever it is he is doing, it is relentless. Im so fed up of the mess and constant cloth in hand.
Ive recently had a household amnesty - the place needs a good clean and tidy, but you know what we all still alive! Though I am going to crack on today as liberating as it is it has got the point of not being able to find stuff. But I shall be taking laundry to Johnsons in their nice little bags as a treat to myself.
I find I 'suck' a lot of stuff up in my 'traditional role' compared to before but overall this works for us at this stage, even if not for me on some days/hours!
Sorry for epic post but I wanted to get that off my chest, especially bit about grabbing the nice bits for myself and cutting corners.
Hi everyone, can I join this one please? Have been really reassured to find this.
For me, I guess the thing that gets me is the lack of an outlet. Pre-DC, if I had a frustrating day I knew I could get all the frustration out of me by going for a long run, and to keep it up as long as I needed to diffuse all the stress feelings. If someone cut in front of my car and I had to slam on the brakes, I could curse until the air turned blue and it didn't matter. If someone or something annoyed me, I could, at some point in the day, swear or pound the pavements (running I mean) and know I'd stopped things from building up.
I'm still at the stage where I always have to be in control of my emotions - having to have the 'calm voice' where I want to scream; having to say "What a silly man to drive so fast! He could have caused a nasty accident!". When I've had a frustrating day at work I have no opportunity to have a break, a scream, or a long run - I'm back to being Stepford mummy and coming up with fun things for DD to do (smiley smiley) - or playing shops over and over and over and over again with DD (smiley smiley). And the frustration is still there like a little knot in my stomach with nowhere to go.
Then DD might do something really innocuous if slightly annoying which adds to it - say, pilfering my lipstick out of my bag and drawing with it - to which I need to give a calm, rational, proportional, disappointed-face response. Then DD wants the same bedtime story eight times, or uses every stalling technique in the book to avoid going to bed or having a bath, or won't brush her teeth, or does something that every three-year-old does because they push boundaries at this age. And again I need to be calm, rational and proportionate because I'm the adult. I might tell her that it makes me very happy if she goes to bed without a fuss (positive reinforcement) rather than telling her I might well scream the house down if I have to read the rude dinosaur story again (which I want to do by this stage). And the knot gets a little bit bigger.
It's very easy to see how it could all tip into a red rage, or depression, or just not caring any more. I've told DH that he has to do bathtime three days a week, while I run like the clappers - if I get the chance to do that then the knot can be kept at bay for a bit. I also think I ought to take a leaf out of DH's book and just refuse to do things I don't like (such as childrens' birthday parties - it's always my responsibility to take DD because he hates them).
vlad welcome, must say Im very impressed with your ability to maintain 'stepford mummy' I often don't with my 7 yr old.
On the whole I think i do ok being a mum but I really let myself down when i shout at him, I just find in uncontainable - but I should be able to shouldn't I, I can let him know whatever it is without resorting to a screaming banshee. This is what i most feel guilty for.
I need to get this under control. Recently I have said sorry mummy should not have shouted but what I said stands. I take a deep breath then say right lets move on - even if I can feel myself still 'pumped'.
The last time I lost it a really shouted was last week, he didn't put his coat on, gaffed and faffed while I strapped little one in etc and we just missed the school door by seconds - I made him tell reception why HE was late.
and breathe breathe ...god must get some work done in here to day, least I've done an online shop and paid for holiday.
Hi everyone,m nice to see this thread is still going strong!
Vlad I can relate to the knot in your stomach. That's something that I feel every day. I miss being able to just get out the house for me on my own, be it going swimming or just for a run. Now everything has to be so planned and there's at least one little person who wants to come with me. DH works long hours so just getting out for a run or even a walk would be lovely but little things like this seem so unachievable. Things that before we had the DCs I never even realised I'd have to give up.
I am beginning to really hate bedtimes. Both the boys sleep really well (thnk God), this wasn't always the case so I am not taking it for granted at all! But just the routine of it bores me so much. DS1 always decides he needs a poo as I am bathing DS2 every evening, then he spends ages buggering about and faffing whilst I'm asking him to get undressed and get in the bath. He is a master of delay tactics but he's not even doing anything interesting for him to want to stay up for. He just takes forever to do everything.Takes an age to put his PJs on. He is loud and silly even though we have repeatedly told him not to be so excitable as DS2 is still trying to get to sleep etc etc. We go upstairs and I sit on DS1's bed and read him the same damn books every night. Even when he wants a different book from school, I find it so boring. I find myself just rushing through the book and breathing a huge sigh of relief as I close his bedroom door and go down stairs for a few hours alone or with DH.
I lso feel very guilty for being a shouty mum Feelingood . I feel like I spend most of my days biting my tongue so I don't shout but every so often like yesterday I snap. DS1 was messing around hanging off the pushchair (DS2 was not in it thankfully, DH was carrying him) anyway I'd asked him to stop but still he carried on and it tipped up and spilled DH's much loved coffee that was in the cupholder. I lost it because he could have burned himself. I told him so often just to stop but he just DOES NOT listen!
Guilty here too of being shouty mum at times! I have been trying soo hard at this over the past few days as it got to a point about a week ago where I was just at the end of my tether - dh had worked two weekends in a row, I'd been up multiple times throughout the night with dd2 having a cold for nearly a week, and I couldn't seem to find 2 minutes to myself to have some peace. I kept snapping at ds1 and shouted at him when he didn't deserve it - he was being boisterous / dawdling but not being naughty. Had to say sorry and explain that mummy was very tired but shouldn't have shouted etc etc. Felt truly rubbish as I adore ds1 and vowed to be a better mummy. Only I remained knackered and lacking in patience so how to achieve that?? I bought the 'Calmer Easier Happier Parenting' book and am finding it helpful so far
although it doesn't explain how to find two minutes to read it! (maybe it does but I haven't had time to read that bit). Anyway, I'm still whacked but haven't shouted for a few days . This morning when dd2 napped I played Elefun with ds1 and we did some phonics reading - which I never normally find the time to do, I am charging round like a loon trying to do housework. I feel better having had some nice quality time with him and I'm hoping he thinks I am a slightly better mummy for being calmer and nicer. Now I just having to maintain the not shouting and losing my rag.... Yikes.
I can't keep up with this thread either - so good to read how other people are, and how other people stay sane (most of the time!). I feel guilty for being a shouty mum too. When I was young we had a home video of my two siblings and I sitting at the table and my mum was snapping at everyone when we were just basically laughing and giggling... it was awful to watch back as an adult - seeing my Mum so stressed out and seeing us all being told off at every turn... but now I think I'm becoming her! I used to try to explain everything, and had so much more patience, but now maybe it is tiredness, maybe it is just too much stress, but my first response is to snap. I hate it. Dh pulls me up on it all the time - he thinks nobody else shouts at their children, and that I am 'over the top' which I find hard to take. I think he'd be a lot more impatient if he was with them all the time, because it does something to you, the constant noise in your head, the complete lack of any time for yourself. Today I went to a chiropractor appointment, a fifteen minute appointment. DD1 was at school, ds was at pre-school, and my Mum walked around the block with ddd 2 and 3 for fifteen minutes. While I was lying there the chiropractor made some comment about how busy I must be, and I said how much I was enjoying the peace and quiet. He laughed. He genuinely found it amazing that I could 'enjoy' lying being prodded about because it was a break from the children. I don't think he realises that the last time I was without all of them was probably when I went to the dentist in February!! So, I may be a shouty mum, and would like to change, but just not sure I have the energy at the moment!!
Hi Happynappies, there is a Louis CK routine where he celebrates the "little holidays you have from your children, like walking round the car to the driver's seat" and he mimes a slow relaxed drawn out stroll as the parent rejoices that the children are strapped into the closed car and he can't hear them till he opens the car again. I have totally done this.
dd2 is tormenting me at night. I keep picking her up and taking her back to bed with me but it is not working. She was messing about between about 3.30 and 6.30 this morning. I am going to have to bite the bullet and do some proper sleep training, there is nothing wrong with her (for once) so I just have to do this, but I am so exhausted I can't see how to begin.
I am feeling very strange, spaced out and wobbly every day. I don't know if it is just fatigue, or something to do with this endless cold / sinusitis, or something else.
I have to admit to a meltdown in the car - on the way to a child's party miles away which DH had refused to attend, DD in party dress decides that she wants to bring half the house with her, directions to party are vague and I've been up half the night making quiches because I stupidly offered to 'help'.
I knew I was running late, couldn't find the map I'd printed out, had just about got DD to leave the house ('but I need to finish this first mummy! Can I have a drink before we go?'), sandwiched all the sodding quiches, and the birthday present, and the card, and DD's bloody suitcase into the car, secreted nine boxes of raisins in my handbag in case we got stuck in traffic, and couldn't find the map. We're late anyway so I bundle both of us in the car, text friend to let her know we'll be late, and I realise next door neighbour has parked just enough across my drive to make it really hard to get out.
I inch out and have to reverse back into the drive while (male) driver of oncoming car gawps at me like some slack-jawed tortoise and waves his fist - I hadn't seen him as I manoevred out because of neighbour's car. And then I screamed, waving my hands above my head with a "OH FOR PITY'S SAKE I'M SORRY!!!". Wee voice in the back of the car then says "Why on earth are you shouting, Mummy?" and rather than tell her "Because God alone knows why I'm driving for an hour to a three-year-olds birthday party and your pigheaded father has no intention of supporting me while he buggers off on his bloody mountain bike, I can't find the map because I have upteen things I have to remember including a jigsaw puzzle, your book bag, eight soft toys and the blanket which frankly I will thank God on my knees when you grow out of because you keep losing the damn thing, I have no bloody idea where Effingham Forest Glade Primary School Hall is, I don't know anyone there and AAAAARGH!!" - I managed a "Yes, I shouldn't have shouted so loudly. That man did surprise me and it's very, very hard to see around that great big enormous people-mover that the people next door have bought for themselves. And it was a little bit rude of him to stare, didn't you think?"
Haha vlad wow I am impressed at your monumental self control! I recently had a mini meltdown that went something like this:
Me: "oh... CRAP!" (stubbed toe / forgot something / trivial irritation that I can't even recall now but was the straw that broke the camel's back)
Ds1 (looking surprised and a bit alarmed): "Mummy? you just shouted 'crabs', didn't you?"
Me: "uh... yes. YES, I did!" (thinking "phew")
Ds1: "why, Mummy?"
Me: "because I stubbed my toe, darling. And when I bump myself I say the name of a sea creature."
Ds1: "oh! Like... lobsters?"
Me: "umm. That's right."
Ds1 (wandering off into house shouting): "lobsters! Lobsters! LOBSTERS!!"
Having children has at least taught me to think on my feet, even if I do only manage to think of nonsense.
So much of this thread hits home. The primary issues for me are boredom and anger. I have a 5 yr old DD and a 2 yr old DS. My DD is just a bundle of barely-contained energy and I find her a real challenge. I think Ive always been somewhat short-tempered but I have been horrified, really, the last few months, at just how angry I can get with them, and how quickly. Although honestly, when I say them its really her.
I had no idea how hard parenting would be, and to be honest, its not really that I am that tired. Sure, I would like more sleep, but my children have both slept 12 hours through the night since they were 6 weeks old. I read the other posters comments about sleep deprivation and I salute you all, I really do. I think Id have sold my kids on ebay by now if I had sleep deprivation on top of it.
The biggest challenge for me is that I hate the constant pressure to be the entertainment. All.The.Time. Buying them a playroom full of toys and books, and spending time with them, just isnt enough apparently. If Im not on all fours being a horse, or playing tea parties, I get constantly play with me, play with me until I feel as though my head will explode. Was your childhood like that? Mine wasnt. My mums usual refrain was going out and play or, if the weather was bad, go and play. And it wasnt done in a malicious or cruel way, but there was no expectation from either of us, that she would be entertaining me all the time. And yet I feel this pressure constantly. Honestly, I am a professional adult and I am bored off my rocker with tea parties and play horsey. Im sitting next to you reading a book and attending to (almost) every need, isnt that enough?
Even at the playground I take them every day (one in the good mum column) but I just want to sit on a bench and relax (evidently one in the bad mum column.) Im surrounded by women who look positively orgasmic at the thought of another 10 minutes pushing a swing. Is there a secret to this that no-ones ever told me? Or are they all swigging gin from their co-ordinated water bottles?
Please can I join in? I am so glad I found this thread - and it has become a life line to me over the last week. It so sums up how I feel and how I have felt for pretty much the last nine years (i am a sahm and have two ds age 9 and 5).
It is such a relief to know it is ok to admit to feeling as I do and that I am not alone. I am bored, lonely, bored, empty, bored and tired - I love my boys with all my heart and feel so guilty for feeling so bored and empty.
I even showed dh parts of this thread as it was easier than trying to say it all to him. My boys are growing older and I feel I am losing them - then what will be left ? Dh is very supportive and says he wants me to feel happier but it has been like this for so long I don't know where to start or who I am apart from a mum. I no longer know where they end and I begin.
Such a supportive thread to read. Thanks OP. x
Anglo, I totally identify with you on the childrens entertainer thing! I've been saying the same for yonks! My parents didn't constantly play with me yet I can't pick up a book or a newspaper without being made to feel intensely guilty that I'm not role-playing barbies and ken (which I even hated as a child) or baking gingerbread men. Am assailed with 'I'm BORED' every two seconds. Anyone got a cure for this it would be most appreciated?!
Also gratified to hear so many people are just as frustrated with their DP's as was getting sick of hearing how wonderful and 'hands on' everyone partners are. Seems likevits a general bloke thing as opposed to my partner being particularly crap at giving the house, childcare any thought at all. He can walk past a large basket of laundry 5 or 6 times without volunteering to carry it upstairs for me or- god forbid- even put it away! I work full time, 5 1/2 day week and still plan all meals, packed lunches, swimming/ballet kits, laundry, gardening, school & nursery drop offs and pick-ups. But any reminders given are classed as nagging
Anglo, I know EXACTLY how you feel.
The only difference between you and me is that I didn't actually take my kids to the playground every day. You are a very good mum!
Yes, having DC drives me bonkers. No, in fact only DS1 drives me bonkers. He is only 5 but manages to annoy me big time, almost all the time. He potentially has ADHD and Asperger's traits, we yet to find out. In any case, since having him I have discovered that I also have some ADHD/Asperger's traits and while it was not expressed in a peaceful enviroment pre-kids with me and DH, since having DS1 I struggle to cope with him. I lose patience and shout all the time. Working full-time is hard, but having DS1 is 1000 harder. It has been the hardest lesson of all times.
DS2 is NT and he is a real pleasure to be around.
Spiderwithoneeye I am with you about DP too! Everything's on me.
Thank you for this thread OP, whilst there are many many amazing moments, as a hard-working professional, bringing up children is by far the hardest thing I've ever done. Hats off to staying at home all day with them too- weekends and holidays are the hardest time for me!
How is everyone? Angloamerican I thought of you this morning when I was pushing DD2 on the swing, and your line about positively orgasmic women pushing swings. I normally avoid parks but thought I'd limit it to 20 minutes and tire her out before the supermarket. She loved, I felt like Supermum for about a minute, then she had a huge paddy about putting her cardigan back on. I marched her to the car, grim-faced (I find I can't get into it with her these days, I just decide she'll tantrum whatever I do so do what I have to to get us out of the situation). She/the noise was getting to me so badly I abandoned the supermarket idea, came home and put her to bed. Where she screamed some more. Then we both fell asleep. I feel absolutely drained and just so shit about myself. Wearing some jeans that fit me fine last week but are very tight today and pissing me off. I can't seem to stick to any kind of healthy eating and just comfort eat my way through all these horrible emotions. Rang for GP appt to take some action about the bingeing and can't get one for 2 weeks - 2 fucking weeks!
Wow, didn't know that was going to come out like that. Came on to post this quote from another thread about someone struggling with a 9mo not sleeping and their anger towards the baby. Someone posted: "I once shouted 'shut the fuck up' at DD when she was a baby. She is now 11 and has never mentioned it." I laughed for a full minute at that - it really sums up the the anger and the guilt and the anxiety we put ourselves through.
issynoho like you I tried to be supermum this afternoon. After school DS1 was asking to go to the park accross from the school... I reluctantly agreed and decided what was the worst that could happen?? Well within ten minutes DS1 was moaning for an ice cream (it's not even hot here, just not raining for a change) , then he was moaning because there were no swings available. DS2 was crying to get out the pushchair but he's not yet walking and I didn't fancy chasing after a crawling baby with kids on scooters and bikes weaving about. I left watching all these other mums and squealing happy children wondering what the fuck I was doing wrong. It doesn't matter whether I plan something nice for them or not, they still manage to find a way of making it miserabe so I have returned home feeling utterly defeated. I adore them, I honestly do, but how 2 such small boys can create so much stress and upset is beyond me.
Oh and I sympathise with the binging and the tight jeans! My weight has ballooned since having DS2. So much so that I am now heavier than when I was 9 months pregnant with him. I keep thinking I'll start healthy eating tomorrow but within an hour of waking I've messed up. I am doing something about it though, today has been my first official day of following 'weight watchers' and despite the earlier dramas, I have stuck to the plan quite easily.
This thread is a lifesaver, literally. I have been reading it and nodding my head, agreeing with everything that's been said. I thought it was just me but turns out there are all these bright, educated women out there living lonely, boring and frustrating lives.
I have 2 dcs. And yes of course I love them and would do anything for them. But my god I hate looking after them all the bloody time. I hate the constant drudge work. I hate never having a minute to myself and being on duty 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day. I worked out yesterday that I have spent one night away from my children since having the first one 9 years ago. I hate how I feel like I dont exist anymore, am merely a tool to service the constant, never ending demands of my children.
I have a very challenging 2 year old. She does not sleep. Ever. She demands constant attention all day. She whines and moans incessantly. She eats none of the food I prepare. She is constantly ill. She is unable to amuse herself for even a couple of minutes. I seem to spend all day putting her on the toilet, preparing her drinks and snacks, listening to her moaning and desperately trying to entertain her.
I never get a moment to myself. DH works long hours (lucky him!) I am responsible for the morning drudge of getting them breakfasted, dressed and showered and dealing with the constant fighting (who would have thought a 9 and 2 year old woulf fight ALL the time) and well basically everything including putting them to bed. They are both awake til gone 9pm still demanding things so I feel like I never get a break.
I fantasise about getting in the car and driving away. I have a plan in my head - as soon as DH gets home I will leave, drive to my best (childless) friends house, stay with her until I get a job and place to live sorted.
Even as I type this I have a clingy 2 year old demanding my attention!
Sorry dont have much of anything positive to add but really wanted to add my comments to the mix and to agree with all the posters who say they feel they have been mis-sold parenthood. No-one tells you how bloody hard and relentless it is.
me too with the lardiness. really depressed about how fat I am today.
I was alright a few weeks ago. took my eye off the ball for five minutes and now - this.
About the constant whining and demands. Well I may be the world's biggest git of a mother and this may be terrible but I just think fuck'em, sometimes. I have said "no" and then when I get "WWWWWWWWWWHYYYYY?" I say "because I am sitting down having a cup of coffee."
A few days ago dd1 came into the kitchen where I was up to my elbows in washing up and said "Mum-my, can you... erm when you have finished what you are doing, please could you -" I almost punched the air in triumph. It is the tiniest little thing, but having her acknowledge that my hands are full, instead of constantly loading me up with a Heathrow-esque holding pattern of demands, felt like the most blissful maturity.
The fighting is horrific.
I have agreed with dp that we have to deal with dd2's sleep. It's breaking me.
I used to go to the park armed with a flask and a book <hollow laughter> how misguided us that?
Dd2 is an accident waiting to happen and dd1 despite being 11 has to have my attention constantly.
"Watch me mummy"
Yes ok ill watch you go down that same slide I've been watching you go down for ten years!
Have just got home from work to an empty house and remembered how lovely it is!
Thanks Oddbod, your sympathy/empathy is much appreciated. I have been thinking about another poster's memory (was it even on this thread? Memory is useless) of the video of their Mum snapping at them even though they were just laughing and joking. If I didn't avoid photographic devices like the very devil, I fear that is what our home movies would show too. I know I shouldn't put my emotions onto my children's shoulders but IT IS SO HARD to explain calmly how their INCESSANT BICKERING AND WHINING is making me feel stabby without somehow making them feel responsible for my feeling bad. Because, well, they are responsible for it! Or for my feelings of frustration. The guilt, the guilt.
Myfurbyiseday Absolute solidarity with you on the demanding 2yo. I have one too. Your day with your DH's hours sounds hellish. Do you have any regular support or breaks?
On the mis-selling of parenthood - perhaps it's like the childbirth conspiracy - you don't want to say how awful it was for you because it might not be that bad for the person you're telling, you don't want to jinx it or predict the future.
Imagine a non-glossy parenting magazine that actually examined the real issues? Product testing antidepressants, reviews of cafes based on how much mess they let you leave and how noisy your children can be before you're asked to leave. I bet Zoe Williams would write for it.
issy I do have my parents nearby but they are worse than useless. I was at a very low point last week and actually said to my mum I was going to ring social services as cannot cope with the dcs anymore (I was half joking), she said nothing. I have told my DH so many times that things cannot go on as they are ie him out the house all day and me on my own without any family support. He sympathises but does nothing.
The 'problem' I suppose is that everyone sees that I am coping so are happy to let me carry on with things as they are. So my DH takes no steps to try and help and his life carries on as normal.
I am angry at myself. Angry that I had children with a man who has to work all hours, angry I had children when I have no family support and angry that all my friends have chosen to have a career and no children so we have very little in common now.
Saying that, in my positive moments I think that one day things will improve. My 2 yr old wont always be 2 and wont always be such a challenge!
Ah yes, the anger... so destructive, eating away at you. Are you able to express it? It's been a revelation to me that expressing emotions helps them pass. And expressing feelings assertively to my DP, instead of leaving it until I explode in a hail of bitter blame-flinging. I was shown how to say 'When you do ABC it makes me feel XYZ' instead of 'You didn't put the milk away, you left it for me to do, you make me feel like your slave or your mother
you bastard'. Apologies if you know this stuff already, but nobody taught me.
My DP has not understood when I've cried out for help. I've always been a coper too. We're actually on the waiting list for a relationship counsellor because I'm so unhappy. You don't exactly interview prospective spouses about what kind of supportive husband/father they'll be, but god I wish I had.
Mothers - I guess we won't know what it's like until our children have children, but it's a complicated relationship. My DM is very judgemental so I choose not to talk to her about a lot of things. She was very unfulfilled when she was a SAHM and has put up with a lot from my DF so hasn't really been a great role model for expressing yourself and settling for not enough from your husband/partner.
Does your DH choose to work long hours or have to?
And yes, things will improve as our DC get older, but it's an awfully long time to be unhappy for. I keep thinking that when mine reach the next stage, things will be better. And then I realise things will just be different.
Ledkr 11 years of "watch me mummy"? I am doomed. DD2 is only 2.9. And she's my accident-prone one too, so it's a case of 'watch me, watch me, waaaahhhh!'. Can my nerves be frayed and shot at the same time?
issy ah yes relationship counselling, I am desperate for some quite frankly. The problem is we cant get a babysitter so we cant actually attend any counsellling, the irony! Would be interested to hear if it helps you. I did once attend counselling for PTSD after horrific birth with first dc but I spent the whole time sobbing and the shocked look on the face of the woman counsellor when I described my birth experience (think major tearing, stitching, blood loss etc) didn't really help!
Thanks for taking the time to comment on my ramblings, I really do appreciate it and it helps knowing its not me just feeing like this.
furby and issy I feel I could have written both of your posts!
Things have, by and large, been getting a bit better with DH. His anti-depressants have kicked in and he's a little bit easier to deal with.
The problem I have now is that my residual anger is still there. Rather than him getting up in a shit mood every day because he's depressed, and then bringing everybody down, he's waking up all happy and it's making me furious because I'm still so pissed off with how he's been. Its a
shit vicious circle.
Today I really lost my temper because he still hadn't arranged a childminder for when I go back to work (for various reasons it has to be done by him. I have been waiting for him to sort it out for MONTHS) and I ran out of purees for DD because I've been asking him since last week to do some more for the freezer (again because of various issues it has to be done by him).
On the puree front he offered originally to do all DD's food to "make it easier" for me. He does bugger all else so I was chuffed. Except now I say "DD hasn't got much left in the freezer, can you do some more?" "Yes ok". Next day, ask again. Next day, ask again. And I ask and ask and ask and ask and then shout and shout and then rant and rave. And nothing gets done. I. Want. To. Kill. And its such a small thing but its important and I get so angry. So in the end I said fine, you can't be arsed, I can't be arsed fighting any more about it I'll wean her on jars. And he just shrugs and says "ok then". I want to murder him. I'm not even joking. I want to throw pans and hurt him. I don't want to give her jars he's a chef for fucks sake. And he wanted to do right by DD which is why he offered. But not he can't be fucked so he'll take the path of least resistance. I hate
Sorry I seem to have had a brainleak. Wow I didn't even know I was so angry.
Don't even get me started on the fact we have no childcare for when I go back to work. I wish I'd known how fucking useless he is when I married him. I'd have run screaming from the building.
I'm a coper too issy. Damn well have to be now as DH got in there first with the breakdown and we can't both have a breakdown can we? So I carry on.
And furby DH works 10am-10pm 6 days a week. It's so lonely. I do morning get-ups, getting DD ready, walking the dog, all day with her, bathtime and bedtime. Alone. All of it. And my family live in another country and PIL are 1.5 hours away and fairly useless anyway.
We had relationship counselling last year. The counsellor flashed her foof at DH and then commiserated with him about not having any time to do his music for the rest of the sessions, whilst I seethed.
I've been thinking about my own childhood a lot; I was fortunate to have grown up in a very happy, stable environment.
My mother was a peado psychiatrist for close to 40 years and was/is the best, most loving and warm parent ever; but thinking back there's no way she gave me the level of feedback our children seem to demand (and we provide).
In fact, she often says that a child-centric family dynamic can be very detrimental as it creates its own type of pressure on the child and potentially breeds insecurity. But I digress...
My Australian friend once told me how her family used to gather at the dinner table and all the children would talk about their days at school, while the parents and the other siblings acted as talent-show judges.
They would point out when the person talking was being boring, so they could move on
She told me this laughing, seemingly baring no scars from the event and on reflection both her and all her siblings are well adjusted, successful and actually great company socially
Anyway, sorry for the long post, but this got me thinking (along with this thread) if we're not giving too much. If it's healthy or even beneficial for our children to raise them like this.
I suppose you could say I lean on "attachement" parenting (co-sleeping/rod for back etc) and DD is only 15 months old (DC2 in uterus), but it's got me wondering if I don't need to revise the way I define "good parenting"
The childcare is exactly the problem we have. I have dithered for months over the cost, time, convenience (well, years really) but it's come down to the fact that we can't afford not to, and if he can take time off to go cycling, he can take time off the one morning DD2 is in nursery to salvage his relationship. And I've confided in one lovely friend who may be able to babysit in the evenings. We're going to get the first appt and see where we go from there. I know they do telephone and online counselling but would rather be face to face.
Re: confiding - oddly, the more I talk about how I'm feeling, the more people i discover are going through similar shit. A couple pf friendships have deepened lately through sharing our 'stuff'. Could be my age and a cliched mid-life crisis, or just that you can only pretend thing are ok for so many years before it all comes and bites you on the arse.
Your counsellor sounded utterly wrong for you! Similar to Curry's experience upthread with a counsellor who didn't have kids and couldn't understand. I once had infertility counselling from a woman who said all the wrong things about one day being older and able to say 'sadly, no, I couldn't have children'. I think I actually wailed and used every pathetically undersized tissue in the box. The irony of once needing infertility counselling though...
Gosh, some seriously weird syntax on that post.
Apologies, English is not my first language and, as I might've mentioned before, my daughter DOESN'T SLEEP. EVER.
poppy I didn't notice anything at all amiss when I read your post, your English is amazing!
KingRollo The counsellor flashed her foof?! I have never used this face on MN but . I do worry we might not get one that suits both of us, but are we talking Sharon Stone-style displays?
YYY to knowing how useless your man can be. It's all charming and eccentric when you first get together and then fucking soul-destroying years later post-DCs. The anger is all-consuming. Have you left him to natural consequences? Like, your DD won't have any food if he doesn't make it. I have been doing this with DP lately - not trying to do everything for him but leave him to be responsible for himself. It's created a distance between us, I can't deny that, but occasionally he has surprised me and remembered stuff I thought he would forget. But he did go through about 2 weeks of thinking he was losing his mind because I wasn't reminding him about everything.
Poppyamex Interesting point about childcentric families. Like Curry's point upthread about the washing up moment, I'm aiming for DC who appreciate others' efforts and aren't brought up to think the world revolves around them. But small children are a work in progress, and I am realising I am not cut out for this level of servitude. I begin to think those women who put their husband before their children have it right, but that might depend on preferring your husband to your children and that's where I stumble...
I was feeling great until two nights ago when dd2 resumed her previous bad sleeping.
Two and a half years of no sleep then finally solace.
I'm so depressed at the thought of going back to it.
I was coping a lot better with work too.
Hope it's just her cough.
Wow, after a horrific HOUR (that's all it took tonight) this thread is very reassuring. I never doubt I'm alone..surely I can't be the only one struggling with this insane job that is motherhood...but you do have to sometimes really have to scrape behind the veneers to realise most people are dealing with the same s### in different houses.. And if I'm honest, I never share some of the terrible things I've said to my dd in absolute anger anywhere except here- which I did earlier and feel much better & ready to face another day of
basically being treated like a skivy motherhood tomorrow.
I have grown into enjoying motherhood and I do accept the role now, but I didn't find it easy and it's not my preferred state iyswim..my working days are infinitely more enjoyable than my mothering days most of the time, I find mothering stifling and boring half the time...
What's interesting about this thread though is that the focus has gone from the dc to the dps. Te penny dropped for me about 3 yrs ago that mums & dads are just different. When I accepted my dh wasn't me & we weren't equal parents, that I would always be the primary carer...that's when my marriage improved post children. I gave up on the resentment, the expectation... He's not a slacker, he'll do his bit..but it's never as much as I'd like & parenting for a mother is 24/7 IMO ..dads can dip in and out. Ramble over!
issy I've sort of tried the consequences thing but it leads to me totally disengaging. Thinking he can do what he likes because I don't care and I'm not relying on him for anything. This not being able to rely on him is a killer at the moment - I'm protecting myself by doing everything so I know it has been done, then I hate him because I don't rely on him for anything. I keep thinking "what are you for???" Same with the stupid purees. I'm better off with jars because there are fewer rows and I know I have food in, but then I hate him for not being someone we can rely on as a family - a spare wheel.
He has been particularly forgetful recently and I think it's the tablets. Phenomenally forgetful actually. But he has put the odd wash on and done the washing up the odd time and I know that's him making an effort
pathetic though it is
When we first got together he used to clean my flat when I was at work. I literally do not recognise that person any more. He used to leave me notes under my pillow when he left my flat. hahahahhaha.
Oh the foof thing - think hot day, floaty skirt and the Sharon Stone thing. We fell about laughing actually as when we left the office I was all nervous to ask him how he thought it had gone, whether he thought it was useful etc. His first words? "She wasn't wearing any knickers!!". We had to laugh...
"I gave up on the resentment, the expectation"
Wow Awful (and I very much doubt you are an awful mother!) How do you do that?
I need to do that.
Oh Rollo I'm so sorry (about you coping for everyone, not about the foof).
Everyone keeps telling me the early years are so hard and it gets easier. So I don't want to give up on me and DP without trying, but at the same time I don't know if the extra strain has just shown the cracks more quickly, and that they are still cracks, perhaps unmendable ones. Ironically, DP is better domestically now than he has ever been, but I don't know if it makes up for all the years he was slack.
I find it both interesting and depressing that the focus has shifted to people's anger at their partners (not that the anger is unjustified: I'd be serving time in Holloway if DH had done some of the things described on this thread.
Awfulmother, it's really not true that men and women are different. Men are quite capable of doing the day to day thankless grind, but they can opt out because they know the women in their lives will pick up the slack. Women mostly don't have that luxury, because the world tells us it's our job, and social structures reinforce it. Things like maternity leave don't help: if one person's at home more naturally falls to them, and then it takes an altruistic man, or a woman who's prepared to walk out, to rebalance things when the woman goes back to work. Because frankly, if you could get away with it, why wouldn't you want to avoid your share of the shit?
Still reading this amazing thread daily-thanks everyone for making it what it is.
Agree kingrollo but mums and dads are different ... He has skills I don't have (in remaining calmer when I lose it with the kids!) and I have skills he doesn't have..children benefit from the differences but not the wrangling between the adults in their lives if they're unhappy with their roles. My approach was to negotiate the roles we have (subtly over years, not in an evening!) and then just get on with it. Think of it as work..some colleagues will be better than you, others worse, some you work well with, others you don't..that's all marriage and parenting come down to..except quite often you don't know what type of parenting colleague you have ended up with til it's too late!!!
I love your attitude Awfulmother. Lots and lots to learn from it.
"Anyway, sorry for the long post, but this got me thinking (along with this thread) if we're not giving too much. If it's healthy or even beneficial for our children to raise them like this.
I suppose you could say I lean on "attachement" parenting (co-sleeping/rod for back etc) and DD is only 15 months old (DC2 in uterus), but it's got me wondering if I don't need to revise the way I define "good parenting" "
Yes I did all the attachment parenting things. It ws- the co-sleeping, the extended breastfeesing, the baby-wearing. It wasn't planned, I hadn't heard of the word attachment parenting before I became a parent and read a description that fitted what I was doing.
From day one I was child-centric to an almost obsessive degree(I have an obsessive perfectionsist nature). This is very hard to undo as I've been parenting this way for over 5 years. I think I have to accept I've destroyed my relationship in putting my children at the centre with DH and I as the spectators on the sidelines.
I know a family that parents very differently. The children stay up late doing their own thing while the parents chat to their friends and drink wine. The children are passed around a number of relatives so the childcare is constantly being shared. The children don't have set bed times or nap times, they fall asleep in the car or on the sofa and are carried upstairs. The parents love their children but don't seem to find parenting stressful. They do their own thing and the children fit in with them (often accompanying them to work). I could never parent in this way( I prefer to focus on DC in the day and then pack them off to bed at night) but I think it works for a lot of people. The parents' marriage has still broken down though.
<hands out gin>
Gosh so much to read and absorb, this is a very important thread.
I took my children in the car to the local garage to feed them breakfast as I had ran out of milk and bread. They ate yoghurt, cereal bars and mini cheddars!
Play group for two hours - its a big busy one where I still need to follow my 16 month old around pretty much as she has only just started walking too.
Pepper pig book on repeat
Afternoon nap BOTH! eventually
Tea. (homework) Bath Bed.
DH arrives home.......
My university work - non existent I have had an extension granted.
Wiped out, but now sitting up like an OWL for some peace and quiet.
I look forward to doing extra runs in car to after school stuff.
I love angry birds as it keeps my DS quiet for a bit - there I've said it!
Nuts and others...
I think we are a little too child centred, as others have said I can't remember my mum doing much playing etc with me, I can remember her teaching me to knit, bake. She was mostly busy working and doing housework.
I like to think I do stuff with my DC but sometimes I have to get on. I tell my DS often, sorry can you come back mummy is having a coffee break - like if I've just ran around doing xyz. Then when i feel refreshed I will call him over and go back to him.
But I often feel guilty doing this as if I'm pushing him away, but for me to remain sane in the absence of another adult I NEED to. I tell him if he is making a pest of himself as I consider this bad manners and wouldn't want him behaving like this toward others.
and nuts you can always make small changes, recently I've decided to introduce choices e.g.. meals, clothes - but options are what I'm happy with, to open ended!
I agree about small changes feeling
I cool from scratch but recently on work nights I've been buying frozen stuff to go in the oven quickly.
I'm also learning to accept some mess and muddles.
For example we have a lovely outdoor pool nearby so i leave the bag packed ready to go rather than put it all away each time. Yes it means Ive got an ugly bag on the kitchen table but it also means we can go to the pool at a moments notice.
Trying to tell myself ill have a tidy house again one day.
In other news dd is still sleeping having not woken up in the night. Woop woop! I'm now worrying she's ill but don't want to risk waking her.
MacMac123, thank you for recommending What Mothers Do. I had heard of it but misunderstood what it was - thought it was a sort of "Wifework" book about unacknowledged general household labour - actually it is very different and all about the all-consuming emotional drain of caring for a little baby - very interesting - though occasionally veering a little too far towards the attachment-at-all-costs philosophy that I am becoming increasingly suspicious of. At least, the author seems to feel that way but fortunately does not often directly express it. And I suppose it is mostly about little babies and even I think that it is right to be very very available to little babies. Killing, but right.
I bloody love you all.
KingRollo, the fucking baby food. AAARGH. It is like they did not learn arithmetic or something. Baby eats 2 x meals per day (assuming breakfast is porridge or something). 7 days in week = Baby eats 14 x meals per week. So if 14 meals a week are coming out of the freezer, HOW ARE THEY GETTING IN THERE? [Rolls around clutching head in mental anguish]
Ledkr, fantastic that dd slept through. I offer you my heartfelt, almost slightly tearful, congratulations.
On the attachmenty stuff. I think you can give so much you damage other things: yourself, your relationship. Irreparably. Only you can draw the line as to where this is and I don't think a sleepless hormonal person is necessarily equipped to know where that line is. Perfectionism is such an enemy. We are so well trained to think that you can never work too hard. BUT YOU CAN. I have no solutions.
I think some people need more sleep than others and there are mothers on here who are surviving for over 2 years on no more than 3 hours consecutive sleep and think that they are managing, and I HATE IT when they are judgey about someone else's desperation and controlled crying. HATE IT. I honestly believe that controlled crying done properly on a big baby or small child is fine. Leaving that aside, even if was not ideal, WILL NOBODY THINK OF THE MOTHERS?!?!?
I am going to post this and then do an evil double post because the next bit is a slightly theoretical, long rant.
Have a good day everyone xxx
Ledkr ys I've just stocked my freezer with (tesco value actually) with broccoli, cauliflower, mixed veg and fruit salad. Frozen is supposed to be nearly just a good a freshly bought items (? thinks/hopes) Yes i think it no great loss if I cook breaded cod fillets from freezer with a baked pot and salad. I try to double up i.e. cook a big pot of something that will last two days e.g. chilli n rice/baked pots.
Our gym has an outdoor pool - I too have a bag with sun cream etc in, I go mental if the towels get used!
However that said I feel a bit odd this am. This weather is very close and muggy. Been up and down with DD.
After a few good days of clearing out cupboards I still have random piles of clutter stacked up on table/side and bedroom floor.
Mountain of laundry - I shall have to give in and use a laundry service to help get back on top. When I went into kitchen my heart sank.
IS THIS IT? - I just want to grab my gym bag, go for a swim and faff about with hairs etc after, have a coffee and sit undisturbed to do my uni work (DH has said I can do this on Saturday so i shouldn't complain?)
I am going to another playgroup now...rather be out than in tbh.
I bloody loves you all too - that alone brought a smile to my face, speaks volumes
I had post natal depression.
I had panic attacks for a while when getting my ds from nursery as I dreaded the nursery teacher telling me about all the terrible things he hd done today. I got counselling, it was helpful, cognitive behaviour therapy.
Children are per teens and I am feeling mentally healthy.
I would say the biggest threat to my mental health comes from how my parents treat me, not how my children affect me.
Just checking in. I've got a week off work this week so I don't feel so wretched.
curry I'm a bit about attachment parenting, although I didn't do it full stop. I'm sure I read somewhere that yes, in some countries babies are carried all the time but the mother isn't doing all of it. Relatives also carry the baby around. I think we take too many snippets of 'ideal' parenting methods but fail to realise they don't work in our society when many parents are on their own in the day.
Right, on the subject of partners and menfolk in general, I was very mean this week to an academic who started a thread seeking information about men on mn, and I felt guilty later and apologised and she quite reasonably ignored me. But it really stirred up a lot of stuff in me that, despite my meanness, I really did not fully express, and I really want to, so I am going to put it here, and it is related to the stuff that some of you lot are talking about wrt to your partners.
It actually made me so angry I still feel slightly bonkers about it.
The questions she was asking were about male users of mn. Apparently research shows that men have a strong desire for parenting information; they are treated as secondary parents by hcps, etc; so are sites like mn good places for them to express their parental identities? And how do they find posting here, given that they sometimes get a rough ride?
I queried whether this was likely to yield interesting or useful results, given that there are so few men on mn that the main conclusion you could reasonably draw is that they don't, on the whole, want to be here. And I was told that the research is a continuation from other papers that have explored how women are treated in male online spaces. This in itself made me foam at the mouth: a. as if there is ANY equivalence, as if it makes any sense to ask the same sorts of questions; and b. what a useless, lazy, fucking boring jumping off point for anything like this. Sometimes I just loathe social "scientists" and their mindless jumping through hoops, the next one along and very similar to the one they got funding for last time. It just reinforces lazy, unanalytic thinking. No vision, no creativity, no point of view. Just a bunch of pointless questions and their boring answers that always serve to promote the status quo.
There is a sort of knee-jerk "balance" or "kindness" which is completely inappropriate here. I mean if you sit down with some men and interview them, kindly, with a head-tilt, about how they feel about being treated as a secondary parent by the GP or the HV, of course they will moan and whine and say they wish their parenting was taken seriously. Well who the fuck made the world like this? If they want to keep all the appointments and remember where the red book is and deal with constipation and potty training and diarrhoea, they bloody well can. Women don't sit in business and parliament decreeing that they INSIST on dealing with all the child-shit while their husbands go to nice business lunches.
Also, the implication that men don't post on mn much because there is some sort of exclusionary mafia really fucked me off. When men post reasonably, they get treated reasonably. When dickheads like our chum upthread barge into a support thread, and talk crap, they get short shrift. Only here. only here does ANYONE get it. And I really fucking resent the implication that we are being somehow unkind in having this female space.
And when I pointed out one motivation for men to come to mn - to annoy women - the researcher treated it as a side issue (which it is not on the fwr threads) - and all the men got very angry that I had even mentioned it. As if you you can't point out that some men are arseholes without all of them putting you in your place.
Finally, the thing that really interests me about the mn view of male / female relationships, will never be explored, while clod-hopping eejits like this hold jobs that allow them to do this sort of pointless guff. I resent this, I resent the fact that this pedestrian, data-entry approach is all that there is about some issues that are very important, and I resent that fact that STUPID people are ALLOWED to be academics.
The thing - the thing that really interests me - I won't write now as I have posted too long already
But anyway thanks for letting me rant. It is tenuously relevant I suppose because it is about a self-serving "oh but I am a parent too" attitude that has NOTHING to do with being at the shit-face
I go to bed with the children at 8pm.
Ds2 (4) does not yet sleep through.
I get up at 7am and do the morning routine, school and pre school run.
Go and see my mother.
Do any shopping that needs doing.
Cleaning/tidying/washing/ironing/any phone calls/e mails/MN.
Pick up ds2 from pre school at noon.
Keep ds2 occupied. Playing/colouring etc
Pick up ds1 at 3pm
Try and get them to play nicely together whilst I make dinner.
Dh home at some point.
Any homework sorted.
And repeat x 5
I am utterly miserable.
We are supposed to go on holiday to Northumberland in 3 weeks.
I can't bear the thought of it
Oh Badvoc. Feeling your pain about the "holiday". Insult to injury that the bastard things are called "holidays".
Will it be better when ds2 goes to school? Not long.
Do you want to talk about his sleeping?
I honestly don't know.
It will mean more free time for me in theory, but free time, to do what? More cleaning?
No jobs around and nothing that would fit in with the dc and Dhs jb anyway.
It's been such a shirty few months...money pit of a house, illness x 1000 and lots of stress.
I am beng investigated for a heart condition which I am pretty sure is stress and anxiety related.
Need to address ds2s sleeping. Just dont have the energy ATM.
Got both dc starti new schools in sept. it wii. Be very stressful I am sure.
Have just given up my voluntary work as I just can't manage anything but the basics ATM.
I am sat here on MN. There is ironing to do, the dishwasher to unload (Dhs job but he "forgot") and tidying to do.
I also need a shower. I couldn't have one yesterday as I had a heart monitor on.
Just want to go to bed.
I think one of the really interesting things is the pressure there is - and I'm never entirely sure where it comes from - to do lots for our small children. From babyhood we're bombarded with heaps of instructions on what we 'really ought' to be doing for them, and crucially, how wonderful we should feel while we're doing it.
So, instead of 'You might find breastfeeding boring, painful or uncomfortable - or you might find it OK. All of these things are perfectly OK and it won't last for ever', we get 'Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience for both mother and baby. It helps establish a strong bond. You may feel sad when it's time to give up, but remember, Baby is growing up strong because of you! If for some reason you're finding it hard, you are probably eating something you shouldn't!'.
I felt awful for ages because I wasn't finding breastfeeding a beautiful experience. My back hurt, I was bored out of my mind, and frankly I was counting the seconds until I could give it up. And I felt terribly guilty because there must be something 'wrong' with me to feel this way - the HV was nonplussed that it wasn't the most magical thing I'd ever experienced and told me to give up eating onions.
I am constantly assaulted by 'the evils of television' stuff from a friend with a newborn (he'll learn) and got incredibly guilty when, while caring for my mother who was dying of cancer, I was so exhausted I had to plank DD in front of the television for a while. I actually felt so guilty I cried because I didn't have the energy to create a collage with my three-year old.
And then a friend told me the most sensible thing anyone had told me for the last three years..
"You know what? It won't kill her. If she was sat in front of the TV day in, day out, with nobody talking to her ever, or if you made her watch TV instead of doing anything else ever, that would be a problem. As it is, she might realise you're tired. She's happy. And when she gets to university she'll be able to reminisce about Abney and Teal while drunk in the same way we did about Sesame Street. And contrary to the scare stories, we ended up reasonably well-adjusted, creative people. Kids are a lot more adaptable than we give them credit for. So if she's pestering for TV and you're shattered, why the hell not?"
Just thought I'd share that one
Badvoc: do it. Go to bed. Leave the tidying etc for the afternoon, or evening for dh to do, get an hour's rest before it is time to get ds2. It is so so so worth it. Please. I so would if I were you.
Sorry to hear about the illness.
"more free time to do what?"you see, you are too exhausted to be able to even imagine enjoying anything. That is why you need to sleep NOW. please.
God, I can't even bear to think about how much tv my kids watch!
Ds2 learnt all his letter sounds from Alphablocks!
Ds1 loves his DVDs and spends hours watching them...nature docs, dinsosaur programmes, world war 2 etc.
They also both have tablets but I limit time on those as I know how addictive they can be!
I think for me, ATM, it's the total lack of anything to look forward to that I find hard.
I just see the same thing, day after day, for eternity.
I know logically that won't happen.
But that's how it feels
Yes I know what you mean. That is exhaustion.
Things will change even before you have the energy to actively change them, they will change of their own accord. then with just a little more energy, you could think about ways of things you could do. But don't worry about that yet. Just think about what will definitely change: ds2 will go to school, you could have a two hour nap every day Sep - Dec if you wanted. (you needn't tell anyone!). Eventually he will sleep through. These things will happen whatever you do or don't do. So go to BED and DON'T WORRY FOR ONE HOUR
It's good to talk to people who understand x
In many ways my mental health improved: in the early days I used to say to myself 'I can either lie awake worrying or sleep. Sleep is more important. If this thing is still a worry in the morning, I'm allowed to worry about it then.' Invariably it wasn't. So sleep was had and worry went away. Pre-children I was prone to depression and inertia.
However... early years over, DD is 7 and day-to-day life is of course much easier, hang in there if you have pre-schoolers.
Having said that, over the years I have worked part-time, very full-time, had huge promotion, collapsed from 60 hour weeks, commuting, doing EVERYTHING domestically. I have had 2 years off, still do EVERYTHING at home and I don't know what to do about it. I have been raging internally for years at DH and all I do is beat myself up for moaning when I have a good life, only one child etc etc. The loneliness of supporting his extra study, long hours, weekend working, total lack of his getting it... I ended up doing completely the wrong thing, looked to someone else for emotional support and now DH's rage is all too apparent and we're having to move house to get away from OM (let's call him that, I didn't have sex with him). So we'll start again where I know absolutely no one, DH will be out of the house 12 hours a day and I'll still be doing everything at home while finishing an MA and trying to rebuild my career...
Outwardly I bet people think I cope, do loads of voluntary work, know loads of people, lost 2 stone last year etc but inwardly it's a huge bloody mess. Mental health status: not sure... could do better.
Sorry, that's a self-indulgent rant but I empathise with everyone on this thread, esp those in far more challenging situations than my own. Curryeater, you have made me laugh so much!
Eliza...I'm so sorry.
Thing is, people would say the same about me I am sure.
I am a sahm and have been for a decade. Easy life, right? .)
I have my own car and a nice (albeit money pit of a) house.
2 lovely ds's.
Dhs job means that he now regularly works away - other side of the world, not Europe - and I find it very hard.
I get so frustrated at having to do everything
Just once for him to take control and do the bedtime routine for example...that would be so nice!
I need support ATM and he is just not capable of giving it
I have an appt at the gp in a couple of weeks that I made ages ago to discuss my test results...should I mention how I am feeling?
...and people keep asking me what I am going to "do" inc both kids are at school.
I don't know what to say to that tbh.
I would quite like a rest, really.
If anyone knows of a job that's fits round 2 different school hours, dh working away and term times do let me know, won't you?
Thanks Badvoc, that's sweet. I don't deserve sympathy!
I think this thread shows that thousands of women are in the same boat grappling with the same issues, in the 50th anniversary year of The Feminine Mystique
Re bedtime. Can you start with one day a week saying you are going to be out of the house 6-8? (When DH is in the country.) Just go anywhere and don't come back till they're asleep? Your health is the most important thing - if you feel the stress is exacerbating it, absolutely do mention it to the GP. They are trained, some of them can be really sympathetic, sometimes just having said it out loud is a help.
Curry is right. Come September, schedule a sleep every day. Go out, walk, swim, read, rest till Christmas at least, then see. Don;t do more than 1 hour's housework a day. I remember pre-DD asking my SIL what she would do when the second went to school. I blush now at how that came across. Do your best to ignore everyone who asks this silly question! Or give them an exhaustive list of all the things you already do, that'll shut them up!
Of course you deserve sympathy!
You are unhappy ergo you deserve sympathy. And you are spot on...so many of us feel this way. Bit depressing, really.
Thanks for your comments. I can see the sense of them.
I feel like I am wishing my children's lives away ATM which makes me feel very very guilty.
They deserve better.
green I had PND with DS who is now 7, Im glad you are feeling healthier now, but I have to say I find my 16 month old easier to care for than him at the moment, he is very demanding. I suppose that perspective will change when my DD starts to talk!
Re my age, first birth and general history I was high risk from getting PND again, but I didn't, I felt I was more proactive as I had learnt a few things from the first time but also I didn't have stress at home or work this time round.
meglet I hope you are able to plan something in for yourself that you enjoy. I think its a good point re what suits one culture is not necessarily good for another, I think this also works at family level within a culture. If we all did the same thing then we wouldn't be individuals, it's what makes our race so diverse! We are not BORG (star trek)
curry so the men folk who largely shaped the societal system are now complaining about how they set it up re them being secondary parents! - I suspect it suits a self serving bias at times. My DH makes me laugh (bitterly cynical mechanically) as since he started working for his posh new firm they provide seminars every so often about parenting issues and how to maintain a work life balance etc - Oh really I say - lets just say i say a lot under my breath, through gritted teeth with sweaty words.
badvoc BE SELFISH - do get that rest, don't do housework every day nothing bad happens honest (though not to the extent i have left mine TBH!)
eliza hats me at hoe trying to retrain with another degree through OU whilst Dh is out 12 hours a day, inc his trip to the gym.
Well I've moaned a bit on this thread but Im trying to see how I can turn this around to be constructive:
1. The health visitor were doing a survey at playgroup this AM I told them about this thread and suggested a drop in session should be available, you don't always want to chat at weigh or playgroup etc. She agreed and started to share her difficulties with her eldest not sleeping.
2. Use the good enough principle - is everyone fed, clean and clothed? - good job done then! It's ok if we haven't done a craft activity followed by home made houmous by 11 am with a 'hello' style clean house and nails done.
3. No one is going to knock no the door and do an inspection!
Badvoc Re the doctors, well I can tell you I took the leap this morning of booking a GP appointment for next week. Ostensibly because I am tired ALL THE TIME and DH suggested maybe I have a deficiency in something. Right so nothing to do with the fact that DD wakes up every night and has done for 2 years...Anyway I am going to brace myself to ask about the possibility of depression. Hopefully I have a kind and understanding GP for this visit. I'm a little afraid that if they do diagnose it, DH will brush it off, I think he is one of those "depression isn't real" people. Most probably the GP will just tell me that I'm doing too much and I need a rest, haha that'll be the day.
Just wanted to check in again and offer you all my support and thank you all for the honesty on here. I think the OP has really tapped into something here and it's becomming a bit of a lifeline.
What has amazed me over the last week or so has not only been the huge number of mums all feeling exactly like me but also the massive amount of support and warmth you've all given to complete strangers which is really beautiful. You are all lovely and deserve all the support and recognition in the world.
Anyway, DS2 has whinged and clung to my leg all morning. He's having a nap now but I can hear him stirring. Anyone elses heat sink the moment they hear their baby/ toddler waking up??? Ahhh, I feel exhausted yet both boys slept through so I have no excuse. I'm another one who stays up late just for the quiet time but then pays the price for it by being shattered all the time.
DS1 (5) has started being tearful in the mornings as he goes into school. I have no idea why, he's in year 1 and it's nearly the end of the school year so it's not as if he's new to it. He's been at that school since nursery when he was 3. When I talk to him about it he just says he misses me and wants to be at home. I can't seem to get to the bottom of it. He's not sobbing but just has little tears in his eyes and cuddles me for ages before I have to almost peel him off me to go into the classroom. The awful thing is that I just don't have energy or sympathy to deal with it. I adore DS1. HE knows this but after getting both the boys up, breakfasted, cleaned, clothed and out the door, I really just need him to go into school nicely. I feel so guilty as I walk down the school path (with DS2 whinging in the pushchair) but I've spoke to his teachers who say he's fine at school and isn't tearful in the day so I'm hoping it's nothing serious. Just seems to have come from nowhere and adding to my feelings of guilt and inadequacy. I just want my children to be happy well adjusted boys but I seem to be fucking it all up.
DS2 is crying, got to go but will write more later.
You aren't fucking it up odd.
Perhaps try and have a quiet (ha!) 10 mins with your ds and ask why he is upset?
It could be something really easy to fix.
On my eldest boys case it was bullying, sadly, but it isn't always.
Could it be end-of-termitis as I call it?
Both mine get it...get grumpy, more tired, upset over silly things.
Thanks Badvoc. We've tried having a little chat with DS1 on a few occassions. We always have a little chat before bedtime and usually this is when he'll tell me if somethings bothering him but he's just saying he misses me, he'd rather be at home with me and DS2 etc etc. Could be the end of term thing, thank you! He seems very tired at the moment despite going to bed at 7:30pm and not waking up til 7:15am ish, I am sure he's getting adequate sleep but he seems so lathargic and miserable on school mornings. Yet at weekends he's fab, full of joy and energy. Maybe he's just had enough and is ready for summer.
DS2 is being a grumpy so and so...nothing new there though but I seem to crash when they're both miserable. Just feels like I am not doing my job and all my efforts are pointless.
badvoc it is hard when husband work away, people ask what you are going to do when kids go to school! As you say you literally do everything morning, noon and sometimes night! It is mentally exhausting and yet so boring at the same time......
What a frigging day. I really shouted at DS2 earlier for whinging throughout his lunch and chucking it all over. I feel like the worst mummy in the world. He's only 17 months old but I wanted to chuck him out the window. I didn't, you'll be relieved to know, but still for those minutes I hated him.
I feel like he spends most of his day moaning about something. Clinging to my leg wanting to be picked up, I pick him up and he just sits on my knee crying, wriggling to get down, put him down and distrct him with a toy which works for a minute, then it all starts again! Gaaah!
Chumble...yes. Not sure what they expect me to "do" if dh is in Japan or wherever...sigh. I dint have the mental capacity to do a weekly shop ATM let alone a job!
I think the months leading up to 2 are the hardest, I really do.
They can't tell you what they want and half the time dint know themselves!
Striped...are you ok?
Striped are you doing alright?? We're here if you do want to talk.
DS2 just went up to DS1 and gave him a huuuuge kiss and cuddled him. For a few minutes I was happy and remembered why we had 2 children. Brief but beautiful. I must remember this because it's all too easy to get bogged down by the shit sometimes isn't it!?
FWIW my mum told me the best advice she received when pregnant was that you're not normal if you don't feel like chucking the baby out the window from time to time. Guess the same goes for toddlers I have only admitted to one or two people in rl that I had no idea how hard it would be not to hit my own child. I am properly anti smacking but she really winds me up sometimes, hits me etc. and it's quite a natural reaction to want to hit back (but I don't!!)
Oddbodd My DS is exactly the same as your DS1 about going into school. No big wailing tantrums like DD1, just quietly not keen to go, sometimes more upset than others and often leans on my legs like a lurcher at going in time.
He's in reception and has been a lot better lately (I only realised that when I read your posts). I put it down to him just preferring to be at home with me and DD2. He doesn't struggle at school at all - makes friends, finds the work easy, doesn't (often) get into any trouble, but is just a homebody. He was always lovely company before he went to school and has an easygoing nature, so it's very hard to see him being quietly upset at having to do something he doesn't want to do.
Sorry I can only offer 'time' as a solution.
Re: covering the basics - I got the motto 'fed not dead' from MN and it's served me well.
Oh I'm just finding it hard - but like beyond hard. Should it be this hard? I constantly feel on the edge of madness.
DS is 2y2m and I have 9 week DD. His behaviour is shocking.
Does anyone else wonder if they're going to get through this sanity in tact? Is that normal? I mean I know people say it's a stressful time but God.
Striped....at the stage you are at yes, it's bloody hard.
I have over 5 years between my 2 as I would not have coped with a smaller age gap.
Your ds is probably reacting to the new baby (congrats btw!) and acting out to make sure that whatever he does, you still love him.
I wish I could give you some tips in how to cope, but as I am finding it very hard myself ATM I can't!
I am sat on tha sofa MN ing, dh is playing on the ps3 with the boys and I am planning to be in bed @ 7.30pm.
I have washing waiting to be folded, dishes waiting to be done....sigh.
And this month my period has decided to go weird on me.
Just what I needed.
I am a raging, faint, hormonal mess
Thank you so much for answering Badvoc. Bath, wine and bed for me. Hope you get all your bits done and then a lovely restful night's sleep.
Frankly, I am on awe that you are even together enough to MN with a 2 year old and 9 week old
That gives me hope I'm not insane. Thank you Badvoc.
curryeater. Just glancing through this thread, and noticed your posts about the research thread.
Couldnt agree with you more. That thread was doing my head in too.
I wonder how much she is getting paid to come up with mainly rubbish. That will be out of date by the time it is published.
Doh, lets ask 30 men all about everything in the universe. They are so bound to be able to be a big enough sample, and know everything, including the 30,000 men that aren't here.
And I agree she was saying yes yes to just about everyone.
She managed to say yes to me, then a few posts later I said, hang on, someone said this to disagree with me and you said yes to him as well, and she just carried on saying yes to me!
Striped my god at the stage your at I used to wonder how I'd ever get through it and that was with a 4 year age gap! I remember more than one occassion walking back from my Dad's house sobbing with DS2 screaming in the pushchair and DS1 looking very worried about his poor mentally unstable emotional wreck of a mother. He once stopped on the way home one day and said to me 'Why are you crying mummy? Is it because DS2 cries a lot? You know, he won't always be a baby mummy, one day he'll be able to ask you for what he wants and then he won't cry anymore, I promise.' I cried even harder at the fact that my poor, lovely 4 year old had more perspective on the situation than I did. I was so proud of him but it made me feel like I'd failed him even more because he was having to comfort me. Pathetic.
Anyway, my point is, I barely made it through with a much much bigger age gap than you. Your DS is probably acting worse because of the baby and he doesn't have the patience or empathy that a 4 year old does so you have it twice as hard. My main point is that it does get better in time, not that it's not still maddening for me most days but not the deep deep 'I may lose my mind' phase that you are in right now. Even with an 'easy' baby, with two children under 3 you are bound to feel a little loopy. Your hormones still won't have settled, you'll probably be sleep deprived and still in the newborn fog. Just keep putting one foot in front of another. You're doing great and you will get through it, really you will. x
I am just so thankful that there is a supportive thread here, that we can vent to. I had a particularly shitty parenting moment yesterday with my DD and when I posted about it in Parenting I got such a roasting that it made me question whether or not I would post again. It's not even as though I didn't know - and acknowledge fully - that I had screwed up. Sad:
KingRollo thanks for saying that, it was very kind
Anglo I read your thread and was going to suggest you drop by this one, but had to put DD to sleep.
It was pretty horrific stuff; are you OK?
Yes the first year of having to was the most difficult of my life.
Having two does get better in increments. My two have just recently started playing together nicely. They still fight and argue and when they are both tired it's hell but on a good day they don't need me to entertain so much.
The youngest is 2 now.
The logistics are still hard but I think I'm seeing the payoff of having had a sibling for DD1.
Sorry, I didn't see your thread Anglo.
Are you ok?
Nuts...my sis is the same. She has a 17 month gap and found it very very tough for the first year -18 months.
But now, they are both at school and are great playmates for each other whereas mine (at 10 and 4) aren't really.
Thank you for asking - I am fine. Very embarrassed and ashamed about my behavior yesterday, but I had a good talk with my DD and we are fine. I don't think I have done any permanent damage, thankfully - although some of the responses to my post certainly think I do. I didn't expect all hugs and roses, but I must admit I was a little taken aback by the tone of some of them. But this is what you get when you venture into a public forum. This is why I am so thankful for threads like this. I feel like a crappy parent most of the time anyway, and it's nice to feel as though I am not alone.
Whatever happened I am sure you haven't done any permanent damage.
The kind of parent who does that does not then go on an intent parenting forum and ask for help!
Blimey...if I think back to all my parenting blunders....well, suffice it to say we would be here for a loooonnng time!
I really feel for you. Your DS2 sounds hard hard work.
My difficult baby came first. She was a bad sleeper, very clingy, always round my ankles, got hysterical if she couldn't see me, hated loud noises and strange places.
I can't remember what she was like at 17 months. I don't think she whinged all the time but you had to constantly entertain her. She could throw pretty big tantrums at 2.5. She's lovely now mostly though she remains challenging.
I am sorry you are going through the mill with DS2. Do you think he could be teething?, bored, frustrated etc or do you reckon he's just unduly sensitive.
"Raising your spirited child" is quite a good read for all those with challenging/sensitive children.
Anglo you didn't damage your DD and most of those comments were horrible and unjustified.
I think those reactions are a perfect example of what we discuss here; people don't want these views expressed in public.
I think they're so scared of confronting their own feelings that it scares them to hear someone talk so candidly about the challenges of parenting.
curryeater another one agreeing about the research, though have not read that thread yet. I posted elsewhere on this thread under another name, but have nc to mention my job. I am a researcher, not an academic one though, I work in the private sector. But a number of years ago, pre children, I was involved with evaluations of the Sure Starts. This involved research with dads as a specific group, and surprise surprise, when asked they all wanted to be more involved in parenting, yes they wanted events aimed at dads specifically. And centres included dads' groups of various kinds, tried to make them feel welcome in the centres etc.
However when attempting to do cost benefit analysis of said dads' events it invariably transpired that many arranged activities actually drew in just one or two dads. So I agree many men may say they want to be involved and treated as an equal to the mum by hcp, public services such as Sure Start etc., but it's not necessarily that meaningful. Or worthwhile diverting significant resources in that direction.
Also, as an aside, my husband liked to be involved in the decision making part of parenting. He wasn't interested in the gathering information side of things, thought MN consisted of a bunch of old harpies. Sometimes I would put the legwork in and decide that, for example, X childminder was the one to go with. Then, without having done any research himself, he would come up with some reason why he objected to my choice, and want me to go back to the drawing board with my research
Oddbodd. You've made me cry with relief. I LOVE this thread.
Thank you Nuts too. I really, really needed that boost you have both given me. I'm so thankful.
I just think if I could have like a week just to myself I could sort my head out. Nine weeks after the birth of DS I was so bad I had crisis team involvement but this time the support from DH, family, friends and MN is getting me by.
Can we please start a virtual Jamaican island thread?
Aww striped glad to be of help, even if it is just to let you know you aren't the only one to feel this way! You really are doing better than you think. One day you'll look back on all this and wonder how the hell you did such a good job but it's hard to see that right now. You will survive. We all will!!!
Thank you Nuts I actually invested in that book with DS1 as he too was a difficult miserable baby (lucky me eh???!) but I think I need to dig it out and give it another read. I remeember finding it a lot of help. DS1 was horrible at the stage DS2 is at too. I don't think he whinged quite as much but he was more temperamental and hated loud noises, people in the family he wasn't familiar withfussing over him, anything out of the ordinary, he had a very low tolerance level of frustration and lost his temper very easily. It was like walking on eggshells because he would tip over the edge into crying all the time. DS2 is less 'sensitive' but just as unhappy to be a baby . He's less likely to have a full on meltdown but just whimpers and moans all the bloody time. Not to say he doesn't smile and laugh, he does, but only when it suits him!
DS1 really turned a corner when his language improved. I'd say between 2-3yrs is when I really felt I could cope with him and actually started to get some enjoyment out of this parenting malarky. Before then I think I felt much as I do now. The only difference is I didn't have to 'fake' keeping it together for the sake of DS1. Now I have to put on happy smiley mum act when DS1 is around and I feel streched beyone my limits.
Hi Abigail, that is very interesting! And rings very true to me.
hi yamsareyammy, I was a bit mean wasn't I. but very annoyed!
Striped, big hugs. you are doing so well.
Anglo, I just skim-read your thread and I think those people don't seem to have read your post properly. They do not seem to realise that you already did not think you did the right thing! I hate it on here when a bunch of people gang up to put the boot into someone who is struggling.
Oddbod, I hope your ds1 is ok, I have no experience of school-going children yet but I can see how that would be hard. You sound like a very loving mother.
I am going to go to bed in a minute to deal with night 2 of the dd2 sleep-training enterprise. She has been very unsettled for weeks, starting with some nasty colds and teething all together, during which we took her into bed with us as path of least resistance. Now she is perfectly well but trading on our incompetence and when she has been coming into bed with us she has been wakeful, playful, and completely destroying me. I honestly believe that a child who is going crazy with fatigue at 6pm because she was playing silly buggers with your bedside lamp between 3am and 6.30 am will benefit from kind, firm, sleep training. so shoot me, I'm doing it. Not bad last night: 5 hours sleep (for me - she had a lot more) and I consider that a result.
I am feeling guilty about moaning so much about dp on this thread. I realise it is all old resentment about the baby times and actually these days he gets a lot more and does a lot more and in many ways actively puts me first. I need to let go and move on. On the other hand, maybe I have trained him with anger and harsh speech? hm. Anyway I am in a good place with him right now and have got a lot out of my system on this thread that I should probably now destroy and forget.
How are you Badvoc? Rollo? Ledkr? Nuts? Clutter? Everyone?
Right. Off to bed. 'night all x
"Now I have to put on happy smiley mum act when DS1 is around and I feel streched beyone my limits"
Yes that's one of the hardest things about having more than one child. When the baby is napping you have to spend your time making it up to/spending time with the eldest even when you're exhausted. And like you say having to keep it together and keep going!
And I do think they are often grumpy before the next milestone (ie before walking then before talking).
Not long now till you get there. Toddlers seem to get easier from 2(though parenting in general doesn't- there are always new challenges!)
Thank you again Nuts. Yes I seem to remember my DS1 massively improving just before he turned 2 actually and he suddenly went from this whinging demanding baby, to an articulate (fairly) reasonable 2 year old which was a huge relief as I'd been dreading the 'terrible 2's' but for us, he'd been such hard work that we breezed through that and every other stage and phase since! DS1 really is a joy (albeit still demanding and needing input and energy), he doesn't bring me to tears and grind me down the way DS2 does. That sounds horrible doesn't it? You're not supposed to have a favourite but I still feel DS2 is a work in progress
Curry you're reading what mothers do? Brill. I agree it veers without saying it to attachment parenting which gave me food for thought as with DS (now 4) I was very strict Gina and with Dd 7 months I do more attachment, she just does what she wants, and no controlled crying. So I felt a bit guilty!
But overall I thought the sentiment of the book was just great and could be applied to older kids, and really validates/resonates with this thread and just in general so much of what I find myself thinking and feeling. Overall reading it has changed my life for the better (at least for the last week!)
Curry I love your theoretical rant. Brilliant!
Anglo I've just read your parenting post. I started reading the responses but can't be bothered. Id have done the same thing. My DS (4 so even younger) can be like this and refuse to join in. If it's because he's feeling shy I can see it on his face and I'm sympathetic, but sometimes it's just him being difficult or grupmy. If the latter I am extremely cross. In my mind it's unacceptable behaviour!
So stop worrying, she needs to know
And sometimes kids do disappoint their parents and hearing this in no uncertain terms is no bad thing.
Anglo I'm not saying do that every week, but sometimes it's hard not tom lose it, I've been in very similar situation, the main thing is don't beat yourself up about it
Anglo I didn't catch your thread, but believe me lots of people have ended up getting a kicking on here when it really isn't deserved.
I posted once about DH and said I'd met him online. Quite a well known poster told me he was abusive and once I was pregnant he'd probably start knocking me about. It's hard to ignore but really, some of these people project their own experiences and fears onto you and forget that there's a human being behind the screen.
curry do you think you have "trained" DP? Or by learning to let go a bit does it get easier?
I do feel guilty about how I speak to DH. I certainly wouldn't put up with it if he was speaking to ME like that, which is totally unfair I know. We have to get our relationship back to one where we are both treated with courtesy and respect. It's become a bit gloves-off and we can't live like that. Scary thing is I'm turning into my DM - when she's angry she just wants to hurt, and there's no scale to what she says, she finds the most hurtful thing she can and flings it at you. I've been on the receiving end of that enough times to not want to replicate it.
DD isn't eating. I've had a whole week now of throwing breakfast and lunch away untouched. The only thing she'll touch is fromage frais. I'm not getting too worried as she's still bf, but I really wanted to start dropping feeds and/or getting fer on formula so I could get a bit more independence. It's just not happening.
I think this thread is amazing. Very useful. Supportive.
Is anyone else interested in seeing if we can get it moved into mumsnet classics?
Well, I,was,vile,to dh last night.
But I am beyond tired and ATM everything he does or says infuriates me!
Ds2 went to sleep with me and then dh took him into his own bed but he didn't have a good night...night terrors I think.
It's his induction morning at reception this morning,..I wonder whether he is worried about it?
Add in my period which has decided to arrive 4 days late and all in all it's been a rough week.
Anglo....I read your thread.
If its any consolation my ds1 was that child and I was that parent too.
He didn't do a school show until he was 7. We never got to see him in a nativity
He refused to do after school stuff.
It saddened me very much.
Howeve, he is now 10 and is into everything...after school activities, residential trip, school end of term show.....you name it.
Please don't beat yourself up.
angelo I posted on your thread and also read some if the ridiculous replies.
I often post about my vile in laws and last time was told my amazing dh was abusive as he doesn't react strongly enough.
Yep it's his fault that they trample over what we ask for and ignore our requests.
Take no notice. I told em they were being ridiculous and hid the thread!
This is a safe place to share and there were plans to keep it going as a support thread once its full
Op will have to request it goes to classics but good idea.
badvoc dh is getting it from me too ATM
I really need to rein it in but I'm pre menstrual and hate everything he does. He has four days off now poor bloke.
God - I have just found this thread and am another one virtually crying with relief that it is not just me who feels like I am ballsing it up most of the time!!!
Big hugs to everyone who is really struggling right now - I am in a weird respite patch where both kids are being ok - but we are on holiday, back to reality tomorrow and am anticipating probs with DD when she realises Daddy is going back to work!
Am also another one who is regularly vile to DH, and wouldn't tolerate him treating me like that! We are in therapy for that tho, so taking baby steps in the right direction I hope!
Motherhood really is a massive thing isn't it (stating the obvious I know). Daunting.
This is such a great thread! I feel my experiences are validated by it and I haven't even posted about them. Thank you so much. Only by getting it out in the open will we get any acknowledgment of the hard work and emotional turmoil of motherhood. With hindsight I wish I'd been much less worried about what others thought of me- even the occasional two fingers at judgmental advice would have been better for my sanity. I'm being a 'good enough' mum atm and for me it's the way forward. And I mind my own business wrt my mummy friends- offer empathy but no judgment. It's hard enough as it is.
Oddbodd and Nuts I could hug you both.
Like Striped I'm currently pregnant (DD will be 20 months when DC2 comes along) and I'm petrified.
I found your posts incredibly helpful, mainly because I believe no one on this thread would
lie spout bland platitudes about how "magical" it is to have 2 under 2. So if you say it's doable, I believe you
The crux of the matter is I don't trust advice on motherhood anymore; I still feel like a victim of this global conspiration and I really resent every single person who glossed over how hard it was going to be.
curry please keep posting, I've come to look forward to your contribution.
I must make an effect to be more pleasant to dh today.
Have managed to go into town and get ds1 a cheap payg phone for when he starts big shcool
Picked ds2 up, and we are sat watching Charlie and Lola.
I might try and get him to have a nap this afternoon...he is shattered.
Still feel joyless and stressed.
Keep worrying about the holiday, which is stupid. I can't do anything about the weather!
I hate feeling like this.
Hi, can I join in? I am halfway through reading this amazing thread and would really like to join the support thread. Reading this has been a revelation, I am not the only one!! My RL friends bitch about their partners not doing enough, or the day-to-day humdrum, but none of them seem to HATE IT like I do sometimes. And none of them seem to want to scream and run away (or they don't admit it). And I doubt that any of them have the crushing guilt that they are ruining their DCs' lives by not loving them enough, or doing enough for them (although perhaps they do as maternal guilt seems to be pretty universal).
So much resonates with me, I feel like I am drowing in a sea of domestic minutiae, I feel I have lost myself, I am tired, so tired, so very very tired. I feel I am operating at capacity and the tank is empty. I shouted at DH that I wish he hadn't got me a present for Mothers Day, as it meant I had to get him one for Fathers Day, and I didn't have the resources, financial or otherwise, to deal with it. I can't THINK about anything else. Whenever I have free time (in the evenings) I do mindless activities instead of anything productive. I can't imagine having the energy for a hobby.
My DDs are 3.4 and 1.9 and I have been clinging to the hope that it will get better....
Hello, was thinking of this thread this morning. I am away for work this weekend and felt compelled to buy ready made pizzas, stuffed pasta and other "easy food" for DH to give the dcs. I job share at work and as was said upthread if a jobshare partner expected that degree of support I would not be happy. Food for thought indeed.
Curryeater just have to say, I've so enjoyed reading your posts on this thread
Thank you to Nuts for informing me of this thread.
A bit of a back story is that i am on Sertraline, 150mg a day, and i have been referred to the CMHT and diagnosed with Bipolar disorder for which i should begin new medication
if my psychiatrist ever pulls his finger out soon.
A couple of you have seen my other mummy breakdown thread (thank you again for your advice) and know that i have had a very, very crap time recently with DS.
My poor DH (like some of yours) is also on the receiving end of my caustic attitude right now
I can barely speak to my dh today for no other reason than he has A DAY OFF. What the fuck does he want eh?
Hanging about painting cupboards and helping with kids and housework! Why doesn't he fuck off and leave me to my martyrdom. The bastard.
Pmt reaching peak time so I'm trying to keep quiet.
I am trying to be nice.
But, god he makes it hard!
He has just told me that his boss is away to Japan tomorrow with work.
Why do I need to know this?
This is to "prepare" me that next week he will have his head in his laptop every evening/night and be taking texts/phone calls at stupid o clock.
Ds2 didn't have a nap.
Ds1 is hit and bothered and needs a shower.
Dishwasher needs emptying.
Dishes need doing.
Washing needs sorting.
Might just run away.
Oh....I can't. My sis rang me earlier and I am now doing her a favour at 11am tomorrow. I am decorating tables for someone's wedding reception...
Well it's 8pm here which means baby is in bed, more or less asleep and I can finally flop. Scones who needs a hobby? Dinner, laptop and bed at 9:30pm for me. Every night. In fact if someone wants to do something of an evening it gives me The Fear. I'm starting to struggle with the get-ups now. 6.5 months and its only once or twice a night then up for the day at 6:30am - I know it could be a lot worse but I'm tired now. Adrenaline and being a morning person has got me this far and no further...
I do have a lie in tomorrow (I twisted DH's arm to schedule a lie in for me once a week) but I feel quite guilty about taking it as I know DH is struggling and not sleeping, but I need to lie in once a week or I'll go mad, and be even more evil than I usually am.
I was horrid again to DH this morning. Writing it so frequently here I'm beginning to realise I'm horrible to him most days. He's so down and I'm such a bitch to him. Part of it is wanting to get a rise, isn't that awful. He's so flat because of the depression, he doesn't care about anything. Nothing is funny, or interesting, or exciting, or annoying or infuriating. It's like living with a nothing. I told him today I don't know where's he's gone, but I want him back. He was upset.
I've had one piece of good news, the potential childminder is coming for a visit this weekend. I've been waiting for DH to sort it for 3 months, and we've argued and argued over it. I finally gave in this morning and took the number off his phone. Half a day later, sorted. If you want something done....... <sigh> I may as well live on my own. It would be tidier. I wouldn't miss DH at all most days.
Oh king rollo....
I feel like that some days.
In fact some days it's like having 3 kids
Since 3pm I have;
sorted kids out after school.
They had friends over.
I did dinner prep.
Dh came home.
I made dinner.
We ate dinner.
I tidied kitchen and did dishes.
Dh has been either eating/on the phone to work/in the other room with ds2 playing on the ps3.
So I wouldn't exactly miss him either
Arrgh Kingrollo, I feel your pain, I really do.
I don't know where to begin today. I don't even have the words left in me to talk about it.
I just wanted to check in and read all your posts. I'll be back tomorrow hopefully in a better mood.
OddBodd sorry to hear that. I hope tomorrow is better for you x
Anyone seen the "hurry up Thursday it's nearly the weekend" thread? I think it asks if you're looking forward to the weekend. I was tempted to post yes, looking forward to two more days of DH working 14 hour shifts, of no-one being around to do baby stuff because they all have family time, of DH not having a spare two minutes in the restaurant to make me dinner so I have to get takeaway, of all the drunken locals staying downstairs until 1am.... but why spoil their fun?
You've got a lot to cope with at the moment (puts my issues in perspective). I hope you get the help you need soon.
It's a safe place to vent here.
Just checking in, I am still here and you are all keeping me sane.
I catch up and then go to post and someone then wants something so haven't had a chance. Take now for example, kids in bed peace at last but DH wants my attention (yes in that way) I shouldn't grumble I really do enjoy myself when I'm not shattered (sorry tmi).
Anyways must go and .......... Well I don't know really, give more of myself ! I will check in again soon.
Ps I do too love you all
I'd never thought of recommending this thread for classics as I always associate classics with threads about "pom bears" or "lost bears" "strange habits that parents/inlaws have" and "embarassing poo incidents".
However, this thread is very important, a social document of Motherhood in our time. It will be fascinating to come back and read it when our children are older.
I will mail MNHQ and see what they think.
Scones - your second paragraph resonates. Drowning in domestic minutae.
Felt the same way about fathers day
And so it continues. Another day, another argument, another person stomping out of the house.
It's just so tiring. I think it's probably even my fault. I just don't know what to do any more.
Hope you are ok KingRollo I know what you mean about not knowing what to do anymore.
You are so worn down by it all it's just so confusing and sometimes I can't actually be bothered to even think whose fault something was. Quite often, I'm fully aware I'm being unreasonable but I am so exhausted and emotional that I don't care. I can't be bothered to worry about DH's feelings because it's just one more person I have to feel guilty for. I can't do it.
Today has been hideous. DS1's school had a teacher training day today so he had a day off. He has been basically moping about the house winding us up all day. It's such a shame because he's actually a lovely, caring, articulate, funny little boy....but today I just wished he'd been at school . He has basically gone out of his way to piss DS2. DS2 is constantly trying to grab whatever DS1 has off him, what do good parents do when this is happening?? Because I just feel like screaming. I don't
very often actually scream or shout at them but I am at a loss as to what to do with them both in the house.
I cannot seem to deal with both of them at the same time on my own. Wtf is wrong with me?? Every other mother seems to do it. I am not the only mother with more thn one child. Some of my friends have 4 children. How then hell did they get through this? I simply do not know how to entertain them both. I end up usually going out a lot with them at the weekends, either to soft play, swimming, parks, days out to York or Lincoln Castle etc just because in the house I feel like I'll implode. I can not do this.This evening before tea I actually sent DS1 up to his room (not in a bad way and not as a punishment) but I basically persuaded him he'd have more fun up there playing with his lego etc just to get him away from DS2. Is this what it'll be like? Will I forever be separating them and feeling like I'm on the edge all the time? I don't think I'm cut out for having more than one kid. That's a sad thing to admit isn't it? I love DS2, I do love him but I seem to be wishing his little life away and since he was born the pleasure in our lives has all but gone. It's all just about survival.
Sorry for the mega rant. I feel like an utter twat today. Like I was out witted and 'beaten' by a 5 year old and a 1 year old. I need to up my game somehow because I can feel me drowning.
New to this thread but I just want to add my support to anyone who's struggling today.
My dcs are now 12, 9 and 3 and life is so much easier. I have had some really dark days but feel like I have come out the other side.
Great thread btw.
As usual I was thinking about this thread today.
But I had a good day. I had Dd (7 months) by myself all day, DS at school then afterwards another mum picked him up for playmate.
Had a nice time with Dd and was lovely to see DS when he got back. Just makes me think highs and lows, light and shade, swings and roundabouts, what comes down must go up. Etc etc. There is light at the end for everyone ( though it may be swiftly followed by darkness!)
OddBod I think other parents do exactly what you did - get out of the house, look for ways to keep them entertained and distracted enough not to kill each other. Otherwise why the need for soft play? It's a hell on earth for adults but they're popular precisely because you can chuck your little darlings in there on a rainy day to run themselves ragged. Ditto the park, the zoo - distraction, entertainment and getting out of the house.
I've found my dog a saviour actually. If DD is whining she gets bunged in the buggy and off we go for a walk. The dog has never been so fit!
My brother and I have 20 months between us and we fought non stop until we were older teenagers. I can only now appreciate how awful it must have been for my mum...
Two does sound like such hard work, but it must be so worth it once they're older. One thing about my situation which makes me really sad is the thought that DD will probably be an only. I always wanted more than one child but given DH and I have hardly managed to deal with one baby without getting divorced, I just can't see us having another. I'm really sad about that (and its one more thing I feel he's taken away from me, although that's probably unfair).
We have a potential childminder coming today. She looks after DD here at our house so she'll almost be more like a nanny I think. I just hope we can afford her.... it's a start anyway so crossed fingers she's what we're looking for. I will sleep so much more easily once we've got childcare sorted.
I hope everyone has good weekends, or at least manages to limp on until Monday when they're back at school!
I'm with you, KingRollo: DS will be an only because I just can't do all this over again. I'm typing this with CBeebies entertaining DS behind me - the guilt, the guilt. Relationship with DH has recovered now, but when DS was younger we were both so exhausted that we were scratchy and unkind with each other all the time.
See Dogs DD has been an easy baby, and I absolutely could do it again. Just not with DH. Things for DH and I would have to improve out of all recognition to make me even consider doing this again with him. I suppose if they don't improve we'll be apart anyway...
KingRollo Our DS1 nearly killed us too though, he wasn't easy, but I think with your fist it is such a massive shock and it nearly ripped our marriage apart. For the first 18-20 months we activly hated eachother....I don't know how we got through it because I swore DS1 would be an only child. It took a long time for us to mend and for me to stop seething! (hence the 4 year age gap) But actually DH has been pretty wonderful this time round. Just a shame that DS2 is impossible to please!!!
oddbod a difficult baby can be the final straw.
Dd2 was my fifth and oh boy have I struggled.
Poorly at birth but much wanted it all started badly and I think caused pnd.
After a 9 yr age gap I struggled to go back to babydom but then after seven months she became the most demanding miserable child ever. She never slept and spent all day whining. I felt as if I was going mad but recently she has emerged a much happier child probably because she now sleeps and I truly feel loads better even my depression has lifted so hopefully your ds will grow out of it.
My 3boys were all close in age and fought a lot but it dies get better as they grow up and I bloody left them to it half the time. When they are older and have their own interests and longer attention spans its easier.
I also get out as much a possible it's the only way.
Do you see other mum friends because I don't often but when I do I feel better for comparing horror stories.
Ds1 was a very poorly baby.
I developed late onset pnd when he was 15 minths old.
That's why there is a 5 year gap between my 2!
I know what you mean any wishi their little lives away...ds2 starts school in August and despite the worry I cannot wait!
bad I was never the crying mum. At the school gate either.
And I actively encouraged my adult children to
move out be independent as soon as they finished education.
I love them all dearly but I also have a space to occupy in this earth as well as they do.
I think the ill at birth thing was a definite factor in my pnd and she had surgery at 9 months so felt in limbo until then.
Me either ledkr.
I put on a Pretty good show. Or at least I used to. Seems to be getting harder.
Looking back at ds1s early life it would have been a miracle if I hadn't got pnd tbh...it was very grim. Mercifully a lot of it is hazy.
But being back in hospital with ds2 last week on the same ward ds1 used to be on really affected me badly
I have hay fever and a headache and don't really feel like doing anything today.
Do nothing then Badvoc! Treat yourself
I'm working at a gay pride event which should cheer me up and dh is off for once so I'm actually slightly more happy than usual at weekends!
Love this thread. It's making me feel more normal & less guilty!
Thanks everyone who has made me feel a little more human and less of a bitch! I have actually had a lovely morning with both the boys. We only went to Meadowhall to the Disney store and the lego shop, also stopped at a little restaurant there and had some gorgeous food and they both behaved so beautifully, I was very proud. Things are always much nicer when we are out and DH is off work. I am still dreading the summer holidays. I can't drive so going anywhere without DH takes a lot of planning and a hell of a lot of walking or stressful bus journies.
Enjoy the event Ledkr sounds like a lot of fun! How old is your DD2 now? I keep waiting for DS2 to suddenly cheer up but I know with DS1 it was a much much more gradual process. He basically got slightly better every milestone he hit. He massively lightened up once his language really came along at around 19-22 months when he could talk in simple sentences and make himself understood. I'd say by age 3 he was a typical, happy go lucky child who had ups and downs like any other kid. Before that, it really was a loooong struggle and we were literally on edge all the time. DS2 is exactly the same. Gah! Why can't we make those nice happy, gurgly babies???! Today at Meadowhall I was watching all the other babies in the high chairs and strollers etc, whilst DS2 wasn't crying or whinging, he just seems so much more 'intense' than they are. He's so aware and wants to touch and feel everything and then moans when he can't have things off the shelves in shops etc. It feels like I have to constantly keep his little hands busy or offer him snacks to distract him ALL the time. DS1 was just the same. I don't know what the hell I've done wrong. I blame the Omega 3 I took in pregnancy... made the little buggers too clever and aware .
Just finished my shift so am now enjoying the drag acts with the kids.
Dd2 is 2.5 and has become much easier since her speech developed. She had a cleft palate and now glue ear so hearing and communication has been a challenge so maybe why she's so moany.
Hope everyone is surviving.
I have just sat down and read this entire thread. My head is spinning, I have so much I want to say and so much admiration for everyone on here.
My DDs are now 9 and 7 and I finally now feel like I might possibly have some semblance of the old me back. But then again they both have iPods and kindles and nintendo DS things and have thousands more hours of screen time than they should so I'm probably still crap at being a mum. Keeps them quiet and squabble-free though.
I had crippling PND/anxiety with both of them. I honestly believe that if I had found Mumsnet, and especially a thread like this one, it would have been so much better.
I went back to work full time 3.5 years ago and that literally has saved me.
I was sectioned in 2008 for about 6-8 weeks (it's all incredibly hazy) and my illness forced DH to take charge of the house and DDs (who were 4 and 2 at the time) so I know on some level he "gets" it. Doesn't stop me from being the Family PA or the one In Charge all the time now though. I get incredibly irate at this and this thread has shown me I am not alone. We both have full time jobs FFS, why is it me who not only has to organise and remember the school play or concert or school trip that needs a packed lunch or one of the DDs needs picking up from a friend's but has to make sure DH has updated his own bloody diary. It is right there in the family calendar in plain sight for all to see, and yet if I don't remind him, he claims he doesn't know about it.
HTD...that would piss me off too. I am a sahm but I know that If i was a wohm (from pre dc experience) I would still be doing everything.
Dh took on a new role at work about 18 months ago.
Means much more travel, he loves it and is no longer so stressed and unhappy.
So why do I resent it so much?
My ds2 starts school in August and I had been thinking about looking for work...Lowry tha nee to fit around the children, ideally term time only and will fit round Dhs job too...and in the middle of the worst recession in 100 years!
I also wish I had found mumsnet when pg...it would have made a huge difference to me - and to ds1.
Badvoc... Thanks... It is so helpful to know I'm not alone!
Incidentally my school is looking for a part-time (8.15 to 2.30) term-time only school nurse - so those positions do actually exist!
Nuts In May/HTD - I could have written both of your posts. My DD is 6, and in some ways, it gets easier. Something I didn't anticipate was how much my happiness would be tied up with that of DD. If she is unhappy or worried, it drives me almost to despair...I seem to have a lot of problems staying detached.
I have to admit the physical demands get easier as DD gets older and slightly more independent in terms of self-care. However, I must admit to missing and resenting the lack of me-time.
What age does me-time realistically come back? When might I be able to expect a lie-in, a chance to sit in a cafe all afternoon without cashing in valuable babysitting chips, have an afternoon nap etc etc.
I think parenting has adversely affected my mental health and have spent most of DD's life on citalopram. Strange how at the same time the love you have for them is so visceral and intense that it makes it difficult to thing of anything but their wellbeing, at the same time as being desperate to think about anything other than parenting responsibilities!
camp it comes back when they are more independent.
I've been there twice now and each time scuppered it by having another baby
You get lie ins and time to yourself, works not so hard to get to and you can sit in cafes when they are at school.
You might even have shaven legs and nice hair again.
Ohh Ledkr your last post just filled me with excitement....shaved legs!! Who'd have thought?!
I think I had just got to the point of having a tiny bit of me time when DS1 started full time school just after he turned 4 (he's an August baby so started full time in Reception in the September). I was working 20hours a week. He was settled at school and could dress/ toilet/ feed himself, entertain himself a little round the house. Then I had DS2 in the December. I had 2 months of life being pretty chilled and felt a little bit more back in control. DS2 rather threw a spanner in the works!
(disclaimer: DS2 was actually planned and is very much loved...he's just thrown me right back into the deep end and reminded me exactly how hard it was first time round!!!)
I found out I was pg with dd2 and cried for two weeks
Dh had none of his own and I'd always felt a bit guilty (but not that guilty)
I just knew I didn't want to go back to nappies and night feeds and sodding babysitters.
And the thought of doing school runs and school business until I'm in my fifties fills me with horror.
I love my dd with a passion and she is amazing but god it's been a slog.
I held her last night in her white cotton pjs and her chubby little body made me want to cry.
But I'd still say its been very very hard and I'm glad we are on the home straight.
I can understand you crying for 2 weeks Ledkr I'd be the same. I love how you describe her chubby little body! Aww I feel the same about DS1. I absolutely adore him. He is lovely and he makes me so proud every day....but my GOD it was hard work. DS2, I love him but it is just soooo much stress and work at the minute, I sometimes forget how beautiful and lovely he can be. He is definitely our last.
DH went for a vasectomy last December. I do feel lucky. We have 2 utterly gorgeous
but high maintenance sons, who I'd never be without. BUT I really DON'T WANNA DO THIS AGAIN. EVER!!! The thought of ever getting pregnant again makes me feel queasy and ill which I know sounds awful.
My friend recently had a baby girl after 3 sons and keeps telling me I'll regret never 'trying for my girl'.... errrrm no! Everytime she starts on one of her rants about how her DP would never get a vasectomy because every child is a blessing, I just want to scream 'FUUUCCKK OFFFF!!!'. My children ARE a blessingm however hard I am finding it right now. They are no less of a blessing because they are male. Having a girl was HER dream, not mine. I just wanted 2 healthy babies. I got what I wanted (however much I moan about it now!) I also feel lucky that by the time I am 40, DS1 will be 18, DS2 will be 14 and most of the school shit will be behind us. NEVER EVER AGAIN.
I had a girl after three boys and trust me its no different.
Still bloody hard.
My second and third boy were my fav babies. So laid back and easy.
My mental health problems started shortly after dd was born, ds was 20 months old and various health professionals were concerned about his development.
I was diagnosed with PND when dd was six weeks old just as ds started the diagnosis pathway for autism,
Ten years on and I am have just been prescribed a anti-psychotic for severe depression alongside another anti depressant.
I know my depression would lift if my beautiful ds no longer lived with us, in fact my GP and other health professionals have been saying this for years.
My ds is severely autistic, we are isolated, live in a community but cannot access it and services that have helped over the years, respite mainly are being decimated by cuts in funding.
We have no social life, the only friends I have are those who have children who are also disabled, who have their own battles and demons to face.
I adore my son, but recognise that without him I would have a good career, a social life. Whereas now just getting through each day is a battlefield.
I am a shadow of the person I used to be and there is no way of ever getting me back, whoever me is anyway?
It is depressing writing this but I just wanted to say how very much all that has been written on this thread has resonated with me, I have recently started to be kind to myself, it does help, really. Try and make sure you have even 5 minutes a day just to be you, whoever that maybe.
Just spent this evening crying (lights and shade, highs and lows!,!)
DH reckons I'm depressed, which I'm not. Just at a crossroads career wise and hardly have a second to think about it because of dS and Dd. I feel like (this will sound pathetic) everyone has great things going on except me (my DH has amazing new project at work. Super exciting. My brother has businesses that make him money while he becomes this fantastic stand up comedian (random but true!) and our best mate has suddenly become a partner in this Internet venture thats been valued at FIFTY MILLION.)
I meanwhile feel trapped, lost and sorry for myself. Which will probably get me nowhere!
I am relieved but not surprised to read that! I don't know what my friend thinks I'm missing out on but I actually had no preference at all regarding their sex. I genuinely would have welcomed either with all my heart. I must admit, in a way, when they told me DS2 was a boy, I breathed a little sigh of relief but that was mainly because DS1 was so sure he was having a brother not a sister!
They're all bloody hard work. Unless you are lucky enough to have easy babies but even then I have no doubt that they don't stay easy forever! Parenting is such a long slog with so many hurdles. I just want to get to the point where I can actually enjoy them both and not be run ragged by the relentlessness.
My friend who has had her girl is all over the girl now. Not that she shuns the boys as such but it is very clear that having a 'princess' is something very special in their house. She really has made much more of a fuss over this baby than the other 3. Sharing pictures of her constantly, buying so much stuff for her. Just talking to her and everything is 'my little lady' this or 'our little princess' that. According to her 'Christmas will be perfect this year as we finally have a little girl in the house and girly toys' etc etc etc. Mind you, she is one of those annoying mums who actually does breeze through motherhood in a way I actually do envy. Nothing gets her down whereas I worry over everything and feel guilty constantly. Think that's just me though. Always worrying.
OddBod I'm a firm believer that EVERYBODY struggles. The mother who is all chirpy and breezy cries into the pillow at night too. Their husbands have affairs, their kids have grotty days - shit happens to them too they just don't want you to see it! She sounds super competitive and that to me is a firm indicator that there's no way she'd tell you that she was struggling....
In fact anyone who says "Christmas will be perfect" is almost guaranteed to have a crap one ;)
Pictures that sounds really, really hard. My brother has PMLD and I used to be a PA for a young guy with severe autism. I'm sure you're already accessing everything you can, but do you get any time as a family (or as just you!) without your DS? I used to take my boy swimming or to the park or MacDonalds whilst his mum had a couple of hours to get jobs done, or go tot he hairdresser or whatever. She used Direct Payments but this was Wales so may well be different.
I hear what you say about taking even 5 minutes for yourself. My treat is to listen to the Archers Omnibus on my iphone while walking the dog, with DD in the pram. Bliss!
Oddbodd...that exactly what I did!
Ds1 had just started reception when I got of with ds2 (planned)
So I have been dong this for a decade now.
And it has almost broken me.
Pictures...I am so sorry you feel so isolated. Are you a regular in the sn boards?
pictures have you looked into respite?there is an organisation that provides it Called family link Where are you because it's not unheard of for other mn to offer help. I will help if I'm near you. I'm a child sw and ex psych nurse so I'd do my best.
My sil has a girl with ds and is also isolated and struggling.
odd I agree she sounds ridiculous and will land hard when she falls.
In my recent struggle I've met two women who in the surface are perfect and have it all. Once I've got speaking to them I realise they are just like me and struggling at times.
Your friend has made a classic mistake of placing too much onus on one thing that completes her life which sets her up nicely for huge disappointment.
Oh yes and I frigging hate Xmas even with my mixed sex family lol.
YY to hating Xmas (and we don't even have a lot of family). So much stress and pressure, and my mother and MIL don't really get on with each other. Oddbodd, your friend sounds like very hard work. I think I might edge quietly away from someone who talked about her little princess - vom.
I've been mulling over some of the issues raised on this thread: would anyone mind if I started a separate thread on the Feminism/Women's rights chat board, rather than hijacking this one? I've been conscious as this thread has gone on that a lot of what people have said has been about their partners, not their children, which I find depressing but not surprising.
To add to all the other's voices. I consider myself very resiliant, psychologically 'well' and I am very very fortunate to not be carrying very much baggage from my own childhood....All the things then that should have meant that having young children would be fine..... However, although I love my children I have not really loved being a parent all the time (one just at primary school, one about to start pre-school).It's definatley effected my mental health. There are times I have wanted to slither down the wall in tears of exhaustion, anger and frustration... My status and sense of self have taken something of a battering, it's a hard thankless task parenting and that takes its toll.
Interestingly I work as a mental health professional. In that role I know anecdotaly the negative effects of parenting and I really do think that unhelpful gender stereotypes/societal factors play a big role in this. There is also a good amount of research evidence that supports this. The truth is that the experiences described on this thread are in fact normal...(the myth that's presented by the media/glossy magazines is not)
dogs I think it is partially a feminist issue especially as so many women are being prescribed anti depressants when all they need is support and understanding.
It needs to become the norm for fathers to be doing an equal share in raising their children especially as men have now been granted paternity leave rights.
My dh does childcare on my work days/his days off so is fully aware of the hard work and mental torture that being alone all day with a child can cause.
He therefore takes an equal share in raising our daughter.
As for all these guys who don't help at night because they work, well I work too and often have to manage it after a disturbed night. Not ideal but doable.
We need to stop putting blokes on pedestals and making childcare our sole responsibility.
That's the issue isn't it?
I think how I feel - and how those on this thread feel - is the norm for most.
But to admit that...to admit that parenting is hard bloody slog that damages the main caregiver...it's still taboo isn't it?
All the bloody mags with their have it all super mums...except they're not.
They have a whole battery of staff to do what - in the normal non celeb world - usually 1 person does 24/7 365 days a year.
We are nearing the end of the thread who is starting the new one and where shall we put it?
Need an anonymous title so we don't get flamed by the perfect mummies.
Mac mac I so emphasise with you. My brother has a job in consultancy in Saudi that will earn him 1.2 million over the next 2 years. His wife and children are moving out to live there for next few years. My sis in law will be on good salary tax free, my nephews are going to top private schools. I feel full of regret, that I fell pregnant at 20. I've been to Uni three times and just ended up with stressful job and crippled with mortgage for small house. Feel stuck, trapped, hate my life most of the time.
I feel as my 14 year old daughter is blossoming into beautiful young woman I withering away into middle aged nothingness! Feel exhausted with the demands of my 3.8 year old.
It's all too much at times. That time of the month for me which may explain my negativity!!
I don't think an anonymous title for part 2 of this wonderful thread is a good idea - I'd prefer same title, Part II - but I don't believe in 'the perfect mummies'. I believe all or virtually all mothers and some fathers have felt or will feel the effects of parenting on their mental health, & think this and future threads could be enriched by more, not fewer, contributors.
You might look at me and think I don't struggle - I do the slinging/natural term bf/home schooling stuff that might mark me out as a glutton for punishment/'natural mother', whatever the fuck one of those is. All that means jack shit and is just window dressing - we all, as mothers in societies that can't see/appreciate/recognise how damaging/stressful/hard living a d parenting largely alone is, have far more in common than divides us.
Love this thread by the way. You're all champions.
I don't think an anonymous title for part 2 of this wonderful thread is a good idea - I'd prefer same title, Part II - but I don't believe in 'the perfect mummies'. I believe all or virtually all mothers and some fathers have felt or will feel the effects of parenting on their mental health, & think this and future threads could be enriched by more, not fewer, contributors.
You might look at me and think I don't struggle - I do the slinging/natural term bf/home schooling stuff that might mark me out as a glutton for punishment/'natural mother', whatever the fuck one of those is. All that means jack shit and is just window dressing - we all, as mothers in societies that can't see/appreciate/recognise how damaging/stressful/hard living a d parenting largely alone is, have far more in common than divides us.
Love this thread by the way. You're all champions.
I could care less if its anonymous but others might do so speak up ladies.
Also don't care...call it what you like.
Not read past the first page of comments on this thread but I am the opposite OP. I frequently suffered bouts of the blues (luckily not full blown depression) that would last a few weeks at a time before having DD but since she was born just over a year ago, I have felt much calmer. I still get angry and upset with things but am able to pull myself out of it. I think, for me, there was a certain element of being a bit too self-absorbed whereas now, I haven't got the time to dwell on things. And to be honest, a lot of things that I used to get upset about just isn't important anymore.
Having said that, most of my problems were work-related and I've only been back at work a few weeks so there's time for things to change.
To some extent it's a matter of perception.... depends what you call 'mental health'. Personally I think depression/anxiety is often a very normal distress reaction to difficult life events (and you can certainly count parenting as one of them). I know lots of professional types who might seem to be doing very well who in fact struggle with issues of self-esteem, low mood and anxiety. They often have unhelpful coping strategies (drinking a bit too much/relying on controlling partners/filling their lives with 'activities' to the point that they are exhausted) too. But if you asked them if their mental health was suffering they would deny it, partly this is self-denial and partly this is often about peoples lack of ability to think reflectively.....There are lots of people out there who think that depression is something that 'other people' suffer from, yet if I carried out a full clinical assessment with them I might well say that they are struggling..... Part of this is also about access to services. Resources are very tight so the bar is set ridiculously high, to get one to one help from an experienced clinician at the moment you need to be really depressed. This makes many people feel that they must be ok, because if they were bad enough surely they'd meet the requirements for help.... not so If mental health services were to offer appropriate help (in a timely manner) to all that needed it then we'd need to massively increase our budgets.
Hi all I'm still hovering.
I'm really very low today, re issue with DS I don't feel I can post about it as its delicate and worried someone might read it on here in RL. I have read some other threads and mind mind is a little eased. But it has took the whole edge off a nice weekend.
I have been incredibly frustrated - trying to write a report, DD wants to do books, blocks etc.
My DH has been fantastic.
I feel heavy, sick and have a headache. This is what parenting has dent o me in the last few hours.
Sorry you're not feeling well feelingood I hope everything sorts itself out and you get a break tonight. Glad to hear your DH has been fantastic.
I've read back your comments about my 'friend' with the 'perfect Christmas and perfect daughter' and the more I read them the more I think you're right and she's heading for a fall. That's not what I want because she has been, in the past, a very good friend to me. Lately it all seems a bit too competative and stressful really. We went round to their house today (DH is on good terms with her DP) so we went round as a family to see her and the kids. I noticed that the 3 boys were all shoved on laptops or tablet style computer thingys while all their attention was on 'the little princess'. Sad, I'm hoping it's just bcause she's only 3 weeks old and it was just a way of making sure the boys behaved etc. Hopefully the novelty will wear off a bit as she gets older but I noticed all they talked about was her and nothing to with the boys or their achievements. I can't stand how they call her little lady or princess or little missy, bllleeeugh! I throw up a little in the back of my mouth everytime they say it. Meanwhile DS1 was lovely, chatty and sociable... DS2 roamed around whinging and moaning at everything (as usual) which lead to rather snide comments about how 'noisy' boy babies are compared to girls and what a little treasure their baby girl is I really hate it when people bad mouth boys in front of my boys!
Another one here who hates Christmas. Well actually, I love the lead up to Christmas, seeing the lights being switched on, the wonder in DS1's face as we decorate the tree and 'track santa' on christmas eve... but the day is just so stressful. I always have to make a real effort to go see my dad who is crap with the kids and always makes DS2 cry. We have to see my MIL who is OK but doesn't really see the boys much throughout the year. DS2 just whinged and cried all day last year and I can't see this year being any different. I miss Christmases with just DS1. that's awful isn't it??
Anyway, I don't mind if the new thread is anonymous or not but looks like we'll need it soon! Where will it be?? In parenting section still? Who is brave enough to start it? Haha.
That's really sad, OddBodd. I would be absolutely livid if someone badmouthed boys in front of my DS. If she's been a good friend in the past I hope it turns out just to be postnatal weirdness and in a year or so she can look back and laugh at how ridiculous she was. Otherwise it sounds as though her boys are in for a pretty thin time .
I don't get that girly like obsession with having a little girly dolly baby. I have enjoyed buying nice dresses etc but she is not a little princess - a little tomboy hufflepuff more like!
Anyway peaks and troughs - that friend maybe storing up all kinds of trouble for later on.
I once knew someone who always seemed sorted - job, house, outfits cool social stuff etc she turned out to be a toxic nightmare all brought to the fore when she realised she had fertility problems and was understandably stressed out by it all - it was so stressful (fearful at times) dealing with her, like walking on egg shells she said some unforgivable things about a situation I was in......
I now realise no-one ever ever has it all and if they appear to be, they are just good at keeping up appearances. Some people are just to proud - I have let another friend go recently for this reason - one small e.g: apparently her kids were never cheeky - never ever my response Oh...ok. Im nearly forty and haven't got time for evasive, passive aggressive fake folk.
Same here re lead up to Christmas though last year had too much stuff booked then all the end of term stuff came along and was a bit overwhelmed. Im being a lot more measured this year - but looking forward to what DD will be like with her presents as she will be nearly 2.
Its sad we don't do any family visiting really or have any near us, but we don't have any of the hassle it can bring for some so we do our own thing.
I feel a bit better as I have spoke to my mum. I wish I didn't have to go out of the house tomorrow and see anybody.
I have a deadline to meet for midday tuesday, this last week has left me wondering whether Ive took too much on with this degree, thought of revising for exam fills me with dread - just because of time and fitting it in around DD during day.
Im rambling....I hope everyones had help from DP/DH's this weekend and have been able to rest.
Maybe the new thread title should be desperately seeking mothers!
We could call the new thread 'light and shade'?
<chuckles> why yes MacMac that at least has a positive element to it and I think it resonates with a few regular posters.
OddBod I had a friend who was the same - really good friend, really supportive and we did lots together. Then she got married and had her first baby and it was the beginning of the end. She was so competitive and sneery about how I didn't know what tired was because I didn't have kids etc etc. She also moved to London and became a raging snob about having the nice house, the posh car and all the rest. It took me until after number 2 came along to say "enough". She's got number 3 now and I don't even know if its a boy or a girl. Sad to say.
I couldn't be bothered with all that keeping up with the Joneses - it takes far too much energy (and money!).
My weekend has been ok. ILs were here yesterday plus BIL and SIL. It was nice and I managed to escape for an hour to walk the dog with my friend so that kept me sane
Still struggling with my feelings for DH. He has been making a big effort this weekend and I've struggled to reciprocate it. I know I'm being horrible. Its his day off today so maybe we'll do something nice together.
I've been trying to wean DD onto formula. She cried for an hour over the feed yesterday (tried ebm in a cup too) and in the end I gave in and bf'd her. She holding me hostage! Great that bfing went so well but I really want to stop now and get my life back. Seems DD has other ideas!
Oh and the childminder cancelled the meeting so we still are no closer to getting childcare for my return to work.
Feeling I hope you've had a decent night's sleep and are feeling better this morning.
We've got DD's first birthday just before Christmas and family living in 2 different countries, so no idea how we're going to balance it this year!
I dread Xmas. It's just a lot if work and effort for me.
I have grown up sons who stil like to come and don't have pil yet so its always a big affair with too much cost.
Dh family live in Essex so always obliged to see them which I hate but after last year when we went after Xmas and they had nothing in for the dds (not even a yogurt) I'm not going this year so at least that's one less chore.
Ledkr take control now! order as much as you can in to minimise what you have to do re actual running about to shops and food preparation....well just a thought <humph> I can't even organise the dishwasher at the moment so what do I know.
Thanks kingrollo I had three hours as stayed up late doing uni work for deadline tomorrow. I read back through a few of your posts. I have suffered from depression and looking back can see I must have been a pain to live with at best miserable - I was quite proactive after a while to get myself well using self help strategies. Does your DH do this or is he using medication - I think a lot of the recovery does have to come from within the person.
I also have been through very difficult patch in my own marriage - we came back from the brink, I've no doubt if id posted on MN i would have been told to LTB and bet some would say that now, There are some unforgiving people out there/on here.
Does your DH know how horrible you feel for the way you speak/argue? Looking back we had all these changes happen in quick succession and didn't realise or were unable to acknowledge the amount of changes we were having to cope with inc having Loss of twin/DS+PND then Moving/Wedding/Both changed jobs....I hated my new job. It changed the dynamics of our relationship. - I could rattle on but please ask away if there is something you think I could help shed light on.
Im dreading getting through today DD has woke up very early and grumpy. My house is like a midden and I have now t go an wake DS up.
I think I have bitten off more than I can cope with, with degree but get bored when I'm in-between modules. DD has just got the dust pan and emptied it onto the carpet, i may swell be reduced to her shadow....
hope everyone has a better start to day than me.
feeling exactly the same here. Dd woke at 6.15 and is being horrible and awkward. I'm so happy I'm working today, couldn't stand a whole day of it. Poor dd1 is trying to help as she can see I'm on the brink.
Thanks for the empathy Feeling. We've had a lot of changes in quick succession too - engaged 5 months after meeting, pregnant 6 months after that, wedding, then moved in together, new job for me, new business for DH, then new baby, plus I'm not in my home country so no family nearby. It is hard.
At the moment DH is just popping anti-depressants. I can see it's the depression but he never, ever has the energy or gets around to doing anything without major amounts of stress and nagging from me. So he hasn't really made any lifestyle changes, hasn't got onto any waiting lists for therapists, has run out of sleeping tablets and hasn't made a doc's appt to get any more. I have had to disengage as (as you rightly say) only he can get himself better. It's so frustrating to live with though.
The odd thing is his moods seem better now with the ad's, but he still hasn't done any of the other things associated with his recovery, so I'm worried he's going to think that he feels better and not bother. Then it's countdown to the next collapse. It's so wearing and I'm dealing singlehandedly with being a new parent to 6 month old DD at the same time with no family to help me. I do have weepy moments with DH when I acknowledge how horrible I can be. No matter how much talking we do we seem to fall back into the same old habits. The scary thing is I'm starting to feel so numb to it all. I look inside and I can't see any shred of feeling, love or sympathy or whatever it is for DH. It's all I can do to get through the day with him sometimes. The only thing that brings the feelings out is the thought of wrecking DD's childhood by leaving him, then I know I will stay.
Sorry, brain vomit there. I'll put my violin away now!
Ledkr PIL suggested that it might not be worth it financially for me to return to work in August - I listened with mounting horror and realised that even if I have to pay work to employ ME, I WILL be going back!!! Otherwise insanity beckons....
Oh kingrollo we are in our home country but moved away from our home region - no one ever comes to visit. But after being here for 6 years now we are settled and have our network of parents who are mostly in the same boat as us and we have adapted to having a social life based around other parents at the kids activities. But this hasn't come easy, it has took time (I know this is not useful on a day to day basis).
I think if you didn't feel anything for your DH you wouldn't feel so horrible - its almost like every things frozen until everything thaws out you can't see what you've got - if that makes any sense. For us it took a 6 month separation, half way through divorce proceedings (inc a new relationship on one side) before we were calm enough to work through what had happened to us. When it does you think bloody chuff in hell - no wonder we things were all over the place - I think its FWIW its really important to acknowledge the amount of changes you've both been through and still are.
Maybe going back to work will give you an outlet where you can be a grown up and be with other grown ups where emotional demands are not constantly made on you. Hang on in there is my gut response (but maybe I'm biased)
Also my DH was well pretty crappy at the whole family lifestyle thing (always been good in the house) and never wanted to socialise, he is now but its been slow haul. He now will suggest doing stuff with other families and days out etc.
Just take tiny tiny steps.
Ive done the school run, the thing that was worrying me didn't happen and I don't think it will now. i hate the school gate thing, hate hate hate it. I will not be making repeating the same mistake when my LO starts school.
I have 26 hours to submit a report about development oft he self to a PITA tutor - a real stickler.
Im doing lasagne out of a jar and frozen mixed veg for tea with salad - quick n easy will last for two days. Tomorrow I will definitely take the laundry to the drop n go people - it will cost a lot but DH tried to do some for me yesterday (I felt really guilty about this as being a SAHM I should be on top of all of this right?) but he could see getting it dried is a problem and said just put it in.
The laundry really messes with my head - tis the goldfish bowl mentality.
I really wish I could just go on a cookery holiday to Italy and eat lots of bred and cheese with red wine while someone rubbed my feet and whispered the secret of how to do all this in my ear!
Have a good day at work ledkr [jealous]
I'm so relieved so find this thread. Yes is the answer to the question. I feel at the moment as though my head is in a vice and I am barely functioning as a mum.
My twins are 2.5 and I am separated from their dad. He left in February to live with another woman, and I have been coping with that alone since then, though he has had contact 2-3 times a week. Last week he told me he wants to come back - the ins and outs of that are another thread, but I just want to set the context that emotionally it has been murder the last 4-5 months, and in fact for about a year now since I began to suspect the affair etc.
I work in a demanding job 4 days a week, yet frankly I'd do 7 days a week for less money if it meant I didn't have to be my children's mum at the moment. They defy me on every score daily, with dressing and nappies being the main thing. I now also have to add in giving antibiotics to my willful daughter twice a day, as she has an infection, and it is enough to push me screaming over the edge.
This morning with the medicine I tried coaxing and cajoling and all manner of tactics until in the end I screamed at her and forced the syringe in her mouth and even pressed down on her I was just so furious at the sheer defiant, impossible, evasive nature of her and the stress of knowing these FUCKING drugs have to be got into her twice a day for the next 5 days. She cried and I went off and cried, I am so ashamed at using my weight and brute force to make a little girl take medicine.
I am so full of guilt, confusion, self-hatred, anger, grief, loneliness, exhaustion, anxiety, rage. I feel so worn down and run down, my equilibrium is so fragile that even one extra task or one "no" too many from my children makes me scream and rage at them, I get no physical warning sign that I am about to blow, it just happens.
I wanted children for years and we had IVF to get them, I feel I should be delighting in having them in my life and not slagging them off to people, crying about them, raging at them and looking for opportunities to have a break from them.
I am just so tired and I know that it's only a phase, but their lives since 1 year old at least have just been a phase that I am looking forward to something better coming along. There is always something that you're desperate for them to start/stop doing, yet I should be proud and pleased that they are growing up and developing their characters. Instead I just want them to be pliant and dumbly obedient because it would make my life easier. I feel fucked up.
Welcome brassica my ex left me with four dc too one was 8 months. I never wanted him back tbh even though he was furious yes furious about that.
Must admit I loved it on my own.
Those if you about to return to work, yes it dies get easier.
Lots if organisation but also lots if time away from the little darlings.
Welcome Brassica it is ok to feel like you do.
Permission to let go of feeling bad about the whole medicine thing, I'm sure you didn't hurt her and the alternative of not giving her the medicine is worse yes - sometimes you do what you have to do - to save you going throughout at again would it be possible to put it in her favourite food like with mash of beans?
Re your DH - please take the time to consider your position. Affairs can both brake or make a marriage, I often think the latter is over looked on MN and is a taboo almost. I wasn't my in my finest hour as a parent when I went through my separation and DH started a new relationship. You must tell yourself things will get better, just a little self belief to try and get through the day. you are in turmoil re your marriage so it is impossible to pass judgement on yourself as a parent.
Re your IVF - let go of how they got here, they are two of them and they bloody hard work so stop feeling guilty for not bouncing around like Mary Poppins - as you've seen there are plenty of us nt full of the joys
Sometimes when we can't affect change in our emotions it is easier to concentrate on practical aspects of day to day to make things easier:
Friends and family - get them on board
Have you been to doctors to discuss your stress/sleeping etc would that help?
and you know what some people just don't like certain phases their children go through and/or better suited to other phases. I am not enjoying my DS(7) at the moment feel I get very little back from him and find him really irritating to be around. DD(1.5) is cute and playful but has constant demands for play n nappies etc. but I find her easier than DS.
Wrt getting meds into them. Wrap her in a towel. Put het on your knee and syringe it into the space between her cheek and teeth.
It can be horrendous but as you say they need them so that's it.
Whatever you need to do.
I have come to the conclusion that it will always be something tbh...
My dc have a 5.3 yr gap and so in August I will have ds2 starting reception and ds1 starting middle school.
I am dreading it/excited about it all at the same time.
Neither of them cope well with new things/situations (like their dad)
Have lots of induction stuff coming up for both of them in the next fortnight and I just want to hide and go to bed and ignore it all.
I don't want to think about uniforms, lockers, dinners....I feel totally overwhelmed ATM.
badvoc sounds like you need to regroup yourself and get a plan together - can you order uniform on-line?
I am going to do a meal plan for the week or goto tesco.com and use the meal planning function, you just then click on the ingredients needed for that meal if you need them. There are recipes for all budget levels.
my easy meals
lasagne - I use jars but bang lots of veg in and it last for two days.
Omlette - my latest favourite quick meal - I do one large 6 egg one for the four of us in a large frying pan and finish it under the grill. Serve with toast and beans - its not bad, even better with broccoli and cheese!
Roast chicken - crusty bread, coleslaw salad preferably with nice salads from M N S
Breaded fish/fishcakes plus boiled new pots and broccoli/cauli
its not at all exciting but there its square meals four meals. Pudding is always fruit and yoghurts.
I've taken the plunge and started a new thread here
See you on the other side!!
<uses the last free message to do a twirly victory dance that we're all still surviving>
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