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Early days and can’t shake the feeling I’ve made a mistake

(55 Posts)
BewilderedBeaver Mon 11-Dec-17 10:49:51

My husband is happy, BD is happy, AD is settling well but I just can’t seem to switch off this anxious nagging doubt that I’ve made a mistake. Please tell me others felt the same and it got better...please 😢

Monkeybrains2017 Mon 11-Dec-17 11:12:21

How early days are we talking? We had our child placed in june and thinking back to then we were surviving rather than living!

JustHappy3 Mon 11-Dec-17 12:58:25

I think we all had wobbly times. Can you elaborate a bit more? Worried you don't love/have bonded with AD? worried life has changed too much with a little one? Worried you're not good enough? Worried parenting 2 is so different?
Fwiw i wouldn't be afraid to tell your social worker if you feel you need some emorional support from them.

BewilderedBeaver Mon 11-Dec-17 13:01:55

Only two weeks in so mega early days and worried that life has changed too much and that I liked the idea of being a Mum to two but now it’s a reality I want my old life back. I have been fairly honest with social workers. They know I am finding it hard and are in regular contact although if I’m honest I think that may be adding to my anxieties.

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-Dec-17 13:13:51

Oh god I remember those days with a shudder - two weeks in I felt like I'd was have a breakdown. I had no idea what the hell I was doing or why I ever wanted kids - was sure I'd made a total mistake. 4 months in, the kids are more settled, I'm more settled and it's definitely easier but that's only been a recent thing and I still have times when I think "what the actual fuck did I do this for". Be gentle with yourself, and don't fall prey to the mindset that says you've got one so should know what you're doing with 2.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Dec-17 13:15:30

It gets easier. Adopted son is now as much my own as birth dd. It takes times.

Moogletea Mon 11-Dec-17 13:22:09

It gets better. You're still in massive upheaval stage. I was all over the shop at that stage. There's so much pressure. You've just been through intros, you're settling at Home, SW are visiting lots, you're working out how to intro to family and friends etc etc etc

It's perfectly normal I think to wobble - take it easy on yourself, keep breathing, take 5 minutes when you get the opportunity and keep talking.

Sillyshell Mon 11-Dec-17 13:28:08

Currently on day 3 and hide in the bathroom crying this morning so know how you are feeling! We have no birth kids and as prepared as we thought we were it's like a bomb in the shape of a blonde two year old has been dropped on us

Newadopter Mon 11-Dec-17 13:53:21

That is how I felt! Huge anxiety and doubt (and guilt for BD), sobbing in the shower - that was in the first 2 weeks or so. Then it got better, as we all adjusted to our new life. Now 2 months in, it feels like AD has been here forever, it feels comfortable, busy, hard work, but lovely. Hang in there!

JustHappy3 Mon 11-Dec-17 14:42:52

Oh yes i get you. It was so easy before and i hadn't appreciated what we had - just thought there was something missing. The ease of leaving the house and hopping in the car, the lack of stuff that needs remembering and double checking, so fewer meals/food to think about and one to bed and then relax. Missing giving just one your attention and not having to suddenly rush so much. Yup. It was sooo much easier.
But..... the joy of two sneaks up on you. It did for me. So just to say it's ok to feel in disarray.

hidinginthenightgarden Mon 11-Dec-17 17:01:47

Yep definitely a normal reaction. I was so surprised at how much harder it was having two. We were pretty good at one child. Parenting was a breeze. For a long time I felt like a terrible parent with two.
Time to bond really helps.

BewilderedBeaver Mon 11-Dec-17 17:20:32

Thank you so much for the reassurance. I half expected to be berrated for being so selfish. Hugely reassuring to know others have felt this way. For about half the day we middle along and for half the day I am crying or in the verge of crying wondering what I have done. I can’t seem to rationalise my feelings when I’m like that or to remember why I ever wanted to do this. I am desperately looking forward to the day that this horrible feeling of panic goes. I would never have predicted I’d feel this way.

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-Dec-17 17:59:47

A particular high point for me was phoning my husband at work, crying a river because I couldn't get the tv to work. I still haven't worked out how to get a shower every day and mine are at school and nursery now.

It's very hard.

fatberg Mon 11-Dec-17 18:18:06

I would call my DH in tears all the time. Often from the bathroom. I remember posting on here asking ‘what even do I doooo?’

I hated it at first. Then I hated it less. At at some point I realised I was quite fond of them.

But, post adoption depression is real, so get help if you think you need it.

Hels20 Mon 11-Dec-17 18:38:17

I was in a funk for about six months - very emotional, constantly wondering if I had done the right thing, resented (if I am honest) having to go back to the sleepless nights and nappies and all that palaver. And now DS2 is a joy! It didn’t help me that a lot of info that should have been given to us wasn’t given until when we went to collect DS from Foster Carer for last time! I was furious so much info had been withheld...furious!

15 months later - I am ashamed I ever had reservations.

BewilderedBeaver Mon 11-Dec-17 18:50:57

I don’t think it’s depression because it comes and goes, I do think it’s anxiety though. I went to the gp at social workers insistence and they said it was to be expected at this point. I have cried almost every day since she came home. I take a lot of reassurance knowing others have felt this way but have felt better in time so thank you, thank you, thank you all of you.

Sillyshell, hope it has been helpful for you too to read this.

MummyDoingHerBest Mon 11-Dec-17 19:30:05

I can look back now at when our two arrived, a 2yr and 3yr old, a year and a half ago, and can see now we were barely coping - getting through each day and dropping down exhausted - we questioned every comment, every decision we made and were both quite hard on ourselves.

It gets better. It is still hard sometimes but there are far more wonderful moments and fewer crazy ones for us now.

JustHappy3 Mon 11-Dec-17 19:59:10

You could try antidepressants. A low dose to help with the anxiety. It won't change "you" (which is what i worried about) but it may take some of the angst away. Maybe go back and see a different GP - as your (gung ho, dismissive, crying is normal) one isn't being a big help here. This isn't normal parenting - don't let yourself get too low.

exercisejunkie Mon 11-Dec-17 20:00:57

Hi bewilderedbever.......you are me!

I'm a single adopter and felt absolute and total panicky anxiety when my little one came home three weeks ago.
Towards the end of intros I had an overwhelming feeling that I was making a huge mistake, I cried pretty much every day for the first two weeks, the lack of sleep drove me to ring my mum in the middle of the night sobbing "I can't do this"

Family kept commenting on how well she was doing (being single I was encouraged to intro family quite quickly) but I couldn't understand who this anxious worried scared and just incapable person was!

I still feel like this at times but it's def not all the time like it was initially. I remember mum asking if I was enjoying it and saying "no, not at all" I then felt incredibly guilty for not appreciating how lucky I was to have this incredible little person.
What helped was reaching out to my local Facebook group (run just by adopters) and I received a lot of support and guidance from the wonderful experienced adopters in the group.

fatberg Mon 11-Dec-17 20:09:03

How old are LOs? The only thing that got us through early days was a routine we stuck to like glue. Then adjusted one small thing at a time til we had a routine that worked for us.

“Barely coping” like mummy says was pretty much how I’d describe us then too.

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-Dec-17 20:46:55

I think it is normal to be so tearful after such a huge upheaval. Early days into adoption isn't normal
parenting by any stretch of the imagination and I know for me that early on anxiety, uncertainty, feeling incompetent we're all a huge part of the package. I really dislike the speed with which folk try to medicate away feelings that really are part and parcel of life, it pathologises folk for having feelings.

Try to give yourself space each day to have a scream, make sure you keep in touch with friends who get it (e.g. I had 3 folk who totally recognised how hard it was for me, I could say anything to them and know it would be ok, I steered clear of #makingmemories #familytime #soblessed type friends and anyone who asked me if I was enjoying being a mum). Be kind to yourself when you think you're being short tempered, disorganised, hopeless etc. I you're still feeling that way after a couple of months yes, I'd be thinking about something more mental health related but give yourself time to adjust to this lovely little bomb that has just dropped into your orderly life.

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-Dec-17 20:50:06

Btw, I say that as someone who literally cried every day through intros and for about 6 weeks after they arrived with me. And some days they can still reduce me to tears. It's ok, I'm human and I have limits - we give so much to these traumatised little people (even on our worst days), at a cost to ourselves emotionally, physically and psychologically. Of course we're going to feel like we aren't coping.

MummyDoingHerBest Mon 11-Dec-17 22:33:54

I can’t help but think we are all a little unprepared for it. We can go on the courses, do home studies etc, but until they move in, none of us really knows how it is going to be, just how challenging some things are, and how life changing it is. Bring a new parent is hard, but there is the added pressure of knowing they didn’t have a great start and feeling like you need to make up for it, to be amazing, to ‘fix things’. I can look back at how excited I was. I’m not sure what else could have prepared me more though. Such a steep learning curve! Best advice is to be kind to ourselves as if we are not, then we don’t have the reserves to parent the way our lovelies need.

BewilderedBeaver Tue 12-Dec-17 12:14:35

Fatberg they are almost 8 and almost 1.

Lovebehindthefool Tue 12-Dec-17 12:20:47

Op i struggled for at least 3months when my daughter came to us. She was beautiful, amazing and slept through/ate her food and was generally a cheerful and resilient soul. I couldn’t love her. In fact my husband took over and did most of her basic care for those three months. I was terrified of her. I was given tablets for post adoption depression and I remember the doctor saying to me “you know, if you are finding this hard you can send her back. Have you thought about that?”. It horrified me. I said no, I wouldn’t let my daughter be let down by someone else. Slowly, I became less scared of her. Slowly, I began to feel less anxious.

Now, a year and a half in, I have a snotty, bouncy 2year old who says “no!” To me all the time! But who also craves me, snuggles on my lap and yells my name when I get home. My only anxiety now is when she is sick or ill, or when she hurts herself. She is absolutely mine and I love her!
To any of you struggling, hang in there. It will get easier and see the doctors if it doesn’t! Speak to your social workers.

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