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to feel completely overwhelmed...

(28 Posts)
louisawhitegenius Sat 30-Jul-11 11:25:05

hi everyone, just need some views/comments from you guys.

I'm a mum to a gorgeous 6 month old girl (1st baby) and my whole life i have always been a bit useless with timekeeping, organisation etc...I love being at home with her, she is sleeping through the night, just started weaning and I just feel so lost! every day i get up and feel at a loss where to start (shower? housework? eat breakfast? exercise? food shopping?) i just sit there almost in a panic over what to do 1st and usually end up sitting there until she wakes up and then go 'well i can't do any of that now' my brain just seems like spaghetti! have always worked and this is the 1st time i have had a break but i feel like i have no motivation (other than to look after my daughter obv) to do anything. my other half works between 10-16 hours per day 6 days per week and the day he is off we never do anything as he's knackered and also lack of funds (atm) i am going out tonight and have had all last week to get ready (wanted to buy new top, get hair cut etc..) but i did nothing and now dreading going out. I am explaining all these little details but the bigger pic is I'M LOST!

I look at mums with 2 + kids & think how the hell do you do it ? Am also back to work in a few months and scared as s**t!

Am i depressed?? Is it because I've got too much time on my hands? I genuinely love being at home with her but feel like i have lost control of MY life completely...has anyone else experienced this??

HappyHippyChick Sat 30-Jul-11 11:34:49

Sorry to hear you're feeling so out of contr

sososworried Sat 30-Jul-11 11:36:48

Poor you! Sounds like you are having a nightmare. I'm also really unorganised and found that lists really helped me. I dont' know if it works for you but I'd motivate myself with a list each day with things like:
plan meals
buy groceries
drink 6 glasses of water
pale wash
hang up washing

all the fun is in ticking things off and if you make each task small then that happens quite a lot!

Birdsgottafly Sat 30-Jul-11 11:37:13

I did and tbh when i am off work, still do, although my DC's are teenagers.

Sometimes i have to treat everyday tasks even getting myself ready as a job of work and plan a structure or i drift and do nothing.

I just don't seem to 'naturally' get on with things, although everything gets done.

It's wether your happy with how your days are being spent or are there things that you would like to do that because of a lack of planning, you carn't?

Kladdkaka Sat 30-Jul-11 11:38:53

Free online organisational coach:

Saved my sanity.

AlpinePony Sat 30-Jul-11 11:40:37

Have you got a smartphone? Plan your day week whatever and put alarms in to your calendar.

Eight am shower
Nine breakfast
Nine fifteen check fridge and write list
Eleven go to shop

louisawhitegenius Sat 30-Jul-11 11:42:25

thanks for your input guys, i just feel like i'm not actually 'here' if you know what i mean...just drifting along with no plan and it feels wrong. i think the list is a good idea but when i go to write them end up with loads of stuff and my head hurts...maybe am putting too much pressure on?

Kladdkaka Sat 30-Jul-11 11:44:41

Start with that coach website I linked. It's starts off getting you to do one thing a day, then adds another, then another. It's all about teaching you how to form routines. You can take or leave the bits that work/don't work for you.

HappyHippyChick Sat 30-Jul-11 11:44:45

Sorry blush accidentally pressed post button.

I have 3 ds and am expecting number 4 and as you can see from my previous post not that in control either! My older two are in school but the little one is 10 months. I have days like you where I get to 3 pm and have to pick up the kids and discover I have done nothing but watch tv and MN all day!

I have found the way to make things less daunting is to write a list each day of things you will get done. Not a massive list of everything you need to do because that will be scary, no more than four things per day - and do them. Cross them off your list as you complete them and you will feel like you have achieved something that day.

Start small and work your way up. I am sure someone else will be along (or has been along while I've been slowly typing this) with much more constructive advice, but enjoy being a mum - the time passes so quickly. Don't worry too much, most people struggle at the beginning (and right down the line like me!)

ZonkedOut Sat 30-Jul-11 11:46:04

I found my first baby a little overwhelming, in that it is so much harder to do something like go out shopping for something. I found having a weekly routine helped - e.g. shopping on Mondays, clean downstairs on Tuesdays, upstairs on Wednesdays etc.

I also find that going to baby and toddler groups helped because they were at a set time. It wasn't always convenient, but it was an incentive to get out a bit.

If you think you might be depressed, can you talk to your HV about it, to see what she thinks? It's not about feeling down, it's often about not feeling anything much at all, or lack of motivation.

louisawhitegenius Sat 30-Jul-11 11:51:19

thanks kladdkaka am gonna check it out now!

Hi happyhippychick, thanks so much for your response and nice to know i'm not on my own! i just think sometimes i just don't get it! we do go out for walks and i try to make it to the gym once or twice a week (where dd goes to creche) but sometimes we do NOTHING all day and then i sit there beating myself up for being lazy and having a messy house. am defo gonna do the list thing!

Ineedtotalk Sat 30-Jul-11 11:57:51

yes I've felt like that, I wondered around the house half doing everything, I felt busy all day yet still felt I never achieved anything. I procrastinated over the smallest things and felt overwhelmed with all the little decisions I needed to make.. Sometimes I didn't shower until bed time. New babies can be overwhelming, especially when your partner isn't home much.

Maybe you could try breaking the day up into time slots and give yourself one small goal during that time. Morning - breakfast, mid morning - shower, afternoon put a wash on. Try and put yourself and bubs before the house work and don't be hard on yourself if you don't get everything done. If DD is sleeping through the night that means she's happy and settled so you must be doing a good job.

I found setting goals and writing to-do lists helped me get a handle on things as did mediating for just 10 to 15 minutes a day... If meditation isn't for you try lying down and taking long deep, breaths for 5 or 10 minutes. Just giving yourself permission for time-out helps things feel a little calmer...

Good luck...hugs x

louisawhitegenius Sat 30-Jul-11 12:02:43

thanks ineedtotalk, it's so good to hear from other women that i'm not losing the plot. most of my female friends are organised, motivated and have seemingly happy households...i am always seen as the flakey/late/unreliable one!

Ineedtotalk Sat 30-Jul-11 12:11:25

Your not loosing the plot you're a new mum. Looking after a little baby is definitely not doing nothing, it's hard work. The mums that "seem" organized and in control have their moments to, i think all mums feel out of control sometimes. Everyone has different circumstances so try not to compare yourself to the would be supper mums and be kind to yourself...

oldsilver Sat 30-Jul-11 12:19:44

Crikey that all sounds so familiar to me. I second simple lists. Adopting routines is good but just be aware that in the first year your routine will be ever evolving as each new stage occurs.

I broke it down to breakfast, whilst happy sitting in babyseat or napping then my shower, dishes. Put load washing on, pop out to shops/have a walk/go to park. On return washing would be done and could be hung out. Playtime then time for lunch. Quick hoover/wipe after lunch then the afternoon is free to do any non normal chores (only one a day) playtime, anything you want. Then time for tea.

After a while you get your skills back, honest! And it takes a lot shorter time and is easier.

Good Luck!

DontAskMeSums Sat 30-Jul-11 12:20:53

You really are not alone. I felt as if I'd handed my brain in at the maternity ward door. Getting through the day felt like trying to swim through treacle. I found that giving myself a time when I had to be out doing something was helpful, even if that meant just getting a loaf of bread from the shop by 10.30. It just gave me a point to aim at.
I had a friend who was flakey/late/unreliable one. I think it would have helped our friendship if she had talked about it - I felt as if I was the one busting a gut to be on time and she couldn't care less if she was half an hour late etc. In my saner moments, I knew she wasn't like that but if she'd even made a joke of it or apologised, that would have been ok. Maybe just tell your close friends that you are finding it tough. Those are long days you're doing without your bloke.

aprilbear Sat 30-Jul-11 12:24:21

I think it's surprisingly normal, especially after a first baby when you're used to the structure of the working day, and suddenly thats gone. Also, your dd is about the age where shes relatively easy (sleeping through etc) so you may find you have spaces of time available , during day time naps for instance) but then you end up thinking of all the things you could be doing, and end up doing none of them!

I agree with the idea of making a list. Not being OTT about it, but having a basic plan for each day, and I would include getting out for a daily walk. If baby groups don't do it for you, just get out and walk, potter round the shops (don't need to spend if money is tight) or take a picnic lunch to the park. I think some mothers tie themselves in knots thinking they ought to be doing a thousand organised baby activities, but there is no need- the baby wont mind!

Don't worry about how you'll manage back at work, because the fact that you have to be up and out of the house and meet deadlines will help. It may seem hard but ime once you're into a routine its not rocket science. And you'll be getting regular adult interaction which isn't baby-focused which you will find refreshing too.

OrdinaryJo Sat 30-Jul-11 12:24:49

There's an amazing book which I highly, highly recommend and usually buy for friends when they have their first born.

You're not doing nothing, you are looking after your baby.

I think the idea of getting out every day really helped me as well, whether it was to a group or to meet a friend or just to go out for a walk. Housework and stuff - not so important in my opinion. Showers - well, probably a bit more so grin. Taking each day as it comes and having fun with DC - essential.

OrdinaryJo Sat 30-Jul-11 12:25:30

Sorry, here's the link, forgot to tick the wee box...

UKSky Sat 30-Jul-11 13:00:12

Know exactly how you feel. At 6 months too, they get a bit harder work as they are more aware and don't sleep quite so much.

When my DD was that small and still now she's 11 months I have a wipe board in the kitchen and put a weekly list on it. It's broken down into really small things like - hoover downstairs and upstairs is 2 items so I can check one off and feel good about it.

With regards to showering I feed DD her breakfast and put her in the bathroom with me (in a swing seat when she was small) now she just crawls around on her own. And I get 10 minutes peace in the shower.

Morning nap I tidy up downstairs. Afternoon nap I hoover. And so on, just little jobs which also leaves me a bit of time to just sit down and do nothing, read, watch a bit of TV or something. It helps to have little rests regularly.

Also, we go out everyday. Lucky enough to be able to be close enough to walk into town, so we do that everyday (sometimes twice). Fresh air helps everyone.

the secret is to just do really small things at a time and be proud that you've achieved a little chore.

I can't believe how much time it takes looking after a small baby. I'm really organised normally and it threw me for six. It does get easier as they start to get a little older and can entertain themselves for short periods of time.

and take time for yourself, as often as you can. We all need it.

Angel786 Sat 30-Jul-11 13:05:46

Routine works for me. I try to get out for a walk and take DD to a playgroup two to three times a week.

Don't worry about the cleaning etc so much, it's hard work looking after a baby (and exhausting). I use the nap times to grab a shower/ eat / watch tv or read etc.

Try and break down the week one day at a time with one activity per day? Not including eating etc! That way it may seem less overwhelming.

SmethwickBelle Sat 30-Jul-11 13:15:59

I relate to this feeling - its that whole "where's the manual?" feeling. Being totally in charge of another person 24/7 takes up a lot of brain space so working out things like "should I brush my hair or should I have some breakfast?" seem like impossible questions, not least as they relate to your needs not the baby's.

It is weird not having anyone else dictate how you plan out the day (other than the babe of course). I (still) try to have one outing every day, park, a baby group or trip to library, or whatever so the day would focus around that. It breaks up the day, gives you (and the baby) a change of scenery. Being indoors all day ends up getting depressing in my experience.

LineRunner Sat 30-Jul-11 13:25:07

You are not alone.

You are not depressed, simply One Of The Different. Me, I'll happily read a book all day while the house falls apart around me.

Happy enough offspring, though.

But I do need to make sure I do one useful thing a day. Today was food shopping with DD. Nice walk, nice chat. (I've chatted to her since she was born.) I get it done as early as possible so that it's out of the way.

Firawla Sat 30-Jul-11 13:34:32

i think it helps to have a routine that u do in the morning, just in terms of what order you do things like i always breakfast first then shower then get dressed and get kids dressed, so i dont have to think its just as soon as i come through to living room in the morning automatically its breakfast time. much easier than having to think and make decisions of what shall i do first

CalmaLlamaDown Sat 30-Jul-11 13:46:22

You might find that going back to works helps you get back to normal. I felt lost when on mat leave, tried lots of baby clubs etc, but never felt at ease, it was only going back to work part time when ds 8 months old that saved my sanity. Don't be worried about going back to work, it might even help.

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