To feel jealous. Often. Come kick me up the arse(74 Posts)
Self-pitying monologue alert
DS is 10 months and sometimes I get these days (like today) where I feel really disappointed in myself about how those 10 months have been and insanely jealous that lots of friends are having better experiences:
-Had a birth that while, not out of the ordinary (induction, epidural, forceps, large tear), still makes me feel sad. A lot of my friends have given birth over xmas and all had easy births that they say they enjoyed.
-Didn't manage to bfeed for long. Don't really know the real reason why but the most natural thing in the world (apparently) just didn't work (and that's a whole other thread). Still confused. And sad when I see my friends breastfeeding, every last one of them without a hitch!
-DS sleeps so poorly. Hates napping. Wakes every few hours. Read all the books. Tried everything, every method. Everyone else I know seems to have one of those babies who slept through at 12 weeks. What am I doing wrong?
-DS just seems like such an unhappy, easily upset baby. All he does is cry, cling to me, cry. Struggling terribly with separation anxiety. Won't go to anyone else. Had to cancel the babysitter three times in last few weeks and desperate for just one dinner out with DH. I feel like we have no time to speak these days. Again, no one else I know with babies around the same age seems to have this problem..
-To top it all off, I'm as fat as I was the day I left the hospital with DS. I just can't seem to shift the weight. Sometimes good cheese and bread is all I have left to look forward to at the end of another gruelling day!! My best friend gave birth to her second three months ago and has shifted every fricking ounce without even trying. Gah.
Jealousy is such an unattractive quality, but I'm literally consumed by it right now. I just feel like such a failure and wonder if I've brought this on myself by just being a bit crap. You know if I had a brilliant birth but failed to breastfeed, that would be ok, or vice versa. But I seem to have failed at every hurdle, while barely anyone else I know experienced a single hitch, so I can't help but wonder how much of it I brought on myself??
It was a bit scary, but I told you because I really want you to see that on the surface someone can look like they've got it all sussed. But when they're on their own, they have their own worries and their own problems.
People often lie becuase they don't want to admit they're having difficulties too.
babies are bloody hard work!
People lie. About their babies sleeping/eating/development etc. They embellish.
Look at your baby. He is happy and healthy, and has a lovely (if sleep-deprived) mum who loves him back.
None of my four slept till they were two (eight years, eight!) so don't beat yourself up over it.
Separation anxiety is rife at his age as well, I remember leaving my oldest at around that age, being rung to come home as he was crying and him waking up all night long remembering and having to be cuddled with me feeling like the worst Mum in the world for daring to try to have a couple of hours out.
I failed at breastfeeding the first two as well.
I did shift the weight, but it took a while with the first. By the third I ran around so much it fell off me!
I look back and wonder how we managed, but we did and we now have four grown-up lovely lads. You do get over it, honestly.
You sound shattered, and slightly depressed my dear. It will get better, honestly it will.
Sorry for not replying sooner, I'm trying yet another sleep solution book at the moment and aiming to stick to it...last resort before sleep clinic I think!!
Your advice is all excellent and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it - thank you, thank you. angel1976 what a lovely thoughtful post, it was really good to read. And FolkElf the visions you mention sound terrifying. Nowhere near on same scale, but I had a half-awake, half-asleep vision once while night feeding DS, that he had turned into one of those scary victorian dolls and it frightened the life out of me. What hormones and sleep deprivation will do to you...
Hi OCU. I could be one of your friends.
I BF DCs for around 18 months without any real problems - if you don't count crying from the pain of trying to express engorged breasts and watching rivulets of blood fill the bottle along with milk because DD was prem and only took tiny amounts via tube and I made loads.
Both babies slept through, except waking for feeds from a few weeks and then both fell asleep again easily. I've never had a 'sleepless night'. However, I used to be scared of going to check on my son or feed him in the night when he was a baby because I had 'visions' of him being possessed by a demon, opening his red eyes and flying out of the cot at me with his many razor sharp pointy teeth gleaming in the moonlight (I've never told anyone this in RL but have since learned on MN that other people have experienced similar.
I didn't put on any weight during pregnancy, so losing it was never an issue and I've often been told how lucky I am and how it's "so unfair". But I was severely sick during pregnancy, lost weight and nearly a baby as a result.
People complimented me on how I was a 'natural' mother and took to it so well. I've even said on here that's I've never been to an antenatal/NCT class or read a single book on the subject and we've not had any problems so far. But, I didn't bond with either of my children for a good while. Probably about 4 or 5 months with DS and 3 years with DD. I cared for them, I looked after them properly and did everything I should. I showed them emotional warmth but I didn't really feel it. I used to wonder what was wrong with me because I knew that someone could have taken them away from me and I wouldn't have felt anything about it. And I didn't tell anyone either. So no one knew.
You never know what other people are experiencing. When you're tired it's easy to only see the negative but mostly people gloss over the crap and focus on the good because that's how you deal with the crap!!
I remember telling my GP how much better than me everyone else was doing with their babies. He laughed and said "oh yes my wife used to say that too. It wasn't true cause half of those apparently perfect mothers were crying in my surgery..."
OP is there any way you could get some sleep, maybe over the weekend? I used to occasionally hand over to dh for the night, made me feel like a new woman. And rebook that babysitter and no cancelling - your dc will be just fine (not ecstatic perhaps but fine)
OccasionalCoasterUser I feel for you! I don't think jealous is quite the right word... I do often feel envious of women who seem to find parenting a breeze, I struggle with my two and often wonder what I am doing wrong! While we are comparing here...
*Births - While I had very quick births with my two and feel lucky to have that (despite DS1 born using ventouse), I now have a prolapse which the doctors seem unwilling to fix. DS2 is now 3 (prolapse occurred after his birth) and it looks like I have to live with the problem. Given the choice, I would rather have had a prolonged and painful labour but NOT this ongoing health issue that I have to live with for the rest of my life. But I am sure anyone looking from the outside wished they had the quick births I had (DS2 came out in 2-3 pushes and 45 minutes after arriving in hospital!).
*Breastfeeding- Don't even get me started about that. I was told everyone could breastfeed. Both DSs were tongue tied which didn't help but I tried so desperately to BF DS1 for 6 weeks. It was awful, I never felt the let down, my milk was teeny weeny and very watery, I couldn't express either, never got more than an ounce. But I was so determined to do it and everyone told me I HAVE TO BF, that I limped on for 6 weeks and cried bucket loads in the process. The BFing counsellor was so worried about my mental state she practically begged me to give my DS a bottle and actually called my HV to come visit. I eventually bottle-fed DS1 from 6 weeks onwards and he stopped screaming every day. I still feel guilty I 'starved' him for the first 6 weeks of his life. He is now a very healthy and strong almost 5-year-old so obviously no permanent damage there. With DS2, I bottle-fed from day 2 and refuse to be apologetic for it.
*Sleep - Firstly, you need to write off that first year of their lives in terms of sleep. Just assume you won't get any good quality sleep till they are after 1 and when you do, you will be nicely surprised! Every mum I know struggle with sleep at one time or the other... Your friends are all liars or they have forgotten what it was like! My two are now almost 5 and 3 and they sleep like logs at night but gosh, they are lively in the day and we often have to do a million things with them in the day to tire them out. They also won't sit still for a minute, are constantly demanding my attention and god, some days I just wish I have 2 nice quiet kids who will sit down and draw for 10 minutes without going 'mummy, mummy' constantly!
I could go on but with both my DSs now almost 5 and 3, I feel myself coming out of a fog and becoming more confident with my parenting. But it took a long, long time. My relationship with my DH took a real battering as well (having two so close together!) and I think we both feel like we are finally emerging from what seemed like a really hard 2-3 years! Don't be too hard on yourself, you are a first-time mum, there is no right or wrong in parenting. As long as you have a healthy, happy child (my DS1 was such a grump, even my ILs were commenting recently how he was such an unhappy birthday! He is now the most social and outgoing and happy child most of the the time, I just think he did not like being a baby...), you are doing okay! Take care.
You sound tired OP - not jealous. I think most people have had the experience you describe, not everbody is very good about being open about it. I had an emergency C-section with my DD (brow presentation nightmare), then I had no milk, she had reflux and was failure to thrive. I remember only too well feeling like a complete failure because not only could I not give birth properly but I couldn't feed my child and she cried all the time. She is now 8 and a delight (well most of the time). When I had my DS by elc, all 5kg of him (breach at 42 weeks) I was dreading the whole bf thing but thought I would try again and amazingly it worked this time and I fed him for 12 months. I think in my case it had a lot to do with a much more straightforward birth. He slept through from 6 weeks until 15 weeks and had I not had my experience with DD I might have been a horrible smug mum. Just as well I wasn't because from 15 weeks to 13 months his sleep was a nightmare!
Hang on in there it does get better and see if you can find some people in RL you can have a good old moan with. I found my kids so much more enjoyable when they began to talk. I guess babies aren't really my thing!
Difficult baby, easy teen. I know which one I would prefer xx
When I had just had my third child I felt exactly like you. I was worn out, a crap mother and a complete failure.
Then one morning in the school playground this beautiful woman swanned in with her five year old. She looked divine. She was also very pregnant. Cow!
From then on my friends and I saw her everywhere and I was consumed with a complete sense of failure.
Move forward a year, and I meet beautiful lady in the park with her two little girls. She was sobbing. When I asked her what the matter was. She said that she was a complete failure. Whenever she saw my friends and me at the school gates we all seemed so happy and such good mothers. You could have knocked me down with a feather.
She has been my best friend for the last 18 years and we still laugh about it.
Don't believe what everyone tells you,and what you THINK you see.
You are doing just fine.
I would guess that your friends are perhaps not being 100% truthful about how they cope on a day to day basis - I bet they have had bad days too - I wish people would be more open about how hard it can be.
I bet they all have really bad piles that they're not telling you about
And what everyone else has already said!
I think you have to consider jealousy in terms of two things: how you feel, and what you do about it. If you're naturally inclined towards feeling jealous, or comparing yourself to others, it's not entirely helpful when people say, however well-meaningly, that you shouldn't. Because however pointless it may be, if you're inclined towards doing it then it's very hard to switch it off.
Personally I think it's fine to feel it, recognise it for what it is, acknowledge it and then - this is the key bit - move on from that. Remember that, while you may feel jealous, you never know the whole picture of someone else's life (as someone else so eloquently put with the highlight reel analogy), what their problems are, why they might envy you, or whether they're telling the truth. And even if their babies are impossibly "easy", doesn't mean everything else in their lives is going well.
When it feels things are going badly, you can over-emphasise any perceived failure or problem, while over-exaggerating everything else, because you see what you are looking for. You haven't failed at every hurdle, but sometimes everything can just get overwhelming.
TheFallenNinja's suggestion about the list is spot on.
Everyone else in my NCT class seemed to easily pop their baby out of their elasticated fanjo in less than 12 hours with nothing but a tens machine and a mix tape. I needed tens, gas & air, co-codamol, pethidine, an epidural, more gas & air, forceps and an episiotomy - and the whole thing took 52 hours. So you are not alone! At least the drugs were fun? (I adored gas & air!)
I would also second that exercise is fabulous for improving mood etc. Try some Zumba or running?
Please consider that the sleep issues can effect how you feel. Are there any ways for you to get more unbroken sleep? Can DH help?
Can you write a letter to yourself to help you move forward? You also need to try and treat yourself with the kindness that a friend would show you.
Remember that all parents find something tricky - it's never plain sailing even if they give the impression it is.
Also wanted to add that if baby is clingy, just run with it and give her your time. Stick her in a sling. Try and lighten your own mood and be silly playing with her.
Please don't measure yourself against others. Think about all the things you are doing well and make an achievable plan for things you want to change (weight etc)
Measuring yourself against others is arguably one of the most pointless exercises you can do.
You are you and as such are in charge of what goes in around you (it may not feel like that on some days) however, that's the deal.
People will always be taller/thinner/richer etc but you are you.
Write a list of things that bother you, cross off the things you don't control and forget about them, then concentrate on what you can control. Pick the easy stuff first and work through it. You'll be surprised how quick you can get through it.
As for others, wish them well but let them worry about themselves.
Don't be hard on yourself,you would be amazed how many people struggle behind "easypeasy" mask.You never find out how hard it is until you start talking about it,then it turns out nearly everybody has the problem with something.
No one is able to predict how the labour is going to turn out.I bet every woman would like to have it as easy as possible and not medically managed with some tools being stuck up her private bits.
Dark side of breastfeeding:cracked nipples,mastitis,child not putting weight,colic,cluster feeding and child attached to your boobs sometimes 24/7 (or so it seems).Formula is not the work of the devil and not bf your child doesn't make you a bad mother.
Waking up every few hours is pretty normal,I don't believe that every one of your friends has an angelic baby sleeping through the night.
Separation-do you socialise with your baby?How much is your DH involved?Let him engage with bath/bedtime so your DS sees him as equal to you.Baby changes the dynamics of relationship hell of a lot.
Weight issue-start with small steps.Cut down on high carb snacks (crisps,chocolate),go for a walk with DS as much as you can-fresh air might help your DS to sleep a bit better and you'll get some excersize
away from fridge and cupboards
Don't feel like a failure because you're not.And stop comparing yourself-you'll always end up feeling worse to your
not so superior friends.
Enjoy your healthy baby and being lucky enough to become a mother-some people aren't so fortunate.
Chin up and try to see the glass half full instead of half empty-it really makes a difference.
Good luck,Happy New Year
You're doing fine I bet! I have a 12 year old and a nearly six month old, I'm currently stressing about weaning as I don't know what the feck I'm doing, and yet I have a normally eating pre teen who I got through this stage with! I know it seems bad now, but you'll be ok, honest.
If it helps, my sister feels exactly the same Her baby is almost 11 months old and she almost imploded in the week before Christmas whilst reading some friends Facebook bits and looking at the photos some of them had posted - all cuddly and Christmassy and baking with little bits of flour on their nose.
I've had three births tbh they all hurt like hell and I didn't enjoy a single minute of them, although the pain of giving birth did give me some relief from the constant vomiting the whole way through each pregnancy. Dd2 was also a dreadful, dreadful sleeper. Some days you've just get through. You're not jealous as much as feckin' knackered. Take care xx
I would have been intensely jealous of you had we been friends and my ds younger, simply for the fact that you have a significant other. I raised ds alone from pregnancy and used to be intensely and bitterly jealous of every two parent family. I'm not now but my point is that envy is a wasted emotion as there will always be someone worst off and better off than you, and a lot of it is just down to our own perception of people's lives rather than the reality
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