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IABTotallyU... Flame away, get me a grip

(71 Posts)
WeAreSix Sat 14-Sep-13 08:36:09

I've woken up in the vilest of moods. Grumpy, snappy, want to hide from the world and not see or speak to anyone.

DH in particular is winding me up. I just want him to STFU and leave me alone to fester.

My defence is that I'm exhaused. I feel like I'm sitting on the edge of everything, ready to tip over into a breakdown. DD4 is 13mo and doesn't sleep unless I co-sleep and then she will sleep 2 -4 hours.

DH is a sleepwalker which is brought on by over-tiredness and stress. He's been sleeping in the spare room for months, we've slept in the same bed a handful of times in the last year, but since the last night terror when he punched me the move seems permanent. It has to be like this while DD co-sleeps but it also means he's sleeping full nights while I deal with DD and the other DCs who always come to me in the night if they've had bad dream etc.

If I'm honest I'm jealous of the amount he gets to sleep while I'm surviving on bog all, I've been up since 6am with the DCs as he's 'tired from stressful week at work'.

Please give me a good shake, snap me out of this shitty mood, give me a grip etc. I chose to be a mummy, this is what I signed up for...

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 17-Sep-13 11:36:33

Good idea, see your GP, it could be that PND has built up. Or you simply need more sleep and things with DH piled on the pressure. Best to address this before new job starts, anyway.

WeAreSix Tue 17-Sep-13 11:16:16

I hope so too, Donkeys.

It's so easy to get caught up in life, worries, anger. And forget to talk to each other.

I think I've slipped down the PND road without realising I'm there (again, had PND after DD1) so I need to address that, too.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 17-Sep-13 11:07:18

I really hope things have turned the corner for you. Thanks for the update.

ModeratelyObvious Tue 17-Sep-13 10:58:32

Sounds good.

WeAreSix Tue 17-Sep-13 10:38:05

I wanted to come back to this thread, with a positive update.

On Saturday he took the DCs out and gave me some space. Much needed. We had a good long chat in the evening, and he really listened. He didn't realise how often DD had been waking in the night, and said he felt awful that once again his sleep problems are causing an issue between us (by being in a separate room).

Since then he has set his alarm an hour early so that he is awake for as soon as DD wakes, so he can take her and I can go back to sleep for an hour in the morning. I didn't ask him to do this, so he clearly understood that I need to sleep more than I have been.

He has made an appointment to see our GP to discuss the sleep study again, go over the suggestions the clinic made and to ask about an alternative to the heavy night sedation. He is also going to try and get out for a run in the evenings as exercise can also help with the sleep and obviously stress reduction. Again, I didn't ask him to do this. He wants to get it sorted as much as I do.

With regards to going back to work, we need me to go back to earn. He will not be able to reduce hours in his current role. While we were talking though, he said that he feels that he has missed the early years with the older DCs and hates that he is missing out still. Our conversation was interrupted (thanks DD4!), but we are going to talk again to look at his hours, my hours, potential for change so that he can spend more time with the DCs, hopefully more time as a family and to go over our income / outgoings once again so that we aren't wasting any money.

I listened to him, too, and heard things that I didn't realise were problems for him. I'm glad we talked, and I'm sure that we can get through this together.

Thanks again for all of the advice.

BoozyBear Sun 15-Sep-13 16:57:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crushedintherush Sun 15-Sep-13 16:43:26

Hi op, I don't have children so not in a position really to give advice, but why is your dh saying you have to go back to work? Is it because he'll be able to reduce his hours f you do?

How many hours will you be working? (sorry, not read all the thread).

Maybe by sharing the working hours/childcare/housework like this, you'd both be better off as dh will be less tired, so thetefore able to help you.

Tell me to shut up if I don't know what I'm talking about, but its just a thought, from the outside looking in xxx

sameoldIggi Sun 15-Sep-13 14:44:48

He won't take the meds because of side effects - hangover type feeling & possible lack of concentration in the days. Neither are acceptable at work.

I don't think from the sound of this he is doing a construction/driving/pilot type job, though could obviously be wrong. And to be honest, if the alternative for potentially harming my spouse and dcs, I'd be taking the meds and looking for another, more appropriate line of work. I don't think he is viewing his condition very seriously - and as the OP picks up the slack, probably doesn't affect him too much.

Andro Sun 15-Sep-13 13:58:06

What if he experiences very few side effects?

It's not just side effects, for some jobs just having these meds in his system would be enough to prevent him doing his job (on safety grounds). Many of these medications take over 24 hours to completely clear a person's system (some far longer); even if the person in question were experiencing no clear effect, company insurance could well be void in the event of an accident/incident.

RevoltingPeasant Sun 15-Sep-13 13:50:03

OP,may I ask what your DH does? If he is a surgeon I can see he could not possibly feel poorly at work. But I have a quite stressful long hours professional job, and the parents of young DC I work with are often v sleep deprived and just need to get on with it. I mean, can't he even try the meds to see how bad the effect is on him?

If not, agree with others that you simply must make some compromise about him getting up. The PP suggestion that you get him to go to bed early and get up early is great.

And listen.... This is going to sound way harsh but.... My friend has a baby with a dairy allergy. She's ff but now they've found this allergy. Baby spits out all the milk alternatives they have found. But friend has no choice as dairy based stuff makes her ill. So the baby fussed for a while and then dealt with it. I know it sounds nasty but if you were tough about it you probably could wean here and get more sleep.

Tough choice, though x

sameoldIggi Sat 14-Sep-13 22:48:41

I don't understand him not trying the meds, sorry. What if he experiences very few side effects? He will never know. We're not talking about him snoring or talking in his sleep, we're talking about him punching and shaking you, and pinning your dd up behind a bed. I would try anything to make sure I never frightened my partner and dcs like that sad not sure why he can't risk being off the ball at work for a month to see how it goes.

ModeratelyObvious Sat 14-Sep-13 22:34:01

If someone knew I'd been up half the night and tried to help out by hoovering, of all chores, I would have got very shouty.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 14-Sep-13 22:04:10

Ooh, that was long! Your posts have awoken a couple of soapbox issues I find I need to air every couple of months!

lottiegarbanzo Sat 14-Sep-13 22:02:34

I've come back because I think there's some real unfairness here, it's bothered me and I want to emphasise that point to you - to show YANBU and share a couple of thoughts.

1) You both chose to have children. Not just you.

2) Is there anything stopping your DH from going to bed early, to make sure he gets plenty of sleep?

3) Why, really, apart from preference, could your DH not do the 6-7am shift with the children every day? Then he goes to bed at 10pm, gets a great night's sleep while you deal with the dcs but you get that hour (or more if poss) respite in the morning when you know you can doze.

I understand he works long hours but, depending when he leaves the house, if it's a while after some children are awake, he could cover some time each morning. That could make a real difference to how you feel. Knowing you're 'free' and won't be interrupted, even for a short time, is a really important thing to be able to look forward to, psychologically.

Whatever the weekday constraints, he can definitely do this at the weekend, for a longer time, say 6-9 or 10am. He can always nap in the afternoon. Or, he sleeps in on Saturday to recover from his week, then takes over at 9am, when you go back to bed for three hours and he takes the early shift on Sunday.

4) Following that point, it's the relentlessness of sleep deprivation, caused by the unpredictability of disruption, that makes it torture, literally. You NEED time to yourself to look forward to, a tiny oasis of predictability and control, to stay sane. Time to sleep and some waking 'me time' every week.

5) Once you've slept a bit, you'll have more energy to tackle the dcs' sleep issues. it will suddenly seem a lot more possible.

Ok, that's the practical stuff. Two hobby horse 'what is wrong with some people?' points:

1) You haven't quite said as much but convey that he thinks that, because of his stressful job, he has a right to sleep well during the week. Right? What right? Bestowed by whom? Following what negotiation with the person who has to service that 'right'?

It's the same issue as some people believing that because they work hard they 'deserve' dinner on the table and their feet up all evening. Dinner has to be cooked by someone. If you are parents, one of you has to do the night shift. These 'rights' cannot be plucked from the air and bestowed by fairies, just because one person feels they've done their bit. If you're single and you don't cook or buy dinner, you don't eat, however hard you've worked. If you're a single parent, or any parent without a house-slave, you sometimes get woken up at night or early in the morning, however hard you've worked. It can be hard and it isn't ideal but all sorts of people in responsible jobs live with it. If it's really, really essential that you sleep well before every day's work, you have a big negotiation to go through with your partner and need to offer a lot of what they want and the family needs (not just what you're most willing to offer) in compensation.

2) Where in hell does this idea that working people work 9-5 , 8-6 or whatever, yet SAHMs work or are on call 24/7 come from? It's nuts!

You both work during work and commuting hours. During evenings and weekends, or whatever time off the WOHP's shifts allow, you split the childcare, housework, leisure and family time equally. Obviously! How is anything else fair? How?

SeaSickSal Sat 14-Sep-13 21:29:11

I feel really sorry for both of you. I think the best thing to do is for him to take the children for some time during the day to allow you to catch up on your sleep.

The night terrors thing really isn't his fault. But he does need to work to help you get some rest at other times.

WeAreSix Sat 14-Sep-13 21:26:05

No, he hasn't tried the meds. I can see why, and I'm not sure I'd want to either. He needs to be fully alert and orientated for work, and he'd also be unrousable at night, which neither of us were comfortable with.

We need to find a happy medium. I am scared of sleeping with him - the punches, being shaken, him being terrified and inconsolable - it's shit for both of us. At least it doesn't happen every night.

The older DC have good bedtime routines. The eldest rarely wakes in the night. DC2 occasionally has nightmares and settles fairly quickly with a cuddle and reassurance. DC3 is autistic - usually fantastic at night but takes longer to settle. The other night the smoke alarms were beeping which sent her into meltdown. It's just Sod's law that if / when they wake up its when I've just settled the baby and I'm falling asleep!

I know I need to address getting the youngest to sleep properly. I just need to summon the energy to do it!

Thanks again everyone. The honesty and advice is appreciated and taken on board.

Gossipmonster Sat 14-Sep-13 21:02:59

Having been a single mum to 3 (since birth of 3rd) and to be cruel to be kind it sounds like you need to be much stricter about bedtime routines with the older DC (ie: they do not cone into your bed in the night) and maybe it's time DD4 went in her own room/out of yours?

Also your "D" H sounds like he needs a kick up the arse.

Good luck x

sameoldIggi Sat 14-Sep-13 20:59:14

Have just RTT to check if OP's DH has actually tried the meds, and found they made it too hard to work, or just decided from hearing the possible side effects that he couldn't take them.
It does seem that he has just opted out of trying to fix things or change them. Even when all the dcs are sleeping through the night (and I wish my 16 month old would stop co-sleeping if I just shushed/patted him!) the problem of the OP being scared of sleeping with her husband will remain.

WeAreSix Sat 14-Sep-13 20:42:55

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I have spoken to DH today, not sure he quite gets it but he did take all DCs out for a while this afternoon so at least I've had a bit of a break.

Tomorrow is a new day <fingers crossed emoticon>

SunshineMMum Sat 14-Sep-13 17:32:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 14-Sep-13 17:24:19

He definitely needs to get up early at least one day at the weekend, while you go back to sleep for a few hours.

Milk - have you tried expressing? Then you can mix breast milk with formula in increasing ratio, so she gradually accepts it, if you want to make that move. Worked for us. Dd also rejected formula on its own at first.

DorothyMantooth Sat 14-Sep-13 17:03:13

YADNBU. I only have one almost 6-month old, and last month found myself becoming exhausted, irrational and frantic because I was doing all of the night wakings (BFing) and taking all responsbility for housework, studying for a masters and trying to organise a house move. My fault, as I am quite the control freak, and I didn't want to bother DH who is having a stressful time with his work (for which he needs to be fully alert and intellectually active). I finally had a bit of a hissy fit and said I couldn't cope, and DH immediately insisted on taking over most of the housework and now gets up with DD when she wakes at 6 every morning, allowing me an extra hour in bed. It's not much in terms of time and doesn't really make a dent in the sleep I'm losing, but since we've started this I have felt so much more able to cope. Maybe it's just having that little bit of time to just do what I want (sleep), but really I think it's just knowing that we're in it together. Couldn't DH do the morning stuff until he needs to get ready for work, even just for the baby? How old are your other kids? Are they able to get themselves dressed? Could DH sort out their breakfast so that you can have half an hour to sleep/take a long shower?

I don't think this is just a practical problem though, it is concerning that your DH isn't more prepared to put himself out to support you. What would he think about some kind of relationship counselling? Maybe he'd reflect more on your situation if he was talking to a third, independent person?

Andro Sat 14-Sep-13 14:25:24

He won't take the meds?

He was offered something to help with the night terrors but he declined?

I obviously don't know what job OP's DH does, but there are some jobs where taking sedatives would make work unsafe. Depending on the sedative, it can take many hours for the active metabolite to clear a person's system (some of the benzodiazepines for example can take over 15 hours for half the active metabolite to be excreted) - driving/using heavy machinery/anything where rapid reactions are needed would be potentially dangerous.

watchingout Sat 14-Sep-13 14:00:26

Weekends are made up of two potential lie-ins. So that's one each. Simple.

And eventually, when DC are bigger, you get back to sharing BOTH lie-ins with your DH

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Sat 14-Sep-13 13:48:32

YANBU, WeAreSix. Lack of sleep makes even the most rational of us crazy and I was never that calm to start with and you are grappling with small children, long days and your DH's problems. Even without your DH's sleep issues, you'd have had a lot on your plate. Xxx

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