Can't tell if IABU or should get over myself(32 Posts)
I have 2 DS, DS1 3years and DS2 4 months. I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder, currently off medication due to complicated reasons I won't go into (unless I need to later).
I don't feel depressed, or manic. But I feel like I'm really struggling to be a mother. I can't cope with how tired I feel all the time. The boys go to bed at 7pm, we dream feed DS2 at 11, then sometimes he wakes in the night for feed, sometimes he goes through until 6.30am. Which I know I should count my blessings for, and it could (and has been) much worse. But the other week, before we came to MILs for Christmas, I was so tired I felt like I couldn't go on anymore. I've just had a full blood test done and everything was ok, except my white blood cells which were too high, even though I don't have a virus or anything.
I'm terrified of my boys, of spending time with them. I dread the days when it's my turn to get up with them, I just don't know how to occupy DS1, and DS2 just cries all the time. Everyone says it's the early days that are the hardest, and I read about how people struggle with their newborns, but I was seriously fine earlier on, it's only now I'm struggling. I feel like interacting with them is hard work. I think I love them, I try my hardest with DS1 especially, lots of cuddles and bedtime stories and telling him I love him, but all I can think about is running away.
I've been reading a thread on here where posters told the OP that that's just parenthood, get used to it. And I can't. I wasn't meant to be a mother, DS1 was an accident, and I was barely coping with him, so why the fuck did I agree to have another child. DH goes back to work on Friday and I'm dreading it. This is my last night at MILs and I could cry. She never bothers to visit us, we have to travel to her, and it's too far to do it every weekend.
I know I just need to get on with it, but I find myself obsessed with stories of mums who couldn't cope, and (this is awful I know, I'm disgusted with myself) almost admiring mums like Charlotte Bevan, who managed to escape it all. The only thing that stops me from walking out is thinking how angry DH would be with me, he wouldn't have sympathy, and how he would struggle to work full time and pay childcare costs.
But I'm just a shit mum compared to my other friends. I don't sew, or make clothes, I try to bake once a week with DS, I get overwhelmed with cooking and often dinner is just freezer food. I love DS1, I just feel like DS2 was a massive mistake.
I was up till 3am last night reading the "does anyone else regret having children" thread in mental health, and just thinking how much I do.
You need to go back to your doctor and tell them all this. You could have PND or your medication for bipolar may need adjusting. My niece is bipolar and her meds make her terribly tired and lethargic. She kept falling asleep at work and started self-harming. She's fine now on different tablets.
I'm so sorry you feel so low. Please make an appointment and get help and support. Have you any friend in rl who could listen and be there for you through this? Hoping you'll feel better soon
I'm not going to tell you to get over yourself- being a mum is hard, especially when the kids are so little.
I think you need to talk to someone irl.
No, I don't think you need to get over yourself.
I think you do need to speak to your gp though, as well as your partner about how you're feeling right now. Is there a reason you can't be on your medication at the moment?
Also as an aside - so what if you're not an amazing cook and use freezer food, it's still food. Btw I can't sew, make clothes or bake and probably never will do any of those things. As long as shops still open I'm sure both you and I will been fine without those particular skills.
I am no expert, but I think you sound depressed and overwhelmed. I second that you should go to the doctor to discuss it.
I am sure you are not a shit mum, but you are clearly seriously struggling at the moment.
Not all of us take naturally to motherhood. I wouldn't say I did. I wondered if I had done the right thing and what I had let myself in for.
You need as much support as you can get. Is your husband supportive? You make some suggestion he lacks some empathy??
It sounds like life is hard for you, there are a lot of demands on you so it's normal to find that difficult. I think some of the feelings you're having are more than you should have to bear. Please get some help.
You need help and to set yourself small achievable targets. TBH getting through each day with the dc looked after is an achievement - it is very hard even for those people without added health difficulties.
Have you got a CPN?
What was wrong with Hatespiders post? Seems nothing other than sympathetic to me.
Please go back to your GP.
You don't sound selfish or like a shit mother, you sound like a loving mother who is depressed.
The relapse rate postnatally in bipolar can be as high as 50%, please go and see your GP.
You are a good mum as you recognise all this and started this thread - that's v responsible imo
I too think tiredness is a sign of depression/new parent goto to GP.
Please please forget about seeing n baking I don't know anyone who does this with newborn! Lower your standards a bit here..,cbeebies is fine, it's healthy for a child to explore and learn to play by you not always with you.
Concentrate on basics, wash, dress and eat. One tiny step at a time. Best wishes it is hard but harder if you are poorly. It's ok to feel how you do but it will pass with help.
I saw absolutely nothing wrong with ihatespiders post MammaTJ. It was a very supportive post!
OP I agree with Ihatespiders post! go back to your GP as perhaps they can prescribe a different medication for you.
What on earth do you see wrong with spiders post Mamma?
Without knowing you and your illness it's hard to tell if it's your Bipolar or the start of PND. The home after birth leaves women extremely vulnerable to PND for a variety of reasons and I would imagine as someone with a diagnosed mental health condition your health care professionals will be keeping a closer eye on you. Do they advise you not to be on any medication for your Bipolar? Either way talj go them.
I see you have withdrawn your post Mamma, I'm still curious what you read we all didn't!
Oh god, you're being too hard on yourself! I promise you, I never managed to bake with my eldest when DD2 was a baby. Microwave meals are fine if that is what you need.
At that age, if you end the day and everybody is fed and clothes are sort of clean-ish, then you win at parenting. If you manage a bath you're going above and beyond, and if you actually leave the house with the children then you get a gold star.
You're doing fine. It will get better and the love will come. One day you will actually be able to sit down with a cup of tea, having had a reasonable night's sleep and a shower. And it will feel like heaven.
My 4mo hasn't been feeding well and actually lost weight at one point, dropped from 50th to 0.4th centile. So GP advised waking him up every 3 hours through the night to feed him, which I did for a bit. I found I coul cope with the tiredness my meds made me (chlorpromazine- used as a sedative on mh wards) so I stopped. Consultant wants me back on lithium which I was on before I got pregnant, but my white blood cells are too high to start it, and I need an ECG first, and obviously it's difficult getting in to the doctors because of the time of year and we've been away for Xmas, so I've been given some diazepam to see me through until I can start the lithium.
I have a cpn, and a lovely GP. But I do feel like I'm having an episode, definitely not manic anyway, because im nowhere near the crisis point I've been at before. I'm mostly worried that this isn't illness, I'm just not meant to be a mum, and no matter how hard I try I'm going to fail.
Is it even possible to have PND at 4 months, all I read on here is mums who have it in the early weeks. dS2 is now 18 weeks old, and it doesn't feel any easier
Agree with whothehellknows, as long as children's basic needs (being fed and kept more or less clean) are met and they feel loved then everything else is just icing, IYKWIM. Honestly, the current obsession with motherhood and being a perfect mother is ridiculous. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, that way misery lies.
You sound as if you are doing your absolute best but are overwhelmed and very, very, tired. If you can, talk to your GP or midwife or even a friend. Also try contacting your local SureStart, they may be able to send a volunteer for a few hours a week, someone who can offer practical help or just a sympathetic ear.
I was 35 when I had my first, very much wanted PFB and I found it very, very hard . I had a supportive DH (though no family close by) had no money worries, lived in nice house, had a car . I still think I would have had a breakdown without the support of the friend I met at ante- natal classes. I did not have real PND but I think I was mildly depressed as motherhood wasn't what I had expected -it was such a grind in many ways (I'd left a job I loved). I would advise trying to meet other mums in your situation . Ones with similar aged children, who live within walking distance and don't care if your house is a mess and you serve instant coffee and shop-bought biscuits . I joined a Mother and Toddler group and it helped .
I had a second DD nearly four years later-I had two miscarriages in between . On reflection, the bigger gap was probably a blessing in disguise . A four m old and a three year is a lot to cope with . No wonder you are tired . I agree with whothehellknows. But I do urge you to go back to your GP . If they aren't helpful, they may be someone else in the practice ? Or a Health Visitor/Community Midwife?
Though you've not posted a lot, the tone and - I don't know - just something about your posts - I think this is related to the BP. I think you wouldn't feel so bad if your medication was sorted, and that this is an episode of sorts.
I have BP, and I can totally empathise. I wish I had more advice but I think your best place to start is speaking to your docs
Did you have to stop the lithium because of your pregnancy? My there are other mood stabilisers around although as you have a Consultant and they want to restart your lithium I would presume that's the plan. Although there are definite hormonal influences on PND I also dislike this obsession to be "perfect" Mother material and the stress thus can place on new Mums. And yes PND can strike months and months after birth. I really do think you need to talk about how you are feeling.
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