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to hope that life with a newborn improves at some point?

(22 Posts)
trian Fri 08-Jan-16 17:23:50

background: I've just had a baby in the last 2 months. For many years, I've been trying to have a family and unfortunately have had to do so on my own, and without much support as circumstances have got in the way of me building a good support network. We've both been ill since she's been born and I'm still undergoing treatment for the same thing. I'm not really able to breastfeed tho I want to so I'm a slave to the bottle regime. There are additional things in my life that a new mum doesn't normally have to contend with. My life is a daily slog of not being able to get done the stuff I need to, and not be able to spend hardly any quality time with my daughter. There are people that would help me but those I know well aren't helpful/don't want to help/are horrible so I don't want them helping. Those I don't know well would probably be great but this involves me finding the energy to ask for help from them (which I'm crap at).
question: does it get any better? I'm worried it's just going to get worse as she starts to move and stays awake more in the day, as then I just won't have ANY time to get anything done and I'll be frazzled trying to keep an eye on her.
I love her dearly but to be honest, I barely have chance to feel that emotion even tho it's there. I know one day she's going to be old enough to understand "in a minute, mummy just needs to make dinner" but I'm wondering how I'm going to survive to that point.

AnnaT45 Fri 08-Jan-16 17:28:58

Firstly congratulations! Secondly it's totally normally to feel this way. I know people who have had varying levels of support and everyone struggles. A newborn baby is so hard as you have very little time to do anything. I promise it does get better, I think about five it six months for me but even just each week before then. I found two months really tough you've come down from the high of giving birth and you're just left with the daily struggle! I also don't think I really bonded till 3 months. We were both poorly too and I felt a bit numb as was so tired.
Things that may help are online good shopping, asking a friend to sit and watch the baby for an hour so you can crack on. People truly don't mind and wouldn't offer if they did. Do you have a partner?sending you a hug it does get better, hang on in there thanks

GnomeDePlume Fri 08-Jan-16 17:32:40

I dont know your personal circumstances but my experience from a low start with an emergency c-section then PND was:

Yes, it does get better.

I am sure that lots of people will be on with proper constructive advice but I just wanted to say that.

It gets better. You get better at it. The things which just seem like hard work at the moment become second nature. You will start to get into routines. They will change as you and your baby change but they will come along.

StillMedusa Fri 08-Jan-16 17:33:43

It gets better..honestsmile I found about 4 months was the turning point... mine all settled a little (though nights were still tough) and tbh it took me that long to bond with them too! Til then I was numb and brain dead with exhaustion!

Pare it down to the bare essentials.. you are both fed, washed as often as necessary and the rest can wait! And ignore any of the 'poster mother' glowing ads where mothers look glorious and are gently smiling at their newborn while packpacking across the himalayas... most of us with new borns look like crap, and feel like crap and wonder what the hell happened!!!

Hang in there!

Bunbaker Fri 08-Jan-16 17:36:56

Yes it does get better. At the time it doesn't feel like it, but I found that telling myself that 6 month from now things won't be the same helped a lot.

DD had some scary medical issues so I know how it feels to feel so overwhelmed. Luckily I had a very supportive health visitor who bent over backwards to find extra support for me.

IJustLostTheGame Fri 08-Jan-16 17:36:59

I wasn't single and I still found it unrelentlessly tough. Babies are. People told me it gets easier and believe me, it does. But at the time I was struggling with taking it one day at a time.

The first few months are about survival. If both of you are warm and fed, that's enough.

Don't set yourself any limits or a to do list.
Ways I survived:
Put dd in a bouncy chair in the bathroom so I could have a shower.
Bought a travel mug to keep my tea hot.
Got a wrap so I could hold her and hoover (rarely)
Got a secondhand jumperoo. Dd went in it from about 4 months. That was a GODSEND.

Joined nice baby groups. A problem shared and all that. We were all exhausted messes together.
Dd didn't like being put down AT ALL. I had a sleepless velcro baby so our house was a tip for 6 months and we lived on rushed ready meals.
We survived.
You will.

I love it now. They start to get really funny.

goodnightdarthvader1 Fri 08-Jan-16 17:37:14

I'm due mid-Feb. From what I hear, yep, it's a mindfuck at first, but does get better.

One thing I would say is that, again based on stories from others, if you were breastfeeding, you'd feel like even more of "slave to the routine"!

blueturtle6 Fri 08-Jan-16 20:38:49

Hello congratulations on your baby, I have to say I have an almost 4 month old and the last month has been much much easier, she is developing and interacting so feel like I'm not just looking after a very high maintenance doll. It'll get better very soon in the mean time cake xx

Dollymixtureyumyum Fri 08-Jan-16 20:57:06

Oh love don't be so hard on yourself . flowers
I remember locking myself in the bathroom at about your stage and crying over and over "what have I done". Thinking I just want my life back. In fact if someone had come along and offered him a good home and would love him I would have seriously considered it. I felt that bad.
These feeling will prob not go away at once but they will get less and less and the better moments more and more until one day you will think "I haven't thought once today about how good my life was before".
It helps as baby responds more to you and does more things. Especially the smiles and the laughs.
He is two now and yes there are days when I tear my hair out and it's still hard but I wouldn't want to go back to before.
Hang in there it gets better I promise

Diggum Fri 08-Jan-16 21:09:08

It gets MUCH better. I felt like I was beginning to come up for air at 3-4 months

Prior to that I felt like I'd been handed baby, and the two of us put into a little boat with no oars and gently floated out to sea. It's so lonely and isolating and such a massive weight of responsibility. And I had a DP and pretty great family support. So it must be even more magnified for you.

Now, DD is 20 months and such a joy to be with. It just got progressively better and better- well, with little detours for teething and sleep regressions.

Seriously, you are sooooo not alone in feeling this way. You are doing amazingly to just stay afloat for now. You'll feel like you've been given back some oars in a few more weeks and suddenly one day you'll realise the outboard motor's been running nicely for a while now and life is good.

In the meantime don't be afraid to ask those "nice people who you haven't mustered the energy to ask yet" to help you out! You need a breather. New babies are relentless.

Congrats and be kind to yourself. flowers

ApplesinmyPocket Fri 08-Jan-16 21:20:49

I remember walking the bedroom in the small hours, patting the back of a fretful newborn, looking out into total darkness as everyone around me slept and the absolute despair of 'I've made a terrible mistake. This isn't what I thought it would be, I wasn't ready for this...'

By 6 months the baby is a little person, you understand them better, they smile at you, they laugh, they don't cry so much, they take interest in things other than you and getting fed NOW this minute.

Fast forward not too long and they're off to nursery and then school.

Mine are now grown-up and my best friends, I can't imagine life without my two lovely girls, but I still haven't forgotten those dire, dark, early weeks of despair before they were really them, just two squirmy tiny strangers.

Take heart. Hang in there. Honestly, hand on heart, it gets better. There are still busy times to come and tough things to face along the way, but in my experience, it gets ever better.


VikingLady Fri 08-Jan-16 21:23:35

Baby groups at children's centres are good, if you can get out of the house. The staff and other parents are often panting to hold a small baby for a while, and you can have a cuppa and a chat to other parents in similar circumstances. It stops you feeling like the only person in the world who isn't shitting rainbows and glittery kittens over their new life/baby.

And I second the advice to get jumperoo, door bouncers and anything else you can put them in! If you've got the money you can get a rocking baby chair that's battery powered and plays a tinkly tune that almost all babies love to sleep in.

Congratulations on your new baby though, and it DOES get better. You're still recovering from pregnancy and birth, physically and hormonally. It can take s while to get back on an even keel, and it sounds like your personal circumstances aren't helping.

Ramanama Fri 08-Jan-16 21:39:49

You are at the worst stage. It gets so much easier at about 4 months and then just more rewarding and enjoyable. Go easy on yourself and remember - you are in charge. There isn't a right and wrong way of doing things and you and your daughter will find your own way. My son is now 11 and I am lying in bed while he is downstairs fixing my website!

urterriblemuriel Fri 08-Jan-16 21:53:21

Sorry to hear you are feeling like this and I can confidently say IT WILL GET EASIER AND BETTER! I was 31 when I had DC1 and after the initial couple of days when I felt utter happiness, hated it until about 3-4 months and that was with lots of support from DH, DM and MIL. DC had bad colic, only slept about 10 hours a day (instead of this supposed 15-18 hours), cried ALOT and fed every 2 hours (thus giving me terribly sore nips until I broke them in at around 12 weeks).

You said that you waited a number of years to become a mum so I guess you may be in your 30's at least. Whilst we are more mature, financially secure etc we are also very used to only having ourselves to think about, doing what we want when we want and having means to do so. I found that losing control was prob the hardest thing. Simple basic matters like going to the loo, being able to get some food, having time to shower was all of a sudden at the hands of this tiny being and being showered by midday was an achievement. At about 12 weeks they started to show signs of a routine regarding sleeping and eating, which meant I started to know where we were at and I could start confidently leaving the house. I found keeping a diary of feed, sleep, unsettled times helped me see how far we came over the weeks.

In the meantime, as others suggested could someone come around for an hour or two just you give you a little break? My HV gave me some good advice and said if ever it gets really bad and you need 5 mins, just leave the baby somewhere safe and fed e.g Moses basket indoors, make a cuppa and walk to the end of the garden (ideally where you cannot hear them cry) and take a breather. Also, are there any new mums groups you can go to? I'm sure most of the others will relate to how you are feeling. It will take time to adjust, but in time you will and the bond will grow stronger.

eleanoralice1 Fri 08-Jan-16 21:57:56

It does get better! But it's so testing at times, isn't it? I brought a sling and have my little one on me for most of the day as he will not be put down, and I, like most mothers, still want to get all the jobs done. Would that be an option for you? It's been a life saver for me, he can nap, have a look around and be close to me and I can keep myself sane! Stay strong!

Geraniumred Fri 08-Jan-16 22:20:37

It gets better. Don't worry about bonding. If fact don't worry about anything except surviving. Don't be afraid to ask for specified help from individuals. it gets easier, a routine emerges and it become, bit by bit, less scary.

revealall Fri 08-Jan-16 23:57:41

Ok but what did you think it would be? I would say you have another year or two of misery ( if you hate routine) and then yes it gets better.
You will have to do hard slog for a few years but be very sure it does end. Like everyone else you will have a toddler , a schoolchild, a tween, a teenager and a young adult.
Just live in the moment and then in 10 years you will know why everyone says it goes quickly despite it feeling like Groundhog Day at the momement ...

Mmmmcake123 Sat 09-Jan-16 00:11:36

Have you worked out the quickest and easiest way to prep milk and do you have a warmer next to your bed?

Definitely gets much better, turned round for me at around 3months.

trian Sat 09-Jan-16 17:38:43

thanks everyone, that's gives me hope. I knew it would be hard was sensible enough not to have expectations of how hard. can't do sling, still recovering from c section. There r lots of other tings I could say in response but she's wriggling too much so thanks again and bye!!!!! xxx

yorkshapudding Sat 09-Jan-16 18:50:32

I haven't RTFT so sorry if it's been mentioned but have you thought about investing in a Perfect Prep Machine. Like you, I had planned on BF but had to FF for reasons beyond my control so hadn't anticipated having to FAFF around with bottles and found it a real drag. The Perfect Prep was a godsend, especially for night feeds when you're completely exhausted. Well worth every penny.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sat 09-Jan-16 19:11:07

It does get better as your child's needs changes.

Do you have enough money to get a cleaner in. I wish I did when my DC was babies.

trian Sat 09-Jan-16 21:23:30

yorkshapudding I thought about perfect prep but the official youtube video says you put a sterilised bottle in it. I thought the point was that it sterilised it for you but apparently not? :-( it sterilises the powder but not the bottle. skint so not sure if I should get one.

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