To ask how you cope with stress without breaking things(38 Posts)
or ripping out handfuls of your own hair
I'm not depressed or particularly highly-strung but since my DS was born 7months ago I find it hard to stay calm.
I keep starting rows with DH over little things. There is an endless amount of things to do and not enough time each day.
How do you stay calm under pressure?
Do you get out?
Do you get adequate sleep?
Do you get time to your self?
Is your dh pulling his weight?
Make lists and then I don't have to actively think about the jobs just work through them as and when I have time.
Reduce the chances of getting stressed first off, regularly getting out for a walk, a child free hour, fresh air and help with house work/ childcare.
When actually stressed, go for a walk, get out (with children or without). Talk to DH, I tell him I'm getting stressed, why and what he can do to help.
Thanks for your help
I get out every day (walks, baby classes, coffee with friends etc)
I have a cleaner fortnightly but try to keep on top of it in between. DH regards housework as my job (I'm on Mat leave) though he puts his own plates into dishwasher and takes bins out.
I get time to myself when baby naps though that's usually on me so I'm limited to reading or playing with phone. He's a typical velcro baby and will only manage 5-10mins at a time in bouncer. I get a few hours to myself at weekends while DH watches him but I'm usually catching up on cleaning, laundry etc or taking a nap. Same on week nights, he's in bed by 8pm but I'm then cooking/making weaning food/catching up on jobs.
I get about 6hours of (broken) sleep each night. He wakes every 2-3hours for feed.
Should I ask GP for medication to help with stress?
id say it's not stress its sleep deprivation
Puts his own plates in the dishwasher? What about yours?
It sounds as if your DH is not doing enough tbh. I'd get a weekly cleaner for a start. But your DH should definitely be doing the dishwasher and daily clearing up.
Sounds like sleep deprivation to me - so no I wouldn't ask your gp for medication. Will reply more later but didn't want to read and run. But sounds like you need to start extending your sleep at night. What's babys weight like? Do they need all the night feeds?
And . Sleep deprivation is shit. But it won't last forever.
Sleep deprivation. Twice a week you need to go to bed super early. Or even when baby does.
Also work on dropping one night feed. You can do a trick of taking baby off the boob a minute sooner than normal or reduce the formula by an ounce every night to get then used to smaller feeds. Tackle just one feed first. You can resettle by cuddling etc.
I go for a walk, take a bath if I can.
If I can't do either of those things I either lock myself in the loo for five minutes or, if I'm really stressed, I bury my head in the sofa and shout!
I'm like this too. When I'm angry or just wound up I end up closing the kitchen door and just pull at my hair, scratch my arms, silently scream and wait to calm down. Sleep deprivation is hideous and you can't underestimate its effect on you. I did (and still do) all the nights with my Ds still feel like I'm catching up on sleep 3 years on!
Baby groups were a life saver at this stage. Everyone is in it together there and gets how you feel.
Urgh. Just wrote a long rambling reply and the stupid internet went down when I tried to post. 😡
Sleep deprivation is a killer. You are doing amazingly well to be surviving on what you are. Sort DSs sleep out. Lots of advice of different threads about how to do this (or ask here)..., but at 7 months you need to try to get DS going through the night. That would make you feel so much better. And sort naps out so that DS is napping in a cot, not on you so you have nap time to do the jobs you need to do.
Then give yourself something you do away from the house, to deal with stress. For me it's swimming. A half hour swim calms me down so I'm ready to get back to it. I go when I can - usually twice a week.
How do you drop a night feed? He feeds for 20-30mins each time. He can self-soothe to sleep in cot so I put him in awake after feeds. I'd love to get him sleeping through, do you think he's feeding out of habit?
I have a bald patch hidden under hair where I rip handfuls out when stressed
That's a long time for a feed- is he teething or does he have silent reflux(basically heart burn?). I would keep an eye on his diet to see if any pattern. Also what about teething?
To drop a night feed, pick one between 10pm and 5am and reduce the time you're feeding by a few mins. Do the same every other night and he should get to a stage where he doesn't need it. Leave him a few minutes after that night waking once you've got to that stage to see if he can resettle.
Is he warm enough at night?
Thanks, I'll try that. Bedroom is 20degrees and he has sleepsuit and 2 blankets (if he's hot he kicks 1 off) so think he's warm enough.
He's teething (has 1tooth and 1 half through) and used to have reflux but it seems better now.
Personally I developed a creative vocabulary and use it to cuss out inanimate objects. The plant in my hall has had its mother roundly insulted after the 3rd time I stubbed my toe on it. Just don't bottle it up. Vent at something even if it can't scream back at you.
I fucking swear about the fucking fuckers and rant to anyone who will listen.
Also: regular exercise. I do dance and yoga but I know some of my co-workers feel the same about their martial arts practice.
I was all ready to say no, I don't think you need to see the GP (no point in medicalising a completely understandable reaction to your circumstances) but have just seen your last update. If your hair pulling has gotten bad enough to create a bald patch then this is something that you should address. Trichotilamania (compulsive hair pulling) tends to get progressively worse over time if not dealt with as you find you have to pull out more, or do it more frequently, to get a feeling of relief. I would advise you to speak to your GP about the hair pulling and your general stress levels. Trichotilomania usually responds well to talking therapy (with a CBT approach) and a therapist can give you alternative coping strategies to help you manage your stress. Ask your GP if there is an IAPT service locally- you can self refer to them for CBT and they usually don't have massive waiting lists. In the meantime, using a 'stress ball' a helpful alternative to hair pulling (as it keeps the hands busy) and a lot of people find adult colouring books help them to relax. The Mental Health Foundation have some really good relaxation/meditation podcasts on their website that you can download for free, maybe give those a try too.
Perhaps most importantly, your DH needs to support you more with the domestic stuff. Does he realise you are literally pulling your hair out? He is unreasonable to assume that because you are on mat leave, the house work is entirely your responsability. It's called maternity leave, not 'housewife leave', the purpose of this time is for you to care for and bond with your child (and to recover from pregnancy and childbirth ) not to be a skivvy. Be honest with him about how much you are struggling and tell him he either pays for the cleaner to come weekly or starts helping more.
Have you got hormonal contraception? The coil makes me like this
Your job is looking after your baby. He's not a preschooler that can entertain himself for a little while, he's a Velcro baby that doesn't give you a minutes peace. So just like if you were working outside the home, housework should be shared. Not necessarily 50/50, you have to do what works for your family, but more equal than it currently is certainly. Cause the current arrangement isn't working if it's got to the point of actually pulling your hair out (I did this during GCSEs mocks, right at the front! and had an awful time as it grew back. My sister had more comprehensive trich and for longer time to the point she was almost bald. It's a coping mechanism but definitely not a healthy one.)
Thanks for the info about hair pulling and treatments. I don't think DH realises I'm ripping it out, he keeps finding clumps of hair in bin but thinks it's just post-pregnancy hair loss!
He won't do more housework, he insists it's my job. I could pay for the cleaner to come more often, but within 24hours it's as if cleaner never came. It's more the daily stuff I find difficult eg constant laundry, cleaning surfaces, loading and unloading dishwasher and making meals and washing down high-chair, making weaning foods, the endless clutter everywhere. I'm on the go from 6am-10pm yet never seem to get anything finished! Then when baby cries for long periods I end up ripping my hair out. Yesterday DH took baby out for an hour and I felt so cross and overwhelmed by the mess everywhere that DH ignores, I went into the kitchen and dropped a pile of plates on the floor so they all smashed. Then cried and cleaned up the mess. Pointless but it felt like a release at the time. He could at least put his coffee mugs in the dishwasher and clean his crumbs and patches of jam off the table!
I remember feeling a lot like this with DC1. I realise now that I had Post Natal Anxiety but didn't at the time. In time it all got easier. Once baby started sleeping I was more rested and started to enjoy life a bit more. DS1 would wake at 8 and I would be up an hour early doing my jobs and finish them while DH did bath time. Now I've got DS2, he's much more chilled and it's easier but I still started getting a bit stressed. HV picked up on it and sent me to the Dr who was very kind, he pointed me towards mindfulness as a technique which I'm finding very helpful. I also dip in and out of What Mothers Do Especially When it Looks Like Nothing - which helped too.
He won't do more housework, he insists it's my job
Tell him how close to the edge you feel, and that he needs to pull his weight. He can't say no... It is absolutely not your job. What a wanker. Stop doing everything and see what he does that.
I'm not surprised you feel at the end of your tether, that would drive me crackers and I don't have a baby!
I once kicked the kitchen bin, left a big dent, because the children were driving me nuts (they were small at the time, the eldest probably 3-4 and the younger one still a baby). Better that than kick a child ... we have a different bin now but I used to look at the dent on the old one, once I was through my very stressed early-days-with-two-kids period, and marvel at the channelling of rage that produced it.
Sorry, not much help to you but you're not the only one! It does get easier
Oh also, have you considered a sling? At 7 months you could put him on your back while you do a bit of tidying up - he's happy because he's attached to you and you get a chance to do something else with your hands.
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