To find each phase of babyhood more exhausting than the last, and ask you when it gets fun?(98 Posts)
He's 11months. Can't walk unaided yet but crawls and cruises. No words just shouts/screams/babbles.
I love him so much, but I dread spending time alone with him. It's exhausting and I end up crying. He gets bored quickly, even in the buggy or at softplay then has tantrums.
He usually wakes 3-4 times a night (night terrors?) I'm exhausted. Everything is a battle; changing his nappy, bathing him, trying to put clothes on him, brushing his teeth, getting him to go to sleep, feeding him (he throws it everywhere, more mess to clean). DH works long hours so is home after bedtime.
I work part time which helps. I sometimes send him to nursery for an extra day so I can have a break but can't afford to do this more than once a month. Also I feel guilty and DH thinks he needs 'mummy time' so is against it.
I always thought I'd be a natural mother and be great at this but I'm not If I could afford full time nursery/nanny I would.
I had such high hopes and I cry thinking about how I'm failing. I used to be an au-pair to older kids (7-12year olds) and loved it.
Will things get easier when he can walk and talk?
What can I do to make this current phase less awful?
I'm constantly getting colds/viruses/infections, I'm too tired to eat and our marriage is under strain as I'm so snappy.
This is a really hard stage, they're so frustrated and yet so flipping mobile and quick at the same time!
I promise it gets better soon. When you can start to identify words/meaning (even if they would be gibberish to anyone else) you can respond better and everyone is just a bit less cross all the time.
Toddlerhood has its challenges <grits teeth> but they are so funny and their total joy with every tiny new thing is infectious.
Sounds like he needs Daddy time more than he needs Mummy time if his father doesn't get home from work until he's in bed.
Presumably when they're spending time together at the weekend you get a good break?
I felt the same as you until dd got a few key words 'drink' 'food' and 'peppa'. She was a huge bundle of frustration but now she can ask for three key things she happier. Now at 20 months i love every minute. Her personality has come through as well as favourite toys and games.
Hold on you are definitely at the worst point!
<Big hug for you>
My DS is only 3 months so I haven't got any proper advice but I'll bump the thread up so hopefully more experienced mums can see it.
As a quick fix I'd recommend drinking the occasional berocca though, I find that stuff is magical for general tired/illness.
You're not failing. It's a bloody hard job. This stage is very difficult but it will get better. There will be different challenges as he gets older but I certainly found it much easier when they turned in to small people as opposed to babies. Once he's properly mobile nothing will be safe but he won't be so frustrated, the same goes for talking. He won't be fluent but you'll understand him and that will reduce his "I want... but I can't do or say" frustration. It's all very well for your out of the house all day husband to say your son needs mummy time but mummy needs mummy time too! Whatever you take from this I promise you what you're feeling is OK and you are NOT a failure
Gin. That's all I've got in terms of advice I'm afraid.
Here's what I learned. Certain things will ensure it frankly never becomes fun. Those things include:
1. Lack of support from partner. If your husband is making you feel guilty for wanting a bit of time away from the kid, he is ensuring parenting will never be fun.
2. You've got the part-time work covered, which is great. Retain your independence and keep up the opportunity to socialise with adults.
3. Try not to fall for all that magical mommy warm fuzzy hug bullshit. People only write that stuff to make themselves feel better. Nowadays, when we're expected to parent 100% of the time, never any assistance, never any help, never a day off, I have to park my kids up in one corner of the Dr's office when I get a fucking smear for Chrissakes - this isn't natural. We were designed to raise children together, as a group, helping one another out and sharing the load. We don't anymore. Leave your kid with someone else for 5 minutes - or even take your eyes off them at the park - and some judgey twat will be along to tell you what a shit job you're doing (I refer you back to point 1 - your husband laying on the guilt. Why isn't he guilty for working long hours? Like he couldn't ask to finish sooner. But oh no, big manly man must never ask to adjust hours for children. Big manly man feels so much better telling his wife she's doing a bad job.) Basically it's become a bit insane. People cope in two ways. One, they write blog posts about how being a mother makes them fulfilled and happy and they love every second. Or two, they actually kind of don't cope and go a bit mad. Guess which I am :D
4. Try and ignore the kid a bit - I mean, not IGNORE ignore, but worry a little less about the tantrums and stuff. It's annoying but it's not the end of the world. Many people find the second child easier because they literally no longer care so much about the small stuff. I'll happily just leave the room if my kids are getting loud, or messy, and the low-level irritating behaviour that upset me with my first didn't even register with my second. Spending time with them can be pretty frustrating if you're making them the focus, but instead, do what you want to do - read a magazine, fold the laundry, shop for things you like - and whatever the kid's reaction is, eh, kinda ignore it. You're doing things for you, you're the boss, the child's just along for the ride. Balance out the kid-focused activities with the you-focused ones, reminding the kid they're not always the centre of attention but also, reminding you they don't always have to be as well.
Yanbu. Your DS is at a difficult stage. Once he can walk and talk it get's SO much easier.
It does get easier I think once you start to get more back from them. Do you take vitamins/zinc to boost you immune system. If you find yourself getting ill a lot and are run down, it won't help you when you're battling a toddler.
Also, like others have said Daddy time at weekends is vital for you to get some space. Is there a set activity your DH could take the baby to every weekend (swimming etc)?
Do you spend much time with RL friends who have kids? I found other mums a vital support.
kendus completely agree with you, especially point 4. DS2 is 8 months and i'll just stick him in the jumperoo or cot and wander off round he house doing what I need to do. I know he's safe and when he chants a bit, nothings actually wrong Because the second I pick him up, the cheeky fucker grins. I find being in the house much more easier with DS2 than DS1. Getting them both to behave while out is a challenge.
Sometimes babies yell just because they bloody feel like it.
I feel for you OP, this is the worst stage. DS is currently waking 7 times a night and I'm on my knees. Had to cancel seeing a friend today because I wouldn't be able to string a sentance together.
Have you got a jumperoo?
Quite honestly I found the first 18 months, with both mine, really hard.
It was more a case of getting through it. They are now 12 and 6 and is great. The older they get the better.
Me and Dd had a meal out and went to the theatre the other night and it was great.
You have my sympathy, it's not easy. Although in my case, I knew I wouldn't be a natural mother, so maybe that made it easier to accept. I knew I wouldn't take to it easily.
Some really good advice here.
Lime: Don't have any words of wisdom but you are not alone, I'm in the same boat. I feel overwhelmed with guilt because I don't thoroughly enjoy spending time with DD. In fact, I count down the hours till bedtime which is awful. I love her more than anything and she does bring me so much joy but that's accompanied with exhaustion, tiredness, frustration, boredom and much more. It's hard and draining but like everyone else is saying, it will pass!!
I found that age to about 16 months really hard, and then it got easier, much more so as they learn to speak. Mine's just 3 now and, while the challenges are still there, she's great fun a lot of the time. Hang in there and take breaks with no guilt. Tell your partner a child needs daddy time too and to step up a bit when he is home.
Don't feel bad, it really is desperately hard. You should absolutely have a day to yourself every so often just to maintain your sanity (I'm having one today and it's lovely ). Tell your DH we said so!
It gets much, much easier when they can walk and potter amongst their toys more independently. I found from about 18 months on significantly easier, partly because they were more straightforward and partly because I enjoyed their personalities coming out more as they could express themselves a bit.
Get out of the house - that was all that kept me sane. I did every baby group going. It just all didn't seem so awful if someone else was there. Most people i know felt the same so don't beat yourself up for not loving it.
Go away for the weekend - Fri night - late Sunday. Don't prep stuff in advance. See how much claptrap your DH talks about "needing mummy time" then. (I'm a sahm but anyone guilting someone into doing it deserves a rude awakening.
I go drinking cocktails with DD - it's fun, DD is 24
baby also need plenty of daddy time, its non of his business as what you feel you can do.
Op its all a series of phases, I know this phase its a time of their frustration, on the cusp of walking but not yet their curiosity is peeked but cant quite realise their desires.
IT WILL PASS, and YES when they can talk it becomes far more rewarding and interact with you, Then that set of issues will fad and another new set will crop up.
So yes it gets easier in some ways but harder in others. Without a doubt when they can play un aided in a soft play is a big turning point for mum .
BTW I am with toddler and I feel the same, counting down hours till DH gets in and takes over. Trudging through the long hours. Even with hours at play park, playing in garden, a film, there are still so many hours left to get through.
We have had two horrendous days this week, awful. And some really lovely ones too thank goodness.
we all feel this.
Before I read how old I though 15 months.
Usually stable on feet. Can pop them down whilst open car doors etc.
More like little people.
'Tell your partner a child needs daddy time too and to step up a bit when he is home.'
Absolutely right. There's nothing magical about 'mummies' - children need time with both parents.
My friend gets this kind of crap from her DH. They both have jobs of equal responsibility and expertise. He has continued to work full time and never ever left work early or stayed home while the kids were ill. He has made it clear that he would prefer her to give up work and stay home with the kids, which she knows would drive her utterly insane. He feels not one shred of guilt about going to work, and yet she feels guilty about returning to work part time after maternity leave.
You're both parents, why should you be the only one guilted into not spending enough time with your baby?
For me it was 2. Got gladly better from 1 onwards but 2 was the turning point. Getting enough sleep, enough speech to not get frustrated and able to enjoy days out more.
Oops, I meant guilted about not spending enough time with your baby
Reading this thread has reminded me of how hard this stage is. Its very tough, you are permanently on call, you have to be vigilant and attentive and the babies are very demanding at this age. They are frustrated because they want to communicate and be mobile and you are exhausted and dont get a moment to yourself. You are not failing you are doing a great job and as others have said you need more support from your DH, do you have any other family to give you a break? I does get better and when they can walk you can wear them out and when they can talk you can look at books and stuff. Hold on in there and dont beat yourself up. Be kind to yourself and try and get your DH on board.
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