Am I being selfish as first time mum by asking this?(213 Posts)
DS is 6 weeks old and it's been tough as I imagine it is for most first time mums. The sleep deprivation has been exhausting and I have been feeling very low and miserable about the whole motherhood thing.
I've switched from breast to giving my son formula at night as breastfeeding wasn't giving him enough. My DH does the night feeds at midnight and 3am which means I get rest until the 5/6am feed.
I'm drained, tired and DH doesn't return from work til 8pm so it's a long day for me at home with DS. I get a rest when DH covers at night. I've been a bit taken aback by my parents who say I should give my husband a rest when he gets home as he's the one who had to go to work. I would far rather go to work than be the stay at home person. AIBU for expecting my husband to do the night feeds to give me a rest. Am I being soft? Maybe I just need to suck up the crapness of motherhood and tough it out? What does everyone think? Thanks
i think do whatever works for you. if your dh is happy with the arrangements dont worry about it.
What time does your DH have to get up? I'd the baby waking more than just midnight and 3? If not it sounds like you're basically getting 7/8 hours sleep a night? That's pretty good.
It sounds like you may have PND tbh, as that can cause lethargy. Being a ftm to a small baby can be very draining and well, boring and lonely. Do your parents offer support?
Oh love. It is rough - I found the adjustment to motherhood really hard and it can cloud everything. It took me a long time to see through the fog.
With the best will in the world I think it is harsh on your husband to have to do both nightfeeds, is there a way one of you could do the midnight feed and the other the 3 am one and then swap again for the early morning feed?
What time does your husband have to leave for work?
Maybe alternative nights of the night feeds? I bf so dh slept away but did get up at 5/6 and let me sleep til time to get other dc ready for school. Its nobody's business who does what in your household so just ignore the relatives! He works yeah - but so do you!
No you are not being selfish or unreasonable. Caring for the needs of a newborn baby from 6am to 8pm is WAY harder work than commuting to a sedentary office job. Yes he is tired but you are more tired. Your parents can butt out, it is none of their business.
If you and your DP are both happy with the arrangement then there's no issue. Anyone else telling you what you "should" do is irrelevant. You've been recovering from the physical aspects of giving birth which can really take it out of you.
Do what works for you and your family. When it stops working change it.
There'll be a lot of ignoring what your mum tells you you should do. You'll get the hang of it.
I'd say alternate nights do the night feeds. It doesn't seem fair that he's working (I presume) a long day, travelling to and from work and doing all the night feeds.
I found this stage really hard. As well as being tired, I just needed a break from my baby for a little while. If you and your husband are getting on fine with this arrangement don't worry about it. It won't last forever. I really started enjoying motherhood at about 11 months, when I'd had some time back at work and DS was a lot more interactive and slept sometimes.
You do what you can to survive, end of. At 6 weeks I had major baby blues. At 5 months I love it so much more even though I don't get a lot of sleep. OP hang on in there, everything changes and it will get better I promise you... 12 weeks onwards is often vastly better.
My Dh did the same
I was physically & mentally knackered after the pregnancy & birth.
It's nobody else's business & it will pass sooner if you sleep.
Take the help when you need it.
Mammy martyrs end up bitter old bitches who bore others with how great they are... Don't become one
puglife15 - I'm sure you are just being caring but it is perfectly naturally to have a 6 week old baby and be drained and tired. It doesn't necessarily mean OP has pnd!
DH feeds the baby next to me in bed so i do wake up when he's crying to be fed but I can just close my eyes and lie in bed whilst DH feeds him. For me it's still resting up as I don't need to get up and burp and settle him etc.
This is by far the toughest thing I've ever done and it's so lonely and a really long day clock watching and waiting for DH to come home so I can be off duty
Is your oh happy doing this? If yes,no elses opinion matters. If he isn't ,you can talk about it,compromise etc . But deffo don't fix it if it's not broken
I would add that the first 6 to 8 weeks can be the most lonely and draining part. You're right in the depths of a huge change to your life, you're recovering from the birth and associated hormonal changes, and the baby doesn't give you much back. They just need a constant sequence of feeding/changing/sleeping and they don't smile or really interact with you. Once they start smiling and cooing at you their personality starts to come through and it can help with the long days.
Are you getting out of the house? Even just for a walk to the shops? I found that to be really important for my mental health during the early weeks.
It'll get easier, soon your little one will start to wake less for milk in the night. We used to give our daughter a dream feed at 11pm (older than 6 weeks though) and she would sleep through then till 6ish. Have you been to any baby groups yet? I always found they broke up the day a lot.
6 weeks is still really young and you are still a new parent. It helped me to realise that you are both learning how to be parents, and you work out what's best for you all. It takes time to work out who does the night feeds - it'll change too. Do whatever you and DH think is best. Discuss it with him if you're worried.
Go with what works for the pair of you and ignore any advice you don't like or don't think will work for you. Especially ignore 'well meant advice
criticism from family and friends.
If you are concerned that DH isn't sleeping at night, then maybe try going to bed when he gets in from work, and have him do all feeds up to midnight (or similar arbitrary time) then you do feeds midnight to 4/5/6 am, and he can do 4/5/6 am until he goes to work. That way you both get the opportunity for 4-6 hours relatively uninterrupted sleep. Unfortunately you don't get much time to see each other, but its an effective strategy when nobody is getting much sleep.
Feel free to ignore if it sounds unhelpful to your situation
This is not your parents business.
How you run your home and your life is nothing to do with them.
You mentioned clock watching. Are you getting out for a walk with the pram every day? I found it really helped all of us to get out an about in the fresh air and find some adults to talk to.
Have you investigated local mother and baby groups? Talking to other women with babies st the same stage is very helpful.
when does your DP rest? I know you say you rest when he's doing the feeds but if he's working and doing the feeds how much sleep is he getting if he's only coming home from work at 8?
regardless of that though it's whatever works for you and makes you both happy as long as you're both okay with whatever arrangement you make it doesn't matter what others think
Agree with pp - if it works for your family, its' nothing to do with anyone else
Agree - being at home with a young baby is tough. I found the first three months very difficult. Breakthroughs for me came when night feeds dropped to one per night and when my son was about 6 months old and became more interesting! Hang in there - it does get better.
I agree that no-one has the right to judge what you and your DH should be doing. It might be worth specifically checking that your DH is coping okay with the night feeds, but if he is fine then crack on.
"I have been feeling very low and miserable about the motherhood thing" sounds like PND to me. Have you had your 6 week check? If not, please make a point of bringing this up as there is help out there. If you have, then please do talk honestly to your HV about how you're feeling. Mine was amazing.
But yes, the first 8 weeks are the worst - hang on in there and it will get better. xxx
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