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Need a handhold and some kind advice

(79 Posts)
emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 14:50:46

-nc but a regular and posting here for traffic-

Please be very gentle - I am very delicate right now.

Background DH and I have been married 5 years this year, together for 13 years. During our time as a couple we travelled a bit, had a good life and had no ties so to speak. It was always known I may have fertility issues and with DH being older, we had discussed children and the possibly of some, none or adoption.

After a few years of being married we decided we would try for a family and I fell pregnant incredibly quickly. Our son was born 10 months after we began trying.

I have suffered from depression and anxiety for a good few years, predating my son. It reared its ugly head about 2 months after he was born and I went to my GP who just put me back on my old tablets. I was also diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. I had times where I didn't feel connected to our son, whilst I would lay myself on the line for him I watched from a distance - preferred to be on the outside watching. Looking back I think I had PND that was missed. When he was around 18m old I went and saw my GP and queried PND but it was brushed to the side and I was given a leafleat for the local IAPT services. It took a while to get onto their stress course which i engaged in and i found myself slipping again not long after. A few medication changes, assessment for counselling, attendance at a wellbeing course and I felt ok. But I could feel myself slipping again. Finding myself short of temper with everyone, not just our son.

My husband has told me before he was struggling and that having a child who seems to never be happy, plus me is a struggle. And I get that. I really do. He told me he didnt know why he bothered with hi family and sometimes felt like walking and keeping on going. I get that too.

This weekend gone I have spent time with DS and whilst enjoying his comapny have found it tough going, particularly with my husband who is on edge and wound tight. There have been shouts, tears, tantrums. My husband even said, albeit whilst upset, frustrated and cross that DS is ruining our lives. Again I get his sentiment. There was a time we may aswell have not bothered to plan things - even a simple trip to the park would have tantrums, tears, meltdowns. we ended up feeling like we may aswell just stay in the house as going out was too much for us all.

Granted this weekend DS was poorly with a rotten cold.

I am so stuck as to how to help this situation. I've asked DH to go to the Drs and he said he will when he is ready. I want so much to help him like he helped me but I'm lost.

I suggested yesterday that we change our approach with DS and instead of getting cross, re-introduce the thinking spot and ask him to do something, telling him consequences if he doesnt and then carrying those through if needed. This seemed to really get through to our son which made for a much more pleasant day all round. Nursery tell us DS is very intelligent (they have moved him to preschool 6 months early) and I think this accounts for a lot of the behaviours we experience. Yesterday we played with him - low level energy games but engaged most of the day, I baked with him. We also did not have Cbeebies on at night, instead having a nursery rhyme video with ample warnings of bedtime approaching and when it did, he happily toddled off without any input from us.

I just feel like I am failing. I want to help my husband and son and have a happy family life. I don't know where I'm going wrong....

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:09:56

Sorry, I have just realised how long that post is blush

Crispbutty Tue 18-Apr-17 15:15:02

Your son sounds like a typically normal child. They are tiring, demanding and challenging and hard work.

Do you have friends who are parents too who you meet up with?

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:17:08

Crispbutty I don't doubt that he is at all. It's me that's struggling!

My husband and I both work fulltime. My son is at nursery 2 days a week and with my parents 2 days a week and my husband the last day.

I have friends who are also parents but not many - we both moved into this area so friends we have made have fairly... transient?

Crispbutty Tue 18-Apr-17 15:21:58

I'm sure you aren't failing. Just bloody tired due to working and then the demands of a child. There's no down time for you by the sounds of it.

You also probably get precious little time alone with your husband too apart from when you are both ready to sleep.

Could the grandparents maybe have him overnight one Friday maybe then you can have a relaxing night in, and a chilled peaceful morning just you and your husband. It even a weekend away together?

HolditFinger Tue 18-Apr-17 15:23:25

I'm sorry, I have no idea what to suggest about your DH, but your DS sounds a lot like my DD. I couldn't take her anywhere without huge meltdowns etc.

Aside from her being assessed as on the spectrum (not implying yours is) she has huge anxiety problems. This last year, we've learnt that preparing her with visual cues (showing her pics of where we're going etc) and pre-warning her of changes (like you did with bed time) has changed our lives enormously.

Like your DS, mine is a bright little bean too, and as such, they understand and to some degree overthink more than we realise.

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:27:50

Crispbutty We had a few hours together yesterday whilst my parents had him - it was really quite nice. Only problem is, that we only have my parents - no other extended famiyl so I dont want to offload too much as they already do so much for us. That and I find even when he's not with us, he's mostly what we talk about. Now I wonder what the hell we used to talk about before he came along...

HolditFinger I am hoping copying the same routine tonight might help again. Bedtimes have been quite tough going from a really good routined easy bedtime to hellish tears, having to lay with him to get him to sleep etc.

HolditFinger Tue 18-Apr-17 15:33:50

One thing that really helped us was making a social story. You find or create pictures of what you expect, for instance:
Pic of DS asleep in bed
Pic of you looking happy
(Explain that when he goes to bed and stays there, it makes mummy really happy)
Same with pic of him out of bed and you looking sad.

It sounds simple, but it really reinforced what we expected, and it only took a few nights before it got sorted.

1Evaline1 Tue 18-Apr-17 15:37:28

Op I am almost in the same position as you but my partner works away mon-fri so I am the sole person looking after my dd during these times. My dd is also in nursery they her grandparent takes her the other days so I can work and because she only had one grandparent I also can't ask them to go look after her even more Than they already do.

I struggled with depression after having my dd and still do Now, most days I feel fed up looking at the walls in my house but then the effort it takes to get is both dressed to go out only for her to throw tantrums, cry, scream. She won't go to bed before 9pm, seriously I've tried everything.

My dp is very supportive of me and I vent to him most days then when he's home at weekends he takes over for me to relax so it sounds like you and your dp really do need some help to come together with a plan of action on how to resolve the problems.

Perhaps sit down together and make a list of the things you can't cope with or like etc and figure it out together.

Is there an option to add on an extra day at nursery so that the grandparents can take your child on other ransoms days to give yous a break

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:37:56

Thats a really good idea Hold

Thank you both for taking the time to reply and not judge.... Its so hard when you feel this way not to feel like you're failing and everyone will think you a horrid parent for feeling sometimes as I do.

HolditFinger Tue 18-Apr-17 15:39:51

BTW, I just wanted to say I know how soul destroying it can be flowers
We don't have family or anyone we can rely on nearby, so all the above pretty much saved whatever sanity I still have!

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:40:30

1Evaline1 we just feel burnt out I suppose and even have changed our usual plans for a holiday abroad to one in the Uk to cut out all the hassle of airports etc as last time it was hellish. He will hopefully be starting 3 days soon but we still have til September for that....

Astro55 Tue 18-Apr-17 15:40:35

It sound like your DS is quite normal and I think it's your DH struggling

It's sounds like you are trying to make DH happy but are torn because you are a parent first and your DS needs you more than your DH

He may well be depressed and resents the time you have with your child

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:41:26

Its just a horrid feeling to get the family you want and it still feel broken - and that it must be us doing something wrong.

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:42:33

Astro55 I get no time alone. Ever. DH gets a day a fortnight to himself. I cannot remember the last time I was at home alone without anyone to be responsible to/for.

Blobby10 Tue 18-Apr-17 15:45:32

Obviously I have never met you or your husband but from what you have written, it sounds as though your DH may also be suffering with depression. Perhaps you both need to have some counselling or something - you sound so bitter about your child and having to change holiday plans etc. its sad. PLEASE dont think I'm having a go at you - I'm honestly not - but it does sound like there could be an underlying issue for both parents

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:48:37

Blobby10 I dont feel you're having a go at me at all - not in the slightest but I can see how the post can come across as resentful. I just meant it to demonstrate that we are changing so much, even big things like holidays, to make sure DS is happy.

I have had some counselling but DH will not go and see the Dr let alone anything else at this stage. I've also found him withdrawing sometimes and I will find I'm the one looking after DS whilst DH follows his hobby. I don't mind as if he is down as I was, it can provide some escape.

anothermalteserplease Tue 18-Apr-17 15:50:25

It's tiring having young children. I find myself getting frustrated at my toddler and our inability to do much because he's constantly wanting to climb, run, explore etc. Sometimes I just want to go out for a meal and relax. So we lower our expectations of family time and have a monthly babysitter (that we pay for a no family close by)
It's definitely hard work. You need time to yourself too as it's important anyway let alone when you've had depression and can feel it returning.

prettywhiteguitar Tue 18-Apr-17 15:50:41

Honestly it gets easier, as they get older I promise you will get some of your life back. Pre schoolers are v hard work. With my first I would happily have given him away at points! I think you have to try and relax and not be perfect parents, embrace the imperfect and the good enough!

Also does he have any friends for play dates yet? That can help with diluting behaviour and you can swop over and they could go to their friends!

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:52:08

anothermalteserplease I have thought about a babysitter. A lovely girl who worked at his nursery left but we had talked previously about her babysitting for us for a few hours on an occassion. Perhaps we should follow this up. May I ask you to pm me with some idea about cost? Thats the one thing I would be stuck on.

prettywhiteguitar Tue 18-Apr-17 15:52:33

Second a babysitter too, I get one during the day once a fortnight so I can volunteer and also paint.

emptybatteries Tue 18-Apr-17 15:54:31

prettywhiteguitar i'm sure it will get better - I hope so anyway! I found last time we went through a tough time with him, it was because he was frustrated because he knew what he wanted but was practically none verbal. When he started speaking it helped a great deal. Not it's him realising he cant do X because its dangerous or not what we do etc that seems to be the trouble - although his language still has some way to go.

No, no playdates as yet. I have some friends with children but feeling the way I do, i find it hard to engage.

ClarkWGriswold Tue 18-Apr-17 15:56:08

I totally get you empty being a parent is the hardest job in the world! No sick days, no holiday, no clocking off.

I'm not sure if this may be an option for you but could you reduce your hours at work or go part-time? I work 3 days a week and I honestly feel that any more than that and I would burn out (mum to two girls)

prettywhiteguitar Tue 18-Apr-17 15:57:01

Yeah it's difficult when others are very engaged in the mum stuff and you are just trying to get through the day !

Fake it till you make it, if you get together it's much easier, other children will play with yours so it's not one on one all the time for you

ThomasRichard Tue 18-Apr-17 15:59:09

I felt very much the same way as you and your DH until my marriage ended (unrelated reasons) and I suddenly had child-free time every other weekend. My mental health and my parenting has dramatically improved since then and I actually enjoy spending time with the DC rather than feeling crushed by the sheer relentlessness of it all.

You have no time off by yourself at all, which needs to change. Can you book a couple of days as annual leave in the next few weeks so you can take yourself away for a night and have a complete break from responsibility? You don't need to do anything, just have a few stress-free hours. It will give you time to catch up with yourself and think properly about the situation.

Can your DS add a day or half day at nursery on the day when your DH normally looks after him? Even as a short-term thing.

I suggest that you have a look at reputable sites like sitters.co.uk to find a regular babysitter for one night a week so that you and your DH can go out together. It's worth asking at the nursery too to see if one of the staff members would be interested. It's ok to have dinner and talk about your child smile The main thing is that you have time together that isn't in the house.

Your DS sounds like a completely normal toddler and they are exhausting, relentless bundles of responsibility. My DC are now 7 and 4 and it honestly has become easier as they've become more independent. Hang on in there flowers

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