to be at breaking point with my DC?(16 Posts)
I am a single mum to two wonderful DDs. My eldest is 6 and youngest almost 1. Youngest just doesnt sleep, will barely nap and if she does its on my chest so no 'breaks' as such for me and she goes down for the night about 9pm by which point I am exhausted and go to bed. She is then up from about 1am then sleeps in short bouts until around 5am until she is up for the day.
She also has disabilities which mean she is heavily medicated along treatments throughout the day. My eldest is quite clingy and has been worse since DD2 has been born. I understand she is just desperate for my attention which I try hard to give but is hard to give undivided due to the babies needs. She wants to sit next to me as close as possible when I feed the baby (breast) and wakes up through the night.
I understand how luck I am to have my children truly. But I am so exhausted and just feel I am unable to meet both of their needs, their father is pretty non-existant (couldnt seem to cope with DD2) and family are unable to look after my youngest due to her medical needs so it is all down to me.
I go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted and just dont know where to turn I really feel I cannot do this anymore and feel I am failing them
You need to confide in your health visitor. . She won't think you aren't coping - you are amazingly so
Everyone needs a hand at times and you have more on your plate than most as it is. .
Big hugs. I have three kids and the youngest two have disabilities and my dh works long hours but he is around weekends. Have you worked into claiming DLA and carers for your youngest? I'd also speak to your hv as they might be able to advise about benefits for respite care.
You're not failing them. It's very very hard. People complain about children with no issues but throw in disabilities it makes life so much harder.
You sound like you are doing so well. But do speak to your health visitor as they might be able to arrange someone to come and help out (there are voluntary organisations).
Could you try letting your 6yo sleep in bed with you? It might help with her need for closeness. And read books with her whilst the baby is feeding? Maybe find some crafts whilst the baby is sleeping?
Have you tried a Tula/Ergo carrier? Your baby should be big enough to go on your back, so you could have your hands free to play with your 6yo.
Depending on your available space/cash, an au pair could help with the housework and the children a bit so you feel less overwhelmed. It would be cheaper than lots of other outside help and could help you to have adult company.
I havent seen a health visitor since DD was 6 weeks old, her care was pretty much taken over by her doctors and physiotherapists so dont know how I would go about asking one now?!
Have claimed DLA but not eligible for carers allowance as she is a baby they dont consider all of her needs as substantially higher than a 'normal' baby of her age
I cant have 6 yo in my bed as the baby is such a light sleeper it would disturb what very little sleep she does get! I do sometimes try to cuddle up in DD1s bed if I get DD2 to bed at a half decent hour! Would love to do some crafts etc. when baby sleeps but she rarely stays asleep in the cot for naps so mainly sleeps on me during the day.
I feel like DD2 has become this major barrier between me and my eldest and while I know it is no ones 'fault' I resent sometimes that everything has changed and we have lost our bond.
Most Health Visitors run clinics- if you ring your gp they should be able to tell you the times and locations of them.
Ask your HV or GP to arrange an assessment of need by your children's disability team at SS. They may be able to offer you some support or even respite. What you are doing sounds way beyond sustainable.
If anyone at all offers even a tiny bit of help jump to accept. Would family help with dd2 if, for example,myou were in the house but sleeping so you were available if absolutely required? You do need to confide in them just how broken you are feeling.
Keep going, I wish I could offer some help but sending big support.
There are some crafts you can do with a baby on you- something like Hama beads you can help your DD one handed. Get plenty of the boards so you can iron them once the baby is awake. Or I think Aqua beads are similar but set with water. Or get some colouring books for both of you.
Wow you sound amazing dealing with all this! Agree with suggestions that you speak to a health visitor (down here they run weekly clinics at the Children's Centres) to see if you can get any help.
I have had the same problem w baby only napping on me in the day... have recently found that I can sometimes lie down with her on the bed and gently ease her to the side of me, so get a bit of a break, and sometimes she'll settle on her Toddle Pod (bit like a Sleepyhead but cheaper!).
Maybe also speak to your GP as it could be you have a bit of PND, which wouldn't be surprising due to the sleep deprivation etc...
You are a hero don't forget it! xx
Thank you everyone, so many helpful kind suggestions
I feel 100x better just for getting that off my chest in how I have been feeling. My parents are willing to help out but are both still working full time and if they were to have DD2 I would need to prepare her medicines and teach them how to administer them and how to follow her treatment plans which would probably be more exhausting than the hour or so of help. When DD1 is at school there is a bit of a let up as atleast I can just focus on DD2 and atleast watch a movie while she naps but we are now in the holidays so its looking like a tough few weeks ahead!
When I say to people how exhausted I am it seems like it goes over their heads. I was talking to my ex MIL and I said I feel like Ive run out of fire and just running on empty, dont know how much more I can give. She just said how 'great' of a job im doing. Her hearts in the right place but Im clearly not when we are all struggling.
Is there a form of Homestart for children with disabilities? You are doing brilliantly but that doesn't mean that you must be feeling brilliant as well. It is a good thing you can admit you are struggling and recognise that. I think sometimes it makes people very uncomfortable if we say we are struggling, disliking our life, want to walk away. People prefer the idea that we are super strong and cheerful. I think the relentless nature of parenting a child with SN is impossible to grasp unless you are in the same position. And then you get a big dose of guilt for feeling that way.
Have you a friend who you could talk to who may take dc2 for a couple of hours a week? Just looking after her in your house so you can have a nap or a bath or a walk etc.
Please take the time to teach your parents how to administer the medication. I can imagine you feel like you don't have the energy to do that but it really is worth it.
If my child was in the situation you are in, I
would do as much as I could. It sounds like your parents want to help, they just need you to find the energy to teach them.
Is there a charity associated with your daughter's needs? Maybe they could offer some help or suggest things that may make things easier. What about Norwood? I know they are a Jewish charity but they are willing to help children from all religions. Apparently they are very supportive and proactive. I don't know if they are just London based though?
Do you think you may be a little depressed? When I had dc2 they were unwell and in lots of pain until about 5 mths. Dc1 has SN and was very challenging. DH couldn't cope with it all and withdrew so I was very much on my own. Dc2 screamed so much of the time.
Two lovely sensible close friends told me to look after myself first and foremost. Ignore the issues with DH and do what I need to get through the day. I started co-sleeping with dc2 (I know it isn't recommended but they would only sleep lying tummy down on my chest. I slept sitting propped up at about a 50 degree angle for a year). I also bought one of those electric swinging chairs for newborns. That was the only other place dc2 would sleep. I went to the GP and got anti-ds.
It is ok to feel like this, come and talk about it on the SN board. They are an amazing source of knowledge and support.
Good luck, I'm on your side and wishing you strength and endless reserves of energy. xx
If she gets dla you are 100 percent entitled to carers.
I have a poorly 3 year old and was entitled from 3 months old, keep pushing them and your doing great !
Never be afraid to ask for help
Just another thought- if you are near a college you might be able to ask if they can place nannying students with you? They might want experience of dealing with children with complex needs. A lot of local twin mums have had work experience students help out.
If you manage to get the carers allowance sorted (or if their dad is willing to contribute financially) could you get a childminder for eg 2 half days a week. You could sleep, or in the holidays have some dd1 time. Depends on where you live, availability of a minder etc
I would add that you must at least try to train your parents up (and inlaws if they are willing) in caring for dd2. What if you get ill or really urgently need to leave her with them? You need to know someone can step in. Of course it won't feel worth it for one hour but in a few months perhaps they'd feel confident to take her for a few hours. Build it slowly.
Maybe educate them with some leaflets etc and start with a bullet pointed list of her needs.
But you need respite as I said above. You cannot do this alone.
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