AIBU to think my son has a shit life with me?(177 Posts)
DS was born poorly and in hospital for three weeks. I refused to see him for 24 out of the 36 hours he was in special care as I was too scared to go down. At one week old I left him for 2 weeks of overnights as I was so tired from 2 hourly observations after having given birth - the next two weeks was hourly observations day and night as he was put on oxygen. I just couldn't handle that level of sleep deprivation. He's bottle fed because of all of this.
He's now 8 months and a happy independent little soul. He's picked up a cows milk allergy from me and his dad (both diagnosed as kids) so that'll probably remain. He has reflux so before that was diagnosed would spend hours and hours screaming in pain.
We are absolutely strapped for cash. he has absolutely nothing new and can't really afford to take him anywhere. There's only so many times you can wonder around the supermarket or go to the park on your own with a 7 month old. Friends are all obsessed with going for coffees or places that cost money. I offer to host as much as I can but after a while that feels like I only want my friends to come here and gets embarassing.
He's spent most of the past 8 weeks poorly with an awful cold, croup and a sickness bug. So even if I wanted to, no one has wanted to meet up with us.
He likes to nap A LOT (2x 2 hours) and gets so upset if he's tired. So with a 2 hour awake time we don't really get to stay anywhere long anyway.
DH has recently closed his business down so is around less but also earning less. This in itself was stressful as we had some issues with the business prior to closing it down. I've just gone back to working evenings.
DS is a crawler and just recently becoming a cruiser. I'd love to take him to soft play but can't really afford the £6.95 that it costs. I really think he'd love it though. We've also just cancelled swimming lessons.
He's just recently started settling himself to sleep and I feel sad that he's independent and doesn't feel he needs me. He likes to play alone. Both DH and I spent too much time on our laptops and phones.
The bathroom currently isn't safe for DS. We're planning on selling a vehicle to fund the refurb and using half for the bathroom and half for a cheaper car (2k on bathroom, 2k on new vehicle).
To make matters worse, I'm also half way through my second pregnancy. I'd dearly love another baby but feel really shit about bringing it into such a rubbish situation. There will be just over a year between the first and second baby.
I love DS with all my heart. He's such a happy and cheerful little boy. He's into everything already (think he's going to be a troublesome toddler!) and I've loved watching him develop and grow. It's basically been since I've been pregnant again that I've been struggling. I don't have many positive feelings towards this second baby and feel so guilty for that.
I just don't know where to turn or what to do. The health visitor did a home visit last week to see how we were doing. That seemed to go ok. She says we're doing well with DS and there's no follow up visit unless I call her to say I need her.
I don't think I'm depressed, I just think the circumstances with DH's business have sent me over the edge.
I just can't help but feel DS would do so much better without me for a Mum, poor bugger.
Anyway, sorry for the essay.
See your midwife to rule out severe pnd (the most severe forms start during pregnancy). And remember your child needs you and his dad, everything else is just background noise.
Your son most of all needs you.
You can make an effort about how much time to spend on your laptop but the rest seems usual - babies do nap a lot!
He will soon have a sibling and they can play together too.
When he is two he will qualify for a nursery space?
You will have extra income from your evening job?
So there are some things to look forward to
I think you need a chat with your GP. Your son's first few weeks were traumatic and o don't think you have dealt with it.
Ok, at 8 months babies need a carer who loves them (✓), a bit of fresh air (✓), space to explore (✓), regular sleep / food / cuddles (✓). That's pretty much it. They don't need softplay (although if you do want to go have a look out for toddler sessions which are usually only a couple of pounds, particularly if they are in a pub softplay).
You are doing great. Your son is happy, he wouldn't be if you hadn't had his health issues diagnosed and treated. He wouldn't be if you didn't spend time with him showing him you love him. They are the important bits.
And I look after a 2 year old whos favourite trip is a wander around the supermarket. There's so much for a small person to see. The absolute best thing about an under 2 is that everything is new and amazing in the world for them, it's all so exciting. Embrace that and enjoy it.
Hugs! It's overwhelming- but it sounds like you are doing a great job. Babies don't need coffees and soft play. They need their parent speaking to them, reading them stories, loving them and just going for walks.
In the age of Pinterest Parenting it's hard to not see yourself as a failure. You are doing a great job!
That being said, look into free things in your area: museums, libraries, etc all offer free activities. Be creative and make up games: let's point out the birds, or colours of cars.
I also think you should speak to your GP about depression. You may be entitled to free sessions with a therapist to help you cope.
Your baby is happy- that's the sign of a GREAT mum
I don't understand why you have got pregnant again when funds are so low. You can't afford to do things with one baby let alone two.
Would you better off financially if you quit your job?
You are not crap, you are in a difficult spot. You feel really bad not being able to afford soft play, is there a chance you could save 50ps etc and look at it as a once a month/6weeks treat? However, at his age he probably won't appreciate it as much as you think! My 2yr old appreciates it much more now!
With regards to paying for other things, it won't be your baby who is bored with supermarkets, it is you. So please don't think you are crap, babies love a walk in the buggy! It's all I did, we walked bloody everywhere! That doesn't help your frame of mind though I know. My health visitor suggests lots of free groups to me, there is quite a lot in my area. Did you ask yours? They should be there to help you with things like that.
With the bathroom, are there any small things that can be done to temporarily make it safer? Not cosmetic but just safe? It might make you feel better and less pressure to sell things.
Please don't discount depression, you do sound depressed. Could you go to the doctor just their opinion? Just to put your mind at rest.
It sounds like you are in a very tricky situation, and there will be lots of posters with great suggestions. All we can do as parents is our best, if your baby is loved and looked after then you are doing your best!
You do sound depressed actually and no wonder - you've had a lot to cope with over the past 8 months, throw a pregnancy into the mix too and most folk would be on their knees. Please speak to your midwife or GP about how you feel.
In terms of your 8 month old though - honestly, they don't need money spent on them. I know it gets boring doing the free stuff over and over, but your wee one won't care. Plus there are lots of free things in most areas: have you checked out your library, local museums and things like that?
You have had a really shit time and it's no wonder you feel exhausted and despondent: who wouldn't in your case? But I think you are at the risk of projecting your own feelings onto your baby. An 8 month old seriously, seriously doesn't care about whether exploring the world takes place in the same park or at softplay: young children are designed to be excited about the most everyday things. And they really DO NOT enjoy coffee shops. You are saving him hours of pointless boredom by not taking him.
So as far as he is concerned, there is no need to feel guilty. The one thing that has actually been causing him pain, apart from the problems surrounding his birth, you had diagnosed and dealt with.
This leaves you- and that matters too!!! You are a person in your own right and if you are stressed and unhappy. that matters in its own right, without worrying about whether it's affecting him or will affect the new baby. I would at least let your HV know that there is a lot of stress in your life. If you haven't got PND already, it does at least make it something to look out for and be aware of.
I would also be upfront with your friends and explain that you can't afford the coffee shops but that you are up for any low cost socialising. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
Hopefully things will look up for your family soon!
You've had a lot to deal with so don't be hard on yourself. It's obvious you love DS very much and are doing your best for him. At that age they don't need swimming lessons, or soft play - far too young to appreciate them. A wee walk to the park or to feed the ducks is perfect and will be for a long time to come.
I do think it sounds as though you might be depressed and I think it might be worth visiting your GP to have a chat. Your DS traumatic start to life can't not have affected you and it's possible you could have PTSD and are worrying about the same thing happening with this pregnancy. My 1st DD was prem and in NICU and I was terrified the same was going to happen the 2nd time round. It's completely understandable.
As for the bathroom, well millions of babies have their baths in the kitchen sink everyday. I have 6DC and a bad back and I found it much easier to bath mine in the sink - the eldest is off to uni this week so it hasn't done her any harm!
Oh, and enjoy the nap time while it lasts. Make sure you get some rest too.
My last post sounds harsh. I apologise.
Firstly just because your baby can self settle doesn't mean he doesn't need you. Of course he needs you. You are his mummy. You and daddy are his world.
Secondly could you save a pound a week and then go for coffee with friends every fourth week. You can get a tea for £3 in costa.
Bathroom is a temporary thing. When DD was born our sofa hadn't arrived and I was sat in a deck chair in the lounge breast feeding her!
I love DS with all my heart. He's such a happy and cheerful little boy
He definitely does not have a shit life with you. He is loved and cared for excellently by the sounds of it. Money may seem like a big deal to you but it's irrelevant to him. I did most of the things you talk about ie parks and walks and free things. I am lucky that our local soft play only charges £1 entry but even then we have only been a handful of times. He likes the park just as much to be honest and playing at home.
Weirdly enough our bathroom has only just been made baby friendly (no bath panel And all sorts of crap underneath it) so he can crawl about in there while I run his bath. Prior to that I just put him in his cot. But you know what, at that age a bath in the kitchen sink is absolutely fine!
You're doing great honestly. Do you have a surestart near you? My son actually goes to nursery at our local one but they do a lot of free groups and also classes for adults and provide childcare for the littlies.
@DressedInBinBags - I've only been intimate with DH twice since DS was born. These things happen. Life was very different when I conceived this one - we didn't have the financial train wreck of DH's business going under. He now works for £8ph. Believe you me, there isn't a second that I don't regret this pregnancy. But I'm almost half way through and you can't just give them back
it's just been a fucking shit year. We had to have to dog pts when DS was about 3 months old. It was a very quick illness. One week, start to finish. He was only four.
Someone said about reading to him. That's made me cry even more. I don't even read to DS any more. Poor kid
Your DS sounds very lucky to have a mum that loves him so much and cares about his happiness.
Who is taking care of you though?
At the moment, no one. I'm in charge of folding the fort while DH sorts the business and the disaster that has gone with it. He's so burnt out and broken. It's had such an impact on him. Plus he's been in bed since fri with d&v so I've been solo since then and aven't seen anyone as ds has had it too. 24 more hours and we're out of quarentine!
You have raised a happy boy who can play independently and is so happy and secure he goes to sleep easily. That is the dream. Well done. If he does to sleep without much intervention, it is because he is a) one of those easy babies and b) secure that when he needs you, you will come. The best gift you can give your child is the space to play independently and let them develop the skills to occupy themselves. He is a well set up child for the future. Little ones don't need ' entertaining' Some fresh air like a walk to the shops or the garden or park is all they need.
Please make an appointment with your GP or midwife to discuss how you feel. There is a lot of evidence that shows and increase in postnatal depression/PTSD if you've had a baby on NICU. Have a look on the Bliss website for local information towards counselling and meeting with a clinical psychologist.
You're not a shit mum at all, raising a child doesn't have to be full of expensive groups and days out. Local libraries often have a read and sing session, check your local dance school for tots and bops classes which are usually only a couple of pounds, find a local playgroup (churches often run them) and go along. A lot of groups will be restarting over the next week as the schools go back. Have a look on Facebook to see if there is a local mums group - we have a great one here that has links to what's on that day, arrange picnics, park playdates and is very supportive and welcoming.
I don't think it sounds as if your DS has a shit life at all. To be completely candid with you, it sounds as if it is shit for you.
Money worries are incredibly depressing. Things like soft play are good not just for children but for you.
Do you feel bonded to him? It took years (seriously) for me to bond properly with PFB so don't feel bad about it.
Pru do you have a children's centre near you? I have a friend who went to free sessions there every single day. It was just an hour but broke up the day so much for her. I went to a few but they are only one when I'm working now. They normally run in term time.
Reading is free- maybe make this a small goal to read 15 minutes every day to him. At this age it doesn't really matter what you read. It's the tone of voice and phoneme sounds for language development. You could read him the Chinese take away menus, and it would be the same as a storybook.
Oh you poor thing. I agree; you sound depressed, and I would suggest you go to the GP as soon as you can to get some help.
As for what an 8 month old baby needs, it's basically your love, which you are giving him. You don't have to do anything with him that costs money in order for him to be having rich new experiences all the time, especially not so young.
Sounds like he's doing fine to me. I think most parents feel guilt about one thing or another. I'm a single parent, working and studying and skint! But 2.5yo DS is happy, he has what he needs. I learned who my true friends were when I had to explain I can't do certain things due to the cost and have even got closer with some friends because of it.
You need to get some support in place in one form or another, that's what it's there for. Children don't need masses of money to be happy, especially when they're so small. Just going for walks or if there's a park nearby will keep them entertained. Reading books etc is also good, I let ds play with wooden spoons and pots abd pans etc which may sound shit but he loves it. Good luck.
Ive only done soft play once since my DS was born and he's seven years old. I don't think of him as deprived.
Try toddler groups or the library. (Never went for coffees with children - I go for coffees with my friends)
I think you are just under stress. It can't be easy seeing a business go under. Did you get warning or was it sudden?
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