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AIBU to want a bit of help. Feeling sorry for myself

(35 Posts)
GreyTree Thu 09-Nov-17 18:51:09

NC as possibly outing.

Have 2 kids under 3. On mat leave at the moment and I'm returning to work soon. In-laws and parents live 1 hour away and work very part-time hours. DH works hard, a commute of 1-2 hours traffic permitting.

My parents look after DN (niece) before and after school as sister is single parent. Niece practically lives there. Sister has full-time job. Parents only have one car so limits flexibility.

In-laws look after 4 other grandkids, pick up and drop off to school, plus baby while parents work.

DH and I ask for no help bur we're struggling right now. He doesn't get in until 6-7 after leaving the house at 6am. Toddler awake very early every day and baby still wakes in the night. Averaging about 4-5 hours of broken sleep per night.

If I phone parents or in-laws for help they are normally busy with other grandkids. I just feel like we don't get a look in.

There are more bits to further my evidence but they're too identifying. Just feeling sorry for myself and just want a wee in peace!

Splinterz Thu 09-Nov-17 18:55:50

You know that you will be slated on here as "entitled" and "demanding" and the old "don't have kids if you cant bring them up yourself" routine. But I feel for you, it is hard when you get no break, when there is no available family to lean on, it's tough.

Actually it will be easier when you get back to work with a regimented routine and the childminder steps in. Your house will remain pristine because there is no one in it all day to trash it!

GreyTree Thu 09-Nov-17 18:57:49

Very true regarding tidy house. Looking forward to a rest at work! I just feel knackered. It's relentless and I'm envious that siblings get more support.

Sirzy Thu 09-Nov-17 19:00:38

Them living an hour away though are you expecting them to travel 2 hours a day to help orveoukd you/your dh be doing the traveling?

angelinheaven Thu 09-Nov-17 19:02:28

I also live an hour from parents, and both my parents work, I never ask for help and two of my dc have only ever stayed with my parents once over night, I am also a single mum so I know what it’s like to never get 5 mins to myself not even for a wee.
It can sometimes be upsetting as my sister lives 6 miles from my parents and I feel like they can just call in whenever they want. But it’s my choice to live here so can’t moan, and I’m very independent like my mum.
If you want more support and maybe a break here and there could you not move closer to your parents or is that not an option. It’s really hard feeling alone with young children. I do see my parents every weekend though

Splinterz Thu 09-Nov-17 19:03:22

Your sister gets the lions share of the support because there is only her. You've just got to look at it that way I suppose.

A very close friend once said to me "I feel sorry for you, if you were divorced you could get rid of the kids every weekend and have a social life again" shock I know what she meant. It passes, eventually and you might even find an unbroken nights sleep - although h 25 years down the line I still wake up with every floor board creek, I don't think I've ever had a decent nights sleep since I had the children

GreyTree Thu 09-Nov-17 19:07:57

I know I sound selfish. I travel to both sets of parents, they rarely come here. We moved here before we had kids as we were told that we wouldn't be able to have them. So we distanced ourselves a bit. Then our fertility treatment worked! I feel even more selfish now. We yearned for our kids. I adore every bone in their bodies but just a coffee in peace and a lay in past 5am!!!

Leeds2 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:08:25

I feel for you, but I don't think you can really expect parents/in laws support if they live an hour away. Particularly if they have regular unavoidable commitments with their other GC.
Could you invite them at the weekend, and ask if they will look after the DC whilst you and OH go out for lunch? Or in the evening?
Or could you move nearer to them?

Booagain Thu 09-Nov-17 19:11:47

You don’t sound selfish - id feel the same. Can you tell your folks that you’re struggling? Perhaps one of them could come over and stay the night (once a fortnight? Every month?) until you feel like you can cope a bit better?
There’s so easy solution with siblings I find - there’s always comparison!

Justbookedasummmerholiday Thu 09-Nov-17 19:13:19

Cut yourself some slack and stop travelling to see them - enjoy your dc at the weekends with dh. They know where you live. Take control and likely you won't feel such a second choice.

dontblameme Thu 09-Nov-17 19:16:57

Is there Home-Start near you? You can self-refer. Just a lending hand for a couple of hours a week but it could make a difference...?

TwoBobs Thu 09-Nov-17 19:17:56

Been there! My siblings get so much help from their MAIL they really have no idea what it's like to completely go it alone and have to be your child's everything 24/7 - 365 days if the year.

What helped me cope was doing a baby/toddler music class in the morning. It used to wear them out, then I went for a looooooonnngggg drive so both kids fell asleep. I'd pull up in the supermarket car park, lock the doors, recline the seat a bit and then have a catch up nap. Then, we'd have lunch at the supermarket, do the weekly shop (the kids loved it when they were that age) then go home. By then, it was about 4-5pm and other half would soon be home, for the company if nothing else. That was my coping strategy once a week.

TwoBobs Thu 09-Nov-17 19:18:18

MIL, not mail!

jelliebelly Thu 09-Nov-17 19:18:57

I feel for you but it is part and parcel of having children - it does get easier over time!

BlackberryandNettle Thu 09-Nov-17 19:20:58

Can you pay for some childcare in the week for your two year old? A couple of days at nursery would give you a bit of a break.

Louise201710 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:25:20

I am completely on the same boat. Our family live too far away so have no family help. It may not be an option, but have you thought about paying to get a couple of hours restbite? A nanny to come to your house a couple of hours? I know a few nannies through play groups who don’t have FT arrangements so are happy to pop to mine for a couple of hours. It ms a Luxury but I’d rather forego a new coat to have a couple of hours to myself!

Whowhatwhy Thu 09-Nov-17 19:28:41

I empathise totally. No help here either whilst we watch siblings who live nearer get the benefit of childcare and we're told "they need some time as a couple". We haven't had any for 10 years (literally!)

GreyTree Thu 09-Nov-17 19:34:32

Thanks so much for all your replies. Kids ate in bed asleep and I'm about to get in bed too. If I don't get to sleep soon then I'll be completely useless tomorrow. Today has been so hard and my patience has been really frayed.

I get totally what PP said about parents coming here. It does annoy me that we do all the travelling. Another thing that annoys me is that neither set of parents call. I phone mine every day and when I do there are constant interruptions from niece.... "oh hang on, so and so needs this... Put that down.....just a minute I'll get it in a bit...sorry GreyTree, what were you saying?" I find myself saying "you've obviously got your hands full....I'll phone later." Other day mum was bathing niece and what with the echoey bathroom, splashing and Co start instructions to do x, y and z, I couldn't get a word in. In the end I just said I had things to do and ended the conversation.

I dont regret moving and unfortunately we couldn't move again as we can't afford it. I get that my sister is on her own so needs more support and I totally get that grandparents are not there simply for childcare. But just a phone call would be nice. If I phone them they just transmit all their stuff to me and then I get a cursory...."you ok?" By that point I've lost the will to live and can't be arsed.

GreyTree Thu 09-Nov-17 19:36:41

My sister has a cracking social life. I've not been out since.....well I dunno really. My lawnmower gets out more than me!!

Toddler starts nursery in January for 2.5 days..but I'll be working so. Can't afford extra days.

Motoko Thu 09-Nov-17 19:45:30

I know it's hard having no respite, but living an hour away doesn't help, although it sounds like there is a back story.

Do you and your DH take it in turns at the weekend to have a lie-in? If not, do that. Also, make sure DH shares in the childcare on weekday evenings, so you can have a relaxing bath.

newmum7369 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:48:10

I'm in the same boat OO and I completely sympathise. I've only got 1 DC so for me it's not so much about the help, but the general incentive to want to be involved. My sister and brother live on my parent's doorstep with their families and I often feel like I'm not part of the gang anymore because we live further away.

DS is nearly 4 months old and my brother and sister in law's first DC was born 5 weeks later. In my first few weeks at home my mum didn't visit, even when I asked her to, and rarely called. When my brother's DS was born she told me that she needed to stay near home to 'be on hand' for them. That's one example of a catalogue of things that have occurred since both babies have been born.

I really resonate with your comment about having everything concerning the grandchildren who are close by being fed to you over the phone and then getting a brief 'so how are you' before going back to something the others are up to. I always feel like I'm the daughter of a family friend and my mum is taking a token interest before going back to telling me all about what her own family are up to.

I can't offer any useful advice I'm afraid but you're not alone and it is tough flowers

Motoko Thu 09-Nov-17 19:50:23

Why are you ringing your parents every day? They don't need to ring you as they know you'll ring them. Just ring once or twice a week, and leave it until after all the children (yours and niece) are in bed. Your mum will be less busy then.

newmum7369 Thu 09-Nov-17 19:52:40

I've just read my post back to myself and it sounds as though I'm really jealous of my brother and sister in law - I'm not, they're lovely and so is their DS and we get on with them really well. It's just tough to feel less included than the others.

CoffeeBreakIn5 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:06:49

I understand OP, it’s difficult feeling as if a parent doesn’t care. My MIL doesn’t bother with us unless we make the arrangements and it annoys me because it upsets DH. She used to look after DS1 when I went back to work and then when SIL got pregnant it suddenly became too much for her.

Then when I had DS2 she didn’t help me out at all, I pay childcare costs while SIL doesn’t need to work but MIL can’t help me because she has her children. She spends all her time with SIL and her children, being too busy for ours and when we do see her all she talks about is her other grandchildren (that’s on the very rare occasion that we are there without them). She looks after both of them yet mine were too much.

DH has told her how this makes him feel but she doesn’t ever do anything about it. I’ve given up completely and feel really bitter. Everything is always about the others, I feel that it’s so unfair on my DC. But I can’t make her change, so I’d rather avoid it.

I’m sorry you feel this way, there isn’t much you can do. I wouldn’t blame where you live either, MIL lives in the next town to us and SIL lives in the same town as us. She’s there most days and doesn’t come to us. Even Christmas Day was a fleeting visit on her way to SIL.

Booagain Thu 09-Nov-17 20:29:41

It sounds like your folks are being substitute parents to your niece and I can understand why that hurts when you call and they can’t talk.
I would call them less - dedicate proper time on the phone in the eve when all the kids are asleep. Then you could broach the subject of having them visit / help a little?

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