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Not allowed to complain?

(49 Posts)
BlueMoon1103 Fri 12-Apr-19 07:08:02

I was talking to a relative saying how tired I am as my DS has reflux and I only got 3 hours sleep last night and was told I have no right to complain because he’s a baby. I’m aware of that and I love my DS so much but I didn’t think complaining about having no sleep was frowned upon? Should I not say anything from now on or is it okay to say how tired you are? Feel like I’ve dove something horrid :/

SneakyGremlins Fri 12-Apr-19 07:09:39

Of course you can complain confused

Amongstthetallgrass Fri 12-Apr-19 07:10:29

Tell them to fuck off. Sleep deprivation is hideous and seriously affects your mental health. I remember my eye sight going when one of mine was really bad.

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 07:20:21

I have observed there are two schools of thought regarding complaining.

Some people feel the need to vent. They feel better when they get whatever off their chest and when other people sympathise (not necessarily offer a solution). There is a feeling of shared experience and camaraderie.

Other people would rather not complain at all. They feel better by being positive and minimising any negative aspects of their life so they don't focus on them. Their problems are soon forgotten as they concentrate on more enjoyable things.

I have have had both outlooks in life. However I have to say when my life has been the most challenging I have used the latter as a survival technique and tend to favour that way now. It bloody works!

Not that I wouldn't be unsympathetic to lack of sleep at all! I recently had virtually no sleep (stupidly drank caffeinated coffee), slept for an hour and a half tops and felt pretty ropey. It can leave you feeling quite teary and irritable.

Siameasy Fri 12-Apr-19 07:21:41

Ugh some people are weird about this. As in “well I had a shit time so now it’s your turn” type thing. Misery loves company.

CoodleMoodle Fri 12-Apr-19 07:24:12

Of course you can complain! My 9 month old woke me up at 2:30am by thumping his legs in the cot. Then he started again at 6:20, and started babbling (and thumping!) at 6:40, then decided he'd had enough and wanted up at 7. I'm knackered and you'd better believe I'll be complaining today!

Sympathy for the reflux as well, my DD suffered majorly with it. It'll get better!

User457990033gYpovd7 Fri 12-Apr-19 07:26:45

Of course you are allowed to say how tired you are. Your relative is being ridiculous. I would have expected them to show some empathy and support for you.

Please don't think you aren't allowed to complain to others about your tiredness (or anything else you experience). Just perhaps don't bother with that idiot person.

maddening Fri 12-Apr-19 07:26:53

Then apply their argument back to them if they complain about anything - eg you are a human, humans get old deal with it

IWouldPreferNotTo Fri 12-Apr-19 07:31:01

I think it's reasonable to complain but there are conditions.

If you're complaining about something you need to have tried something to alleviate the issue.

I think sleep deprivation is a killer and sometimes you need to split it with a partner (if possible) one of you commits to getting very poor sleep while the other takes over.

I think sharing the load is good, but sometimes one of you needs to get a solid sleep.

megrichardson Fri 12-Apr-19 07:37:53

I wouldn't bother sharing your real feelings with that relative, next time. Your relative sounds like my mum - she couldn't deal with anyone telling her how they really felt, so as a consequence she didn't have authentic connections with anyone - we kept it all light and superficial.

Hope your baby starts settling down more at night soon.

Yellowcar2 Fri 12-Apr-19 07:42:20

Of course you can complain it is very very hard not getting sleep.
However ( I'm sure this is not you) I have a work colleague who complains constantly about everything and is just generally a happiness vaccum and I quite often just want to eat my own head when she is about.

Honeydukes92 Fri 12-Apr-19 07:44:17

You’re not wrong to feel miserable but there is definitely a school of people out there who take the ‘well you chose to have a baby and this is what they do so I don’t want to listen to you complain’ mentality!

Personally I think it’s a middle ground, have a vent but don’t do it constantly. When my ex best friend had her DD she literally NEVER stopped complaining. From the moment we met to the moment we said goodbye she would winge endlessly and I was sympathetic I really was but she was quite angry about how terrible she felt her life was and I often came away feeling like she’d been angry/ agitated with me! I had to stop seeing her as it negatively impacted my mental health after a while!

Damntheman Fri 12-Apr-19 07:47:40

oh fuck that! Sleep deprivation is the worst thing I know. You complain as much as you need to!

Hazlenutpie Fri 12-Apr-19 08:00:14

Your relative is a twat. End of.

Kazzyhoward Fri 12-Apr-19 08:00:35

Just wondering how complaining about it helps??

kateandme Fri 12-Apr-19 08:04:22

having no sleep is awful.it can feel like well in that moment like your dying!

ChicCroissant Fri 12-Apr-19 08:06:25

I had a non-sleeper myself so I do understand how the lack of sleep gets to you, it is hard. Probably best to discuss it with other people at a similar stage to you rather than this particular relative as they may be more understanding when they are in that stage themselves.

When you are not in that stage yourself though, it is easy to think 'but all babies don't sleep through'!

Damntheman Fri 12-Apr-19 08:06:42

Kazzy a good rant and a bit of sympathy makes the world of difference to me when I'm suffering like this. It makes me feel validated and that i'm not unreasonable for feeling so tired. Complaining helps a ton if the response you get is right!

WatershedMoment Fri 12-Apr-19 08:10:23

It was the worst time of my life when i was going through the same situation and MIL always cut me off and made me feel like crap if i ever moaned. I thought i was dying from lack of sleep. Theres a reason its used as a form of torture.

Rooberoobe Fri 12-Apr-19 08:10:49

Sleep deprivation was/is used as a form of torture so I’d say complain away! I did when my Child was a reflux cows milk allergy baby and I’m not sorry it was an awful time. Sending gin hope it’s better soon.

labazsisgoingmad Fri 12-Apr-19 08:11:02

complain away we dont mind lots of folk on here are going through same thing so they quite understand

Yougotdis Fri 12-Apr-19 08:11:25

‘I’m sorry I thought you were someone interested in my feelings and well being. Clearly not’ and walk off. What a dick. Venting is good for you. Of course you expect sleepless nights with babies. Doesn’t mean you have to float around looking all earth mother and serene about it.

Ilikeslippers Fri 12-Apr-19 08:12:14

I have have had both outlooks in life. However I have to say when my life has been the most challenging I have used the latter (not complaining) as a survival technique and tend to favour that way now. It bloody works!

Gosh, I experience the opposite. I have found it easier to cope when I started opening up to people about the trauma I am going through. It was awful carrying it alone as some sort of terrible secret. The psychological burden of that was tremendous.

WatershedMoment Fri 12-Apr-19 08:12:22

*MILs forget what its like and i remember SIL, who doesn't have kid s saying, oh is it a bit like when youve been up clubbing? NO!! try clubbing for 12 months in a row every night!!!

DocusDiplo Fri 12-Apr-19 08:13:30

Complain to someone nice

somewhereovertheroad Fri 12-Apr-19 08:13:53

BlueMoon1103 do you have someone else in your life who supports you and your baby? Lack of sleep is extremely challenging as is looking after a young baby. Find a supportive person and speak to them regularly.

OKBobble Fri 12-Apr-19 08:16:27

Now you can complain about lack of sleep and twatty relatives! Hope baby's reflux is sorted soon and look after yourself.

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 08:17:52

Quite funnily, though, when you are not in the mood for complaining and are using a positive outlook as a survival technique the overly 'sympathetic' person can seem almost morbidly (and vampirically) to be wanting to feed off any sad energies. You see the head tilt and the sad eyes. I got this feeling a lot about people when I was undergoing cancer treatment. I'd got really bored of negative conversations because they went nowhere and just made me feel crap. I did have to keep telly myself they were only trying to be sympathetic...

Shelbybear Fri 12-Apr-19 08:25:00

I'd be telling everyone how tiered I am 😂 I love a moan. 3 hrs sleep is awful I remember when mine were newborn and only getting 3 hours broken sleep if u were lucky. It's awful, you are absolutely exhausted. Ignore that rude person. Was it by any chance an old person. I can imagine my gran going "oh yes we've all been there, that's what babies do" 🙄

Foxyloxy1plus1 Fri 12-Apr-19 08:25:30

There could be a reason for making a comment like that, if, for example, the person making it would very much love to have a child but isn’t able to. It would surely be more understandable in that situation.

If it’s simply a case of a straightforward moan, then of course you’re right to be annoyed by it.

Tixylixy Fri 12-Apr-19 08:32:55

birdflyinghigh it sounds like that works very well for you. But not everyone's the same. What you saw as 'overly sympathetic' I'd think of as caring and interested in me.

I've done that pretending everything's great thing before and it ended up making me ill.

OP I deeply sympathise. As PPs have said, sleep deprivation is awful! A little tea and sympathy can make a world of difference. If you can get anyone to give you hand so you can get some rest, bite their hands off! And if you can avoid this relative, I would for a while.

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 08:35:21

Yes, I know Tix. Hence I kept telling myself they were only trying to help. But, conversely, I feel ill if I dwell. I actually feel physically and mentally much better when I don't.

Letsnotusemyname Fri 12-Apr-19 08:43:57

The trouble is that everyone’s an expert.

They’ve had babies and look back with rose tinted glasses, perhaps they’ve once seen a baby and everyone’s been a baby at one point.

The problem is that some don’t know when to hold their tongues.

Some understand completely and know what helpful things to to say.

Some babies are easier than others. Some of them really tire their parents out. Some have changing phases.

Hope the situation improves and you get some decent sleep soon.

Just out of interest - and without outing yourself - is this relative male/female, older/younger, a parent/no children/adult children?

Boysey45 Fri 12-Apr-19 08:50:41

Basically the person doesn't want to listen,of course its o.k for anyone to complain about something they are finding difficult.
The thing is most people are only interested in themselves and don't want to hear the troubles of others.

Isthisafreename Fri 12-Apr-19 09:01:18

@Kazzyhoward - Just wondering how complaining about it helps??

Firstly, a bit of sympathy from another person can help you to feel better. Secondly, a close relative or friend may offer to look after baby for an hour or two while you nap, if they know you are finding it tough.

Both options help. Suffering in silence and martyrdom rarely do. Neither do comments like yours. They only make the poor exhausted person feel worse.

Isthisafreename Fri 12-Apr-19 09:04:37

@Foxyloxy1plus1 -*There could be a reason for making a comment like that, if, for example, the person making it would very much love to have a child but isn’t able to. It would surely be more understandable in that situation.*

I don't think that excuses comments like that.

Yabbers Fri 12-Apr-19 09:17:23

Do you really have to ask?

In what world do you need permission to complain?

Roomba Fri 12-Apr-19 09:27:23

Complain away! Reflux is an utter bastard - DS2 had it badly and I was so exhausted I was hallucinating and virtually narcoleptic. Still trying to catch up on sleep 6 years later!

It does pass, eventually. It just feels like forever at the time.

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 09:43:57

Suffering in silence and martyrdom rarely do.

I think people need to realise that not complaining doesn't inevitably always lead to suffering in silence and martyrdom. Being positive can be a really effective coping mechanism. When real help or solutions are not readily available it can be the only way through. It's like putting two fingers up to a negative situation and saying 'Sod it! I can still enjoy myself! Why shouldn't I? Who's to say I can't?'.

Not that I think you shouldn't be sympathetic. Or that some things might absolutely floor us. Just that people who do cope don't need to be criticised or held in suspicion that they are just 'masking'.

Aprillygirl Fri 12-Apr-19 09:51:25

What a weird comment! That's like telling an 80yr old they have no right to moan about their aches and pains because they're old, or a menstruating woman that they have no right to complain about their terrible cramps because they're female. Just crazy!
Babies are exhausting at the best of times,but add reflux to the mix and it can be nightmarish, so fuck what that relative says and you vent away darling.

Isthisafreename Fri 12-Apr-19 10:01:59

@birdflyinghigh - Just that people who do cope don't need to be criticised or held in suspicion that they are just 'masking'.

Reading back, I can see my comment about suffering in silence and martyrdom wasn't terribly clear.I didn't mean that not complaining means you are suffering in silence or that you are being a martyr. I also fully agree with you regarding attitude, if nothing can be done to change the situation. However, we all deal with things differently. For some people, sympathy and empathy are really important when dealing with difficult situations. If that is that case, then not talking about it can lead to them suffering in silence.

Also, talking about it can lead to getting help (e.g. an offer to take the baby while you nap) so it's not always the case that nothing can be done. Sometimes you don't know what can be done until you speak to others about your situation.

ItStartedWithAKiss241 Fri 12-Apr-19 10:05:36

A baby with reflex is hard, tiring work! Of course you can conplain! You are probably shattered.
Just try to do the minimal through the day to take it easy!
I found Infocol and wearing baby in a sling during the day helped a little bit!
Box sets helped through the night 😂😂

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 10:15:45

For some people, sympathy and empathy are really important when dealing with difficult situations. If that is that case, then not talking about it can lead to them suffering in silence....
Also, talking about it can lead to getting help (e.g. an offer to take the baby while you nap) so it's not always the case that nothing can be done. Sometimes you don't know what can be done until you speak to others about your situation.

I completely agree.

What I do find difficult, though, is when you are putting a lot of your own energy into being positive and managing quite well, is if someone else then primarily sees you as someone capable and leans on you to support them. It's then that a conflict can arise. I sometimes (am made to) feel guilty sometimes for not helping others more and people tend to forget what I cope with which can be uncomfortable to have to re-explain especially if you find positivity more helpful to you personally than sympathy.

So sometimes if you don't get sympathy it could be someone just trying to distance themselves because they unbeknownst to you are dealing with challenging stuff themselves but being positive because that's what they find helpful.

I do try to be sympathetic but don't always want to open myself up to an extra burden of responsibility.

Isthisafreename Fri 12-Apr-19 10:27:09

@birdflyinghigh - I do try to be sympathetic but don't always want to open myself up to an extra burden of responsibility

That's fine. If someone is trying to get more from you than you can give, it's reasonable not to engage. But there's never an excuse for a nasty comment that will make someone feel worse (I'm taking generally there. I'm not suggesting you would be nasty).

Personally, I generally prefer to get on with things as too much sympathy makes me feel worse. People do often see that as meaning you have no problems and are available to deal with theirs. It's about figuring out your boundaries and enforcing them politely.

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 10:43:38

But there's never an excuse for a nasty comment that will make someone feel worse (I'm taking generally there. I'm not suggesting you would be nasty).

Not an excuse but you can see how it could happen. The person in question might not be all there yet, in terms of coping, even though generally they find positivity more helpful to them than sympathy. I think really, it is just best to hold judgement for this reason. Although, undoubtedly , being pleasant, polite and sympathetic is a better way to behave people have limits.

It's about figuring out your boundaries and enforcing them politely.

And that's the thing. This can take time to learn. I usually end up feeling embarrassed and change the subject as gently as possible. But I have burst into tears before when stressed people have become cross at me for not saying or doing the thing they wanted. I have reacted in anger and ranted at them before. Not ideal but we are all learning.

Isthisafreename Fri 12-Apr-19 14:32:02

@birdflyinghigh - I usually end up feeling embarrassed and change the subject as gently as possible. But I have burst into tears before when stressed people have become cross at me for not saying or doing the thing they wanted. I have reacted in anger and ranted at them before. Not ideal but we are all learning

But you're responding to their rudeness in not accepting you changing the subject or not engaging as they wish. That's a completely different scenario. If they hadn't pushed you, you wouldn't have responded angrily. Sometimes, if people won't accept our boundaries, we end up pushing back in a less than ideal way.

So basically, what I'm trying to say is, it sounds like you did nothing wrong as you were pushed into responding the way you did 😁

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 15:12:47

Thanks, Isthis. I think, though, how they might perceive it might be different sometimes. Though, I did get an apology when I burst into tears but it was a stressful situation all round for myself and for them.

My point is life can be difficult sometimes and it can be hard to appreciate what other people are going through if you are putting all your energy and focus into dealing with your own problems. Boundaries will inevitably be trampled over a little bit and mistakes made.

birdflyinghigh Fri 12-Apr-19 15:19:34

So the OP's relative might have a boundary, for reasons unknown, which meant she did not want to engage in a conversation which allowed the OP to complain about lack of sleep. She might have felt the OP was asking for her practical help which she felt unable to give. So she cut the OP off in conversation rather flippantly as a defensive measure. Who knows if this was justified or not. It was not particularly kind, but I can see a scenario where this kind of response would be used as a deflection.

Isthisafreename Sat 13-Apr-19 13:25:23

@birdflyinghigh - we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I think it would be reasonable to push back if someone continues to ignore your boundaries but as a first response, I think anyone who is generally polite will politely deflect and will only push back if the other person continues.

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