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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 :/

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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