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To miss my old life so very much(226 Posts)
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Adore our toddler Dd, had her late and waited a long time for her, but so miss our old life.
Most days are just a slog, hard work and with meltdowns. I usually wait for bedtime just to have a moment of peace. Even days out are pretty exhausting and just something to be got through. Of course there are lovely moments and I love her so much, but I was happier before overall 😥and I feel terrible saying that.
We live abroad so have no help at all, we’ve never been without her or on our own in almost 3 years.
Looking back, our life was a dream life. We’d wake whenever we wanted, have a leisurely breakfast, watch what we wanted on tv in peace, maybe head down to the beach, or we’d lounge around sunbathing in the garden, having lunch with wine and head to the beach for sunset and ocean swims.
Now, I generally get woken by a shouting Dd, complaining as she doesn’t sleep well. Dp and I rarely get on these days as it’s mainly about controlling Dd when she gets too hyper, we have no time for each other and are both exhausted. We can barely even talk to each other as Dd demands so much of our attention. She’s an amazing girl but has never slept well as she never wants to sleep. I now spend summer evenings May in bed trying to coax her to sleep whilst she jumps around.
I know I sound so awful, but our life before was so very different, filled with travel and leisure and love for each other, I cry at how much I miss that sometimes and then feel guilty.
I can’t believe how easy life was before kids.
It sounds like you need some help with her sleep. Do you have a health visitor equivalent you could talk to?
Didn't either of you work?
I think all of this is fairly normal to some extent. I felt the same way and I think a lot of people do but just don’t admit it. But as children get older they become easier and become their own people and you develop a lovely relationship with them.
Can you take her to the beach in the evenings now? There’s nothing to stop you doing that if that’s one of the things you’re missing. Maybe she just doesn’t need much sleep. (One of mine slept for about 4 hours a day until they were 5)!
I think it sounds fairly normal! Unless you think there is something deeper going on with depression?
I think without any help at all it must be really hard
Lots of people do it but amongst my friendship group, our kids grandparents are only in the 50s/early 60s and still working or working part time so they are young and available, even if it’s for weekend sleepovers, coming on holiday with you to take kids off your hands for a bit etc. I mean when I myself was 4, my parents would go away for weekends and leave me with grandparents and I loved it! They even went to New York once. It’s so important to have time away from parenting in my opinion. Can you afford, at all, a nanny or au pair or anything? Nanny share? So you can have a date night, night in a hotel, even a long walk and dinner? How old is dd, can she start nursery ? Will she not sit quietly with tv for an hour or so so you end DP can have a glass of wine and a chill out?
I really relate to your post OP. I have a 4yro and she was longed for and took years to conceive. But it was and is a shocker to have my life upended. You need childcare help. You need time off! Can you just throw some money at the problem?
It’s often the way when a baby is longed for that it doesn’t meet expectations. It’s a cruel twist of fate it seems.
The way to get through things is to remember that nothing lasts forever. Or, if you’re financially able and it sounds like you might be, get some help in. A nanny is lifesaving. Or at least a sleep consultant to sort out awful sleeping habits. Good luck.
Completely agree with the PP about seeing if you can get some help with sleep stuff. But also to add that I hear you! That stage of parenting was a grind for me and I am pleased to be passed the toddler stage. It got so much better when my youngest turned 4. Suddenly kids are so much more independent and frankly easier to be around. I now love hanging out with my kids and enjoy their company hugely. (I always adored and loved them, but found them exhausting and like I was constantly negotiating with a dictator who spoke a different language)
There is light at the end of the tunnel - and you are nearly there.
3 is a hard age. It will get easier. To be honest you previous lifestyle sounds idllyic.
In time you will be glad you have your daughter and she will be a great friend and support to you. You just have to sacrifice these few years.
All I could suggest is paying for help or taking it in turns to get a break and go to beach or lunch or whatever. We had no family help and two under 15 months. It's bloody hard.
@Woodlandbelle Oh I’m very glad we have her 😪see now I feel terrible
Does she go to nursery? Is that an option? That would be a break for you and it might prove so tiring for DD that she sleeps better
I feel the same OP. We also have zero family help. Zero alone time. Exhausted all the time. Really miss having breakfast in peace and lying in (I used to sleep until pm on weekends! Now 7am is a lie in). It's shit.
@Blueeyedgirl21 I can’t even imagine what that must be like, to have them at a sleepover at the grandparents, to have that much time! I know I’d likely miss her terribly but would benefit so much from it even once a month. My sister even went on holiday for a week and my grandparents had my niece & nephew! I personally wouldn’t/couldn’t do that or want to, but even once overnight perhaps is the stuff of dreams.
No judgement here. I think I am only coming back to myself lately and mine are in school. They do change your life.
But nice things are on the way.. We can easily take ours to restaurants now. They write little love letters to us. Crack jokes and make us laugh.
Have faith.. Good Times are coming
It easy to look back and think about what has changed and have rose coloured spectacles about the past. At that time you felt things would be happier with a child though. It is ok to have regrets and fears, that feeling has come and gone throughout my children growing up but I wouldn't change it and can't anyway. It takes a long time to adjust to having a child , it took me years actually to get to the point where it felt normal. Try and get the odd break and look forward.
Just read your message about weekends - I hear you op small children are hard work.
They do get easier as they get bigger, the difference between 3 and 5 for example is miraculous.
My DS plays independently, goes on play dates, can swim (obviously we are with him) has games on the switch he will play by himself. All of these things give us a break and we feel much more of a family enjoying time together rather than a dictatorship run by a cranky, unreasonable little monkey
Nursery will be fab for her honestly - DS loved his, got to socialise, new experiences, marvellous!
Ditch the guilt, life has changed and in many ways not for the better. I found 8 was a good age. Take annual leave while she is in childcare, work on her sleep, but be kind to yourself - (and don't have another!!)
I get it. We are also abroad with no family nearby and used to spend lovely weekends drinking wine in the garden, staying up late listening to music, going for brunch with friends etc etc...
Now I can't remember the last time I was up later than 6am and any time I get alone with my husband is scheduled to within an inch of its life.
I do think it's quite normal to feel this way, so please don't feel too hideous about it. It does start to get easier (mine are 5 and nearly 3 now and I'm seeing some light at the end of the tunnel) but for us the things that really helped were:
- I went back to work full time when both kids were 4 months old. Having that side of 'me' back again did wonders for my mental health.
- Hired a nanny. Yeah it's expensive but she is essentially the third parent in our house and I'm not ashamed to say we needed it.
- Scheduled time with my husband. Every Wednesday night our nanny works late and we go out. Sometimes it's fancy dinner out, other times it's going to the supermarket together and stopping for a beer on the way home. Either way it gives us chance to catch up and remember why we love each other!
- Make time for yourself and remember what you enjoyed before your DD was born. I don't allow myself to feel guilty for going to a gym class every Saturday morning. I book it on an app, put it in the shared family calendar and go. I also don't feel guilty about leaving the kids with DH for an hour or two whilst I go the hairdresser or for a manicure or a walk with my friend or whatever I fancy.
I think now summer is coming, we perhaps should think about a babysitter for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon/evening..the issue is sleep, she needs one of us to go to sleep and it can take a long time. I wouldn’t leave the poor babysitter with that job, but equally by the time we get her to sleep, it could be 9 and these days I don’t think we’d really be in the mood to go out then!