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To want to go to parenting classes?

(27 Posts)
grumblingirl Wed 08-Oct-08 14:27:41

A bit of background.

I have to 2DS, 5yrs and 1 year. I was a single mum with ds1 and really enjoyed him as a baby, DS1 kind of saved me because I was a bit of a mess (depression/childhood abuse/self esteem) before I got pregnant with him but I sorted myself out. Fast forward to now I've got lovely dp, we had ds2 together and things have just spiralled out of control to the point where I've lost all confidence in my ability to parent. DS2 is a terrible sleeperand very demanding(last night he woke up 13 times, this is not a 'bad' night for him, about average), I'm back at work and I'm so angry, grumpy, tired and shouty all the time that I really think I'm a crap mum and I need help to improve. I want to go to parenting classes to relearn the skills I seem to have lost. The responses I've had range from puzzlement (dp) complete denial that I need help (family) and amusement (health visitor). I get the impression that unless you are regularly hurting/neglecting/ignoring your children people don't see the 'need'. Am I being unreasonable to want to go to these classes?

wb Wed 08-Oct-08 14:39:22

No of course you are not unreasonable - really shock that your health visitor is so unhelpful. Do you know anywhere these classes are run locally? If so, you could approach them directly. Maybe your local Surestart if there is one.

Never a bad thing to get help if you feel you need it imo.

grumblingirl Wed 08-Oct-08 14:48:47

I'm pissed off mostly with the health visitor too. She actually laughed and said 'YOU of all people don't need parenting classes.' I suppose she was just being nice but she hasn't seen me shouting at 4am saying I need to sleep!

I'll ask at surestart actually. That's a good idea, thanks wb. I'm sure people are just thinking I'm being neurotic but I'm sure I'm not - the anger issue is really starting to get to me. I'm so wound up.

igivein Wed 08-Oct-08 14:54:48

But are you sure you need parenting classes? Don't you need sleep and support more than anything else? You're not a crap Mum, just an exhausted one!

VineGARISHtits Wed 08-Oct-08 14:55:34

Sounds like you just need some sleep, hv obviously thinks your a great mum to say it like that, if you really think it will help then yanbu at all, but tbh you dont sound like you need them.

dustystar Wed 08-Oct-08 14:58:37

I think your HV was trying to be nice and she clearly feels you don't need the classes. However that doesn't mean that you won't get anything from going to one. Surestart should be able to help as wb said but also your local parent partnership office will probably run some.

LittleBella Wed 08-Oct-08 15:01:27

Sounds like you need sleep.

But what a crap response from the HV. No wonder parenting classes are stigmatised, if the response from professionals is that you only need them if you're a basket case.


itgetseasier Wed 08-Oct-08 15:08:12

You sound exhausted. I'm not sure tha you do need parenting classes but for the love of god - why is the HV not helping you in anyway.angry

Witchka Wed 08-Oct-08 17:22:54

YANBU if you think it will help you, but as Littlebella says, you sound like you need sleep. If parenting classes can help you get your little on to sleep though then all the better.

grumblingirl Wed 08-Oct-08 17:25:13

I am exhausted. I've spoken to loads of people about the sleep issue and the generic response I get is 'It's normal'.

In fact when I ask other parents their dc's didn't sleep until they were 2,5,10 whatever!

Is killing any bit of enjoyment I get from being a mum. I was hoping parenting classes might teach me how to cope with the rising anger I get every time ds cries and I have to get out of bed? The night before last it was constant, every half hour. I felt like I was losing a grip on reality. The HV just gives a robotic, automated response that fits in with his stage. e.g teething, crawling, seperation anxiety, weaning and it's infuriating. The knock on effect is that I'm frustrated, angry and tbh miserable during the day with the dc's.

LittleBella Wed 08-Oct-08 21:33:43

I remember when my DS was a bay, there was a sleep clinic for mothers with babies who had nightmare sleep problems. Is there not one of those in your area that you could insist your HV refers you to?

LittleBella Wed 08-Oct-08 21:34:15

obv, ds was never a bay (leaf or horse). He was in fact, a baby.

Smithagain Wed 08-Oct-08 21:43:15

Parenting classes are great - can't believe your HV's attitude. They are a great chance to share ideas with other parents and take a step back from everything that's going on at home.

I did a course when DD1 was tiny and would gladly do it again if the chance arose, just to grab some new ideas.

neolara Wed 08-Oct-08 21:46:07

God, I'd be angry, grumpy and shouty if I had to get up 13 times a night. Sounds like you just need a decent nights sleep.

Do you have a local sleep clinic where you could get advice about how to help your ds settle? Or maybe see if there is a different HV who has a particular interest in sleep (or at least is a bit more helpful). My ds was a terrible sleeper (although not nearly as bad as yours) and it absolutely did my head in. I spoke to someone from our local sleep clinic and they were very helpful. They came to the house and if I'd wanted it, would have been in weekly contact, "holding my hand" while I got to grips with it all.

Most parenting classes I think are geared towards children who are older than 1, so if you do embark on one, I would check first to see if you are sure it would be helpful for your particular circumstances. No point putting extra pressure on yourself to complete a course that isn't particularly relevant.

Good luck with it all.

HRHSaintMamazon Wed 08-Oct-08 21:49:38

of course YANBU.

Did your Hv offer to reffer you to a class?
If not go back and demand that she does.

I agree that t eh sleep issue is something that needs to be adressed. do you think that it is behavioural or could your Ds have a sleep disorder?
i would maybe speak with your Gp about how he is sleeping as he may be able to offer you some advice.

grumblingirl Thu 09-Oct-08 10:21:11

I've been to the health visitor team since he was tiny and have continually asked about sleep clinics since he was about 4 months when it started to feel abnormal. They just keep asking me to fill in a questionnaire! I don't know if it's behavioural or a sleep disorder but I think it might be related to his gut. He produces anything from 3 - 8 dirty nappies a day and if I give him brown bread or weetabix he explodes, poor thing. I'm taking him to the GP tomorrow because my SIL pointed out yesterday that he shouldn't be pooing this much (she looks after him when I work). Does anyone know if you can access a different set of health visitors outside your town? I think because DS1 had sleep apnea my HV team just lump DS2 in with his brother. I just can't believe the general attitude in RL to parenting classes, it's such a shame because the stigma will prevent people who would benefit from help from asking about them. I actually felt like I was setting myself up to be scrutinized by asking for them.

BalloonSlayer Thu 09-Oct-08 10:44:25

The mothers' union runs parenting courses.

They are fab.

Try looking on church notice boards or ring your local MU to ask if they know if any are being run.

mumblechum Thu 09-Oct-08 10:49:54

Agree with others that you need to get sleep you poor bugger.

It does sound as if your ds may have some medical problem, waking 13 times a night is far from normal ime.

Any chance you can sleep in the spare room one or two nights a week and your dp can do the waking shift? Maybe Fri & Sat nights so he's not too shattered for work the next day.

I don't know what they teach in parenting classes, but unless it's how to hypnotise your ds to sleep for 12 hours a night I'm not sure they'd be too helpful.

EffiePerine Thu 09-Oct-08 11:04:42

sympathies on the lack of sleep - DS was bad but not that bad and I felt awful for most of the first year and a half

Apols if you've tried this already, but though I am not a big fan of sleep training for young babies, now he's a year is it worth trying some sleep training on the off-chance that it actually works? Getting your DH to fo the night shift may well be a good start. It doesn't have to be for ever, but maybe a few days? That way you get a break AND it may just start helping the sleep issue too.

Having said that, anything that will relax you and help your confidence is a Good Thing at this point, so if you think parenting classes would help then go for it. Also, do you have time to fit in a relaxation class noce a week? Yoga or a massage or something?

grumblingirl Thu 09-Oct-08 11:08:40

DP and I do try to let each other off a bit and take it in turns at w/e but it's almost impossible to sleep through the weird wailing noise he makes. Good point about the hypnotism thing though. Think maybe in my delirious state I'm grabbing at straws wanting to go to parenting classes. Its just really reassuring to hear that people don't think it's normal. Maybe I should just act a bit pottier in front of the HV, roll around on the floor, cry and foam at the mouth. Scare them into action.

EffiePerine Thu 09-Oct-08 11:11:52

I think waking a lot at this age is on the normal spectrum. DS was - but he was waking every 2 hours which I found copable with. Every half hour, if normal, is at the extreme end! So there may well be a physical or behavioural problem there to tackle.

If your HV is rubbih, can you ask your GP about a sleep clinic or specialist?

grumblingirl Thu 09-Oct-08 11:18:35

Effieperine - sorry xposted. I'm just about to google the baby whisperer now. We've tried to do CC but that resulted in DS1 being disturbed all night and DS2 throwing up so got abandoned pretty quick.

I also think I'm not helping the situation because one minute I'm passing him to dp going 'I can't deal with him' the next I'm grabbing him back saying 'You can't deal with him'. The awful thing is I am starting to resent DS2 and even though I know logically it's not his fault, he's only a baby, it feels like any family harmony we have is pulverized at night.

Spatz Thu 09-Oct-08 11:25:24

I also think lack of sleep can drive anyone mad - it's a torture technique isn't it?

However I do think everyone can benefit from parenting classes - I certainly have and I'm also a great mum grin

Mine were organised by parentline plus and they have a helpline just for talking. They were fab and all the parents in the class I went to were good people IYKWIM

EffiePerine Thu 09-Oct-08 11:26:37

If you are doing sleep training (we did a form of CC whith DS but he was older, about 15 mo) then remember to stick with it a while ratehr than chopping and changing, which I think is more upsetting for a baby. Try a week or 10 days if you change your routine then review.

EffiePerine Thu 09-Oct-08 11:27:20

also have you tried these people?

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