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losing the plot....

(24 Posts)
roseybump Wed 02-Feb-05 09:19:53

Mr DS (1 yr old) is an angel - well, except for the customary food-throwing, spoon rejection, food blowing etc etc and oh yes - the sleep issue. Its the sleep issue thats driving me nuts - he just wont go to sleep during the day even though he is sucking his thumb and rubbing his eyes. I try to help him settle - do all the things folk tell me to do and sometimes he does nod off...maybe after 45 minutes to an hour. He really isnt the problem - he's just a baby... the problem is me and my ebbing patience. This morning I tried to put him down for a nap at 8 as he was shattered due to a poor night of sleep. He is still in his cot half-crying for my attention. I can't go in there again because I am disgusted with myself as I yelled at him - really yelled (dont have a benchmark for this one but I felt a bit out of control). He doesnt deserve this he is only a baby and wants love and attention - but I just wanted half an hour to myself to shower, dress and have a cup of tea and I was suddenly filled with rage I scared myself. I would never hurt him, but the look on his little face when I yelled I wont forget. I should just let him get on with it and not try to enforce the sleeps now - he may be growing past that stage, but inside I am screaming for a bit of me-time (just a little). I love him so much I am terrified! He is crying mama now. HELP! I am worried I might be over-stressed or depressed as I dont seem to be able to keep my cool. It is linked to my menstrual cycle - my impatience. what can I do?

motherinferior Wed 02-Feb-05 09:33:10

Honey, I do feel for you. Is there any way you can get out, away from him, at other points in the day/week? Are you a single parent? What about a creche at a gym/swimming pool?

roseybump Wed 02-Feb-05 09:40:00

I'm just going to plop him in the pram and take him to a playgroup at the local church - he will only last 5 minutes then have a melt-down because he is so tired but at least he might conk out in the pram. I'mnot a single parent - hubby is at work - I should get out in the evenings but thats the only time we get together. I really love my son - and I hate being apart from him - I just wish he would learn to settle himself - I have obviously found my weak spot. I can't believe I yelled at him like a madwoman. Going out for a bit. Thing is- no family nearby and he has never been left with anyone. Not healthy. Fearful of leaving him with strangers. Grief - I am useless.

jangly Wed 02-Feb-05 09:40:16

Have you got a playpen you could pop him in while you have a bit of time to yourself? I found that if I filled ours up with kitchen-y odds and ends as well as toys I could get a fair bit of peace and quiet! Perhaps you could pick up a second hand one?

anorak Wed 02-Feb-05 10:03:18

You are not useless! Lots of mums lose it when their children are very small because they are very very demanding, and you are so tired.

You yelled. Okay, in a perfect world we wouldn't want that to happen but it was only once and I am willing to bet there will be no lasting damage to your ds! At least it has made you realise how much you need a break.

Get someone to take him for a few hours every week, whether a friend, relative or pay a childminder to do an afternoon for you. If all else fails take Saturday morning or a time that suits and tell dh that is your sanity time.

Plan treats for yourself for that time. Get your hair done, go shopping, meet a friend for lunch, have a leisurely sleep and a bubble bath, whatever you personally like.

Having something nice to look forward to can get you through a lot.

motherinferior Wed 02-Feb-05 10:04:46

Oh and do get out on your own, and/or with a friend. I know you want time with your dh, but you need 'you-time' without him too, IMO.

<not that I manage it, of course>

aloha Wed 02-Feb-05 10:05:38

Please don't be so hard on yourself. I think so many of us have felt this sense of intense frustration and anger - I certainly have. It's not immoral to want a bit of time for yourself, it really isn't. And after a broken night your patience is bound to fray. You are NOT a bad mother or a wicked person or anything like that. You are just human. Take a deep breath! Give him a cuddle and a toy, then grab a quick shower while he cries (needs must!), get dressed and then wrap him up warm and head for a cafe. He will probably go to sleep on the way so you can have a latte and a read of the paper in peace. That was always my plan!
BTW why should you feel you have to leave your baby with other people? It's perfectly OK not to if you don't want to.

aloha Wed 02-Feb-05 10:07:12

Not that it is wrong to do so, she hastens to add! Just don't feel you are a bad mother because you look after him yourself. But I do agree that you do need some time off - book a visit to the hairdressers or something at the w/e and get your dh to take over.

lucy5 Wed 02-Feb-05 10:11:35

I notice you said he would conk out in the pram, my dd would never nap in the cot. I got into the routine of walking her around the block at the same time everyday, sometimes I had to go round a few days but for dd it worked. Some other mums said I was building a rod for my back but I didnt care it gave me between an hour and two hours of peace. Also when they were tied to the house because baby would only sleep in cot, I had the freedom to chose, although it could be a bit soggy sometimes hahaha. Best of luck, I know how you feel and any "me" time you can get is better than non at all.

lucy5 Wed 02-Feb-05 10:15:59

oh I forgot if I was really desperate I would come home from the walk and pop the pram infront of the teletubbies and usually after 10 mins that would do the trick. I know this will probably be frowned upon but you've got to take what you can. I think the benefits of having a destressed mummy outweigh the watching tv issue.

DecafArabica Wed 02-Feb-05 11:24:47

Just wanted to say, my DS never, ever once napped in his cot. He would only drop off to sleep if I was either carrying him in a sling or he was being pushed in a buggy. I used to hear all these mums banging on about their babies being put down for a sleep at 11am or whatever, for a whole hour or more, and feel such an inadequate loser because DS never slept much more than 30 mins and then only after I had pushed him for about 45 mins. As soon as I had got him off to sleep I would dive into the nearest cafe for coffee and the newspaper, and oh, it was bliss! I think that's why I'm looking forward to baby 2. Now I know every baby's sleep needs are different and if your baby doesn't conform to the so-called norm, the answer isn't 'because I'm a crap mother'! And BTW I never left him with anybody either, because I didn't want to and there wasn't anyone around anyway.

Moomina Wed 02-Feb-05 11:48:14

Rosey, please don't beat yourself up about it. I've yelled too, more than once, and felt bloody miserable about it too, but I promise you we've all been there, done that.

My ds is 19 months and is still very hit-or-miss about napping in his cot. Some days he will, other days he will be rubbing his eyes raw and yawning like crazy but still won't settle. It's then I get the buggy out and walk round to the shops

And you know what? It's your rod, and it's your back, so do whatever works for you and your baby, and sod everyone else who thinks they know better...

colditzmum Wed 02-Feb-05 11:50:50

I have yelled too, then cried .

I think you can only take so much, we all have our limits.

When I was a child, my friend's mother had the patience of a saint, but I wouldn't have swapped her for the world.

Your baby has probably forgotten now anyway!

weightwatchingwaterwitch Wed 02-Feb-05 11:56:14

roseybump, I felt very similar this am: pmt and absolutely knackered so I went in the kitchen and banged around a LOT. You're tired and so you're cross and it's normal to feel very unable to cope when you're that knackered. Does he sleep in the buggy? The car? I wouldn't normally say it's a good idea to get them to sleep like that but if you're desperate. Or could you rock him in his buggy in the hall? A friend of mine sticks hers in the buggy at the same time every day and leaves him for an hour. It took him a while to get the idea but now he automatically sleeps for an hour. If you want to shower why don't you take him in the bathroom with you, give him some toys, shut the door, remove anything dangerous and have your shower? He doesn't need your 100% attention just because he's awake - you do have to be able to get dressed, wash up, whatever too and it's ok to get on with that while giving him something else to do/watch. Have you tried Teletubbies? Magical effect on that age ime. Haven't read other posts, so sorry if I'm repeating.

Donbean Wed 02-Feb-05 12:24:33

Im filling up reading your post Rosie. The same thing is happening to me.
I understand where you are coming from COMPLETELY and i am so glad that you picked up the courage to post this with such honesty, you are a much bigger person than me.
It seems worse when im premenstrual, like you at the time i feel out of control. Like you said i too would never ever hurt ds but im so angry, tired and frustrated and sick to the back teeth of telling him over and over again...dont do this, dont touch please dont phone the police on the cordless phone AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is driving me nuts at the moment and he is just a baby who is an intrepid explorer with curiousity oozing from every where.
I actually bring him upstairs with me so that i can shower and dress and he is occupied with toys from his room. Incidentally i have had to remove the top drawers of the bedside cabinets as he delves in them and fishes out pennies and condoms and all sorts! He is able to play quite safely for the 5/10 mins im showering.
As you said, i also have shouted really loudly and really wanted to smack his hand and bottom but i have physically restrained my self and taken a minuite to just gather myself together.
He is THE most precious thing in this whole world to me and we waited near enough 3 years for him so i cant understand why i feel so aggresive towards his behaviour. He gets me so mad like NO adult can possibly ever get me..and yet he is so tiny (and mischievous).
The main thing is that i do not under any circumstances want to be a mother like my mother i tell myself that i am sounding just like her, that pretty much stops me in my tracks, i try to think logically and find a small reason for his behaviour, tired, teeth, cold etc and that makes it a bit easier. He definitely isnt doing it to purposly "wind me up" he isnt capable.
It is just so very very hard sweetie but please dont feel that you are on your own and that you are an awful person because you definitely are not.

Jimjams Wed 02-Feb-05 12:35:40

Since having ds3 I am a screamming banshee so dont worry about yelling.

OK practicalities. If you need a shower/bath and he won't settle then take him into the bathroom with you- toys on the floor and go for it (I used to wallow in the bath when ds1 was little and he's pour water over me whatever). Now I take ds3 into the bathroom in his bouncy chair and leave him there whilst I shower (he's littler than your ds obviously).

No-one likes leaving their first (well lots don't) so start small- look into a creche facilities that will allow you to have a swim whislt you leave him for an hour. Or just have a coffee (I've done that a lot- into the creche for an hour and I have a coffee and read the paper). Both of mine have dropped their naps early (and this newborn seems allergic to sleeping during the day as well) and I found that trying to force it never really worked so I just ended up going with the flow (sometimes they were vile through tiredness but at least we hadn't been battling about sleeping all day).

Don't feel guilty about shouting though. Last night ds1 ended up with first me, then my mother then dh losing our respective tempers with him (we were relieving each other as it was sobloody frustrating) when trying to get him to bed.

Jimjams Wed 02-Feb-05 12:36:51

WIth ds2 I used to quite often pop him in a playpen with lots of toys then dash upstairs for a shower- that worked well and I knew he was safe.

lucy5 Wed 02-Feb-05 12:53:43

I was always worse with pmt. Went to drs and he suggested I take magnesium and vit b6, it was miraculos(sp). Might be worth thinking about.

colditzmum Wed 02-Feb-05 13:04:27

To get a shower, I still have to park ds in front of cbeebies in the buggy, and he's nearly 2!

roseybump Wed 02-Feb-05 13:15:22

you are all absolutely right. Most days I can cope with his shenanigans.... Took him to a parent and toddler group - he crawled himself silly, then a trip to Tescos - he feel asleep in the pram, then a fire engine woke him after 10 minutes! He is still awake - lunchtime was a waste of time and so I gave him calpol and put him back in his cot. I feel so much better for your messages. Still feel like a lunatic but trying to switch off. I do need to start trusting others with him.

roseybump Wed 02-Feb-05 13:32:34

HOORAH he is asleep - had to resort to cradling and rocking him to sleep.What a day. Thing is I just dont even think I can bring myself to tell DH tonight - I dont think he would understand.

bonniej Wed 02-Feb-05 13:33:21

hi, glad you're feeling better. For what it's worth, my dd is fine at going to sleep in her cot but will NEVER fall asleep anywhere else, (buggy, anyone elses house, car etc) Great when you're at home all day but a nightmare when you want to go out. It was especially hard when she was younger (she's 20 months now) and needed lots of sleep. I couldn't go anywhere for more than an hour or two and used to get so jelous of all the other mums strolling around town with their babies asleep in their pushchairs. Mine just used to scream until we got home and she was in her cot. Just goes to show it's swings and roundabouts and as someone said earlier they are all different. I know what you mean about needing a break and a bit of me time, I haven't any family nearby and dd is always with me. EVERY mother gets stressed sometimes. It might not feel like it but it is perfectly normal. Be kind to yourself and take advantage of hubby when he gets home to go have a break xxx

weightwatchingwaterwitch Wed 02-Feb-05 13:36:08

rosey sweetie, go out for a bit on Saturday and do something just for you. You may find dh does understand when you get back! Glad you're feeling a bit better.

SofiaAmes Wed 02-Feb-05 21:49:46 ds is and has been a brilliant sleeper from the age of 6 mo. He will sleep anywhere and through anything. HOWEVER, he never would nap in his cot. Even our childminder who can get any child to do anything, could not get him to nap in a cot. He has always insisted on doing his naps in his buggy. When he was very young we had to push the buggy around for 5 minutes to get him to sleep. But as he got older he would just go sit in his buggy, pull a blanket over his face and go to sleep. In fact even now, (he's 4) he'll still go and nap in his buggy if he's not feeling well.
All of that goes to say, don't worry if your ds won't nap in his cot. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with him and it doesn't mean you are a failure as a mother. It just means that your ds doesn't want to nap in his cot. Try a buggy. Or the couch.
ps. He will never remember that you yelled at him. (except when he is a teenager, when he will suddenly remember everything you have ever done wrong including many things that you never did and blame all his woes on you...he will get over this).

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