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Been at home with DS1 for 9 months. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!

(30 Posts)
lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 10:00:27

I want to go back to work.
I want to get fit.
I want to be able to take a shower without listening to the full pitch screams of a dynamic baby in "playpen resistance mode".
I want to enlist his wonderful childminder 3 days a week instead of 1. (He's with grandad 1 day a week too).
That would mean he's in childcare (which he seems to love) 4 days a week. Is it too much?

I feel like I have to get out of the house and have my own life.

I used to have a thriving business of my own, in the fitness industry. I happily let it go to concentrate on my surprise pregnancy and motherhood. Now I'm fat,tired and lacking horizons and watch my partner go out the door to his work, colleagues, a life of perspective. I want mine back.

Things are out of balance. My partner earns the money and I feel disempowered if I spend it on a haircut. I'm just so used to using my own cash. Feels really awful.

I woke up this morning after the customary very broken sleep (he's never slept more than 5 hours straight since birth, we have tried everything, absolutely every book, every craniosacral whatever).

He's 8.5 months and very very active and i just feel I can't do it anymore, full time like this.

Am I supposed to be able to?

Am I wrong to want my life back? 4 days a week? Will it be harmful to him to not be with mummy ?

Mums please share your experiences. this is only going downhill. can't stop total emotional state.
Have hit the wall.

trixymalixy Mon 22-Sep-08 10:09:37

I hated being off on mat leave for all the resons you stated.

It was fantastic to get back to work, it gave me my sanity back.

Don't feel guilty!!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 22-Sep-08 10:20:53

you sound exhausted. sad It is soo hard, I know, I completely empathise. Don't make any major life decisions today!

I really think it's important to try to get a balance. Are you working on your 2 child-free days a week, or just catching up on stuff? maybe if you started working on those 2 days 9you are obviously a good businesswoman so could think of some way of making that work) that would give you your own cash and independence back? well, a bit towards it anyway.

About the shower... I have several shower strategies!

1. Put DS in a baby bouncer hung on the bathroom door, which keeps him happy for 20 minutes.

2. Lie him on his chanhe mat on bathroom floor for 10 minutes, while I keep peeking/smiling/singing at him around shower crtain.

3. Shower WITH him -- I run the taps to put a little bit of water in bath, put his bath-seat in there, then have my shower while he has a bath. then i pick him up and we cuddle together under the spray.

Are you missing your exercise? could you power-walk with him in his buggy for an hour or so?

hope this is helpful and not just an inane list of stuff which misses the bigger picture!

katie3677 Mon 22-Sep-08 10:21:16

No, you are not wrong. It won't do him any harm to go to a childminders, and it sounds as though it would do you more good to be working. I work 3 days a week and spend the other 2 with DS, which means that I am a nicer, calmer and more patient person, having had my 'adult' fix.
Good luck!

BEAUTlFUL Mon 22-Sep-08 10:22:11

Sorry for awful typing, have a new laptop which seems to have a dodgy shift key!

RubyRioja Mon 22-Sep-08 10:23:27

Probably better that he have a happy, sane mummy that one feeling miserable.

He seems to like his carers. Why beat yourself up about meeting a stereotyped ideal?

MarlaSinger Mon 22-Sep-08 10:27:37

I've just returned to work, my DS is 11 months. I loved being on maternity leave, but was starting to get fed up too... the relentlessness, the absolute absence of any peace, the chaos, and constant tugging at me - but don't get me wrong I love my DS to pieces and am sooooo glad I had all that time with him.

Now I'm here I miss him and miss the chaos BUT I think it makes me a better parent on the days I am with him. It's nice to have a bit of responsibility even if I'm not thrilled with my current job, and I do appreciate drinking a cup of tea while it's hot...

DP and I have had a joint account for years and it's always been 'our' money but it does feel very good to be adding to the pot again.

BEAUTlFUL Mon 22-Sep-08 10:30:04

I'm now on my second child, and it's easier as -- this is going to sound awful, but I'll carry on regardless -- I've accepted that my "old" life is over, I have kids now, things have to change, so i just get on with it.

Nine months into motherhood, you are still going to long and yearn for your old life. It's completely natural, it's your last point of reference. You can still remember what life was like as an independent woman (I have forgotten now!) and so, when you feel exhausted and depressed, you look for ways to make your life like it used to be, when you were happier. IE, considering taking on more childcare to make your days more as they were before.

I don't think this is the right way. It would be better to try to improve your days with your baby. Work with him, not around him, iyswim.

For example: could you start an exercise class for mums and babies? So you all bring your babies along, and exercise WITH them? Then you could bring your DS along. Maybe you could use your babies as weights, and hoist them up and down to improve your arm muscles??! Is that the worst idea ever?

You have to reach that point of acceptance - "I have kids, i'm dependent on my partner now, I have a baby around much of the time - how can I work this?" - before you'll start feeling content.

I hope I don't sound like a 1950's throwback.

lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 10:32:29


thanks for the really great feedback. It's really good to know there are others out there with similar experiences.

BEAUTIFUL thanks for your tips. Will try the bouncer. Forgot to say that DS is already walking (holding on the furniture) and is so obsessed with it that anything else is "so yesterday" but I think the bouncer idea might well work....or perhaps bungee jumping!

The other thing is that DP and I had only just met ( I mean like a month before) I got pregnant, so we've had a pretty intense introduction to each other. The good news it it is working out amazingly well but I feel we're really due some time out from parenting to keep things in balance. He's going to be working only 4 days a week soon and I'm thinking it would be great if that day was a childminder day so we can have our fun and rest together.

I swing between feeling great about it all and very practical and "let's just get on withit, he'll be fine" and feeling guilty and awful and certain that I'll miss his gorgeous if challenging presence. But that's just a letting go thing I think. Like the feelings I had when I moved his bed from our room to his own room. but I never looked back and it was great for our relationship.

ooooohhhh. motherhood, what a mixed bag of feelings. My god.

HonoriaGlossop Mon 22-Sep-08 10:33:42

I think you can only go on what YOU can cope with. It sounds like at the mo you have two child-free days a week - well for me, that was a really good balance, I had to work two days when ds was a baby, but even though I didn't choose it, I still found two days a week to be perfect, giving DS plenty of time with me but also giving us a break from each-other which was really healthy.

However, for you maybe the healthy balance is 4 days. It's individual. Sounds like he is with lovely people when not with you - you're not the only lovely person he knows grin Why not try it and see how it goes?

lingle Mon 22-Sep-08 10:33:44

Happy mother = happy child.

get happy and you'll enjoy him more

BEAUTlFUL Mon 22-Sep-08 10:36:31

Your Ds sounds like my BIL when he was a baby. His mum says that he was born "on the go" and neber stopped. Barely slept, walked v early, hated restriction, always wanted to reach, explore, do the next thing...

Exhausting! Tell me about his sleep. Maybe if he sorted his sleep, you'd feel better about everything? Sleep deprivation is utterly depressing and puts everything in an awful light.

HonoriaGlossop Mon 22-Sep-08 10:36:38

lili, I think that is actually a very sensible idea to have a day with your DP. There is a pressure - society at large says (and visceral nature says to many) that you must want to be with your baby at all times - however in view of your situation I think it is doing your child a favour if you lay down good solid foundations in your relationship, which is still so new really.

wonderstuff Mon 22-Sep-08 10:44:30

I work 3 days and wouldn't have it any other way, i loved havng 9 months with dd but now she loves nursery, i love having time to be wonder rather than baby wonders mum and have more energy for her when i'm at home.
mine is at cruising stage and i find the best solution is to have her with me in the bathroom for showers, she clings to the side of the bath and plays with the curtain, is quite sweet

lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 10:50:09

Yes, he was certainly born on the go. And it's been non stop ever since. Given up comparing him to other babies of friends and worrying. He rolled over at 9 weeks, had 8 teeth at 5.5 months and started standing at 6 months. And he makes so much noise sometimes I walk around with earplugs in. Can still hear him though re: safety.

I just feel utterly exhausted and totally run down. The pregnancy itself was a really exhausting time.Making the decision to be with DP, moving out of apartment which I'd only just bought to have it renovated to rent it out. Moving into DP's one room studio flat, organising my business as a very full time Personal trainer to suit the demands of pregnancy, seeing through a very stressful lawsuit, finding somewhere to live with DP just in time to give birth, really awful surprise CSection after 3 day labour and straight into the most sleep deprived time of my life.

I'm an ex semi professional athlete and used to getting up to work with clients at 06.00 am and finishing at 20.00 hours after running for 5 hours straight with them etc.

I thought I would be prepared, but I wasn't.

It seems my son is showing me he is more dynamic than me.

He's so utterly lovely, and thanks so much for your reflections on being in the moment BEAUTIFUL and thinking " How can I work WITH this rather than running away from it". I've been trying that for the last 8.5 months and I't sbeen my motto since discovering my pregnancy. But it's no longer serving me. I'm just not the type to stay at home all the time and these posts are helping me to accept that it's ok.

thanks and if anyone else has anything to share, it's all making a huge difference. I feel relieved.


lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 10:52:38

thanks wonderstuff for your suggestion.

I live in Europe and the bath is sunken in the eaves of the attic so I have to shut him out and the shower which is separate from bath is in a converted cupboard so it's all shower, i.e have to shut the door whilst showering or water all over his bedroom floor.

I will find ways of keeping him amused whilst i'm showering though....thanks

Bluebutterfly Mon 22-Sep-08 10:55:27

You know, I heard of someone who started their own baby exercise classes for Mums and their little ones. As you are qualified to work in the fitness industry could you start a local mum and baby fitness class? You could run it as a business and make a bit of cash (enough for the odd haircut?) and still spend time with your ds?

You would probably find that there are heaps of newish Mums out there who are dying to do a little fitness class, but can't find easy childcare solutions. A class designed for Mums and Babies may be very popular!

Just an idea...

luvaduck Mon 22-Sep-08 11:02:17

beautiful, what great posts

wonderstuff Mon 22-Sep-08 11:05:58

My dd is also very active, not quite as advanced as your lo, but everyone elses babies seem happy to just sit and be for a moment! Mine learnt to crawl BEFORE she learnt to sit up, it is utterly exhausting. At nursery she has more room, they have a fab garden to play in, masses of toys. I felt awful leaving her the first day, wanted to run back and grab her and not go to work at all. but she loves it and the absolute best thing in the world is going to collect her at the end of the day, her little face lights up, is magic. Knowing I have that treat of getting to go get my dd makes work even better than it was before dd. I also think time with your dp is a great idea, my dh and i have been together 10 years and the last year has been by far the hardest, we have started to make some time for each other, so hard to get people to babysit when she doesn't sleep, but a few hours away from her is bliss.

LittleOneMum Mon 22-Sep-08 11:37:59

PLEASE don't feel guilty. If there is one thing I have learnt from being a Mum is that in too many cases there is a veil of silence on how tough it actually is (except for all the honest people on Mumsnet of course!). The bottom line seems to be this:

(a) Some people are just happy to be SAHMs. This does not mean that they don't have lives outside the house, it just means that they feel fulfilled by it and I admire these women no end. I have many friends like this and it works for them and it's fab.

(b) Some people aren't happy to be SAHMs. This does NOT mean that they don't love their kids. I am in this latter camp and I returned to work after 9 months. I could not have done a day longer. I love my son and come home at 4.30pm every day to spend a couple of hours with him before bed. But I could not do 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

FEEL NO GUILT. There is nothing wrong with working just like there is nothing wrong with being a SAHM. If you are lucky enough to be able to make the choice (financially etc) then just do whatever works best for you and your family.

My Mum worked. I love her and am very close to her.

Good luck! xx

lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 11:39:33

Thankyou LittleOneMum. What a fantastic post.

FluffyMummy123 Mon 22-Sep-08 11:39:42

Message withdrawn

lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 11:42:28

hahaha! that's the best post yet.

rofl icod

LittleOneMum Mon 22-Sep-08 11:43:16

You're welcome Lilimama. I can already tell that you're a fab Mum. Just caring enough to post here and stress about it shows you care. If you really were a selfish old goat then you'd just check your baby into daycare 7 days a week and start shopping/lunching 7 days a week instead.

It's REALLY hard being a Mum in the first year I think. I had my DS's first birthday at the weekend and I had a glass of champagne just to privately toast that I had made it through the first year...! wink

lilimama Mon 22-Sep-08 11:44:07

what a great idea littleONeMum. Am I allowed the champers now?


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