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Finding being a parent so hard.

(12 Posts)
Moltisanti Sun 03-Jul-11 06:36:15

I feel like I'm the only one. I find it so, so hard. My son is going through a clingy phase where basically unless he is climbing all over me he shouts or cries (he is 10 months). This morning, for the first time, he woke up at 4am, then 5am, at which point I found him standing up in his cot, and now I am up again for good this time. He was sleeping through til 7am before this. If I can't even have undisturbed sleep I feel like I'm really going to go round the bend.
I'm on antidepressants and have had counselling recently because the birth was very traumatic. We've also had loads of other problems with cholic, a milk allergy, terrible excema and god knows what. I love my son to pieces and often have nightmares that he is far away from me and crying and I can't get to him. I also have loads of dreams that I'm being murdered.
On top of the above we are currently trying to escape our tiny 1 bed flat but have been plagued with issues, from buyers pulling out to us having to pull out of the place we wanted to buy and find another one. My son is sleeping in the front room and we have to live in the bedroom all evening and its ridiculous and getting me down hugely.
Me and my dh keep bickering a lot because we're so stressed and I just want things to get better.
Lately I have felt like my head is just going to burst with the pressure. I don't have family nearby either to help with the baby or give me a break.

Liluri Sun 03-Jul-11 06:43:13

Oh, that sounds tough.
Sleep deprivation coupled with anxiety is so debilitating.

Where is your DH right now? If he's in bed asleep then wake him up and ask him to take over looking after your DS so that you can get some sleep.

Why don't you put your DS in the bedroom in the evening so that you can sit in the front room.

Do you know any other new mums? Maybe you could ask your Health Visitor to give you a list of any local groups or clubs - things may seem easier if you can talk to someone in a similar situation to yourself.

yoey Sun 03-Jul-11 06:56:24

You've certainly had your fair share of challenges. Clingy at 9+ months is completely normal and nothing to do with you, ds's parenting or your situation. Repeat often that it will pass. Are your antidepressants working for you- how long have you been taking them and when did counselling start (is it specialist trauma counsellor?). It's so easy to say but difficult to practise but maybe focus on each day as it is. Congratulate yourself for getting through the day. Your ds will change his sleep pattern (could be start of molars coming through? Sometimes they just wake early for a while), however it will pass too. Your housing situation will reslove itself. You are coping with huge pressure- baby, cramped accommodation, trying to move house, depression. You will cope.

Kellsmc Sun 03-Jul-11 07:03:24

Moltisanti you aren't the only one - we all feel like this sometimes and like you, I feel in the depths of despair. It's important to remind yourself that this is only a phase your son is going through - it is not forever; they grow up so quickly and before you know it he will be at school. Sometimes it feels that things will always be this way. Do you have any mother and baby groups that you can attend to meet other parents and have a chance to share experiences? Sometimes it helps just to know others are in a similar position. Could you go and stay with a friend or relative for a few days every now and then just to have a break from the daily routine and share the burden a bit?

I have 3 children of 5 and under and like you I do not have family nearby to help. It's crucial to have some time to yourself so if it means enlisting a friend or babysitter or even taking turns with your partner, grab a few hours to yourself and plan to do something you really want to do that is just for you. Things will get better!

Moltisanti Sun 03-Jul-11 07:22:50

Liluri- if we put the baby in the bedroom then we risk waking him up when we go to bed. He's very easily disturbed. DH is in bed yes. Just going to wake him. I just didn't want both of us in a bad mood through lack of sleep, he's got to work today too.

Yoey- well the tablets help me sleep and take the edge off my angst so I guess they work. But I'm still feeling quite down and anxious. Tne counsellour was just an NHS one, problem is that I had trouble finding someone who wouldn't mind me bringing the baby to the session if needs be.

Kells- I could go and stay with my mum but she only has one spare room so I'd have to kip on the sofa as the baby would need the spare room. Hmm. I went to a mother and baby group- a baby music group actually- but the mums didn't really get chatting to each other. I'm quite shy too so I feel daunted at the prospect of talking to people I don't know.

MissBetsyTrotwood Sun 03-Jul-11 08:22:33

You sound so pressured, I'm so sorry. It sounds as though you're not getting a break in any part of your life at the moment. That trapped feeling of nowhere to turn is so horrible.

Many parts of your situation remind me of mine at that time of DS1's life. Would you be happy to use a childminder for a day a week? Or a nursery? If there are no other sources of help and support for you then paying for it might be the only way... One day a week or something similar could make all the difference to you.

I wish I'd done this with DS1. I know several people who did and their mental health was a darn sight better than mine. There is no shame in it. It won't harm him. He will be safe. You need some space.

We have to go out for the day today but I'll return tonight and will be thinking of you today.

Arcadia Sun 03-Jul-11 13:31:18

Hi there, I'm another one who can really relate to and sympathise with what you are saying. My DD is now 19 months. I too had a very traumatic birth which led to lots of knock on effects (insomnia, anxiety etc) and I have had some counselling too. I think when you've had a really bad time it is hard to know what is a result of that, what is adjusting to parenthood, and what is sleep deprivation. Keep talking about how you are feeling, and just concentrate on getting through each day. Try not to panic about his sleep - if he has been sleeping well and is basically a good sleeper then he will revert to that, even if there is the odd blip (my DD is up really early at the moment too due to the time of year I think) and remember nothing stays the same. Also, could you agree to give each other a lie in with your DH? Me and DP do this on weekend mornings and we each take her out one morning so the other can sleep in - a godsend! With clinginess, I try to tell myself in ten years time (or less) she probably won't want to cuddle me so enjoy it while it lasts, even though it can be annoying!
Honestly the pain and anxiety from the birth will fade and babies are REALLY hard work (no one seems to tell you this!) but it does get so much better. YOu also relax into it more. I've gone from thinking my life was ruined (first few months), to having lots of ups and downs (up to about a year) to gradually feeling like my life is better than it was before.
And best of all the love you feel for them and the love they show you grows all the time.

MissBetsyTrotwood Sun 03-Jul-11 19:39:39

So how are you OP? Weekends when the OH is working can be hard. Everyone else having happy happy family time! wink

Moltisanti Mon 04-Jul-11 09:03:15

Arcadia- I too felt like my life was ruined at the start, I remember saying to the midwife that I felt like I was 'in hell'. But those really hard first 3 months did eventually calm down so I can kinda see that this stage will too. He slept fine again last night- nearly 12 hours. What a relef.
Betsy-I will consider the childcare thing- it makes sense but I feel guilty!
I couldn't get back online last night, baby took up all my time! He was, however, back to his normal behaviour yesterday, he played with his toys and had a long nap in the afternoon so I could catch up on the housework and also managed to paint my toenails! That's a rarity.
I'm quite happy today compared to yesterday as its our anniversary and me and dh have the afternoon off to go mooching round Bond St and enjoy a meal out. I am so excited I can't even tell you. This is only the second baby free afternoon I've had! My parents are babysitting. Am going to ask them to do it more often as I've realised how important it is.

MissBetsyTrotwood Mon 04-Jul-11 12:36:19

Don't feel guilty. I was the only person around where I live without parents nearby who didn't use childcare and it broke my mental health down so badly that I was really ill. One day a week with a childminder or at a nursery will not do him any harm and will make the world of difference to you. Leaving him might be hard at first but it might not be! He needs his mum but you must look after yourself too.

Try scheduling in parents over the course of a few months. We started sitting down with diaries and planning the days or even just afternoons they'd look after the DCs for about 3 months. My mum was in remission from cancer and a migraine sufferer so couldn't help much and my ILs are ok to help now but need to plan their lives and liked this arrangement best of all.

annielou1 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:14:51

Trust me you're not alone. I am a first time mum, my ds is 7 months old and I find it so exhausting. I also suffer with depression and anxiety and now i'm a mum i no longer have the option to retreat to bed when i'm feeling rough! It's just endless pressure and responsibility isn't it, nothing can prepare you for it. But what helps me is trying to have something planned each day so i'm not moping round the house with a bored screaming baby, like going to the shops or going to rhyme time at the library. I am painfully shy so can relate totally to your anxiety about going to baby groups but i try not to focus too much on the other mums and instead tell myself i'm doing it for my ds. Other activities that don't involve groups such as swimming and going to the park are also good and at least theres no pressure to strike up conversation if you don't feel like it. Sorry i don't have much advice but kur not alone, being a mum is the hardest thing i have ever had to do!

Moltisanti Tue 05-Jul-11 07:30:12

Annie- agree totally about the constant pressure, I've never been one for dealing with stress well and as you say, when you can't take a breather to make yourself feel better it makes it worse. I was thinking of taking ds swimming this week, I think I'll do that. Also they do a nursery rhyme thing at the local library so I could try that too.
Betsy- good idea about the scheduling. I already said to my dh yesterday that I want a day out for my birthday in a few weeks.

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