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Finding being a mum difficult - what's normal?

(13 Posts)
Whirliwig72 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:07:16

Ok so I'm finding being a mother harder than I thought but I'm not sure if I need extra help in the form of AD's or counselling - or just need to look at things differently. I love my children (4 and 1) but Just wanted to see how normal the feelings I am having are. So here goes:

1) every single day I mourn for my life pre-children and the relative freedom it offered
2) I feel guilty about not giving my children enough / not being good enough as a mum almost constantly.
3) I find it hard to play with my children - there always seems to be distractions such as bums to wipe/ meals to prepare etc
4) I find the constant round of cooking/cleaning/meeting needs overwhelming
5) The future seems grey - nothing to look forward to other than more of the same for the next few years. I don't feel like there is much point to me other as a p.a to my kids
6) A few months ago I was fired up about some training plans I had to get back to work - now they have been buried under just getting through the day

Am i depressed or do most mums feel like this?

Whirliwig72 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:11:19

Just to add - I was not wildly happy before having kids either (part of me feels that unless I change myself radically I'll always be dissatisfied with my life).

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 16-Nov-12 15:15:47

I think that there are parts of what you say which are normal. I assume from 6 you are a SAHM at the moment? Me too. Mine are 3 and 1.

I think I would feel:

1. I sometimes mourn my pre-children life:
2. I do worry about not being a good enough mum, but mostly when I'm having a tired and grumpy day and they've watched too much telly!
3. I agree with this- there always seem to be jobs to do;
4. Yup, some days, but not always.

It is 5 and 6 which worry me, along with the frequency of the other negative thoughts.

You might be depressed. Or you might just not like the way your life is at the moment - that's ok. You don't have to be ill to be unhappy (although you might be ill). Sometimes unhappy is a logical response to not suiting or enjoying the life you have at the moment. It's really hard to tell which applies to you from an internet post.

What were the retraining plans. What happened to them?

Whirliwig72 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:18:23

Thank you You! Yes I am a SAHM - I was planning on training to become a NCT Antenatal teacher having just completed a peer breastfeeding supporter course.

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 16-Nov-12 15:20:45

That sounds interesting. So would that be evenings and weekends to fit around the kids? Is that a childcare cost thing?

I might be very wide of the mark here. Feel free to ignore me. But I am going to say it in case. It is ok to decide you don't want to be a full time SAHM. Just because you made the choice at some point in time does not mean it will necessarily be right for you permanently.

Whirliwig72 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:28:56

Yes its kind of ironic that the job would be child / mum orientated when motherhood has plenty for issues I struggle with! but Ive enjoyed breastfeeding/ giving birth to my children and if I could help others with motherhood it would be satisfying.

I think part of my is dying being a SAHM but finds it hard to admit it esp as I'm sort of seen as an extended breastfeeding /attachment parenting guru amongst my friends ;) I think my biggest fear is going back to work and hating it having more guilt for being away from the children /or finding things even more stressful. but you are right it does not have to be a burn my bridges decision.

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 16-Nov-12 15:36:00

I can understand that. I am an extended bfer and I suppose at the attachment end of the spectrum (with a buggy rejecting one year old, my choices are limited!). But those things are not mutually exclusive with having a life outside your kids. I have been a working mum and a SAH one, and I'm still the same parent.

I don't want to say you aren't depressed. I haven't met you and you might me. Plus I'm not a doctor grin. But lots of what you say doesn't sound like illness, it sounds like not having your life set up in the way that suits you best right now.

I think my first piece of advice would be to think about the friends you have at kids activities. I made a conscious effort about a year ago to seek out people who didn't just talk about their kids. Going to toddler group and having a chat about the US election, or whatever, makes you feel less stifled. I also joined a book group of other mums. It means we are understanding when we haven't finished (or in some cases started!) the book, but we get out and talk about something that isn't kids.

Then have a think about work. If NCT is what you want to do, great. I am sure it will be very rewarding. But don't be afraid to admit it if you want to go out and work in an unrelated environment too. That's ok smile

Mayanala Sat 17-Nov-12 12:31:49

I feel like this too and I also wonder if it is normal... I'm actually considering antidepressants. Sorry that wasn't much help but I will be watching the thread with interest smile

Mayanala Sat 17-Nov-12 12:32:41

By the way I am a SAHM to 3 dc's, ages 2, 4 and 7, plus a puppy who is very hard work wine

mildredm Sat 17-Nov-12 16:30:41

Hi, I'm mum to 3 dc, ages 2, 3 and 6 and I thnk the pre-school years are pretty hard.
In my view it is not normal or natural to be stuck in a house on your own with just pre-school age children. Humans would naturally be in a bigger social group with more children and other mums and older women around all the time. I love my dc and I'm not depressed, but I find it quite boring just being at home with my kids. And I love them dearly and I do enjoy playing with them some of the time, but I'm 38, why should I enjoy pretending to be spiderman!!!!
And what is there to love about domestic chores?!

My oldest dc is 6 and I find a lot easier to relate to than the younger ones and I can see ahead to a time when all the kids are older when I will find it more enjoyable. That is not to say I don't also enjoy the younger dc, but for me, I find older kids easier. Now my youngest is 2 it also feels a lot more manageable - a 1 yearold is still very dependent on you and very much still a baby.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be too hard on yourself. You don't have to love this life you are living at the moment, it won't last forever, it will all look quite different in a year or two. Not loving every minute does not say anything about whether or notyou are a good and loving mum.

It would be worth seeing your doctor though to see if you are depressed.

Whirliwig72 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:35:55

Arrggh bad bad night last night on top of two not so great nights sleep. . Ds1 was very sweet trying to help me as Ds2 is poorly and keeps being sick everywhere sad. Had stinking row with DH today over who was more sleep deprived - which was stupid as --it's obviously me--grin he's been a star helping out with ds2 in the night.

Things I miss: sleep! Being able to eat a meal at less than breakneck speed, having jumpers without snot / food stains on, sleep!, drinking wine with free abandon, sex with DH, being able to watch what I want on tv without arguments or toddler switching it off, sleep!, non sticky surfaces, doing evening classes, having proper child free conversations, not having my breasts being sucked dry for hours on end, sleep! Being able to make plans that are not dependent upon two other people's health and well being at all times, going up the cinema ( not been for over 4 years!) oh and sleep! grin

TheCountessOlenska Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:24

Points 1-4 I feel like you do to some extent, but not constantly.

Points 5 and 6 - well, it does sound to me like you might be a bit depressed. When I had a bout of depression (years ago, when I was at Uni and it has never recurred thankfully) I really struggled to look forward to/or to make any plans for the future.

I feel worse after a bad night, sleep is sooo important. Could your DH or someone help you out by letting you have a nap in the day or a lie-in. I quite often insist on this!

Are you getting out of the house enough? I don't have a lot of love for toddler groups etc but always feel better once I've been.

For the love of God woman, GO to the cinema. I am going with my friend next week - I am so deprived of a social life that I have been looking forward to this all month!!

AsparagusFern Sun 25-Nov-12 21:43:59

Hi Whirliwig Just checking in to see you are still okay? Feeling any better?

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