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Family life triggers my depression

(51 Posts)
LoversLane Sun 14-May-17 10:20:54

I have name changed but I can assure you I have been in MN for many years. After long infertility battles we ended up having two children very close in age (preschoolers). Family life is not the magical place I thought it would be with us spending time together like all the other families I see around us.

I can safely say that I don't always enjoy being with my children. I work full time and Mon-Fri are utterly wonderful. I love my job, I'm quite senior, I am respected and trusted and needed. At home it's the complete opposite. The children's tantrums and constant crying, clingyness and attention seeking really bring me down and I have a bout of depression every single weekend.

DH who was so supportive through our infertility years doesn't seem to care for me anymore and has stopped being my safety net. He just tries to deal with the kids as best he can and doesn't even step in to tell them off when I am being bombarded by them with questions and demands and he can see I am on the edge.

I am on 20mg of citalopram for a year now, did CBT but it wasn't much help. Should I go back to the GP to increase my dose?

I never thought that something that I wanted for so long could hurt me so much sad

Dozer Sun 14-May-17 10:24:58

Sorry you're finding it hard at the moment. Small DC can be hardcore! IME it gets much easier in the primary years. It's great that work is going well.

Sounds like you have some relationship issues that could be a contributing factor.

Do you have any regular time to do things alone that you enioy? Things with your DH? If not, might that help? Couples or individual counselling?

Dozer Sun 14-May-17 10:26:03

I read that fertility problems and / or past MH issues make MH issues after DC more likely - this was certainly my experience.

blue2014 Sun 14-May-17 10:33:45

Oh love, kids are really bloody hard work. I had fertility problems too - it's ok to find this shit, you don't have to be super mum and eternally grateful just because you struggled to conceive

It might just help to talk? Here or to a counsellor rather than CBT?

DeadGood Sun 14-May-17 21:02:18

OP, have you spoken to your husband? Are there other problems in your relationship, or is it more that he doesn't take initiative with the kids?

It sounds as though your career is going well. Do you think that a bit of additional childcare could help on the weekend? I know this may sound unfeasible, as you are already paying so much for their care during the week - and it would impact on your time together, which you don't have while you are at work.

But it is really, really hard spending your life on a treadmill of work, kids, sleep during the week, then housework, kids, sleep on the weekends.

LovelyBath77 Wed 17-May-17 19:53:33

Our two go to a farm club thing on a weekend for a couple of ours, maybe something like that would help, a bit of time even a couple of hours to yourself.

Kennethnoisewater Wed 17-May-17 20:04:35

Two children close in age is hard work first off, so cut yourself some slack and don't beat yourself up for finding it exhausting and thankless.
I'm assuming they're young if they're pre schoolers? If you work full time they mustn't see much of you mon-fri? Which in part explains why they're so needy and clingy at the weekends, you're their mum, they're very young and they need you. They're not being deliberately hard work or doing it to piss you off. Neither are they 'attention seeking'.
It sounds like they're taking their cue from you, children are very sensitive, if you're impatient and cross with them, they will play up, they can sense if you don't want to spend time with them. Not what you want to hear I know.
I have also suffered with serious PND, after the birth of my first, it was all encompassing and devastating. I'm sorry, but you don't just get depression at the weekends.
You sound like you have anxiety at the prospect of parenting your children for 2 full days at the weekend rather than depression because as you say, you're fine mon-fri.
Please don't get any additional childcare at the weekend, that's a terrible idea. You need to spend that time with them, strengthen your bond, lower your expectations. Full on days out are tiring and stressful for everyone so go low key, bake them, go to the park, feed the ducks etc. But always have a plan and it will get easier.

DeadGood Wed 17-May-17 21:17:10

"Please don't get any additional childcare at the weekend, that's a terrible idea."

Thanks for that, Kenneth.

I wasn't suggesting the OP send her children to boarding school. But a babysitter who could take them out for an hour or two could allow the OP some time to herself, that it sounds like she needs.

Her husband doesn't sound like he is making the effort to manage it and it doesn't sound like their relationship is kn a good place right now. So some temporary relief could be helpful so the OP can clear her head a little.

LovelyBath77 Wed 17-May-17 21:28:11

Yes- the farm club helps me and I have MH issues as well. It is good for them and it's easy to spend the afternoon and Sunday together. OP is working all week and a couple of hours to herself, or with her OH, would be very good IMO.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 18-May-17 01:06:52

Please don't get any additional childcare at the weekend, that's a terrible idea.

Another one in total agreement with this, and I say this as someone who works full time, and totally gets it.

We're a little further down the track from you - two DC v close in age, now at school.

The difference in how much I enjoy them is immeasurable!

I felt like I was drowning when they were younger. I struggled to cope.

In a few short years, it will be so much easier.

I also think your DH is doing the best he can, for the DC, if not for you. flowers

Pallisers Thu 18-May-17 01:27:25

Please don't get any additional childcare at the weekend, that's a terrible idea.

No it is a perfectly good idea if the alternative is OP slumping into a major depression or having to be on meds she doesn't need to be on. 2 hours having a lovely time at a farm or with a nanny is surely better than your mum being depressed and not functional? If someone said "my mum will take them for 4 hours on a Saturday" everyone would be saying go for it. Why is it so abhorrent if it is paid childcare?

My cousin had 2 children then triplets. They got childcare at the weekends so they could do stuff with the 2 older children. Why is this ok but getting weekend childcare for your own mental health isn't???

OP, the years you are in are the hardest ones. It is tough. The primary years (with good childcare/drop off/afterschool) is way better.

I do think you are struggling a bit MH wise and might need to go back to the doctor for that but those preschool years were hard for all of us and for many of us work was far easier and more rewarding (I think most men would admit this with absolutely no guilt - that is why so few of them stay home full time).

cantbelieveivejustnoticed Thu 18-May-17 07:45:57

OP – can totally relate to this. Lots of sensible suggestions above so I won't add any more except to say hang in there, it does get easier. I think we are sold a bit of a myth about the idyllic early years of childhood. Some people love that stage but I found it really tough (I also have a history of depression) and am much happier now my DC are older.

LoversLane Mon 22-May-17 20:42:01

I just wanted a safe place where I could admit that I am happier at work than with my own kids sad

I leave work early on Fridays so I can pick them up from nursery. Tantrums start outside on the street, tag teaming between them, and go on like that until Monday mornings when I can escape them again.

I just cannot take it, they suffocate me when I have to be with them more than 1-2 hrs on the trot. sad if I felt like this at work I would be signed off with stress but I cannot be signed off from being a mum. I feel that we have been cursed or something, almost as if saying that the losses and failed attempted at fertility treatment were telling us something and we should have remained childless.

LoversLane Mon 22-May-17 20:46:44

I just comfort eat all the time it's the only thing that keeps me going, a reward for feeling so miserable and dealing with the horrible pre school years

allegretto Mon 22-May-17 20:49:21

I felt like I was drowning when they were younger. I struggled to cope.

This x 100!! It really will get better soon. How old are they now? Things got better at around 5 or 6 for me.

FaFoutis Mon 22-May-17 20:51:31

I think it's harder being away from them and then having to go back to it. If you are with the dc a lot you tune in and cope after a while. That's my experience anyway.
I had 3 close together and I survived by spending almost every waking moment with them in the park. Not the play park, around lakes, woods and stuff. Walking like a lunatic until they went to sleep.
It gets much better than this. Yes, 5 or 6 is the start of getting better. My youngest is 7 now and it's a piece of piss.

LoversLane Mon 22-May-17 21:07:35

I didn't enjoy my maternity leave, I did two back to back as there is barely a year between them (one will be 4 in Sept, the other is nearly 3) and I found it so dull. I just wanted to go back to work which is the complete opposite of what I'd always thought I'd want. I wanted to be the earth mother pottering around the kitchen with children giggling at my feet. Instead I got babies with bad reflux which just threw up everything that they ate (milk allergy). They are both very clingy and very jealous of each other so there is a lot of competition between them. Ironically spending more time with them makes me feel a lot worse!!!

FaFoutis Mon 22-May-17 21:12:43

That's hard. At least my 3 got on OK. I can see why you don't enjoy it.
My best times are when I take one child out. Could you take one child for a nice trip out and leave DH with the other one? Doing this reminded me why I had them.

LoversLane Mon 22-May-17 21:21:24

That's how we survive weekends, by not spending time together so we can each take one out. As soon as we get home they are fine for a little while and then quarrelling over toys, books etc

LovelyBath77 Tue 23-May-17 14:53:48

Lovers things will change as they get older, I have two boys they are 8 and 12 now, it used to be really hard with us all together at weekends too. I wanted to mention, I went low carb which really helped with comfort eating, maybe cutting out sugar and carbs a bit might help as it means you don;t crave it as much. You need to look after you as well. And were at all do you fit in a wee bit of time for you if you're working all week and with the children at the weekend? Is there something you can do just for yourself? Like a swim or walk or the gym? Maybe your husband can take them for a bit so you can do this one weekend morning perhaps? It can make such a difference...

OrlandoTheCat Tue 23-May-17 15:14:29


Full on days out are tiring and stressful for everyone so go low key, bake them, go to the park, feed the ducks etc. But always have a plan and it will get easier.

You suggest baking the kids.....? grin

Octopus37 Sat 27-May-17 08:56:41

I'm another one who finds my kids hard and dont enjoy it as much as I think I should, I hope this doesn't make it any worse for anyone but mine are 7 and 10. I love them both lots but I find the fighting relentless. I also struggle with how selfish and demanding they can be. I am on Citolopram 20mg have been for a year cause of problems with work (now sorted), bereavements etc, but have decided to start weaning myself off them tbh cause I hate how much weight I have put on. Sorry, just realised this is a bit of a hijack, really hope you can get some respite, maybe a baby sitter for a couple of hours as other posters have suggested. Also great that you enjoy your job and you sound as if you are really good at it.

Badders123 Sat 27-May-17 09:15:03

Sometimes being a mother is shit.
It just is.
I spent Xmas looking after sick children whilst really ill myself. I left the house twice in 2.5 weeks.
I've had two weekends away cancelled due to Dhs last minute work trips
I spent Mother's Day cleaning up the vomit of 3 people.
It's not like it is in the books or on tv.
I'm not best placed to answer your op this morning tbh as I'm livid with both Dh and my ds1 right now.
My dc are older than yours (and yes the toddler years can be uber grim)
And I was hoping that they would need LESS input now but Ds2 is still an anxious mess after 3 years of pretty constant family bereavements and ill health
Ds1 is starting his GCSEs subjects this year and my God, the bloody sheer amount of paperwork and trying to sort out revision is driving me mad.
Added to that he has been ill all week with tonsillitis - he is on antibiotics which he has to take 4 times a day.
My uncle died yesterday so I spent most of yesterday trying to arrange flights on a bank holiday weekend for my mum to get back for the funeral tomorrow (got her the last seat on the flight this morning!)
Did ds1 or Dh remember to take his tablets yesterday?
I'm sure you can guess the answer.
Without me constantly reminding and sorting out, stuff just does not get done.
I'm now in a vile temper as ds1 and Dh are going away for 3 days next week and he will now not have finished the course of tablets.
Neither of them will remember to take them.
And I'm so fucking SICK of it.😡
I'm a sahm and some days I dream of working ft and actually getting some respect and having people appreciate what I do.😡😞
But....there it is.
That turned into a bit of a mad rant didn't it? 😳
Point being...being a mum is bloody hard and really more so if your partner/Dh is not pulling their weight too.
Perhaps a mothers helper at the weekend would help you? Your Dh obv isn't going to step up. Perhaps a student home for the holidays?
It's not worth your MH to keep things as they are.
However, I would suggest a trip back to the dr...your meds may need tweaking too.
Good luck op.
and sorry about the rant

MyCalmX Sat 27-May-17 09:40:14

This will sound rubbish I know but you have to change your attitude. When I expect too much, actually anything, from my dc I get very stressed and annoyed with them. I have two dd 6 yo and 18 mo and while the 6 yo is independent and can do a lot herself her constant nattering and wanting my attention can be very draining.

I think you need to reset your expectations of what your weekends will be like, go out together not split up. Try a few different discipline techniques until you find one that sort of works for your dc.

It is tough being a parent and it's 100% OK to think it sucks and to hate it sometimes but it's not OK to check out from parenting.

WillyWonkasChocolate Sat 27-May-17 14:43:15

I can't give any advice except I'm in a similar position.
We have one child after fertility treatment. Shortly after I was diagnosed with a life limiting illness.
Thankfully I am out of the worst but still have lots of issues.
I'm not at work but I do think I had depression and anxiety from an early age but just suppressed it. After DC and illness it has magnified 10 fold.
The daily grind of school drop offs, cooking, cleaning and low self confidence has been a killer.

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