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Just need to have a little moan...

(8 Posts)
Munkymoo Mon 27-Jan-14 16:58:35

Hi everyone,
I'm six weeks into my first placement. I've got a newborn who was placed with me at birth and all is going well with her she's lovely.

However I'm just having a really tired day, having not slept for longer than 2 or 3 hours in a row for the past 6 weeks is starting to take it's toll.

I was always told how important it was to have a good support network for fostering particularly as I am a single parent to my 9yo daughter.

However my SSW told me at the start of the placement not to let anyone hold her or feed her apart from me as they want her to develop a secure attachment to me. Which is fine in theory but everyone needs a bit of help sometimes and when my sisters or friends are here, to not even be able to let them help me is really difficult.

It's not as if I have a constant stream of people in and out of the house, far from it. My sisters visit once a week and maybe one friend per week. I understand not leaving her to go off out for the evening, but to not even have help in the house seems so unfair.

She reiterated this again last week during my supervision and I just found myself nodding along not saying how I really felt.

The baby is content during the day, but come the evening has bad colic and cries til 2am some nights and when I have to get up to take my daughter to school it's hard. I would have thought it was ok for someone to just cuddle her whilst I am cooking tea or whatever?

So I ended up buying a sling last week so have had to resort to carrying her around all day and night so I can get jobs done as she hates being put down. She is very content in the sling but sleeps so much in it is up all night!

Just feeling a bit blue as I thought I'd be able to utilise my support network more.

As I went from full time employment to fostering, I thought I'd get out and about to local baby groups etc so she could have new experiences and I could make some friends in my community. She told me to stop taking her out as there is research to say that lac should be kept in the house and see as few faces as possible in order to build a secure attachment! I feel like this is crazy, I am the only adult in my house and one hour a week at rhyme time or baby massage isn't going to affect attachtment surely?!

I just feel like not only am I not allowed to have anyone help me, I'm not allowed to go anywhere either so I'm feeling really isolated! I sit in the house on my own every night of the week as it is with no one to talk to, but to be told to stay in all day has really upset me.

Has anyone else ever been told this? If so then fair enough but it just seems crazy. For my own well being I need to connect with people.

Sorry for long post sad
Munkymoo x

scarlet5tyger Mon 27-Jan-14 17:25:22

Hi Munkymoo, I can understand being sole carer for LO at first but that does not mean you can't have support! Does your support worker have children of their own? Some SWs go very much by their text books, which are fine for theory but don't work quite so well in real life.

With my first placements I did everything I was told, but now we're out as soon as we get chance! Baby will still be with you just as much, whether you're in your house or in the local library for Rhyme Time, or at a Sure Start centre or even swimming. In fact swimming is proven to be great at promoting attachment. Are you attending baby clinics or are they banned too? What about contact? Is your SW suggesting baby can't leave the house to go to that??

Have you been to the doctor with the Colic? There are things that can help (Colief in particular helped a couple of mine) but they're expensive and GP might not be willing to prescribe - mine is more willing if you've already tried a bottle and its actually worked. Dr Brown bottles also really, really helped.

Is your 9 year old not allowed to cuddle her while you get tea? Even if its just pushing her in her pram, or rocking her chair? You can't be expected to do everything!

The no sleep thing is a killer, but bear in mind the first 100 days are the worst (sounds forever now I know but it will soon pass!)


Munkymoo Mon 27-Jan-14 17:46:33

Thank you scarlet5tyger, I really needed to hear that.
Had 6 week check with health visitor today so now I have to go to clinic at least that's one place I can go.
Baby has contact twice a week and one of those she is collected and returned to me so other than that I'm not going anywhere.
Before fostering I worked a sure start for 7 years running groups and supporting parents so I thought it'd be a great place for me to go with lo, turns out not!
I have supervision on weds again so I will tell her how I am feeling this time, she's really great otherwise so I was quite taken aback when she said this about attachment so I found myself not saying anything.
My gp prescribed infacol which does help a little, my daughter is allowed to hold her but doesn't always want to when she's crying as she's still bit nervous with her.
I'll see what she says on weds and start getting out and about again next week. Otherwise I'll end up with post natal depression without giving birth lol.
Thanks so much for your kind words, really needed that today xx

tia26 Tue 28-Jan-14 13:19:04

Hi Munky Moo- yes it is important that the baby develops a secure attachment to you- and it sounds like you have done an excellent job nurturing that. However, you also need time for yourself and also time alone with your daughter. Your SSW should recognise this too- as this will make you less tired and a more responsive carer to the baby. As an experienced FC I have learnt that it is vital that you look after yourself and family first. Babies are resilient and being cared for by another familiar adult (eg your sister) should not be a problem- especially if still in a familiar environment such as your home. I would speak to your SSW again. I found over the years that my birth daughters also needed one to one time with me too. (Foster children come and go but your children still need you no matter what age. SW's tend not to always recognise this!). Also, does your LA not have Foster carer baby support groups? I found that talking to other F. carers who understand how you are feeling really helpful. Other F.Carers may also be able to offer advice or even occasional respite (as they will all be CRB'd and trained in attachment issues). Good luck and remember to look after YOUR needs too XXX

fasparent Tue 28-Jan-14 23:23:02

Inclusions are just as important as attachment's, we have two babe's and five older children been this way for years, babe's will only develop social skills, interactions, and attachment's with inclusions , this applies too the rest of the family be it BC or looked after children all must be allowed too develop their own character's and skills also , Being normal after a few weeks should surmise, New baby is a big change for most family's normal routine soonest is best tonic . Sometimes Knowledge can be a bit annoying. Never had a problem after baby's have moved on. But plenty of support from family and the children has helped no end.

newfostermummy Mon 03-Feb-14 21:28:57

How are you doing now Munkymoo? OMG, It could have been me writing your thread. My first placement last year (I am single), was a baby & SW said no babysitters for the first 6 weeks. To be fair, I don't have much support available anyway, but that was besides the point. Baby also had colic and screamed hours on end at night. I was ready to scream myself. I ended up complaining (not that it got me anywhere). I made the point that a birth mum wouldn't want to spend 24/7 with a baby, no matter how much they loved them. My SSW said she didn't have a problem with me using a babysitter, but as a newbie I wanted to do what I was told. Even my health visitor asked me if I wanted to do the post natal depression check! Another FC told me about Dr Browns bottles, and I wont use anything else now. It was a very traumatic start to fostering for me. Things are better now, and hope they are for you x

Munkymoo Tue 04-Feb-14 18:41:08

Hi everyone, thanks for your replies.
I did feel a bit down for a week but I'm ok now back on track. I think the tiredness was really getting to me and because it's impossible to sleep in the day with contact and SW visits etc I was struggling. I was late getting my own child to school two days in a row last week, felt awful as she'd never had a late mark before sad but I'm feeling ok this week.
I did try and speak to my SSW about it at supervision the other day but like you newfostermummy I want to do the right thing being new, and have already had a run in with the baby's HV which we had to discuss so didn't want to seem like I was complaining or not coping.
I've had to mellow a bit and tell myself it's ok if the carpet on the stairs hasn't been hoovered for 2 wks as I'm too tired to lug Henry up the stairs!
I do enjoy spending my days with baby and they go so quick, before I know it I have to collect dd from school but..the evenings are hard. Up til 1am most nights then feeding through night which I know Is only to be expected, would just be nice if I could ask ppl for help. Like you say, when you have your own children people help out. I mean I've even been told I can't go on any training until she is 5 mths old as I can't leave her with anyone.
So anyway, I've accepted it's just the way things are for now but I just didn't expect it to be like this I suppose, but I am ok, glad I found this forum though at least other people understand what it's like! Xxx

newfostermummy Thu 06-Feb-14 09:49:09

Like the others have said, when its your first placement, you try to do everything by the book, I was the same. My 1st baby screamed for hours at night, and when she did finally go to sleep at midnight, I was writing up communication book and daily diary's, etc. I was also told to cancel training courses, but I was told for 2 months. I was very worried as I had no time to even start my CWDC. It does get easier though, and when she was adopted, I cracked on with my CWDC before the next placement came. I am a lot more organised this time round. Amazingly, the SW of this baby said nothing about not using babysitters!! SW's all do things differently. I too didn't expect fostering to be like this and wasn't prepared for the lack of support from SW's. Its been a steep learning curve, so try not to worry too much, and if you do have to have someone babysit (CRB checked), you don't tell them!!!

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