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Desperate for some advice. My son is 4 months old and last week I returned to work. Would have loved to have been able to enjoy my full maternity but unfortunately financially it wasn't possible. My son is a brilliant baby, been so easy, I've never really struggled with lack of sleep or anything that you'd expect from being a new parent, it's been bliss. However my job is very long hours, sometimes 15 hour shifts, sometimes 10 hour night shifts and it's about 2 hours travel each way. My manager has been brilliant and works all of my shifts around my partners so we don't have to pay for childcare but naturally I've been exhausted and have been trying to catch up on sleep during the days when my partner is taking care of our son. I'm feeling so guilty about barely spending any time with him and today, before I left for work, my son wouldn't even look at me, just kept turning his head to daddy. I'm so pleased that my partner is having quality time but it's made me feel so low that he doesn't seem to be interested in me. I ended up leaving for work in tears. I don't know if this is normal and whether to worry or not. And part of me is wondering whether I should go back to being a stay at home mum. I've also been having really negative comments about me and my parenting. On my first day back I had another member of staff tell me I still looked pregnant and that I wasn't this big before I had the baby. She also told me that I should have breastfead to get my weight off, I wasn't able to breastfeed because me and my son were so ill during and after the birth, so these comments really upset me. I just don't know what to do or feel. I've never been this miserable, and I'm wondering if it's possible late Post natal depression can develop a bit later. Just at my wits end at the moment, absolutely exhausted and just feel like I'm not doing anything right. I'm seeing the health visitor Thursday to talk to her about it but I just need a bit of advice in the meantime! 😔Thank you.
Hi There HannahLouise2017,
We're so sorry to hear how low you're feeling right now, we don't doubt you'll find MN a great source of support but nothing can replace real life help so please do seek that out too.
We hope things look a lot brighter for you soon
You poor thing. I recently went back to work - just regular 9-5 - and I'm finding it so tough. I can't imagine how hard and exhausting it must be with those long hours, no wonder you're feeling down. I don't have a lot of advice other than definitely speak to the health visitor - whether you do have PND or are just completely (understandably) exhausted and overwhelmed, she'll be able to point you in the right direction moving forward.
My little one fell over the other day and reached out for my Mum (who's very kindly looking after him during the day) rather than me and I had a massive wobble too. But just remember, you're his Mum, and there is no-one in the world who can (and will) do that job better than you, and he knows it too I'm sure he was just having an off day, or his Dad smelt interesting or something equally random. There's no rhyme or reason at that age, but you're still his world Sending you a huge hug
Meant to say too, ignore all the insensitive/horrible comments - people come out with all sorts of nonsense when they encounter a new Mum. I was barely standing when my boy was 4 months old - you're fifteen steps ahead of where I was!
Firstly your colleague is a dick. Ignore them. Secondly it is possible to have PND at any point following birth, typically within first 6 months but not limited to. Your working hours and travel seem very demanding, especially given that you only gave birth 4 months ago. I'm not surprised you are exhausted and speaking to your HV is absolutely the right thing to do.
As for your son, babies are unpredictable, sometimes they'll settle for you sometimes they won't. Your tiredness will be compounding your feelings.
A colleague at work told me I was a terrible mother for only taking six months of maternity leave. She also pretty much said that my husband was crap because he didn't make enough as if you want to get married and have a child, "money is the main necessary thing." Of course, she's single and I don't see that changing for a long time. Ignore your colleague and speak to someone about it as well. I have felt tearful about returning to work too and I'm waiting for my work to decide on my part time hours today or tomorrow. If I don't get them, I'm finding a new job. Do what feels right for you, but be thoughtful with how you go about doing it. I worked out our budget to a T and eliminated a lot of luxuries. I will probably be getting my hair cut once every 4 months now and doing my nails at home.
I had to go back to work ( Nursing) when my 2 eldest children were 5 months and 4 months old and it is hard and exhausting. I used to go down to the hospital Nursery and breastfeed them in my tea breaks with no extra time allowed. It was horrendous. Shift work is particulary hard on your body which is still recovering from the huge trauma of birth and adapting to motherhood.
In your position I would see your GP just to check there is no underlying cause for your exhaustion such as anaemia etc and to check you for pnd. Get signed off for a short while if need be. Also talk to your boss and see if you can be exempt from nightshifts for a while, they play havoc on your body at the best of times let alone when you are postnatal. I suspect you have gone back to work way too early but understand that finances may be tough.
Thank you all for your replies, they have been so much help for me. Little Man is finally back to wanting attention from mummy so it must have just been a few off days. Still feeling very exhausted but for the first time since I had my son I have actually started saying no to doing housework or getting things done and taking time to catch up on sleep during the days. Its only been a few days but it is really helping. I still have a very low mood but it is definitely helping knowing that there are others that are feeling then same way I am. Your replies really have made me feel heaps better! xx
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