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upset, row with dh, bad mummy moment...

(10 Posts)
berolina Thu 04-Aug-05 23:35:03

dh and I went out for dinner this evening, with ds (11 wks), for the first time since his birth, to our favourite restaurant. When we got there, the place was almost empty (one of the reasons why we like it - it's a well-kept secret) but after a while I noticed a slight whiff of smoke. I looked around and saw a woman a few tables away smoking, and also the waitress was having the odd fag. I started feeling very uncomfortable indeed because of cot death etc. and actually wanted to leave with ds, but dh was adamant that it was no problem because none of the actual smoke was blowing over to us, and unfortunately it turned into a bit of a row. Later the waitress came over for a chat (we've been going there so long we're sort of part of the furniture) and held ds for a good 15 minutes so we could eat in peace. It was only afterwards I realised she'd had a cigarette and her holding ds could be dangerous to him. Cue further disagreement with dh. Now I'm sitting here feeling totally miserable - I'm usually so careful about the smoke issue with ds, I won't even take him to MIL's because she smokes - even if she doesn't smoke in there while we're there, because of the particles in the carpets etc. - and I feel like I've put him at risk and am so worried I'm going to lose him all because of having gone out for a meal (bad mummy!). I've had a long cold and the last few mornings have heard ds seems to have something in his nose, and am worried that if he has a slight infection that and the smoke will contribute to cot death. Plus dh doesn't seem to understand - he thinks because some babies are OK in smoky atmospheres what happened this evening's not that big a risk. We're not exactly getting on brilliantly atm - always seem to be getting at each other, trying to score points, disagreeing about everything to do with ds. dh thinks I worry too much and am paranoid... Sorry, just needed to offload - can't sleep anyway, too worried about ds.

lemonice Thu 04-Aug-05 23:39:11

Don't worry, the advice is addressed to a broader and less aware audience...it's a shame it spoilt your evening...it's the trouble with good advice it worries those who don't need it...

CarolinaMoon Thu 04-Aug-05 23:43:02

awwww, Berolina!

DP and I argued non-stop for about the first 6 months of ds's life, if that's any consolation.

I would have felt the same if I was in that restaurant - if you can smell the smoke, how could you not be inhaling it?

Having said that, an hour or so with some smoke not very near the baby isn't the same as chain-smoking over its cot.

Tell your DH all mums are paranoid, it's part of the job description. Then get him to give you a big hug, you deserve one .

MissBegotten Thu 04-Aug-05 23:48:28

im sure you do worry too much and im sure you are paranoid - i am! i think its called motherhood!

just try to keep it in proportion. dont let fears get out of control or you will be a wreck!

And you only gave birth a few weeks ago, so are bound to be feeling hormonal/emotional/shellshocked at this time anyway - i know i was!! i cried for months after ds1 - scared of everything. i didnt sleep for ages - just used to lie awake with my hand on his chest, to make sure he was still breathing (i even used to poke him awake if he was too still or too quiet!!)

mears Thu 04-Aug-05 23:50:36

Berolina - please do not dwell on this at all. The problem is babies being exposed to smoke over prolonged periods such as having smoking parents. Much as smoking in a restaurant is to me disgusting, your ds will be absolutely fine. My FIL was a smoker and we did used to visit however he never smoked in the presence of the baby. We used to stay with friends who both smoked and unfortunately continues to do so when we were there. I used to get pretty angry with them but I knew that the risk to my baby was minimal as it was not a prolonged exposure.
Sounds as though the argument with DH was the tip of the iceberg and that you have issues building up that the smoking was the catalyst for. Try and sit down and talk about what the problems are for you. As for worrying about cotdeath - please be reassured that your baby has not been harmed by the exposure to cigarette smoke tonight. Next time you go for a meal make it clear from the start you would like to be in a smoke free atmosphere if possible, for your own enjoyment apart from anything else.

berolina Thu 04-Aug-05 23:57:24

thanks everyone (sighs and looks relievedly down at ds sleeping in her arms)
mears - yes, there are 'issues', and I think I know what it is - we love each other very much and couldn't be without each other, but somehow have got into some kind of situation where each of us continually has to have the upper hand, be in the right - almost like a power struggle, except we've really really no need for one, which makes it rather freaky. I know this really belongs in Relationships, but anyone else who's had a similar situation - how did you deal with it?
Would write more but must go offline now - we're flatsitting for a friend and she dsoesn't have a flatrate

BadgerBadger Fri 05-Aug-05 00:16:41

Berolina, I'm glad you're feleing better about your DS, FWIW I entirely agree that short exposure to very little smoke will not have put him at risk .
Though completely understand your wish for him to be in completely smoke free environments!

Regarding the 'power struggle' you describe;
I have found power struggles to be based in issues of control. For example, you have just had your LO, your whole lives have changed completely, and maybe you are both experiencing emotions that neither of you have experienced before?

Parenthood is new territory and sometimes a fear of the unknown can bring about a feeling of being completely out of control, so in an effort to regain some control over the occuring changes we often attempt to exert it through exerting power on our partners. Power struggles ensue (I can't stand finding myself in the middle of one! They tend to be pretty futile.) but no one is happy.

I think the best way out of this is to talk with each other, involve a lot of reassurance. Once you both feel safer in your new found roles (more 'in control') you may find that the power struggles abate.

If you find yourself in the middle of a futile, semantic, or circular argument try just stepping back, spare time for thought. Don't become embroiled in little things that don't really matter all that much.

throckenholt Fri 05-Aug-05 07:00:02

A one off incident like is probably going to cause no damage - but not worth repeating - if only for your sake - itis not worth the stress as you clearly didn't enjoy it.

Comfort yourself in realising that many people smoke with babies in the house and very few babies die of cot death. It is not a direct cause and effect - just a statistical connection - that of those babies who do die - many of them were in houses of people who smoked.

Try and relax and enjoy your baby and enjoy being a family. Having a new baby is exhausting and stressful - bu t honestly don't waste this precios time on worrying about every detail and every possible risk.

You will have different views about things - but as long as you can talk about them and agree to compromise you will be fine.

CarolinaMoon Fri 05-Aug-05 09:40:26

I was going to post about the arguments DP and I had, but badgerbadger has said it all already.

Having a new baby is a hugely stressful time and it's not surprising that your relationship is suffering, because you've got far less time and energy than before to nuture it.

If you can both make an effort each day to just be nice to each other, praise what the other one's doing, give each other a hug etc, it will help balance out the arguments. And your ds is still very new - it will get easier as he gets older and you both adjust to parenthood.

berolina Sat 06-Aug-05 22:28:18

Thanks everyone.
We have been trying to talk about it over the last couple of days, but it seems to run aground all the time (going round in circles, too tired to get to grips...) - OTOH I think we're both accepting that's the way it is at the moment and trying to see past it as much as possible - sort of defuse it by not getting involved in it. Maybe it will calm itself down with time.

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