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I've ruined my life by having a child(507 Posts)
I never thought it would be this way. If I thought it would be this way I obviously would never have done it. I would never have inflicted "me" onto a child. I feel like a really shit mother because I'm not 100% happy with motherhood. In fact I'm not even 10% happy most of the time. It's not my poor daughters fault. She's only 3 months old.
I have 2 first class degrees so I could have had a different future but I wanted to be a mother. I thought I would make a good mother. I used to be a nursery nurse then a primary school teacher. I've written for parenting and teachers magazines. I thought I had maternal stamped all over me. But I'm sitting here downing as much vodka as I can. I'm getting drunk and I'm EBFing. I've never done this before because I've always tried to be the perfect mother. But I can't be the perfect mother. I feel like I've reached as far as I can go. I wish I could just leave the house with no money, no car, no food and just run, run, run untill I had no energy to take another step then just colapse and not be found. I've often wished I could become seriously ill and sent to hospital so I can rest and be alone. My doctor has given me pills but I've been on antidepressants before and they numbed me and made me feel nautious. Also I put on weight. I'm already hideous-looking compared to my former self so I obviously don't want to make myself even more hideous by putting on more weight.
Probably the worst thing is that my marriage is going down the shit hole. We've been together over 5 years and having a kid seems to have completely ruined our relationship. We argue a lot. I admit I pick a lot of the arguments. I feel like I want to saboratge my life. I feel as though I'm trapped and have no choices anymore.
I'm a SAHM and I have no friends. I attend a baby group but I'm too embarrassed to invite anyone over because we live in a tiny flat and the cat has destroyed the sofa and our baby's nursery has still not even been started People will judge me and I don't blame them. My husband takes years to do one little thing, hence why nothing ever gets done. As I have no money (not even enough for driving lessons) I don't feel that I have any control over my life. I can't get a job because childcare is too expensive and I cant get free childcare because my husband earns too much yet we always seem so poor. We don't have a joint account so I have to ask for everything.
Also since having a child I feel as though I have become retarded. I used to have quite an active intellect and a sharp mind. Now I struggle to complete sentences. It's probably sleep deprivation but either way it's a sad transformation.
My mother tells me to pull myself together and grow up for the sake of the baby. She says I am traumatising my baby because my husband and I argue so much. Deep down I am so scared because I know she is right.
I don't know what to do anymore. I'm the lowest I've ever been in my life (and I've been in very low places before).
I can see now way out of this.
All I've got is this bottle of vodka and its nice whilst I drink it but I know it will only be hours until the hazy alcohol fog lifts.
I feel that by having a child I have ruined the following:
I can't think that this can possibly be normal because otherwise people wouldn't have multiple kids, and most people do.
I honestly thought I would be a good mother. I had no reason to think otherwise. I would NEVER have subjected an innocent child to me in this state if I knew this was going to happen. I'm not an inherintly evil person. I thought I was a loving and gentle and kind person until now.
And having a child is irreversable. What the hell can I do now?
I don't expect many replies but this has been good therapy to get it all out and read it back to myself.
You poor thing. I'm so sorry you feel this way.
Sounds like PND to me but I'm sure someone will be on who has more experience in these things.
It will get better. x
I hope that lots of other people will say this too:
You aren't an awful mother; you are EXHAUSTED. Everything seems bleak now because you are so tired. It is a traumatic transition, from childlessness to having a child. Things WILL get better.
Almost certainly you have not damaged your intellect. That will bounce back when you have more sleep. Other problems will start to get easier too. Meanwhile, be kind to your self, get all the help you can. Be kind to you partner too, if possible. And make sure he is kind to you!
Well, I'll reply because I don't want you to feel like you're alone.
I'm here to tell you you are not.
Also, that you may have postnatal depression (PND). You may not, and you may be suffering the results of extreme sleep deprivation, but I've had PND and I felt just as you describe.
There IS help out there. There are, for starters, many anti-depressants out there, you can also ask to be referred to a psychiatric nurse or consultant who can help you find one that works for you, and be referred for counselling.
And you're here!
I wish I knew about MN when I had my first and fell into a great big black hole.
We are listening.
A hangover is horrid with a small baby
I could relate to some of what you said - when we had our first, DH and I had some of bitterest rows
I thought I had ruined my life too - DS was refluxy, didn't sleep was permanently I'll and I lost "myself"
It did get better but at the time it felt like a bomb had gone off and exploded my old life away
I was isolated - none of my friends had children but I went to just one group and met some great friends who are still with me 5 years down the line
Have you got a good health visitor? If so, speak to her ASAP
Have a (hug)
stop beating yourself up, too.
you know something, if you really were a shit mum, you wouldn't even care, much less feel bad enough to write that post.
you'd be out boozing and not giving a toss about the kid.
You poor thing. Things will get better.
3 months is a real low point for most mothers and is not a reflection of how it will always be, either for your child or your marriage.
Sleep deprivation can do awful things to you and your relationship.
There is a kind of haze over new parenthood and I, with both my children, felt I disappeared for a while. Although I loved them I felt I'd lost myself.
Then when they hit 12 months I felt a kind of fog lifting and I felt my old self returning a little bit.
I'm sorry if this isn't offering any practical advice right now - will try to think of some.
But you are not a bad mother, or a bad wife, or a bad person.
We ALL feel like this at some point, usually when they are tiny. You go from being a competent, accomplished successful person to not having a fucking clue what you are doing, getting no feedback (!) and feeling and looking like shit most of them time.
oh you poor thing.
There are more people on here who feel like you than you think.
You are responding perfectly normally to a really difficult situation - having a child is hard hard hard especially with all the things you mention.
It is very, very early days if she's only 3 months old.
Having a child is irreversible but most of the things in your list will get better: you will get your looks back, you will get your brain back, you can rebuild your relationship and your job security and prospects will improve.
Please take care of yourself and don't do anything drastic, things will get better.
As far as I am concerned to feel like this is completely normal. people will label this as depression but having a baby is associated with socail isolation and a number of losses. The good thing is that you have insight into the reasons behind why you are feeling crappy.
In shirt my advice to you, havign been is almost exactly the same position, would be to :
stop trying to be perfect -babys at this age only require love , milk and sleep really
Be kind to yourself
Find somethigns to do with your baby - MONKEY MUSIC saved me - stopped me sitting on the sofa watching the clock . Meant nothing to my 3 month old baby but made me get dressed and meet mums.
Stop drinking - it won't help and just make you feel a crappier mum and a failure
The losses that you experience after first having a baby you will recoup but it is hard to think so at a time. Your looks your slef-esteem and gradually your freedom will return.
Stop the drinking
I am so sorry
It sounds like PND to me as well, although I am not a doctor.
You can try different anti depressants in order to find one that suits you, if you do decide to go down that route
When I had PND I felt that life could never be the same, but it was a symptom of my depression. I got better and things did not look that way to me any more.
Not sure I can be that helpful but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. The first couple of months are very hard and it does get better. Particularly the sleep. If you have depression anyway (which I think you are saying in your post) then if you aren't able to take anti-depressants are you able to go out for a walk with baby in the buggy in the day time to at least get some fresh air and exercise and sunshine?
Out of your list, I really really wouldn't worry about your looks for now, you won't have changed as much as you think in your essentials, just less time to look after yourself etc. There is a good shiney thread on here about taking small steps each day to help with self-esteem in this area.
Your marriage - well, yes it is important but I bet your DH knows that post-baby time is difficult and was not expecting it to be a breeze.
Your prospects - actually as a teacher it is easier to go back into work after a bit than in some other careers, quite a lot of women in the profession do it. Give yourself permission not to think about it for a good while yet, your baby is still only 3 months old!
Your intellect - this hasn't changed, it's just that sleep deprivation makes people feel dull and slow.
Your security - you will feel better about this in time because it relates to your other fears, which will themselves alleviate in time.
Have you had all of this conversation with your husband or just parts of it?
Shame your mum doesn't seem to be very supportive - those comments don't sound very helpful. Can anyone else babysit / come round to help for a bit so you can get some sleep or a bath etc.?
i'm sure it feels like a lifetime but it's only been three months - you're incredibly tired and whatever you've heard, most mother's feel like this at some point.
go to your gp, get the help you need and deserve - this too shall pass.
Also, DH and I can now laugh about the almighty argument we had when I packed up DS1 (3 months) in the car, complete with suitcase and headed to my sisters.
I had to turn back and go home as I couldn't work out a way to explain to her that it was about the fact that I had bought aubergines
Oh my darling. I know what you mean. I used to look at DD in her basket and think... 'what HAVE I done? feck feck feck. There is no going back now'
have you talked to your DP? Does he help you out with the baby? Does he know how you feel?
Where in the country are you?
You don't need to blame yourself, it sounds like you've got PND. You need to see your GP next week (book a double appointment when you call the surgery to give yourself plenty of time to talk) and, if you get on with your HV, give her a call and ask for her to come and see you at home so she can give you some support. You are not the first woman to feel like this and things will get better but you will need some help to get well again.
read all these posts - you're not alone - we've all been there at some level or another and we all understand how you feel - don't be hard on yourself
You are not alone. When I had PND with DS1 I had to write everything down or I'd forget it. I'd pick fights with DH over ridiculous things. I felt a failure.
There is no such thing as a perfect mum. When I had a 3 month old, success was getting out of the house before midday and remembering everything I needed.
Keep talking. I know its hard to believe it will get better, but it will. You'll need a helping hand though - can you speak to your HV?
BTW - my house was (and mostly still is) a tip. No one will judge you for where you live - they'll just be interested in you and your LO.
PND, I would think. Quite common. Go and see GP, please.
Basically hormones plus exhaustion. GP will help you by prescribing meds and perhaps referring you for a therapy.
Please don't drink lots of vodka as not very good for a baby. I know you know and a couple of glasses of wine is fine, but half a bottle of vodka is not.
It's shit and I'm sorry you're feeling so down, but really, PND is more common than you think.
And you didn't ruin your prospects as plenty of women go back to work, you've got great degrees and experience so it shouldn't be very hard to find work when you feel it's time.
Wrt intellect, of course you're not so sharp at the moment, I don't think many women with 3 mo babies are- sleep deprivation, perhaps PND- normal. It'll take few months to feel like your old self.
If your marriage is not working now, it is not because of the baby, it's because there are issues that were present there before and need to be resolved. Baby just brought them to surface.
Put the vodka away and listen to what people are saying.
You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to feel like this. You may have PND. You may just be extremely, chronically sleep-deprived. Whichever it is, it feel like sh*t and we do understand.
Having your own child is not the same as looking after other peoples'. I, too, thought I'd be the perfect, natural mother. I found the baby months absolutely horrendous and it was a huge shock.
It doesn't feel like it just now, but it is a short period of your life. You will get yourself back. Your brain has not turned to mush - it is just exhausted. Please see your HV or doctor and do whatever you can to get help to take care of yourself and your baby until these very, very hard months are past.
Really sorry to read that you are feeling so low. Agree with others that it sounds a lot like sleep deprivation talking and that things will get better. I think non-mothers completely underestimate how truely awful sleep deprivation can be.
Keep going to the baby group(s) - you don't have to invite anyone to your house but it will help you feel sane and perhaps meet some people who feel a little bit the same.
Marriage - will get better if you believe it will and acknowledge that having a baby is a major life changing event.
Looks - will get better - my tummy got back to normal, the bags under my eyes eventually went, my normal body reappeared (all eventually!).
Prospects / security / intellect - your full time job is mother at the moment, not professional career woman. And in a few months you will have got to know your DD better, got more practised at your new "career" as a mother and might feel ready to resume a working life. For now all you need to do is try to make sure your DD is warm, fed and changed. That's it.
This book was written for you - someone who was successful and confident professionally and then was hit by the sledgehammer of motherhood. I'm just reading my local library's copy after having seen it recommended several times on here. It talks about loads of the things you are experiencing.
As others have said, keep posting because there's a lot of support here.
Oh you poor thing. I am so sorry to read how low and bleak you feel. TBH I think having a baby is the single most challenging thing I have ever done and like you I have two degrees, I worked in the City and I was confident I would cope. DS is now 16 months old. When I look back at the early months, they were extremely dark. My DH and I fought more than we have ever before. I was exhausted and furious with the lose of my identity, career/ income, freedom, figure, social life, etc etc. It does get easier and also you adjust. THIS IS A STAGE in your life, your marriage and your baby's life. It isn't as hard as it is now for ever. Like you I felt hideously ugle, slow-witted, idolated and I was massively resentful because I felt my DH didn't understand what I was experiencing and that his life hadn't shrunk to 4 walls and a roof. I think hormones and lack of sleep pay a big part. Stop trying to be the perfect mother.
LittleAmy please, please hear everyone who has answered you. I remember vividly having an 8 week old refluxy baby. I was sooo exhausted, she didn't sleep at night, at all for the first 12 weeks. She would scream and scream unless I sung to her and patted her back constantly.
It was so bad that my Mum (who is extremely pro-BF) almost begged me to buy some formula to get a break. I couldn't do it, because I was so irrational that I had wrapped that up with being a good mother
It will pass. I have 3 children now, 4.11, 3.2 & 18 months. Despite the absolute trauma of her early months, when DD1 was 10 months old, I started thinking...another would be nice.
Honestly, I still feel 'dumbed down'. I feel isolated at times, and I crave intellectual stimulation.
You will feel better, you will enjoy her. Soon she will start gurgling, and rolling, and even crawling, and you will feel like you have a little person with you, rather than a sleeping, feeding, pooing machine with 3 settings - on, off and scream.
Talk to someone, anyone, you will find that they will tell you that they have felt the same, I am sure.
Just wanted to say that others are right- many, many mums feel exactly as you have described just many of them don't admit it!!! Very very few people find it a breeze though it can often look like everyone else is coping brilliantly from the outside the truth is that we all struggle!
Mine are now 5, 4 and 2 (youngest born when eldest had just turned 3) and to be honest I barely survived!! Just it wasn't till I'd had all 3 that I realised how difficult it was, lol.
Thing is at 3 mths it is SO hard because all babies do is take take take at that age and you have to do all the rest whilst being totally exhausted etc etc. However your baby will begin to interact with you more and become more interesting, funny, sleep better etc and 12 mths really is a turning point where your life seems so shift more towards normality again.
One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was to be MUCH LESS self critical and to give myself a break and carve out ME time and make sure I got it frequently- even if it means sitting in a bath reading a book while baby is sleeping or dh looks after her.
the reason people have more than 1 child is believe it or not this exhaustion and these feelings or hopelessness will pass.
no-one is the perfect mum. some people try and show they are but no-one really is..... and you dont have to be.
she will love you even if your sofa is falling apart or you can only manage fish finger and chips for 3 nights in a row cause you are so knackered or if your stomach is more lumpy than you could ever image and your tits are down by your waist!!
i agree though hangover will make you feel more shit and you need to get checked out by your gp r.e PND.
LittleAmy we've all been there. It will get better - in a few months time you'll suddenly realise that its not so intensive - you will start to get more sleep and feel a bit more human.
Two bits of advice from me as I'm not as eloquent as everyone else.
Seriously stop with the vodka or you will have a monster hangover tomorrow and its really hard to look after a baby when you're being sick.
And GP appointment next week - you may need some low level ADs to get you through until you do start to feel better.
If you hunt the archives there are thousands of posts of people who have been where you are - it will pass.
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