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Tired. Need a break, but don't think it's going to happen...

(9 Posts)
schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Dec-10 17:16:43

I've been home for 3 days because of the snow and the problem definitely feels worse now, but things have been like that for months. I have a lovely 7 month old DS and no family around, so I basically spend my days caring for him and doing housework (which is a fair lot now that DS is eating solids!)

DH works, does the grocery shopping, cleans the house on the weekend - but is not hands on with the baby. In fact, he has no initiative on house tasks, but does them when I ask (which is annoying, but not terrible). When with DS, looks as if he had no idea what do next - and can't multitask.

I spend all day taking care of a very active little boy, who is asleep when the father arrives. However, he wakes up several times after that, but no one else can put him to sleep again (my mother and sister have tried, when I was at my family's, with no success). DS also feeds a couple of times during the night (he's breastfed, so I can't ask for help). So, I'm "on duty" 24/7. When I take a shower and DS wakes up, 10 times out of 10 I'll leave the bathroom to find out he is crying his lungs out on his father's arms... I can't even have dinner without being interrupted a couple of times...

I know, the textbook solution for that is leaving DS with DH more often, and just let them get along. But it's not easy, and I don't want to leave the baby to cry like that as I think it's totally unnecessary. DH is not a bad father, but the fact is that I don't trust him enough to leave them alone with each other. DH doesn't know how to feed or bathe DS (and doesn't look too eager to learn - when he gets home earlier he doesn't do either, even when I insist). Of course, I know, if I don't leave them by themselves he will never learn, but this is easier said than done.

The bottomline is that I'm tired, my days feel all the same (specially these last ones, trapped at home looking at the snow). I need some strategies to make them more interesting and to get some time for myself (even half an hour to have a coffee by myself in a week night would be fantastic, but the way things are it's not likely to happen). I have a baby group I go to once a week, but no real friends with children around. The childless friends are only available at times I can't meet them.

Sometimes I feel jealous of DH not being on duty all the time, as even when he's home I'm the one who's alert all the f... time.

Would love to hear suggestions, as MNers usually have clever ideas for every problem. And sorry for the long post, but I feel a bit better after venting it out

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Thu 02-Dec-10 17:25:03

When he cries with your DH, what does your DH do?

I was interested that you said you don't trust your DH. Why not? You can't possibly think he's a good father if he's not trustworthy?

Can your DH do things like take DS for a walk - that's easy enough, stick him in the pram or sling.

I got quite bored with DS and in the end I found things to do either at home with DS (household chores which DS could "help" with - e.g. he'd throw clothes about while I hung them up) or looked up as many groups as possible. So library, children and family centre, playgroups, softplay, swimming, the park.

What's your DS night time routine like? DS goes to bed at 6/7pm and would sometimes wake for a feed at 10pm. So I'd be able to get out in the evening for a few hours locally. Made a huge difference, even if I knew I had to be back for a feed.

schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Dec-10 17:41:51

Igglystuffedfullofturkey,

Re the routine, I'm trying to follow a night time ritual, food, bath, breastfeed, light music, low lights... I'm reading the "No cry sleep solution" and trying to help him to self settle. In fact, I think things are getting better, but I know it may take time... And, maybe because of the solids, he's waking up a lot because of wind (although I'm avoiding the windy foods and giving him Infacol).

Answering your questions, when DS cries with DH, he either plays with him to make him stop crying (not likely to help the baby fall asleep), or just keeps rocking him (or doing whatever he is doing), looking bemused. I believe that if I left them alone DS would cry for a good couple of hours before giving up, or after some (long) time DH would figure out what to do. But I think it would be cruel to let things get to this.

I trust that DH is a responsible person, would not let DS get hurt, starve or anything like that. But I don't think he could feed DS or put him to sleep without a fair amount of crying, and I guess deep down I think DH would just lose patience and let the baby cry.

TheUnmentioned Thu 02-Dec-10 17:45:06

I know how you feel, I have ds who is 3 and dd who is 10 weeks and it does feel relentlesss sometimes. It helps me at least to remember that this is normal and everyone goes through it and it passes, it does, it does!

TheUnmentioned Thu 02-Dec-10 17:50:26

Oh but you need to let your dh cope. I made that mistake, dont do it!

Go for a bath, candles, wine, relax! Earphones / earplugs if necessary. Do it, tonight. 1/2 hr wont do any harm.

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Thu 02-Dec-10 18:10:07

Can I suggest you tweak your bedtime routine? Put a bigger gap between food and bath to give time for DS to digest and reduce wind issues. My DS had this problem - things like green veg and eggs are a no after lunchtime!

Also I'd ditch the light music - finish off your routine with a BF. Make the most of the fact that BF makes your baby drowsy. Then you can work on putting him down after a feed drowsy then more awake (don't worry too much though as long as you try regularly).

I'd talk to your DH about strategies to calm DS. I find that my DH lacked confidence and needed me to give him really clear ways of soothing DS - even down to how to hold him. Soon he got the hang of it then didn't need help. I also had to back off as he felt I was judging him. It was hard but I had to force myself!

schroedingersdodo Thu 02-Dec-10 22:01:25

TheUnmentioned and Igglystuffedfullofturkey,

The thing about letting DH coping is that if I let him settle DS, for example, he will take hours and I'll end up having to solve the problem with an overexcited baby, taking ages. Whereas if I did it by myself it'd be solved in half an hour! It's hard to go the right route after a tiring day...

And re the night routine, I like to give the bath right after dinner because DS manages to get food all over himself, and then I can put him to the bath right after the mess. But I wonder if I keep "windy" food restricted to lunchtime, things will get better? That would be great!

Igglystuffedfullofturkey, I give him tips on how to do things, but what happens is what I described in the first paragraph...

Igglystuffedfullofturkey Fri 03-Dec-10 13:48:44

I know what you mean about getting messy but it's not good for digestion - you can get bibs with arms which are fab! Also a bigger gap between dinner and bed means a bigger bedtime feed and less likely to get hungry at night.

Your DH needs to learn how to soothe your DS. Maybe he doesn't try hard enough because he knows you'll take over? Or thinks it'll never happen. Or maybe you need to take a break in the day, leaving DH in charge. Send him out with the pram every Saturday morning for an hour while you nap/bathe/pamper yourself. It'll really help and enables your DH to build confidence with his child.

HelloKittyIsMyBitch Sat 04-Dec-10 12:38:37

If you weren't BFing I'd say give DS to DH and go away for the weekend. Near impossible when you're BFing though

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