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Do we all find it hard to cope but just don't tell?

(38 Posts)
knittakid Sat 23-Jul-11 13:41:09

I have a 4 months old baby, he's great, I've had trouble accepting horrible birth and although was referred to have counselling by my GP the hospital refused and suggested some of the voluntary organizations. I have not yet heard from them. Anyway, I'm finding it really hard to cope, and I'm lucky, dh works part time and from home so he does the cooking and is around to help, but despite all this I am constantly in a bad mood, really grumpy and meta-depressed - depressed about not enjoying it all, etc and instead being down...
I see friends that have babies and they all seem so happy, say everything is great and how much they are enjoying it, etc. How do they do it?
Sorry it's such a long post, I just would love to hear from you wonderful mneters on how you cope, wether you had it easy or not. Thank you.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 23-Jul-11 13:47:34

I never feel like I am coping.

Everyone around me bangs on about how well I cope.

I always think everyone else is coping really well. And is happy. Really happy.

My house is a tip.

I cry a lot.

I love my DC's but enjoy them? Hmmmm not a lot. Sometimes of course yes. But I have 3 DC's under 5 and a full time demanding job.

DS1 is going through a very whingy stage (turned 5 last week).

DD is nearly 3 and exerting her power to the point I am going slowly deranged

DS2 does not sleep through the night and has spent most of the last 3 days crying and not sleeping.

I enjoy going to work because I can hear myself think.

I am of course hugely hugely grateful that they are here, happy (ish) wink and healthy and wouldnt change them for the world.

But I did not cry when DS1 left nursery. Nor when any of them started nursery. I have not felt emotional about DS1 finishing reception. I enjoy them growing up.

I'm sure there is much more and I wish people would be more honest!

PonceyMcPonce Sat 23-Jul-11 13:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PipPipPip Sat 23-Jul-11 14:03:39

Oh gosh, you poor lady. I'm pretty lucky - easy birth and naturally laid back - but I think we all find elements hard to cope with. Motherhood is bloody hard work and often lonely.

Comparing yourself to these other 'happy' women won't help, as there could be a lot going on under the surface that they're not revealing.

But if you're feeling permanently unhappy, then it sounds like you'd better do something about it.

Did you do NCT or hospital antenatal classes? I've found my NCT group an invaluable comfort. We meet up, admire each others' babies and then bitch/moan/rant about all the things that are bothering us. I come away feeling reassured that I'm normal, haha.

So it might be worth getting more involved with parent/baby groups and trying to deepen your friendships with other mums so you can let off some steam. Keep hounding the NHS and/or organisations for some counselling.

Are you getting any time to yourself? Going for a walk or seeing an old friend (without the baby!) help keep me sane.

Good luck x x x x

Emski76 Sat 23-Jul-11 20:41:52

Knittakid, hi from the Feb 2011 thread!
In answer to your question, yes I think most women find motherhood hard, most are too afraid to admit it and feel they have to make out their coping. Ive been on anti D's since my ds2 was 3 weeks old and have just finished a course of CBT therapy, both of which help tremendously.
If you are still struggling after counselling I think you may need to visit your doctor to get more help.
I do find that going to mother and baby groups helps, if only just to know I'm not the only one!
I really hope your ok. Please come on the Feb thread if you want to talk, I'm sure one of us will be able to help you more

goodmum123 Sat 23-Jul-11 20:47:24

Hi knittakid,
you sound exactly the same as i did a few months ago. I had a dreadful time at birth and hated being a mum at first. When my baby was 7 months i finally cracked and went to the hv to tell her it was all an act and i wasnt coping and that i wanted to kill myself (weirdly, not all the time!). I was on a high sometimes and then would sink so so low. I was diagnosed with pnd. So, here i am today with a healthy 10 month old, i feel so so much bettre after talking things through over and over, and im back at work which i now love again (freedom). Ocassionally, i get low feelings but know that they are just that, feelings. they will go.

let me know how you get on but honestly admitting things aent right to health professionals might help a hell of a lot.


HarperSeven Sat 23-Jul-11 20:56:53

If you are feeling depressed speak with your GP about whether you might benefit from some short term anti-depressant medication. It works - a lot of new mums go through this. Nothing to be embarrassed or apologetic about. Sorry you didn't get much help from your hospital. More support should be offered to new mums, particularly those who think they aren't coping as well as they would like to, and are brave enough to ask for help.

wigglesrock Sat 23-Jul-11 21:10:06

I have 3dds and find each of them very difficult some days and other days they are all difficult together!! I also think that some times when you just see friends for a short amount of time everyone puts on a front, no matter how good a friend they are or how well you know them. Its like the biggest taboo finding your child hard work, or not being enthralled by them constantly. I was on the Feb 2011 thread too and this age (mine is 5 months) I have always found difficult, they're not newborn, not up on their feet - sort of an inbetween age.

People also fib, I don't know if you remember from Feb thread but my dd2 was until recently an awful sleeper and everyone I seemed to talk to at the time, had babies that slept, I felt like a crap Mum (didn't MN at the time, how many tears that would have saved grin), I was almost embarrassed to tell people it was like I had failed in some very important parenting test. Now older and wiser its just one of those things [shrugs].

Second those who suggest going to GP, Health Professionals.

AngelDog Sat 23-Jul-11 22:38:46

I find it goes in phases of coping / not coping. It can be tough if you're in a 'not coping' phase and the people you're talking to are in 'coping' phase.

Mind you, IMO the first 4 or 5 months are about sheer survival - if you can enjoy it, great - but you really shouldn't feel bad if you don't. If you're all still alive, that's a success. smile

reastie Sun 24-Jul-11 07:31:25

<waves madly to knitta from feb thread and a little wink to ems> Knitta I remember you had trouble at the beginning with a I-will-only-sleep-on-a-person-baby, how are things now? I think everyone feels how you mention, just people don't seem to tell anyone, but you sound quite down - do you think you might have pnd? Could you try talking to your hv? They will still do home visits if you ask for one and she will know of any other charities etc to contact re: counselling. Mine has done a couple of home visits to check up on me and have a natter and it has really helped. Do you anage to get out of the house much? Just going for a little walk or popping somewhere locally and getting a change of scene can help things. I think the thing is we never truly have a minute off to relax and think of ourselves and it is so full on it's really hard to adjust, especially if you are still quite traumatised by your birth - maybe you could have some kind of post traumatic stress type thing (I had this a couple of times related to various incidents I won't go in ito). You're always welcome to come back and moan/chat on the feb thread. Uh oh - dd crying.....gtg

Meglet Sun 24-Jul-11 07:55:30

I found it impossible to cope when my DS was a baby. Despite sleeping through the night from a very young age he would cry all day unless I carried him and showed him things. I couldn't talk to friends as ds would scream if I stood still. It was shit. We had our first happy day when he was 7mo old as he learnt to crawl a bit and could do his own thing. The only consolation is that my my friends were just as freaked out by it as me, it wasn't me being crap.

Now I have 2 pre-schoolers. They squabble, whinge, run away, ignore me and do everything in their power to not do what I ask them. Most outings are an ordeal.

FWIW now my ds is about to start school he is becoming more bearable and we can potter about in town without a push-chair and get things done. As much as I was looking forward to having toddlers I think I'll be happy when they're both at infant school and have more common sense.

I am currently hiding in bed praying they play quietly for a few more minutes before they un-leash hell on me for the next 12 hours.

Anifrangapani Sun 24-Jul-11 07:59:10

I think everybody finds being a new parent hard. The user manuals never work - they didn't have one for the model I ended up with. There were days when just getting a shower was an achievement and plenty of days where that didn't happen. There were days when I hated the demands the kids were making on me or hated myself for not being a "perfect" parent. It seemed as if everybody was coping better than me - I now know that they were having the same issues as me. Parents tend not to let on until their kids have got past the stage that is causing grief and they can laugh about it. Don't be hard on yourself - everybody is paddling like mad. I used to not let anyone into the kitchen / upstairs because they were a health and safety hazard.

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 24-Jul-11 08:15:02

I find it goes in waves. Some days I cope better than others. Some days I am 'glamorous coping mummy' (I have a super-hero cape and everything wink) and others I am my usual worn-out ratty old bag self.

I'm a single parent and I work full time. All I do is look after my DD and work. I have no energy for anything else. It's getting easier in terms of the tiredness thing as she gets older - she's 3.10 now. Or perhaps I'm just used to it.

Seriously, I do think it's hard for most people but if you're really struggling, do push for more support from your GP, etc. x

DillyTante Sun 24-Jul-11 09:34:04

Aww, I felt exactly the same with dd1. And all my friends seemed to cope so well. I would rock up on their door step and hand them dd1 and growl "take her, before I abandon her!".

However I now know these friends much better and we all have two kids, no-one is hiding it any more, we are all just coping!

The first few months can be shit. Some anti depressants may just help kick you out of the rut. Don't beat yourself up over how you feel and don't suffer in silence.

FutureNannyOgg Sun 24-Jul-11 10:01:33


I think it's quite usual to be overwhelmed at times. I know I am. I generally try work on the principle that if baby is fed and comfortable and I have had something to eat recently, then I am doing fabulously.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sun 24-Jul-11 10:05:44

dillytante - that so takes me back to when DS1 was tiny. He used to whinge at me whatever I did. Would not be put down, generally seemed unhappy.

I remember sobbing to numerous people asking 'why does my baby hate me'

The other two were far easier as babies and if I had just had one of those first I bet I would have looked like one of those mums who had it easier. I could put them down and everything shock. With DD I used to put her in her bouncer or playmat and she used to play and fall asleep shock...unfortunately DS1 was then 2 and destroying the place grin

iwillbrushmyteethbefore10am Sun 24-Jul-11 15:53:23

I find it really hard, have said to DH over and over again that I would love someone to look after DS for just a day and a night, so I can make myself food and drink etc. I have even thought of paying someone to do it but DH says I'm being ridiculous. I resent DH being able to go to work and see other people and be able to eat something. I would absolutely love a roast dinner instead of ready meals. I would also love it if GPs and HV did home visits to those who aren't coping. I would love someone to show me how to bath my baby but can't get out of the house early enough to see the HV. If your in the SW then I'll pop and visit and we can take it in turns to make tea and hold each others babies while we get to drink them!

I don't know whether I have it particularly hard or not. However, I have found that people I know who have really enjoyed it have had an awful lot more help from their own mums than myself and those I know who don't enjoy it ( which I think is such a shame).

NeedToSleepZZZ Sun 24-Jul-11 16:10:36

Hey there knitta, I was thinking about you the other day. So sorry things aren't so great and I really hope you have access to some help as you sound quite down.
Other people have already made some great points but just wanted to let you know that yes, I find being a mum really difficult, you're not on your own or strange in any way. I joined a pnd group which really saved my sanity as I think a lot of women try to appear as if everything is perfect whereas in this group we were just honest with each other and it was so refreshing.
I have never been an outgoing person and find it difficult to make friends so the group was hard at the beginning but I really recommend it if there's anything like it near you.
Being a mum is the toughest job in the world and we all need a helping hand.
Keep in touch and keep writing.

ILovePonyo Sun 24-Jul-11 18:22:14

Hey knitta have been thinking about your post today, sorry to hear you're feeling like this.

I think I would prob come across as one of those people who is coping really well and finding it all easy but it has definitely been/still is a struggle, I have a good sleeper too (most of the time!) which makes a massive difference.

I agree with contacting birth trauma people, I still have 'flashbacks' to my dd's birth and I was lucky with it, very fast no complications, but still think back to it every now and then and the bits i was/am unhappy about.

Could you maybe see the doc about wither anti depressants or anti anxiety medication? Might help for now?

I don't know if you feel like this but I am aware of how overwhelming the days and days of maternity leave are stretching out in front of me, especially now the initial newness of dd has worn off and so have the visitors! Then I feel bad about it b'cos I know it will go so quickly and I don't even particularly want to go back to work hmm I've never had this sort of time before and its all so new.

Sorry for waffling, come back to the Feb thread if you have time? Otherwise hope this helps in some way, its helped me reading this thread anyway wink

ILovePonyo Sun 24-Jul-11 18:23:25

either not wither silly typing hmm

reastie Sun 24-Jul-11 18:52:29

knitta I just realised youmay not realised who i am blush it's (slow)angels1 with a nn change grin . i wrote my post earlier super speedily so hope you undertsand my babbling hmm

Deliaskis Sun 24-Jul-11 19:01:47

Hi Knitta (waves from Feb 2011 thread too!), sorry you're feeling this way. I clicked on this thread not knowing who it was (obviously) but read the title and thought...yes, that's what I wonder all the time. It's interesting that there are lots of us Feb 2011 mums on here (hi Ponyo reastie Emski wiggles and Needto ). I have been very up and down with some PND issues from the beginning, and although I think that is in many ways much better, I still have periods of time when I think I have 'cracked' something, and whole great lengths of time when I'm just trying to get through the day. I think wiggles is right that we're in a bit of a limbo time, not newborn, feel like we should be totally into being a Mum now, and yet not, and infact still struggling.

The thing is, I reckon most of the people you see are also struggling. Example, a week ago, a friend and me pushed our prams along the canal to a cafe, had a coffee and a cake, and then walked back again, in the sunshine. For that hour and a half, we probably looked like super chilled out and 'got it together' Mums, but what someone who just saw us then wouldn't know, would be that it was the fifth time we had tried to go for coffee, and all the other times have ended with both babies and at least one Mum in tears. And that's just going for a coffee.

So I think your title is right - people do find it hard to cope, and either don't tell, or just don't appear to from the outside.

Another example, DH and I have been away on hols last week, and had a nice time, but now I am a bit weepy and blue because I'm actually a bit anxious about being on my own with DD again tomorrow and next week. I feel ridiculous, I know I actually will survive, I am just kind of worrying myself about it. I'm also worried because DD has been a bit 'off-routine' during the holiday and I'm worried that she won't get back into it and I will have a whingey baby who will refuse to nap.

Logically, I do know things have got easier, but I am still constantly a little bit worried about something.

My maternity leave finishes in 4 weeks, and I feel terrible for partly feeling in a way relief that I will no longer be doing this on my own. That sounds awful, I mean in many other ways I will be sad to go back to work, but from the point of view of being a parent, DH and I will have to be much more equal now, which will be, well...a change. Not necessarily better or easier, but different.

Sorry, this post is probably completely unhelpful as it is just me spilling my problems, but I guess in summary, I feel like I'm not coping a lot of the time too, and I think a lot of the people you see who appear to be serene, might not be, like me and my friend on our cafe trip.

Don't put of going to the Dr if you need more help.


beachavendrea Sun 24-Jul-11 19:21:13

hi knitta,

haven't read all the posts on here but wanted to say that I find it hards. and like someone said it comes in waves, some days are awesome and some days are absolutely shit.

i also had a traumatic birth and then had counselling which helped, but here i am almost 9 months later finding it really hard again and going to the doctor tomorrow to discuss anti-depressants.

what i want to say it yes, i find it hard, every day and i tell everyone who asks, and i find that if I am honest other mums are honest with me, mostly.

also i think i read on here that people like different stages of raising children, some people love the baby phase others love teenagers. so it may be you just haven't found your favourite age.

40Weeks Sun 24-Jul-11 20:55:11

Hi knitta. Another feb threader here. Agree with everything peppapig said as am in similar situation. I am finding it so so hard with 3 under 5. I feel like a slave, I feel out of control and no I don't want to play frickin cars all day long!!! I love them to the point I could burst, but I struggle daily. You are not alone, your feelings are normal and you should come back to the feb thread for support too, we are all here for you. I hotly recommend getting out of the house, even if you have to force yourself. Good luck

40Weeks Sun 24-Jul-11 20:56:41

I meant "highly" recommend. Not hotly

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