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I'm a terrible mother....

(37 Posts)
VickyandAlistair Fri 23-Dec-11 23:01:06

I don't know what I hope to gain by writing this. I don't want judgement, though I know I deserve it. All I know is I did a horrible thing to my DS tonight and I have concluded that I am a terrible mum to him and I do honestly believe that sometimes, he would be better off without me as his mummy.

DS is 14mo old. He's a lovely, beautiful little chap, everyone says so. He's my first child, me and DH's parents' first grandchild, and, as we are lucky enough to still have some of our grandparents with us, their first great-grandchild. He is basically worshipped by everyone. I do love my DS very dearly. Please don't think that I don't.

I didnt want children. I've never been the nurturing type - never imagined my kids names, never thought about how many I wanted.. just never thought I would have any. My sister was born when I was 11 and I just found her to be annoying and inconvenient as I was just beginning my teen years. I never saw myself as a mum.

But that changed when I met DH 6 years ago, he wanted a family, and I could see myself giving it to him, I thought how lucky a child would be to have him as a father. But when I actually got pregnant, I panicked, all those old not-good-enough feelings came back, and I suffered antenatal depression all through my pregnancy. I couldnt even pick up a pregnancy book. And yes, I know that there are many ladies out there who would love to be in my position at that time and sadly can't be. I'm not a horrible person, and I do know how lucky I am.

As I mentioned, I love my son. He is perfect, he makes me smile every day. But God, I struggle as a mum. I really do. I find it so damn hard. And tonight, I lost it with my poor DS. He's never been a great sleeper, which I have found particularly tough seeing as I work full time. He's been ok of late, but has recently had a cold, and has been cutting a molar tooth, and his sleep has gone to hell. He has screamed for 3 hrs tonight. I have tried everything. Bonjela, teething gel, calprofen, cuddles, rocking, walking up and down the hall... as soon as I lie him down, the screaming is back.. we live with some family, we're trying to save for a house, so my brother is in the room next door yelling at me to make DS be quiet. And I cracked. I put my face right up to DS's and said 'why dont you go to f***ing sleep, you little s**t' took him to my room, and put him down on the bed far harder than I should have. I felt out of control. Thank God my DH came in and took DS away, I dont know what I might have done.

Now I feel wretched. What do I do? I do love him so much. But I resent him. My marriage is awful now. It used to be so happy, but now we spend all our time arguing, we are both so tired. We dont make love anymore. We barely spend any time together. Sometimes all I want to do is watch a DVD and have a glass of wine, and DS always needs me, I dont ever get to take care of me anymore.

If you have read this, thanks for listening to my long, obscenely selfish rant. Please dont judge me too harshly. I dont have anyone I can talk to about this which is why I am posting it here.

I am on anti d's by the way, so I dont think this can be postnatal depression.

usualsuspect Fri 23-Dec-11 23:03:33

We have all been there ,don't beat yourself up

It will get easier

hellhasnofury Fri 23-Dec-11 23:06:41

Oh my, you are NOT a bad mum. You are a tired mum. You're a stressed mum but a bad mum? No.

As mums the vast majority of us do things we regret bitterly. I know I did when my kids were small. I did something very similar when DD was a baby. Do I regret it? Yes. Do I remember every last moment of it? Yes. Does she? No. She thinks I am a great mum.

Cut yourself some slack my love. Bad mums wouldn't be posting asking for help and advice. Bad mums wouldn't give a flying hoot.

hellhasnofury Fri 23-Dec-11 23:07:36

PS. Does your AD does need adjusting?

WinkyWinkola Fri 23-Dec-11 23:10:08

You had a really bad day when enough was enough. It doesn't make you a bad parent unless it's every day.

You need a couple of early nights every week to make sure you are rested.

And also accept that some nights, kids just won't sleep. They want to be with their mum, cuddled up, watching telly or just quietly snuggling.

Having other people in the house telling you they need the baby quiet is very stressful.

When can you move out?

iliketea Fri 23-Dec-11 23:13:27

You're not a terrible mother, you're knackered and stressed by a screaming baby. The fact that you feel awful is a sign that you know it's not a good thing to do. I've been there - as have most mothers i would guess. I learned to know when I was getting to not coping and used to put dd down in her cot and stand at the furthest away point in the house so I could get a break (she cried for several hours a day until she was about 9 months, hated to be put down). It will get better, dd is now 2 and is such a joy.

Let someone else take over for a bit, have a cuppa and deep

magicwoodyallenzombiejesus Fri 23-Dec-11 23:17:43

I feel your pain OP and I wouldn't dream of judging you - i am co-sleeping just to survive. Your brother is the little shit imhowink

ShowOfHands Fri 23-Dec-11 23:20:47

I promise you two things.

You are NOT a bad mother.

It will get better.

You feel suffocated and like your life has contracted down to just being a mother. And it's not a role you particularly envied or feel you know how to do anyway and it's consuming you. Even without depression or anxious feelings, it's common to feel like this.

I found the early months and probably the first year and a half if I'm honest, like slowly drowning. I adored dd like nothing on this planet. I loved her desperately but I felt so weighed down by what I'd done. I couldn't imagine ever being me again. I couldn't remember how to laugh or what the world outside of motherhood looked like.

But she got older, I managed and I hand on heart love being her mother more than anything. She needs me in a very different way now. I love the person she is, I miss her horribly when she's at school and I have a marriage, a life, interests. I laugh. I'm me again. And I even have another baby. I wasn't well back then though I didn't realise the extent until now. I should have got help sooner. I did end up with counselling in the end (most of my problems stemmed from birth trauma) and it helped enormously.

I'm not maternal. I never craved babies, still don't. But I'm a ruddy good mother and it was hard won.

Please talk to your gp about more help, be it meds adjustment and/or counselling.

You're tired. More than tired, exhausted.

Be honest with the people in your life. Ask for help. Make small inroads to being yourself again.

It WILL get better.

georgie22 Fri 23-Dec-11 23:20:53

You feel awful about what happened this evening so that proves you're not a terrible mother. As everyone says you're tired and under pressure and eventually something has to give. We've all had moments when we've done things we don't like ourselves for doing. Perhaps you do need to have your anti-depressants reviewed or seek some counselling. Your living arrangements sound less than ideal - having a child can be stressful and put pressure on relationships so I'm sure having extended family around only makes that worse. Could you look for somewhere to rent for now and put the plans for saving for a house on the back burner for now, perhaps until things are more stable? You need to try to move on, although it's hard. Your baby is loved and well cared for - try to focus on all the positives and the love you have for him. Things will get easier. Have you anyone locally who you can speak to and get some support?

MrsWifty Fri 23-Dec-11 23:21:22

I couldn't not reply to this - I think you must be a saint not to have done similar before now. I have a similarly unsleepful DS, and I've sworn at him in the witching hour several times now. And he's only 9 months old. And it's got nothing to do with wanting children before - DS was desperately wanted, but I still find him impossible at times (but, as you do, absolutely fabulous 99.99999% of the time).

Don't beat yourself up over 5 seconds of frustration.

MrsWifty Fri 23-Dec-11 23:23:40

Oh, and tell your brother to get a grip - DS is still a baby, crying comes with the territory

VickyandAlistair Fri 23-Dec-11 23:27:18

Thank you so much for your replies everyone, it means a lot to me and it has made me feel better - magicwoody, you even made me laugh a little with your last comment!

Unfortunately we are stuck like this at the moment, we dont earn a lot and we were renting before, but slowly sinking financially. I live in Brighton, and it is so expensive here. We were lucky that family took us in, yes, my brother can be an issue but only really when DS is like he has been lately. My DH is a good hands on dad, its just being husband and wife we seem to struggle with now.

ShowofHands - thank you so, so much, your post has really made me feel a lot better.

Anyway DS is finally quiet now so going to try to snatch some sleep.

Thanks again, you are very sweet ladies x

PoppaDumDongMerrilyonHigh Fri 23-Dec-11 23:27:50

wise words from the others. you are not a bad mum. we ALL have bad days.

wonkyduck Fri 23-Dec-11 23:30:37

I didn't want to just read and not offer support. I have never posted on mumsnet before but really felt moved to reply.

I have 2 little one's ( DD is 4 and DS is 2) and the times i have truly lost it with them is when they had colic as babies or wouldn't sleep because of teething. I remember one night a few weeks after my son's birth when I screamed at him and practically threw him at my husband. I felt terrible guilt and felt a failure and was scared by how angry I felt.

I seriously believe that looking after babies is a tough job and the saying "it's darkest before the dawn" is true.

It sounds like you have extra pressure living with other family members, who might not be as supportive as you need right now. I agree with the previous poster.. It WILL get easier as your baby becomes more independent and try not to beat yourself up.

If you feel like that again it might help just to take timeout and get out of earshot for a minute and try deep breathing and say the mantra .. 'It won't be like this forever'. it might just help you to be able to stay in control. I sometimes wore ear plugs to take the edge off the crying which helped me stay a bit calmer when I was comforting him.

My youngest is two now and mainly sleeps through as will your little one, I promise.. And... I actually get to have an evening again!

I can hear you love your baby and were scared by your reactions. Could you speak to your health visitor about getting some counselling? It might help being able to talk to someone... Or even a close friend? I think you both need a break if there is a good friend who could give you a night of sleep?

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 23-Dec-11 23:39:27

You are not a terrible Mum, not at all and your DS certainly would not be better off without you. Everyone loses it at one time or another. Your DS didn't understand what you said to him (he'd have picked up the tone, but it wont harm him). Having kids - all the energy, effort, patience & care that it entails is bloody hard work at times, to do that when you are not the 'nurturing type' - you deserve a god damn medal not people being harsh. You love him to bits and it will get easier - for a while it might just get 'different' but once he's no longer a toddler - it will get easier. It is a difficult age sleep wise as well - lots of teething and general night time waking - too old/nosey to just rock back to sleep and too young to understand 'it's the middle of the bloody night you nocternal creature!!'

Does he self settle normally? If not, you need to work on that so when he wakes in the night he will learn to settle himself.

When you know he's teething do you get the max doseage of calpol & nurofen into him? <alternate it and you don't need such a big gap between doses>

Does your DH pull his weight?

I agree that you should go back to your GP and see if your AD's can be adjusted. Take any help you can get!!

Can you afford to rent for a while? I know saving up for a house is a 'good thing' to do - but not at the cost of your marriage, your relationship with your DS or your sanity. Even if you got a 3 bedroom place and a lodger - at least it would be yours and your selfish git of a brother wouldn't be making things much worse.

But please - whatever else you take from this thread - You are NOT a bad Mum!!

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 23-Dec-11 23:45:12

Sorry - took so long to get is posted (phone went) that I cross posted with you and lots of other posters! I hope you are sleeping now!

FrankiDon182 Sat 24-Dec-11 16:55:00

Dont beat yourself up- i for one have been in similiar situations with my LO and do not suffer from PND, just lack of patience lol
The guilt afterwards was unbelievable.. Thats your evidence that you are not a bad mother xx

colditz Sat 24-Dec-11 17:06:47

Nexttime, put him in the pram and both of you go for a walk and a chat. Even if he keeps screaming, it won't feel as loud outside.

skybluepearl Sat 24-Dec-11 23:52:27

you are a tierd and stressed mum but deeply love your child. life is very hard for you, your hubby and your kid right now. yes you were close to losing it - aim next time to put him in his cot/room/with another adult and walk away. then have some quiet time for youself - even if it's 5 mins. don't beat yourself up but instead look up and forwards. just keep telling yourself that this stage in your lives will pass and things will get better. they will you know.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 25-Dec-11 00:03:20

Read your post OP, time and time again you talk of how much you love your son. I remember those teething days. They were hell and I for one am glad they are over. You hear your child crying in distress and that is distressing for you. Because you are a good mum.

Give yourself a break and let others help.

KidnaptheSandyClaws Mon 26-Dec-11 03:30:18

You are not a bad mother! Your guilty reaction to the way you acted proves this.

You say your DH is a very hands on Dad and you work full time. Of course I don't really know enough about your situation but perhaps your problems are due to some deep seated resentment about being lumbered with the bulk of baby care responsibility? This is just going on your description of events where it seems you are the one who was trying to settle baby for 3 hours and DH stepped in only one you had snapped.

Then again, most relationships go through a period of adjustment after the first baby arrives. Things get better, I promise!

CheerfulYank Mon 26-Dec-11 03:46:28

It happens, don't beat yourself up.

The sheer relentlessness of parenthood is a surprise, isn't it? I always wanted children, always wrote down future baby names, always thought how lovely it would be to be a mother.

DS is four and a half now and sometimes I still think "I just want to have a nap/read for a few hours/watch adult TV/go out without clearing DH's schedule or finding a sitter" and I can't and yes I do feel resentful. It's just human nature. I absolutely adore my son, he is my whole heart, but it is exhausting being a parent.

Could you get away more with DH for some couple time?

timetoask Mon 26-Dec-11 06:47:19

Lack of sleep IS the worst part of having young children IMO.
Add to that the stress of not living in your own home, I am not surprised that you lost, BUT if you ever feel you are about to lose it call DH hand the baby over.

It is also a really tough period for couples, I know its hard but try to invest a little time in you and DH, maybe get a sitter for a couple of hours?

Good luck and remember that it will get much better.

Toni27 Wed 04-Jan-12 23:43:07

Living with family is incredibly stressful. When you get your own place things will be better I promise, ive been there too and your not a bad mummy xx

anonymousmum1984 Thu 26-Feb-15 12:35:15

Omg I can relate only I feel it takes even less for me to get frustrated. DS is 16mths now and is in a phase of testing the limits with everything. I know it's part or normal development at this age but boy is it ever frustrating at times. Combine that with sleep disturbances from teething and a marriage on the rocks and you have a recipe for disaster! I know how hard it is when you feel so alone. My DH is also a great hands on dad but being there for me, forget it. It's been a while since this has been posted. How are you now? How did you get through this?

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