Need to be a better Mum(17 Posts)
I really want to be a better Mum to DD. I have two DCs, 3.5 and 1.4. DD is about to start pre-school.
DD was much planned and looked forward to. Parenthood hit me like a tonne of bricks though. DD had colic and cried endlessly, when I look at her first months this is all I remember. I had no idea what I was doing and floundered helplessly. I was being scared to do anything to upset DD and probably still am. I suffered from PND and did not get treated as I didnt recognise it.
Then I got pregnant again. An accident. Suffered from Pre-ND. Dreaded the arrival of DC2. Didnt want another baby. DS is a more relaxed character than DD (nature, nurture? I do blame myself for this), had screaming reflux but thats long gone and he is a generally happy sunny boy.
When DS was about 2 months I realised that I needed treatment for the PND and got a referral for CBT. The depression lifted, I can see when I begin to go there again (failure mode) and have some coping mechanisms. I know I am close to depression at the minute. I feel guilty for having blighted DDs early years by not seeking help for the depression.
Sorry for the ream of "me me me" but think context needed.
I still find DD very difficult to parent. She is a lovely wee girl, she really is and she deserves better than she is getting from me.
Everything is a fight, from potty training to feeding herself independently to getting dressed to putting her shoes on to go out the door to going to the toilet. She cannot entertain herself, the only time she gives me any space is when she is watching TV, otherwise incessant chatter and requirements for attention, no matter how much one on one I have already given to her. And I get so frustrated and just shout. I have never hit her but I have been so close and I sometimes think all the shouting is not much better.
DD is also obsessed with food, so much play revolves around food. She has always been above a healthy weight (even when EBF she was out of proportion). I do trace this back to my fear of saying no to her and basically over feeding, when she was a crying baby I just fed her and fed her and fed her. I do think now she has a relatively reasonable diet but I cant get on top of her weight.
I just fear I am bringing up a wee girl without boundaries, without any ability to manage her emotions and with an obesity time bomb under her. And I have no idea how to change it. I am showing her that the way to communicate is shouting and frustration and I dont seem able to change that either.
I so wish I had some wise words, but I'm in a very similar position but with a 6yo dd who I really struggle to parent after I suffered PND. I wonder if a lot of it is guilt with me, I do feel I ruined her baby months and have very few happy memories of that time. I find it easier to be calm and collected with ds (2.2), he is also a more relaxed little character and whom I feel I cherished and maybe even loved more as a tiny baby?
I'm watching replies with interest.
Have you got a sure start centre near? I've done some of the parenting classes and have to say they have been great.
I have one near to me, the posters and leaflets all seem very baby-centric (massage, baby yoga etc). It's probably worth giving them a ring though.
Thank you, hadn't thought of Sure Start
Do give them a ring, when I had problems they couldn't have been more helpful. Never judged me either.
Thank you so much for your replies. I'm sorry you feel this way too slinky. It takes so much to say it and hearing I'm not alone really, really helps. I always thought sure start would not help me as where I am I thought you had to be on a low income to access their services. I have got the local number and will call tomorrow. Also saw a poster for another group here which offer parenting courses so I'm going to try to contact them of sure start can't help me.
Small positive steps. Thanks again.
And you are right Golden. I do fear being judged. Parents aren't supposed to be like this.
Be kind to yourself, you sound a loving caring mum who's doing her best. Do go back to your GP if you are feeling depressed, but keep posting here, (I don't think your MN name is accurate by the way).
OP (not going to call you by your user name because you're not). I was where you are now. dd had reflux and just screamed and screamed. Tbh I really didn't like her until she was about 9 months old.
I know I keep going on about sure start, but I was given my own support worker who did start by doing home visits with me. My problem was that I was scared of taking dd outside and not being able to cope with her. I then did a child development workshop and found that was dd was doing was normal for her age.
I don't think my best is cutting it right now . If the best I can be is a shouty Mum who is fixating on every negative thing and not providing my DD with the tools she needs to be a happy person it's just not good enough.
No helpful advice I'm afraid, but a "shite mum" would not be going to these lengths or critiquing herself so harshly.
Look after yourself and your own mental health as a priority. Parenting is like running a bloody marathon and you need to keep yourself fit and healthy for the job! Then take the excellent advice suggested on this thread to deal with the parenting/behavioural issues.
One last thing that occurs to me - children mirror our emotions (as do adults I guess). Try and crack a few silly jokes (even if through gritted teeth!) next time things start sliding towards the shouting stage and see if it diffuses things maybe. Has been known to occasionally work on mine.
OP, no real advice but just want to second (third?) the SureStart suggestion. I've used them since DS was a small baby (he's now 2) and still go to a toddler group at least once a week, and I would not be classed as low income. I've found them to be very welcoming, friendly and helpful, and they were a huge help to a friend of mine (who I also met through SureStart!) when she suffered from PND.
Hope things improve soon, sorry I can't be of more use, but please remember that the very fact you're worrying about this proves that you're most definitely NOT a shite mum...
Hi, I don't know if some words from an older mother with the benefit of hindsight would help.
My DD is now 14 and an only. I also had PND. She was not a difficult child, just a very challenging one. She was never content to amuse herself, demanded constant attention, difficult to feed (although an overweight baby), never took direction and always tried to manage things herself. I used to write out timetables of her creche times - just so that I could convince myself I actually had some time to myself. It was incredibly frustrating.
However, because I never had a second one (and can you guess why?), I never ended up comparing her to another easier sibling. I never felt that the PND was to blame for anything - and so didn't beat myself up about it.
She is now completely fabulous - has always been independant and self reliant from a fairly young age. She is sensible, reliable and very strong willed.
The characteristics she is possibly showing at a young age are the ones that are brilliant to have when they are older. Just bloody frustrating at this age.
She might just be the sort of child that needs to be raised with a light hand. I agree that if you think you are a turning into shouty mum you need to take action, and as well as the parenting classes there are some very good books around.
Best of luck
So, got through to sure start today. Not in the catchment area of the one I called. Asked which catchment I am in. Not in any catchment area so I cannot access any resources. Unless I contact my local social services. Which I am loath to do. Really, really upset.
I would really recommend an online parenting courses, called 'Building Emotional Understanding,' it's full of loads of tools that can really change your relationship with your children, and what might be great for you, is they place a lot of emphasis on supporting the parent, understanding well that a happy parent is a happy child. The link with details is here, and there's lots of free articles on the website, so you could see if the ideas resonate with you. www.handinhandparenting.org I am not sure what to do about the 'obsesity timebomb,' but I'm sure the instructor on the course would have some ideas for you.
Well, things are easing out a wee bit. I'm having a myriad of lightbulb moments. I'm definitely cusping on depression and pretty stressed and anxious, so I'm consciously applying the tools I learnt in CBT to lighten things.
I've realised that DD's high emotion really wears me and feeds of me, I've read a parenting book and am applying it. Basically if she heads off on one I respond without emotion. She seems to need an emotional release at times but if I respond with emotion she escalates. So I'm responding very calmly. I've not shouted in 2 days!!! That's sod all but my lovely wee girl said to me today after she'd been put in time out "mummy you didn't shout".
I feel positive.
So glad you had a good day! Long may the non-shouty mummy reign!
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