I haven't been on mumsnet for a long time, hope you are all well and a very happy new year. I had my baby and now have the most beautiful baby boy who will be 6months on 22nd of this month. He is the light of my life and I am sooo in love with this little human being. I am looking for some advice, thoughts from other mums, having read some other posts I am a bit wary of asking! But here goes..................
I am a single parent with little DS and with my eldest man child (19yrs old, yes slight age gap I know). I am tired of being told what I should and shouldn't be doing with my baby and end up feeling upset that I am doing something wrong, a little incompetent and well just sigh a bit overwhelmed with everyone elses opinions. I am hoping there are other mums on here who feel or have felt as I do and mums who have the same approach to parenting as I do.
The big word here is routine! Baby and I don't have one. We do the same things everyday but not necessarily at the same time, he has never had what you would call a set routine, I go with the flow and take my lead from him, he is such a happy contented baby he never cries (maybe because he doesnt need to?) I don't let him to get to crying hungry stage or over tired. HV says he's the happiest baby she has seen in a long time, so surely I am doing something right?
Apparently not! My baby "should" be in a "routine" at night and day time naps, he should eat at the same time every day. Their babies all slept throughout the night blah blah. "No wonder he has no routine".
It is "unhealthy" that he is with me all the time and I should have a break from him. I am encouraging separation anxiety in later years.
We should never co-sleep bad for the baby (we dont every night but sometimes have).
Sometimes hes happy to fall asleep himself others he wants his bottle or snuggled in just depends no two days are the same, "mine always fell asleep on their own."
Now I have started the weaning process I am having lots of advice/opinions on what I should and should not be doing with this also!
I am a little teary and fed up with it all I know people mean well and are trying to help me, but I just end up feeling like I am doing everything all wrong. I do get tired some days with baba being up and down throughout the night and sometimes I want to scream at people "you do it then"!!!!
My baby is totally different now to what he was when he was a newborn sleeps differently/eats differently and I expect it will always be changing as will he grows and has different needs.
Sorry for the rambling post feel a little like a pressure cooker venting some steam here!
Firstly I am sure there'll be other posters along, I'm a nightbird myself occasionally, not up with a baby these days. I hope you get some answers and reassurance.
Secondly your baby sounds settled and contented, great job! I do know others love to stick their oar in unasked and offer advice whether you ask for it or not... but don't let it get you down. Is it a recent thing, this dent in confidence?
My children are pretty well grown now 1 late teens and 1 is 20 so my knowledge is rusty I'm afraid, but please don't let anyone else make you feel inadequate or somehow not sticking to unwritten rules. Others often mean well, some are just letting the world know how great they are.
You raised one son I am sure you are coping fine with your 2nd!
I hardly knew one end of a baby from another when I had my son. Admittedly I was married so was able to rely on some support and we were a kind of tag team. My mum lived very locally but owing to some unfortunate misunderstanding pre birth I never de-coded she didn't ever help out. We got by.
As well as advice on different topics on Mumsnet I have seen mention of 2 Mumsnet books, 1 about Pregnancy, 1 about Babies. Anyway it does look possible to wade through many past posts on many threads so if you can access MN online there must be lots on weaning and sleep...
Routines ie chunks of day or night organised (in my case, after certain feeding and sleep patterns evolved) are meant to help structure your life, not dominate. I considered it a routine just getting myself up, starting the cycle of cuddles, feed, change, wash, dress, housework and somewhere get myself fit to be seen. Some would say it's flexibility that serves you best.
Have babbled on but wanted to say what works for you & your baby is good enough, if your HV had any concerns she would have raised them. We all need a helping hand or advice from time to time, let off steam here.
I do sympathise with your post in the sense that it is both confusing and undermining when you get lots of different advice. When you are a SP as well it is even worse I imagine, because you don't have the dad around to discuss all this with and say to outsiders, well its OUR decision. Are your own parents supportive or are they part of the problem? If your babies are happy and secure and YOU are happy with how things are then I think you just have to just grin and bear it, tune it out and just say "we're getting along fine thanks" but if you DO want your 6m old to sleep through, or not be "up and down all night" then you may want to take some ideas on board. A routine doesn't have to mean an exact, to the minute one, but say, within a 30 min window roughly, meals and naps happen.
Many thanks for your reply, love the name that made me laugh! My knowledge is also rusty I can hardly remember anything from my eldest being a baby. This feels very much like my first baby in many ways.
Yes this dent in confidence is a recent thing, think I am having a wobble and feeling a little bit sorry for myself. (Cue kick up backside). I am doing this all on my own which I do not resent at all, I knew when I kept my baby I was going to be a single parent, I suppose if I am honest I resent all the unhelpful comments from people who give no practical help/support. Daddy takes very little to do with the baby and his family take nothing to do with me or the baby at all. (Long story!) Very difficult situation.
My eldest son is not doing so well and I am finding it all a bit much.
It is hard not having anyone to share with or anyone in your corner to rely on.
My baby is the most happy, contented little soul who is always smiling I am blessed he is a complete joy, I do not feel the need to follow a strict routine we just take each day as it comes, if we get all the housework/chores done bonus if we don't well so what, becoming a new mummy has changed me I am more laid back and refuse to stress over small things, he won't be a baby for long and I just want to enjoy him rather than battling to get him into some kind of routine that he seems to be evolving on his own anyway.
I should have confidence in myself and stop feeling the pressure to do what others think I should or shouldn't be doing/judging myself by their standards of what makes a good mummy. Admit I am not superwoman and it is ok to be finding life difficult at the moment!
Thank you for your reply also. Yes my parents at times can be a part of the problem, I think I am just going to have to do the tuning out thing bite my tongue.
Having a daddy to discuss things with etc would be fabulous sadly he is not willing to play that big a part in the baby's life.
We are not up and down every night sorry if my post sounded like we are, just some nights his gums have been bothering him lately, we follow a routine everyday just not like you say exactly to the minute. When we have had a bad night and people say to you "oh mine slept 10pm till 6am every night i never had that problem, he shouldn't be getting up during the night" i think i am doing something wrong.
You are right and maybe thats all I am needing to hear if I am happy and my baby is secure and happy that is all that matters.
Hi again, what a bonus when your infant is placid and sunny natured, .
Don't forget the Bluffing Your Way Through Parenthood technique some use, a kind of oneupmanship when it comes to sharing baby tales. They're not likely to dwell on the horrendous squirting up the back of the nappy in mid High St incident, or the embarrassing projectile vomit onto a stranger's shoulder anecdote, just the my-baby-does-this-or-that golden moments we all like to treasure.
Sorry to hear your eldest isn't in a good place right now, could this be part of the reason you feel a bit under siege? Trying hard not to contrast snuggly baby and his big brother?
I know I am soooo lucky haven't been around that many babies so I just assume mine is the norm, he has never cried apart from when he got his dreaded jags, he is just so happy all the time. Bit grizzly when he has a stuck burp but that's about it. They say having a stress free pregnancy this was not the case for me worst time of my life so this proves this theory isnt right.
Mhmmm my eldest son has been going off the rails for some time now well over a year, won't get out of bed, up all night, wont help round the house, wont get a job etc and I feel very helpless in what to do or how to get him on the right path, I now have my hands full with the little one and I am finding constant nagging at the eldest harder. Its wearing me down.
The baby adores him and he is great with his baby brother its funny watching the 2 of them with the 19 year age gap hard to believe they are both my babies.
I think if I was more honest on here there is just so much going on I am finding it hard to cope with it all on my own (which makes me angry at myself), money problems, eldest son, adapting to being a new mum again, babys daddy/his family, my family, small area where I live can't go out without someone commenting on babys daddy/family, constant questions.
I suppose I do feel a bit under siege I am doing my best on my own and am fed up of people critising me or saying negative/unhelpful comments.
I know people have much harder lives than I do and I do count my blessings. I feel like I am treading water on the surface I am all yes I am fine thank you, underneath I am struggling to stay afloat.
I hate how sorry for myself I sound in this post! xx
You are superwoman! Babies are delightful but they are hard work physically and emotionally, and you are doing a marvellous job to have a 6mo who is contented and happy, and YOU have achieved that on your own. That is by far and away the most important thing above routines or trivialities. Keep doing what you are doing with him and ignore unasked for advice. All babies are different - some prefer routines, others don't. He'll fall into more of a routine as he gets older anyway. I hope you have a supportive health visitor. And do you have access to a local mums and babies / toddlers group? Just getting to meet up with some other mums might help increase your support network a bit. x
Tbh it does sound like your eldest is a harder problem in a sense, of course you love them both and the baby needs more attention but your firstborn still needs
a kick up the behind your support and encouragement.
DS1 will probably find his little brother is a girl magnet if he takes him out for walks. Has he had a job or studied since school? Is he well, is he depressed? Does he pitch in with help round the home?
Sorry sounds like 20 questions. Going back to your original question, I hope you do find help here and like Fairy and mummy2benji mention, any support you can get from your family or local mums (not judgey folk) will be a bonus.
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