Panicking - need reassurance(14 Posts)
DD is 5mo and I am struggling to cope with her sleeping (or lack of) and what I'm supposed to do with her when she's not feeding or sleeping. People keep telling me it will pass and I know that's true, even though it's hard to believe.
I also have a 3yo godson, and obviously his parents are dealing with completely different issues to me. But whenever they talk to DH and me about their DS, his father says, "You've got all this to come." (He isn't the only person who says that, just the one I see oftenest.) I usually manage a jokey answer, but inside I'm terrified. I don't think I can do this, not go on coping for years and years and there always being something new to deal with.
And I want time to read and sew and watch TV and mess about on the computer and just be able to switch off from her sometimes. Even when DH has her I can't switch off. We've no family nearby to give me a break and though friends have offered, DD is so awful in the evenings that I daren't leave her with anyone (not least because I'm afraid they'd never offer again even if she gets better when she's older). I shouldn't have had her, I'm too lazy and selfish to be a good mother. I want to be better but I don't know what to do.
It gets an awful lot better! You WILL have time to yourself again and your wn thoughts and time to follow your own interests.
5 months is still very young.
Yes, I am afraid, there will always be challenges. But isn't that life? Work? Relationships? Life is boring if nothing ever changes. ;).
Things get better as they become more interactive - you begin to get a little companion rather than just a "needy baby".
Do you get out lots? Baby groups? Walks? Friend's with babies? Saved my sanity
aliphil - there's another post on here tonight about not sleeping and how desperate it can make you feel. 5 months is still very new and having this little person, no matter how adorable, dependent on you the whole time is a real shock to the system. The push and pull of wanting time to yourself but fearing to leave your baby is just how I felt. In fact, I felt much of the way you're describing and yet I've coped now for nearly 16 years - you will too! Yes, it changes all the time but that's how you cope - because you can only take it one day at a time and deal with the situation that's in front of you. Your DD may be totally different at 3 yo to your godson so you may never have their issues to come!
If friends have offered to take her, can they have her during the day? At a weekend? Even just an hour out of the house would help you and if they have children of their own, they will manage just fine. Tell them your concerns and let them reassure you that they are happy to do it - then take your mobile and go get yourself some time away.
Also, I'd suggest you try talking to a health visitor about how you feel. They can reassure you and give you some suggestions of what support is available locally.
You're not too lazy or selfish to be a mother, you wrote this post for a start. It is difficult dealing with a little baby, but while it's difficult it does get easier as they gain independence. You will be able to have hobbies and switch off to a degree.
I found just concentrating on doing one thing for me each day really helped- a nice bath, some knitting/sewing/baking etc.. Ask DH to spend some time with your LO while you take a good break.
Are you able to get to groups? Take any offer of help you can, if evenings are a pain can they do daytimes? Even if you head out for a coffee with a paper, it helps to make you feel better.
Thank you all. Unfortunately all the people who've offered to have DD work full-time so can't have her during the day! But weekends might be a possibility. I've avoided that so far as they're often the only time that DH gets to see her not being grizzly. He is great taking her in the evenings when he can, but his work involves a good many evening meetings so it's not always possible.
I go to a couple of groups but haven't found many I like yet. Also I'm not always up in time to go to the morning ones , as DD and I often go back to bed after her early-hours feed to catch up on a bit of sleep and then by the time we're both up and dressed it's getting too late.
QTPie, I don't like challenges! A boring life suits me fine! One thing I find really hard is the unpredictability of DD's night sleeping/waking. My friends' babies seem to have a pattern, even if it's waking every two hours, but DD is impossible to predict. I never know if she'll sleep for half an hour at a time or five hours, or even right through the night very occasionally, so I find it very hard to relax enough to sleep myself.
My friends' babies seem to have a pattern, even if it's waking every two hours, but DD is impossible to predict
I'll let you into a secret . It is highly likely your friends aren't telling the whole truth and are finding it just as tough as you , or have or will do. A "pattern" is as fixed or loose as you define it ! Relax and just enjoy each passing phase.
I agree with LIZS your friends are probably telling less than the truth. My DS is 11 months, he will sometimes sleep through from 7-5. Mostly he's wanting me up to 12 times a night and its painfully normal. It won't be forever
Good on you going back to bed, get out when you can and take offers of help even for an hour or two of a weekend
It does get easier. DS is 9mo now and I'm starting to get my evenings back and some joined up sleep. Hang on in there.
Also, if DH only sees DD grizzly for now, that's tough - it's not forever, it's part of parenting and may be worth it if a few hours saves your sanity.
On the weekends when your husband is at home could you not just pop out for an hour or two? You could take a book or buy a magazine then go have a coffee on your own, then maybe a walk. It's amazing what an hour off can do for your frazzled brain!
As others have said it does get a little easier as each stage comes and goes.
How about an exercise class where you can leave dd in her car seat whilst you exercise? If that's your thing?
I used to go shopping with dd in her pram I could browse for hours and she was happy but with ds I couldn't even get past the doors before he would start moaning and crying!
I remember that feeling of just wanting to switch off and never being able to. It's a horrible claustrophobic feeling. I felt exactly the same as you.
It really does get better. Even at 3, although there are challenges, it's not the life consuming one way effort it is in the early days. For a start they start giving things back and your relationship with them becomes a 2 way (often hilarious) thing.
Gradually you get yourself back but with added dark humour. (I say this MNing while DS1(9) cooks tea with his, "working from home" dad and DS2(5)reads the Lego junior magazine.)
It gets so much fun you will truly believe you have the most wonderful child in the world x
I know how you feel OP. I found the adjustment to parenthood incredibly hard, and the lack of sleep really hard to deal with.
All I can say is that it WILL get easier and more rewarding. DD1 is 4 now and most of the time she's a delight to be around. Yes, there are always challenges but there are also many wonderful moments. People don't tend to share the good bits because they don't make such a good story, and it can sound boastful or soppy.
Try to put some short-term strategies in place- get out for a couple of hours at the weekend, do one thing for yourself while the baby naps on weekdays- whether that's reading a book or painting your nails, whatever makes you feel like you again. Also do try to get out with the baby, a change of scene will do you both good.
Thank you everyone. One thing we are doing this week (sooner than expected) is buying a second car, which will give me rather more freedom to go to things, public transport round here being excellent if you want to go in the direction of London but hopeless for anywhere else. I am also trying to get better at handing her to DH when she wakes up in the night again and doesn't need feeding, rather than assuming I have to do everything.
And thank you everyone for not telling me to make the most of this short precious time, etc. There have been some wonderful moments, but I'm really looking forward to her being able to do a few more things, and it's very easy to start feeling guilty when everyone tells you how much you should be enjoying life.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.