close to breaking point ... really had enough :((62 Posts)
I'm literally ready to walk out and leave the kids with my dh, for a weekend or more. Just had enough and really need some support and help especially from those who have big age gaps.
I have dd aged 9 and ds 7 months. Both difficult ages and stages in totally different ways. The only luck is that dd adores ds so plays with him and I might get 5 seconds break.
My dd is very demanding at the moment. Ds is very demanding at the moment.
I spent a long time being a single parent to dd and to be honest I had forgotten how exhausting the baby stage is. Ds is a much wanted baby but I find myself tearing my hair out several times a day as I constantly run around after him as he's rolled himself awkwardly or whinging because he's lying flat and wants to sit up or vice versa.
He is impossible to get dressed as he hates putting clothes on and literally cries, same with putting a coat on even though I am being gentle. This means every journey anywhere starts with me being in a stressed and bad mood. Even though I try not to show it.
He doesn't like going to cafes etc no matter if we bring toys or not. He sits and moans and makes enjoying anything impossible.
I am in the middle of weaning and that's going ok but he is still drinking as much formula as he ever was.. which is fine.... but I feel like I really don't have a clue what I'm doing.
I never have any time to myself. At all. Unless dh has them which he does sometimes but he works 6 days a week at the moment 14 hours a day. I can't trust my mum with them (long story) I have no friends in real life.
I feel like crawling into a hole.
You just have to make the most of it when dh is there. Mine was army, and I have three kids (the youngest of which is disabled).
I was a basket case when they were little. Truly. But it's all part of life.
Dd2 couldn't feed during the day, so I had to set my alarm and feed her all night, then function all day with the other two toddlers/ preschoolers and a screaming baby.
It's awful, frankly. But you get through it. Get out of the house as much as possible. When dd is at school, there must be a ton of baby groups you can gate crash. Go find 'em.
Oh and get your DH to plan some time off, maybe in 6 weeks time, a day or two. depending on how you feel he is to take your DD and DS out for the day, possibly the night too. Having that to look forward to will do wonders.
Are your inlaws nearby? Any help?
Please try and get out to some form of group. I know you say you find it intimidating but you need to break up they days. Its so long on your own with a baby.
I aimed to be out for some time of the day every day. It saved my sanity.
is there a parent and baby swimming session near you? I used to take ds2 when he was about 7-8 months old to one on a Monday morning (think it was 10am). I'd feed him afterwards, then he'd be so tired he'd be asleep in the car within 5 minutes. I used to get him out of the car in his car seat and then leave him OK in the living room. hopefully at the same time I'd get a nap on the sofa
as other posters have suggested, maybe CBT would get. try your HV, or where I am you access help through the iapt team.
tbh I found it hard having ds2 when I was 36, especially as mil wasn't a big fan of small babies (I don't think she could remember what to do), and dmum died when ds2 was 3.
I also found parent as and baby groups a bit cliquie, but the more people you come into contact with, the more likely you are to find a friend or two.
or try mumsnet local?
Essentially you have had the culture shock of first baby all over again, because your life with a 7 year old would have been relatively straightforward and stress free - and at least you can communicate with them effectively!
Almost worse though, because it sounds like your DD was a fairly easy baby and you feel like you should know what to do this time around, but of course your DS is a different child.
I thought DS1 was a poor sleeper until I had DS2. He is 22 months and I have just finished settling him to sleep. He has a BF, and a cuddle, and a rock and then eventually he goes in his bed. I could hear him calling for me a few times but he seems to have gone off <crosses fingers> It is hard, and when he didn't do what I expected when he was little I used to think to myself 'but, but, but he is supposed to do X' an awful lot.
Please do go to your GP. I had PND after DS1, diagnosed when he was 8 months. I did take ADs, and I had a course of CBT and the two in combination really really helped me.
Thank you for the replies.
It is like starting all over again that is very true.
I think this week has been particularly awful as dh has worked 65 hours as he is the only one who lives close enough to walk to work when it's been snowing so much. So I have been mostly on my own - but then no different to an army wife or a single mum (realising these aren't the same things, just saying) and they seem to cope so I don't know why I'm not. I feel annoyed with myself.
I went to the GP today. They have put me on the waiting list for some counselling. They don't want to give me anti depressants because I have a pituitary problem and apparently they can interact so they will only give them as a last resort after counselling. I cant afford private counselling.
I have brought ds a play pen as I think some of the issue is now he's mobile I can't even leave him for 5 seconds to go to the loo or put shopping away as he tries to roll under the sofa or nearly bangs his head etc so hopefully the play pen packed with toys will mean I can leave him for 5 mins to do things, obviously not going to literally leave him in it!
This morning was a shit day as ds woke me up at 4.30am, had a bottle and went back to bed till 6.30. I then had mad dash for school run and ds wouldn't then settle for morning nap... when he eventually did he woke up crying during my shower.. cue me sopping wet running about. I think his teeth are bad, given calpol etc.
Dh came home from work and we went out for a coffee with ds which is a walk into town. Ds was moody and whingy, I got veru stressed with the whole thing and dh got annoyed with me getting stressed. He kept saying I can "never enjoy the little things". Well what the fuck is there to enjoy? Can't even have a shower in peace, can't have a coffee in peace... can't do bloody anything.
And this was after I'd played with ds all morning, with his new toys I'd brought him. And walked round cuddling him etc etc.
Dd and I had a good couple of evenings playing board games and card games.
Theres no time for me. At all. I could ask dh to have ds so I could do something on my.own but the way I'm feeling at the moment I don't even want that, I'd just feel annoyed I have to go back to all of this.
I know dh is fed up with me always being miserable but I'm just so fed up with it all,even though I am doing my best for everyone.
You must finish your shower, even if he is crying. A couple of minutes won't harm him, and you need to feel like you can face the world.
I'm glad you posted, I was hoping you were OK.
I think buying the playpen is a great idea but you can leave him longer for 5 minutes, that's the point. Start off for 10 mins and like I said before just tidy around and sing so he can see you but go in and out of the room.
Gently increase it and soon he WILL be happy to play alone for 30mins or so enough for you to get showered and go to the toilet and have a cup of tea.
Please don't take this the wrong way but if you are getting stressed and agitated he will pick up on this and be more upset. Put him down and take a deep breath, you will have to train yourself to block it out and cope with it in a way that you can, otherwise you're going to be stressed every single day, because babies will whinge every day.
Or laugh at him and tickle him, comfort him. Obviously the sleeping routine is the biggest killer because you are getting up so early, did you order the book?
Stay positive, I know it's hard but if you feel like you can do it, you will and you can!
Oh and do ask dh to look after him, otherwise you will never get time alone. Once you get the sleeping sorted and are less tired, you will be able to go out at night for a couple of hours if dh is in or ask a friend to babysit when the children are in bed?
I really sympathize as I hate noise and whining and crying. I need a good couple of hours of quiet a day to wind down.
Just a suggestion, but have you tried popping him in a sling? My dd is 9 months and has started getting a bit whingey and clingy, so I've been popping her on my back so I can potter around the house.
I also have a playpen and it is a lifesaver now dd is crawling. I find that she is fine in it with her toys and cbeebies on in the background if she can't see me, but if I come into the room, she immediately cries and lifts her arms to come out so I hide in the kitchen for a cuppa
Definitely try a couple of play groups or a baby swimming group. I met some lovely mums at a breastfeeding cafe and we meet up to go for walks or playgroups. I go to a music group for 0-4s too and it is such a big age range that there are plenty of other babies and toddlers making noise/running off that I don't feel self-conscious about dd crying and whinging.
I knew I recognised your name - did you post about your leaking roof problems a while back? You're in south Norfolk aren't you? If so, I'm in Norwich so pm if you like...
Have you had your iron levels checked? Just a small thing, but since you lost a lot of blood pp, and low iron can make you feel like shit.
Try to remember you've done this once - and have raised a lovely sounding dd - so you can do it again. Shit days will happen, but DO NOT beat yourself up about it. That way lies more pain. Tell yourself, and the dc, that tomorrow will be better. Definitely contact home start, and are there any sure start sessions you could go to? It's a difficult age once they're mobile but not walking, and it can be hard to find appropriate activities, I know.
Oh, and don't underestimate how much sleep deprivation is a part of what you're feeling. Can you both go to bed sometimes for a nap? I did this a lot wi ds (16mo) who wouldn't nap alone.
Have a big hug (I know, so unmumsnetty) and eat chocolate - it helps! And honestly, please feel welcome to pm me if you're near Norwich
Thanks. I have ordered the book. It hasn't come yet.
I thought about getting a sling but I'm a bit hesitant as I brought two (a Moby and a babasling) when ds was very little and he hated both and I ended up selling them..so a bit reluctant to spend more money on them only to have to resort to selling it on eBay again. I've heard a mei taI is quite good, maybe I could get one of those... I don't know really.
Sleep deprivation is awful. Ds has been up once a night all this week. He finishes his bottle (if I try ans settle without he doesn't go back to sleep, just wide awake talking) and then talks himself back to sleep. He's not upset, just awake. And still only having short daytime naps. And now back to 5-5 again after a couple of days of 5.30-6 where I thought we'd cracked it.
The playpen is useful. He seems ok in it... he's in it now while I am on here for a second.
Dh has been off work for 3 days and essentially I have ruined his time off by being so miserable. I feel like he's disappointed with me because I'm not enjoying things like he is. We end up getting into tiredness competitions and who does the most competitions. I feel like I should always win because I'm the one getting up at stupid o clock but he is obviously doing masses of hours at work too.
We aren't really talking to each other much. There's a lot of resentment between us, which is sad as we used to be very close.
Yesterday I went to bed in tears. I'm just so fed up with having to get up and do a day like this everyday.
Oh and sorry, I'm sort of close ish to Norwich - thanks - but I'm really not in a good place at the moment so not up to seeing anyone really. I just need to offload on here a little, I'm sorry, thank you though.
Hi FairyLea - so sorry that you are in a bad place at the moment. I have always noticed the helpful and sensible posts you have written, especially when giving advice to mothers who are bottle feeding. I have PND too, although mine is anxiety based, and it's crippling. If your DH is aware of your past bout of PND, and also of the way you are feeling now, then he needs to give you a break. Can you point him in the direction of websites that give information and advice to the partners of women with PND? The NHS one, and the one on Netmums are both very good at explaining everything.
I really think that having your partner's support is key. He needs to understand how vital it is that you get some respite, even if it's just so you can go upstairs and be by yourself for a few hours. This is surely not impossible. I imagine that with him working so much he would enjoy spending the time with the children, and obviously he can see how stressed and unhappy you are. Calling you miserable isn't helpful. It is possible though that he finds you being unhappy stressful and it's this that causes him to be defensive I've been guilty of this in the past.
I know you don't feel up to seeing people but please, please rethink this. It won't do you any good being on your own all the time. Even if you can meet a friend once a week they can hold your gorgeous (even if he is whingey!) baby while you drink a cup of tea? Some mother and baby groups are quite nice too. It's just chit chat a lot of the time and you don't have to make friends for life but it passes a couple of hours. I also went to Puddle Ducks baby swimming lessons with my DD which was a bit of a life line at times. I second the person who says babies sleep well after swimming. Mine would down a bottle and then be off for two hours. Never like this at other times.
Our babies are the same age and like you I thought I would be 'better' by now but it doesn't always work like that. I have good days and bad days and good mornings and bad afternoons and vice versa. Get in touch with HV and get some help. PM me if you want to vent. I do understand. My DS is 5.5 so pretty big age gap here too.
xxxx hugs (don't give a crap if they're not 'mumsnetty' ... )
Thank you very much notebook, and thank you very much for the kind comments about my posts. I don't have any idea what I'm saying half the time I just try and talk to everyone as I would doIf it were me talking to me!
You're right about the groups. And about dh. I think he is just finding it hard because I am so emotionally closed down. Literally I do not talk to him at all. We are civil for the children, in fact we sat and played card games with dd last night and she loved it but when she went to bed dh and I sat in silence until I went to bed.
I just cannot find any energy or way to start a conversation and when I do try about random stuff dh knows I'm just being superficial and he doesn't really engage. So we give up.
We are still not touching at all or kissing either. Nothing. Which is fine by me as I have no desire to do anything at all. But at the same time I feel sad because I know it's not normal to feel that way and dh is feeling like I've gone off him even though he hasn't said anything.
I feel like everything is broken really and I don't know how to fix it. When I think about having ds and how happy and together we were I just feel sad, I don't know where it's all gone.
I feel very disconnected from dh. I find myself getting ridiculously angry with him about stupid things and having to swallow the anger as there is no point in another argument so I have to let it go.
I am going to try and be brave this week and find a baby group. I think what worries me is I don't want a friend I have to feel yet more responsibility for, to keep in touch with, do things for, owe time to. I don't have anything left to give. But I do need to amuse ds and so I will give it a go.
Ds has been really difficult today ... I took him for a long walk round town and had a coffee which he was fine during it all and enjoyed looking at the people and I actually thought I can do this... but from the minute we got home he's just cried on and off. Teeth again I think. I don't know. I gave him some calpol and teething stuff. He didn't seem to want to do anything - no toys, singing, quiet time, looking at books etc. Nothing.
All he wanted was to be constantly walked round being held (which I did but I am exhausted) and constant bottles.
He's lost interest in food the last few days..it's like he can't be bothered despite a varied diet being offered and finger food and will just want a bottle instead. So I've just been flowing with him really.
Sorry for long post. No one to talk to really and need to share.
just a quick one as I'm on my phone and hate typing on it-have u tried a sling library? they are about a fiver in my local one for a fortnight loan and the person who runs it will help u try different ones to find what suits u.
FWIW me and she have had sex about 3times since dd was born in April! I just don't have the energy or desire and I know dh is a bit upset about it.
definitely try a group just to pop in for a coffee and if u don't like it or feel uncomfortable then just say it's naptime and leave.
hope the weekend is going ok for u.
Go on your local freecycle group and ask if anyone has one they don't need? Then if it doesn't work, no money spent and you can freecycle it again yourself.
Good luck, it's so hard to pull yourself up even a little when day to day life is grinding you down so badly.
fairylea I don't have much advice but I just wanted to add to the hand holding and unmumsnet hugs ((((())))). I was in a similar situation with my DD - DH was very unsupportive emotionally although he did / still does a lot around the house but I felt so very lonely. I agree with PPs that your DH needs to help, I found even a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep snatched on the odd afternoon DH could help out really helped.
I am not a big fan of mother and baby groups but i found ones which didn't last too long and had lots of stimulation for DD were bearable for me and tired DD out so she slept really well afterwards. Monkey music is my favourite as it tires her out completely and only lasts for half an hour.
I know you said your LO didn't like slings before but if you want, I have a spare Kari-mi sling, if you want it, just PM me and if your DS doesn't like it, you can always pass it on to someone else.
And do keep posting here ... When DD had relfux, it was the only thing that kept me sane.
I wish I had more helpful advice but I am sending enormous hugs and a large glass of wine
You are doing a tremendous job! Hang in there, and do keep posting
Hi, my kids are a lot olde 6 and 8 but I do remember this stage! Sounds like he is teething and suffering from desperation anxiety ( which does go fast) try getting PIL to help with child are so you get time to yourself or to meet a friend for coffee. Groups will help and it may just be that you look forward to meeting a few of them each week at the same group or over time you may want to meet up with them. These women will be going through the same things as you and just to know that and connect in that way will help. Also have you tried teething rings that have been warmed up in water or cooled down in the freezer or putting him in his car seat for half an hour in front of ceebeebies or put him in a bumbo chair with toys on reach. Offer him different toys every day. Put him in his high chair with chopped up banana or other suitable finger foods once the teething pain had gone and his appetite has increased again! Also offer larger meals to discourage milk drinking and start watering down the milk during the day maybe? See what your hv suggests in the drinking too much! Try playing with him each night for longer and longer to extend the time he goes to sleep or bath him later and later/ bedtime routine later and later and that may extend jos bed time and when had wakes in the morning. Also ask dd to help even if its playing with des as appose to chores. Just
Sorry posted too soon! Even just 40 mins after school do you can get stuff done. You can reward her with increased pocket money or when dh at home take her out for a girls only treat. A coffee, a haircut, a film only suitable for older children etc! It will get better!
Excuse spelling mistakes. Posting from I phone! I meant seperation not desperation!
Hope the counselling will help, it did with my PND. I had a big gap too - with my first being a dream baby and my second being a whirlwind and totally different character. He is a very academic, verbal, imaginative and whizzy child now and I love him for it. It was really hard going till he got talking.
Exercise really helped me hugely (in fact doing it daily made me feel almost normal) and so if you can try and go for a walk/run/exercise/zumba class. There are probably other things you can do for yourself - like a bubbly hot bath when baby is asleep. Do try and attend a few baby groups - it does help. I met a lovely mum at a play group who was brutally honest and said she was finding it hard. It's just good to chat.
When you start to feel happier, your kids will pick up too. Mine kind of sensed my sadness/stress and we were all whiny!
Hi OP, my DD is 5 months but reading your story, I can identify very strongly with a lot of the feelings you're going through. I too find it very very stressful if DD cries, I just can't seem to let it flow over me like most people. I find myself afraid to take her out in the buggy in case she gets hysterical crying and I'm stuck somewhere. I'm also totally cut off from my DP, emotionally and physically. I know that's no help but just so you know you're not alone in feeling like this.
I just wanted to raise a point though, is it worth taking your DS to the GP just to get him checked out, in case his constant whinging is for a reason? For example, it could be an ear infection, or silent reflux? My DD SCREAMED every night for hours for the first few months, finally our hv diagnosed her with silent reflux, she's on meds now and do much better.
If its not an underlying cause, perhaps DS is a 'high-needs baby'? I was reading about it on a Dr Sears website. There is also a support group on here for mothers of high needs babies. It sounds like at the moment your DS just wants to feel close to you all the time. I know that's exhausting but if it stops him crying it might make you feel less stressed overall. Finally, in just a few more months he may start to talk and be able to tell you what he wants. This will pass in time, just keep focussing on the future.
Been a better few days... the book arrived today and I'm planning to take it to bed with me soon and give it a read.
I'm planning to get a Mei tai sling as they seem to suit older babies a bit better... I don't think ds liked the ultra snug fit of some of the stretchy ones. Will see.
Sex can just wait to be honest. I'm just trying to focus on one day at a time and trying to get through without wanting to bash my head on a wall for now. Dh and I are talking more though which is good.
Ds did have reflux when he was very little and had medication for it.. he seems to have grown out of it slowly but I think I might take him to the GP for a check up. I'm pretty sure most of it is teething as his bottom teeth have come through this week.
I find it hard knowing what to do with him during the day.. I do all the usual toys, singing, walking about, letting him roll about etc. It just doesn't seem to keep him happy for more than a few minutes at a time ... is that normal ? I can't remember from dd.
Sometimes I worry I'm not engaging enough for him.. I don't know.
I still haven't plucked up the courage to go to any groups. I'm worried everyone is going to look at me like some woman who is playing at being a mum. It doesn't come naturally to me
I feel a bit jealous of women who seem to love the baby stage
For me every day is so hard. But I'm focusing on the good things from the past few days.
Thanks for the advice x
Glad you're feeling a bit better. I know what you mean with the being a mum not feeling natural, me neither. I somehow thought I would magically transform into a capable Mum when I had DD, when in reality I just feel like me but with a baby! I just make it up as I go along and do the best I can. I think we have a tendency to think of 'Mums' as a group of people we don't fit in with, when in reality there are lots of others who feel the same as we do. So going to the groups can often work out surprisingly well, it helps to meet others going thru similar things, it gives your LO a change of scene and it uses up time really easily that would be much harder to fill if u were on your own at home with him.
With my DD (i know she's a bit younger than your DS), I have several ways to amuse her and I just rotate them they the day between naps: music station (from elc), playmat/gym, laying her in her cot to watch mobile/play with toys, read books to her, let her sit on bouncer and watch me in kitchen, sitting in bouncer watching baby einstein dvd or cbeebies, sitting in high chair playing with toys on table, then also theres walks in pram, few music groups a week. It all adds up to fill the day. They don't amuse her for more than 10-15 mins usually, except In the Night Garden which she would happily watch all day!
Hope the sleep book you ordered and the sling both help. Please give a group a try, the music ones are good, or baby massage might help him relax? Oh and the reflux thing, I read sometimes they can have it till they are 2, so maybe it is still bothering him? As you say though, most likely teeth!
All the best x
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