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Feelings of Guilt and Inadequacy

(12 Posts)
Whereisme Thu 11-Apr-13 17:31:13

Feeling really nervous as I have never posted on Mumsnet before. Just need to write down how I am feeling, I hope that even the act of writing it down will help me.

I have 3 lovely boys, a five year old and three year old twins. I have't gone back to work since the twins and my husband works long hours and often doesn't see the boys in the day. However, the twins go to nursery for 15 hours a week so I do get a break in the termtime. Was diagnosed with mild depression recently and have been put on antidepressants which have helped.

I just seem to have lost all self confidence in myself and recently have feelings of painc that I can't cope when I know I can. I also feel constantly guilty that I'm not doing enough for the kids, and should be spending more time with them and doing more exciting things!

Sorry for the self indulgent post. Have to dash off now to do tea.

2BoysAndNoMore Thu 11-Apr-13 18:14:44

Just want you to know you're not alone. I have 2 boys age 5 and 15 months. I constantly feel panicked incase DS2 starts to cry in public. I feel a prisoner in the house so I need to get out but when I am out I am panicky and feel quite inadequate compared to all the other 'coping' mums.

I feel constantly guilty that DS1 is not bonding with his brother because he takes up so much of my time. I often worry DS1 is slightly ignored over the constant demands of a whingy baby.

I was diagnosed with dpresseion 7 months ago and was prescribed antidepressants. Can't say as I feel much different really. I have massive lows.

Our family feels at breaking point and I know I need to do more with the boys.

Whereisme Thu 11-Apr-13 19:47:12

Ok, have more time now so can hopefully expand a bit and express myself better!

Firstly, 2BoysAndNoMore I am sorry to hear that you have similar feelings to me. I can promise you that all the other 'coping' Mums are probably struggling as well! I can say this as people often say to me how I cope with the children so well and am always so calm. The truth is that I am so stupidly proud that I find I very difficult to admit when I am finding things hard, and put on a bit of act I suppose, and then often burst into tears when I get home! Secondly, have you thought about going back to your GP if the antidepressants haven't made much difference as sometimes people don't always find what they are initially prescribed works for them.

I have been thinking of going back to work part time, but then worry that I wouldn't be able to cope with work and would get really stressed with it all. I also feel guilty about working as it would mean more nursery for the twins and my eldest would probably have to go into breakfast and after school club or a childminder. I have found childhood memories of my own Mum being there before and after school, and always imagined that I would do this for my own kids.

I find it very hard to do anything for myself as I feel guilty (again!) about that, and feel that I should be playing with the children or doing housework! How do I convince myself that it is ok to spend time on me and develop my own interests?!

2BoysAndNoMore Thu 11-Apr-13 20:10:03

I don't know but I wish I did! I am so exhausted by the end of the day (probably the depression more than actual sleep issues as thankfully both the boys sleep 12 hours) so I don't really have time or energy for anything other than them iyswim? Then I look back at the day and how little I've achieved and how many times I have struggled in the day and feel like an utter failure.

I often think about going back to work too but I KNOW DS2 would not cope with it at this age. (DS1 wouldn't have as a baby either). I just feel like my whole life is consumed with guilt about not doing more with them, then when I am doing things with them, inevitably the baby whinges and cries or some drama kicks off and it all feels such hard work. I love them both, I really do but there are some days when I just want to bury my head in a cushion and sleep for the next 5 years. Then of course I feel yet more guilt as I didn't really enjoy DS1 til he was nearly 3 and I now feel guilty for all the time I wasted being unhappy and not feeling lucky to have him. Yet still I have the same feelings for DS2 all over again.

I have major confidence issues. Everything I feel like I am doing wrong or not doing enough of. I am over weight, not hugely but enough to make me feel like I am lazy and look fat and horrible in anything I wear. The baby cries if I so much as turn my attention from him while I wash my hair so I look like shit. I miss DS1 and our relationship so much. I feel like I have gone from a pretty reasonable mummy of 1 to a crappy, lathargic, snappy mum of 2. I am failing them all the time.

Misty9 Thu 11-Apr-13 20:47:02

Just wanted to post so say you both sound like such lovely loving and caring mummies - and not remotely crap. Being a sahm is HARD work, and as with every job, there will be times you doubt yourself, count the minutes until the next nap (or break) and also have moments of joy and fun.

Whereisme - would it help you to think in terms of, you need to look after yourself and your wellbeing in order to look after everybody else? If you do decide to work part time, make sure it's not you picking up all the home stuff as well as working. I think this often happens once a couple have gotten into certain roles (stay at home parent vs main earner). Is there anyway your oh can cut back on hours in order to see the children more (and give you a break)? Also, as hard as it is, are there people in RL who you can turn to and have a chat with when you're feeling down? It really can help - and it's more than likely no one will think less of you for doing so.

2boys, it really sounds like another trip to the gp would be beneficial. Feeling so lethargic and crap could well be down to the depression and as whereisme said, you can try different anti ds, although did your gp mention any talking therapies as well?

As for 'doing things' with dc constantly, children thrive on making their own amusement and with young children at least, the ideal ratio is 80% child led play, 20% adult led - so don't feel bad if you're not with them all the time.

A book I've been recommended, and just gotten from the library, sounds like it might be good - what mothers do, by Naomi stadl. All about what we do for our kids, even when it looks like (or feels like) nothing.

Getting time out for ourselves is vital. We are still individuals as well as mummies.

2BoysAndNoMore Thu 11-Apr-13 21:31:18

Thank you to both of you. I think another trip to the GP is on the cards to be honest. I feel so panicky and anxious all the time the children are awake and then so exhausted when they are in bed. I love them so much. Why can I not just enjoy it? When I am with DS1 I am happy. I laugh. I look at him and he just makes me happy. Makes me think I'm not getting it all wrong. Then when DS2 strts whinging I become crabby, snappy and seem to blame him for taking me away from DS1. That's horrible isn't it? I know it is. It's not that I don't love DS2 but he is just making me so anxious and sad because he is anxious and sad. I think we are spiralling together.

Whereisme Thu 11-Apr-13 22:36:05

Thank you Misty9 for your kind words. I do worry about how I would fit in all the house stuff as well if I worked fulltime. My DH is a GP so can't cut back on his hours. Also, because of his job I never really know what time to expect him home because of emergency visits etc.

I have talked to some of my friends and family about how I feel, but probably hold back a bit as don't want them to see me as a failure and also don't want them worrying about me!

Have found your 80%-20% comment really useful and will definitely remember that when the guilt starts creeping in! That book sounds great as well.

Just seem to have lost me somewhere along the way, and not sure how to get back to the real me.

Misty9 Thu 11-Apr-13 23:03:59

There's your rationale for you-time right there - not necessarily to get back to you, but to find the new you? I really struggled with motherhood to start with and pined for my old life quite a bit, but I found it helpful to think about a new normal rather than trying to recapture something which cannot possibly be recaptured. Not sure if that makes sense..

I do know what you mean about holding back a bit with family etc. I sometimes just need a good cry but don't want to also worry about the effect that might have on the people around me, as I'll probably be fine again next time they see me! Can you turn to your dh much or is he too busy with work?

As for you working, I think go for it and see how it is. How do the working mum GPs manage? I'm quite vocal about this topic but I'll try to reign it in...I think if you're working then it's both of yours responsibilities to think about childcare, house stuff etc. unfortunately those school hours, part time jobs are rarer than hens teeth, but your dc will be fine with more nursery and wraparound care. It's the quality of the time you spend with them, not the quantity. What's most important to children is that their caregivers are HAPPY, so your wellbeing is paramount.

Try to do little things everyday which either relax you, or give you a sense of achievement/enjoyment. It doesn't have to be a whole evening doing some course, just ten minutes here and there for you. I'm guessing you run around like a headless chicken when the twins are at nursery...? Well, don't! smile sit down, do something for you and the housework can wait.

On that note, I'll take myself off to bed as staying up too late on mn is definitely one of my vices... grin hope you're feeling better tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

mummy2benji Thu 11-Apr-13 23:20:07

I don't have time to write loads but wanted to post. I'm a GP, and I took 2 years off work when ds1 was born as he had severe feeding difficulties and only I could manage to get anything into him. I've only returned to work part-time since, essentially 2 days a week spread over 3, and I'm currently on mat leave following the arrival of dd2. When I wasn't working and ds1 was small, I suffered loss of confidence, self-esteem and felt like I wasn't all I should be as a mum and generally fell short at everything. Since going back to work part-time, I've realised that being a mum is the hardest bloody job in the world! A busy morning surgery overrun with patients and requests for house calls has nothing on a day charging round after 2 small children, trying to maintain a shred of patience and sanity by the end of it. I think that being a SAHM can sadly deplete your confidence levels but that is so wrong, you need to remind yourself that what you are doing is the hardest job of all, but ultimately the most rewarding. And we all screw up at times, yell at them when they don't deserve it, and fall short on imaginative play. I'm sure you're doing an excellent job and just need to give yourself a mental pat on the back and believe in yourself. x

Whereisme Fri 12-Apr-13 09:25:29

Your lovely replies have almost made me cry this morning. Extra tired and emotional as short night with vomiting child! I think I do need to believe in myself more. I also seem to have developed an unfortunate habit of comparing myself to other people which is silly!

mummy2Benji I think my DH would agree with you as he says that although his job is really demanding and stressful he could not stay at home with the 3 children! I am very lucky as he is very appreciate of what I do.

Anyway, today is a new day! Let's see how I do!

Misty9 Fri 12-Apr-13 23:09:51

How are you feeling today? Hope it was a better one, despite the weather. It's the weekend! Or does your dh work weekends...? Could you get some time to yourself this weekend? Hope your little one is feeling better too; it's extra hard when they're ill sad

Whereisme Sat 13-Apr-13 09:58:04

He is feeling a lot better thank you. Yesterday morning was ok. We met up with some friends at the park. However, stayed at home in afternoon and yet again felt guilty that I wasn't doing more with them! They just watched a bit of tv then played in the garden. I had plenty of jobs to do in the house, but felt bad that I wasn't playing imaginative games with them in the garden!

DH working this morning, and then taking DS1 to his first football match in the afternoon! Don't know who is more excited out of the two of them! However, I don't think there will be any me time this weekend. Don't really mind this, but just feel that I am not doing enough for my lovely boys and they have got a boring Mum!

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