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Has parenting affected your mental health?

(1000 Posts)
NutsinMay Sun 26-May-13 15:13:52

There seems to be a lot of links about Mental Health affecting your ability to parent but nothing about parenting affecting your mental health(beyond post natal depression).

Yet although there have been times in my life when I've felt low, anxious, possibly more than that, I've never felt as anxious, stressed, neurotic, controlling, irritable, occasionally close to the edge as I have had since having children. I have no desire to have a relationship or go out (beyond doing stuff with the children as they are always much easier when out).

I do work part-time and that provides some relief but I wish weekends were something to look forward to like they used to be pre-children. Now they are the most tiring shifts of the week.

Having one was fine and didn't change me or my life that much (and I had a high needs baby) but having two for me is a whole another level.

I am tired very tired. I've not had an uninterupted night's sleep for about 5 years so I think that might be a major contributor but I find the fighting between siblings, the noise, the whining, the whinging- the demands of "mummy" shrieked in stereo are occasionally just too much to bear. I sobbed in front of them this morning because I just wanted them to leave each other alone. I sometimes fear picking up by daughter from school as I just don't the energy to cope with the afterschool grumpiness/meltdown/rudeness.

I know parenting isn't easy and I'm full of admiration for those who have more than two, do it alone or unsupported or have children with complex needs.

I do hear stories of women locking themselves in the bathroom to escape their kids and I know a lot of women got by on valium in the 70s and laudenum in the 1870s(or earlier) so I know it's not uncommon.

But I'm wondering why there isn't more written about this? Is the stress etc actually doing damage to my physical health? Is it normal? Does anyone else think they are going mad?

Thankfully, they are out with DP this afternoon as I've been on the go since 6.

OddBodd Thu 20-Jun-13 19:30:19

Arrgh Kingrollo, I feel your pain, I really do.

I don't know where to begin today. I don't even have the words left in me to talk about it. sad

I just wanted to check in and read all your posts. I'll be back tomorrow hopefully in a better mood.

Badvoc Thu 20-Jun-13 19:34:21

Oddbod {hugs}

KingRollo Thu 20-Jun-13 19:35:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NutsinMay Thu 20-Jun-13 21:13:57

Welcome Molly.

You've got a lot to cope with at the moment (puts my issues in perspective). I hope you get the help you need soon.

It's a safe place to vent here.

Ray81 Thu 20-Jun-13 21:15:17

Just checking in, I am still here and you are all keeping me sane.

I catch up and then go to post and someone then wants something so haven't had a chance. Take now for example, kids in bed peace at last but DH wants my attention (yes in that way) I shouldn't grumble I really do enjoy myself when I'm not shattered (sorry tmi).

Anyways must go and .......... Well I don't know really, give more of myself ! I will check in again soon.

Ps I do too love you all smile

NutsinMay Thu 20-Jun-13 21:31:37


I'd never thought of recommending this thread for classics as I always associate classics with threads about "pom bears" or "lost bears" "strange habits that parents/inlaws have" and "embarassing poo incidents".

However, this thread is very important, a social document of Motherhood in our time. It will be fascinating to come back and read it when our children are older.

I will mail MNHQ and see what they think.

MacMac123 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:33:57

Scones - your second paragraph resonates. Drowning in domestic minutae.
Felt the same way about fathers day

KingRollo Fri 21-Jun-13 09:40:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curryeater Fri 21-Jun-13 11:58:20

Poor KingRollo.
Poor Badvoc.
Poor everyone

OddBodd Fri 21-Jun-13 20:18:11

Hope you are ok KingRollo I know what you mean about not knowing what to do anymore.

You are so worn down by it all it's just so confusing and sometimes I can't actually be bothered to even think whose fault something was. Quite often, I'm fully aware I'm being unreasonable but I am so exhausted and emotional that I don't care. I can't be bothered to worry about DH's feelings because it's just one more person I have to feel guilty for. I can't do it.

Today has been hideous. DS1's school had a teacher training day today so he had a day off. He has been basically moping about the house winding us up all day. It's such a shame because he's actually a lovely, caring, articulate, funny little boy....but today I just wished he'd been at school sad . He has basically gone out of his way to piss DS2. DS2 is constantly trying to grab whatever DS1 has off him, what do good parents do when this is happening?? Because I just feel like screaming. I don't very often actually scream or shout at them but I am at a loss as to what to do with them both in the house.

I cannot seem to deal with both of them at the same time on my own. Wtf is wrong with me?? Every other mother seems to do it. I am not the only mother with more thn one child. Some of my friends have 4 children. How then hell did they get through this? I simply do not know how to entertain them both. I end up usually going out a lot with them at the weekends, either to soft play, swimming, parks, days out to York or Lincoln Castle etc just because in the house I feel like I'll implode. I can not do this.This evening before tea I actually sent DS1 up to his room (not in a bad way and not as a punishment) but I basically persuaded him he'd have more fun up there playing with his lego etc just to get him away from DS2. Is this what it'll be like? Will I forever be separating them and feeling like I'm on the edge all the time? I don't think I'm cut out for having more than one kid. That's a sad thing to admit isn't it? I love DS2, I do love him but I seem to be wishing his little life away and since he was born the pleasure in our lives has all but gone. It's all just about survival.

Sorry for the mega rant. I feel like an utter twat today. Like I was out witted and 'beaten' by a 5 year old and a 1 year old. I need to up my game somehow because I can feel me drowning.

nowtygaffer Fri 21-Jun-13 20:46:45

New to this thread but I just want to add my support to anyone who's struggling today.

My dcs are now 12, 9 and 3 and life is so much easier. I have had some really dark days but feel like I have come out the other side.

Great thread btw.

MacMac123 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:58:06

As usual I was thinking about this thread today.
But I had a good day. I had Dd (7 months) by myself all day, DS at school then afterwards another mum picked him up for playmate.
Had a nice time with Dd and was lovely to see DS when he got back. Just makes me think highs and lows, light and shade, swings and roundabouts, what comes down must go up. Etc etc. There is light at the end for everyone ( though it may be swiftly followed by darkness!)

KingRollo Sat 22-Jun-13 06:43:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DogsAreEasierThanChildren Sat 22-Jun-13 06:58:53

I'm with you, KingRollo: DS will be an only because I just can't do all this over again. I'm typing this with CBeebies entertaining DS behind me - the guilt, the guilt. Relationship with DH has recovered now, but when DS was younger we were both so exhausted that we were scratchy and unkind with each other all the time.

KingRollo Sat 22-Jun-13 07:03:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OddBodd Sat 22-Jun-13 08:13:13

KingRollo Our DS1 nearly killed us too though, he wasn't easy, but I think with your fist it is such a massive shock and it nearly ripped our marriage apart. For the first 18-20 months we activly hated eachother....I don't know how we got through it because I swore DS1 would be an only child. It took a long time for us to mend and for me to stop seething! (hence the 4 year age gap) But actually DH has been pretty wonderful this time round. Just a shame that DS2 is impossible to please!!!

Ledkr Sat 22-Jun-13 08:15:18

oddbod a difficult baby can be the final straw.
Dd2 was my fifth and oh boy have I struggled.
Poorly at birth but much wanted it all started badly and I think caused pnd.
After a 9 yr age gap I struggled to go back to babydom but then after seven months she became the most demanding miserable child ever. She never slept and spent all day whining. I felt as if I was going mad but recently she has emerged a much happier child probably because she now sleeps and I truly feel loads better even my depression has lifted so hopefully your ds will grow out of it.
My 3boys were all close in age and fought a lot but it dies get better as they grow up and I bloody left them to it half the time. When they are older and have their own interests and longer attention spans its easier.
I also get out as much a possible it's the only way.
Do you see other mum friends because I don't often but when I do I feel better for comparing horror stories.

Badvoc Sat 22-Jun-13 08:42:34

Oh yes.
Ds1 was a very poorly baby.
I developed late onset pnd when he was 15 minths old.
That's why there is a 5 year gap between my 2!
I know what you mean any wishi their little lives away...ds2 starts school in August and despite the worry I cannot wait!
<terrible mother>

Ledkr Sat 22-Jun-13 08:48:31

bad I was never the crying mum. At the school gate either.
And I actively encouraged my adult children to move out be independent as soon as they finished education.
I love them all dearly but I also have a space to occupy in this earth as well as they do.
I think the ill at birth thing was a definite factor in my pnd and she had surgery at 9 months so felt in limbo until then.

Badvoc Sat 22-Jun-13 08:57:49

Me either ledkr.
I put on a Pretty good show. Or at least I used to. Seems to be getting harder.
Looking back at ds1s early life it would have been a miracle if I hadn't got pnd tbh...it was very grim. Mercifully a lot of it is hazy.
But being back in hospital with ds2 last week on the same ward ds1 used to be on really affected me badly sad
I have hay fever and a headache and don't really feel like doing anything today.

KingRollo Sat 22-Jun-13 10:40:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ledkr Sat 22-Jun-13 10:42:09

I'm working at a gay pride event which should cheer me up and dh is off for once so I'm actually slightly more happy than usual at weekends!

Jellybellyrbest Sat 22-Jun-13 11:56:37

Love this thread. It's making me feel more normal & less guilty!

OddBodd Sat 22-Jun-13 14:18:57

Thanks everyone who has made me feel a little more human and less of a bitch! I have actually had a lovely morning with both the boys. We only went to Meadowhall to the Disney store and the lego shop, also stopped at a little restaurant there and had some gorgeous food and they both behaved so beautifully, I was very proud. Things are always much nicer when we are out and DH is off work. I am still dreading the summer holidays. I can't drive so going anywhere without DH takes a lot of planning and a hell of a lot of walking or stressful bus journies.

Enjoy the event Ledkr sounds like a lot of fun! How old is your DD2 now? I keep waiting for DS2 to suddenly cheer up but I know with DS1 it was a much much more gradual process. He basically got slightly better every milestone he hit. He massively lightened up once his language really came along at around 19-22 months when he could talk in simple sentences and make himself understood. I'd say by age 3 he was a typical, happy go lucky child who had ups and downs like any other kid. Before that, it really was a loooong struggle and we were literally on edge all the time. DS2 is exactly the same. Gah! Why can't we make those nice happy, gurgly babies???! Today at Meadowhall I was watching all the other babies in the high chairs and strollers etc, whilst DS2 wasn't crying or whinging, he just seems so much more 'intense' than they are. He's so aware and wants to touch and feel everything and then moans when he can't have things off the shelves in shops etc. It feels like I have to constantly keep his little hands busy or offer him snacks to distract him ALL the time. DS1 was just the same. I don't know what the hell I've done wrong. I blame the Omega 3 I took in pregnancy... made the little buggers too clever and aware wink .

Ledkr Sat 22-Jun-13 15:14:46

Just finished my shift so am now enjoying the drag acts with the kids.
Dd2 is 2.5 and has become much easier since her speech developed. She had a cleft palate and now glue ear so hearing and communication has been a challenge so maybe why she's so moany.
Hope everyone is surviving.

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