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I really hate going to the mother's group..

(20 Posts)
Ipp3 Fri 12-Jul-13 16:51:43

It’s not that there is anything horrible about them. They are all really nice and not competitive mums or anything. It’s just that I come away feeling like shit. They all seem to have really easy, contented babies and it just makes me realise everytime I go how unhappy and pain riddled and unsettled my poor son is. It makes me so, so sad. He screams and screams and looks me in the eye and looks terrified and has so much pain. Most feeds are a real struggle. We are seeing a paed but he doesn’t seem to be getting better. I can’t enjoy the meet ups when I go as I spend my time trying to comfort my son and so can’t really engage with the other mums and anyway, feel I have nothing to say as my experiences of being a mother are so different from theirs’. They go out to meals with their babies, they go on kid free evenings. Their children sleep well and reliably. Their houses are all clean and tidy. They can easily make baby classes at 10 or 11am. All of these things seem like impossible dreams. I get nothing done as I spend all the time he is awake comforting him or trying to feed him. When he sleeps I prioritise going to the loo, drinking, feeding myself and doing laundry in that order. It has taken me literally weeks to find time to write this post and I have prioritised it because I feel so utterly alone and defeated. It doesn’t help that they all come from a different (higher) socio economic group from me. I feel I have nothing in common with them and feel really out of place.

I don’t know anyone who is going through what me and my son are. When I talk to other mums about how things are they just look astonished and say ‘Really?!!’. It makes me feel like crap.

We have no family to help out. I just want to have someone to talk to who understands. I want to have someone to talk to who has gone though something similar. Is anyone out there? (DS is four months)

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 12-Jul-13 16:57:42

Is this baby group your Nct/antenatal group OP? Or is it a baby group you've just joined- just wondering if you could try some others? I've tried about 4 different one and found 1 I really like.
I think most of the people at that group are probably feeling the same if they were honest but it does sound like you're having a tough time. Has the doctor said when the appoint for little one will be? Think that could make a big difference if baby is more settled- could it be reflux or colic?
Speak to your Hv or doc if you're still feeling down or worried

GEM33 Fri 12-Jul-13 17:25:15

Poor you. X there are lots of mums in your situation you re not alone. You're notgoing to meet those mums in this baby group because they are at home struggling with a screaming child prioritising feeding comforting and having a wee etc! They can't manage to get to this baby group at ten because they are finding it hard to get out....I was one of them.

Are you bf or ff? Are you getting support from health visitor? Can they suggest other groups? Do pram walks help baby? Sometimes just getting out the house for a walk in your own time is better. What does the doc think is up?

Ipp3 Fri 12-Jul-13 17:40:59

It is a group from prenatal days. Paed. Reckons is bad reflux or food intolerances.
I don't like my Hv. She has been very unreliable and not good are seeing through on things she said she would look into. She never seems to know what to say so I a loathe to contact her.
That is a very good point gen33 that other struggling mums are at home! I feel a bit better for that!

MiaowTheCat Fri 12-Jul-13 18:55:57

I could have written your post a few months ago about DD2. She'd scream and squirm through feeds, she'd scream and writhe and vomit after feeds, she was blotchy and spotty and we got about 30 minutes scream-free time before having to start it all over again (thankfully I knew the baby group from DD1 so I felt they knew I was at least not a total incompetent parent).

In our case it was cows milk protein allergy, and I think there's reflux in there as well since she still throws up after every feed. Had to do a trial on a different formula from her usual prescription one a month back - within 5 minutes she was back to a screaming writhing mess - the difference is that marked in a change of her formula.

It gets better honestly.

Ipp3 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:01:56

Thanks miaow!

stargirl1701 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:09:27

Oh, OP I was in your shoes until 3 months ago. I often came home from these groups and cried. It just seemed so unfair. DD has silent reflux and just screamed for the first 7 months of her life. Other mums would be so shocked. It made me realise just how ill DD was.

It will get better. We did see improvement at 7 months. You will look back and wonder how you survived. But, you will. The good times will come.

On the plus side, I am finding everything else pretty easy. Mums in my groups are now complaining about crawling/walking children being into everything, not sleeping, etc. I love that DD can crawl.

I don't think any stage (hmmm...maybe teenage girl) could be as bad as listening to your baby scream in sheer agony for 8-13 hours without pause and be unable to help them.

There's a real need for 'high needs baby' support groups in RL.

DoItTooJulia Fri 12-Jul-13 19:11:42

Oh, that's sounds hard. How old is your ds?

There are countless other people with babies like yours and anyone that portrays are perfect homelife with small babies are bound to be fibbing a bit! I have a baby who is relatively easy, but there are still some days that I don't get out, or don't get a shower, or don't wash up/tidy up etc and some days where I don't get any of that done! So how you manage with a poorly baby I don't know!

My only advice is to be kind to yourself, in any way you can. Also, keep taking your baby to the GP. If you don't go, they don't know what a problem it is, and they can phone and badger the consultant for you, or help you manage his pain in the meantime. Alternatively, ask for a second opinion. You need to be quite forthright about it....don't be scared or worried that they will think you are a are simply getting the best care or your son, who wouldn't?

I hope you get some rest and your ds gets better.

BackforGood Fri 12-Jul-13 19:15:34

I was going to say the same as GEMS33. My ds wasn't in pain or struggling to feed, but I certainly wasn't able to be dressed and out the house at a baby group until he was about 7.
You will get a distorted picture at a baby group, for that very reason.
Might be worth getting up to your local CC though when you can? - they often have groups of all sorts running. Or phone them and ask for a FSW (Family Support Worker) to come out and chat to you, as you are finding life a bit hard at the moment. I wish CCs had been around when mine were little.

BigW Fri 12-Jul-13 19:21:28

I hope you start to feel better and get some rest soon. Others will be able to offer better advice than me, but my mum told me that the two biggest lies women tell each other is that they never argue with their husband and their baby sleeps through the night! grin

It was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, none the less it made me feel a bit better at times when I felt like I was the only one not coping. I am sure you are doing everything possible for your little one and feelings of inadequacy are so normal in early parenthood.

As someone said up thread, be kind to yourself and remember that this too shall pass! flowers

MiaowTheCat Fri 12-Jul-13 19:48:38

And to be honest what they'll be thinking is a) good god that looks like a nightmare to cope with and b) she's bloody superwoman to be coping with that and still manage to get herself out and about of the house.

If you have a friendly health visitor it's worth getting them on the case - mine's administered several verbal arsekickings to reluctant and slow moving medical personnel to get things moving for DD2 - who is now, at 4 months old, an utterly different baby and totally full of goos and smiles (she still pukes on me on a 4 hourly basis though but at least it's happy upchucking - I can cope with the puke showers and always smelling of mouldy potato peeling stinky prescription formula as long as she's happy). I've got a video on my phone of how she was just after we had to do a trial of a less expensive allergy formula which she still reacted to (I recorded it as evidence of how she was responding to their treatment/attempts to penny pinch with her prescriptions) and people's comments when they see it are along the lines of "fucking hell" - you just don't realise the enormity of what you're coping with when you're there grinding it out day-to-day... your perception of "a bit unsettled" becomes everyone else's "you're fucking awesome to be able to cope with that as well as you're doing" - seriously people will just be thinking that and it WILL get better.

Our children's centre were shite though - I had a conversation with them when I'd confessed things were a bit of a nightmare, that the health visitor knew things were a bit of a nightmare and we'd had a chat about it earlier that day with the health visitor going to get onto the GP again about stuff... and the CC made a huge thing about having to go and tell the health visitor about the conversation I'd had with them - ABOUT the conversation I'd had with the health visitor! I told the HV to expect a phonecall from them and her comment was "bloody hell the world's gone ridiculous!"

Ipp3 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:03:47

Thanks everyone, that really helps! I don't think we have children's centres around here. It is good to have been shown that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I should give my Hv another go. She might surprise me!

happydaze77 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:20:33

Totally agree with GEM33 and backforGood - IME baby groups are definitely not a fair representation. They're full of 'easy' babies who just nod off peacefully there and then, whenever they're tired, and when they're awake they just sit/lie there gazing at the world, etc etc. While the rest of us struggle behind closed doors! Just remember: these people are not better than you, they're just luckier. Your struggle makes you a better parent, not a lesser one. Keep strong.

BackforGood Fri 12-Jul-13 22:59:01

Are you in England Ipp3 ? If you are, then you will be covered by a CC. There have been massive cuts around here, (as in 4 out of 5 have lost their staff) but everyone is still supposed to be connected to one - the ones that are left just have MUCH bigger reach areas.

GEM33 Fri 12-Jul-13 23:34:22

I don't know how relevant or appropriate this is but someone I worked with had a baby that sounds similar issues as yours and they swore by soya milk..I'm no good with ff and obviously the docs will know best but I'm just throwing it out there x

I appreciate you don't like your Hv but I would persist with her until she helps you. I didn't like mine initially but I emailed and rang her every day and kept making appointments until I got answers and referrals I needed to help me and dd. I ended up quite liking her even though I realised she held very different views to me.

My dd is 19 months has never slept through the night. Some days i don't seem to get out the house or get anything done until dh gets home. I actually discovered a friend who I thought was wondermother and sailed through parenthood actually has days like that too.

It will get easier op. it's just time.

GEM33 Fri 12-Jul-13 23:40:05

Also have you tried baby massage classes?

Ipp3 Sat 13-Jul-13 09:10:20

No I am not in England so no cc. I'm afraid I can't try soya milk as soya may be one of the things he is intolerant to. I did go to baby massage but it is very hard to find time to do it as it has to be a time when he is calm and hasn't eaten so that I can put him on his back without the reflux being an issue! I was sooo glad to finish the last class as it was harder and harder as he got more and more fractious as the weeks went on!
Thanks so much everyone for your support and for the emphasis that the perfect babies at the classes aren't representative! It makes me feel like I am not the only one. I really am tired of mother's eyes popping in their heads when I try to talk about how things are for me. I am tired of hearing them complain of how their dc has regressed and what they describe as a bad day, e.g only now sleeping for five hours at a stretch!, would be a very good day for me. I just don't want to talk to these other mums about things anymore. It makes me feel worse, not better. I had a friend around who I thought would understand as she used to go on about her ds crying, but she just said of my ds, wow, he really sounds distressed, my ds never cried like that or that much! Sorry, that was a bit of a rant. It was a very bad night! Thanks again everyone!

FattyMcChubster Sat 13-Jul-13 09:22:31

Just wanted to add, there will be loads of people in your situation but most likely sitting at home worrying about not being able to go out.
The women a these groups don't have the perfect life you think they do. Seeing someone for a small amount of time doesn't let you see into their lives and I bet you they're nearly all struggling with something in private. They just don't let on.

You're doing so well and there really is light at the end of the tunnel. Baby will stop crying and you can begin to really enjoy time together and be happy yourself (and sleep!). Keep going and well done for being so strong.

Sunnysummer Mon 15-Jul-13 13:04:21

You sound like me! At my group my severely refluxy DS has screamed and writhed and been ill so much that they now call him 'poor [DS)']', and the fact that they are so nice about it and so sorry for us almost makes it worse hmm

Have you tried opening up individually about your challenges? Sometimes I've found that seemingly perfect mums will then share stories of their own challenges with non-sleepers, unhelpful husbands and the lot. Like others have said, people often have it a lot less sorted than they look from the outside, and with time all the babies will have their own strengths.

SleeplessInBedfordshire Mon 15-Jul-13 13:35:06

Its so difficult isn't it? I could have written your post too. I won't repeat what others have said but my boy did get much better at 6 months. His silent reflux improved, he started being more interested in things and at about 7 months he learnt to sit up and would (sometimes!) happily sit and play/watch the other babies. I'd say keep going to groups when you can and honestly it will get better.

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