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am really struggling

(27 Posts)
pennyapples Wed 05-Mar-14 13:53:12

am due to pick up my 14 month old DD from nursery in a couple of hours and am ashamed to say am kind of dreading it. Have got myself in a bit of a fix where I'm struggling a bit.

I should say upfront, I love her more than anything. I enjoy spending time with her, but have become unable to turn the telly off. sometimes I put on a few episodes of waybuloo for her, or similar, teletubbies etc. but a lot of the rest of the time I have the telly for me, and I seem unable to turn it off really. I feel panicky without it on. there's nothing I really want to watch, I just search for stuff. I can't bear to not have it on, and I know that's terrible, but I cant seem to stop. I do play with her while its on and I read to her etc, but the health visitor once did say they need the silence to hear your voice, to learn to talk, and she's not got any words yet. think it could be my fault.

She's going to nursery once a week, just mornings to get her used to it before I look for some part time work, today I extended the hours because I just needed the time. Last night I went to bed to read at six o clock - asked my DH to do bedtime, again, just kind of needed the time.

I'm not doing any housework and am so far behind on life admin.

I do have a bit of history of anxiety / depression but thought had been okay since having her, am also 13 weeks pregnant and have had a rough time with it - don't know if that's contributing. But if I'm honest, the problem with the telly has always been there.

I longed to be a SAHM, I hated my career. I'm sad that this isnt what I thought and I'm not the mum I thought I would be. I'm also terrified that maybe I'm not cut out for anything, my career was too much, this is too much, not sure what there is for me really.

Can anyone offer any words of wisdom? I do love her more than anything and want her to have the best start in life if I haven't already cocked it up too much, and want to make a good home for our second baby too, and worry myself about how much worse I might be with two.

By the way she seems to be a happy and contented little girl, except when I drop her off at nursery when she's not happy at all! Bless her.

LingDiLong Wed 05-Mar-14 14:07:59

I'm no doctor but you do sound overwhelmed by life and possibly depressed to me? I think you should go and chat with your GP, especially given the fact that you have a history of depression/anxiety.

In the meantime, try not to beat yourself up too much, plenty of children don't have any words by 14 months. You must also be shattered looking after a 14 month old when you're pregnant!

Whilst I've also heard that periods of silence are good for kids to learn to talk and try and keep TV to a minimum, lets have a bit of perspective here. Your child sounds like she gets plenty of attention and is well-loved. These things are what really, really matter and the TV being on won't cancel them out.

Perhaps you could aim to cut back very slowly? So TV on for an hour and off for half an hour or something? Be kind to yourself though OP, being pregnant and home with a 14 month old is hard work

99redbafoons Wed 05-Mar-14 14:17:12

You poor thing. You just sound overwhelmed by life.

My advice would to be get out and have a walk once a day. Even if it's a bit wet. Chat to her about what you see, let get hold leaves etc. You'll begin to feel better just doing something else in the day and this can be the start to phasing the tv out.

It's an easy trap to fall into, they're born, they eat and sleep and you watch TV. Then they're suddenly 14 months! It's great you've recognised it but don't be too hard on yourself.

The bit that did strike me about your post was when you went to bed to read at 6pm, so you don't want the TV in the evening? It's seems to be your crutch to get through the childcare bit. Maybe speak to your GP or HV?

mymiraclebubba Wed 05-Mar-14 14:23:46

Firstly a big hug!

Secondly talk to your GP as your anxiety and depression sound out of control (I suffer too so I know whatnot are going thru)

My tv is also always on as I hate the silence!

ExBrightonBell Wed 05-Mar-14 15:17:17

Could you try having the radio on instead for a while? Although I do like silence, I also like to have some background noise, and I find a talk radio station is helpful. Anything with some interesting programmes (not phone ins though, as I can't stand then!).

I would also agree with getting out of the house regularly, and then maybe try just not turning the TV on when you get in (maybe try the radio instead). If you are anxious about that time, then maybe also plan a specific activity to do with your DD to structure that time a little.

Also, you are not 100% responsible for housework and life admin. What does your DH do to help out with this? You are a SAHM at the mo, which means you are busy with childcare during the times you have your DD with you. You shouldn't be expected to do everything else as well. Perhaps you could discuss this with your DH and see what he could do extra to help you.

pennyapples Wed 05-Mar-14 17:50:12

Thank you ladies you're all very kind. I am feeling overwhelmed by life, definitely, and it's just crept up on me really. I will talk to my GP, I guess i didn't want to acknowledge it.

We've done a bit better this afternoon, we've read more and played in other rooms. But I did put the telly on for her and pointless is on for me now. Have arranged coffee with a friend tomorrow though and will go for a walk in the afternoon I think. Maybe go to the library.

It helps when the sun shines and it did today when i went to get her - made me feel more positive.

But I know I've got a lot of workto do to put this right.

Toowittoowoo Wed 05-Mar-14 20:08:41

I am in no way downplaying your feelings but if children need silence to learn to talk then my DD2 is screwed. We only have the telly on an average amount but I always have radio 2 or 4 on and DD1 is soooo incredibly noisy that silence is a rare commodity in this house!

Give yourself a break you are pregnant and looking after a toddler. As long as she is fed and happy I'd say you are doing a good job. As a PP has said maybe start by aiming for an hour a day with the radio on instead of the TV and work up from there. Also when she settles into nursery perhaps you could invite a friend and her mum over for a few hours.

The summer is coming and everything is easier in the summer!

Shakey1500 Wed 05-Mar-14 20:19:53

Are there playgroups around etc?

Don't be too hard on yourself. I had to force myself out the door when DS was younger. I'm not naturally an "outdoorsy" person. More of a lazy schlep about indoors type. I love it when the weather's terrible and I can use it as an excuse for not leaving the house.

When we were out however, I felt better about myself and pleased that DS had done something worthwhile, as it were.

thanks Don't worry, I'm sure you'll come into your own and as others have mentioned, a trip to your GP wouldn't go amiss. Take care

AlpacaLypse Wed 05-Mar-14 20:30:15

If it's any help, I saw the weather forecast for the next week or so earlier (on the TV blush grin).

It's looking pretty good - might be really spring-like, warm, sunny - gorgeous! So lots of opportunities for you and dd to get out and about and shake some of the winter blues off. And it HAS been a horrible winter - okay, not cold, like last year, but so wet and miserable.

Please don't worry OP, all of us feel like shit sometimes, and worry that we're the worst mummy in the history of the world. But it doesn't sound like you're any worse than the rest of us - a few good days, some mostly good days, a fair few meh days, some bad days, and the occasional absolutely shite days.

nilbyname Wed 05-Mar-14 20:33:00

I'm a bit of a doer and when my kids were smaller I needed a bit of a routine.

Get up, breakfast, dress, little play. The out to some sort of activity-
Toddler group
Song time
Friend for coffee
Soft play and so on.....
Home for lunch, then little one would have a nap.
Then up, some sort of at home or close to home activity-
Play doh
Helping me cook/clean give her a little cloth and a water sprAy, loads of fun!
Pop tp the shop

Then make supper, eat, bath and bed. I would say that if you set yourself some structure, you could probably fit in 1/2 episodes of something if you needed to, for some down time.

From your post, you seem overly anxious, perhaps have a chT with your gp?

Hope you feel better soon, and try not to beat yourself up about her speech, all babies develop at different stages.

nilbyname Wed 05-Mar-14 20:34:25

Also I joined the national trust and this was always a lovely morning poncing about looking at the gardens, leaves, house etc.

pennyapples Wed 05-Mar-14 21:05:59

I meant to answer a question earlier - 99 - no in the evenings am not fussed about watching telly - would far rather read. It is a crutch I guess. But how sad is it that I need a crutch to get through the day?

I have massively conflicted feelings about finding work too. I think I need to do it, for my sanity, but once I do, she'll start nursery and that will be it, our home time together will be done and will I look back in horror at how I've wasted it?

Thank you for all your posts, you all make good sense. I like the idea of morning and then afternoon activities. It would help if she'd nap in her cot but she'll only nap on me. Recently she's not napping at all.

Good to know you all sometimes have the telly on, but am going to try a bit of radio, am thinking Jeremy vine and woman's hour kind of catch my interest a bit. I think am a visual person but going to work on that. I need a narrative of some sort to distract from my own thoughts.

slightlyconfused85 Wed 05-Mar-14 21:22:32

I would second building some activities into your day. I have a 16mo DD, and whilst I love her dearly, I sometimes get a little bored with toddler toys/toddler tantrums/making food!

I try and do an activity every morning: soft play, library, round to play with a friend's toddler (opportunity for adult chatter!), go into town, visit grandma etc etc. Home for nap. In the afternoon run little errands if needs be, maybe have a little walk round the block, and mostly play with her toys at home. She might 'help' me clean, hoover, hang the washing out and then she has her dinner.

I have an older DD too, and I found as she got older time at home became much easier and I dreaded it less, if that's the right word. Her play became more imaginative, she started talking, could help with baking, dressing up etc. I look forward to this stage with my little one too, perhaps you will find it easier. You sound like you are a fab mummy anyway.

ExBrightonBell Wed 05-Mar-14 21:26:13

It's not sad to have a crutch to get through the day! I spend far too much time mumsnetting personally, that seems to be my crutch at the moment. My DP has even jokingly said he'll delete my account smile

Being with a small child is not always 100% fulfilling, but that is something that is often not said. There is an unfair expectation that women are supposed to love every second of their time with their children. In reality a lot of childcare is repetitive and not particularly interesting. It's normal and ok to feel like this.

Most employed adults spend their days in a structured work environment. Not many people have days where they are entirely at their own devices, and can do what they want when they want. It is not something that necessarily comes naturally.

About the job hunting, do you have to find a full time job? Could you looked for something part time? Also, is it wise to get a job whilst pregnant knowing that you'll have to leave after only 6 months?

If it's about getting some adult interaction, could you volunteer instead? Find something that you have an interest in or a cause you care about and see if you can help out.

pennyapples Thu 06-Mar-14 05:53:40

Thanks guys. The job thing is difficult because of pregnancy but only looking for short term freelance work so will be upfront about it. Need the money really but yes thinking adult interaction good too.

I do miss that. We moved a few months ago and I miss my friends. There are playgroups and just starting to make friends at those now but am anxious about those friendships, them realising am not doing a great job. They are too new to be honest really.

toomuchtooold Thu 06-Mar-14 06:39:48

Hi pennyapples, the way you feel sounds familiar to me and I agree it sounds like you have some depression/anxiety.

I would say the TV on all day is not that much of a problem for your LO (although would second the advice to try the radio - I find it alleviates the loneliness, and we listen to so much Radio 2 I think my littlers think Ken Bruce is their uncle!) it's more a problem in that it's a symptom of you not being happy, and that's what you should try and fix.

Try getting out the house with her to play sessions etc? We haunt the local children's centre and it's good because they have space to play and be messy and to run around. Get her moving and the naps might improve, and that will also make things easier for you. And you'll have people to talk to. It is a lonely job, parenting, at least till they can talk.

Also I think it will get better when DC2 arrives. I know that sounds mad, but two kids is so much work that you just stop worrying about everything that's not immediately important. It's amazing how many things just get better on their own if you neglect to worry about them!

pennyapples Thu 06-Mar-14 13:29:13

That's a great theory! I like the idea of being too busy to worry. You must all think am mad for planning a second, but it's just at the minute that I'm so bad at this I hope. I am hopeful that there is a good mother in me somewhere, and I know I have been at times too.

Although I am worried that the way I feelst the minute is stopping me bonding with the one on the way and it's going to be hard enough as my DD is the love of my life (with DH obviously!) can't imagine feeling similar

MyGastIsFlabbered Thu 06-Mar-14 13:32:44

There's nothing wrong with admitting that being a SAHM isn't everything you hoped it would be. My job was going nowhere and I really hoped having children would fulfill me in a way that my careerr hadn't. It didn't. I really struggled on maternity leave (also had PND) and couldn't wait to get back to work. I think I put too much emphasis on the kids making my life complete when I should have been trying to do it myself.

I adore both my boys, I honestly do, but there are times when I long for peace & quiet.

MyGastIsFlabbered Thu 06-Mar-14 13:33:29

I was also worried that there was no way I would ever love DS2 as much as I love DS1...I needn't have worried, I do love him just as much and did from day 1, you just kind of adapt to it.

Weegiemum Thu 06-Mar-14 13:50:08

We (my dc are 10,12,14 now! Ds was born exactly a week after CBeebies went on air!!) used to have what dd1 called "mummy's pea and chip time". It was Mummy's Peace and Quiet Time. Half an hour after lunch with no radio, tv music when I lay on the sofa and she entertained herself - duplo, trains, books, soft toys. We started it as ds went down for his nap before dd1 had lunch, so we needed to be "quiet for baby".

It taught her to entertain herself, understand others needs etc. it was always only 30 mins then we still had a whole hour of Mummy and Katherine time until ds woke!! (Lots and flipping lots of fairy cakes!!!).

I had PND and that 30 mins, quiet, still available but not having to play made a massive difference!!!

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 14:11:37

I could have written your post, and I don't think you're mad for having a second, in fact, I feel shit every day that DS, now 5, will never have a close in age sibling, because I am still not as good at this as I hoped I would be, do not enjoy it as much as I thought I would and am not able to be the fun, happy, engaging and stimulating playmate mummy that I hoped I would be. I am really envious of anyone who has more than one child and not only gets to watch that wonderful sibling bond develop, but also doesn't have to spend every waking moment being the playmate for a child who desperately loves being with people (and feeling guilty if you don't spend every waking moment doing this). I know there are downsides too to having more than one but I really believe that it would be easier on my personality type to have two or more. Am still hoping for this one day but tend to swing madly between "that will be good in its own right and make me appreciate DS more" and "I'm awful at this, why do I think having more would make it better?"

I would say if you can work part time, do it. I felt so much better with my time divided, I feel like I can actually devote time to DS without feeling stifled, and I also feel I can have time to do stuff myself without feeling guilty.

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 14:16:19

My crutch is internet, BTW. Always has been. I find getting away from the source of the crutch helps, so for example going and folding laundry in a room where the computer is not. And focusing on "being in the world" because that's what it really is, it's a safety barrier between you and actually living life - I find I just have to get out and do something "real" once or preferably twice in a day to feel much better, whether it's shopping or meeting a friend or working or even going for a run (difficult when you're sole carer for a child).

Also timetabling. Treat it as work and you can get through easier, you might even enjoy it smile

pennyapples Fri 07-Mar-14 07:19:27

Had a much better day yesterday - put all your tips into practice - bit of schedule, more outdoors time, and when indoors lots of getting away from the source, thanks Bertie, funny how that works... We spent ages upstairs and only occurred to me afterwards there's a telly up here... Maybe I don't need it as much as I think. In bed reading again last night so again obviously don't really need it. But the news is on now... Aaargh...Am hopeless...

BertieBotts Fri 07-Mar-14 12:31:34

Because you don't need it, and as long as you don't see that other TV as a source of your crutch you won't.

It may be OK to do a version of what Weegiemum says, where you plan in a bit of time where it's OK to rely on that. But stick to the TV downstairs - then you can avoid it if necessary.

Bumpsadaisie Fri 07-Mar-14 12:37:53

I know what you mean. The TV gives you a feeling of being in control. I have two and it got the point where they were watching it at breakfast, to try and contain them arguing and help us to get to school on time.

But its a crutch. You don't need it and once you get over the dependence its much nicer without it.

My advice - get rid of TVs/screens in all rooms but one. Put the radio on instead so there isn't total silence.

Decide what time in the day you are going to have TV on and stick to that - in our house its for a short time in the morning while I get over the trauma of the school run, and we get ready to go out, and then not till 5pm. Reward yourself when you stick to it.

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