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How do you have a break when you don't have any help?

(18 Posts)
Knackered123 Thu 07-Aug-14 14:11:39

I have an 8 month old and really struggling at the moment. He is lovely but the relentlessness and lack of sleep is getting me down and feel v teary and exhausted today. OH works long hours and can't help out much. No family nearby to babysit. So I haven't had one break or day/night off since he was born.

Please could anyone suggest ways in which it is possible to give yourself a break when there isn't help to hand? X

noblegiraffe Thu 07-Aug-14 14:15:17

Can you get him to sleep in a pushchair then have lunch in a cafe (like a supermarket cafe that tends to have space for pushchairs) while he sleeps? I found it helped to be out of the house eating nice food and drinking a fresh cup of tea without having to make it myself.

fivepies Thu 07-Aug-14 14:19:02

Hi knackered123. I understand how you feel, I'm in a similar situation. I put my two DDs in the gym creche, spend 1 hour working out or if too tired a leisurely swim and then take ages having a long, uninterrupted shower and sauna.
Or you get OH to have the baby for a few hours at the weekend. I find I have to get out the house to have a break otherwise I end up doing housework which is hardly a break!
It's really difficult but it won't be like this forever. The older they get the less they need watching and you can grab some little pockets of peace while they play.

RicStar Thu 07-Aug-14 14:21:17

Are you doing a all the night waking Op? Could your oh do at least one night a week? Similarly could oh take baby for a day by taking annual leave / at the weekend & you do something fun - seeing friends - shopping etc for at least several hours. Do you get a break in evening? Does baby go to sleep from 7-8ish? Depending how full on oh work is could you sign up for a regular evening class yoga / boxing / knitting whatever you feel you need. I have low energy hobbies (sewing / colouring books / cross words) but always feel better when I get 10 mins to do one. Do you have friends to moan with? 8 months is hard stage... Are you working / planing to? I went back @ 9 months & never loved work so much.

meerschweinchen Thu 07-Aug-14 14:26:01

Sorry you're finding it bard at the moment. To be honest, without help you won't be able to have a proper break, but you can do things to make life a bit easier/more enjoyable.

As noblegiraffe suggests getting out definitely helps. Have you got friends you can meet up with? 8 months is still young enough that they're pretty portable, so just put him in his car seat or pushchair and go out for the day - walk in the countryside, visit museums/galleries/shopping centres or whatever you're interested in.

Also do you go to any baby groups/swimming classes/music groups? I know they're not everyone's cup of tea, but personally I found them a good way to put a bit of structure in my day and have some adult company. Plus I made some good friends who I still see regularly now. Without family to babysit, friends with similar age children could be a lifeline. Obviously it will take time to get to know and trust people enough, but eventually you might be able to babysit for each other etc.

Also I presume your OH must get some time off? Perhaps you could discuss how you're feeling and see if you can arrange a time for him to take over for a bit. Even if it's just a couple of hours here and there, having a bit of peace and time to do your own thing really helps.

imaluckylady Thu 07-Aug-14 14:30:10

I agree with noblegiraffe. See if you can build in breaks while your baby is around, but not needing too much. So .... if he has a regular, predictable lunch time nap, use this to do things for yourself while he sleeps in his buggy. Haircut, shopping, coffee, nap, etc. Try and make some nights easier for you - ready meal/pizza/takeway will mean you don't have anything to prepare and can get into a bath and put your feet up as soon as he is down.
I used an organization which provided experienced, crb-checked and often well-qualified babysitters occasionally too so that I had the possibility of going out for an evening as well. Can you invite friends over for the evening, so you bring the fun to you? Will your baby sleep at someone else's house so that you can head to a friend's for supper?
Can your husband look after him for a couple of hours at the weekend so that you know you have that time to yourself to do with as you please at least once a week?
All of the above definitely is easier if your baby has a predictable pattern, so apologies if it's completely irrelevant to you and your wee one.
It can feel tough sometimes.

PleaseJustShootMeNow Thu 07-Aug-14 14:43:38

I'm in a similar situation with DS who is 15 months. We pay for him to go to nursery for a few hours 3 days a week and I go home and sleep. Thankfully We're not in the UK so the cost doesn't break the bank.

Andcake Thu 07-Aug-14 14:57:40

I gave myself breaks by getting baby to sleep in the buggy and taking a break then. A book in a coffee shop or sitting out in the park. We live in London and actually I loved just visiting free museums and galleries with him in his pram. Also making sure if ds napped at home I didn't automatically start doing chores.
I also found baby cinema a brilliant break for me - is there one in your area- luckily my lo used to feed then fall a sleep or be happy just curled up on my lap but he may have been a bit younger. I also did cheap post natal yoga classes £2 a pop at sure start and that helped me un wind.

Also try and get OH to look after little one in the evening or weekend and meet a friend for a drink or go for a massage or a swim.

TBH I went back to work and it helped me balance life again - just making sure I take a proper lunch hour on my own has helped. Also visiting relatives where I got a break helped. A few days away can be very reviving - I would go without OH.

Sleep is through DS didn't sleep through til over 18 months but cosleeping actually helped me get more sleep.

Also it gets easier - I prefer having a toddler to a baby - activities are much more fun like swimming etc and having little picnics in the park on my day off.

Knackered123 Thu 07-Aug-14 15:10:44

Thanks for your useful replies everyone smile to be honest all I want to do at the moment is spend a day in bed sleeping/reading mags. Omg that would be total bliss.

I have been doing the group meet up thing quite regularly but sometimes feel that it burns me out all the trekking about. I haven't done anything this week, I can't face it..

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 07-Aug-14 15:13:46

What about booking into a Hotel for a night? check in early, swim, sauna, steam. Massage if they offer it. Afternoon nap, room service and a good book. Nice sleep in a pick black quiet room and a lie in followed by a yummy breakfast then back to bed with a brew and crappy.morning tv til check out time. Do it over a weekend so dh is off for ds.

Sometimes you need to be totally devoid of all responsibilities even just for 18hrs!

PleaseJustShootMeNow Thu 07-Aug-14 15:15:25

How much would it cost you to put him in nursery for 1 morning a week? Is that doable?

PleaseJustShootMeNow Thu 07-Aug-14 15:18:13

Or pop him in a playpen with ITNG on the tv and have a kip on the sofa.

Knackered123 Thu 07-Aug-14 16:39:49

Thanks all, this is really helpful. Have spoken to oh and he may take LO to the in laws for a couple of nights and I am looking at spa's/ or beauty treatments or anything that involves a bit of me time. I also just want to be on my own, you know?.. Can't really afford it but hey..hopefully will find a half price deal!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 07-Aug-14 16:41:43

If money is an issue, just treat yourself to a nice facepack, new nail varnish, get some new pjs (primark cotton bottoms are my favourite and so so cheap), dvd and put fresh bedsheets on. Nice hot bubble bath. Indian take away delivered.


《considers booting dh out tomorrow night so I can do all of the above》

Knackered123 Thu 07-Aug-14 20:20:41

Thinkivebeenhacked...I like your thinking! Primark here we come... smile

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 07-Aug-14 21:19:17

Enjoy your much deserved night off duty!

CantThinkOfAGoodUserName Fri 08-Aug-14 18:50:07

I have an 8 month old too and I don't have any family that help either, my DP is good when he can be but it's so tough. One day my DP was home and he looked after baby while I went shopping for 4 hours! It was and still is the longest I've been away from her. It was a lovely 4 hours but I was do happy to come home and be with her again (although that was aged 6 months and she's very different now!) she is crawling so you really don't get a break. Every day I tell myself that this won't last forever!

Thurlow Fri 08-Aug-14 20:32:11

The one thing I did as DD became an older baby was to start doing little bits of housework with her involved or with her watching. The sole aim of this was as she grew into decent naps, at least one of them I did absolutely sweet FA - just sat on the bed and read for an hour or so.

DP also works long hours and I'm back at work f/t too. Doing nothing at all for that hour or two when DD naps is my sanity saver. I find it easier doing that little bit more housework in the evening, if needed, so that I get that hour to myself in the middle of the day.

When she drops her nap I may die slightly...

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