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How do you know whether it's PND or if it's just that I'm sad because I'm shit at this?

(24 Posts)
thecatwiththesilveryfur Tue 14-Jan-20 13:35:04

DS is nine months. Everything was fine at the beginning, but as he gets older I feel everything is slipping away from me. His sleep is deteriorating, he won't eat the food I make for him more often than not and we're frankly both spending most of the day crying at the moment. I can't take him anywhere further away from home than a short walk around the village because of having to be back for naps and meals and I just feel completely trapped by how useless I am at all of this. Everyone says he's such a nice little boy - why aren't I enjoying him?

rainstormsunshine Tue 14-Jan-20 13:46:14

You aren't shit at this, you are tired, busy and pushing yourself super hard because you want to do what's best for him. Believe me, that is actually great parenting. You care, therefore you're questioning yourself and that's totally normal.

Lack of sleep makes such a huge difference to your emotions as well, especially if you feel like you got a routine established and it's gone backwards. A few different things make huge changes at your sons age. Separation anxiety, teething, trying to progress with mobility - all of these things can cause sleep regression and whilst there are practical things that can be done to help, it's also important to give yourself a break because actually, although we're all great at pretending we're finding this motherhood thing so wonderful and easy and we can manage it all, I can say from my side I spend lots of my time tired, stressed and worried I'm not doing well enough. It's normal, promise smilethanks

I found that my babies had foods they liked in particular and whilst they were going through fussy stages, I would give them that food for their evening meal until they were a bit more relaxed about trying newer foods again. It meant I wasn't constantly stressed that they were hungry and it removed that battle close to bedtime when we both needed a break.

I know it's a classic line, but things will get better. Just remember that we all struggle in our own ways and you're doing brilliantly.

Oggden1 Tue 14-Jan-20 13:50:18

Ds did this from 8 mth to 14mths (sorry). He's really settled down the last 2 months and I'm enjoying him again.
Your doing fab and it does get better x

Claire543210 Tue 14-Jan-20 15:31:30

Been a mother is probably the hardest job you will ever have. We spend 9 months while pregnant preparing and planning and then after the initial newborn stage it's just nothing like you expected it would be. It's stressful, tiring, constantly feeling like your inadequate. You do everything you can for them and they repay us by keeping us up all night, refusing the food we so lovenly made and cry. I would imagine every mother goes through this but some woman don't like to talk about, they pain on a smile and pretend that everything is going great and they just love been a mother. The reality is somewhat different. What you are going through and feeling is completely normal. Never doubt that you are not a good mother. Also I used to be so strict with routine but once I relaxed a bit it did get easier. My little one is 14 months now and I find it so much easier. From around 9 months -12 months I did find it hard. I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to make all her food, the odd jar and pouch isn't going to hurt. If she will get yourself out and let her nap in her pram (mine went through a stage around same age as yours were she wouldn't nap in pram) now within 5 mins she is asleep (if it's around nap time). I don't do this all the time just when I need to get out and if your out when his food is due pop into a cafe/McDonald's and put in high chair, have a coffee while you give him his food. It does get easier I promise

thecatwiththesilveryfur Tue 14-Jan-20 19:54:05

Separation anxiety, teething, trying to progress with mobility

But this is just it. He's had all of these, but he's a perfectly normal, lovely little boy. The problem isn't him, it's that I can't cope with these perfectly normal things. I feel that I loved him like crazy when he was essentially a little pet - immobile, needy but not actually demanding - and now that he's beginning to exert a bit of his own personality, I'm not coping with it. That's awful, isn't it?

He hasn't eaten anything today. Just put it in his mouth, rolled it around and spat it out. Not a big deal, DH says, and he's right. So why can't I deal with it?

I'm just shit at this.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Tue 14-Jan-20 19:54:48

Thank you all for your very kind words, by the way. I am grateful flowers

Bol87 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:23:08

Oh bless you, it does sound like you are struggling mentally a bit. Probably not PND but just a period of feeling quite low? I can really empathise, around the 9-12 month mark, I felt really down. I really struggled to get a lot of joy out of life & found myself longing for time away from my DD. I’m not a huge advocate for herbal medicine over conventional but a friend recommended St Johns Wort & I thought why not. Probably was placebo but I do think it levelled my mood a little. I was getting very stressed about weaning & sleeping & I felt calmer overall taking the pills. It’s so overwhelming when all you have to think about 24/7 is baby. Nothing to break up those thoughts or to make you step outside the bubble of motherhood.

The best thing for me was going back to work at 12 months. Are you planning on going back? In reality, I was just done with maternity leave. I needed some routine & purpose to my week & to use my brain on something that wasn’t sleeping, feeding, nappies etc! I felt back to myself within a couple weeks. I still do love work, I’m so ready for it come Monday! I’m lucky to work 3.5 days a week, so a good balance. I’m such a better mum for working half the week personally. And once back at work, I realised I needn’t have been so strict on routine or panicking when they hadn’t eaten or slept. On work days, that’s all outside my control and my DD is totally fine! And that’s kinda where you OH is coming from. He’s able to step away, work & think about other things. He has no control on day to day (I presume at least!) yet your baba is happy & developing really well. Because you are doing a fabulous job 🧡

If you are worried though, do speak to your GP! I’m no medic, it’s just my experience! Better to try get on top of things now. Hope you are ok!

Claire543210 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:35:39

When and how much milk does he have. What kind of foods do you try to feed him?
That's not awful, it's normal. At this age they are so demanding and mobile which is so stressful for us. I promise it does get easier. I have noticed a big difference in my lo over the last month or so. She will sit and play with a toy or look through a book, it might only be for 5 mins each time but its still nice. Let me know on the above and I can maybe give u some suggestions regarding food. You are not shit at this, if you were you wouldn't give a shit

thecatwiththesilveryfur Tue 14-Jan-20 20:45:01

He's still breastfed (another thing, tbh - he bites a lot, which I hate, and I'm beginning to worry that the milk isn't good enough for him after all this time.) He feeds seven times a day, usually? For his meals I give him anything I can think of: meat, vegetables, potatoes, pasta with sauces, stuff on toast like hummus or peanut butter. Fruit. Any ideas welcomed! He's allergic to eggs which takes away what would be a good easy option. He's just really unpredictable: usually he adores food and eats loads, but I think he's a bit constipated at the moment, which may be why he doesn't want to eat. It just feels that small stuff like that, which doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, is getting to me. He's also gone into a phase where he cries his heart out if i put him down, so actually making the food is hard too.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Tue 14-Jan-20 20:46:33

I am going back to work, full time, in March. I was dreading it but I think you're right that we're approaching the time when it's necessary. I will try the St John's Wort - thank you flowers

CottonSock Tue 14-Jan-20 20:47:35

For me, I knew it was pnd due to intrusive negative thoughts that were always there. Plus awful insommnia.

AuntieDolly Tue 14-Jan-20 20:53:54

I became very depressed around the 9 month mark, which coincided with the return of my periods. Eventually, I went back on the pill which helped and joined the gym, leaving him with a childminder 2 afternoons a week. I think everyone expects PND to be just after giving birth, but this is not always the case.

tiredtrumpet Tue 14-Jan-20 21:05:33

I think it's just a crap stage to be honest, you're probably 10 months or so down the line from starting maternity leave, struggling to cope without any structure to your day, so you set a routine. You then feel trapped by the routine (as you said back for naps and feeding) and feel all hell breaks loose when baby decides actually, that routine isn't for me!

For me personally it helped massively when I went back to work. My week became structured again and I was no longer in my baby bubble, obsessing over naps, how many cubes of organic homemade purée he had eaten, if he had enough tummy time, stimulation time etc.

I look back on it as a bit of a farce tbh, it's like I wasn't me for a bit! Second time round and I'm enjoying it much more, no routine, just fed every 3 hours or so and naps when she's tired.

I KNOW it's a pain reading this but it does get better. Eventually you will get a bit of you back, a bit more sleep, different things to concentrate on (work etc) and you have a new normal.

As a PP said quite a lot of people romanticise parenthood. It's often shit and gruelling and tbh some stages suit people differently. Take a break when you can, let him nap in the pram or car whilst you go to a drive through costa or something and listen to an audiobook or podcast, whatever's your thing. thanks

Claire543210 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:08:31

To be honest it seems as though your giving him a good variation of food. My little one loves porridge, I just get the asda cheap big bag. Bit of milk and in microwave for a minute. Also I used to steam and prepare cut all her veg, now I buy the frozen bags, microwave (for an extra min more so nice and soft) cut up and put into portions in fridge which I will use over next couple of days. Mild Cheese cut up into little squares (I would give her these while I was sorting out her meal). When my lo is a bit constipated I try and cut out bread for a couple of days and give her pear puree (or a fruit pouch that contains pear).
I know the feeling of crying everyone you try to put them down, separation anxiety is quite strong at this age, again this gets better with age. If you need to leave the room and providing he's safe talk or sing to him from the other room. It may not help initially but over time he will get used to you having to pop to the loo or going to put the kettle on or preparing something for him to eat.
You seem to Mr as though your doing a great job 😀

rottiemum88 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:14:51

Solidarity OP thanks I went back to work full time when DS was just short of 8 months - absolutely saved my sanity! Not everyone's a natural at this stuff and not everyone enjoys it either, which I've come to accept is absolutely fine.

My life has been so much happier since I went back to work. Even when I've had a terrible night's sleep because DS's been up all night with teething, it's somehow easier now because going to work and sitting in peace with a coffee is easier than having to entertain a baby all day on the back of no sleep.

If I'm honest, at 12 months I still feel a dread if I know I'll be spending a whole day alone with DS as I'm not very natural at interacting with him like DH seems to be... but then he's a lot more laid back than me!

You're doing the best job you can, which is all you can do. Parenting is a learning curve for everyone, some of us just taking longer than others to adjust smile

Bipbipbipbip Tue 14-Jan-20 23:00:14

I found it really hard going from about 9mo - it felt like an endless juggle between bottles, meals, naps, washing up. Doesn't help when it coincides with winter and terrible weather either. He was the worst sleeper for months too so I was permanently exhausted. I found it much easier after 1 when he was down to one nap and we stopped bottles (obviously a different situation if you're breast feeding) and better then from 18 months as he became more independent.

Are you getting time off? I go to Pilates once a week which I really rate and try to get out with friends (minus babies) regularly too.

KindKylie Tue 14-Jan-20 23:07:03

My oldest didn't eat properly (or much at all) until she was a year or so. Drove me T distraction but was all fine in the end.

She's 10 now and absokitely brilliant. I found her first couple of years pretty blinking hard though. I enjoy her so much more now.

Give it time, things always get better!

thecatwiththesilveryfur Wed 15-Jan-20 08:31:59

If I'm honest, at 12 months I still feel a dread if I know I'll be spending a whole day alone with DS as I'm not very natural at interacting with him like DH seems to be... but then he's a lot more laid back than me!

Yes, this is us too. DH is the best dad ever, and DS just adores him, thinks he's hilarious. In contrast, I just feel a bit useless. I teach teenagers and I must be the only parent in the world looking forward to that stage because I'm sure for me, it will be easier!

feelingsicknow Wed 15-Jan-20 08:33:53

I've only read your OP and none of the replies but I HAD to reply.

I feel (and have felt) the exact same way as you ever since mine was about 9/10 months too (he's 16 months now).

I'm not sure I have any advice to offer but it's made me very emotional to read your post because I felt like I was the only person who felt this way. Hugs.

feelingsicknow Wed 15-Jan-20 08:33:53

I've only read your OP and none of the replies but I HAD to reply.

I feel (and have felt) the exact same way as you ever since mine was about 9/10 months too (he's 16 months now).

I'm not sure I have any advice to offer but it's made me very emotional to read your post because I felt like I was the only person who felt this way. Hugs.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Wed 15-Jan-20 08:34:45

Are you getting time off? I go to Pilates once a week which I really rate and try to get out with friends (minus babies) regularly too.

DH keeps telling me to, but tbh I just can't face seeing people - I basically just cry any time someone asks how it's going and I hate that. And the weather is so foul - I know that what I really need to do is go for a run, but I'm so exhausted and it's so wet and horrible outside. It's all excuses, though, I know.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Wed 15-Jan-20 08:36:17

Oh feelingsicknow, I'm so sorry. It's rubbish, isn't it? Sending you a hug and hope you feel better soon. I think there's some really brilliant advice on this thread which might help? flowers

feelingsicknow Wed 15-Jan-20 08:45:56

Absolutely. And everyone who has posted has been so sympathetic so can I add my thanks to that.

I'm like you in that doing anything else with friends or outside the domestic environment just feels too overwhelming at the moment. I am back at work now though and like PPs have said - it really does help immensely.

I was officially DONE with Mat leave at the 10 month point.

My DH is like yours - a 'natural', fun dad. I OTOH feel completely unsuited to being a mum. And yet, what you have said and what your days look like, resonated with me so much and reading it written by someone else makes you think "They're doing a great job!"

Why can't we tell ourselves that?

Oh, and the ones who paint a smile on and never grumble?.... I hate them.

thecatwiththesilveryfur Wed 15-Jan-20 11:13:37

I OTOH feel completely unsuited to being a mum.

Yep, this is me. And the thing is, I knew it. I just hoped it would be OK, and I wanted to have the sort of relationship I have with my mum, and now I'm worried I'm going to damage him by not enjoying all of this. Yesterday, I got so upset I just put him down in his playpen and went into another room, and he cried like the world was ending. It isn't good for him, but I don't know how to fix it.

I'm sorry you're feeling like this too, feelingsicknow. Thank you to everyone who has been so lovely.

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