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I'm a rubbish mum - feeling so down(41 Posts)
My DS is almost 7 months old. I've been in tears this afternoon while he's napping upstairs, thinking what a crap mum I am and how he deserves better.
He has quite a few toys but spends every day just lying on his mat playing with the same things. He goes out for a walk most days but we live in a built up, very urban area and there's not much for him to enjoy or see.
I have terrible social anxiety and really dislike baby classes - I tried a few (including swimming) and hated them, especially as DS is quite highly strung and cried for most of the time. At the same time though I'm so afraid that by not going, DS is missing out on interaction with other babies and will end up with social anxiety like me.
Weaning is going badly - I'm trying to do baby-led and give him the healthiest possible start after not managing to breast-feed (another failure) but he's barely eaten anything in three weeks, just spits it back out and throws it on the floor. I see people cooking pancakes, baby fish pie, all sorts of lovely things for their children and I've not managed that once - he just gets single bits of fruit and veg. I actually didn't feed him anything (apart from milk) at all today because I feel so low and couldn't face the mess.
Before I had my son I promised myself I'd give him the best start in life, be there for him 24/7, be the smiley, happy, fun mum he deserves - and I've completely failed.
This new lockdown is also really affecting me - I feel trapped in my home and upset that there's nowhere to go for a coffee or drink just to relax and get a change of scenery. I have a local park, but it's not great and I've been there so many times this year already.
How can I make things better?
First of all - stop being so hard on yourself!!
Food at this age is just to play around and explore textures and tastes, they get the goodness and are filled up by milk. Dont worry about foods, offer them but if only a mouthful goes in then thats fine!
Baby groups are predominantly for the grown ups really. Your ds will be just fine if he mixes when hes older (and covid is gone) at playgrounds etc.
As for feeling low, it isnt uncommon anyway and especially at the moment. I would speak to the gp about how youre feeling but also actively allow yourself to lower your standards. Babies and kids need to be loved and accepted above all else, the rest will fall into place as he grows and eventually starts preschool etc.
Can you focus on wildlife while out walking? Start feeding the birds in the local park, are there squirrels? Maybe pop him in the highchair and do some messy play, dance to music with him, start rolling soft balls around and make bath time fun - start making the mundane more enjoyable and hopefully that will lift your spirits a bit too
What support do you have? Family, friends?
Have you spoken to your health visitor?
I have SA and am prone to depression...comparing yourself to other parents is normal, but I bet away from the Instagram perfection they are having a shit time too.
Hopefully someone will be along soon to give more advice.
You're not a failure.
BLW isn't for everyone (I hated the mess) and spoon feeding is fine. Neither is better, they all turn into fussy toddlers no matter what you do.
Baby groups are good, but mostly they are for the parents. Babies don't need them. Mine only did one and that was a tea and chat group.
The walks are great for him, it might be boring for you, but he seems so much that is new for him. He's never seen autumn before.
Give yourself and break and if you need chat to your GP, it does sound like you might have a touch of PND.
Just know that just by loving your son you're giving him the best start in life.
You actually sound like a really good Mum.
I have a 7mo DS too and pretty much do the same things as you, but feel happy with that. It sounds like you are doing a fab job! It is really tough at the moment as there is nothing to do (I miss chilling in a cafe with baby!) but I think I went to a total of 3 in person baby classes before this lockdown anyway. My LO plays with the same toys, they’re just the ones he prefers. One thing I have started is watching a baby signing DVD (I think CBeebies has some programmes too). He enjoys it and then I practice using the signs with him after.
The feeding was hard, but do persevere as a couple of weeks ago that was us and DS ate practically nothing, then suddenly he got it. I do a mixture of baby led and spoon fed to give him variety. E.g. he gets pre-made frozen cauliflower cheese and carrot purée with red pepper batons for lunch. The transition from breast feeding to weaning has been harder than I thought, it’s taken a few weeks but I’m in to the swing of it now and we rapidly increased to 3 meals a day whereas I felt like giving up, the same as you, a few weeks ago.
I do wish he could have more interaction with other babies, like you, but I don’t think they need it at this stage so please don’t worry.
Sending you as having a baby is hard and doubly hard at the moment
Oh OP, you are doing just great. This is such a difficult and unusual time.
Lots of ideas already given but here's my thoughts.
It is a funny age as not yet on the move but much more alert. DD liked lots of household things, an empty milk carton with some dry pasta to shake, different materials for textures, stacking cups, bubbles, bubble bath.
As PP said lots of good programmes on ceebeebies.
Baby doesn't need interaction at this stage but you are doing great getting out and trying. I enjoyed swimming but it's still off here and I probably miss that the most.
My Dd was very difficult and high needs. Wouldn't sit herself at all. It has got better now walking.
Food wise I struggled with BLW. I did a mix. So some spoon and some hand held. Fingers of banana, Ella kitchen puffs, bread sticks, all little mess.
I got an ice lolly mould and made fruit lollies or used pouches if was running low and that takes her ages and gave me five minutes. Also helps if gums sore.
Agree re comments about walks, it's all exciting for them. Just the fresh air and change of scenery.
How's your support? I was part of a fairly big whatsapp group which came out of one class but have certainly made one friend. I always feel better after a walk or whatsapp exchange with her.
It is hard but you sound like you have everything covered and baby is happy and loved which is all that matters just now.
you arn't a rubbish mum. My DS is 6 months, at the moment its lockdown so no baby groups to go to anyway so your DS, my DS and all the babies arn't going, you could give one another go when hes a toddler and will get more out of it and the world is more normal. I think we all put too much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect fun baby mum, I stupidly signed myself up to baby ballet- now cancelled but on fkn zoom due to lockdown and so I dont get my money back- bet it'll be so much fun for him, a virtual ballet class for a baby who cant even roll over
when your DS wakes from his nap give him a big snuggle and see his delighted little face, he loves you and you are enough.Maybe you could look at nearby green spaces to go to for a change of scene for a walk? oh and my son has also thrown 99 percent of his baby led weaning fare on the floor so no way am i slaving over a fish pie either!
Hi OP - please don’t be so hard on yourself! I think you’re looking at everything in the worst possible light for yourself. For example, I couldn’t breast feed, haven’t been to any baby classes and have mostly weaned DD with purées and some finger foods when I felt ready. I don’t look at those things as rubbish parenting though, I’ve done my best within my capabilities and I personally don’t think DD will be negatively affected by these choices - but if she is, I can’t do anything about that, I’ve done what I could.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is, stop focusing on everything you feel you’re failing at and start looking at the things you can do. If you enjoy BLW continue with it, but if not try something else. There isn’t one perfect way to do things and you can’t force yourself to be someone you’re not. You have certain gifts you can pass on to your child. Maybe make a list of things you can do, such as reading to your son and making him laugh, and work on those. Don’t always be looking for ways to criticise yourself.
You’re definitely not a failure.
It sounds like you could do with speaking to your HV and GP. I ‘failed’ to breast feed DD1 I was so upset by it that I need counselling. It wasn’t until I had had two sets of counselling and had DD2 who I did manage to breast that I accepted that the odds were stacked against DD1 and I and I didn’t fail to breast feed her but we were failed by the NHS and society.
Like I said before I had two children and without a doubt six months was the trickiest point with both of them and that’s before you throw in a pandemic. Have you seen baby club on ceebies? Do you share books with him? Chat to him? Sing with him? If not give it ago.
You’re your child boy’s world and all he cares about. Have a cup of tea and give him some big snuggles. Parenting is hard, life is hard at the moment and especially parenting in this life is hard at the moment.
Hi op, I honestly think you're being hard on yourself. 7m is so young still. It's far too young to worry about needing to interact with other babies and children. A walk around the block is perfectly adequate entertainment. And at 7m it's no bother if they aren't eating much yet. Keep the faith and that will come good. Meanwhile know that you're doing just fine.
Developmentally kids only start to play alongside other kids at 2yo I think, and to actively play with other kids it's older still.
Please don't be hard on yourself. It's such a strange time. I also have the breast feeding guilt (with both of mine) and I hate baby led weaning... too much mess and choking for me! I spoon fed both of mine until they were grabbing the spoon from me! Great that you are getting out everyday, your baby will love that! Are you getting any sleep? It can make such a difference to low mood I find...
Thanks for the advice. We get out most days but my local area isn’t great for walking (not scenic at all and very built up) and there’s one park that we’ve been to so many times. DS doesn’t seem especially interested in his surroundings when we go for walks, but I suppose he’s taking it all in on some level.
All these baby classes and activities say they’re so great for nurturing children’s creativity and suchlike, but DS isn’t going to any of them because of me. I know they’re just trying to get people to sign up to their classes, but it makes me feel guilty all the same that he’s not getting those opportunities.
I honestly can’t see him ever getting the hang of eating. Seeing him shove fingers of toast and other chunks of food in his mouth really scares me too - surely there’s a massive possibility he could choke? He seems to prefer finger food and feeding himself though - if I try to spoon feed him he just grabs the spoon.
A built up area is interesting for them, just as much as green space is. The colours of the buildings, the textures, the change in weather. All really good.
Those course are trying to sell themselves. I never did baby sign, singing classes, sensory classes etc and both mine are fine. I did swimming with my eldest but didn't do that with my youngest. It's fine to not to tons of (expensive) classes.
The baby club on CBeebies is great - take a look, might also help with your anxiety about going when things start up again. Some areas are doing a walk and talk at the moment as well.
As for food, ITS OK. Spoon feed if you and he want, let him play with finger food if he wants it's all ok.
Have you got much support OP? A partner, family, friends, good support from the HV? It sounds like you need to reach out for help in real life.That said, you're not a crap mum or a failure - we often feel so much guilt but it's just a wasted emotion. It's hard going at the best of times, let alone in a pandemic.
My DD didn't eat anything that was cooked for a good 6 weeks into weaning, then she suddenly ate a curry! Now nearly 3 that same curry would end with her in tears yelling no because like many toddlers she only likes chips and will occasionally eat a tomato if it's a full moon and if the wind is blowing from the east.
We spent a lot of time in the supermarket in those early days or just running errands. Repetition is good for them as it helps them because comfortable with their surroundings and learn how things work - one of the big things I learnt with DD is that she could play with the same thing over and over again, I'd be bored to tears but she really enjoyed it! She loved playing with household stuff so a pan, a wooden spoon and some dry pasta would buy me a good breather!
Oh @rubbishmum33 ! You are certainly not rubbish. The fact you are here posting this shows that you care!
All that you've said sounds really familiar to things I felt with my DS (now 3!)
I went to a few baby classes but generally
Couldn't face going out so I stopped those.
We did singing and various other little activities together at home.
He is a very happy and social 3 year old now so that was no issue!
Weaning - I felt the same, I had no rhyme or reason, the mess was so stressful.
I found it easy to focus first of all just on one meal, so each day I'd always feed him
Something for breakfast and then milk the rest of the day and gradually build it up.
He is has learnt how to eat and drink by himself - I don't know how when it why, but it will happen!
Everything will fall together, and this phase that you're in will pass.
Try not to be so card on yourself
Op he's unlikely to choke feeding himself, in fact arguably less so because he's in control. What he might do though is gag. When they're little the gag reflex is really forward in their mouth, this protects them against choking because big food doesn't make it past that point! If you're really worried then maybe read up on baby led weaning, and research what to do if choking was to happen so that you're prepared.
My son was similar. Highly strung and very anxious, wouldn't go yo anyone else - not even my mum. It was suffocating. Drove me mad on top on no sleep. The only thing he liked at that age was Baby sign. I second Baby Club on Cbeebies. Like a baby group but with much less hassle or actually going out, and of he cries or hates it it doesn't matter! Any other TV programmes.
Please don't beat yourself up. If you were a truly bad mum you wouldn't care, but you do.
With much kindness op, your child is 7 months old. Sounds like they are having a whale of a time! I hated baby groups, didn't breastfeed (through choice) and live in a very urban area so we weren't exactly getting out to see nature every day. At that age we basically just hung out together, mooched while i did house work and watched tv. Try to stop thinking of weaning in such militant terms. You're just trying them out with a few different foods. One of mine lived on spiced vegetables (and i told all my friends about it as though he was God himself), the others just sort of chewed carrots then spat them across the room. All of them are perfectly normal children many years later!
Please be kind to yourself
With Dd 1 I had PND, and horrendous social anxiety, I didn't even know baby groups existed. She and I cried most of the time and I had no idea how to interact with her. I did my best. DS 2 I loved maternity leave, I was out and about, baby groups, shopping, trips out. Roll on to late primary. Dd1 is the most relaxed, chilled out child on the planet, great social skills, bright and happy. Ds 2 is anxious, clingy and socially awkward ! I love them both dearly but I can promise you the one I really thought I had screwed up is fine, the one I thought I got it all so much better really struggles. Your child is loved, fed and cared for. Thats all he needs right now. Please be gentle on yourself.
Oh and I live rurally. Trees and sheep are VERY boring after a while.. him seeing people and bustle and noise will be much more interesting. You can get out and he can see social interaction all around without you having to talk to anyone ( I hated talking to people)
Don't be so hard on yourself! I have a 7 month old DD and being a ftm this year has definitely been tough.
I too often have "the guilt" that I'm not doing enough (our days sound very similar to yours - playing on the playmat and a walk). I sometimes (not often) watch a YouTube baby class so I can learn some new songs, the good thing about this is you can do it at a time when your baby is less fussy and turn off if they get upset.
In terms of weaning, I was really overwhelmed by the prospect of putting things together (social media has a lot to answer for!) And found a big help was having longer term staple meals, for example for the past three weeks my DD has had porridge for breakfast, then she has had whatever we're having for tea which only leaves lunch to decide on the day. I found decision fatigue was clouding the whole experience as I was struggling to pick what to give her every day for all the meals. Don't feel guilty about using things to make it easier for you, including premade baby food. If it takes some of the stress out of it then go for it!
Babies are excited by a variety of things, you might not think your urban walks are exciting but your baby might love looking at buildings or cars or even the sky.
It sounds like you're doing a great job, despite the rubbish year!
You sound like a great mum to me.
I will say though, people saying food before one is for fun are wrong, after 6 months baby’s needs increase. We did a mix of baby led & spoon fed and it works great. Give it a go and you might be surprised
It’s hard times. I didn’t do any baby classes and don’t intend to! They’re mainly for mums anyway and I’m not interested.
All your baby needs right now is you and you sound perfectly loving to me.
Op, how is his weight, is he increasing or maintaining?
At this age you don’t need to be adventurous in what they eat, if he likes something let him have it.
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