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Really struggling with baby & lockdown

(11 Posts)
firsttimemumma5 Mon 18-Jan-21 20:56:15

Hi, I don’t know if anyone can help but I think I just need to get this off my chest, so excuse me if this turns into a rant.

My daughter was born last February, and when she was six weeks old, we entered the first lockdown. Now on lockdown 3 and I think I’m going mad.

I’m sure so many other new mums are in the same boat, but this has not been the year I envisaged for my daughter and I, and certainly not how I wanted to spend it. I don’t have it worse by far, and I’m extremely grateful that I’m able to stay home & safe, but I’m still struggling to come to terms with how hard and overwhelming I’ve found the last year.

I’m a single parent (my relationship broke down as lockdown 1 started), and I do all of the parenting by myself and have pretty much since day one. Her dad comes every other weekend to play & do bath time, but that’s all the help I get. I’m exhausted. To the bone. I don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning. I cry most days because I have no mum friends to talk to who understand (I’m quite young & the first of my friends to have a baby - all they say is “aw it must be so nice to have so much time with her!”, except I would have had this time regardless of lockdown & if there hadn’t been a pandemic, could actually have got out and met other mums & enjoyed our time more!!!). I sought help when I was pregnant for depression but due to delays, didn’t have an appointment until my daughter was three weeks old, and the psychiatrist “prescribed” me to sign up to some baby classes - I didn’t even make it to one before they all got cancelled, and I’ve been on every waiting list locally just to get one class and after nearly a year have still had no luck. I feel so lonely without anyone to talk to who understands - my own mum is happily married & loved being a parent (I’m one of four) and doesn’t understand/isn’t very sympathetic to the fact I’m finding it so overwhelming at the moment. I am so lonely, it makes me feel miserable and I feel like I’m failing as a parent as a result.

I love my daughter to pieces, but she’s at a difficult age now where she bites and slaps a lot, and throws tantrums pretty much constantly (I realise she’s not quite 1, but she really throws her toys out the pram if she doesn’t get her way). I’m trying my hardest to be flexible and understanding, and after reading Phillipa Perry’s parenting book, I wanted to take that approach. But I find it so hard not to snap at her - I shout at least once a day, and find myself frustrated with her a lot more than that. My temper has been so terrible since becoming a parent, and I am finding it so hard to keep calm when, for example, my daughter runs off with a pooey bottom and manages to get it up the walls (I laugh now, but at the time I swear I could see red! She didn’t know any better, she’s only so tiny still, but in the moment I get so angry!!).

I guess I just wanted to reach out and see if anyone else is struggling (I realise we probably all are, and I should be thankful that I don’t have more to juggle). I’m just finding this all very difficult and I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
Mamabear12 Mon 18-Jan-21 21:01:16

Do you live near a park? You are allowed out for walks and to meet other people who have babies. Plenty of people going on walks w babies or young children in the park. Take her to the baby swings and you can meet people there. I have a 13 month old and we go to the park every day for walks and to go on the swings. Whenever we go in the swings I have a chat with whoever is next to me. Lockdown sucks. I’ve got 3 kids, the older two have school I have to help them with. So I’m not able to focus on the baby as much as I would like.

Fullmoonparty Mon 18-Jan-21 21:25:50

For you flowers
It is SO hard you have my sympathies and to be doing it all alone is really hard. I do have a partner but he doesn’t do much on the childcare front as always working so it’s down to me. There’s literally another post on here now ‘one year old in lockdown’ or something like that - and people have come up with some good suggestions for stuff to do - or not to do and just have a moan about it cos that’s ok too cos it is bloody hard! Hop on it and have a read x
Here’s what i put on it:
I have an 8 month old and it is haaard her whole life has pretty much been lockdown too. Super hard if the weather is shite! Didn’t realise how much I loved baby sensory and swim classes on the few occasions we could go last year sadI asked friends on Facebook and Instagram for ideas - - we made an indoor sled out of the washing basket and raced up and down the floor with her in it - she loved that! she hated crayons and paint (maybe too young) but she loved messy play - fine milled porridge in a large baking tray and little pots and plastic cookie cutters to make a mess with. A few people suggested mixing cornflour and water to make a sticky mess to play with - add food colouring if you have. Also some said add food colouring to spaghetti and cook it and they can play with it when cooled. Apparently there is edible play dough to buy? We have a bubble machine and some flashing baby sensory toys so we’ve had a baby rave grin. And as others said out for long walks to the park to see the ducks and dogs which she loves. I have tried to do some homemadebaby sensory stuff - tin foil, bright coloured scarves etc - there are some baby sensory YouTube you can follow and baby yoga. Someone said for those in the UK that Tumbletots do a live join along play Mon/Wed/Fri at 10am - check their Facebook page. Mine watches a hell of a lot of Babytv and Pingu and that’s fine by me!

Wowjustwow99 Mon 18-Jan-21 21:28:24

Hello
My daughter was 7 weeks when we into the first lockdown.
I found the 1st and 2nd lockdown ok, but we are what two weeks in to this lockdown and I don't feel like I'm coping, I feel very trapped. My daughter is running around (she has been since 9 and half months) I feel like I struggle to entertain her most days, she loves to go for walks bit can't walk far yet.
I am back to work 2 and half days a week and she goes to nursery which is loves.

Your not alone in the struggle sending a hun xx

Fullmoonparty Mon 18-Jan-21 21:30:09

When you feel yourself getting angry, sit her in front of her fave programme with a snack and take a few mins for yourself - a bit of extra tv time won’t hurt (all our kids are in the same boat!) and it’ll just give you a moment to reset - maybe have a change to slurp a lukewarm cuppa - don’t be so hard on yourself - these are extra strange times and it is ok to sometimes countdown the minutes to their bedtime!!! If she is a good sleeper then reward yourself with something - a lovely bubble bath, your fave film, a large G&T...it is like Groundhog Day at the moment - let’s just hope with the vaccine there IS an end in sight. Hang in there

Sunflower40 Mon 18-Jan-21 21:40:27

It is so tough being a lockdown mummy, you are being pretty hard on yourself. This is my second baby & i'm struggling daily. Being a lone parent must be doubly hard. Have you tried Peanut App? You can maybe find a local group of mums to go for walks with or meet at the swing park if it's dry? Near me some groups have gone online & have virtual coffee groups, maybe join your local Facebook parent groups & see what's on? We're all in the same boat & going stir crazy being home all day with little ones! Hugs to you thanks

CatandBaby Mon 18-Jan-21 23:07:10

I'm not surprised.yoire finding it tough - I'm also a ftm to a lock down baby but have a partner at home and I'm still really really struggling, it must be so hard doing it without that support flowers

I'm much older than you but have zero baby experience and I'm finding it really hard. I did antenatal classes on zoom but I've only met the other women a handful of times over the summer when lockdown eased.. plus of course the health visitors seem to have evaporated and there was bugger all face to face breast feeding support when I needed it.

Sorry I don't mean to go on about my problems - I just want you to know that you're not alone in struggling!

One suggestion - you do know that you're allowed a support bubble, right? Are there any friends/relatives you could buddy up with?

Stay strong x

firsttimemumma5 Tue 19-Jan-21 10:25:20

Thanks so much for all your responses. I know I’m not alone in my situation, but it’s reassuring (not to sound unkind) to know I’m not the only one who’s finding it so difficult.

@Mamabear12 that’s a great idea! We do go to the park a far amount but the weather here has been terrible recently, but am going to keep going and hopefully as spring comes it will be easier to meet others there! It must be so hard managing three kids in all this, really hope schools open for you soon!

@Fullmoonparty thank you so much for your ideas! I’ll have a look at that page. Defo going to give the washing basket idea ago, I’m sure my lo will love that 😂 it is like Groundhog Day, at first I felt so inspired to make the most of it, but now it’s just mind numbing. But trying new activities at home might change up the pace. She’s actually currently watching Teletubbies whilst I have a tea & reply to this post..idc if it’s not best for them, it helps give us mums some peace for a few minutes to help us through the day!

@Wowjustwow99 it’s so hard! I’m back to work in a few months & im really looking forward to it, although feel sad I haven’t been able to spend mat leave as I wanted...but nothing to be done about that now!!

@Sunflower40 I have tried a few mummy apps but haven’t had much luck, and I’m quite nervous about meeting other parents as a single young mum...it sounds silly but I feel so embarrassed about being a mum (I’m in my early twenties, so not that young but quite a baby face haha)?? I’m sure other mums wouldn’t think twice, but I’ve had some snide comments in the past about my daughter & I and it’s knocked my confidence. I guess I can only try! Thank you 😊

@CatandBaby I’m sorry it’s so hard for you too (and everyone)! I totally agree with HV & BF support disappearing - I’m trying desperately to wean at the moment so I can have my boobs back (I’m exhausted from the pressure of constant feeds) and there’s no support locally anywhere it seems! Just winging it on my own...I hope you managed to figure it all out okay, BF can be so hard!!

My parents are in a bubble with me at the moment, which is helpful, but they’re recovering from Covid and so I’ve been having to take care of them too. I think I’ve just found the past few weeks overwhelming & taking care of a baby & parents has left me feeling drained hence the post. I’m hoping we’re through the worst of it now...really wanted this year to feel a bit brighter but it doesn’t feel that way haha!

I guess it’s just a matter of getting on with things, just feels relentless. Thanks for hearing me though, it’s nice to talk to others in similar positions!!

OP’s posts: |
Mamabear12 Tue 19-Jan-21 12:18:21

Yes, we go to the park rain or shine and in the freezing cold. We also have a dog that needs to go out and I find it helps break up the day. We only last an hour if it’s too cold. But that’s enough for the kids. Warmer weather we can be out for hours. I put the baby in a snow suit 😀

Jinglebellbop Tue 19-Jan-21 13:45:55

Mine was born around the same time, I feel your frustration. But you must be a superwoman doing it on your own - I cannot count the number of times I've said I don't know how single parents do this. If it had been me, I'd have gone crazy by now. You are doing an amazing job.

Peanut app - social media for mums. They have lots of group chats too.

NCT are running virtual coffee mornings via Zoom for you to connect with new parents

Check out the Happity app for online baby classes, we've done a few and they're great

Swings at the local park - loads of mums there in a similar boat to you

Weaning help - there are lots of breastfeeding helplines for someone to talk to if you have questions. NCT are also running breastfeeding WhatsApp groups and zoom calls for advise from lactation consultants

It won't be like this forever, and you are not alone

Suzi888 Tue 19-Jan-21 13:53:10

Could you bubble with your mum or consider nursery a day or two a week, for just a few hours. It is very hard on your own. I was always told to sleep when the baby sleeps (never could). It is exhausting, but it will pass - promise!

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