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Mummy meltdown moment - do you think I might need help?

(31 Posts)
handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 10:36:11

Wasn't sure where to post this. Probably would have been better in the feeling low section...

Have been feeling increasingly tired and fed up with looking after my 2.7 year old and 10 month old. Last week was entertaining fantasies about doing a Reginald Perrin and disappearing into the blue yonder

Yesterday when asked by dh why I was so fed up, explained that I loved the children but couldn't be bothered with them anymore.

Meltdown moment started to build momentum. Dd would shout "mummy, mummy where are you?" and I wouldn't reply (I'd be in the kitchen or somewhere and she was looking for me - doubtless to make yet another demand)

It happened at teatime. Baby ds was being a difficult eater as per usual so I just emptied the contents of the bowl on top of his head (don't worry it wasn't hot - I wouldn't hurt him), went to find ds and told him that I was having a wobbly moment, and then retired to bed at 17.30 and left dh to it.

I wasn't throwing my toys out of the pram, I just felt that I had to shut the world out and literally couldn't do anything for anyone anymore.

Feel fine today - but then I am at work. Not confident however that I won't feel like I did yesterday again.

Is this all just fairly normal. Or do you think I might be depressed? Like I said, feel okay today.

wonkydonky Mon 21-Feb-05 10:40:14

I only have 1 dd of 1 yr but get the same way quite often. I'm not depressed or ill, just occasionally extremely tired or fed up with the boring day to day routine. I don't work either so I think you are perfectly normal to feel the way you do and I'm surprised you don't feel that way more often!!!!!!

At least you feel confident enough to talk about it. I hate admitting that i can't cope with anything, so talking is always the last thing I do and it's always too late.............

snafu Mon 21-Feb-05 10:43:55

Oh, hmc, I think it's really normal. At least I hope it is because I do it too and I've only got the one!

As a mum, you're 'on' 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sometimes it just gets too much. I think it's understandable. I can't count the number of times I have thought to myself, 'Right, that's it, I am getting on a plane and leaving the whole sodding lot of you to it.' Of course, I'd never do it, and 10 minutes later I feel fine again.

How is your dh, support-wise? Can you get a bit of (cliche alert!) 'me-time' to recharge the batteries, perhaps?

Gwenick Mon 21-Feb-05 10:45:57

HMC - not sure I'm really in a position to answer as I'm in the stage of 'knowing' I am depressed, but not really wanting to admit it to anyone in RL. Didn't want to admit it on here but stupidly forgot to change my nickname when replying to a post I'd nade under an anon name.

Have you felt like this for long - or was it just yesterday? I know I have lots of days when I just can't be 'doing' with my gorgeous boys (at the moment I'm on the computer upstairs while they're trashing the living room downstairs). I've never tipped food over them, but have come extremely close to it, probably the only reason I haven't is because DH is usually there at dinner time.

I know what you mean about the confidence thing, I'm still 'fairly' confident I'm ok with the kids - although when Daddy is there at the weekend and I can't even figure out that DS2 was screaming because he was hungry I did feel, and still do, rather stupid. However, I've completely lost my confidence when it comes to taking the choir practice at our church, we're tackling quite a 'big' work for us and have got extra people coming to join us. I just feel so inadequate when taking them at the moment. Sorry getting off track,

There could be a chance you're suffering from PND perhaps a trip to the Dr.s may be a good idea.

marthamoo Mon 21-Feb-05 10:54:32

hmc, it sounds very much like depression to me.

Part of it for me was always that feeling of not caring, of can't be bothered, of wish the kids would leave me alone, wanting to walk out the door and not come back, and wanting just to go to bed, pull the duvet over my head and shut it all out. When I first had PND after ds1 was born I thought that all those things were indicative of me being a really bad Mum, lazy and unsuited to motherhood - someone who should never have had a baby. Amazingly it was only when those feelings returned with the birth of ds2 that I realised it was part of the depression. I had never connected the two before - I thought I had PND (that was one separate thing) and I was a bad, lazy, selfish person who had to "learn" how to take care of a child (that was the other separate thing and totally unconnected to the PND). When ds2 was born and I stopped caring again I finally twigged that those feelings of apathy and disinterest were actually part of the depression. Am I explaining that properly? because I knew by the time ds2 was born that I wasn't a bad Mum and that those feelings were not really "me".

Obviously, you can have bad days without being depressed - 2.7 and a 7 month old is bloody knackering and, let's be honest, not 100% rewarding and joyous. If the bad days are getting more frequent and less easy to get over though then I think warning bells should be ringing. Especially the tipping food over baby's head - that sudden, out-of-character, loss of control is very typical of depression too. I saw a programme a while back (that one where the parents take turns looking after the kids full-time) and the Mum threw a tantrum and threw a plate of spag. bol. on the floor. I said to dh "she's got PND," even though no-one mentioned it in the programme. They did a follow-up and, sure enough, she had gone to her GP and had undiagnosed PND. She had twin girls who were about two and had been suffering for a long time - but had still carried on working, sort-of coping etc.

Sorry, rambling - but if I were you I would make an appointment with your GP and go and talk about all this asap.

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 10:58:03

Well the times that I have been feeling like this have increased in frequency.

And yet on other days I am laughing and joking and am really quite normal.

And it wasn't so much the food tipping incident (although that was bad enough), it was the going to bed at 17.30 and having to shut out the world. I was briefly woken up at about 7pm when dd fell down a couple of stairs. I heard her daddy comforting her and knew that she was okay and it wasn't serious, however I didn't do a damn thing. Just turned over and went back to sleep. Probably should have got up and cuddled her, particularly as she was shouting "mummy"

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 10:59:18

Posts crossed Marthamoo...

I suspect you are right.....

marthamoo Mon 21-Feb-05 11:00:39

Will you make an appointment to see the GP then? Have you suffered from depression before?

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 11:03:23

Yes I will make an appointment.

I was very down after first baby (but it kicked in much sooner) - didn't seek help. Dh is anti ADs...but I may ignore him this time

Thought that I had 'escaped' this time around. However seems to have kicked in later than first baby and seems to be a bit worse.....

Lonelymum Mon 21-Feb-05 11:03:32

Well as far as I am concerned HMC this is normal because this is how I frequently feel. But whether it is normal as in what you should be prepared to put up with, I am not so sure. I don't know if you are depressed or if you should seek treatment or therapy. I just know that this is how I feel too and I comofort myself with the very weak thought that one day it will get better. One day my children will grow up. One day I will go back to some sort of work and my self esteem will rise.

Do you see it the same way? (I know you are at work now, but there must be other changes your foresee occurring in your life that yu think would make a difference). Maybe it is a question of hanging on to those ideas. If that doesn't help you to face your current trials, then I would say you need help from outside.

Furball Mon 21-Feb-05 11:04:24

I hope it's fairly normal! I only have the one DS who is now 3.5. But many a time I've felt I can't 'give' anymore of me. I have since learnt to 'top-up' my own batteries by grabbing 10 minutes here and there, just to have a bit of me time. Obviously this is now alot easier for me as DS is at pre-school. But even after the kids have gone to bed and after the tidying up, groan! Just have some time for you and you only, even if it's just running a nice hot bath with loads of bubbles and reading a trashy novel for 1/2 an hour in peace. Once you start to feel you are doing something for yourself and not just faffing around after your DH and the kids etc, you will feel abit more armed as how to deal with everyday crap.

Blu Mon 21-Feb-05 11:06:03

IME being depressed didn't actually involve feeling depressed - but it did involve feelings which I felt were consuming me, and were not how I would usually react. Continually feeling I was battling back great feelings of aggression, weeping at minor things, feeling 'what the hell' at major ones. Withdrawing, spending time prevaricating, not addressing important jobs etc.

I found it really hard to admit to myself that there was a problem, so took things out on DP for far longer than was needed. My v attentive GP said my brain chemical levels had proably been knocked into confusion during pregnancy etc, and that i had been suffering low-level depression (but not actute PND) since the birth of DS. I took low dose Cipralex for 8 months - and felt transformed.

If you are wondering, it's probably worth a chat, at least, with your GP. You may be having a stress and tiredness attack - you may have depression - but try not to let that fact itself upset and undermine you - you have enough on your plate!

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 11:07:15

Umm split opinions here. Perhaps it is just normal?

Will chat it over with GP in any case and see what he thinks. I'm just a bit concerned about my ability to look after the kids if these feelings (and accompanied 'opting out' become more and more frequent).

Thanks everyone....

Gwenick Mon 21-Feb-05 11:10:09

good for you HMC, I'm still trying to pluck up the courage to make an appointment with my GP - I still haven't even told DH how I feel.

snafu Mon 21-Feb-05 11:11:17

i think it's normal in the sense of 'happens to a lot of people' but as lonelymum says not necessarily normal in the sense of 'don't worry about it or leave it undealt-with', iykwim... hope you feel better soon, hmc.

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 11:17:26

Thanks Snafu

Gwenick - get yourself to the doctor woman!

marthamoo Mon 21-Feb-05 11:19:01

I agree it's normal to feel like that - but I think it's such a fine line between accepting we all have bad days, find it hard work etc., and feeling that the not coping is the dominant part of your life. Does that make sense? It's so hard to explain. Blu puts it very well. I have bad days now, days where I don't want to be a Mum, but they don't consume me and I can step back from it a little. It's when those days start to roll into a blur of not wanting to get up, not wanting to do anything that it really becomes a problem. With ds2 I was OK for about six weeks (though the signs of PND were there again from day 1) and it gradually spiralled. I think if I hadn't tackled it then I woudl have ended up in the state I was with ds1 - and that was not somewhere I wanted to go to ever again.

I hope I don't sound like I am diagnosing depression left, right and centre - but I do think it is worth a trip to the GP for anyone who feels overwhelmed in this way.

marthamoo Mon 21-Feb-05 11:19:29

That means you Gwenick!

piffle Mon 21-Feb-05 11:54:40

I totally get what you're say HMC, I too reach a point where I simply have to get out
Dh is often gobsmacked when I inform him that I do not want to spend all weekend with him, I see him as my escape route away from the kids.
I adore my kids (11 and 2)and would love another - now DH thinks I cannot cope.
I can cope but i need a break from being a mummy sometimes.
Do you get out much? Not meaning to be patronising but I find if dh and I or just me gets out for an evening it changes a lot instantly...

Dalesgirl Mon 21-Feb-05 12:04:42

Selfishly, I find comfort in this conversaton. I can't say if you are depressed or not but I frequently get days like this and for me it is a case of loss of control, not being able to get a 'task' completed from start to finish and the fact that looking after babies and toddlers is so much harder than anything I've ever done before. I work two days a week and I am a different person on those days. So much so that if I have to stay off work because my DS is off nursery I resent the situation and feel initially low before picking myself up-this usually involves getting us both out of the house or lying on the couch watching movies. I think that parents who can get their toddlers to do what they know is good for them and necessary deserve recognition. I think this is a universal problem, you only have to look at how many parenting programmes there are on the TV. For me, I am sick of bribes, sticker charts and trips to the toy shop in order to get everyday things done!

Blu Mon 21-Feb-05 12:10:26

I sometimes feel like a stuck record, suggesting depression all over MN - but it is worth considering. You don't have to go straight from 'wondering' to swallowing handfuls of pills and bounding round with glazed eyes like a zombie Stepford Wife. I felt it was The End to admit that I had depression - I felt a failure, bought into all sorts of stereotypes (involving grey women with stringy hair and slippers in supermarkets) - but after a very down to earth chat with my doctor who explained it in an analogy to having low-iron reserves and taking iron, and after feeling better within 3 days of starting medication, I felt REALLY foolish and cross with myself for not having sought help earlier. I think the prejudices and myths, embarrassment and secrecy around depression are a severe barrier to people getting the help they need. That was my motivation in speaking out about it on MN - though it is true, v few of my RL friends know - and no family!

Whether you actually have depression or not, hmc (and Gwenick) you do need some support, rest or other recuperative process, and actually talking to your GP about depression might help focus this and give you the motivation to find / demand it.

Good luck.

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 12:36:02

Piffle, I get out a little but not enough. It might help...because part of my problem is loss of self and living my life solely for others (like most of you I suspect!). I phoned someone this morning and said " Hi it's ....[big pause for thinking time and then said my name]".They replied jokily "You nearly forgot who you were then" - many a true word!

Dalesgirl - sometimes it's good to talk. Sounds like you are suffering a bit too .....I hope things get better as the kids get older (for you and for me and others who have posted here), but then mums of older children seem to have their fair share of angst.

And thanks for sharing your experience Blu - it is helping.

My docs appointment is now booked. Nursery phoned me an hour ago to say that baby ds had a high temperature (he has a snotty cold currently) and my reaction was disproportionate - burst into tears, so that decided me...

Docs appt isn't until early next week, partly because I wanted to wait to see the specific doctor that I am most at ease with. But in the mean time, I am set for an easier week because we are going away on a short holiday Friday - Tuesday, so the constant grind of daily life will be suspended.

Thankyou everyone who has posted on this thread - it has really helped

vict17 Mon 21-Feb-05 12:38:31

My honest opinion is that I think shutting yourself in the bedroom and leaving dh in charge is very normal, I've done that many times! But I think tipping food over a 10 month old baby's head (even if it wasn't hot) is definitely not normal behaviour and I would see your gp.

vict17 Mon 21-Feb-05 12:39:20

sorry crossed posts. good luck at the doctors

handlemecarefully Mon 21-Feb-05 12:40:31

Vict17

I detect a note of censure..But fair enough, I probably deserve a good shake for doing that

It wasn't premeditated and I would never hurt him

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