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Am I getting PND or am I just completely knackered?

(7 Posts)
charleyfarleycat Fri 29-May-09 10:30:03

I'm reading lots of posts which seem to suggest I'm not the only one going through this so apologies if I'm repeating much of what has been said. I have a DD1 of 2.11 yrs and a DS 10 weeks. I feel like I am falling out of love with DD and inevitably feel like a crap mother and incredibly guilty. Last night she kept us awake between 2-4am crying intermittently. I am fairly convinced she is seeking attention as there is nothing wrong with her and she stops and tries to strike up conversation when we go in. Consequently we are knackered. These sleepless nights coupled with some pretty tough behaviour, fairly standard stuff I think judging by what I have read, and I am starting to dread getting up in the morning and dealing with her.
At the moment I would be perfectly happy if someone could whisk her away for a few days so we could have a break.
I am starting to get snappy with her which I hate myself for as I'm inflicting how I feel on her. And the guilt is compounded as she used to be a wonderfully happy child where now she stomps her feet, shouts, has paddies and generally makes me feel like I can't control her. And knowing that she's had a big shock with the arrival of her little brother I feel even worse that I forget to sympathise sometimes and just lose my temper when she won't do as I ask. I was in tears last night and feel very wobbly today. And I'm sure that she can pick up on my feelings.
Am I just going through it like everyone else or is PND just around the corner?

AddictedtoCrunchies Fri 29-May-09 14:52:29

Nothing to add but idn't want you to feel like no one wanted to answer. I'm sure someone with some good advice will be along soon.

charleyfarleycat Fri 29-May-09 15:35:40

That's very sweet thank you. I'm sure everyone is out enjoying the sunshine just like we have.

Sariska Fri 29-May-09 17:02:03

Wanted to add my support too. You're obviously having a really hard time at the moment and I sympathise. I have only one child - a DS of 14 months - but I really do identify with the "Is what I'm feeling normal or am I getting PND?" feeling. A lot of it is, I think, down to lack of sleep. (Have you seen that thread about whether parents of sleeping babies have a totally different parenting experience to those of sleepless babes?) Rationality, sympathy, temper, emotional control all go out of the window when you're tired enough. That's normal and, to the extent that lots of people experience similar things, I guess you are "going through it like everyone else". But that is not to trivialise your experience because you still have to cope with. As for PND, well, tiredness can mask it, can prompt it, can compound it etc. If you're really worried about it, you must talk to someone (HV, GP etc). And what about other RL support? You say you wish someone could whisk your DD away for a few days to give you a break: well is there anyone who could take her out for a couple of hours? Or mind both DC while you sleep? A bit of "me" time (including that spent sleeping), especially if it occurs with some frequency, could make you feel a lot better and less like the crap mother that you obviously are not (if you were, you would not be feeling so guilty).

Also, do you have the opportunity to spend any time alone with your DD at the moment? You obviously know that much of her behaviour is probably linked to her brother's arrival. Perhaps some Mummy-Daughter time (and Daddy-Daughter time) would help reassure her that she's still your little girl - and reassure you that you're not falling out of love with her. Which, by the way, I'm sure you're not: intensely disliking someone's behaviour, and the effect it has on you, is absolutely superb for burying feelings of love. What's that trite but true saying that so many parents find themselves uttering? "I love you but I don't like your behaviour".

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 29-May-09 19:27:10

I could have written your post a few weeks ago! DD is now 18 weeks and DS is 2.10 yrs and it has improved week by week. The arrival of a new baby has so much impact on the older child, much more than I realised. I thought DS was fine to begin with but he turned from a happy calm child into a screaming monster overnight.

I am sometimes so snappy with him too. The other night he was playing up at bedtime (I realise now it was because I was feeding DD at the same time and he wanted my whole attention) and I just yelled at him then spent the evening in tears thinking how horrible I was.

I don't know whether or not it is PND, I wonder that about myself too. But it does get easier coping with a baby and a toddler - each week DS is gradually seeming a bit more like his old self.

MY HV was quite good in suggesting ways of helping to deal with DS, and can also spot signs of PND so might be worth a chat with yours if you get on ok? Mine came round and I just talked at her for an hour and eventually worked out which of my feelings were signs of possible PND and which were just normal new parent exhaustion!

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 30-May-09 22:15:32

I also could have written your post. I did have pretty bad PND but I am not sure whether I would still have felt the same way without it. If you read the book 'one sock, two ?? and no hairbrush' )or something like that the author raises this as a common feeling when having a second child.

With me it was when DD was born. DS was so loud, big, energetic...I just wanted to sit, cuddle and feed newborn DD and it was like he was impinging on this. I wanted him to go away. Of course he was adjusting too with some pretty awful but normal behaviour whilst DD was so simple and easy. I resented the fact that he kept me awake, took up my energy and my thought, stopped me sleeping etc.

It did pass as I got better but even now sometimes I just crave time with DD. I think this is because when DS is around she doesnt really get a look in. It took me a while to feel ok with it but I actually kept DS in nursery part time (I was going back to work) where he burnt up energy and I got my cuddles and to act like a first time mum and the positives that had.

I think sleep deprivation plays a huge role in this. The first time around you kind of get to catch up on some rest but with a toddler and an energetic one at that you just never get that time off. She is playing for your attention but in a way which is exhausting you further and further. You realise this but it doesnt make it any easier.

What my HV said to me always stuck - if you were a bad mum and dealing with this wrong you wouldnt be worrying about it. By posting here, by crying, by worrying at home you are showing what a kind caring mother you are. Being a mum to two is hard. When one or more of those children start behaving in a challenging way or if you have far too little sleep it can be incredibly hard.

I would really suggest you talk to your health visitor. Is she nice? Can you talk to her? Is there anyone who can give you a break from DD? Does she go to nursery at all?

I really doubt you are falling out of love with are not enjoying being with her perhaps because you are exhausted and her behaviour is very trying...but you know you still love her deep down. You wouldnt be posting this message if you were not.

So what if you would be happy for someone to take her away for a few days? Thats hardly a sin is it! Its not like you want someone to take away a newborn baby or you want her gone for just want a break. I bet in reality you would miss her as soon as she went (weird thing motherhood lol). As I said - nursery was my sanity. I knew DS was happy and playing, I got my time to myself with DD. Could she go to nursery? Could a grandparent or someone else even have her over night on the weekend?

Her behaviour...what you are describing in so so normal. My DS was like that before DD was here...normal toddler...but didnt mean he was unhappy. I too worried it was because he was deeply unhappy...but she is nearly 3 - I think its in their instructions to behave like this and although it may be exacerbated by the new baby I bet she would have acted in a similar way without it.

Also DS is only 10 weeks old. From my experience and friends experience everything seems a bit up in the air at that stage. By 3 months...4 months..maybe 5 months everything seems to be so much easier. Although it seems like they will never accept the baby they do. DS loves DD now. He has stopped the insane tantrums (well reduced them!), stopped biting his friends at nursery (!), talks happily about his sister instead of saying he hasnt got one (!!).

It will get easier but if you think you need support, ask for it. I hope you are feeling better and getting more sleep xxx

fruitstick Sat 30-May-09 22:20:33

Charley I have been feeling exactly the same. DS1 is 3 and DS2 is 14 weeks.

However last week my sister looked after the baby while I took DS1 swimming. We had such a lovely time and he enjoyed it so much. I realised I had spent so much time shouting at him and that we hadn't had any time alone together since DS2 was born.

Try it, you will remember how much you love her .... then send her to someone else for the day grin

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