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I think I've overthought every aspect of parenting until I have quite literally gone round the bend..(23 Posts)
...and I am going to try to stop it.
Have just realised that half the stress in my life is self inflicted because I am constantly trying to make things happen, like wanting my children to eat/sleep/play nicely together etc.
It was while I was writing this thread this morning I realise if I just sod it and let go life might be easier. My 11m old doesn't sleep like I want him to, he hardly eats anything, but you know, he seems ok so maybe I'll just stop stressing. I'm tired of constantly keeping a mental note of what nutrients they've taken in, is it enough, do they sleep enough, do I do enough with them, should I give them the MMR or not...
I have over the last three years thought myself into a state of paralysis and it's only since I've started on ADs a few weeks back that I feel able to let go a little bit. I have two gorgeous boys, they both seem fine and happy, so why am I always torturing myself?!
I'm just ranting to myself a bit here because it's a bit of a revelation to me. Has anyone else found themselves doing this? (I still dunno what to do about the MMR either, just that I need to decide by September when DS1 starts playgroup.)
Bint - sounds like a great idea to me. I was a nightmare with my DD, always worrying about sleep, what she was eating, what stage her development was at, was she pooing on time, should I have taken her for a walk today etc etc ad infinitum!
Eventually I got the the point you are at and just stopped fussing and we are all a lot bloody happier.
I now have DS - 5mths - who will only sleep for 45mins at a time in the day BUT, is a happy little lad, wakes up happy, sleeps well and has just started solids happily. I am sure this is because I am much more chilled than I was (I would have freaked out if DD only did 45mins of nap at a time!).
Good for you I say!
MyCat - fantastic name! Thanks for the reply. I don't know why I couldn't come to this conclusion sooner, everyone says you're more chilled with your second but I've been an over-anxious nightmare.
I have a big thing about fairness and worry they're both getting a raw deal. But I'm tired of thinking about it and I don't think anyone's better off for me doing it, I'm certainly not!
Give them the MMR! There's absolutely no reliable evidence of any risk attached.
I identify with the general over-thinking though, wish I knew how to stop it!
I know that the MMR is probably safe for most children, but have obsessed about what would happen if mine was one of the minority, I would probably kill myself!
Have given myself a deadline to make the decision at least.
qumquat - do you overthink everything, not just parenting? I really annoy myself with it. Can you believe that since starting on meds I've been worrying about not worrying?
Give him the MMR.
And give me your ADs - they sound fab
I have a friend like this. She views everything to do with her dcs as a problem and 'issue' to be tackled rather than as a phase to be endured.
That way madness lies.
Well done you for realising.
smug - is it me?!
LittleMiss - they are quite good - now. Been a rough few weeks while they kicked in but I think it's all settling down. I had no idea how shit things were, feel like am coming out of a very dark tunnel that I didn't know I was in. Very odd. Get some!
hi bohemia. yes yes yes i like your approach!!! for me, it took having another baby to finally chill about the whole parenting industry induced guilt tripping... bedtimes used to be my nightmares because i wanted to do them by the book and they didnt work... now i put them both to bed much later, so i don't have to stress myself out silly to bathe them the second i get in from work so they could be in bed by 7pm, now we have a play, sometimes quite vigorous, a long lovely bath, stories, milk, cuddles and bedtime is FUN and they sleep by 8-8.30! so ok, little one doesnt sleep through but so what... she will eventually. my mantra is "parenting is a long term game"
Great post BintofB . My feeling on lots of things is that when you start hearing yourself say the word 'should' a lot, stop and ask yourself - really? who says?
you know, 'he should be eating this', 'he should be asleep', 'he should nap'...why? what if he doesn't? is he happy? is he healthy? is it really that important?
It's so easy to get caught into a negative, critical way of thinking when we measure ourselves against some imaginary perfection scale. I had PND and one of the most important things I talked about with my counsellor was how my natural tendency to set high standards can get exaggerated with something I perceive as very important (like my baby)..but that it's equally important to acknowledge what a good job we already do and relax and enjoy being a good parent most of the time. As she said "the perfect mother is like the perfect communist state, they only exist in theory"
So, so true.
Why do we put ourselves through so much?
My biggest bug bear is trying to keep my house clean and spend time playing and enjoying DS.
I saw this poem once and I repeat it to myself now, whenevr I feel like the house-work is getting me down:
With years of cleaning
and years os dusting
children grow up
whilst you're not looking
so quieten down cobwebs
just go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep
puts things in perspective, don't you think?
Benign neglect is the answer-everyone is happier!
gwarch i saw that poem in a house years ago and could only remember the las 2 lines. thank you.
to bint, i have spent he last 4 years in a similar state to you and just recently ive decided to let myself off the hook. ive realised that im just not the kind of person who can spend hours playing with my children and you know what my ds1 (aged4) is one of the happiest, giddiest, most fun loving children i know. he has an infectious laugh that can bring a whole room of adults to their knees in fits of giggles. he's fit and healthy and very outgoing. so you know what, i think im doing ok just being me. sure i have times where all i can do is shut the door and breathe til i have regained control of temper, but on the whole, i do good for my children. i dont try to be something im not.
Thank you for all the replies! I really wish people were this honest in real life - one of the things that really got to me was people telling me that two babies were easier than one, and it would be a breeze... I spent months miserable wondering what the hell was wrong with me and why did I find it so difficult?!
I've been honest with some of my mum friends about what I've been going through recently and some of them seemed really relieved and said they they were having a hellish time too.
I'll probably always overthink to some extent, it seems to be innate, unfortunately. But if my children get less than 12 hours sleep at night and eat a meal entirely from the freezer, rather than made from scratch then I won't crucify myself about it. (Half the time they don't eat it no matter where it comes from, so sod it I reckon!)
Why do you need to decide about the MMR by September?
I too am dithering over it, hard isn't it - I am sure it is fine for MOST children but what if? How can I sit there and watch him have the injection with doubt in my mind? It is horrid.
I have been over-analysing everything I do with/for my DS and his eating and sleeping patterns and it drives me crazy - am on a mission to chill out about it all, the world won't end if he has beans for dinner one day, and beans for lunch the next. I am actually ashamed that that's the kind of thing that will keep me up at night. And it's not as if I have nothing else to worry about, my relationship is rocky, I think I am being bullied at work, I have a million and one things to worry about it but it's beans that stop me sleeping? You what?!
Princess - it's a self imposed deadline, because I have been debating this backwards and forwards for 2 years come September. It's time to make a decision and get behind it. Plus DS is starting at a playgroup 5 mornings a week in September and I guess he'll be more prone to catching things then.
I decided (at one point) to just give him single measles for now, but I'm wondering, why trust one vaccine over another? So am still not sure.
Totally relate on the beans thing too. Am constantly totting up in my head how many fruit/veg they've had, whether they've had enough of the right food groups for the day...I read that you should look at what they take in over a week, rather than daily, to even it out. And also I keep trying to remember that in the war for example people would be eating the same thing for days at a time, and most of them were extremely healthy. Sorry to hear you're having such a rubbish time in general though. I guess it's often the way to focus on the small stuff to keep from stressing about the bigger things...
Lenin - congratulations! Will it be your second? (pointless major rows daily - sounds about right!)
I did find it easier to just enjoy my second baby, instead of fretting about eveything. I was still anxious, but not so much, and not so obsessed with 'the rules'. I reckon the third is where you really learn to chill properly and just melt in to loving slovenliness. That's the idea my broody body is trying to trick me with anyway.
Threadworm - am liking the sound of that and hope it's true. My cousin has three and says that the third has pretty much brought herself up (with lots of input from the older siblings) and is the happiest, well adjusted of the three.
When your first child swallows a 1 pound coin you call 999.
When your second child does the same you might take him to doctor.
When your third child does it you take one pound from his money box 'because money don't grow on trees'.
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