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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

I'm struggling to adjust to becoming a parent

(17 Posts)
Pegler Sun 24-Sep-17 11:28:13

This is the first time I have admitted this. And I feel awful and very guilty all the time. But I'm not enjoying being a parent.

I have a nearly 12 week old daughter. We had a difficult birth followed by a stay in hospital for infections and afterwards I felt completely shell shocked.

Dd has been challenging since we got back from the hospital to say the least. She cries ALOT and nothing I seem to do makes her happy. I live far away from my family and friends so I have no support. During the week while OH is at work I just sit in the house waiting for him to get home.

Taking dd out of the house fills me with dread. Starts off the car or the pram - she screams uncontrollably in either one. Then when we finally get to wherever we are going she screams until we get home. Nothing I can do will stop her.

I feel so defeated. I feel like a failure because This is not what I imagines at all. I thought I'd be a great mum. I thought I'd have a smiley happy baby who is take out for lovley walks and have a great timw together. Turns out it's the complete opposite.

I love my dd, but I am struggling so much. I find myself dreaming of the days before I got pregnant when I'd go to the pub on a whim or pop to the shops and have a leisurely coffee. I even dream of having a shower every morning (which is something I am not able to do until OH gets home)

I feel like an awful mum because she is so unsettled and i cant seem to do anything right.

People have told me it gets better but i just can't see an end to this.

Sorry for the ramblings but I'm at my wits end.

Notreallyarsed Sun 24-Sep-17 11:32:47

Oh OP I’m so sorry things are so difficult for you. You’re not a failure, I promise you’re not. I felt like that after I had DS2 and he’s my third! It turned out I had PND.

Have you got a health visitor you could speak to? It’s conpletely normal and ok to feel like this after you’ve had a baby, especially with a traumatic birth and first few weeks. You’re not wrong, or a failure or anything like that.

Jellybean2017 Tue 26-Sep-17 17:05:33

How are you feeling? Just wanted to reach out as I am feeling very similar so feel free to message if you want to chat flowers

tribpot Tue 26-Sep-17 17:09:06

Yes, how are you doing OP? Your post really resonated with me even though my circumstances were in some ways different. It's definitely not that you're an awful mum, just that lots of mums and babies find the first months really fucking tough. You're doing it - you're getting through each day. You are Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman and all the other Amazons as well - probably not with so many horses.

PotteringAlong Tue 26-Sep-17 17:11:47

You can have a shower every morning. Either put the baby in a baby Bouncer chair in the bathroom or take her in the shower with you.

It sounds like a small thing but if you're missing it you will feel so much better starting off.

littlebird77 Tue 26-Sep-17 17:16:26

Op, the early days are just so challenging and nothing can prepare you.
Can anyone come and stay with you for a week or two? It would make a big difference to help you in the first few months. Have you told your family how you are feeling?

Can I just say that I felt just the same as you, I was completely overwhelmed initially. After a little while dd started to sleep a little longer and she settled into a good routine after a while, and then I weaned her and she became that bouncing smiley baby and we have never looked back since. I used to sit on the sofa day after day, but once I started going out and most importantly started to relax so did she. I would take her everywhere in the end, every day and this was my ticket to a more rewarding week. Please try and go out for a walk once a day if nothing else. Have you tried strapping her to you and walking, I used to find this worked well.

You are NOT an awful mother, you are a wonderful mother doing your best. Get on the phone ring those closest to you and tell them, if you can, what you have told us. You need some emotional support at the very least lovely.

BerryBee Tue 26-Sep-17 18:53:30

Some babies are really easy and their mums are out having coffee and lunch while baby naps in pram. I did not have one of these!!! I found the first 3-4 months overwhelming. It was horrendously hard. She cried in the pram, in the car seat, having her nappy changed, at Baby weighing, getting dressed etc etc Breastfeeding her took 45
Mins at least. And it was bloody hard. I used to dread going out too. I remember the HV telling me to get out every day (when DD was about 10 days old). hmmI mean....I just couldn't do that then.

But it is so much better now. Now my DD is bloody lovely - i can take her for whole days out on my own and there is no crying at all! And now the breastfeeding is quick and brilliant!

So, honestly, it does get easier. Nothing can prepare you for life with a newborn. You are not a bad mother.

The only practical advice I can offer is to get a sling (one of the stretchy fabric ones). My DD didn't cry in that and they're so soothing for a fussy baby. And they make it so much easier to get out and about. There are loads of benefits to the baby from baby wearing. It could make it a lot easier to go for a walk and for a coffee!

Hope you're doing ok. flowers

Wheels79 Tue 26-Sep-17 19:58:21

I have been there and I could have written this. Please go to see your GP and get help. For me drugs helped. They may have been a placebo really (it was the lowest dose) but doing something about it helped.

Please also try to get out every day even if it is just to the shops. My darkest days were the ones when I didn't go out. I fretted about him crying and annoying other people but if it is a baby group then people understand (and probably are just thankful it isn't theirs for once). And if you are just going for a walk put you headphones on, music up loud and walk. Anyone who hears will be metres away within seconds so don't worry about them.

You will be able to get through this. And it doesn't last forever. My DS is now 4 and very rarely cries - I reckon he used up most of his lifetime crying quota in the first 6 months.

Pegler Wed 27-Sep-17 07:36:08

I'm doing a little bit better, thank you to everyone for the kind words.

I did get out for a walk yesterday and it felt really good just to have fresh air and stretch my legs.

I am going to stay with my mum for a couple of weeks with dd (my OH is working away in Leeds so I took the opportunity) I'm looking forward to some help and support. I actually can't wait!

AMagdalena Thu 28-Sep-17 17:35:34

OP, my DD is 8 weekks and a screamer, too. I agree the worst thing you can do is stay in all day- it makes you feel defeated.
I try and get out for at least an hour most days. I feed the baby just before we set off and if she cries in the pram 5 mins later, then it's not because I didn't see to her.
It is gradually getting easier, though and I am sure it will for you, too.
It sounds like you might be having a difficult time getting over the birth. Am I right? My labour was bloody awful. The exact opposite of what I had imagined.
It really helped to talk about it.

Redridinghood89 Wed 01-Nov-17 17:54:15

Hey I can relate to this a lot right now. I don’t feel bonded at all, I go to ALL the baby groups in my area, he sleeps really well at night. I really have nothing much to complain about but I get ignored at the baby groups, i panic when I go out when he starts to cry and I get frustrated at home when he cries and I can’t help him. We have been teething nearly constantly from week 6.

I just feel helpless, no get up and go, never mind the guilt of not feeling bonded at all. I mean I would protect him from harm etc but I feel like I could just hand him over and that’s it. Nothing.

I know I panic when out from what my old hv told me about how people can report you for anything and get the social workers involved.

I see other mothers and get jealous with their content babies and when I look down at mine, I just think why. You are fed, dry etc but he will be occupied for 5 mins then scream.

Employees in my local Tesco’s have labelled him the angry baby.

Seeing the hv tomorrow cause I began to cry at a mothers group two weeks ago. So hopefully things will get sorted.

Ven83 Fri 03-Nov-17 07:44:10

I feel like I could’ve written your post, OP. You’re ahead of me, my DS is just under 6 weeks but I’m so beaten down already. Traumatic birth resulting in EMCS and hospital stay. The baby is EBF, has reflux and bad wind, permanently unsettled and unhappy, feeds for ages and won’t sleep. Breastfeeding has always been a nightmare with many issues, no matter what we tried. Tools like sling, bouncy chair, pram and car seat don’t help.

I feel like I’ve been stripped off my humanity. The daily shower are the only few minutes in a day when I feel like I’m still a person. I love my baby to bits but he’s also a stranger to me, he doesn’t feel familiar, and we can’t relate to each other.

The pressure of being the last safety point is crushing. Everyone else has a way out when it gets too much, even DH, as involved as he is, gets 10 hours of respite from the relentlessness of it while at work. I have no way of getting away. I have no family or friends here in the UK and feel so alone. PILs live several hours away and they’re not really interested in helping out anyway. If I break down, what happens with my boy? So I can’t let it happen.

What I’ve found helpful in keeping me going is breaking time down to the units I feel I can cope with. Sometimes it’s “just have to push through until DH gets home from work”, sometimes it’s “just have to push through the next 5 minutes”. Thinking about how on earth am I going to cope with the next 6 months or so is just too overwhelming. I do know rationally that this too will pass, so the 5 minutes I push through now are 5 minutes closer to when the struggle is over. Maybe I’m not giving him all that he needs and deserves to get, maybe he’ll have Mummy issues when he grows up, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I can however give him the best that I can right now, which is to keep him fed, clean and safe. Those are my goals for the 5 minute intervals of my day.

You are so far ahead of me though, I envy you smile

CPtart Fri 03-Nov-17 08:08:51

I felt the same many years ago. Also zero family help. So I went back to work at four months pt (both times) and it absolutely saved me. Immediately the responsibility was shared, I had a break and some sense of normality returned. Things do get easier as they get older, but slowly over months not weeks, and no amount of pounding the streets equalled the relief of handing baby over each week whilst I resumed something of pre-baby life just for a few hours.

IncyWincySpiderOnRepeat Thu 09-Nov-17 22:05:53

Hi OP, really hope things have improved a little since your post.

I could literally have written your post when DD was 12 weeks. I had a shocking birth which took months to recover from and the same issues with DD crying all the time, she hated the pram, the car, her bouncy chair, cuddles unless I was pacing. She didn't feed well, or sleep well. I felt terrified to take her out of the house as I knew she would cry and grizzle constantly which made me feel like I was being a terrible parent.

The only piece of advice I can give is that you have to try and look after yourself too. As someone else has already said a shower in the morning really helps.. put baby in the bouncy chair next to you, as long as she is fed and comfortable she will be ok even if she cries (as my DD inevitably always did!).

Make sure you take small breaks whenever you can....accept any offer of help available.

I promise it will get better, my DD is now two and is now a much happier, smiley, loving toddler who is wonderful to spend time with. I genuinely think she just hated being a baby.

Things improved gradually for us. DD was much happier once she started to crawl and things just got better from there.

I found it difficult to bond with DD initially due to all the issues we experienced and felt terribly guilty about it at the time. I now love her more than anything else in the world, it takes time to settle in to being a parent but it will come, I promise.

AnxietyStrikes Fri 10-Nov-17 18:26:59

Dd is now 18 weeks and unfoŕtunatley things haven't really gotten any better. Since my post I had a month on my own as dp had to go away for work - it was the worst month of my life and I have no idea how I managed it all on my own. I'm really hoping things will start to improve at some point, I know this don't going to last forever it just feels bloody awful whule.you are stuck in the middle.of it!!!

IncyWincySpiderOnRepeat Fri 10-Nov-17 21:55:56

It is awful, I do feel for you, really I do.

I'm not sure I would have coped with a month on my own with DD at that stage... so you are already doing better than I was!

I eventually met some ladies with babies the same age which helped considerably, as mostly they were finding it as hard as me, which made me feel less terrible about struggling so much. Is there anywhere locally you could go with the hope of doing the same?

I also went back to work 3 days a week when DD was 7 months old which made a massive difference. I started to feel like me again with some baby free time. Also a hot coffee at a relatively peaceful desk felt like a luxury....

You are close to being through the worst of it... hang in there!

minipie Fri 10-Nov-17 22:22:21

I absolutely hated the first 4 months. Thought I'd ruined my life. Fantasised about being injured and someone else having to look after the baby.

Not sure if I had PND or just a very very difficult baby.

4 months was a turning point, it became just boring not dreadful. Then 6 months I started to enjoy it a little. At 10 months I saw the point of having a baby. At 18 months I started to TTC DC2...

Hang in there. It gets SO MUCH better.

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