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Sat here in tears

(26 Posts)
mumaa Mon 16-Jun-14 09:13:35

Sorry, really not sure if this is the right place for this... Am struggling a bit, I'll try to keep this short. Firstly I suspect I may have suffered from (and perhaps still am) PND after the birth of my DD 2 years ago. My DH is self employed and had to go straight back to work the day after out DD was born, I really struggled to cope with everything on my own, my DM was wonderful and managed to get a week off from her work to help me (had c section) but then had to go back to work. My DMIL never offered any help or assistance, neither did the rest of my family or any others in my DHs family.

I have had to give up my job to look after DD as we can't afford childcare and there isn't another option for childcare (i.e. All family members work full time) I knew this would be the case before falling pregnant but I didn't anticipate how losing my place in the working world would affect me mentally. I feel a bit useless, like I don't contribute anything and that I don't bring anything to conversation.

Things have been this way for a while, but I've been managing fine, however, a few weeks ago my SIL had a DC and the amount of help her and her DH are getting from my MIL and SILs PIL has really set me back. SILs DH got 2 weeks paternity leave and they have all rallied round, getting shopping for them, cutting their grass, my MIL has been cleaning their house, none of this they have asked for, they are just very fortunate to have people who care and want to help.

But, as a direct result, hearing about this is making me feeling pretty crap, like I wasn't worthy of any help or that I wasn't cared enough about to be offered help, it's just adding to my feelings of worthlessness. I know it's silly but I just have this overwhelming feeling that no one cares. Sorry, I don't even know what I'm looking from I think I just had to get it out sad

Trooperslane Mon 16-Jun-14 09:14:41

Have a brew and some thanks

That sounds very unfair op.

Hugs for you.

Quitelikely Mon 16-Jun-14 09:16:52

I can totally understand why your peeved. What has your dh said about it all? Are they involved with your dc at all? Such as baby sitting etc

Quitelikely Mon 16-Jun-14 09:17:45

And please don't let them push your mood backwards. Your dc will soon be at nursery and you can start planning a return to work.

aprilanne Mon 16-Jun-14 09:23:27

mumaa .hope you are ok .i understand how you feel .i bet sil is your hubbys sister .if you are feeling low maybe see your gp.he will help even someone to talk to if nothing else .i had to give up my part time job when my hubby became ill .because i have an autistic son .and yes you do miss your work .yes the money but more the self worth .please don,t let it get to you about your mil .mine didnt help me .but when hubbys brothers wife had a little girl she could,nt do enough .but i made the mistake of having 3 ds .dont think you are unworthy .you have your hubby and darling child .you have the best things to heck with them and there uncaring attitude .

mumaa Mon 16-Jun-14 09:35:08

Thank you all for you quick replies!!

My DH isn't impressed, he thinks it's very unfair his DSIS is getting help he didn't but he has a "fuc£ em" type attitude which I should adopt, I just feel so hurt by it.

If I ask them to babysit and they are available then they will, but no one would offer to help in any way, or take our DD out for the day for time with her, etc. which I fine, however we have also found out my MIL has just changed her working hours to now be working 4 days, she hasn't said why but I doubt it's a coincidence that it comes shortly after the birth of our DN.

Thank you for understanding, april that must have been very difficult for you all! quite I often think it isn't long until nursery starts and then feel guilty for thinking this way.

I have considered going to GP many times, but I feel a bit embarrassed as when I say these things out loud they sound so petty... I might speak to health visitor I find it hard enough getting past the appointment police when I feel unwell physically, I don't really want to give them a list of reasons I'm messed up in the head blush

whattodoforthebest2 Mon 16-Jun-14 09:45:35

Hi mumaa "the appointment police" - a very apt term smile

Just ring them and say you need an appointment because you have a recurring headache/backache/whatever - it's none of their business but they're just trying to filter callers. Get an appointment as soon as possible and make a mental note of what you want to say to the GP - write it down if necessary. If you cry that's fine, he/she needs to know how you feel and that you need help. Don't minimise how you're feeling - you are as important as any other patient.


AnnieLobeseder Mon 16-Jun-14 09:46:02

Oh, mumaa, that does sound really unfair. But I imagine its because DSIL is your MIL and FIL's biological daughter, so they feel more of a pull to help her. It's not fair on you, of course, but I doubt it's any reflection on you or how they feel about you.

I also completely understand how you feel about being trapped at home unable to afford childcare and feeling like you've lost your identity with giving up work. I was stuck at home for 18 months when DD2 was born, until DD1 stared school, and my mental health was in the gutter.

The relentlessness of looking after a child and home, when everything gets messed up faster than you tidy and no-one ever says thank you for anything you do can make you feel utterly worthless.

Please know you're not alone, and if you think you may genuinely be depressed rather than just brought low by your current situation, please see your GP. That's what they are there for. and you deserve help if you need it. If your GP receptionist is being nosy about why you want an appointment, keep calmly repeating that you are only prepared to discuss it with your GP. They have no right to know.

aprilanne Mon 16-Jun-14 09:49:55

mumaa .don,t be embarrassed in going to gp .they can even just arrange talking to someone .its not petty .its hurtfull .and yes i understand about doctors receptionists .my hubby calls them the rotweilers on the desk .i would take the attitude its there loss .your little one won,t miss them if they dont bother .

longtallsally2 Mon 16-Jun-14 10:00:45

Oh mumaa I could have written your post 12 years ago when I had my little ones - only our families weren't even there for babysitting. It has been a huge struggle. I don't think that people with family and friends close by appreciate the huge gulf between their lives and ours. Getting back to work was my salvation - I didn't feel guilty about it, as I realised that being out of the house and feeling valued was something I needed, and which I wouldn't get at home. I did feel sad about not being able to enjoy my babies, but basically had to put on my hard hat and get on with life. They won't be babies for ever - in fact they are much more fun to be around now that they are approaching teen years.

Try not to dwell on your pil's and their attitude: your dh is right - if you can adopt a fuc£ em attitude it can protect you from disappointment. Do see your GP for any help available - I wish I had gone for anti-depressants much sooner. Get through the next few years however you can, and grab every bit of enjoyment that there is out there.

Thinking of you

I agree with Annie that the extra help for their daughter will almost certainly be because MIL feels that she should help her daughter with her new baby, more than she felt she should help her ds (your dh and you)

I can see why you'd be hurt especially when you need the support - I was upset by lack of support from my MIL too BTW. But hopefully the posts from Annie and myself might help you not take it as personally?

Hope you can find more support because it's something we all need - toddler groups might be coming into their own for you now dd is 2 - I found these a great source of support and so nice to meet and chat with others - sounds like you know some adult company would help?

Also hope you can enjoy some of the summer getting out and about with dd, and won't be long before she might start nursery which will give you some space to start considering your options?

mumaa Mon 16-Jun-14 10:25:19

Thank you all so much, your responses really do mean a lot!!

I talk myself in and out of going to the GP a lot, when I feel low, I think that I must go but then I do have the ability to get past it to a degree I can see how lucky we are to have help when we ask, not everyone does as has been said, then things like this set me back, I do feel I am being petty at times. I really appreciate all your words so much, thank you!! I just never anticipated how much being at home would affect me & I often think this makes me look at things with a microscope, which doesn't help.


whattodoforthebest2 Mon 16-Jun-14 10:50:08

If it's mental stimulation that you need, why not think about an evening class? Depending on where you are there are often summer workshops you can enrol on, in all sorts of subjects. In September, all the evening classes start - you could learn a new language, a craft or do a business course that will give you something to get involved in. Classes can give you an added social outlet too! Just a thought.

tobiasfunke Mon 16-Jun-14 11:09:27

This happened me and it's normal to feel hurt and sad about it. We had DS and PIL gave us 'We've done our child raising and won't be helping except in an emergency' talk. We never ever asked them for help before. DS was a bit of a nightmare baby- never slept night or day I was beyond exhausted. He didn't sleep through until he was 2.5. PIL never once offered to help. In 5 years they have babysat once for 2 hours.

SIL then had a baby and despite living 500 miles away PIL drive down and spend at least a week with them every six weeks. They let SIL go on holidays and spa weekends and all sorts whilst they babysit. They clean her house and do her shopping. If DN is sick they drop everything so SIL doesn't have to take time off work. They have trouble fitting a visit my DS in more than once every 3 months despite living an hour or so away and driving past our door on their way back from SIL.

It is ludicrously unfair but it will never ever change. I ranted and raved and almost made myself ill over it for a few years until I decided about a year ago to disengage.
You will not change them but you can change how you see them- as the ignorant old fools they are. It is in your power to change how you behave towards them. I make no extra effort whatsoever to see them now after years of doing 'the right thing'. They can no longer rely on me to do Christmas or Mothers Day or Easter for them because SIL doesn't want them. I didn't buy DH a Father's Day card for his Dad this year.

Dontforgetyourbrolly Mon 16-Jun-14 12:17:50

I'm going to play devil's advocate here .....

I felt the same way about my MIL . My dp had to go straight back to work and my family live quite far away....I was struggling and out of desperation sent a text to my MIL ,who dropped everything and came straight round to help. It seems she was over the moon to be asked and now cannot be more helpful. I think sometimes mothers of sons do not want to appear pushy to their daughter in laws in case they are seen as interfering ?

Put your feelings out there , you have nothing to lose , and you may even be pleasantly surprised.

In contrast I practically demanded my own mother take holiday from work and I stayed with her for a week taking advantage of all help possible because she is my mum and that's what I expected ( probably exactly like your Sil)

I totally understand the pnd thing and feeling useless as I have those issues myself right now. The pnd has gone but I just feel like an unpaid skivvy, and my little one is only 4 months !

mumaa Mon 16-Jun-14 12:23:11

tobias this sounds quite similar in some ways, though we are at early days. We live very closeby and were also given the "we've had our kids" speech. SIL is a 45 min drive away, like I say, early days but won't be surprised if it turns out similarly to your scenario, particularly given MIL has now changed her working hours too. It is hurtful like you say, and am glad to hear my reaction is normal, I have been questioning that a lot.

whattodo classes is a good suggestion, unfortunately my husband works long hours meaning he doesn't get home until quite late at times. While we are fortunate enough to get babysitting when we ask, a regular arrangement wouldn't be an option PIL would consider and my DM works two jobs so babysitting duties for her can only be on certain days.

I have however, joined a gym recently, I can go in the morning before DH leaves for work, not exactly mental stimulation but am hoping it might provide me with some headspace & the exercise that goes with it will hopefully give me a boost physically and mentally.

I think the only way forward though is probably to disengage, as has been said, I can't change them, though can change mine and stop making an effort.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 16-Jun-14 12:53:01

mumaa, does you local leisure centre have a crèche? I used to drop my DC off there for a 2-hour session (which was very, very cheap) and go to a fitness class followed by a session in the jacuzzi/sauna. Such a welcome bit of time to myself.

mumaa Mon 16-Jun-14 14:07:18

annie unfortunately our local council run leisure centre got rid of their creche, otherwise that would have been ideal!! I have researched other gyms with creches but they were all high end chains, I have joined a 24 hour gym chain which is much cheaper, though somewhere with a creche would have been perfect!

tobiasfunke Mon 16-Jun-14 14:11:51

I take heart from the many threads I see on here where parents or PIL show blatant favouritism to one child. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. It is worse when it is your PIL I think because you can't have it out with them because they aren't your family.
Half the problem is often the DHs whose inertia and lifelong ability to ignore the unfairness leaves their wives in a shit situation with no real way to solve it. MyDH says he just ignores them because if he were to actually face up to it and deal with it we would cripple ourselves with pyschiatrists' bills.

NormHonal Mon 16-Jun-14 14:19:42

From personal experience, I can also advocate a) finding something out of the house yourself to focus on that gives you pleasure and stops you navel-gazing. For me this has varied from exercise/gym to volunteer work and studying.

Also b) as others have said, disengage. Yes, it's unfair, but it's not going to change. You will feel happier if you see them all less, speak to them less and interact less. In time your DCs will work this out and it will impact their relationship too. Good!

And please persist in seeking help from your GP. Good luck.

longtallsally2 Mon 16-Jun-14 16:44:03

A gym is a great idea, until dd is a little older. She will soon be old enough for a local playgroup and then you will have a little more time. I found that volunteering, before I could go back to work properly helped too - it got me out and about talking to real adults!!

Best of luck

mumaa Mon 16-Jun-14 17:04:36

It definitely helps to know others experience this also and I am not alone too.

dontforget I completely get what you are saying, I asked for help a few times from MIL when DD was very small, she was always busy. OK, she may well have been busy, so one week I asked what she was doing on the bank holiday, might she like to do something, come round see DD or we could go to her, again she said she had plans, fair enough. In her work she is off every bank holiday, so I said perhaps we could do something on the next one, maybe go for lunch? she just nodded and I have never heard from her once on a bank holiday Monday to do something. So I have never asked again, you get to the point you feel you are making a fool of yourself.

I really am at the point now that I need to disengage. I will stick in with the gym for now, id love to do a bit of volunteering and looked into it in our area, I was just concerned I would have trouble,committing to the hours if DH was late home. But as has been said, not long now until can use a playgroup, perhaps even once a week.

Huge thanks to you all, for every comment, you really have helped me!!

angstridden2 Mon 16-Jun-14 17:20:03

I have to agree with dontforgetyourbrolly. It may be that your PIL are hesitant about putting themselves forward. I am very careful about butting in with my DIL, although I like her a lot. She has a mum who would always be the first she would go to; if she asks me for help I will do anything for her but it is difficult to get it right. Reading the threads on MN MILs are rather damned if they do etc.

Celestria Mon 16-Jun-14 17:23:44

I'm so sorry OP. Perhaps they thought you could cope as in you come across strong. Either way I can imagine your hurt.

You can't change them or what happened but look how you have coped. You did it without any help and I know how hard that is. I had PND with dd one and wouldn't tell anyone. I also loved six hundred miles from my family.

Accept it hurts. That's natural. Then try to put it to rest because it can only bring you sadness. And have somethanks

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 16-Jun-14 17:59:48

Like your DM your MIL has swung into action with her girl. It's the mother-daughter thing. Unfortunately you have been struggling. I am sure it is not that the PILs don't care. It doesn't help if your own family members are slow in coming forward.

I am so glad you have joined a gym and are considering volunteering. You regret having to leave work but you have probably lots of mental energy, maybe as yet untapped resources so I suspect once DD gets her playgroup place, you will find your mojo again. You sound stronger than you realise flowers.

Why not get an appointment with your GP and have a chat. It won't make your family or PILs help any more but you'll handle it better. And if you can bring yourself to contact SIL she might appreciate what you have gone through, (it might be the case she is a bit overwhelmed by her M's attentiveness).

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