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Feels like we're falling apart!(21 Posts)
I don't even know where to start with this so thanks in advance if you make it through the post!
Currently been with DH for 7 years; got married, had a baby and bought a house together all in the last 12 months. All very good things but not without their stresses! He works in a job with long hours and can be driving long distances depending on the job. Basically, it feels like we're both just falling apart and disagreeing with each other on everything, and it's draining and I don't know how we fix this! We still tell each other we love each other and that we do want to make this work, we just always end up fighting.
For example - I'm aware that I am quite anxious about all things relating to baby's safety. But I prefer to follow guidelines on things like safe sleeping, not wearing coats in car seats, not feeding before 6 months. His parents (who I normally get on great with) constantly roll their eyes or tell me I'm overreacting when I say, for example, that I don't want to give her food at 4 months, despite them saying 'they fed their babies at 3 months and it did them no harm'. Problem is, it's rubbing off on DH and he's starting to think I'm unreasonable, and can't understand why I'd rather follow midwives advice rather than his parents. So this is causing problems. Whenever we go round, they always end up spending the evening trying to convince me to change things and 'follow my instinct', rather than being paranoid all the time. Which I'm aware I can be, but not for the things above that I've mentioned! I feel like they gang up on me and aren't respecting my feelings, and that they judge me for not doing things their way. Me and DH had a massive argument this morning about this, and again, he doesn't seem to understand how I'm feeling.
He'll also do things like feel her hands at night and say she's too cold and turn the heating up really high, when actually the back of her neck/stomach are fine. I've told him how to check her and that she'll wake up if she's too cold, but he doesn't listen. Predictably, his parents also go by how her hands feel and don't listen when I tell them you don't check hands.
As mentioned before, he works in a job that is long hours, lots of driving and can be stressful. I'm on maternity leave, but until recently, baby wasn't sleeping at night at all, which obviously wasn't fun for me! We were both pretty stressed out, and I feel like we're constantly in a competition with each other as to who is the most exhausted. The obvious answer here is to just stop, but I guess we just feel resentment towards each other than we can't really unpick or do anything about! He's told me he feels very stressed/depressed at the moment as well.
Reading this back, I don't know what advice I'm looking for. I guess I just want a rant! It all came to a head today and he's gone out; I just don't know what I want to happen when he gets back. I don't want to make a big decision when I just gave birth 6 months ago as obviously we're still adjusting. I just think we're adjusting wrongly if that makes sense!
Thanks for anyone who made it through my ramblings
I'm sorry you're going through a hard time.
Alot has happened in a short period and I'm sure getting married, buying a house and having a baby is up there with some of the most stressful life events - although all happy occasions but lots going on.
Interfering in-laws aren't helping although I'm sure they mean well (?!). You just need to be firm but polite with them and say something along the lines 'thank you for your advice/help etc but I'm happy with doing it this way/that way' and be confident with your decision.
Regarding DH I think you need to find a time when neither of you are too stressed/tired and try to talk about that you're a team now and shouldn't be at each other's throats but working with each other not against. (Easier said than done I know).
I think stress/lack of sleep competition is fairly common with a baby. Who's had the most/least sleep, who's done more chores etc.
Would you feel comfortable leaving baby for a few hours so you and DH could go for a meal - just to reconnect as a couple?.
I hope you manage to work things out
Regarding your in-laws I would remind them they raised their DC their way and you'll raise yours your way benefitting from latest scientific evidence which has reduced cot death rates massively
Regards DH you need to ask him why he thinks your parents 30 year out of date opinion is more valid the latest science backed up evidence.
Regarding the exhaustion you need to remind him you are both exhausted and get him to look after DC for at least 4 days solo, see if he then appreciates that you are working hard too.
I understand. I was always made to feel that I was too safety-conscious, but had to put my foot down twice in public, and I'm a very shy person, so believe me it was hard!
First time-H put car seat with baby atop a bar-height table, in a bar, I tried not to panic but I saw a vision of the car seat wobbling off the table and smashing, so moved it to the floor, whereupon H told me it would have been "fine" where it was. No, no, no.
Second time, at family gathering, at what would have been naptime, H suddenly becomes expert (in front of relatives) at putting baby down for a nap, in an upstairs room, by herself, non-heated room, and when I asked how did you put her down, he just said "it's fine", as in, I shouldn't worry. So, I immediately got up, went upstairs, found it was very chilly, baby awake and fussing, one slim blanket apparently placed to stop her rolling off onto the floor. Egads!! I rescued her, brought her down with me, said that would never do, she will never fall asleep up there, and furthermore she was in a position to fall off the bed. And my sister's father-in-law made a very loud "OH, GOD" comment, implying that I was unreasonable. And everyone else was silent.
So, yes, safety cannot be compromised by someone who is so careless.
Oh, and he also gave same child a cashew to eat, knowing she'd had an allergic reaction to pistachios (vomiting and near-anaphylaxis) "to see if she was allergic" to cashews as well. So, guess what? She was.
Thanks, dad. Now you get to clean up the recliner chair she just threw up all over. And get her a dose of Benadryl. I will make the call whether we need to call emergency crew out or not since clearly she'll be "fine".
For that and many other situations where he did not value my opinion or poo-pooed my caution, he is now my very-soon to-be officially exH.
Not sure if this really helps you, but since the bulk of taking care of your baby falls to you, I think you have every right to say how things will be happening without being made to feel like you're being OTT, especially since you're following the latest guidelines.
Having just had baby number 2, I ‘listen’ to other people’s advice - and do things my way. You’ve done all the reading, listened to the midwives, you’re the expert here on modern day practise and it’s your baby. Be confident. My DP and I had disagreements over demand feeding/routine - so I emailed him articles to back my view and carried on my way! Another friend was ‘shocked’ that I wasn’t purely doing baby-led weaning. I listened, am still doing things my way - but took a couple of tips from her advice. Some people are just tactless. Also have a baby that doesn’t sleep - slightly better when I weaned (at 6 months!! - despite all grandparents telling me to do it earlier!!). His older sibling DID sleep - and I’m not blaming myself or anything I’m doing - his just a light sleeper. Could you ask your midwife to speak directly to your DH over some of these issues? The ‘turning up the heat’ idea is very questionable!!
Also adding that we also had a never-ending comparison about who is more exhausted and who deserved more sleep, and in my case, he almost always declared that his sleep was more important than mine, or, even if he bestowed on me some "me" time, I could never really fully relax because I didn't trust him not to do something stupid--like fall asleep on the living room couch when he was supposed to be watching the kids, when I was supposed to be getting a catch-up nap. So, pretty much I never got me time when they were little. Now I get lots, since we're 50/50.
Thanks for the responses, glad I'm not being completely crazy!
The in-laws do mean well - we get on great, live very close to them and always used to hang out together, so I'm annoyed that I'm feeling this way really. It just feels like the relationship has changed now I've had a baby that's their grandchild. Anyone else felt this way? I feel a bit like a used vessel for their granddaughter!
DH came home a couple of hours ago and we had a chat - not too in depth as I don't think either of us had the energy to argue anymore, but we agreed that we are a team and we need to be on the same page, nevermind anyone else. Will talk about specifics mentioned in my post tomorrow probably, will update you all then!
Definitely feel that way!! I’m the nanny/childminder/one to blame - while their golden boy can do no wrong. If we visit I take a book/go to bed very early/escape to another room a lot. I think everything you are feeling is very common and the more you speak to people, the more you find out others are feeling the same. Having a baby completely turns your life around. I felt like I joined some sort of ‘secret club’ - no-one warned me until I finally joined the club and found out about all it’s horrors - but it’s given me the happiest and most fulfilling times too. You’re completely right - to work through the problems (and they’ll be SO many more to come) as a team. I’ll try to remember this before my next stressed out, exhausted rant to DP xxxx
You've described yourself as anxious and paranoid but you haven't given us any examples of your behaviour which are anxious/paranoid. Other than following guidelines, what makes you paranoid?
Are you constantly hovering over DH. Telling him how to do this. Don't do that? Hold him this way. Burp him that way?
That sounds terribly frustrating. Early feeding has been linked to autoimmune diseases in later life so you are right to wait to around 6 months. You sound like exactly the kind of mother a child needs so please don't feel like you should back down because of interfering in-laws.
@LunasOrchid that's good to hear! I guess when she was a newborn I went a bit over the top - was scared to drive anywhere with her and couldn't really sleep at night while she slept. As time's gone on though I've relaxed, and I feel that anything I may 'worry' about is in response to everyone else being too relaxed! So maybe changing the way I see this would be good.
@ArkAtEee I've said this! But apparently because it did their 3 kids (and SIL's 3 kids) no harm, I'm overreacting. My DH actually said yesterday in response to me saying I'd rather listen to midwives/doctors/research etc. than his parents that there might be a better way to raise children than the guidelines, and maybe his parents have figured it out. Aaaagh! How can you argue with that?!
I think you have a different problem in that your DH is unable or unwilling to stand up to his parents. That's probably why you can't argue with him, because you are looking at evidence and evaluating on that basis and he is looking to please his parents. Is there anyone he trusts, e.g. one of his friends, who has a similar attitude to parenting as you whom you could point to?
It may 'not of done any harm' to her kids a few decades ago but cot death has decreased dramatically since so clearly the guidelines are the best to follow!
You do have to stand up to third parties about their opinions on parenting. You are this child's mother! You aren't a silly little girl you are the mother and you decide what happens. I used to have a friend who would claw the baby out of my arms to show me how to wind him the "right" way til one day I growled "NO". I'd just passively let them do it but then realised it's none of their business and absolutely mine. The child is yours! Your responsibility. You are managing that responsibility carefully. They are sabotaging that and it's not on.
As a mother you are going to have to stand up for yourself and the baby because everyone and his bleeding dog has an opinion. Practice saying no!
Your DH is a separate issue. He should back you up basically.
It's early days and things will settle. You sound like you are trying your absolute best and it must be maddening to be undermined. Come on mother lioness, start to roar!
@ArkAtEee I don't think it's that he won't stand up to them, he genuinely trusts them and believes what they're saying. Repeats the argument that they raised 3 kids (don't forget the 3 grandkids that they're apparently getting credit for). They're so close as a family so it's hard to get him to see objectively! I get on well with his sister but I'm not sure where she stands on things like this, so will sound her out and then decide if I can use her!
@JumpiestBat luckily they haven't forced me to do anything I don't want to do, we just have massive arguments about their advice! We've spoken though and DH has offered to tell his parents to back down though, which is good! I just hope it'll stop the passive aggressive 'hinting', and I might just get some good articles etc. to back myself up if it all starts again. Failing that I should gave a hv appointment soon, I'll invite them all to see her!
I do think it’s a pity that there aren’t more HV appointments and classes for Dad’s. Could you speak to your HV about this issue? Not sure what your DH does for a living, but I’m sure he would appreciate you telling him how to do his job without any training - and to only stick to methods from 40 years ago. Imagine if doctors or teachers never tried to evoke their practice!
You are the mum so you are the expert and can be confident that you know what's best for your baby and hopefully you can teach DH to follow your lead. Everyone else can politely fuck off.
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