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Scared that DC2 is ruining my relationship with DS

(52 Posts)
GoldenSnitch Mon 20-Jul-09 16:24:46

I love my son more than anything else in this world. We had a fab relationship. He was my little buddy - well behaved and loving, we were really close.

Then I got pregnant again.

I had morning sickness again and now have low blood pressure. I've been really tired and seem to have a constant headache, not to mention the dizzy spells and nausea...

It's turning me into a monster.

I've always tried to be gentle with DS. I was an abused child and I hate the thought of making him scared of me by shouting at him and have never wanted to smack him but just recently, shouting seems to be all I am doing. He's 2.4 and a proper toddler but it's never mattered before, I could always cope. Some days I find myself staring at the TV or computer while he plays alone on the floor cause I'm too zombie-fied to interact, even after an early night - This is not what I wanted for him.

I still take him to toddler groups and swimming but I feel like there is this huge wedge between us.

I shouted at him today. He's decided in the last week to stop napping and I am not coping. I took him upstaris and read him a story while he had his milk then put him to bedbut when I left he kept opening the door -so I screamed at him to go back to bed and left him on his bed crying till he fell asleep sad

When it came time for him to wake up, I went and sat next to his bed so I could give him a cuddle and say sorry but he looked at me and kicked me in the head!

I don't blame him, I'm horrid. I would want to kick me if I was him!!

I know it's because I'm tired but this isn't going to pass for ages is it. I'm only 17 weeks pregnant. I've got 23 weeks left and then we're going to have a newborn and I will be even more tired and by the time we get out the other end, my relationship with DS is going to be utterly irretrievable.

I'm disgusted at myself for being so horrid and heartbroken at the effect this is all having on DS. What do I do? I wanted him to have a sibling so they couild be close but all I've done is isolated him. I wanted the perfect 2.4 family but I've ruined it all.

Why am I such a terrible parent?

randomtask Mon 20-Jul-09 16:39:35

I don't think you're a terrible parent, it sounds like you're a tired and pregnant parent!

I think the toddler stage is difficult for anyone, let alone someone who is pregnant and has all those side effects. I get migraines and TBH, I struggle with my well behaved, quiet and likes to play on his own 7 year old when I'm feeling sick/dizzy/headachey.

Can his Dad spend more time with him to give you a break? Also, is there a playgroup/nursery you could afford to put him into a couple of mornings (say 2/3 hours each) a week so you can catch up on sleep or have a rest? You could also contact Homestart so someone else could play with him and you can rest. I think if you had a break you could cope with him more.

But also, explain to him that Mummy is feeling a little unwell so you're really sorry if you're grumpy with him. If nothing else, he might understand and try to look after you (as my older niece did when my sister was pregnant)!

Good luck and remember, you're not a bad parent, you're a tired parent. There's a massive difference.

prettyfly1 Mon 20-Jul-09 16:57:52

If you were a terrible parent you wouldnt be so distressed. My son is four and I am twenty weeks pregnant and like you I am struggling a bit. Have you any support at all or friends who could come over with their kids for playdates so he doesnt get so bored in the day - the nap thing may be for the best as my son slept better at night after that and i got a lot more sleep myself as a result. Stop beating yourself up though, you just need a bit more help. The homestart idea is good and there are loads of summer groups going on all over the country so you could perhaps approach your local childcentre to see if they have any information that could help.

izyboy Mon 20-Jul-09 17:06:29

I really feel for you...and yes I felt the same way when I was pregnant with DD1 and after she was born. There are times when I still have those feelings of sadness that my relationship has changed with DS1 because of his sibling. I think it is inevitable that the dynamics will change when another little person becomes part of the unit.

At the mo tho' be kind to yourself as well as DS. It is fine to let him play alone sometimes and for him to begin to understand that you are tired and need to rest on the sofa while he plays.

GoldenSnitch Mon 20-Jul-09 17:20:41

DH works really hard to keep us so I can be a SAHM. He leaves at 6.30am every morning and drives an hour to work. Sometimes he works Sundays too - usually really early in the mornings (yesterday was 2am till 9am) so he's really tired too.

He's so good with DS though.

Yesterday, we were both knackered but he still managed to play with DS while I just snapped every time he was difficult. DH kept telling me not to shout at him and it made me realise how awful I was being.

I just can't stop crying today.

I was supposed to be adding to our family and making us all happier but it's making us all miserable sad

And poor unborn DC2 - what's thier life going to be like?!!!?

I've looked into nursery but no-one's getting back to me and I haven't got the energy to chase them.

randomtask Mon 20-Jul-09 17:27:10

Just keep trying with the nursery. I know it's energy, but if you sort it, it'll be so much easier for you.

I appreciate that your DH works to make sure you can be a SAHM, but he needs to look after his family in every way, not just money. Have you told him you're struggling?

GoldenSnitch Mon 20-Jul-09 17:33:17

I've told him I feel tired and poorly. He tries to help sometimes and did come home early once when I rang him in tears but he's generally just as tired and could do with a break himself...

randomtask Mon 20-Jul-09 17:35:42

Have you got friends or family who can help? Even if it's another tired pregnant friend-your children will entertain each other so it might even mean both of you get a break.

Also, really do try Homestart. They not only helped keep my sister sane but they made my nieces very happy!

Catitainahatita Mon 20-Jul-09 17:42:47

Hello, I know where you are coming from, I am 24 weeks pregnant and have an 18mo DS. My DH is away on business for a fortnight and I am finding very tough going. I can tell you however that I do feel better in myself now than I did at 16/17 weeks. I especially have more energy and don't have the nausea and dizziness. So hopefully you will also start to feel physically better soon.

But the snapping, the tears and the worries about being a bad parent makes me think that you are depressed as well as tired. I had antenatal depression last time and it wasn't pretty. But it did clear up miraculously once DS was born. Have you talked to your midwife or GP about how you are feeling?

Also, remember, you haven't ruined anything at all. Having some off time is normal for parents. No one is brillant 24 hours a day/7 days a week. This situation will not be forever. Things will get better.

Anyway, apart from lots of thoughts and sympathy, I wondered if you had any family or friends nearby who could help you out with a bit of toddler sitting? My life-saver at the mo is my neighbour who has looked after DS for a couple of hours this weekend to let me have a lie down (and also to do the washing/housework, but that's because I started to feel better).

Also, do try and find the energy to get back to the nurseries. It will be worth it in the long term.

Hang on in there.

GoldenSnitch Mon 20-Jul-09 18:51:25

When DH came home, I got him to help DS eat dinner while I phoned the pre-school we'd like him to go to for some information. They don't take children on until they are 2.9 which will be December for DS but as that is also the month DC2 arrives and they don't suggest that you co-incide two big events at once, he probably wouldn't be able to start until Easter term next year. It's not the best news but doing something did make me feel a little more positive.

My family all live a ling way away but as my Mum and Sister are teachers, they're off at the moment and might be able to come down to help me for a few days. DS's parents are close but both work. The playdate idea appeals though as that would give DS some more quality play time without it having to necessarily be with me - now all I have to do is find enough energy to get the house tidy enough for visitors..

I think Catitainahatita might be right regarding depression though. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19 and was treated with antidepressants and councelling for 8 years. I've been off medication for just over 4 years now. This feels very similar. The bone-aching tiredness and the waking in the night with my mind racing and just being constantly miserable. I thought I was over it so it's quite hard to admit that it might be back but I think it might be worth looking into. I didn't even realise ante-natal depression existed!!

Is there not a chance they would take DS away though?

Catitainahatita Mon 20-Jul-09 19:46:06

I didn't realise it could exist either, until I was spiralling into incoherence. I had pretty much the same feelings of inadequecy, self-pity/loathing, tiredness and also waking in the night to brood on problems, that you seem to have.

Of course they won't take your son away if you are depressed, the Dr is more likely to suggest respite, rest, talking and perhaps (if very bad) some drugs. It's also not likely to continue post-birth (at least not for me, although it was one of my major worries).

Having your sister/Mum come and help sounds like a great plan. Life will seem better as soon as you can have a bit of rest. But do see your GP, you know it will help. Remember it's not your fault you feel like this.

GoldenSnitch Mon 20-Jul-09 20:55:01

Even if I was suicidal last time I was depressed?

Catitainahatita Tue 21-Jul-09 03:52:25

Sorry, I was at work and had to leave.

Just because you were suicidal last time does not mean you will be suicidal this time. Especially if you manage to get some help early. Plus, if you have a supportive partner (which it sounds like you do) and some hope of family help, there should be no need to worry about the well-being of your DS. Stop worrying about this aspect, please.

Antenatal depression exists and affects approximately 10-12% of pregnant women. You are not alone nor will anyone think badly of you.

See this link

Don't be afraid of asking for help. It really is a sign of strength not weakness.

<<Sends all the virtual support she can to help you>>

cafelattefan Tue 21-Jul-09 09:51:43

Dont know if this will help, but my daughter in Law was struggling with her relationship with her DS1 when DS2 arrived and she got PND too and has been put in contact with an organisation called Parent infant project. I think most councils have them. she has one to one sessions with a psycologist and works through her relationship with the children that way and seems to be benefitting considerably from it. Maybe you could make enquiries in your area.
Good luck and best wishes.

GoldenSnitch Tue 21-Jul-09 14:38:28

Just thought I would let you guys know how today was going..(and hoping you don't think it's big headed that I would assume you care)

I woke up today feeling much more positive (even though I'd had a rubbish nights sleep) and so far we're having a good day. Maybe it's because I woke up thinking "it's just the depression again" rather than "I'm so tired" that helped me look at things differently.

I've tried really hard to spend more time with DS rather than staring at the PC like a zombie and we've coloured and played with his Happyland and even managed a trip to the shops. I've not even tried putting him down for a nap today and haven't felt like I've needed to either. I feel so much happier with myself cause I don't feel like I'm neglecting him anymore.

After 7 years experience of depression I suppose it's a bit like "better the devil you know"

I feel like a much better Mummy today.

Still a little worried that admitting to anyone official that I've been feeling depressed again wouldn't end in some sort of supervision or intervention due to my previous history as a self harmer and suicide risk but I've at least admitted to my Mum and DH that I've been feeling down again and I know that they'll support me.

Am so glad I posted on here. I feel like I've turned a corner

Catitainahatita Tue 21-Jul-09 14:59:58

I'm really glad to hear you are feeling a wee bit more positive today Golden. I found knowing that I was depressed and my negative thoughts were not necessarily grounded 100% in reality helped a lot too.

If you have experience of depression I am sure you also have lots of coping strategies. My Dh also has struggled with depression in the past, so he was quite a fountain of knowledge on the subject. Personally I found being able to have regular rests, but also some exercise really helped. Perhaps you could get DS in the buggy and go for invigorating walks in the prak or somewhere (you can always set DS challenges to keep him amused: eg. find a yellow leaf, a broken twig, spot a duck etc)

I am also pleased to hear you have told your DH and Mum. I am sure they'll support you and help you keep yourself in a more positive frame of mind.

Lots of luck (and yes! we care, it's the best thing about MN in my opinion. People who care!)

roseability Tue 21-Jul-09 15:29:01

Goldensnitch - I had some really bad days with DS (3) when I was pregnant. I now have a beautiful 5 week old daughter and although there are still tough moments, I am finding it soooo much easier than being pregnant.

Pregnancy can really make you feel exhausted and low at times. It is a rollercoster.

My MIL would take DS one day a week and I would just go to my bed. Can you get such help?

At a really low point I smacked my DS because he had done a poo in his nappy sad. This is not like me and I never smack my DS. I was just completely hormonal and shattered.

We have moved on and a happy family of four. Yes I am tired and still hormonal sometimes. I still feel guilty sometimes because I want to make quality time with DS which is difficult with a newborn, but I have more energy now than I did in pregnancy, despite the broken nights.

Hang in there. I think pregnancy and toddler was the hardest thing I have had to get through

GoldenSnitch Wed 22-Jul-09 13:09:29

We went out for a walk today to get some fresh air and exercise casue that's meant to be good for fighting off depression and I'm trying not to think too much about naps. I'm certainly more tired today but so far, I'm managing to stay cheerful.

Feel like I'm on a knife edge though and its taking some effort to stay on the 'bright side'

I've organised a few playdates for the next week too so we have something to do other than just being home alone

BalloonSlayer Wed 22-Jul-09 13:43:33

My third DC was unplanned and a bit of a shock for both of us. DH was quite negative about it, but not nasty.

When I was about 16/17 weeks pg I realised I was horribly down. I wanted to cry all the time, and was horrifically anxious, and paranoid, as well. When I had had my second child I had been borderline for PND, and I knew that I was feeling much the same during this pregnancy. I was terrified as to how I would feel when I got all the post-natal weepiness on top.

I went to my GP, and he referred me to a programme at our local hospital. It was set up specially to tackle ante-natal depression, because apparently it's as common as PND, and makes it more likely that you will get PND, so they are trying to catch it early.

I was scared stiff of being assessed - I kept thinking "what if they take my DCs away" but of course that wasn't going to happen. I talked it through with a lovely Doctor (and by then I had worked out a lot of it myself), who said that - given I was feeling a lot better by then - all I'd have to do was call, or even tell someone on the postnatal ward that I was feeling "unwell" and that I'd seen her before, and someone would come up to see me. I went away feeling like I had put a sturdy safety-net in place for myself. In the event I was fine.

I do think a lot of these feelings stem from your anxiety about what will happen to your relationship with your DS. It has been so perfect, you no doubt (like most of us) wonder whether you will manage to love another child as much. You will, of course. And you feel guilty that you are going to be taking some of yourself away from your DS in a few months' time. You also have a sense that "time is running out" for just the two of you, so the time you do have together had better be perfect. When it isn't you get distressed.

I remember in the months before our DC3 was born, sitting on numerous occasions in floods of tears, feeling that this was my "last chance" to have quality time with DS1 and DD but I was too exhausted to do anything. I am nearly crying now remembering that feeling. But of course it wasn't my last chance, we have fun and quality time every day.

Hope you are feeling a bit better. Sorry to ramble on, hope it makes sense.

Catitainahatita Wed 22-Jul-09 15:35:28

Hiya Golden,
I just thought I'd write and say hello. You sound like you are trying really hard. Well done smile. I know it can't be easy for you.

Have you asked your sister or you mum if they can come to visit yet? I know it's hard asking (and thus admitting that you are not coping), but just having someone to help you and give you a hug when you need it would be lovely for a couple of days. Or could you go and visit your Mum?

Rebecca41 Wed 22-Jul-09 15:50:20

Just a quick reply. I'm a GP. You absolutely won't have your DS taken away from you because of a history of depression and suicide attempts. Believe me, people have to treat their children REALLY badly to have them taken into care. The emphasis these days is on always keeping children with their mothers, so unless their child's life is at risk then that's what happens.

I hope you continue to feel better, but if you don't, then please please don't be frightened of telling your midwife/health visitor/practice nurse/GP. Honestly, they will just want to help you. You clearly care a great deal about your son, and that will be obvious to any health care professional you see.

GoldenSnitch Wed 22-Jul-09 17:12:15

Just want to say a massive Thank you to BalloonSlayer, Catitainhatitia and Rebecca who have posted today - each of you has helped massively in a different way.

Thank you BalloonSlayer for your story. What you said must have been difficult to write but I am so glad you did because it sounds so similar to how I feel at the moment. I think some of my panic stems from the fact that we'd not planned a December baby - we'd been trying but I had just miscarried and we decided that we were going to wait and try for a summer baby but because of the situation and my head being all over the place, we'd not done all we could towards contraception. We were happy when we found out that we were expecting again but I felt a little unprepared plus, we have had quite a few negative comments about the due date and how baby is going to be a "poor little sod" for being a Christmas baby. I suppose I felt I'd let this baby down before it was even born and then with being ill and struggling with Ds too I feel I've let them both down.

Thankyou to Cat for your continuing support. I spoke to my sister today and think I may be getting a visit this weekend

And Thank you to Rebecca. It really helps to know from a GP's point of view that there isn't a chance that DS would get taken away. I do love him totally and would hate for him to suffer because of me. He seems to have forgiven his grumpy Mummy so far and has been giving me lots of kisses today which has been lovely. I feel a lot more confident about approaching the doctor thanks to your post.

Looking forward to a good sleep tonight and hopefully another good day tomorrow.

MEMsmum Thu 23-Jul-09 13:47:57

I always thought going from 1 to 2 DC's was much, much more tiring than having just the 1! & I was really lucky with my DD's as they both had naps til nursery age - my DS on the other hand wasn't too keen so I did what a friend did with her DD's and instituted quiet time after lunch. He could nap if he wanted to, otherwise it was just quiet play time in his room. Took a couple of days to establish the pattern but it worked really well and gave me the opportunity to sit down and rest, recharge batteries (and watch drivel on the tv!!). Sometimes he fell asleep, sometimes he just played, then we'd have story time before going to pick up his sisters from school.

Catitainahatita Thu 23-Jul-09 14:37:52

Juat wondered how were doing today Golden?

GoldenSnitch Thu 23-Jul-09 14:46:24

Feeling a bit down to be honest. But I've called and spoken to my best friend who is a PND veteran so I've got another experienced ear listening out for me now.

We have nowhere to be today which I don't think helped but we've been out for a walk and have done some playing in the garden while the weather is nice. The house is a state though and I'm trying to muster the energy to tidy a bit as I know that will make me feel better but I'm only managing 10 minutes then loosing focus and wandering off...

We've got a play date tomorrow which should take up all of the morning which will be better

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