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Can't control my temper when I'm this tired.

(27 Posts)
Spacetravel Sun 13-Apr-14 19:35:46

Ds is 9 months. We've just moved to a much smaller flat for various reasons and his cot is in my bedroom. I bf to sleep, then he is up 2 or. 3 times a night. He has started to bite me. I give him formula too in the hope that it will fill him up but he won't sleep unless I bf him (I know I know, that is all wrong. But that is the situation I am in now. If I could turn the clock back I would).

I am back at work. I am so so so so tired. Ds is up for the day at 5.30. I cannot take it. I feel so angry - angry at dp for not doing his share (he constantly complains about tiredness, and is always working so doesn't help during the day, although he does make a big effort to do more). But what is more worrying is that I have started to feel angry at ds. I feel like I want to run away and/ or punch a wall. I dread going to bed because it is like going into a torture chamber. Getting enough sleep is not an option. Wtf can I do? Has anyone else felt like this and got through it?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 13-Apr-14 19:42:51

Yes. Not a lot of practical advice I can give, but I can give buckets of sympathy because I know how hard it is.

DS is two now and sleeps, but when I look back on those days I can't believe I got through it, and there are several episodes I'm ashamed to remember. It's just a case of finding out what works for you in terms of keeping calm - I think it's probably different for everyone. The 'imagine you're being followed by a camera crew' technique didn't work for me because I just thought they'd see how desperate I was and sympathise blush

If you ever feel like you're literally at breaking point, you could try Bach Rescue remedy sleep aid (drops) as a one-off, just to get caught up. I mean for DC, not you. They worked for us and did no harm. Don't care if I get flamed - it says 'for all the family' on the label with no age limit... so there you go.

firstpost Sun 13-Apr-14 20:09:39

I have a non sleeping 9 month old and really empathise. There are times when exhaustion has made me a really shit mum. I remember crying to make him feel sorry for me smile <didn't work> I have also hissed 'shut up' at him <horrible I know> and just generally felt like running away. In moments of extreme stress I detach emotionally put baby in cot, shut door return when calm .. Usually a few minutes later.

It's hard but not forever. Am sure you are doing the very best you can under difficult circumstances. smile

GingerRodgers Sun 13-Apr-14 20:12:17

Please don't beat yourself up for bf to sleep. I did this with my dd until she was about 17/18 mo as it was what we needed to do. It got her to sleep and meant I didn't lose the plot.
Tiredness is awful so I can sympathise and I don't really have a solution I'm afraid. If you feel yourself getting angry I'd put baby in the cot and go into another room- straight away. Anger can build quickly. Even of they're crying, get a drink, count to ten - whatever calms you down and helps you see past that immediate moment.
Dont forget you can always post here.
Can you go to bed earlier? Have you any family that can babysit for a night? Any chance of dp taking the baby on weekends in the morning for you to have some sleep?

Spacetravel Sun 13-Apr-14 20:34:35

Thanks everyone. Walking away until I calm down might be a good option. It is just so so full on. I never have any down time - as soon as I've finished putting ds down, tidied up a bit and eaten some food I have to go into the torture chamber. If I try to relax by watching half an hour of tv before bed then I suffer for it the next day. I don't want ds to see me angry or upset. He gets really upset when I cry. (I cry a lot). Dh is kind and tries his best but I feel like we don't really have a relationship any more - just me being tired and cranky and him distancing himself from me. Sorry for the tired ramble. jesus I live in hope that things will get better. If I knew there would be an end (eg. 2 years) then perhaps I could get through it, but I keep meeting people who say their children didn't sleep through till 4 or 5

Lamu Sun 13-Apr-14 20:37:46

I totally sympathise Op. Dd was a c

Lamu Sun 13-Apr-14 20:43:13

Complete boob monster at that age. And I'm miserable in less than 8 hrs sleep. I got much better at coping with less sleep as the months progressed. I hope you don't mind me mentioning but please see your GP if you feel completely out of your depth. I eventually went to my lovely HV at about 9 months and found I'd been struggling all those months with PND. Dd is now 2.7, she's not been the greatest sleeper and has only just started sleeping through. It does gets better I promise.

addictedtosugar Sun 13-Apr-14 20:45:35

There WILL be an end to it, honestly.
The bf will come to an end at some point, and then someone else can do the settling.
We got to that stage at about 10 months - feeding to sleep just didn't work any more, so I didn't, and DH did some of the wakes. It was bliss.
I went to bed at the same time as DS1 (can you eat with him earlier, so you don't need to cook again?), and got several straight hours of sleep in, while DH jumped at the slightest murmur (we had desperate rooms tho - is it possible for DS to sleep in the lounge with DH some evenings?), and then after he came to bed, I was on duty.
I found 4 uninterrupted hours made a massive different to my state of mind.
cake and more cake got me through.

firstpost Sun 13-Apr-14 20:46:01

Most children sleep through much earlier than 5. My eldest started sleeping through at 2.5 yrs and slept much better from around 14 months.

There is hope, it just doesn't always feel like it in the middle of the night smile

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 13-Apr-14 20:56:24

At least some of them will be saying that to make you feel better! You may well find it gets better very soon - not necessarily for good, but for long enough for you to marshal your resources and realise that yes, the end is in sight. Until then... just keep doing whatever works. When it's like this it's not parenting; it's war, and it does kind of help to think of it that way. DH and I always had a battle plan for the bad phases, be it co-sleeping, DH on the sofa, me going to bed at 8pm etc. Oh, and I fed to nsleep till DS was two. Whatever works.

Another thing you may be worrying about is The Bond. If so I can reassure you that that survives as well. DS and I are amazingly close despite everything, and I cannot imagine things being better than they are... yet they keep getting better every day! I just wish I could go back in time and say that to the me at 9 months. Maybe I am.

babyboomersrock Sun 13-Apr-14 21:05:42

Dh is kind and tries his best but I feel like we don't really have a relationship any more - just me being tired and cranky and him distancing himself from me

OP, you say you are back at work - full time? And your DP works full time? What exactly is the division of labour? Are you cooking, cleaning and dealing with the night wakings, and if so, what is DP doing? What do you mean by "he tries his best"?

peacefuleasyfeeling Sun 13-Apr-14 22:06:00

Hello Space, I just want to echo pps who suggest doing whatever works. When DD1 was around that age I was going absolutely nuts for lack of sleep, and what got me through was eating my evening meal at the same time as her, getting myself ready for bed as she had her bath, feeding to sleep and going to bed myself for the night at DD1's bedtime. Oh, and cosleeping, which meant there was no need to get out of bed. I also, totally uncharacteristically, got into playing games on my phone during the small hours when I sometimes found myself too frazzled to sleep despite being totally desperate for sleep.

DP was unwell for DD1's first year so I, like you, felt very alone and at times deeply resentful, despite knowing that was just how it had to be. I got really upset if anyone suggested that I did something to redress the division of labour, as Baby suggests above (not saying it isn't a valid suggestion, Baby), I took it as a criticism, as if the person suggesting it was missing the point that I would have loved to have different circumstances if at all possible, and as if by rejecting the possibility of challenging the status quo I was forfeiting my right to feel sorry or myself. In your life, at this moment in time, this is how things have panned out with regard to who's doing what. Don't give yourself a hard time about that too. Perhaps think out of the box and see if there is some other way in which your partner can support the situation if sharing nights isn't working out for you. Can he perhaps batch cook on the weekends, or do the cleaning? Shopping? Take your DS out for a long nap in the car so you can sleep undisturbed at home for a couple of hours?

DD1 stopped feeding to sleep at 2, and it was much easier than I thought it would be, because she was finally ready. Still not quite sleeping through, but nowhere near as bad as it was. I've found myself doing exactly the same with DD2 who is 9 months now; feeding to sleep, night feeds on demand, cosleeping (also with DD1) but this time I'm finding it much easier, probably because I know it comes to an end eventually. I wish you all the best, one moment at a time.

Spacetravel Mon 14-Apr-14 05:48:51

Thanks, everyone. At what point did it become untenable for you? I can't

Spacetravel Mon 14-Apr-14 05:57:25

Sorry ... I can't go on like this. I think I take it out on DH because I want to escape from the situation, and sometimes I think that means escaping from our relationship, even though I don't really want that But it's such a long time since we've had a relationship and not a negotiation.

Baby, we are both working part time, and meant to be sharing childcare, but because I've been on maternity leave the default childcare falls to me (ie I'm doing it 24 hours a day, unless I book in time with DH, who then does childcare but nothing else - no housework, no cleaning, no shopping etc). We are both adjusting to a new way of living and as frustrated as I get with DH, I think it's a shock to the system for him to manage his workload in a different way, develop his relationship with DS, and generally understand the domestic realm.

I think I will try eating at the same time as DS and going to bed at the same time as him. Thanks - that's a good idea. Last night DH took the hit and did the night wakings! Jesus, I think last night I gave up on The Bond! I have broken it by being so angry when I'm tired.

So I feel much much better but DH is fucked. I think that's what I don't like as well - I kind of feel more comfortable if it's me that's suffering iykwim because when DH is tired I have to look after him too, and I don't have enough care inside me to do that. That probably sounds terrible but I am exhausted from caring for people. Maybe we can reach a compromise where he does this one day a week or something, so that I know I will get a break.

Thanks everyone, sorry for not being more directly responsive. Today the baby is starting to crawl ....

Cornonthecob Mon 14-Apr-14 06:44:33

Our dc1 slept in own room (right next door to our bedroom tiny flat back then) from 4 weeks (snorer!) and we had little sleep problems, whereas dc2 was another story much wanted baby (previous mc) we probably went OTT in holding, soothing etc so he became used to and dependent on us falling asleep, flashbacks of lying on the floor holding his little hand through the cot, co-sleeping etc... We did what we thought worked at the time (it didn't in hindsight we were enduring!) and he was 11 months old when we finally broke, put him in his own room and he started sleeping through'ish!

Also practically fwiw...

Is your dc actually hungry or looking for soothing? Have you tried a dummy?

If hungry can you increase solids during the day?

Can you take an afternoon nap with baby?

Do you have Surestart in your area? I remember some offering respite sessions for worn out parents, I.e massage while they look after baby!

Can you get a cleaner in to help relieve some of the housework? Just £20 a week budget could make a huge difference!

Can you spilt night shifts with dh he does the nights before you work and vice versa? One of you sleep in another room/sofa?

It's hard work the first year, can cause real strain on your relationship, resentment is not nice, but worth attempting to make a little time for each other. Do you have friends/family access to a babysitter so you and dh can get out child free one day you're both not working?

I know it's difficult when you're in the thick of it and exhausted but if you are able to find the energy to make some changes it could make a difference..

nameuschangeus Mon 14-Apr-14 07:03:17

I was in a similar situation OP. I was recommended the book 'the no cry sleep solution' on here and it gave a technique for stopping dc from constantly night feeding when they're in the bed with you. It was gentle and did not involve crying and it worked for me. It might be worth having a look.

Cornonthecob Mon 14-Apr-14 07:06:37

"He gets really upset when I cry, I cry a lot"

That's not good for both of you sad babies/children can feel and react to your emotions.

IME I have friends who are emotionally all over the place and their children's behaviour reflect that, sorry not what you want to hear but worth taking a check point.

I know easier said than done but think of it as a rut, you will get out of it and before you know it you have dc2!! grin

People used to tell me the baby stage goes very fast to enjoy it, I didn't believe them, but it's true! my 2 are 8 and 5 now life is so much easier but I do miss them being small..... Sigh!

babyboomersrock Mon 14-Apr-14 13:12:23

DP was unwell for DD1's first year so I, like you, felt very alone and at times deeply resentful, despite knowing that was just how it had to be

But the OP's DP isn't ill, as far as I know. He is just finding it difficult. He is working part-time, so why can't he help more? I really don't understand.

OP, you should not be at the end of your tether like this, and still worrying about how to "look after" your DP when he is tired. It isn't your job to look after him.

If you're both working part-time, I can't see why he doesn't do his share. Why on earth is he so tired?

mg6543 Mon 14-Apr-14 14:08:59

OP your title sums it up but it's not just your temper. When tired I can't do anything the same. I'm only going to be speaking from my experience. Honestly, the key is sleep and eating well...(yes, thanks for that many will probably say) but honestly, even though it sounds obvious so many take it for granted. So much so that when I hear other parents saying my partner doesn't help, I realise that this is not healthy and causes an extra strain on your relationship and something else for you to worry about. This is a knee jerk reaction to a thought process that probably goes something like "I can't cope and I need help and the one who is closest to me can't seem to get me out of this situation". So we vent our anger and pass blame. Honestly, the number of times I have blamed my partner (or even my parents) and vice versa and only when you get through it all do you realise when you look back that we were both being unfair to each other. Therefore my advice would be, I know you're tired but firstly remember and keep reminding yourself to not take it out on your partner and scream "I wish you would do more to help". Although I'm sure there are many who could do more, there are also many who are genuinely as tired, worried, angry and don't know what to do either. Plus it doesn't help as no one is going to say, "you know what, you're right. I am a waste of space and should do more to help you". They will naturally defend themselves. Obviously each relationship is different but if you feel that your relationship was fine before you had children then remember that you do love each other and be calm to each other and know that it won't last...I PROMISE! [SMILE] I think what peacefuleasyfeeling & addictedtosugar stated is really useful. If you can, work on the same timetable as your baby for eating and sleeping, as often getting that few hours uninterrupted sleep is a godsend. Also when you do get a calm moment for yourself talk to your partner in a calm manner and see what you can both do to help each other. One thing that I find helps is take it in turns (if you can) on who gets up in the night one night and then switch the following night. When our baby use to cry we both kind of took it turns during the same night but this meant that we both woke up cranky or better yet had those middle of the night arguments, when baby is crying and you're both yelling. It's much better if only one of you is tired each day then both of you on the same day. I don't know...I hope I've helped. Just felt for you as have been there myself and can only speak from experience.

Spacetravel Mon 14-Apr-14 14:56:51

mg6543 I think you're right. I don't want to constantly have a go at my DH. He is a good person, we are just both caught up in a difficult situation and neither of us is getting enough sleep.

Eating well is important, too - I keep forgetting that. The temptation is to eat chocolate and sugar all day in order to keep me going. But I will try to eat more healthily in order to give my body a break.

Unfortunately, where we are right now we have no family or friends who can help, and nowhere for the baby to sleep apart from in our tiny bedroom. I am feeling less desperate today so I am going to talk to DH tonight and see if we can make a plan for the next few days.

Koothrapanties Mon 14-Apr-14 15:10:52

I completely lost my cool head this morning. Dd woke repeatedly through the night and then was up for the day stupidly early. By the morning I could have happily screamed shut up at her, and that is not like me at all. I'm ashamed to say that I had to ignore her for a while to give me time to pull myself together.

I put her down with toys to play with and made myself a coffee. After I had it (she moaned at me the whole time) I picked her up and gave her a cuddle. I smelt her hair and skin and reminded myself just how much I do love her, even though I as so tired because of her. It brought me back to the present and helped me get into a better frame of mind.

I don't know if that helps at all, but I managed to get into a much better mood. Before that I could have walked out the door and left her here to be honest. It has been a long run of shitty nights sleep and I'm reaching my limit. I just need to take each day as it comes to be honest.

I hope things get better for you op.

mg6543 Mon 14-Apr-14 16:10:49

OP that's great! Yes, it is difficult when there is no family or friends to help. I hope all goes well. Keep us posted. Not sure if you find Michael McIntyre's humour funny but this sketch always makes me laugh and sometimes a laugh is just what we need to help get through it all:

FarToGo Mon 14-Apr-14 20:11:12

I too have a 9 month old (daughter) who has forgotten how to sleep! We also currently live in a 1 bed so it feels as if there is no respite for any of us, there is no space, no hideout, well maybe apart from the bathroom!
Her sleeping went to buggery about a month or so ago. My husband has almost permanently decamped to the sofa bed as she wakes so often and I mainly feed back to sleep or bring her in with me just to get some rest.
She has terrible separation anxiety despite me being with her constantly (shes also a bottle/cup refuser so I can't leave her!)
I'm ashamed to say my temper has got the better of me lately, I shouted 'just effing shut up!' at her the other day and her face crumpled and she sounded so heartbroken that her mummy was shouting at her..... Oh god I feel just bloody awful every time I think about that....

I have no advice to give you but know that you are not alone!
It's bloody hard and don't try to do it all yourself (I could do with taking some of my own advice)

When we stop BF there'll be winewinewine xx

BertieBotts Mon 14-Apr-14 20:18:44

I think sometimes you do just have to go to bed when the baby goes to bed and hang the rest of life for a while. It's exhausting but it passes.

Nothing wrong with breastfeeding to sleep. I would co sleep if it will get you more sleep. You could also look up Dr. Jay Gordon's nightweaning method if you want to stop the night feeds, although it requires patience - maybe try to catch up on sleep before attempting that.

Be kind to each other, you and DH, sometimes it takes one of you to make the first move and say, look, we're both tired and shitty but can we try to appreciate that it's hard for both of us? Instead of being angry at him for being tired try being sympathetic. Sometimes it's nice to hear someone say "I know love, it's awful isn't it, I'm dead on my feet as well." and it's more likely to remind him you're suffering with it too. If you get defensive you'll both be on the defensive and that's not helping. (Of course if he's actually not pulling his weight this doesn't apply but I think you're both just shattered)

nappyrat Mon 14-Apr-14 20:24:03

Space, a big hug if support from me - I was in your EXACT position about 3 months ago. It was hell. It does end, it really does.

As for the feeding to sleep - every mother has done it & you bloody well do it until you can face not doing it! Sometimes good enough is good enough! Fight one battle at a time! And right now you have enough on without stressing about the boob to sleep issue. It's pretty easy to solve that one further down the line.

I definitely 2nd the idea of walking away with LO safely in cot if you find yourself getting v wound up. It will do him no harm in the long run.

Is there anywhere at all you can pop ds in cot rather than your room...? Bathroom? Anywhere! wink I found that helped...but failing that then you already sound like you're on the up, and at least your DH although knackered is helping. Mine bloody didn't and that was almost as bad as the hard work with the baby.

Seriously you sound like you are doing so so well I'm very difficult circumstance so please cut yourself some slack & be kind to yourself. And remember, a poorly, tired, unhappy mum is no good for baby so you have to make sure you look after yourself too.

Hug! X

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