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To miss my old life so very much

225 replies

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:10

Adore our toddler Dd, had her late and waited a long time for her, but so miss our old life.
Most days are just a slog, hard work and with meltdowns. I usually wait for bedtime just to have a moment of peace. Even days out are pretty exhausting and just something to be got through. Of course there are lovely moments and I love her so much, but I was happier before overall 😥and I feel terrible saying that.
We live abroad so have no help at all, we’ve never been without her or on our own in almost 3 years.
Looking back, our life was a dream life. We’d wake whenever we wanted, have a leisurely breakfast, watch what we wanted on tv in peace, maybe head down to the beach, or we’d lounge around sunbathing in the garden, having lunch with wine and head to the beach for sunset and ocean swims.
Now, I generally get woken by a shouting Dd, complaining as she doesn’t sleep well. Dp and I rarely get on these days as it’s mainly about controlling Dd when she gets too hyper, we have no time for each other and are both exhausted. We can barely even talk to each other as Dd demands so much of our attention. She’s an amazing girl but has never slept well as she never wants to sleep. I now spend summer evenings May in bed trying to coax her to sleep whilst she jumps around.
I know I sound so awful, but our life before was so very different, filled with travel and leisure and love for each other, I cry at how much I miss that sometimes and then feel guilty.
I can’t believe how easy life was before kids.

OP posts:
Snowbind · 09/05/2021 09:33

Can you both take a day off work to catch up on sleep and have a nice lunch together? Or get a babysitter/friend with a small child (who you can do the same for in return) to stay with her once she’s in bed in the evening?

It’s ok, and really important, to take some time for yourselves!

WildfirePonie · 09/05/2021 09:33

Don't beat yourself up.
3 is a relentless age.

I miss pre child times but I'd be missing out on kids and that would be harder.

ThornAmongstRoses · 09/05/2021 09:34

Don’t feel guilty!!

I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old and me and DH love to fantasise about what our life would be like if we didn’t have children.

That’s not to say we don’t love our boys, they are everything and we wouldn’t be without them, but Good God life was easier and less hassle before they arrived.

My sister has got two children aged 12 and 15 so she’s now starting to her her own life back and I admit that I am jealous.

Shmithecat2 · 09/05/2021 09:34

I totally empathise OP. I desperately wanted my ds. We are 'older' parents, and we lived abroad when we had ds, so no support network as such. It was hard, and I often longed for our life pre dc - still do sometimes or quite a lot tbh. Ds is 5yo now, still doesn't sleep well, evenings are still not enjoyable, but it does get a bit easier. If you're able to hire some help, do. Don't feel bad or guilty about how you feel, you're not the only one.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:35

@Moirarose2021 Don’t have another?

OP posts:
Moirarose2021 · 09/05/2021 09:35

You may find she sleeps better when someone else puts her to bed, mine did

Moirarose2021 · 09/05/2021 09:36

Yes, because time makes things easier, if you have another this period which you find hard ( no judging, I did too and only have one) lasts longer

cptartapp · 09/05/2021 09:37

It is relentless. We had no help. No GP sleepovers. I put them in nursery pt at four and five months and went back to work.
Why make life harder than it has to be? Outsource some of it.

They're 18 and 16 now and no, you never get those moments back. But I feel I experienced more than enough.
We're all bonded well enough.

IndiaMay · 09/05/2021 09:38

A babysitter, nanny, aupair or nursery would be useful here. I cant imagine what it's like not to have any family about because I do think its important for parents to have time alone for the benefit of their relationship and also for the children to go somewhere else for long the periods of time without their parents.

I know a lot of people on mumsnet wont leave their kids for more than a night or sometimes even a night but I do think its important. When my sibling and I were young my mum was taken very ill suddenly and hospitalised for a long period of time. Of course my dad was there but he also had to work full time, visit my mum in the evenings etc. So both sets of my grandparents stepped in for weekends away, nights away. We were so used to spending time away with them that the whole period of time was quite easy for us to manage. I cant imagine how traumatic it would be to be a child who has never spent a night anywhere else and suddenly your mums in hospital and your somewhere else for the first time.

bridgetreilly · 09/05/2021 09:38

She will get older, OP. You will have those times again, but you’ll also have her.

dottiedodah · 09/05/2021 09:39

If she starts at Nursery in September that will be great I think .As an ex Nursery Teacher/Mum. I think there is a lot there to tire her out, in a way you just cannot do as parents really.Interaction with other Adults and Children ,starting on a little reading and so on .Maybe take that time for some morning Coffee together or just a child free walk!Many parents find life hard with small DC .Of course you love her ,but you need time to yourselves as well .Do not feel guilty ,you are just normal thats all!

andyindurham · 09/05/2021 09:39

Went through all of that, and still navigating it. DD is 4.5 now, nursery has been a life-saver for the last 18 months - if they'd stayed closed throughout COVID, all three of us would have cracked up. So nobody should feel like a bad parent for wishing that the little horror would just go away for a bit.

It does change. From an early age we had DD in groups like baby yoga, where parents were expected to sit in and get involved. Now she's just starting to go to groups and classes where parents aren't expected to sit in and I can have 45 minutes in the car with a book and a coffee. She's learning a bit of independence and starting to amuse herself at home for short periods without being dumped in front of a screen (yeah, we're dreadful parents and we let her watch Paw Patrol so we can cook the dinner). It changes, and each change solves some of the old problems and brings a whole bunch of new ones, just for fun.

Something else that helps us is to spend some time with one parent taking DD out for a bit. Doesn't need to be anything more elaborate than a walk to the park, a play on the swings and a trip to the cafe (DD has loved cafes since forever, and will behave on pain on not being allowed to go again). Meanwhile, other parent has a few hours to do his or her stuff (or lie in a darkened room and wail, which can be very therapeutic) without endless demands for attention.

SpiderinaWingMirror · 09/05/2021 09:40

Just get some help.
It is genuinely as easy as that. Babysitters are paid to look after children. They wont batt and eyelid if little miss doesn't trot off to bed.
And you may find that she behaves beautifully for the baby sitter.
Just do it. Start with a couple of hours in the afternoon.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:40

The issue is definitely sleep related, she struggles to nap during the day on and off but clearly needs it as is terrible without enough sleep. Then she’s often too tired by 7 for us to go anywhere (children here stay up much later in the summer but nap in the afternoon) I’m trying to get her back to her old summer routine of longer afternoon naps and up later in the evenings so she can be tired out running and playing on the beach in the evenings, which she loves. But she’s too tired by then so it’s unfair to take her out 🤷🏻‍♀️

OP posts:
maddiemookins16mum · 09/05/2021 09:41

Honestly Op, another 2-3 years it will be totally different. The change in little ones between 3 and 5 is huge.

MarshaBradyo · 09/05/2021 09:42

You need that nursery break it will improve the situation

You’ll still have plenty of time together

Lemonelderflower · 09/05/2021 09:43

I’m obviously commenting from a British perspective but does she really need a nap at 3? Wouldn’t it be easier to cut the daytime nap and then go to bed earlier and give you your evenings back?

BigSandyBalls2015 · 09/05/2021 09:47

I think if you sorted her sleep out you would feel much better, you’d get your evenings back and start to feel a bit more human again.

How you do that though is another matter! A sleep specialist?

Boondia · 09/05/2021 09:48

Sounds similar to me. We are very isolated and babby groups and nurseries have been shut since she was 3 months, she’s now 18 months and I get burned out. Nursery, get a babysitter and be really strict about getting her to sleep. We don’t have options around childcare atm so her sleeping is essential to my wellbeing.

I miss my old life as well, love DC to bits but tbh I had an easygoing life and dear god do I miss it. I can’t really have a conversation with my DH while little one is awake. Theres no slack in the day. We are both knackered much of the time (older parents)

I don’t think it’s unusual to feel the way you do, even for people with more family etc around. I hear they start becoming a bit easier around 5. Hang in there!

SinkGirl · 09/05/2021 09:48

We have no family help either - we have twins and both are disabled and until they started specialist school recently we had no respite at all. Most of my friends with kids the same age have a lot more freedom now and at least can look to the future when their kids are older for being able to do those things more often but that seems unlikely for us. It’s really difficult but I love them so much and can’t imagine going back.

Definitely think you need to find a baby sitter, there’s no reason you can’t.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:48

@Lemonelderflower It would be fine without the nap but she’s clearly still tired without it, fell asleep at 8 last night (went to bed at 7-teeth, stories etc) then woke at 7..but she’s grouchy and bad tempered. When she has a couple of hours in the day aswell, the difference in her is huge.

OP posts:
OnlyFoolsnMothers · 09/05/2021 09:51

There is no solution as everything you say is true - you miss being selfish, you can’t be selfish with children really- the odd few hours here and there but raising children is a slog. Older mothers would obviously find this a greater shock to the system. Is what it is, sorry to say suck it up’

Sarahandco · 09/05/2021 09:52

Where do you live that summer exists?

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:54

I do feel so guilty though as love her so much and have days when I’m truly overcome with that love and so happy, exhausted but so happy.
It was just a different happiness before, so slow, relaxed and easy..!
I usually feel it on Sunday mornings, the slowness, the hot coffee and special breakfasts and actually wondering what to do that day, nice walk with the dog, read a few books, anything I wanted! I can’t imagine that now, that time to lie on the sofa all day watching films if we so wished, having a nap, listening to music..ALL THAT TIME

OP posts:
Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:55

@Sarahandco Summer lasts in a lot of places I guess 🤷🏻‍♀️

OP posts:
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