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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:
Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:56


OP posts:
MarshaBradyo · 09/05/2021 09:56

Don’t feel guilty, get a break and time.

I have a 3.5 year old who has used part time nursery since 3ish and it’s good for her and me.

OnlyFoolsnMothers · 09/05/2021 09:56


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

Yep! I miss full house cleans with my fav show on and an hrs gym with a coffee in peace afterwards.
Peace43 · 09/05/2021 09:57

It gets better! I’m lying in bed with DD eating Sunday morning croissants and watching telly. She’s 10 and my little Buddy.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 09:57

@SinkGirl I’m sorry, that must be really hard, I agree I would never be without her

OP posts:
Viviennemary · 09/05/2021 10:00

Could you send her to a play group before September even two mornings a week. And what about a change of routine in the evenings. An earlier tea and a short walk in the fresh air. If she's jumping around at bedtime it might be too early.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 10:00

@Peace43 That sounds lovely 💜I guess with the no sleep she’s just so hyper and full on at the moment, we’ve had those little moments sat together on the sofa, watching a film, that just don’t last very long 🤣

OP posts:
Lweji · 09/05/2021 10:00

I'd really try to get help with her sleep.
My DS didn't sleep much, or at all at 3 during the day, but he did and still needs his sleep at night.
One factor might be that when she's put to bed she's already too tired. Unless you already put her to bed at 6pm I might try to a little earlier.

Another factor is the bed routine. It needs to be relaxing and happy. I used to make almost a game of it with DS, so that the whole tooth brushing, putting on pjs, etc was full of laughter. Sometimes we got a bit physical and then wound up quickly to a more quiet state, and I'd stay a bit with him, chatting about the day, telling a story, just quiet and in the dark.

My point is that if she's stressed and hyperactive, it may help to join her and have a quick active period, that is enjoyable for both, some good hearty laughs, and then winding down will probably be easier, due to the feel good molecules released.

Same during the day.
When DS got too annoying, I'd grab a book and we'd sit quietly on the sofa reading a book.
It still works as he's a teenager, to defuse bad moods to get a laugh somewhere.

They need and crave positive attention and sometimes all they manage is to create negative attention. It's our job to see past that and turn it into positive attention.

It's not easy, though. Because every new stage throws you off and when you think you've cracked it, then everything changes. Grin

But working towards giving positive attention, IME, is the most reliable strategy.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 10:02

@Viviennemary I think it’s because she’s over tired, she’s so hyper. We often take the dog in the woods by our house around 6, but she complains to walk as is tired, when well rested, would run around

OP posts:
Lweji · 09/05/2021 10:02

As for leisurely breakfasts, I'm afraid you'll have to wait for the teenage years and then you'll complain that she's oversleeping. Wink

Smithermetimbers · 09/05/2021 10:05

Prioritise sleep for all of you. Get that sorted and you will probably find you’re all in a better mood and enjoy one another’s company much more. Sleep deprivation is awful and affects your whole life and outlook.

Eggyquiche · 09/05/2021 10:06

@Lweji Yes, when she’s happy and not overtired etc, she loves to go to bed and have stories, cuddle up and so on. But when she’s overtired, all hell breaks loose! We have to be very calm with her and it’s a nightmare tbh. But without that day nap, this is the usual scenario, but I can’t force her to nap.
We’re wondering if she’s still suffering with her back teeth, or is she a little too old for this, does anyone know? She’s 2 years and 10 months old.

OP posts:
Undersnatch · 09/05/2021 10:06

I think these kind of threads often go either way, lots of support and validation for how you feel, or lots of judgement and guilt tripping. I think it’s so important to just own these feelings, it does not make you a bad person or bad mother. At all. Many people can relate to you and the sense of how easy life was before. But also you will grow and mature through these hardships. Mine are 5 and 2 and I have felt like you describe often. It’s getting less and I think I am maturing in the sense of my own boundaries, like how much can I give everything to my kids and follow their lead, and when is the tipping point that I am not able to do that without being exhausted and ratty.

I now think if there’s something going on with your kids that makes you feel really fed up or even resentful, it’s a sign that things have to change. Those feelings are human but not good for you or kids. So sleep is one of them - maybe it’s time to help her learn to fall asleep alone. For many parents it’s fine to go with the child’s way as it doesn’t impact too much, but when you are so exhausted and it is then, then time to change. Sorry that’s a rant! Best of luck.

OrchidLass · 09/05/2021 10:07

@Eggyquiche I felt like you. Had DS late, closely followed by unplanned DD. The first few years were a bit of a blur and I did miss our 'old' life. But when sleep was sorted and other little things (that are actually huge things when you're exhausted) fell into place it did become easier. Now DS is 17 and talking about which university he'd like to go to next year and I'm absolutely heartbroken to even think about him leaving. I don't show it of course and I'm enthusiastic and want it to be amazing for him, but god I think I'll lose a bit of my heart when he goes.

JeanClaudeVanDammit · 09/05/2021 10:08

Go back to work and get her in nursery. 3 is hard. I enjoy spending weekends and my non working day with my DD precisely because I don’t spend all day every day with her. At 3 she will probably really enjoy it too.

soberfabulous · 09/05/2021 10:09

OP don't feel bad, this is a normal reaction to a challenging situation.

We also live overseas so zero family help or support. Also had an incredible life pre child and the shock of a non sleeping screaming premature baby was huge.

We have a nanny; someone else mentioned she's the third parent in their house and I agree. She does all of the housework whilst our daughter is at school so my free time is focused on our daughter and my own life.

We chose to only have one child to also make our lives as simple as possible.

Our child was much wanted and the result of a very high risk dangerous pregnancy. I never felt I could say how hard it was.

It was so so tough. She's 7 now and a delight. My absolute reason for living.

Hang in there. Lean on us. It will get better.

SophieB100 · 09/05/2021 10:09

None of my three had naps at 3 years old. Well, my DS would nap after pre-school and even Reception for half an hour, but not longer.

I would: cut out the day time naps - start a slow wind down to bed time at about 5.30 (which you might think is early), but no dog walking then, just nice slow bath, read a book to her, bed by 7.00. Get her to bed before she's over-tired.
You or DH can take it in turns to walk the dog later.

When she settles into new routine - get a baby sitter scheduled for regular once a week date nights.

Yes the mornings are a nightmare - especially weekends - can you take it in turns, so Saturday's you have a lie-in, H does the early shift, then swap for Sunday?

It passes so quickly, but seems never-ending when you're permanently exhausted (I had 3 under 3 years old - I know what I'm on about!)

LH1987 · 09/05/2021 10:09

@Eggyquiche, sorry you are feeling a bit down. I have a 1 year old and almost every day I think how desperately I just want to sit in bed alone for 4/5 hours, I don’t want to be around her at times! I do love her very much!

In terms of the sleep situation, mine will not sleep at home unless I lie down with her. However in nursery happily sleeps in a cot. I think maybe someone else putting her asleep might actually help.

I hope it gets better!

Boondia · 09/05/2021 10:10

I miss coffee in bed with a newspaper and then a leisurely brunch on the weekends. Oh how I miss chilled out brunches 😭.

MNybvcx54 · 09/05/2021 10:11

I believe nothing really prepares you for life after having kids - I think if we were truly prepared and informed lots of us wouldn’t have them. You are grieving for your old life and that is totally ok - I still do too - quite often - and my kids are much older. By the time they move out I fear I will be too old and knackered to want to do any of “my” stuff! It gets slightly easier as they get older but your time is never your own again. There is a reason they are named “dependents”. A few snatched hours here and there if you have a babysitter does help but there is no spontaneity as you have to plan and book a sitter. Like you I don’t live near family so maybe that makes a difference but TBH it doesn’t make a huge difference from what I see with friends. This is the deal with being a parent, you have to put yourself last and it sucks a lot of the time. I don’t think the sleep issue is the only issue but it would help if that improves - it’s likely it will over time any way as with all things kids related..this too will pass. Hang in there, you are being a wonderful Mum I’m sure Flowers

Embracelife · 09/05/2021 10:14

Get a nanny or regular babysitter
If you don't have family nearby you have to pay.
If nothing else you need a back up in case either of you you get sick or accident
Ask other local families for recommendations
Start with day time baby sitting while you go out for lunch if you not confident with bedtime

TatianaBis · 09/05/2021 10:16


I think now summer is coming, we perhaps should think about a babysitter for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon/evening..the issue is sleep, she needs one of us to go to sleep and it can take a long time. I wouldn’t leave the poor babysitter with that job, but equally by the time we get her to sleep, it could be 9 and these days I don’t think we’d really be in the mood to go out then!

Yes you can. The babysitter can deal with her bedtime. You don’t even know she needs you to go to sleep as you don’t seem to have left her with anyone else yet.

Secondly, she needs some sleep training. The reason she’s taking so long to go to sleep is precisely because one of you is there.
MarshaBradyo · 09/05/2021 10:17

Btw my family is o/s so I see paying for time as important if you can

8monthsinandcranky · 09/05/2021 10:20

I can so relate to this.
Have a 14 month old DS and currently 34 weeks with DD. We wanted kids and didn’t expect it to be easy but ITS.SO.HARD

I’m lucky that DS sleeps well. Usually 8pm-6am but my lord he is full of beans through the day. Refuses to be contained, screams at/for everything and wants to be into everything all the time. He has no patience and will have a meltdown because I’m not spooning his food in fast enough Hmm or because (heaven forbid) I try to change his nappy Grin

Before we had him we thought our lives felt ‘empty’ but now all I remember is a wonderful haze of lie ins, freedom, travel, amazing food, culture and sweet sweet silence.

The thought of juggling 2 of them now makes me want to cry. When I got pregnant DS was 6 months and for some ridiculous reason we both assumed ‘the hardest bit was over’... neither of us had exposure to babies or small children before having them so we just didn’t know

Noshowlomo · 09/05/2021 10:20

Oh lovely. It’s the hardest job in the world. I spent the first 4 months with my son wishing we hadn’t had him and just wanting to go back to our old carefree lives, and this was after his sister was stillborn two years before so you can imagine how wanted he was. It is relentless but we have lovely family who help and he goes to a childminder two days a week as we work full time.
He’s now just gone two and things are so much better and he’s the light of my life. My friends felt the same as me, not necessarily at the start but at some stage. You do miss your old life... even popping to the shop seems like a luxury.
I know it will get better for you. It’s easier to say when I’m not in your situation but there is light I promise. I was just lucky as we had help xx

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