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Bad Mother Brigade

138 replies

bloss · 19/05/2002 12:23

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OP posts:

JoAnne427 · 19/05/2002 13:02

Poor Bloss! And you did not waste 20 minutes here - I think it is incredibly important (and brave!) for you to take the time to write this.

It sounds exhausting - it is difficult enough to mother/bf a newborn (while having a 2/yo!) but add on to it money issues, and family illness - you've got almost all the major stressors possible going on right now! Wish there was something I could do to help you...

Do you have any friends in the area who can pitch in and give you a couple of hours to yourself? Or even some other moms you could vent to - I think there is so much pressure to be the "perfect" mom - when in reality what you are experiencing is probably right in the norm!

Must run - just heard a crash upstairs! I'm sure I haven't helped much - but thinking of you and hope you get even just a small break soon!


Mooma · 19/05/2002 13:22

Bloss - sending cyberhugs. Hang on in there and come here to rant when it's all too much!
My ds (child no 4) was as you describe dd, on the go the whole time, highly strung, energetic. I used to think, well, he must be learning a lot, since he's never asleep. Now aged 6, he's as bright as they come, and will play for hours with construction toys, happy with his own company. As the wise woman once said, this too will pass.


janh · 19/05/2002 13:31

Oh, bloss, your poor thing, what a lot of things piled up on top of you all at once, no wonder you are so pissed off (are we allowed to say that here?)

A couple of hopefully helpful thoughts - do you have a doorway bouncer for dd? She sounds like the perfect candidate for one, upright, looking around, exercising legs etc, I suspect that technically she is slightly young for one but she is obviously strong enough, in back and legs, and would probably love it. (It might wear her out enough to sleep a bit more too?)

Re ds's horrible nappies - sounds like teething - all of mine went through this stage (more than once) disgusting smell, red raw bot, nothing seems to help, but it does go away.

I am so sorry about your FIL - I never know how anybody copes with this sort of thing.

You have got a lot on your plate and you are entitled to feel the way you do! I don't suppose it's any consolation to be told that It Will Pass...I was the same at about the same stage, 2 small kids, horrible house, no garden, not enough money - nobody dying though - getting through that will take a while. I hope you can find the occasional scrap of energy for your poor DH. I don't suppose any of this helps at all but anyway I am thinking of you, down there, upside down.


janh · 19/05/2002 13:32

Mooma, I promise I had not seen your post when I said "I don't suppose it's any consolation"!!!


Tigger2 · 19/05/2002 13:46

Bloss, any cahnce of getting DD into Nursery and onto the bottle in one foul swoop??. You sound so stressed out, pissed off, fed up, and as if you really want to give someone a good slap!
I can only suggest that you try and get your daughter onto the bottle and take some of the pressure off yourself, is she taking any solids yet, like pureed fruit or some baby porridge?
You can tell how you are feeling, had this about well its 3 years ago now, just had had enough of all that was going on around me and what was expected of me, one thing please do not forget that you are a person as well and you have your life and needs as well, tell yourself you are oh whatever your name is, i'll say Bloss. Do you have any close friends around you, what is you Health Visitor like, as they might be able to suggest ways of having time to yourself and making life easier for you as well. I am deeply sorry about your FIL, please hang in there and feel free to rant at any rate. If you want you can email me, if you want to post up here and i'll let Justiner and Carrie know that you can have my email address, albeit the other side of the world.

Take care


Enid · 19/05/2002 13:56

Bloss, no constructive advice other than that the door bouncer sounds like a good idea, and I second Tiggers advice about maybe trying a bottle, even if its of expressed milk that dh could give dd. I couldn't believe how much I perked up once I gave up bf dd (at 6 months). It really took some of the pressure off.

Just lots of love and sympathy and remember, you WILL get through it! Any chance of a night off with your girlfriends?


mears · 19/05/2002 14:50

Bouncers from the door are great as long as your toddler doesn't get hold of it like mine did! Just make sure they are dangling from a door frame that is inaccessible ie. toddlers kept away by stairgate in another room.
As far as bottles are concerned i think the last thing you need is having to add sterilization of equipment and making up of feeds to your already stressed life. Having has 3 children under 5 at one point I can totally sympathise with you. This horrible ime will pass - 13 weeks is a frustrating age for an enquisative baby. Get her propped up if that is what she likes. My third ds was like that and I had him propped up in the silver cross pram wth reins on and strategic pillows. He would fall asleep sitting upright which got some funny looks. Do you have a baby gym for entertainment?
Do you go to a mother and toddler group? I made friends there and we babysat for each other at times to get a break. You sound as though you need other adult conversation during the week.
Hope you manages to get a bit of outside support. Hang in there, it will get better.


WideWebWitch · 19/05/2002 18:44

Bloss, poor you, sounds horrible. I just wanted to say that you are not a bad mother for feeling like you do. I know that feeling of dread at the thought of being on your own again when it's nearly Monday and I've only got one ds. I never knew what to do if playgroup was cancelled: I dreaded a whole unbroken day just the two of us alone.

So IMO it's not at all surprising that you're fed up: you've got two children at demanding ages, plus you're not getting any sleep, plus your FIL is ill so I can imagine that DH is having a hard time emotionally. And looking after small children is often boring, I agree with you there!

It probably all seems much worse because of the lack of sleep. I know that for me, not getting enough sleep means that every problem is magnified.

Could you join a mother and toddler group and meet some other mums? Maybe then you could take it in turns to give each other a break sometimes? I was so relieved once I met some other mums near me and used to be incredibly grateful when one of them called to ask us to the park or whatever. Just talking about it and getting some adult company helped me a lot.

Also, one of the quickest routes to hysteria for me is worrying about the state of the house, so I've decided I won't It's not the end of the world if my kitchen is a state as long as it's not actually going to poison us!

Someone said that you don't have to be a perfect mother, you just have to be a good enough mother. It sounds to me as if you are but your cirumstances are conspiring to get you down. Don't know if any of this helps but good luck.


Adelaide · 19/05/2002 19:01

Bloss, I know just how you feel - went through a very similar phase when 2 boys were newborn and coming up to 2. Have another due in 7 weeks (will have 3 under 4) and reading your message has bought it all flooding back and I am absolutely petrified truth be known (3 seemed like such a good idea at the time!). Added to which my miracle sleeper has just learnt to climb out of bed and will not go to sleep without at least an hours in and out of bed mucking about and them gets up in the night for much of the same (2 hoursworth last night), goes without saying he is then tired and grumpy and horrible the next day! My dp just told me that this morning our 3 yo asked him why Mummy was grumpy all the time! I feel sooooooooooooooooo bad. I know things will get better but it's f hard while you're going through it. Thinking of you. Best advice I can give - make sure you get out.


aloha · 19/05/2002 19:31

Any chance of finding some part time work? Or another way of funding a bit of childcare for both children? Or is there anyone in your family/friends who can take the baby out so you can do something for yourself? Or can you just get out more with both of them so at least it's not just you, two kids and four walls? I think most of us feel like this sometimes. I'm so tired lately I feel sick. And I only have the one. I have no idea how anyone copes with two, and can only imagine how unpleasant I would be with even more sleep deprivation etc.


ChanelNo5 · 19/05/2002 19:55

bloss - I'm not surprised you're feeling overwhelmed at the moment, you've certainly got alot going on in your life to deal with. And as for "Bad mother brigade", well that's definitely not you! If anything you're suffering from being too good a mum and putting everyone elses needs before your own wellbeing, which inevitably ends up suffering. It is extrememly hard work having a baby and toddler, I remember those days when I really thought I was going under. I know the others have already said it, but things really will get easier as the children get older, so in your darkest hour just hang on to this thought. Also, don't expect too much of yourself. It really doesn't matter if the ironing pile is up to the ceiling (mine is!) or the kids toys are all over the house (mine are!) Nobody is going to think badly of you for it and you shouldn't think badly of yourself either. I know how difficult it is to try to give each child the individual attention you would like to, but at the end of the day, they are well-looked after and well-loved and you are doing your best for them.
If I remember rightly, mine went through difficult, demanding phases about 13 weeks-ish. They don't just want to sleep all day anymore and want to be entertained, but aren't very good at entertaining themseves yet. I used to keep mine amused by sitting them in the rocker chair and putting the baby gym in front of it. The bouncer is a good thing to try too especially as your dd has good, strong legs, but keep a close eye on her as sometimes they go mad and nearly take off into orbit! Could you sit her in front of the TV if she'd watch it (something like Teletubbies) might give you a few minutes peace?
Sounds to me like your ds is doing funny teething poos too. Mine did horrible ones when they were (still are!) teething which burnt their bums. Make sure you have lots of nappy rash cream stocked up. Don't know if you can get Metanium in Oz, but that's a great one to try. Many 2 yr olds go through a biting phase and to complicate things, your ds has just got a new baby sis so is probably feeling a bit jealous and insecure anyway. Keep on with your discipline and he'll soon learn that this is something that he can't do. Equally, really praise him up when he does something good (will make him and you feel much better)
How awful for you all having to go throught the terrible experience of having a loved one who is terminally ill. Is your FIL in a hospital or hospice? If so, I'm sure that they would be able to offer your dh support/counselling which may help him to cope with and accept what is happening. He may not be keen to try it,but if you could persuade him to at least give it a go, I'm sure it would help him.
Try to allow yourself a bit of time each day too. Even if it's just 10 mins having a soak in the bath or reading the newspaper, it will do you good.
I hope what I've written makes you feel a bit better about things. Just remember that being a mum is the hardest job in the world, but you are doing your best and that's all you can do. Give yourself a break, you're coping with things fantastically well. Feel free to come on to mumsnet when you need a rant, we're all here for you. Take care x


cerys · 19/05/2002 20:03

Hi Bloss

I have been wondering how you are getting on and I also think you are extraordinarily brave to admit to what I expect a lot of mothers secretly feel.
About a year ago I rang you and we spoke for about an hour about my DDs crap sleeping habits. You were really kind and supportive (even though you didn't know me) and your advice helped a lot. I know that you were equally helpful to other mums from the various baby sites, even though you had a busy life yourself.
So, although I haven't any practical advice (I am expecting again in 3-4 weeks and may well be echoing some of your feelings in a couple of months) - please don't give yourself a hard time. You have had some major changes over the last year and I am so sorry to hear about your FiL. Be kind to yourself, see if there is anything you can change e.g. the odd bottle feed, or someone to look after DD for a while - anything to give YOU a break.
take care and sending you big hugs!!!!


Marina · 19/05/2002 20:38

Bad Times Brigade, maybe. Bad Mother Brigade, never. Bloss, one of the wisest and most interesting posters on this site? Bloss, the persuasive advocate for Gina Ford and Christianity?
You are having an awful time and I send you cyberhugs in the absence of any useful advice that has not already been contributed, but you are not a bad mother...just an honest, thoughtful, exhausted and pressurised one.
I hope things will get better for you soon - some of the circumstances will improve, some will resolve themselves. I think expressing and metanium will definitely help you, and would you think I was an unspeakable polluter of the planet if I suggested you switched to disposables for a few weeks? Less washing to do.


sobernow · 19/05/2002 20:47

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jasper · 19/05/2002 21:53

Bloss can I sign up for the bad mother brigade?
May I suggest it should be renamed the New Baby Brigade?
Having a new baby is a funny thing...( mine is 3 weeks younger than yours).
You anticipate it so keenly, usually suffer pregnancy discomfort to some small or large extent, then go through childbirth( enough said) then if you are like me and I understand you are in this respect, struggle with breastfeeding, sort of get that sorted out and are left with the daily grind of looking after baby and possibly other kids.
You've go to wonder why we do it sometimes. And the funny thing is when you get on your feet a bit you may well start thinking "wouldn't it be nice to have another baby?"
It WILL get better.

Just a thought, everything you describe is normal I'm sure, but is there any chance you may be sufferring from PND ?


Demented · 19/05/2002 22:34

Bloss don't beat yourself up about it. It sounds like you are having a tough time just now, but your not a bad mother. When DS was a small baby I used to spend my time looking out the window for DH coming home from work, as if watching would make it happen any quicker. I don't think anyone can ever understand what it is like to be at home all day with a young baby, including our DHs, until you have been there. If it's a bad day it's the toughest thing in the world!


charliesmummy · 19/05/2002 22:51

Bloss - read your post and it just reminded me of everything most of us feel most of the time - the difference is you expressed it and with your ususal eloquence. YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER, anymore than any one of us is.

Try expressing as Enid said, or some bottle some you?. You are not alone in all of your feelings - if you have the energy (!) read your relevant Gina Chapter. Big long far away hug from England to you. x


cherry · 19/05/2002 22:58

First of all, I would sit dh down and tell him straight, I can't give you the attention you need right now, this is how it is: (insert what you have told us here). A few months ago I was suffering from depression, ok it was a different situation to yours but at the end of the day dh is the one you need to tell. I bet you felt better just for getting it of your chest at Mumsnet didn't you? Believe me pouring it all out to dh as soon as you get time alone WILL help... and sod the dishes/washing/ironing/cleaning/tidying. I put off talking to my better (?) half for weeks and it was indescribable relief telling him how I was feeling, and helping him understand why I felt that way. You are NOT a bad mother, just a mother having a bad time as we all do x


Jasper · 20/05/2002 00:11

Bloss, just had another thought, on a purely practical level re. your dd wanting to "stand " all the time. How about a baby walker?
I know they are very out of fashion and in fact considered dangerous by some but you have reminded me my dd was just like this and from a very early age we sat her in a baby walker ( given second hand by a friend) and she LOVED it -it allowed her to be in the prefered standing position without me having to always hold her up.

I am sure they are perfectly safe if not used near steps or open fires.
Hope you are feeling a bit better.


honeybunny · 20/05/2002 06:48

CybeRhugs from me too Bloss. Sorry things are looking bleak ATM. Know partly how you feel. DS1 18months and DS2 5weeks. Been up since 3am myself. DS2 fed and changed and reluctant to settle. Listened to him chuntering on for an hour before finally settling after being reswaddled. Then get to listen to dh snoring like a b**y fog horn in my ear for another hour, before giving up trying to sleep completely and come on line. Feeling shattered, with a long day stretching ahead on my own. dh unlikely to be back from work until late. Now wished I tried a bit harder to catch a few zzzzs, or just got on with chores in peace and quiet!

Sorry, meant to offering support, and end up moaning about myself. The walker does sound like a good idea from Jasper.

Hope things get better for you.


susanmt · 20/05/2002 09:39

Just some more (((HUGS))) and sympathy as much as anything from me too bloss. My ds is 15 weeks and feeding constantly and my dd is just past 2 and very demanding.
Just a thought - because it has happened to me twice - could you have pnd, even mildly? Goodness knows your situation would make anyone feel bad, but could it be worth a visit to the doctor just to check yourself out?
I could sympathise with everything you said about your children, my ds is as demanding as your dd about the upright thing, and it is driving me crazy, with toddler whinging to do something when I cant because if I put ds down he'll scream ........ it all sounded so familiar. So don't label yourself a bad mother (although I know how tempting it is) because as you can see from this, we all end up feeling this way sometimes.
I'll be thinking of you, love Susan XXX


ScummyMummy · 20/05/2002 11:14

Oh Bloss, you have all my sympathy. It sounds like things are feeling dreadful for you right now. You?ve got SO much on your plate- new baby, older baby adjusting to sibling, FIL dying and the effect that must be having on you all, especially Dh. It?s no wonder you?re not feeling on top form. Also, sleep deprivation is no joke even when things are running relatively smoothly.

I think one of the most trying things about babies and children is that they attempt things way beyond their capacity and then expect you to help but object to the help you offer? And a few attempts at doing things of which they?re eminently capable wouldn?t go amiss either? (And if mine would use their words instead of making silly noises that grate on my eardrums I would be a happy person and if they could stop hitting and screaming at each other for an hour a day or so I would be extraordinarily delighted.) I suppose it?s how they learn etc etc etc but Lord it can make for stress and guilt.

I think you possibly need to think about:

*getting some help- is there any one who could give you a bit of a break? Is your Mum very busy atm? Have you any friends who could help?

*getting out and about- are there any post natal groups you could pop along to while ds is at nursery? It?s so easy to become isolated after the birth of a new baby.

*talking to someone- health visitor, GP? DH, definitely. I know he must be under tremendous pressure already but maybe he could think of some ways to help. They?re his kids too and I bet your well-being is near the top of his priority list. It certainly should be.

*finding some kind of job or voluntary work in the near future, if that?s possible.

I wish there was more I could suggest. I?ve been thinking about your post for a while. The only other thing I?d say is that these kinds of feelings are far from unusual. I?d echo what others have said about the honesty and bravery of your words. And, though I fundamentally oppose the idea of you belonging- as it sounds to me like you are battling valiantly through a very hard time rather than showing any signs at all of bad mothering- I?LL definitely join the BMB! I?ve just had the morning from hell with my 2 and am feeling guilty for feeling profoundly cross with them continuously since 4am- on being awoken by a little voice asking if it was morning time yet. I think I?ve proved my inadequacy as a parent many times over this morning especially when said cross feelings erupted in the form of muttered ? and not muttered- mean, tired words when a calm, firm response would?ve been far more appropriate. This isn?t a typical start to the day, but it?s not unknown either, unfortunately- as soon as one of them disturbs us prior to 6.30am I feel as if I might as well write off the chance of a smooth enjoyable morning. I know I won?t be happy to see them when I finally give in to the inevitable and drag myself from my pit because I?ll be tired and crotchety and short on sympathy and empathy.

For them, that is. For you, I?ve got lots and wish you all the luck and cyberhugs in the world. I hope you feel better very soon. Take care. xxxxx


CAM · 20/05/2002 11:22

Youe are NOT a bad mother, you feel this way BECAUSE you care so much about your family! This makes you a GOOD mother (and person) so please try not to feel bad about yourself. With all that is happening in your life, it is very hard to have small children as they take all your energy just by being there! Anything else that happens just adds to the strain. All us mothers know what you are going through. Don't feel that you alone in this, you are not. Most of us just "muddle through" thinking that one day we will be on top of everything but that is a bit of an impossible dream when you are a parent (of any age group, really). Hope I haven't made you feel worse only trying to offer you understanding and support.


bossykate · 20/05/2002 12:29

don't have anything to add to the advice and support already given - except you definitely don't come across as a bad mother from your posts on this site, completely the reverse!

hope some of the things mentioned here are a possibility for you. best of luck and hope you feel better soon


jodee · 20/05/2002 13:11

Hi Bloss, so sorry you are feeling rotten - can't add any more words of advice but as has been said already, you are a wonderful, caring mother trying to do her very best for her family - if you were a BAD mother then you wouldn't be giving two hoots about them, and don't feel guilty for spending time sharing your feelings on here, that's what Mumsnet is for - I don't know what I would do without it!
I hope it's OK if I say a prayer for some encouragement?
Sending hugs xx

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