Can anyone talk? not doing so well today
teaspoonh · 18/03/2023 11:25
I’m a lone parent. My ex partner has said he may want to see dc at some point but he’s not ready yet. He has some problems but as he has a (very) decent job he’s been reasonable about finance (so far) and has been paying me 850 a month. Dc is now 5 months. I think he’s awful for not getting to grips with himself ASAP but I’ve tried to tread carefully as I hope in time they may have a relationship of sorts. He also made it clear when I was 12 weeks that he didn’t think he wanted to be a dad (unplanned and not been together that long, just a couple of years) and so I could have terminated but I didn’t want to, and I knew he may have been like this so I can’t really complain. We will never be a couple again (he was never around and worked non stop anyway) and im struggling with feeling like my child is suffering because I’m not doing as well as I could be if we were together.
What im doing ok… dc is always bathed, clean clothes, clean bedding, fed on demand, has lots of things to play with. I read with them once or twice a day for five or ten minutes so not very long. I do chat to them throughout the day. The material/basics are covered, I think. So the easy stuff really.
what I’m not doing so well is this… when I can I will go off and cook and leave them in front of the tv while they watch it and play. I will leave them to cry if I’m in the shower… spent a long time waiting for them to sleep to time it but it’s just not possible all the time and some days I’m so exhausted I can hear them crying but I just continue with my shower, I don’t even rush that much. I will leave them and watch tv while they are on the play mat. At night I will rock the crib to make them sleep again rather than feeding, though I think this is ok as they go back to sleep quite quickly so perhaps not waking up for food. In the mornings I will let them cry if I need ten mins to just open the curtains or think for myself for a few mins before getting up. He needs cream for under chin and it’s such a battle that I don’t always do it. I know it’s not life threatening but I feel like if I was in a couple it would always be done every time. I just feel if I was sharing the load I would be SO much better but I have to remind myself my ex partner would have helped maybe 20% as he was so engrossed in work. But still, that 20% might make me read a bit longer with dc etc.
I feel so rubbish about myself and can’t seem to drag myself out of it today. I can’t believe I’m someone who leaves my baby to cry when I’m feeling like I can’t face it. Can anyone talk? Feeling low and like this is it for me now, I’m already 36.
Anewuser · 18/03/2023 11:33
Sounds to me like you’re doing a great job.
Being a parent is hard, even harder if you’re single or have a partner not stepping up.
Babies are allowed to cry, that’s their communication but you don’t have to pick them up immediately every time. If a shower makes you feel better then you’re a better parent.
Try not to do the ‘if only’. You can’t change your partner leaving and you have no idea what it may have been like really. He could have been a real shit or you may have spent so much time arguing.
Don’t worry about not reading enough to your baby, they only need the warmth and touch of you being close. You could read mumsnet to them for all they care, they are listening to your sounds not the content.
Good luck and take care.
TooMinty · 18/03/2023 11:33
You need to get yourself some support - I had a husband, parents and in-laws around and I still found it overwhelming at times. Can you stay with your family for a bit? You might also have PND - your GP/midwife or Health Visitor should be able to help, please reach out to them. I found baby groups really helpful too, there was one in a nearby church plus a breastfeeding support group (if you are breastfeeding).
Patchworksack · 18/03/2023 11:37
What’s your support network like? Being lone parent to a baby is really tough. Do you go out to baby groups? They are a lot more about you getting some adult conversation than about entertaining baby at that age. Go for a walk every day and get some fresh air, often gets LO to sleep and will be helpful for your well-being too.
It comes across that you are very dispassionate about your baby and I wonder if you feel bonded? Have you considered that you might have PND?
teaspoonh · 18/03/2023 11:46
@Anewuser @Patchworksack @TooMinty Sorry have just tagged everyone for ease!!
I have quite a busy life I guess…I’ve always been able to keep myself entertained and I have quite a lot of friends. I try and see friends once or twice a week and that will take up most of the day, meet for 12, home by 7. Family do see dc but they are not the sorts to actually help practically really… they do enjoy seeing dc but it’s on their timeframe. Parents are always off doing things and have a busy life. I see my sibling fortnightly and she has a child too so that’s nice. We don’t live that close though hence why it’s fortnightly, sometimes weekly.
I have been to a few baby groups but I really don’t like them. I got nothing out of it really.
I think my main worry is that I’m not doing what I could if I had a partner. I am also terrified DC’s sleep is going to get worse, at the moment it’s feed at 11, feed at 5, wake up together at 9:30.
I see people taking their dc swimming for instance and whilst I will do most things, I can swim but absolutely hate the whole process. This is something I literally lie awake worrying about as who will take them? It’s this sort of thing that is bringing my down. Perhaps I am not bonded like a poster said? I do love dc and want the absolute best for them so I’m not convinced it’s that but could be I suppose.
shuddupayaface · 18/03/2023 11:54
It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job tbh!
I really recommend speaking to your health visitor as there’s so much support and services they can hook you up with. I have someone come round at once or twice a week, whether that’s OT, nursery nurse, Early Help people, and it’s just nice to have the company really. I’ve been recommended various groups to attend as well as counselling services l can self refer to.
I have twins (and a 3-year old) so it seems like there’s always at least one of them crying, and at first I felt so guilty but there’s no way around it sometimes so I had to just get used to it …and have good noise cancelling headphones for when it gets too much (as long as they’re all in sight) like when I’m changing or feeding one and the others are screaming for attention.
My ex was more of a burden than a help, even when trying his “best” unfortunately, so I’m actually much happier doing this alone than when he was around.
Patchworksack · 18/03/2023 11:55
Maybe it just feels like a huge responsibility that it’s all on you? It seems a bit out of perspective to be lying awake worrying who will teach a 5m old to swim. (From 3 or 4 they can have lessons without a parent in the water, if that helps)
glitterisntgendered · 18/03/2023 12:03
Lovely, you're doing amazing!! You don't need to take him swimming now, honestly I did and it's entirely pointless (and DS got repeated ear infections from it) take him when he's older and at school or nursery and you're getting a little space to yourself, it will literally make no difference.
It's ok to let him cry when you have other things to do, it really is. I'm surrounded by people who parent in different ways and there just isn't a difference between those kids.
You really are doing amazing.
glitterisntgendered · 18/03/2023 12:04
Ps my mum was a single parent and couldn't swim. I can swim just fine, she just took me to lessons as I got older
TooMinty · 18/03/2023 12:05
I think you are overthinking things and it's making you anxious? A baby doesn't need to go swimming, it's just a nice to have if you both enjoy it. You're probably overwhelmed by the thought of having to be everything for your child but that's not true, you will be most important for sure but when they are older a lovely nursery key worker or teacher will form a great relationship with them too. Or a good friend of yours or a nice neighbour. If your ex doesn't want to be involved it's his loss, but plenty of kids grow up without their dad involved but plenty of other adult role models and they turn out fine.
Luredbyapomegranate · 18/03/2023 12:06
You are doing a perfectly good job - sounds like you are holding yourself to unreasonably high standards and also fixating on the idea life would be easier in a couple - it only would if it was supportive. Lots of mothers get left to it. I also think that letting the baby get on with it because you need time out is no bad thing. You will see a lot of mothers here are superglued to their babies and it often breaks them, and clobbers their relationships.
That aside, you do sound very low. So please talk to your GP/HV about PND. I think you have that, probably compounded by a sense of abandonment.
Can you ask your family if they can help with a bit of babysitting, explaining that you are feeling very low and need some support. It may be that they would heLp if they knew?
It may also be useful to talk to your ex in those terms - that a couple of hours break would be welcome if he could take the baby. But I would keep your expectations low when it comes to him.
Get some help for your low mood / anxiety and cut yourself some slack.
Nimbostratus100 · 18/03/2023 12:09
You are over thinking! It sounds like you are doing a great job, chatting and interacting and playing is the most important things, and that is happening - taking out for walks, change of scene, new people and sights to look at,
It will get easier and harder and easier and harder, as you go through different stages, but this is one of the hardest and most intensive.
Best wishes xx
Isheabastard · 18/03/2023 13:57
You are in a very difficult situation and it’s no surprise you are finding it hard.
I had post natal depression, but it didn’t start till my Dd was 11 months old. I personally think it started when I stopped breastfeeding.
The big difference was I went from finding motherhood hard and relentless but I could cope, to it being hard, relentless and I couldn’t cope. I went on Prozac and felt better in two weeks.
Its very difficult when you are in the moment to know what matters and what doesn’t. But in the long term there are probably a lot of things that could slide at the moment. Housework, baby swimming etc.
I think the two most important things you can do is prioritise sleep and support/socialising for yourself.
Your DP has behaved badly and has abandoned you. If you find you are continually ruminating on that, it will not help you in the long run. Perhaps reframe it as all the wonderful things he is missing (but paying for). I know that is a hard ask, but it’s only because I could see myself going down that sort of rabbit hole.
Although I was married at the time, between his job and his own laziness, my husband hardly helped at all.
I remember lying on the sofa with the baby, in pain and high fever (from mastitis, but I didn’t know that’s what it was), and my husband coming home with a mate, drunk from all day drinking. I left the baby safely on the sofa and went to the kitchen to make them some food to soak up the booze. When I got back they both passed out asleep on the sofa and my Dd was perilously close to the edge. I doubt she’d have been hurt if she’d fallen, but I never made that mistake again.
Please see the Gp if you think there’s even a slight chance you have PND.
DelphiniumBlue · 18/03/2023 14:11
You don't have to do swimming if you don't want to. Do the stuff you like - cuddling, reading, going for walks, meeting people. It sounds as if your baby has a lovely time and quite a varied environment. You don't have to be entertaining them the whole time, it is perfectly reasonable for you to shower, cook, watch tv yourself. If you don't look after yourself, you won't be able to look after the baby, and you both need to be able to eat and be presentable enough to go out, ie clean.
It sounds as if you are worrying unnecessarily and getting things a bit out of perspective. Most of us try to do a good enough job, which you are doing. Perfection is out of the reach of many of us. Do you think you may have PND? it's worth speaking to your GP/HV, they may be able to help. And if you can, maybe buy in some help occasionally.
Does your ex have a family who might be involved a bit? Grandparents who might be only too pleased to see their grandchild?
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