I don’t want to be supermum - I want to be human
sorry this is long. It’s obviously postpartum depression but I know it’s heavily influenced by other factors.
I’ve got two kids - 18 month old boy and 8 week old girl. Husband works away 4/5 days at a time, but once a month is gone for 7 days. I stay home with the kids.
since giving birth to the baby I’ve been slipping into helplessness trying to care for the kids, the house, sleep deprivation, and general life on my own for days at a time. I finally went to the doctor on the advice of the community nurse. He wrote a referral to a psych. And gave me general advice - sleep, eat well.. all things That are difficult with so much weighing me down.
I had to cancel the appointment because we couldn’t get anyone to Watch our kids. it’s rescheduled for when hubbys home. He wanted to come to help manage this together. He’s currently on the week stretch.
i barely eat. I forget to drink water.
My neck back shoulders are aching from lifting children and feeding. I have a carrier but lifting my 15kg boy is excruciating as I have to be careful not to crush her. So we stay home. I can’t even fuel the car up unless someone’s with me as the only “pay at the pump” station here never works. I don’t want to get both kids out of the car for 30 secs (the toddler keeps running off on me).
I was an avid gym goer. Now with two kids it’s hard getting there by a set time, and most of the time it’s too full to take both so we can’t go at all. after this morning I resigned myself to the fact that my last outlet, going to the gym, has to go. I was late and only had 15 minutes left.I don’t make excuses for not getting exercise. It was the last factor of my identity I had.
i am always forgetful and blasé. I ask “what day it is” every day. I forget to pay bills, I don’t ring people back.
My mother does help, even staying over once or twice a week at night to let me sleep more than 6 hours, but it’s not something a night of sleep can fix.
My sister used to help but doesn’t offer anymore. When I have asked out of desperation she makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. it’s horrible to feel guilty when you have no other options.
i feel like I’m dying. The GP asked if I was suicidal and I said no, but this life will kill me instead.
These last few weeks I’ve felt a sense of helplessness, not just sadness as basic human functions are becoming desperately out of reach.
i don’t want to be commended for being supermum. I just want to be a normal human being.
youbhave an 8 week old and a toddler and your partner works away. You will feel exhausted and feel like you are doing everything, because you are! Babies and toddlers are hard work. Mine are 13 and 9 now but they weee little and my husband worked away. Us mums beat ourselves up for everything we didn’t do but what about what you did do? I bet you made sure everyone was clean and fed, I bet you played with the toddler even though your eyes were being held up with match sticks. When mine were little I would sometimes just get a heap of books and we would sit in the bed and read one after another after another and more often than not we would all have a nap afterwards. Double win.
Can you book into the gym? Aim to get there early by going somewhere for them on the way? Let the toddler run about anywhere or stop at a park on the way? You say he runs away, can you get a backpack with a leash or one of those straps for your arm. Just for now while tos hard work.Having the kids In the crèche while at the gym will to give you a break and you have exercise. Or do you have a pool nearby that you can take them to? Then you can put floaters on the toddler and carry the baby (weightless) and get a bit of exercise walking around the pool?
Do you have a double pushchair? Walking when my youngest was little was a godsend made even better if another Mum could walk with me!
It gets easier, being a mum is hard work and you have a new born that’s one of the hardest times until the teenage years
go back to the dr? Keep checking in with them? and talk to your mum and your friends?
Hello Tropicana and Katiek92 and welcome to the forums.
No matter how many times I say it I can't express it clearly enough... Being a parent sucks. Where was the warning in that book "what to expect when you're expecting" that parenthood for so many Mums means isolation and loss of sense of self.
Yes ok we adore our kids. But if we just got a break from them to feel human we might actually have the energy to enjoy their company.
Katiek has some excellent suggestions. I will ask two important questions first though...
1. Who around you can you ask for regular support who will help?
2. Have you sat down with hubby and looked at financially what options you can afford?
I found a lot of the doc suggestions felt unrealistic. Hire a cleaner. Ask for friends and family to help. Eat better. Exercise.
Yes these are all possible but not achieveable for everyone. You mentioned excercise is important to you. Have you the finances for a piece of equipment at home? Even secondhand. Music and a crosstrainer when the kids slept were a lifesaver for me.
Is help with home duties an option financially? I found I forgot my own meals too. The kids ate healthily and I binged on crap because I was exhausted. Even those lean cuisine meals in the freezer are a good plan. Your sister might not want to help but would she make you a dish once a week to freeze?
Being absent minded is something I relate to. A diary on the kitchen counter does help. When a bill arrives record the due date. Check the diary every morning. As for returning calls if people are so worried they will come to see you. Focus on the essential calls for appointments/bills and just let the others go. Another option is to text back sorry for the late reply I am exhausted. If you want to come have a cuppa and cook dinner or vaccume I will be forever grateful 😊. The people who matter will respond with help. Those that don't really aren't important.
I think there is a place for embracing being "selfish". It's not really selfish it is survival. But for some reason we expect ourselves to be able to cope. There is a reason there is a saying about needing a community to raise a child. Because on one person it is exhausting.
I agree with Katiek about going back to the doctor. I would be making as many lifestyle changes as you can first. And if no change straight back to the doctor for reassessment. Please don't leave this to get worse like I did.
We are here for you.
Just wanted to say I remember that feeling. Having little babies is incredibly hard at times. It will get easier, it really will. I have to say I think you sound like you need to get yourself to the doctor or psych as a priority, even if you need to take the kids with you. Even just to vent to someone about how you are feeling.
I found my first baby a very difficult and stressful time, it's a blur to look back on it. The sleep deprivation and exhaustion are extreme, and the hormone fluctuations far more intense than expected. There are some good online forums specifically for PD too. I can't remember which one I used to read, but a google search will turn it up. It was a lifesaver.
Hang in there. Life will be good again, no matter how bad you feel right now.