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Struggling with parenthood...
I love my 15 month old to bits but parenthood has really obliterated my enjoyment of life. Every day and every little thing is a struggle - the paediatrician has observed that she is what he terms as 'high needs' - which in baby terms, generally means an otherwise'normal' baby that is more demanding and sensitive than the average.
I'm merely surviving through the days - it's chaos trying to change her, dress her, take her anywhere...she won't sit in her pram and will twist and scream until I'm carrying her in one arm and pushing an empty pram with the other. Similar scenario with the car seat, the high chair...
I see people with 2, 3 or 4 kids and I think - I'm missing something or doing something wrong because if people are signing up for this multiple times, there must be something about parenthood they really love.
I don't know if I'm depressed or just exhausted...I don't really know how to maintain a positive mood when each and every day is spent in damage control. The tantrums just leave me feeling blank at this point.
Sorry for the vent...I just needed to put it out there because it's getting to the point that I dread each day.
Im a father of 3 girls under 7. It may seem easy on the outside but everyone struggles
Take care of yourself
Thank you for your post. I'm not a parent but I did want to pop in and welcome you to the forums. I can see that Theborderline has already offered some great support - and is someone who can relate!
Honestly, it's completely understandable that you'd be exhausted. Plus, if your baby has high needs (or a difficult temperament), then there's every chance that the other babies you see may be lucky enough to be an easy baby which makes it less difficult. Of course it would take its toll on you.
You said you are not sure if you are depressed, have you thought about having a chat to your GP?
One resource that you might like to use is the Parent Helpline. They are very similar to the Kids Helpline in just being there to offer you a bit of support and comfort. It's just giving you someone to listen, who gets it - and who might even be able to give you some suggestions on how to handle and coping with all the tantrums. They have one in every state, and it's free -
I just want to give you a massive hug, truly. It's seriously tough being an exhausted mum. Little energy in this role can feel so incredibly cruel and depressing at times.
I'm wondering if you feel the pediatrician left you hanging a little with some vague description and virtually no direction. Do you think it would pay to find out if you can hook up with other mothers experiencing something similar? Personally, I can remember attending post natal depression group therapy about 15 years ago where it actually felt like a relief to speak freely about how challenged we felt in motherhood. There was no guilt in sharing how much we resented certain aspects of motherhood and how we even resented our kids to some degree. I know that may sound terrible to some but it felt good for us all to vent. I actually wrote a letter to myself, expressing my feelings during this time of incredible trial. Still, to this day, when I occasionally read over it, I cry for that poor woman who suffered so much. I wish I could magically go back in time and hug myself and have a good old reassuring chat. Support is so important for a seriously exhausted mum nearing the end of her patience and sanity.
Did the pediatrician elaborate on the special needs? If there are sensitivities, have such possible sensitivities been discussed? Could there be a sensitivity to clothing (tags, semi rough fibers etc), a sensitivity to certain foods/drink, causing some discomfort? Is your little one a seriously energetic character who basically can't stay still and needs a lot of stimulation to feel thoroughly entertained? Could a lack of sleep be an underlying issue for the both of you? Maybe a bit of detective work, with some help from someone in the know, can set you in the direction of constructive guidance and management.
You definitively need to look after yourself. Kids are astute little creatures whose high sensitivity to the emotions of others can send them into a state even they feel challenged by. If there's someone who can give you some time off here and there to recharge, consider discussing a babysitting schedule with them. Whether you choose to catch up on sleep, reconnect with folk socially on your own or even if you use the time to do some of that detective work, you deserve a break of some kind.
Mum's and kids raise each other to incredible challenge and excitement at times. We spend years getting to really know each other. It can be exhausting.