Guilt, guilt, guilt (long) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 08-10-2006, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. I'm 2 weeks pp and don't think I'm dealing with ppd (I think it's too soon to tell and likely the baby blues and the situation of the week). I could use a little perspective....
I'm pretty much crying all the time or else on the verge of crying. I have a 2 week old son and a 2 y.o old son, who is an angel. Dh is away all this week administering a youth camp 3 1/2 hours away. My parents came to help out. They came 6 days before baby was born and just left this morning, so they've been here almost 3 weeks. At the 2 week mark, my mom was saying how they've been here for 2 weeks, and 2 weeks is just too long. So I felt guilty that they have to be here to help out - they committed to stay until dh was back from camp, and I feel as though they were wishing to be home. My dad was working around the house and yard pretty much the whole time...painting our window ledges and trim, fixing our car, washing all the windows and screens, tending to our gigantic yard, fixing the floor in the basement, and probably some other things that I don't yet know about. My mom was keeping the kitchen clean and preparing most meals. What I really wanted from them was to pay attention to my 2 y.o. more than just a couple hours a day. I wanted them to take care of him 100%, but was unable to tell them. So I feel guilty about that, and I feel guilty because I didn't show enough gratitude for the things they were doing. But I also wanted to take care of ds because I miss the time together with him and I just always want to take care of him. I have been responding to him inappropriately....screaming back at him, dragging him up the stairs by one arm to take him to the bathroom....yesterday I pushed him and yelled at my little angel. Feel terribly guilty about that. I feel guilty when I have to take care of my toddler and have to put baby down - he just cries the entire time until I can pick him up again. Then my toddler cries because he wants me to carry him around. So it seems like one of them is always crying because I can't give them both what they need at the same time.
So yesterday I phoned dh and told him he has to come home....that I am at the end of my rope. I feel guilty about that. Dh says he will come home and pick up our toddler and take him back to camp for the remainder of the week. So he drives home last night and leaves this morning with ds. I feel guilty that dh had to come home to take ds back to camp. I feel guilty because this morning ds asked me if I was going to camp too, and when I told him I was staying home, he cried and said, "I need you to go to camp with me." Talk about a heartbreaker....I feel very guilty about that. In the meantime, I told my parents that they weren't helping me in ways I needed, so if they were so darn homesick, they could just go home. They went out all day yesterday until late late at night. My mom mentioned that she was disappointed - mostly in herself - that she wasn't more help and that she had spent most of the day crying. I feel guilty about that. They left this morning. I could tell my dad was mad and my mom was hurt. Guilty again.
Now it's just me and the baby at home until tomorrow night. I'm sad and lonely and regretting this week and the way I handled myself. I hurt my toddler by not responding with love to him and by sending him away (he will miss me, we've never been apart.....and he is still nursing), I hurt my baby by not being available to soothe him constantly, I hurt my dh by causing him to have to drive 7 hours to p/u ds...giving him more work to do and adding more stress to his plate, I hurt my parents by telling them to just go home because they weren't helping anyways. It was totally my fault because they needed me to tell them what I needed help with, but I was unable to ask continuously for help. I wish I had handled this week better. I don't now how to patch things up with my parents, and I don't think they will come back for a long time again, and if they do, my mom says they are never going to stay for more than 3 days.
Guilt is just pounding me from every direction.
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#2 of 17 Old 08-10-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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My head is swimming reading all of that! Please give yourself a break! You're expecting a lot of yourself and what's done is done. Forgive yourself, apologize if you have truly been rude to family, but needing help and support is not something that reflects poorly upon you. (So I wouldn't say, "I'm sorry I asked for help" but more like, "I'm sorry that I wasn't able to express what I needed and that I hurt your feelings in the process.") Neither is crying. As moms, and especially as AP moms, I think we frequently see it as our job to keep everyone happy 100% of the time, and that's just not possible. We weren't meant to do this alone! But so often we do.

My kids are almost exactly two years apart in age and I remember how very hard those first couple of years were for me. And how guilty I felt that my older child missed out on some babying that I felt she still needed and how I felt guilty every time I put the baby down because I was in my uber-AP phase and believed that babies should be held 100% of the time. Bedtime was a nightmare of the baby crying for an hour straight, me walking him with the two year old trailing behind, and dh complaining that we were keeping him awake. I wish I could go back and tell myself then that everything would be okay and that I was doing a great job in fact all that was humanly possible to meet everyone's needs all by myself. Instead I just saw everything that I wasn't doing and felt like a failure.

I know now that what they are gaining from having a sibling more than makes up for having to wait a little bit while I tend to the other. (And actually, I think they gain from having to wait a little bit too.)

Take care, take a nap, forgive yourself. If everyone is fed and dressed by the end of the day, you're doing well at this point!
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#3 of 17 Old 08-11-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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My head is swimming too.

Okay, so, I've felt the guilty thing before. As I type, all my kids are gone, oldest with DH, youngest two at my mother's ...why..because I'm recovering from surgery.

Listen, you can't be this hard on yourself. Two weeks! Something that you really need to think about...if you had a daughter who had just had a baby, would you be helping her? Of course you would. That's what family does. Hindsight is 20/20 and my dear and it's easy to say, I should have done this or should have done that...just love that babe, snuggle him, spend some one on one time with him...your toddler will be home tomorrow, hug him and love him...he won't even remember that you *sent him away* as you are so feeling like you did. This is just a season, days are long, years are short...please just take it easy on yourself and love, love, love your little ones.

And of course, send your mom and dad a card, telling them Thank You for being there and understanding that you are under stress. That will probably make you feel better.
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#4 of 17 Old 08-11-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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Thank you for posting this! I was just in the garage crying :-) I'm 2 weeks PP too. I labored off and on for a week at home before going to the hospital for an induction. I felt guilty for holding everybody up with my defective body that couldn't get the baby out. I felt guilty for not being able to just relax and let my body do it's thing. I felt guilty for really being glad to be induced! I'm angry they kept my baby in the NICU for 5 days of observation - when there was nothing wrong with him. I'm angry they didn't flip him up on my belly and let me hold his wet wriggly body. I'm grouchy with my almost 2 year old - I don't want to "pay". I'm grouchy because MIL gave us all a cold, and I'm trying to get over a cold without being able to sleep through the night... my folks just left - they were here for a week that was way too short. LOL, everything stinks!

Bass chick, you're completely normal! I swear the hormones make us hypersensitive to everything that happens, couple that with doing hard work with little sleep, and it's amazing don't explode :-P
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#5 of 17 Old 08-12-2006, 12:44 PM
 
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"he won't even remember that you *sent him away*"

I wouldn't put it that way. Mom is "ill" and needs time to heal and rebuild her energy. Dad took over.

It's only been very recent in human history that mom works alone, without a tribe. We have to stop beating ourselves up simply for being only one person! It's normal to need support at this time.
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#6 of 17 Old 08-12-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy
It's only been very recent in human history that mom works alone, without a tribe. We have to stop beating ourselves up simply for being only one person! It's normal to need support at this time.
So very true! I'm terrible about thinking I should be able to run the world on my own : Also bad about thinking I should be able to know and understand everything
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#7 of 17 Old 08-12-2006, 07:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass chick
I'm 2 weeks pp and don't think I'm dealing with ppd...
Guilt is just pounding me from every direction.
The good news is, you're doing a great job as a new mom. The bad news is excessive guilt is a warning sign of depression.

SIGECAPS: Sleep, Interest, Guilt, Energy, Concentration, Appetite, Psychomotor, Suicidal (mnemonic for characteristics of major depression)

Take care of yourself. I hope its the blues and will clear up soon.
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#8 of 17 Old 08-13-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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My dh, db and I live with my parents. We "rent" the top floor of their victorian and I don't know how much worse my ppd would be if I didn't have my mom so close. Even though my little girl is almost 7 months old, I still need LOTS of help sometimes! I feel a lot of guilt for not being sexual enough with my husband, sometimes wanting what I feel like is too much help with db....practically everything bears down on me in a horrid way at some point in my week.
Of course you're lonely when you've had your little ones and your parents in the house with you for the past few weeks helping you out. I don't know when it will get easier but it will. Being a mommy is the hardest job in the world and don't you forget it! Even though I don't know you, I love you for what you're making it through. I know how overwhelming it can be.
If your parents were making you feel like they didn't want to be there....maybe they were just concerned for you and your family....everyone here is right, if you're all dressed, fed and as clean as life permits you to be at the moment with a two week old in the house....life will go on and improve.
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#9 of 17 Old 08-16-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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http://www.alphamom.com/site/dooce/

This looks like it will be an interesting book.
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#10 of 17 Old 08-16-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote from that link:
"when I read it now I realize that I was trying to appear as the most reasonable insane person I could possibly be."

Is it possible that there is just plain and simple a bit of insanity in the reality of mothering. Pregnancy is wild - just think about it, another person is growing inside our bodies - weird. Childbirth is wild. Mothering small children is wild. Probably the only thing that is insane is trying to pretend that the ride isn't wild! Think "Brea" from Desperate Housewives? Let's unleash our inner Susan's and just smile and laugh when we fall in the rosebush, instead of trying to pretend the rosebush has no thorns :-)
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#11 of 17 Old 08-16-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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basschick, hope you start feeling better soon. Good posts above, totally relate to women doing it on their own without the tribe that is what I went through which makes ppd a rough time. Raging hormones I guess to be expected at first, I had ppd for a year pretty bad also split with dd's father before she was 1, well he broke my nose for being ppd(dd 2 months old)and did'nt lift a finger otherwise. Your parents sound like lovely people, I wish I had caring parents in my life, even if it's not always easy especially when you are about to have a baby! You must be close and they love you so don't feel guilty, send them a card explaining how you feel, I was the same could not ask anyone for help of any sort just total isolation. I don't think there's anything selfish in a woman who needs a bit of help(thats us all methinks)with new babe, imo hubby's should be there for that unquestioning, it's called support.Now girl you need to pick yourself up and treat yourself good,plenty rest,you need it,dc just have to adjust to this, you can't do it all alone, it's not fair and not workable,banish the guilt feelings they just distort everything.The blues don't need to end up fullscale depression but so easily can.Try herb t to help and soothing essential oils, you gotta get back on track so you can enjoy your new babe,
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#12 of 17 Old 08-22-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish
So very true! I'm terrible about thinking I should be able to run the world on my own : Also bad about thinking I should be able to know and understand everything
I know this feeling. It is hard to do it all.
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#13 of 17 Old 08-22-2006, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the encouragement and support and advice. I know that billions of moms have done this before (raising a toddler and a baby and more) and have come out all right in the end. I'm just so afraid of screwing up my kids or giving them "baggage" through my actions or responses to them. They will create their own baggage and don't need me to mess them up.
I am visiting my doctor every 2 weeks to 'talk'. We'll see how that goes. My first visit she tried to prescribe something. I declined.
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#14 of 17 Old 08-22-2006, 02:55 AM
 
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honey- you are being way too hard on yourself!! 2 wks pp! two kids! it's HARD as heck. You will adjust, and so will everyone, but unfortunately the way things worked out (with your DH gone, and parents not knowing how to be the most help) you were sort of plopped down in the middle of a tornado. I think your parents will definitely realize you were dealing with so much stress and didn't mean to take it out on them. Maybe write them a little note when you get the time, just saying thanks for everything they did and that you did appreciate it. If all else fails, blame the hormones! The kids will be fine- baggage comes from years of dysfunctionalism or seriously traumatic events- what you described is neither. It's a stressful- very stressful time, and you're going to get through it.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#15 of 17 Old 08-22-2006, 04:38 AM
 
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#16 of 17 Old 08-22-2006, 10:07 AM
 
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I felt like crying just reading your post. I sure hope you feel better soon.
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#17 of 17 Old 08-22-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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I am reading the above mentioned "Ghost in the House" book now (can't recall if that is the eact title and ps I love Dooce!) and it is great. It has given voice to so much of what plagues me. The reassurance of knowing you are not alone is so amazing when you fnd it. This book along with some awesome mommy blogs I read has let me have the strength to say that I am depressed and I need more help. I think it is PPD but b/c I have a history of depression it is unlikely to be labled that way but oin combination with PTSD type anxiety I have truly been struggling.

My kids are almost 2.5 and almost 8 mos so I have been where you are. That is hard work no matter what. Try not to beat yourself up over it. You are juggling a lot and that takes a lot out of you.

I never say it will get better anymore but I do believe that it will get different. In a few days, weeks, months, something will be different and sometimes that is pretty close to better. I don't know if I am being clear but I guess the gist of it is...I get it. You are struggling against something so hard and just by getting up each day you are winning a little bit more. You are not alone and you are not going to wreck your kids by being sad, or tired, or whatever. Just love them as best you can, meet their basic needs and know that you can do all the things for them that you want to when you are ready.

Oh the hugging---all to you! I wish I was being more clear here but I am thinking of you and wishing you well.
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