I am a complete and total failure as a mother. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The title says it all.  How I feel almost every single day.

 

I have an 8 mo old that doesn't sleep, mostly his naps.  It's not a "sleep regression", he's not teething, he doesn't have reflux, I have a white noise machine, I've tried wearing him more times than I can count (he hates it, also I have a 4 year old who will NOT be quiet no matter how many times we talk about it), he doesn't fall asleep in the car, he's too big for our swing, I've read "No Cry Sleep Solution".  I feel like I've tried it ALL.  His eyes are only halfway open, he has bags under his eyes, and they are red.  It's been like this for 4 months.  He nurses to sleep, wont' fall asleep any other way, and when I lay him down he instantly wakes up and cries.  Oh, he might sleep for 20 min but then wakes up and is wide awake.

 

In the meantime, I have a 4 year old who sits in front of the TV during the 2-3 hours I spend EVERY DAY trying to get my baby to sleep.  She sits there feeling sad that mommy won't play with her and rotting her brain in front of the TV.  I try to give her whole foods but most of the time it's a sandwich or mac and cheese because I have no energy to do anything else.

 

Since my 8 month old also only sleeps at night for 1.5-3 hours at night too, I am exhausted.  I haven't showered in 4 days, haven't brushed my teeth since yesterday AM, haven't even gotten dressed (and it's past 11am).  In 3 hours I need to at least have put the perishable food away from breakfast because then I have to work for 7 hours until 10:30pm.  My husband and I tag-team parent to keep kids out of daycare so I don't get a chance to take a break tonight, and since I work from home even my breaks at work are used to nurse or try to bond with my 4 year old since she's contantly in front of the TV.

 

On the plus side, today as of 11am I've been up for 6 hours and have yet to yell at a kid or slam a cupboard door.  I did kick the fan we use as a white noise machine but no one saw that and I did not yell. 

 

Sigh.  I'm sorry to vent.  Days like today I lament picking up "Dr Sears Attachment Parenting" book 4 years ago.  I have made so many of my parenting decisions based on AP principles but at this point I feel like all it's done is made my life as hard as it could possibly be.  I don't know what to do other than want to cry myself into a hyperventilating ball of craziness.

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#2 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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btdt hugs mama


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#3 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 09:30 AM
 
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I too have BTDT.  Super duper high needs baby.  Older sister spending hours in front of the tv.  Everyone eating like crap.  Never showering.  Never sleeping.  Total sleep-deprived madness.  Big time guilt.  I understand.

 

((((HUGS))))

 

It is hard mama.  Really really really freakin' hard.  You are not (NOT!) a failure as a mother.  You are just living something really hard.  It really is that hard.

 

You just have to get through it.  Survival mode.  Forgive yourself.  It WILL get better.  It will.  I promise that absolutely certainly for sure it will get better.  There are other challenges to come when they're older, but, IMO, this is the worst of it.  Hang on mama.

 

More hugs (you deserve them!)  (((((HUGS)))))


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#4 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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I promise it does get better. this is the down in the trenches time. You are really doing great. If you need to change some things- change them. But you are doing it. Every day. Good for you!

I will tell you a story.... I felt like a total failure as a mother pretty much from time kids were born....

I left my xh when dd was 18 mo and ds was almost 4.

Within the year I thought I was so horrible a mother I gave them to xh for a period of two months. I needed a break. I was wore out. Nursing for 4 years, health issues etc.

Since I did that he got them for two years.... I had to fight it in the courts. We had split visitation but he had custody of them. I had them only every weekend and one day during the week from the time they were 5 and 2. till they were 7 and 4.

You don't want that mama... you can do this. Do what you need to do. If you need to have your mom come and go hole up in a hotel somewhere for a few days- DO IT.

 


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#5 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post

I too have BTDT.  Super duper high needs baby.  Older sister spending hours in front of the tv.  Everyone eating like crap.  Never showering.  Never sleeping.  Total sleep-deprived madness.  Big time guilt.  I understand.

 

((((HUGS))))

 

It is hard mama.  Really really really freakin' hard.  You are not (NOT!) a failure as a mother.  You are just living something really hard.  It really is that hard.

 

You just have to get through it.  Survival mode.  Forgive yourself.  It WILL get better.  It will.  I promise that absolutely certainly for sure it will get better.  There are other challenges to come when they're older, but, IMO, this is the worst of it.  Hang on mama.

 

More hugs (you deserve them!)  (((((HUGS)))))




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It sounds like you are doing your very best to care for your children, and your love for them really will pay off. Your 8 month old will forever have with him the fact that you were there for him consistently during a difficult time for both of you.

 

You are working so hard for your family, and it sounds like you probably have tried everything, but have you looked into hidden allergies at all? My high needs child has some classic intolerances, but there are several foods that cause no reaction other than very difficult sleep (some squashes, cranberries, sunflower seeds through my milk, most apples), and identifying these through an elimination diet improved things a lot. I was exhausted at the time and found it easiest just to do a TED and add things in rather than trying to remember what I was gradually cutting out.

 

Do you have access to a good D.O. who does osteopathic manipulation for children? We have started to see one, and the results have been terrific. The evening of my child's first treatment, the night owl went to bed early and slept 12 hours interrupted only by nursing breaks. Sleep and allergies have both generally improved since we began OMT.  It has been wonderful for my LO; maybe it could be helpful for yours?

 

Hang in there!  I know it will get better for you!


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#6 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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You're not a failure.  So many of us have been there.  It's just bad luck your baby isn't a sleeper.  My sister had good success with the "pick up put down" method (baby whisperer, not CIO).  I was too exhausted/impatient to even handle that.  All I could do is plug in the boob and "hope" dd would sleep....

 

I too had an 8 month old who was up every hour or 2 every single night for a few months.  I reached the end of my rope around 9-10 months (tried ALL the no cry sleep solution stuff and was a crying mess myself after it didn't work...well it did help a bit as dd learned to fall asleep without a boob in her mouth SOME of the time).  In the end we resorted to me going out and dh left with the painful task of putting dd to bed.  She cried on and off for an hour with him in the room trying to console her (so I was told - I couldn't stay around to listen).  He put her to bed the next night and it took maybe 10-15 minutes.  After that night she miraculously started sleeping a 6-8 hour stretch and then came into our bed the rest of the night.  It was heaven...except for the fact that my messed up body kept waking up every hour or two!!!!   Having to resort to her doing some crying (to learn how to go back to sleep when she woke up) haunted me for a long time....but in the end dd is secure, confident and sleeps well now.  I am NOT a supporter of CIO....however when you've tried everything else and you're at the end of the rope, then you need to do what you can so you can be happy, and ignore the AP experts and the guilt trips we give ourselves - they are NOT the experts on you and your children.  YOU are.  

 

My biggest regret was not finding ways to help dd to fall back asleep on her own sooner...I feel like living in that state robbed me of enjoying her babyhood more and took a huge toll on my marriage.   I hear you about AP ideals falling far short of reality.  When one feels so exhausted that you "feel" detached...then it's very important to let go of these ideals and do what's right and needed for you.  Mama needs to be happy...and a happy, rested mama will more than make up for any minimal amount of crying that a baby does.

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#7 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.  It truly does help to know that I'm not alone in this, not that I'd wish it upon anyone else.  It also helps to see others have come over to the other side with at least some of their sanity in tact...right???  :-)

It just kills me, because I love those two little babes with every ounce of my being and I feel like I'm failing to meet basic needs...for sleep, for caring time with mommy (for my 4 year old), nutrition.  They deserve better and it's beyond me how to help!

Hidden allergies...interesting.  My 4 year old has asthma, nut allergies, etc so it would behoove me to see if there might be something to do that.  I will have to look up info on a TED.  Because I have so much time and energy ha ha!

On a side note, I put my 7.5 month on Zithromax (both his pediatrician and I thought he had whooping cough--he didn't).  I went to a chiropractor/cranial sacral therapist right afterwards, put him on probiotics to rebuild his gut health but ever since that CST session he hasn't been the same.  Don't know if it's the CST, the antibiotic tx 2 weeks before the CST...or just dumb luck...but it is something that occurred to me.  (He was never a GREAT sleeper before, just not as terrible as he is now.)

Thanks again for your encouragement.  It was a bad, bad morning. 

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#8 of 17 Old 11-29-2011, 08:27 PM
 
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It was such a relief to me when DH took over nighttime parenting of our older two.  Maybe your DH could act like you're not even home when you're working?


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#9 of 17 Old 11-30-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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This is the elimination diet I did: http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-infants-toddlers/food-allergies/elimination-diet.  It is pretty simple, which is all I had the time and energy to do at the time (DH made big batches of the low-allergen foods, so there was very little complicated planning or cooking) . I stuck to the early phase until we saw considerable improvement for quite a while.

 

HTH!

 

Keep on keeping on, Mama. It will get better!


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#10 of 17 Old 12-02-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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First things first  -  (((HUGS!!)))

 

But also a quick thought/suggestion: I wonder if you have any mom friends with kiddos your daughter's age, who might be willing to take her our on regular walks, or pick her up and take her to the park, etc? Things like that, so that she's not only away from TV but out with other munchkins her age. My former neighbor had similar situation (younger was high needs/no napper, and older was TV watcher). She expressed such frustration & guilt over it that I offered to take older out to do simple things like little discovery walks, rock collecting, sidewalk chalk, digging in the dirt, kickball, and so on. My son and her son had a blast playing together and became little buddies quickly. 

 

Even though it doesn't fix the sleep issue directly, maybe it will ease the guilt you're feeling, and help you feel better as a mama! Being a mom *should* not be a lonely role that leaves us with a 'must-survive this' or all-on-my-own feeling.  I know the 'village' isn't what it used to be, but sometimes when you ask around, just the right person is there, ready and willing to help!  

 

Best of luck to you! And again, BIG HUGS :-)


Married: 02/04   -   SAHM to Son: April '09   -    Pregnant: Due April '12

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#11 of 17 Old 12-07-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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I have 4 kids but if I couldn't catch a break like you I'd feel exactly the same. Still, huge hugs. This too shall pass. You are a good mama. You just need sleep.

Is there any chance little guy is desperately afraid to be put down and left alone? I cannot put my noteven 4 month old down. I never had a baby like that before. So I started "wearing" her. I sleep with her. She really knows that she won't be put down (much) so she now naps during the day on me. Yeah my shoulders get sore by the end of the day butbit beats her screaming, which she will do in the carseat still.

He's heavier, but you could try wearing him on your hip in a hip hammock. They distribute the weight pretty well.

Also don't forget nighttime parenting. If you had a queen sized bed ( just the mattress, for low height) in the nursery, you 3 could sleep together. I do this with the baby and her big brother. Cuddle the baby all night but also you can hold and love your big girl too. (not ignoring your DH. But you need sleep and babies need you. Soon everyone will be sleeping better and you will have an hour or two for alone time with DH. He does not need you in his arms all night. They do. )

To make sure you get some sleep, what about a babysitter a couple times a week specifically for your naps? A sitter coming from 1-4 pm 2x a week and you stay home but take naps?

Also tv can be a boon if you can grab both kids, nap with both, in one bed, and let the tv on for the 4 year old. Nap in a childproof room with the door locked so the 4 yr old can't get out.

Sending you strength, mama.

mom to three sons and one new daughter born in August 2011
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#12 of 17 Old 12-07-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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This thread brings back memories of having a colicky baby and getting pregnant when she was 8 months old. She's now 6 years old but I remember those days. You really are in survival mode so throw that guilt out the window. Your guilt is misplaced. You are doing the best you can with what you have! Here are some suggestions: 

 

Find a 9/10/11 year old neighbor girl to come play with your DD in the afternoons so you can let go of some of that guilt. Your DD will have a blast and you only have to pay the mother's helper a few dollars an hour. 

 

Give your baby probiotics. 

 

Realize AP practices don't work for every baby or every family. How attached can you be when you are that sleep-deprived?? Looking back, I have deep regret that I didn't detach at all from my baby and put every single need of hers before my own and my marriage. Our whole family suffered. She might have been totally attached to me but I wasn't attached to mySelf! 

 

Take yourself and baby to a homeopath to get a constitutional remedy! It wasn't until my dd got one that she became less high-needs...phew! She did have multiple allergies but they all went away after homeopathy. 

 

 

 


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#13 of 17 Old 12-12-2011, 05:24 PM
 
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i just replied to another similar post with a burnt out mommy - just thought i'd say, coming online to vent is probably really good. just venting in general seems to help me a little bit anyway.

 

and what i suggested to her - i don't know if it applies to your situation, but - keep easy finger foods around, such as hummus - you can nourish yourself super quickly and have some extra calories and protein to face whatever comes next.

 

i have to admit, i go in and out of coffee habit these days - it seems to help sometimes. hate admitting to it, but what can i say.

 

and i found a recipe for "babynog" here on mothering.com: 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon each of nutritional yeast, molasses, and honey. it really worked when i was using it - lots of nutrition and energy. i used soy milk and skipped the egg because i'm pretty veg, and i use local raw honey, good for the immune. when i ran out of nutritional yeast, i substituted the hemp protein powder that was in the fridge.

 

i'm not an expert or a seasoned vet at all, but thought i'd lend my sympathy. i'm still going through very rough days sometimes. and i only have 1 LO!

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#14 of 17 Old 12-12-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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forgot to say - big hugs!!!

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#15 of 17 Old 12-15-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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I did pick up/put down and taught my son to sleep without CIO. He would fuss and whine for up to 10 minutes ( I would pick him up if he started to get really distressed--I think part of AP is listening and learning your child's different cries), and the first night I PU/PD 68 times. The second night 8 times. The third 3 times. The fourth just once. The 5th he went back to sleep when I lay my hand on his back and shushed. The 6th he slept for 7 hours straight. Now he sleeps from 7:15 PM to 6:00 AM, with feeds at 11:00PM and 4:30 AM, occasionally one at 2:00 AM. More nightnursings than what the mainstream boards say is "okay" but totally fine with me.

 

Babies and toddlers NEED sleep. If you are clearly seeing that your child is sleep deprived, then you are NOT meeting his/her needs. Isn't that what AP is all about, meeting your child's needs? Why are zombie mommies and children considered an acceptable part of AP?


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#16 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phycologia View Post

I did pick up/put down and taught my son to sleep without CIO. He would fuss and whine for up to 10 minutes ( I would pick him up if he started to get really distressed--I think part of AP is listening and learning your child's different cries), and the first night I PU/PD 68 times. The second night 8 times. The third 3 times. The fourth just once. The 5th he went back to sleep when I lay my hand on his back and shushed. The 6th he slept for 7 hours straight. Now he sleeps from 7:15 PM to 6:00 AM, with feeds at 11:00PM and 4:30 AM, occasionally one at 2:00 AM. More nightnursings than what the mainstream boards say is "okay" but totally fine with me.

 

Babies and toddlers NEED sleep. If you are clearly seeing that your child is sleep deprived, then you are NOT meeting his/her needs. Isn't that what AP is all about, meeting your child's needs? Why are zombie mommies and children considered an acceptable part of AP?


Meeting mama's sleep needs is essential to AP also...as the majority of our fully awake parenting happens during the daytime. AP does not mean sacrificing mama's needs.

 

For myself (have a newborn) I think I'd go crazy if my 4 yr old were with me 24/7...fortunately she has a couple friends and we parents do childcare swaps.  Also attends preschool and she loves it - gives her a break too.   Having a friend over to play can help (2 4 yr olds are easier than 1 I've found - they entertain themselves),

 

Phycologia - how old was your ds when you tried p/u put down?  How much had he been waking before you did it?  Did you try anything else first?  Have a bedtime routine?

 

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#17 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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I started PU/PD after his 6 month check up to make sure his weight gain was OK. Since he was a newborn we've always kept night feedings/diaper changes very dark and very boring without talking. At about 3 months I introduced a bedtime routine of bath, massage, and bottle or nurse. Before sleep training he would have one "long" stretch of 3 hours followed by waking every 1-2 hours and up for the day at 4:30 or 5 AM. I slept in the same room as him and every movement kept me awake. Even when I moved him to his own room I couldn't sleep because I knew he would just be up again as soon as I was out. The only time he was in a good mood was for 15-20 minutes after waking up from naps and the rest of his awake time he was fussing or crying even while being worn. I really thought I was going to die. I honestly hated my son at times and wished he had never been born.

 

I tried cosleeping a few times, but I can't sleep stuck in one position all night, and he tends to want to wake up fully and play when we're sleeping together, so we just cosleep for naps.

 

Now that he sleeps I am a much better mama. And he is a very happy, very charming baby.

 

I'm a fan of PU/PD because even though I would allow up to 10 minutes of cranking, you don't necessarily have to wait that long if you're not comfortable. 30 seconds would be enough time to see if your child will fall asleep on his own. It would just take a lot more persistence, though.

 


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