I need breaks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-13-2009, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an intense, high needs baby that I have to hold 24 hours a day. Literally. Not exaggerating. Unless she is having her diaper changed, I'm holding her. Thank god for slings, right? Well. I need a break. I've always been the sort of mother who needs little breaks now and then. Not long ones, mind you, but an hour or two.

I'm going through a lot right now, bipolar acting up, waiting for new meds to start working, hormones all over the place (I think I just started my period). I finally had to hand the baby over for DH for two hours so I could decompress. I literally hadn't not had the baby with me for days. I also have two young children on top of it. And my husband works literally, 90% of our waking hours (either 12-8, 1-9 or 2-10). He has to leave for work really early too, because he has to arrive 30 minutes before his shift to get his gear (he's a corrections officer), and then it takes 40 minutes to get there. So all in all he's generally gone over 12 hours out of the day. Yeah, we have a rommate but he's not their father and he can only help so much. And sometimes he is a stressor too.

Oh, did I mention our kids have been staying up until midnight? Yeah. And I really cannot handle dealing with that. My therapist told me to give myself permission to let DH handle it, but letting DH handle it means that my middle child went to bed at 12:30!

I really do feel happy most of the time, but I have bad days like today when DH fabric softened the diapers, the kids made an extreme mess in the living room, on and on. I'm really frustrated and overwhelmed right now.

So yeah, I need breaks. I had DH feed the baby pumped breastmilk, and took a long drive in the car. I felt so much better having some time away from the baby.

Anyone else love getting a break now and then? Am I some kind of freak, or what?
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#2 of 11 Old 10-13-2009, 10:36 AM
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everyone needs breaks love

our families benifit from a mom who has had a nice break!

mom to ds '07 first day of a new year, dd '09 in the caul, and  ds '11 at home Oct 24th
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#3 of 11 Old 10-13-2009, 12:45 PM
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Breaks are good and nothing to feel guilty about, although it can be hard to not feel guilty. I need breaks too (not that I get them often, if at all!).
Before having kids I enjoyed being alone, even just being quiet with DH doing his own thing while I did mine. It's quite a shock to find you NEVER have that time to yourself, even in your own head.

Sometimes I can't wait for them to be older so I can read a dang book for an hour or two without either feeling guilty or it being a major production, do a project or just not have to talk!

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#4 of 11 Old 10-13-2009, 12:51 PM
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If you're a freak then I am a freak right along with you. I need breaks too! I am fortunate that DH works from home and that I have family near by that love nothing more than to hold DS while I shave my legs, wash my hair or just get out of the house for an hour or two.

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#5 of 11 Old 10-13-2009, 01:31 PM
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I feel ya, Lindsay. My DH sells cars and pretty much works 8-8, with only Sundays and two Tuesdays out of the month off. My IL's live 10 minutes away, but I'm in a fight with my MIL right now ( UGH, I cannot even tell you how bad she pissed me off), so none of them have seen the baby since she was 5 days old. So....it's just me. Yesterday was also awful for me cuz it rained buckets ALL day...usually ds goes outside and plays with the neighborhood kids on the playground, which is *kind of* a break, but not really, cuz I still have to go outside periodically and break up an argument over a toy or something. But yesterday he was inside all day, driving me nuts, and by the end of the day I was in tears. Not cuz of him really, I was just being hard on myself I think, and well...I just needed a break! Like Saiorse said, we all do....we're only human, and we need time for ourselves too. Sigh.

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#6 of 11 Old 10-13-2009, 06:11 PM
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HUGS! Away time is a good thing. If I don't get a shower and 20-30 minutes alone I go bonkers. And I really need more than that to stay balanced. Until Tor was born I got 1-2 hours along each week at the bookstore (Dh would take the girls, I'd have a coffee and look through books). I haven't had that since Tor's birth and I really feel the lack!

My dd2 sounds like your little one... I was literally the only person who could hold her or be near her without her screaming. Non stop, broken bone, end of the world screams. Screams till she threw up and fell asleep and woke up to scream some more. And this would be while DH held her, or I held her but someone else was "too close". It was brutal and unrelenting and totally draining. Eventually we learned that she has a sensory processing disorder and a condition called Reynaud's where temperature variation (even small ones) can cause physical pain. So she was probably uncomfortable or in pain, and having trouble processing her environment in a way that made sense. She was relying on me to be her anchor. And I was. I held her or had her in the ergo round the clock. I left my job to be with her and my older dd since dd2 simply screamed herself sick when I wasn't there.

Not that it's likely your little one has SPD, but keep it in the back of your mind, ok? Just in case this behavior continues. I am so so glad I learned about SPD when dd2 was young-ish... I wish though that someone had caught it sooner because her first year was really really tough on everyone. DH felt like chopped liver, I was exhausted, and dd1 felt overshadowed and left out. Our ped kept saying "she'll grow out of it" and she never did... eventually we brought a video (on our cell phone) and the ped was like "oh gee, no, that's not normal". But it took a year of hitting my head and trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with me that I couldn't sooth my dd2 and dh beating himself up trying to figure out why his dd2 seemed to hate him. There's nice info on SPD here in case anyone wants to browse!

Hang in there, take the breaks you need and can get, and make sure you put yourself on the list of "things to do"... seriously. There is a lot of truth in the "if mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy" bumpersticker. You need to put your own oxygen mask on first so that you can help others. And if an hour or two a week or a half hour or so a night is what it takes to stay balanced, then that's what needs to happen. And if it's an hour or two a night and you can find someone to watch the kiddos during that time then that's ok too.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-14-2009, 12:29 AM
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You are completely normal. I have had a few hour or two breaks in the last 7 weeks. It felt sooo good. Once I was going to the grocery store by myself, and I felt better by the time I got to the parking lot (literally 3 minutes away). Just a car ride without a screaming baby was wonderful.

I have found that I feel really guilty leaving all three with DH. He is a great dad, but I feel like all the stars have to be lined up and everyone feed, bathed, happy and in good moods for me to even dream about leaving for any length of time. I am nervous when I walk in abd hold my breath to hear any crying. Luckily I have not!!!! I have discovered though after going to the gym three times in the last 6 days that he can do it, and likes doing it and having the kids like him!

And I truely love the time with my own thoughts.

Hugs momma!

Busy wife to dh for 5 years and mama to ds1 (11.09.04), ds2 (7.17.06) and ds3 coming Aug 09. :::
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#8 of 11 Old 10-14-2009, 06:00 PM
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I definitely need breaks too. I had a ds like yours, it was very, very hard.
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#9 of 11 Old 10-14-2009, 07:11 PM
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I need a break every week or else I burn out. Ideally I'd like to get a break every day but my H also works really long hours so he's not home much while the kids are awake. This pregnancy/baby has taught me to really take good care of myself and to put my needs high on the priority list. I am a much better mama when I'm taking care of myself and getting small amounts of time alone

DS1 was a super high needs baby and it burned me right out. Take as many breaks as you can! High needs babies are really stressfull!

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#10 of 11 Old 10-14-2009, 10:30 PM
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Please don't beat yourself up. I was literally withering away with stress and overwhelming tiredness from having the baby all day by myself (no family, except pesky in-laws, within 600+ miles - my mom being 1200 miles away!), and then getting up with him all night, too. DH would help in the evening, but he's gone 12+ hours/day, then works a second job in the evenings from home. I finally had to say "you get him at night for the most part - 1 bottle and diaper change". It's helped tremendously. I'm still what I would classify as "exhausted" 24/7, but it's much better.

Wife, 27, to DH, 33, and Mama to DS1 Josiah - 8/09, DS2 James - 3/11, 10 angel babies, 3 foster children, and one adorable ALMOST ADOPTED son - 5/05 

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#11 of 11 Old 10-15-2009, 12:49 PM
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yep, i forgot how relentless it is at this stage. River is in the sling a lot and is always really grumpy from 6pm till bedtime, so more walking around in the sling when all i want to do is slump on the sofa, and then night feeds, my back is killing me. I have started getting little breaks, having a nice hot bath, taking the dogs for a walk or just hiding in my bedroom with a book and leaving dh to look after all of them. I'm lucky because dh does only work 4 days a week but i don't really get any other help, my mother does only live 10 minutes away but shes not really into children or helping with my house work.

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