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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subhuti View Post

Linda, I don't know if you are aware of it, but your posts come across as unsupportive and critical rather than helpful. When you're in the place where the OP is, it might feel like being kicked while you are down. She's pretty firm that she has a way that she wants to live and that to not live in that way will make her feel even worse. She's pretty clear about what she meant when she said convicted.
I encouraged her to change the way she THINKS about what she is doing, the words to uses to herself and others to say WHY she is doing what she's doing. I didn't tell her to DO anything differently, except to chose her thoughts and her words with more care.

A therapist will most likely tell her the same thing.
 

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You know, despite the glowing reviews that are often bandied about in certain places, sometimes tandem nursing just sucks (literally and figuratively, ha ha.) I "triple tandemed" my singleton and twins (my singleton is 17 months older than my twins and nursed throughout the entire pregnancy as well). I dropped 80 lbs in 12 weeks and felt like crap run over in the rain by a semi. As it turns out, I wasn't eating enough (well how the hell was I supposed to do that with a kid on each boob and me trying to support them constantly?). Even after I got that part figured out, it took my body 3 years to recover (with intense nutrition/vitamins/under a ND's care). My brain function and processing was noticeably (to me) curtailed. At the period of my life where I needed the most patience and forbearance, my did not have the intellectual, emotional, or physical capacity to be "my best" as I would have normally defined it.

For me, things did not start to get better until my youngest kids were weaned and could separate from me enough for me to get out for a *good* chunk of time (3+ hours). I am an introvert--the ONLY person who I can be around 24/7 and NOT have them get on my nerves because of their proximity is my husband. Maybe that makes me a terrible person, but whatever. However...when you are a parent, you do what you must. There were lots of things I COULD have done but were impractical or I wasn't willing to pay the expense (not always monetary)--so I also had to choose to put one foot in front of the other and remind myself (literally with post-its in all caps put in strategic places) that I chose this, I'm going to deal with it just for today, and re-evaluate tomorrow.

I'd like to say that I didn't beat myself up over not dancing through flowery fields farting sparkles, butterflies, and unicorns of joy over my orgasmic experience of parenting at that particular time--but that wouldn't be true. I did get some therapy to deal with some pretty ugly stuff that came up for me interally due to childhood abuse/abandonment, and it was nice to have a professional say (in a more professional way of course) that it was okay if I was not farting butterflies at this time in my life.

So I agree with PP, OP...DO try to claim some space for yourself. I wish I had done so earlier. OTOH, it's also okay to take things one hour at a time if you have to--as long as you make SURE that you are doing so with an attitude that you have chosen these choices (and so you will NOT blame or punish the kids as a result). At least, most of the time--let's be real, we all mess up sometimes and will need to apologize to our kids.

But yeah, you'll get through this. You may never look back at the 'good old days' as great fun, but I would try really hard to let that roll off your back.
 

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I totally have felt those feelings too. I totally know the feeling of just needing to vent and not have people attack your choices when you try to do that. Sometimes life DOES feel like it's conspiring against you, and I know that my kids certainly pick up on that as well. It's like not only is everything just awful, but then you aren't even allowed to FEEL awful because the kids pick up on it, and everyone jumps in and says everything is awful because you aren't doing enough, or are doing to much, or the right thing, or even THINKING the right way.

I really hope getting a car works out for you, that sounds like it will certainly help you.

I've lived a depressed spouse, and I've BEEN the depressed spouse, and it is SO. FREAKING. HARD. It just is, and I admire your strength and courage.

There are a few things that have helped me, I found out I am borderline anemic, and have low vitamin D levels, so supplementing that have helped as well. I changed my diet, for me low carb, high protein has helped me a lot.

I went to visit my mom for two weeks, and got a break WITH the kids, sounds like if you get your car you have a little help and a break as well.

I stopped trying to find friends/support/help in real life. I'm a huge introvert and it was just stressing me out. Everyone seems so quick to suggest it, but it doesn't necessarily work for everyone.

I stopped expecting DH to pull his own weight around the house or with the kids. I figured I could leave, and be a single mom and have to find a way to earn an income, or I could just kind of pretend I was a single mom, but keep my best friend and his financial contributions. I will admit, after a while he started just doing little things around the house, or even offered to walk the girls to the park so I could stay home and read. I made that mental shift maybe a year ago, and just within the last few months it seems like he is finally getting his depression under control. Not easy, but somehow just changing my expectations changed things.

It's not easy, and I just wanted to say you are not the only one who feels like it's impossible.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

...

I'd like to say that I didn't beat myself up over not dancing through flowery fields farting sparkles, butterflies, and unicorns of joy over my orgasmic experience of parenting at that particular time--but that wouldn't be true. I did get some therapy to deal with some pretty ugly stuff that came up for me interally due to childhood abuse/abandonment, and it was nice to have a professional say (in a more professional way of course) that it was okay if I was not farting butterflies at this time in my life.

...
All I have to say is, OP, if you didn't spit coffee out of your nostrils while reading this, drop everything and go get some help NOW. Even if you have to walk 50 miles to get it. And if you did spit coffee out of your nostrils, and maybe felt just a teensy bit better, even for a moment, save it and read it 5 times a day, or more if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
I'm still here, I'm okay. I had a breakdown last weekend. I'd felt it coming for awhile, like a big leak in a boat and had been frantically emptying water out by the bucket full. But last weekend I sank.

It was awful. But in the midst of it dh finally did SOMETHING and took care of the kids most of the weekend so I didn't have to and I got to sleep some. I don't think I could tell I was so physically tired because I'd been so wired for so many days.

I told my counselor I'd been having thoughts of harming myself and the kids. I knew at the time I had no intention of acting on them but they were very heavy intrusive thoughts that I couldn't shake and I said it as soon as I got there so I wouldn't lose my nerve. I don't want to even play around with that kind of thing, regardless of how terrible it feels to tell someone something like that. So I have support in that area and feel it will make it easier to tell someone next time it starts happening.

I don't know if I mentioned before that I have chronic back pain but I've started realizing how big of a trigger that is as well. I ignore it (because it's always there) and then lose my temper/freak out when the pain becomes too severe. It feels like it attacks me out of nowhere but I'm realizing now that it builds up over time but I've been pushing it out of my mind. I'm trying to figure out what step to take next in that area. I've been seeing a chiropractor for years but I feel I need more help then what they have given me. Finding money to see specialists though makes me stressed just thinking about it.

Want to say more but baby needs me.
 

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Oh, I'm so sorry! It sucks to get to that point, but unfortunately lots of times it does take hitting a wall (or bottom, or whatever metaphor works for you) to get out of the spiral you feel you're stuck in. I know my DH doesn't "get it" when I ask for help here and there, but when it becomes a crisis, then he wakes up. (Of course, it's better not to have to get to that point, but sometimes it's what has to happen for him to see what's needed. Sometimes even I can't see what's needed til I'm at a breaking point -- that used to happen a LOT when DS was a baby, but not as much now...)

Anyway, I don't remember seeing you mention chronic pain, but I have similar issues, and what you said about just ignoring it and it quietly builds tension and stress in you til you can't ignore it any longer is SO me. It has taken me years, but I am finally realizing that's true for me, and finally am figuring out that when I realize I'm feeling stressed, yelling more than I should, getting upset over the little things, feeling overwhelmed, etc. I need to stop everything and check in with my pain level. It's usually either pretty high at that point, or has been elevated for a period of time. It just creeps up and then explodes. IDK what your back issue is (or if you even have a diagnosis -- if you don't have one, get one, even if you have to put it on credit/arrange payment plans). It took me a long time to find out that I needed more than a few pills and stretches. By the time my doctor ordered an MRI, it was so bad that the doctors and the techs couldn't believe I was walking around like that. They had to double-check and make sure they hadn't switched my file with someone else's. I went to see a physical therapist after that and I'm getting much better, but of course it is something that requires me to take 30 minutes out of my day to stretch and do the exercises I need to keep my condition from worsening. Like I have that extra time... But I do it b/c it beats the alternative! It makes for too much of a chain reaction if I ignore my back -- then it hurts, then I'm cranky, then DS gets upset when I can't play with him/carry him, then we're BOTH upset, then DS acts out....... Not worth it in the least. Never mind that spending the time/money on fixing it now avoided some serious damage and extraordinarily expensive/dangerous/painful spine surgery. I cringe when I think about how close I came. And of course, I have a foot issue that started when DS was a baby, and I ignored that, too, and now I need $300 custom orthotics and a brace to wear to bed and.... Thankfully again I caught it before it got to surgery, but if I had dealt with it 3 years ago, I wouldn't have had to spend all that money on equipment.

Sorry, I'm rambling, I'm just trying to say that you're not alone. Lots of us here have BTDT with at least parts of your situation, and we feel for you. And want you to take care of yourself so you CAN feel better. And that we thought we could push on through and come out fine on the other side, and sometimes that works and sometimes it works against you til you wake up and see that you need/deserve to have these things taken care of too. Glad you went to counseling; I hope it will help.
 

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OP how much sleep are you getting? Average hours every night? Lack of sleep can do awful things. Are your bigger kids at least not needing you at night? My kids are the same ages as yours (actually my baby is only 2 mos) and critical to my sanity is having the big 2 in bed by 7pm (sleeping 11- 12 hours) and then I try to be in bed with the baby 8-9 hours. I nurse her overnight, obviously but just me being in bed for a decent stretch is keeping me SO much more grounded this time than in the past. It's really night and day. Even if I don't feel tired I'll go to bed and read (she still is small enough to not be bothered by the light). I really like that, too. Just carving out a little space.

It may seem overly simplistic but I just wanted to mention it. With my other two I would get wired and stay up late, late just trying to be alone but it was such the wrong approach and I nearly lost my mind.

I also sleep in one weekend morning, if I feel like it (I don't, always but it's nice to have the option).

Obviously sleep won't fix your situation issues but it might help clear your head so you can make good, rational decisions about how to move forwards with your family.

All the best.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

May be it's time to redefine "being a good mother."
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I don't know anything about you but what is on your signature -- you homeschool, tandum nurse, and use cloth diapers. You don't have to. You can make different choices and make time for yourself in your life. Being a mother doesn't mean that every single minute of the day and night HAS to be about someone else. It is possible to be a good mother and have balance in your life.
God yes. All of what you do is wonderful...but ONLY if its not ruining your relationships with your kids anf husband.

Honestly, putting your kids in a school wont ruin them. Giving them a bottle will not send them into therapy. Telling them you need a break and will not be bothered (except for emergencies) while you are in the tub will not make you a bad mother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
I visited my GP, at my therapist's suggestion, to talk about my chronic pain and be screened for depression. The doc sent a student in to do the screening which wouldn't have been so bad if the student wasn't more nervous than I was and seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that she kept asking me something, then interrupting me, then saying really awkward things because she was trying to be personable.
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It is hard enough for me to tell someone how lousy I'm feeling but to have to tell a student and then sit there while it's being relayed (incorrectly) to the doctor and then have to re-explain it again was excruciating.

She prescribed some meds, muscle relaxers and antidepressants, and I'm nervous about using them so I need to do my own research to see how I feel about breastfeeding on these meds. She wants me to do yoga three times a week and physical therapy 2 times a week and I'm also suppose to be making sure my daughter gets one date night out a week and that dh and I get a night out in the next week and I have NO ONE to watch my kids for any of this. I've wracked my brain and finding childcare here (never mind how I would ever afford it) is nearly impossible. The 'answers' always seem to only further complicate things. :(

I have this big event coming up for a friend and I'm suppose to be planning it and I have no money. I can't even afford something to wear to the party, let alone the cost of attending (each person will pay their own way).

I was feeling a bit 'better' last week. Like I was on top of things but I knew I it wasn't permanent. And then today has been really hard. The baby isn't sleeping and I haven't had time without the kids in awhile.

Just updating in case others ever feel the same way and because I have no one else to talk to.
 

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Sorry you got stuck with a student. Ugh. And yeah, I got the advice to do yoga regularly, get some "me" time (non-yoga) and trade babysitting. Um, with WHOM???? I have friends with kids. None of them wants to take another one for a day any more than I want to reciprocate with THEIR kids. It's hard. But try, and do as much of that as you can. Be creative. Maybe you could find a teenager who will trade babysitting for.... Help with homework? Free car repairs (if your hubby can do stuff like that)? Brownies or something else you can make/do yourself (b/c yeah, you have so much extra time to do this!)?

If you only choose one thing, do physical therapy. Mine only saw me twice, then gave me sheets of all the stretches he taught me so I could do it myself at home. It's cheaper, easier, and less travelling that way, and it's something you can do every day at home for free (after you pay for the initial visits). Let them know that you are trying to do this as cheaply as possible, ask for a little extra time during the first visit or two to make sure you're doing it right, then ask if you can check in in a few weeks/months whenever they feel it should start having some effect. Even a phone follow-up instead of an office visit if everything seems fine (with the promise that you will go in if it's not). Negotiate and see how far you can get!

As for date night, we have a restaurant here that has a separate kids' play area (but not fast food). Maybe there's someplace near you that has that? We also have a coffee shop that has toys, so if you can only find a coffee shop instead of someplace for dinner, you could do a breakfast or lunch date, bring your LO, and have playtime while you and DH chat. (That doesn't count as a real date to a therapist, but it's a compromise.)

To find a sitter: How about contacting the local daycare or preschool and ask for the name of a teacher who might be interested? Or church? Or a church school? That's where our neighbor found her sitter -- her church's preschool teacher is completely underpaid and was happy to sit for two cute little girls for not much money. If you're doing a dinner date with your hubby, payment could be dinner for the sitter and some dessert to take home or something.

Geez, the more I type, the less helpful I get. Just trying to brainstorm. I hope something works for you. Unfortunately, with brainstorming most of it is useless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

Sorry you got stuck with a student. Ugh. And yeah, I got the advice to do yoga regularly, get some "me" time (non-yoga) and trade babysitting. Um, with WHOM???? I have friends with kids. None of them wants to take another one for a day any more than I want to reciprocate with THEIR kids. It's hard. But try, and do as much of that as you can. Be creative. Maybe you could find a teenager who will trade babysitting for.... Help with homework? Free car repairs (if your hubby can do stuff like that)? Brownies or something else you can make/do yourself (b/c yeah, you have so much extra time to do this!)?

If you only choose one thing, do physical therapy. Mine only saw me twice, then gave me sheets of all the stretches he taught me so I could do it myself at home. It's cheaper, easier, and less travelling that way, and it's something you can do every day at home for free (after you pay for the initial visits). Let them know that you are trying to do this as cheaply as possible, ask for a little extra time during the first visit or two to make sure you're doing it right, then ask if you can check in in a few weeks/months whenever they feel it should start having some effect. Even a phone follow-up instead of an office visit if everything seems fine (with the promise that you will go in if it's not). Negotiate and see how far you can get!

As for date night, we have a restaurant here that has a separate kids' play area (but not fast food). Maybe there's someplace near you that has that? We also have a coffee shop that has toys, so if you can only find a coffee shop instead of someplace for dinner, you could do a breakfast or lunch date, bring your LO, and have playtime while you and DH chat. (That doesn't count as a real date to a therapist, but it's a compromise.)

To find a sitter: How about contacting the local daycare or preschool and ask for the name of a teacher who might be interested? Or church? Or a church school? That's where our neighbor found her sitter -- her church's preschool teacher is completely underpaid and was happy to sit for two cute little girls for not much money. If you're doing a dinner date with your hubby, payment could be dinner for the sitter and some dessert to take home or something.

Geez, the more I type, the less helpful I get. Just trying to brainstorm. I hope something works for you. Unfortunately, with brainstorming most of it is useless.
Thank you, those are really great ideas.
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I do have insurance so the physical therapy should be covered, for which I am so grateful. I might try to find out if dh could do a lunch appt and meet me there and watch kids, depending on how long the session takes. I'm really, really hoping they can show me something to help. The chiro gave me exercises to do and my muscles became so inflamed he told me to stop doing them. I just don't get how this is all suppose to work. All the x-rays came back negative and she said she thought that it was a good possibility that my pain is so bad because of stress. I don't know why that hadn't really occurred to me. duh.

I was trying to think of somewhere with a play place, like you said. Dh has celiac so he can't eat most places and I'm vegan so I can't eat most places and there aren't many places with play areas but I was thinking we could get a drink or something. We have to do SOMETHING and that might be the best we get right now.

Most of the time I'm just overwhelmed by how HARD everything is, yk? I am trying my damn hardest. I give everything I do 100% and it just seems like with all the effort I'm putting in things shouldn't be so bad.

I took the kids to the mall today because I'm suppose to have shoes to wear to a wedding I am in and I thought the kids could play. When we left someone had parked crooked in the space next to me completely blocking off the passenger side of my car so that I couldn't get the kids in. I was so pissed I left them a note telling them off. I've never done anything like that in my life but I was livid that someone would do something like that. The person couldn't have been oblivious because they would have had to walk around the front of my car because they'd parked so close to me you couldn't even fit your body between the rear of the cars.
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Quite frankly, though I doubt they cared, it felt good to tell them how crappy their actions were.

Tonight I get out of the house alone and the baby slept last night, both things I am thankful for.
 

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I'm glad to see you're getting some supports in place. Too bad the chiro didn't do more for your pain:( Back to the date night stuff. Maybe your husband can pick up some Japanese food once a week and bring it home so that nobody has to make dinner. That works for me just as much as a date night. I really like takeout, but don't like junk food, so picking up japanese or indian food often really helps. And we try to have leftovers for the next day so that lunch is covered as well. We had some Thai sweet and sour tofu the other day that was sooo good. To me, the idea of date night stresses me out. I much prefer hanging out at home, but not having to clean up.

I didn't see it mentioned, but can you get massages prescribed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
Tonight is one of those nights where I just wonder how much longer it will be like this, how much longer I can keep going. Everything goes so very badly that I look around and feel certain I am doing everything wrong. And at the same time I know that can't be true because I work so hard, care so much, try so desperately to do right by my husband and children... but maybe that's not enough.

There must be some magic component I'm missing. Something that holds families together, makes people love their lives, love their children daily, makes them feel like they can breathe. Makes people love them in return.

That's the thing I'm missing.
 

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Sorry things continue to be hard for you. Did you ever start taking the antidepressants that were prescribed? What you typed really sounds like depression talking. I have been there and had that feeling that I was missing whatever it was that made it possible for people to deal with their lives and feel okay with things. I would just look at other people who seemed to be doing fine, and I had a total lack of comprehension as to how they managed it. I totally didn't get it. But I did realize I was depressed. Then I took some antidepressants for a while, saw a therapist for a while, and worked on taking good care of myself physically, and I got better. So if your first session with the inept student wasn't helpful to you, it might be worth trying again with someone else.

I hope things get better soon for you.
 

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For research on antidepressants and breastfeeding, try Dr. Hale's website: http://www.infantrisk.com/category/depression. Zoloft is generally considered the safest, but given how very seriously ill you sound, you will most likely need greater than a starter dose. Intrusive thoughts like you have take a higher dose. You were very brave to tell your therapist -- those intrusive thoughts are scary. I'm sorry your doc sent in a student. Next time, tell them "I'm not comfortable with a student." I've been on antidepressants and breastfed my kids (who are now 7 and 10) and would be happy to tell you about it, if you want to PM me. Remember too, that you really have to compare two risks: The risk of medicine vs. The risk of having a mom who is severely depressed.

Is there a pain clinic near you? My sister has severe bladder/kidney pain that triggers depression and she only got relief when she went to a pain clinic. They did both medical things with her, and there was a support group of some sort that was really helpful for her. When her pain returns, her depression gets triggered too. But I think for you treating the pain is really crucial, because it's adding a level of stress to you every single day. It's not just when it gets bad, but it's there all the time. That added level of stress builds up over time. Chronic pain can indeed bring about depression. Right now you've got a double whammy (full depression + pain) that's making life difficult.

What kind of exercise can you do that doesn't hurt your back? Would walking help? (It's cheap, it's easy to do with a stroller.) I don't know how severe your back problems are but walking helps my back immensely. Physical therapy also helped, and the exercises I got from the PT were easily done at home. Swimming is also good, but that's logistically may be difficult for you.

Are you getting enough protein? If you're vegan, what are you eating for protein? Your brain needs extra protein to rebuild it's levels of serotonin. And you're breastfeeding. So you need to get a ton of protein. I eat animal protein, so for me, when I'm really feeling bad, I can eat protein bars with whey, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and other protein rich foods. I haven't a clue how to do that in a vegan way, but maybe someone can help.

I'm gonna come right out and say that until you're better date night with your husband should be very low key, if they happen at all. To me, date night sounds like something great to add in when you're in recovery. If paying a sitter causes you too much stress and being out with your husband helps, then do what others suggest and bring them to a place with a play area. Take an afternoon walk to the park. Take the kids to a mall with an indoor play area and sit and chat while they play. My niece can't do gluten and does well at Indian, some Mexican (for example, she can do rice & beans, so just asks for it without the tortilla) and some Asian places (where there's rice, not noodles).
 
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