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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's a lovely autumn day where I live. My son is almost 11 months old. The last 20 or so months of my life (including my pregnancy) have been a roller coaster of mixed feelings. Sometimes joy, but more often then not,...stress and, to put it bluntly, sometimes I regret having a baby.

I went into parenting without any idea of what it would be like. I had always read about those sleepless nights and how your life will change forever once you have a baby, but I never thought in a million years that it would be this hard. I want to be very honest and vent about some of my true feelings regarding being a stay at home mom. Maybe I will sound like a monster. All I know, is that I can't help these feelings. If I could I would turn them off in a second and be an amazing super-mom.

To begin with, I didn't bond right away with my son. I remember when he was born, instead of feeling overwhelming happiness, I felt extremely stressed out, afraid, and one of my first thoughts was "What have I done?". I had to have a c-section, and was in immense pain. For some reason the hospital refused to give me painkillers for the 5 days I spent in the maternity ward after my surgery. I couldn't even get out of my bed. The pain was terrible. For the entirety of those 5 days, I didn't want to hold my son. I felt scared and intimidated by him. I didn't know what I was doing as a parent. I didn't know anything. All I could really focus on was the pain. I felt judged by the hospital staff and other parents there. I was scared that they would notice that I didn't want to hold my son. I just wanted to sleep, to go home, and to relax.

When we finally brought my son home, the first real bonding feeling I had was when I saw him in his little car seat. My boyfriend had placed it by his car as he was unpacking, and I just sort of stared at this little human being that was my new son. I thought, "he's so small, I need to protect him, without me ...who knows what would happen to him?" I began to cry on the spot, feeling these emotional things for my son.

Despite being incredibly protective over my son, I didn't like the newborn days. To me it was more like a nightmare I couldn't wake up from. I don't even think I got a winks sleep for the first 5 months of my sons life. He cried a lot...an ear piercing cry, almost every 30 minutes. The doctors said it was colic. Instead of enjoying parenting like I was supposed to, my days were a muddy haze of putting baby in a swing, diapering baby, feeding baby, holding baby until my back hurt and my shoulders tingled in a numb pain, and nothing seemed to calm him. Nothing. He was miserable. I often cried with him. However I did get this feeling inside of me which I can only guess is "mother's instinct". It is basically the overwhelming feeling to do anything for your baby no matter what it requires. I constantly worried about my baby to the point where sleeping was impossible. You can't turn off "mother's instinct". Your body sort of enters into some sort of new mentality you never knew you had. I worried about SIDS almost constantly. I forgot who I was during that period of my life and everything seemed more robotic. I was just in this sleep deprived haze.

He eventually grew out of this colic stage. The newborn cry eventually turned into babbling and a different ..more matured cry I suppose. He eventually started sleeping through the night.

I felt a gleam of hope when this happened. It honestly felt like, for the first time since he was born, I felt content and even happy.

I could finally get a decent nights sleep. I could finally take care of my baby with more confidence. I knew how to change a poopy diaper with ease (well for the most part). I could now enjoy his smiles. The first time he ever smiled at me overjoyed me. I thought, "wow, I must be doing something right after all. If my son is smiling that means he's happy!" The first smile was, to me, like a right of passage. I had actually taken care of a newborn, I was actually doing a good job. It's hard to tell at first when the baby's only way of communicating with you is crying to the point where his little face is scrunched up and red. A smile, to me was like my son saying, "I'm okay mom." It was a break-through and I felt I was finally starting to not mind parenting so much.

My son has gone through a lot of milestones so far. I never thought it possible a few months ago but he can now stand up on his own. He can sit, play and interact with toys and he laughs when I tickle him. He has blonde hair that is finally coming in, and his eyes are big and brown. He can wear pants and a t-shirt now. He has progressed to eating baby food and even solids. On Thanksgiving he ate turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing like everyone else.

He's turning more and more into a little person. This part excites me. However, I still seem to have days like today where despite all the happy things that come out of parenting there are still a lot of struggles.

I really miss being able to go out on a whim. I miss having alone time. I live with my husband and I am a stay at home mom. I often feel jealous that my husband gets to go out to work and socialize with other adults. I particularly miss going on early morning bike rides, where I would bike ride all day long, from sunrise to sunset.

I live, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so I rely on my husband to get around for the most part. Ever since we had a baby a car has become crucial where-as before I'd bike ride everywhere. This has been hard for me to accept.

I feel depressed that I don't get to go out as often. I can actually live with having to go to bed early for my son's sake. My body is now accustomed to that. However this day in and day out existence of staying at home all the time has made me depressed.

My son has started this new thing he does ever since three months ago. He basically likes to scream. He won't be crying. He just does this "AAAHHHHH!" all day long. It's really loud and ear-piercing. It doesn't matter if he's playing, or if I'm holding him, or if he's in the baby stroller outside....it's a constant ear deafening "AHHHH!!!". This has made going into public really embarressing. It's like a new form of the newborn cry.

I'm at a point now where I have accepted my son into my life. I am a lot better off now, then how I started out. I guess I just sort of feel empty. I feel like those good times are few and very far between. I miss being independent. And...sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have a baby. I wonder what I'd be up to today :(

Sorry for this extremely long post. Venting really helps. Some questions I have for anyone who read this far is:

Is it normal to not enjoy parenting?

Is there any way I can enjoy parenting (maybe I am doing something wrong)?

Does it ever get better?

Is it normal to feel like my life is over now that I am a mom?

Can I fix this and feel better?

He's almost a year old. I am really excited about his first birthday. I can't believe I weathered the storm for this long. I just hope it always isn't like this :( I want to enjoy parenting, I really do.
 

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Hi Winterlain! I'm sorry you're struggling. A lot of this sounds like "normal" adjustment pains, especially with colicy baby. But I think there are some things you can do to improve things.

Have you been screened for postpartum depression or anxiety? What you said about worrying about SIDS sounded a little out of the normal range to me, but your GP or OBGYN or even your son's pediatrician could help you check on that.

Do you have a support system? Family, friends, and your husband might be able to step up a little more and help you get more sleep or a night out or time to exercise in the morning. It can be hard to ask for help, but I find people are very willing if you do.

For adult interaction, you could try finding a mom group (maybe through a church or try Meetup.com). They should be understanding about your son's noisiness. I bet the yelling is just a stage while he learns how to use his voice. Both my kids did that, and I mostly ignored, with a side of removing them from public places as necessary.

Or see if you can set up a regular girl's night/book club/whatever you enjoy while your husband handles bedtime.

It sounds like exercise is important to you, so I would focus on that, whether it means finding a way to get time away from the baby or incorporating him into a physical activity. When I had one baby, I went for looooong walks with stroller or wrap. Now I strap two kids in a bike trailer. An 11-month-old is big enough to ride in a bike seat or trailer if you can get one. You couldn't ride all day, but it would give you some freedom.

You are doing a great job, but those first few months are often about survival and it's easy to get in a rut. With your boy getting bigger, it might be time to think about what would make you feel better and see how you can use your resources (people, time, money, local organizations, whatever) to get a little fun in your life.
 

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Hi, you sound depressed, like really clinically depressed. I had post partum depression after my second child, and it sucked. I recommend going to your doctor have having some blood work done to see if everything OK on that level (childbirth can throw your thyroid off, and your thyroid being off take make you feel like hell), and if everything checks out OK, start seeing a counselor with an understanding of post-partum depression.


You can do things differently than you are. You could drive your husband to work some days and keep the car, and then you could go do things with the baby. You could opt to get a part time or full time job. There are pros and cons to being a SAHM (I was one for many years), but you can be a GOOD mother and have balance in your life. You could also plan a girls night with an old friend. Leave the baby with daddy (its great for them to bond) and get out and feel like yourself again.


It won't always be like this. This period of your life is actually very, very short. And precious. You will feel like you have just blinked and this sweet baby boy will be talking about what he wants to study in college. Motherhood is a very strange thing because the days are long, but the years are really short.
 
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Is it normal to not enjoy parenting?

Is there any way I can enjoy parenting (maybe I am doing something wrong)?

Does it ever get better?

Is it normal to feel like my life is over now that I am a mom?

Can I fix this and feel better?
Those are some ideas for feeling better and enjoying parenting more, but to answer some of your actual questions.

Not enjoying parenting is normal, and feeling like your life is over is normal. You just took on a major years-long project! I try to remember that life is always changing; every day, you are starting a new life and leaving the past behind. Becoming a SAHM closes some doors and opens other. I would have changed jobs, moved, met people, lost people, learned things, lived through hard times, etc., with or without kids.

It does get better. The way you described your son's smiles was so precious, and I hope you get more of those moments of connection. You'll have good times and bad times and average times, just like in any relationship, but being able to communicate effectively with my children was a big step forward for me. It could be that infants aren't an area of strength for you. I'm great with babies, not so good with preschoolers; I'm getting through it anyway.

I hope you have a real-life person who you can talk to and who will help you find ways to make connections with yourself, your son, and your community. I think you will be able to find a way to thrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for your answer missmanson. I'm really happy to hear that some of what I wrote sounds like normal adjustments parents go through. I can definitely be an anxious person. I am a "worrier". I remember when my son first slept through the night it scared me. I started to dose off to sleep. I sort of went in and out of consciousness for a bit thinking "I have to get up in an hour to feed my son...." and then I just fell asleep. I had acquired a huge sleep dept and my body just took over. I drifted off into the deepest sleep. When I woke up I looked at the clock and it had said 12 hours had passed.

I jumped out of bed in a near panic and rushed to my son's crib. I was thinking "omg my son is dead! SIDS!". But there he was smiling in his crib. I picked him up and felt so incredibly guilty for falling asleep so long. I said something along the lines of, "Don't worry mommy won't ever sleep again!" I then thought....wait a minute. Since then he's been sleeping through the night. I think I was a lot more anxious in the beginning. Lots of doctors warned me about SIDS so I sort of had this notion in my head that I had to prevent it at all costs.

I think I definitely have depression right now. The weather's getting colder and winter will take over soon. I guess I feel trapped staying in with my son all the time, and I know winter will make it even harder. I do still have time to ride my bike before that happens. We actually do have a big red bike trailer. We got him a helmet meant for one year olds as well. We haven't tried it yet because I was worried about how shakey it might be. He's at an age now where is his jumping around everywhere so I think you are right and that he can go into the trailer now. I will have to dress him up in his winter coat!

You're right I need to get out more. I love riding my bike, to me it's a huge stress reliever and is a whole lot of fun. I miss it with a passion. I guess I really can do some of my old hobbies. I'll just need to include my son now, but it can be done. I really need to stop being afraid and go for it.

To be honest, I always kind of knew I wouldn't like babyhood. I had a feeling I'd find it stressful. I often look forward to when he's maybe 3-5 years old, but I feel bad for saying that. I never ever want him to know that I didn't like the baby period of his life. Is it wrong for me to like the fact it will be the shortest period of his life? Things like this keep me going...but it does make me feel like a terrible person. My mom never talked about the first year of my brother or my life. I have a feeling she might have felt the same way. She seems to only ever talk about life for us after two years old! Her face lights up and she wants to do it all over again. Hopefully I follow in this way!

The problem with the mom's groups is that the closest one is really far away. It's about an hour's drive ...I really do live in the middle of nowhere.

I guess in the future I am looking forward to having a bit of me time back. I am looking forward to being able to follow my goals in life again, with my son at my side. Right now though, he is really so dependent on me. Thanks for the advice, I think the carriage idea is great. I was going to wait until he reached his first birthday but I actually do think he's ready for little bike rides with mom. :)
 

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I had to answer this post. You sound just like me! I did not bond with my son when he was little. Some of us are not little baby people. Things got better as he got older but I couldn't honestly say that I loved him until he was 1 1/2- about the time he started talking. Suddenly I felt like we had a real connection. So yes, it gets better! And no, you are not horrible, some of us just take longer to adjust to motherhood than others. And honestly babies are not for everyone. Kids and babies are so different. You just might be a kid and not a baby person. Also, becoming a parent means that a stage of your life (the before baby stage) is now over. I think it's important, especially for those of us who have to struggle into becoming a parent, to spend some time letting yourself mourn for that part of your life without feeling guilty. It doesn't mean that the next part of your life won't also be great eventually, but it's not right now and that's ok to admit to.

I work part time but I know I would have gone crazy as a stay at home mom. It sounds like you need some adult time. Could you get a part time job? Or find a mom's group nearby to go do things with? I also agree with other posters that exercise sounds like it's important for you. Invest in a baby carrier if you don't already have one and go walk on the roads if you need to. Walks with my guy saved my sanity more than once and he liked being outside to. And if you like biking, a trailer is a great way to still be able to do that with a baby.

It sounds like your son is getting old enough now that you can let yourself out of crisis mode a little and start thinking about how to make your life more enjoyable. It can be so hard to get yourself to get out and do things but just do one thing for yourself at least once a week and then build from there. Things will get better!
 

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Not a lot of time to reply, but oy does this sound familiar. It took me a loooong time to accept the permanence of parenting, that there would be no "end of the work day" as I was accustomed. Sometimes I still feel like that, 5 years later! My first year with my DD was also very hard. I will try to come back and post more, but I want to urge you to do something I still have not and seek therapy. That first year still haunts me, like a trauma from which I never recovered. It still affects my relationship with my daughter, who is still a challenging kid. Being a stay at home mom is a strange, lonely business. It strips you down to just....a person, living, maintaining the day to day. It's hard to find your identity.

Things will get better overall. There will be new challenges, but you will grow into your parenting. And for now, nothing you are feeling is at all wrong.
 

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The problem with the mom's groups is that the closest one is really far away. It's about an hour's drive ...I really do live in the middle of nowhere.
Could you and your husband re-evaluate your living situation and consider moving to someplace that is not in the middle of no where?


I've lived all over the US and Canada for my DH's job. I've lived in big cities and small towns and suburbs. I've lived near the beach and near the mountains and in the middle of a prairie. At one point, we lived in the county and he commuted. I really thought I would love it, but it wasn't for me. I felt very isolated. I've discovered that I feel happier and more balanced when I interact with people a lot. I have found that I can be happy almost anywhere, but that I can't live in an isolated way.


Have you been honest with your husband about what you are going through and how you are feeling? Does he get it at all?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your answer newmamalizzy. You are so right it really does strip you down. I feel as though I've been stripped down raw. I am suddenly faced with this enormous task of not only getting to know this new little person in my life, but also getting to know myself as a mom. There are things that are being revealed that I had no idea about myself. Some good some bad. I try and focus on the good points. I never knew of myself to be a patient person. I feel like I must be the most patient person in the world right now...or maybe I've finally grown up myself. I am 29 years old. Having a baby definitely makes me feel "grown" up too. Before I had a baby I felt young and free. Now I have responsibilities and need to put my grown up pants on! This is another strange change for me.

I guess being almost 30 made me half expect now was the right time to have a child. I don't think there is ever a right time. I really hope I don't have to take medication eventually. I have nothing against medication for depression, but I guess there is part of me hoping that this is a phase. My mom took medication when my brother and I were young and was on it until she was around 40. She then stopped the medication and got really depressed and changed until she went back on it. She's now 59 years old and skips her medication a lot because she says it makes her feel dizzy. Whenever she stops though she will phone me up and say really weird things like ...she is a total different person for a while. I feel bad for her :( I guess I feel like maybe the medication was masking her problems, I want to face my problems and hopefully fix it. I don't mind the idea of therapy though. I'd much rather try that then medication. The reasoning for the meds wasn't to do with child-rearing though. It was for a divorce she had.

Ultimately I don't want my dislike for parenting right now to effect my son in anyway. If that means eventual medication I will do that. To me that is so important. I want him to know love and nothing but love. I want him to know I am somebody he can rely on forever. I think that would be the best thing to happen.

Thanks itybitywity, who knows maybe I will be a kid person! I really hope so. I really want to bring him camping when he's older, with us. I want to teach him how to ride a bike. I want to have a conversation with him. There are all kinds of things I am looking forward to doing with him when he's older. My mom and dad and brother were all close in this way. I want my son to have the same thing with me and my husband. Right now though, you are right, I really need to grieve for my old life. If I keep on thinking about it and wanting it back, I won't ever be happy. I need to grieve and say goodbye to it. I need to embrace my new life. I think I will take the time to write a list of things I liked about my old life, and really grieve.

Thanks for all the advice. I wasn't expecting so many great answers as I felt like a terrible person. I want things to be okay!
 

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Hi-
When my DD was born, I never expected to essentially lose my life in so many ways. It felt like a big iron door slammed shut, trapping my former life behind it. I loved my daughter but it was hard, very hard. She got older, I delved back into work, and now she is 8 and I have the essence of the former 'me' back 100%. I feel balanced now.

I beat myself about having another child for years, then I read the Feminine Mystique and that one book made me realize I don't want any more kids and there's nothing wrong with that at all. Reading your post makes me think you could tremendously benefit from reading it.

You're feelings aren't so weird. My DH and my DD are super close, and when he talks about her as a baby he says "she was really no fun back then." It's much easier to feel close to them when they can actually be company on some level. Babies are so needy. I remember I breastfed until the day my DD turned 1 and then handed her a big bottle of whole milk and thought, "I should be sad but I'm so HAPPY."

Get your former life back- go back to work,etc. You'll feel much much better.

hugs
 

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I think you've gotten some awesome responses from moms... you are definitely not alone! I know you said that you live in the middle of nowhere and a mom's group is really far... but there are lots of other places that sometimes randomly do kid things during the week, so maybe you can look into that? Around me, here are some places that I've seen over the years: Chik-fil-A does a story time/craft time breakfast once a week; Barnes and Noble does a craft/story time at least once a week (and maybe other smaller bookstores also); any library of any size will have baby and older story times, play times and just be a great place to go to meet other moms; there was a random pottery barn store that did story time once a week, pay as you go kids' gym class, and a local mall does preschool/toddler activities a few times a month in the morning. It might take a little websurfing and picking up a lot of free papers in the community, but there are things out there. I heartily agree with the idea of dropping your DH off at work and taking the car for the day a few times. Even if he isn't close to your house, you could do it twice a week and stay local to his office and make it a plan to have two full days out of the house in that area (new library, kid's museum, park, etc.)

... Also, at 11 months old, your son is still fairly portable and will likely fall asleep a couple of times a day if you are out and about, so it is a great time to still go do things you want to do. If you have the car, you can go shopping, join a gym and use gym babysitting, find old friends of yours who you haven't seen in a while and meet them for lunch (even if it is during their work day), etc.

Hang in there! My kids are now 5, 6 and 10, and it gets easier.

Oh, for the record, I was never cut out to be a full time stay at home mom, although I think I'm a great mom. I went back to work 3 days a week as soon as a baby was 3 months old, each time, with no regrets.
 

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He'll, I often lurk but had to register because the biking comment struck a cord for me.

I am more of a walker, but my husband is an avid cyclist, and the one thing he has been looking forward to is taking our daughter out on his bike. We live in a city that is very bike friendly, so it is not unusual for us to see parents all over with a seat or carriage attached to their bikes hauling their kids up and down the trails. Right now our daughter is too young, but the moment she is old enough she's getting strapped in that carriage!

When I had my son I was 21 years old and very much like you. I was living in a secluded area, did not drive, and was totally not ready to be a parent. It took me years to feel a bonding experience with him, and now at 16!!:eek: I still panic at the idea of something happening to him. My son flies a lot because he spends 6 months with me and 6 months with his dad and every time he boards a plane I go into a panic, thinking something will happen. The last time he had a layover in Chicago he was eating dinner in a restaurant and asked me to stop calling him. This is a far cry from how I was when he was first born where I couldn't stand to hold him and his screams set my nerves on fire.

I had my daughter this year, at 36 years old, and everything is different. I think I have gained more patience and more understanding in my ripe old years. I felt the bond with her immediately, and very rarely get annoyed. I can recognize now that with my son I had very severe postpartum depression while with my daughter my life is much, much better.

I really think you should try to invest back into your activities, but try to incorporate your son. I think when we become parents we are so quick to give up our identity for our children. I did that with my son. With my daughter I was determined to not let that happen.

In a sense her birth has not changed our lives much: we still travel extensively, we exercise, go out to restaurants, socialize. It's more like we adapted to the change: when we travel we have to pack more things; when we go out for a walk we strap her in the harness or stroller... we have left restaurants if she is cranky. It happens. These things happen.

It's just a matter of rolling with the punches. :)
 

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I know you may feel like a terrible person but through your comments i saw a very loving mother who wants the best for her son.

SIDS is scary. I completely relate to that feeling of wanting to prevent it and being vigilant means little sleep lol. There's nothing wrong with that. You don't need meds because you're worried about sids. Quite normal, especially if you have a dr making you worry.If there is another baby down the road, consider a sids breathing or heartrate monitor. it just might get you a few more hrs of sleep. Your worry shows you love him. At this age they feel love by being in your prsense, fed, played with, new experiences etc. To me, you sound like youre going to rock the toddler years. colicky newborn phase is challenging to the most seasoned mother.

I didnt bond with my lo because id been up for 2 days and i dont function with little to no sleep. Every body is different in how it handles sleep deprivation. Yours turned you into a robot, which doesnt make you a bad mom.Just a sleep deprived mom.

If you arent wanting to hurt yourself or your son, or are so depressed you arent getting out of bed and your livlihood is suffering, imo meds arent nessesary. Im the same way, wanting to stay away from meds and truly feeling through lifes changes is what works for me. Id rather feel than be numb. We were meant to have ups and downs and deal with change. On that topic. List out the things you want to do the most if your son wasnt around and see how to modify those with him. For example i journal during naps or outside play time. Study what i find invogorating during naps or bedtime.Paint and give lo one some paint too. I have a lottle chef on my hands so every meal has a helper to stir. Its never truly the same with a baby but getting something done that energizes you or relaxes you is better than loathing never being able to do it again. Before you know it, he might just be your bike riding sidekick and love it because you love it and showed him how to love it as well.

you sound like a mom who loves her son and is dealing with life changes and growing accustomed to those. Your post compelled me to post my thoughts.I truly wish you the best and that you will look back on this time and quietly chuckle to yourself because you made it over the difficult years.
 

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It's really hard. It's hard to be a full time mom, be so under appreciated by society, alone, and have a full day of menial tasks (diapering, cleaning, cooking, putting to sleep, soothing, holding, playing, etc.). I just wanted to say that these feelings are completely normal. The difficulty of the first year depends on many factors. If you are naturally anxious plus you had/have a difficult baby, and a surreal and painful birth experience, your life is going to be quite hard for a while. Being isolated from everyone makes it worse. My daughter is now two and even though everyone complains about these years, it has honestly been so much more fun to me. We can more easily understand each other and she is super fun and creative and silly. There are still extremely hard days though. But, not as bad as the first year. I truly think some kids are just way harder than others and some babies are high needs!

Also, I think you have some great things going for you - your son sleeps through the night! You know many parents (including me) are still struggling with this. YAWN....
You have activities you miss and want to participate in, but are holding yourself back because of some constraints (perhaps mentally created and some real). It would be worrying if you had no interest in anything. But you are basically grieving your old life and trying to find meaning in your new life, and new meaning and relationships take time, they take constant energy and love and sweat, and they don't just happen. So your feelings are normal.

Personally, I feel like taking drugs for depression can create the type of endless cycle similar to what it sounds like your mom is experiencing - a life on a drug and when that one stops working switching to another one rather than learning coping mechanisms. I think talk therapy, but even more cognitive behavioral therapy would be much more effective. Some people who cannot get out of bed and are having extreme thoughts of harming themselves or others should be medicated, but struggling and feeling depressed or sad or angry and frustrated are all normal emotions.

Being a stay at home mom is really hard. I knew I would have a way easier time going back to work and finding a babysitter or day care, but I just couldn't. My daughter was so demanding and clingy and would scream if she was set on the ground for a few minutes, but I just honestly believe that it was the best thing for her have me and not someone else take care of her. It was so hard for me because I was so busy working at two different universities in a high paced academic setting that to go from that to staying home, I felt really bored and lost.

However, I think it was good for me. It is still hard, but i'm stretching myself in ways I would never have had I done it differently. Plus, as pretty much everyone says soon these days will be gone. In no time the kid who screams to only be by you may cringe when you come pick him up from school or after school activities (I hate thinking about that). Even though it doesn't every feel like it when your kid is being clingy and demanding and crying all the time, this time is precious and creating the foundation for your relationship and for who they will be.

You don't have to be perfect to be the best mom to him. You don't always have to be happy or playful or singing to show love and care. Your son loves you because you are his mom. Be gentle with yourself. Starting writing things that make you happy so you can see what you are gracious about - that really works! Start making small goals for yourself that you can literally do (driving far is probably out at least as a often activity) and then do them. (ex. Wed. go on a bike ride in the morning, go for a walk outside, go to the library story time, etc.). Try to go outside every day, even if it is just for 15 minutes to putz around and look at leaves or snow or rocks with him. Go for a walk if your area allows it. Find creative ways to do the things you love. You HAVE to start biking again. Maybe your son will absolutely love and you guys will be going all over. Maybe he'll have a hard time a first and learn to love it.... you just never know.

And maybe as others have said you can drop off your husband once or twice a week and drive to a library or even a playground so that he is absorbed in watching others and you can interact with the parents there.

It was so helpful to leave every day, even if it is just a long walk, or a trip to the library, or the grocery story, or a playground. I joined a group of new moms which was really helpful, but after I got used to going out a lot, it didn't matter if I knew anyone at the playground or not (most of the people in the group didn't show up for activities). It was pretty easy to start talking with people.

Anyway, good luck! I'll be thinking about you guys.

Also, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Get exercise to release stress. Make sure you are getting enough Vit. D. Try eating protein in the morning - that really made me less anxious for some reason. Make sure you are getting a lot of veggies and fruits, and omega 3s help with anxiety too.

Your love shows through your comments about your son. Just be kind to yourself. Especially with winter coming. Sorry I wrote a book!
 

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Dare to take back the parts of your life you can take back. Get something to take your child on bikerides. I love riding my bike too so I really can relate. When my child was little I preferred the seat over a trolley but now when she is older I prefer the latter. We have been on so many rides it is truly great to get to share this with her.

Also, about things being far away, I still think you need to take part in social life a bit more often. I would actually decide a day which is for outings and make sure that you prepare mentally and with some packing the day before and get out of the house at the latest by lunch time and then stay out the whole afternoon. Make that routine and make it a part of your life.

Go outside every day and make sure you get fresh air and exercise. Take the chance to show your child the world. Talk about what you see and experience and show him anything from things you find on the ground to pointing out that you are meeting someone you know to seeing an animal. He is not too young to be involved and spoken to, he might not say much but children understand much much more than they say. He will not understand everything but I guarantee he understands some of it and the more you talk to him the faster he will start talking and interacting. I talked to my baby from birth about life and everything fully knowing she didn't understand me at the beginning but at 1 years of age my child was 1 year ahead of average when it comes to speaking and she is still speaking much more than average for her age. He is already that person you can talk to and soon he is going to talk so much you will just pray for a quiet moment...

I do understand not liking babyhood very much, I was never a baby person and while I bonded with my child I didn't think it started to get really fun until she was 6-8 months and started being a "real" human. I love having a 3 year old and I know from experience with other people's children that I will probably love the rest of her childhood too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thank you for all the nice heart-lifting comments. I tried to make a change last week in how I viewed parenting. I decided to try and do something about my feelings by breaking out of my little shell I've pretty much been living in. I decided to get a baby backpack so I can carry my son on the bus, this way going into town won't be so impossible. I also got the lightest stroller ever! It must weigh 2 pounds! My son's really getting a kick out of it. With these two things in my possession I am suddenly a lot more mobile. I still haven't tried the bike carriage but I am waiting for my husband to have a day off work so we can try it together.

Yesterday though, was a really different day for me. My son still cries a lot and is a high needs baby, but I decided to bring him outside to a giant nature reserve/park. My husband came as well, and we put our son into the grass. He crawled around and smiled and must have played with autumn leaves for 2 hours. It was really funny and sweet to watch.

I almost got emotional. I thought "Wow he's grown so much". His birthday is next month so I am already looking back on the past year. I really do love him. I think my main problem is literally figuring out how to adjust him into my life. I've been struggling with that, and also finding a balance. I think bringing him out to the nature area was really great though. It was something we both enjoyed. He's at that age where he is interested into everything so to him it was a lot of fun. He picked up sticks and grass, and crunched leaves with his hands as he crawled :) My mom said I was scared of grass when I was little lol! I think the cutest most magical moment was when he'd crawl up to me and use me to stand up, as I sat in the grass with him. He smiled and kept coming over to me to lift himself up. It felt nice to be his mom.

I felt proud of him. I was happy and living in the moment yesterday. I felt peaceful. I still feel "different" being a mom and also it is still a struggle on those days where I am alone taking care of him 24/7, but I really think I need to just have days like those, where we just all get out to enjoy the day as a family.

I remember I used to think of giving him up for adoption (I know it sounds terrible) but those days seem like a blur now. Now I never think of that anymore. Something clicked inside of me that said "he is my son and he is always going to be in my life", I just accepted him and from there things started to get a bit better. I know parenting will never be "perfect" but I can definitely have those days where it seems effortless and happy :) Feeling like a proud mom is a really nice feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for your answer pansori. I can so relate to the restaurant thing, I remember eating as fast as possible...and sometimes even not finishing my food because my son would start to get cranky haha. Yesterday we went to a restaurant with him and put him in one of those baby seats they have. It was such a different experience. He kept smiling at me and I gave him bits of food from whatever I was eating. I think he's finally reached that age where he is turning into a toddler. Already I can tell I will like this stage better. I heard about the terrible twos, but I am hoping maybe I won't mind it!

I can't wait until he's old enough for a small bike. Even just watching him learn would make me happy. He also snacks a lot on actual food now, which is a big change from formula 24/7 He really likes cheese with cheerios, his personal favourite but will eat pretty much anything in front of him lol.

I remember when I didn't want to hold him. I remember not wanting him anywhere near me, but today I am more than happy for him using me as a stand up post lol. I can't wait until he can give hugs. He's definitely changing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Elliha, thanks so much, I agree I need to take him out and not be afraid anymore. He's well past that newborn stage, and sometimes I think my mind tricks me into thinking he's still a newborn, but he isn't. He's really adventurous and becoming able to communicate in his own way.

He can understand little things now. I remember when he used to grab my hair and try and rip it out lol, now whenever he grabs my hair I gently take his hand and go "let go of mom's hair please" and he lets go every time now. He also doesn't bite me anymore (he used to think I was a chew toy), He totally gets it if I say "oww!" even lightly haha. I think he's starting to grasp communication. He understands "look at this" and he understands when I point to something. He understands "good night" and also "hi". I'm surprised he really is understanding things now. He says "dada" and "mum" but recently says "dad-dee!" which is really cute.

He has his own words for things I noticed too. Teddy bears are bit happy sounding "aahh"'s and toys are "doo doo doo"'s

I agree with not giving up my identity. I think giving that up is a recipe for depression. I think at first I felt I had to do that, otherwise I'd be judged ...it was hard :( I now realize that being a good parent means not giving that up. I need to still be me, and do things I enjoy, and one day my son will love me for it. I think he wouldn't like it if I was stressed and miserable. He would like it if I was happy. I think doing that is key, not forgetting myself. Having "me time" and doing things I like with him.
 
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