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My baby was born in Sept 2011
Tips for managing on your own?
23/02/2012 at 05:15
I was wondering if anyone else is managing with no family nearby and if so have you found anything useful or that helps keep you sane and things going.
I have no family near us and my Dad is too poorly to travel. Sadly i lost my Mum to cancer aged 6 which adds a whole host of other issues and so we've been stuck from the start.
My mil has come a couple of times but she is quite critical of me and never really helps. When i was laid up after the section she was going on about random things like why wss the milk laid down in the fridge?
So she doesn't help and often i think she just wants company.
When she did babysit for 2 hours she put our son on the end of the bed in his moses baxket which was too small. Despite her asking where to put him down and me giving 3 alternatives!
She doesn't believe in the cot death acvice etc which as you can imagine means we're lesc than happy to ask her to babysit but she's our only option.
We're so envious of friends having babies with family all around, mum's there all the time and household jobs done for them in the first few months. We just had it all piling up until i recovered.
We haven't been alone together since he was born and i've not been away from him for more than 3 hours.
We're struggling to stay on an even keel. Botn exhausted and me having several bouts of illness hasn't helped.
I've realised i'm noh getting out much and my life revolves around our son's routine and i've lost my self. Think i need to think of some small and cheap outings for us.
What do you do to keep something for yourself?
1785 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 05:51
G/C hope you don't mind!
My situation is a bit different from yours in that we do have my mum and MIL and hubby's stepmum locally but our situation is not the picturesque scene you might imagine!
I have very set ideas on my role as a mother and although I know it's not for everyone I felt that when I made the decision to become a parent I would make my life about my children.
Having said that, I have now come to the point where I feel it is time that hubby and I had some time to ourselves. Up to now I have only left Matilda with my mum for 30 minutes or so, but I know hubby is longing for grown up time out and away from the baby. We are going to a wedding reception in March but that will not feel like time for us really.
At the minute, I am thinking that as it is hubby's birthday next week we might go to the cinema and maybe for a drink afterwards. As I'm not comfortable with someone else doing bedtime (Tilly is difficult, sometimes even for hubby) and they might not do things my way, we will put her to bed and then go to a showing afterwards. That way there is nothing for the babysitter to do except be here if she wakes up! Perhaps as your MIL sounds like mine (a bit know-it-all) she could babysit for you after bedtime too?
The other thing I am doing is talking to people at baby groups. I only go to a couple and have been going a little while but people haven't spoken to me. I'm very shy but after I spoke to one a few weeks ago, I now try and have a little conversation with someone at each thing I go to. Mostly people talk about their children still (even at the doctors) but to me I at least feel I am talking properly to a grown up!
As for your experience after birth, I completely sympathise. I had a traumatic birth with 4th degree tearing and hemmorage (sp?. As my mum isn't able to drive any more she could only visit if we collected her or my brother brought her over, and step-MIL was away on holiday I had most visits from MIL who was useless. She wanted to feed baby (at the time I was breastfeeding so she couldn't) and cuddle baby and nothing else. I had to make tea the day she brought hubby's grandparents - which really annoyed me as I was finding it uncomfortable to even stand up and they talked about it and laughed over the uncomfortable-ness of stitches there - hahaha obviously a barrel of laughs! So I know how it feels to be behind yourself and piles of things to do with no one helping out - at least that is behind you now!
Gosh it's turned into a bit of a whinge from me - sorry. Please do try putting baby to bed and then having MIL babysit though... eventually it is time to have a bit of life again, and she can't do too much wrong if baby is already asleep!
685 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 06:24
Emily is my second baby so my situation is a little different. But when I had my son 4 yrs ago I used to make sure I always went out. I do have my Mam around and luckily is only a half hour drive for me or it takes her about an hour on the bus. I never joined any baby groups as i always knew i was going back to work and didnt want my one day off a week to be structured, so basically I lived in shopping centres, just wandering and stopping for a coffee. When the weather got warmer I used to walk down the coast and pack myself a little picnic. I arranged to meet friends from work on thier days off and made sure i made the most of my maternity leave. (I also tried to avoid my very near MIL as she too always thought she knew best!)
I also set myself a time to get ready for and be out for as i found if i just dawdled about I never got anywhere!
This time round my little boy is at nursery so we are tied to how far we can go as we have to be back after 3 hours to pick him up. I walk alot with Emily as she loves her pram, it fills the time in more and saves on petrol. We often go up to our local little shopping area and go for a coffee and a feed in the cafe and to be honest after having a 4yr old who talks from the minute he wakes up till the minute he goes to sleep its nice to get a bit peace!
My little boy often goes to stop overnight at my mams but Emily is BF and co sleeps - she is ALWAYS with me, iv never been able to leave her at all but she is no bother and we just take her with us if we want to go out for a meal. But more often than not we just get a take away and snuggle up with a dvd. This time round its not such a shock to my system!
294 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 07:27
Hi honey. I am gatecrashing but had to respond as was / am in a similar situation to you. I lost my dad when I was little and I lost my mum in 1999. I found it very difficult when my first was born, and really resented my mother in law being around, even though I had previously had a really good relationship with her. She also lives 90 minutes away, so has to stay over and cannot just pop in when I need to do something, and I found her very in my face. My husband also works very long hours and we are very envious of friends with family on the doorstep. I also had a section so had a longer recovery.
My tips would be:
- let go a little with your mother in law - even if she doesn't do things your way, try and relax a little and lean on her as you cannot do it all alone, and eventually you will be glad of her help - obviously you need to keep your baby safe - could you get some leaflets on cot death?
- did you go to antenatal classes? if not, try and join some groups now as you will find other people going through similar things and at least find some comfort
- if you cannot go out to socialise (we didn't have anyone babysit for at least 6 months) invite your friends around and have a laugh and some drinks or whatever helps you chill and feel like a couple again
- i must admit to having a cleaner - well worth it if you can afford a couple of hours a week
- are you going back to work? it might be worth speaking to your care provider nice and early and see if you can start settling in sessions. this will also help your baby if/when you do go back. i wish i had started earlier.
- going out for walks kept me sane - helps that i have a dog so had to regularly get out but i am sure that is what helped me through and doesn't cost anything!
- hang in there - you have been through the toughest few months and things WILL get easier from now on in. Your baby will become less reliant on you and feeds will get further apart etc.
There IS light at the end of the tunnel and it will all be worth. The proof is that after all we went through, we are going back for more and we are due next month. Our little girl now 2 and a half has a fab relationship with her nanny and the two of them go off for hours together when we see her, so it has all come good in the end. I am really nervous about coping again this time around, but I wouldn't have signed up for it if I thought we couldn't do it.
I really wish you all the best as it is so tough coping on your own but I promise it will get easier.
93 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 07:30
another tip would be - get a slow cooker! that way, once baby is in bed, dinner is ready to go so you don't have to spend your precious time together cooking. just chuck everything in sometime in the morning - you don't need to brown stuff. chop it up, throw it in and then heat up a sauce and pour it over the top. leave it on all day and you will be good to go.
93 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 14:13
Hay, my Parents live in oz so dOnt get help from them and most Of
My family live 2/3 hours away so dOnt seem them very much.My hubby family are around, his dad died a few years ago his mil has remarried but she is useless and like your is very critical and she is always putting down only last week she commented on me breast feeding and why my parents haven't sent anything for my others two birthdays or fOr Oliver when he was born (we go over to oz in 5 weeks) so mum
Is waiting till then to spoil them as she put it.i don't get any help I have been out with hubby once since he was born as it was our wedding anniversary and then she te
Us not to take the mick and stay out to long.sorry going on abut here.but I go to any grOups and although at the minute I feel lonely it does help.hey really do help, the ones I go to are sure start and offer
AlOt of other groups to.do you have sure start near yOu?x
664 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 14:38
Ladies thank you so so much!!!!
I feel so relieved to hear that my feelings are normal being in this situation and also to hear that you are both managing fine.
I think your tips are really really practical which means I feel I can actually try them out and make a difference.
I know what you mean about my mil and I do have the option to relax a little - I do try - or try it when baby is asleep.
I'm thinking I might be able to ask my sister too which I'd feel happier with.
We went to feed the ducks today which was nice and meant I wasn't stuck indoors worrying about money, work, am I doing it right etc and just waiting for his next feed, nap or change.
It felt like time out for me and it was very peaceful.
I think the nice weather helped too.
I do have an NCT group but they (atleast seem to) all have more disposable cash than us and plenty of family so they don't really 'get it'.
The one girl who doesn't can go shopping a lot and out for lunch with friends which we can't really afford. But I'm thinking maybe we can do lots of walks and treat ourselves to the odd coffee for sanity.
Luckily I have sorted a nursery out and we are starting settling in 8 weeks ahead of time and they say we can go and play there anytime which is a weight off.
I'm trying to look at it that my Mum would be pleased for me and proud and how she must have loved me the way I love my son.
Greymum - its so odd that our situations are quite similar.
Best of luck for your next one!
1785 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 14:44
Hi Candimum - I'm sorry you haven't much support either.
MILs can be a bit insensitive and I'm sure in my case its compounded by my hormones. I'm probably subconsciously pissed off that its not my Mum who is around too. ?
I hope you get a break soon candimum and that you don't get anymore stick for it either. From when you were my bump buddy I certainly didn't get the impression you would 'take the mick' anyway.
Hope you are healing well - did the doctors say anymore about your swelling? xxx
1785 forum posts
23/02/2012 at 17:07
Sorry only just seen your post. I echo what the others have said. I went to an under ones group at my sure start centre on Monday. had to summon up all my courage (which I know is silly!) to go but I really enjoyed it and as an added bonus it tired Ollie out so he slept more in the afternoon!
and all for free!
I also make sure i do the weekly shopping as this is one of my weekly outings and Ollie and I enjoy it. i put him in the trolley and he just enjoys looking around at everyone!
I am also fortunate enough to have friends who get together for a coffee afternoon which I really look forward to and is a channce to moan about men and feel like me. Do you have any friends that you could meet up with?
745 forum posts
25/02/2012 at 16:45
Thanks for your good wishes and glad that you are feeling a bit better hearing everyone's advice.
I definitely think our mums would be pleased for us and proud of us - we are all doing a great job, even though it doesn't always feel like it!
Lots of love to all of you ladies who have less support around you than others do.
93 forum posts
25/02/2012 at 17:48
i read your post the other day but with a 6 month old i got distracted from replying! But didnt want to R and R.
I feel so sorry for you as in some ways i know how you feel; however, will not say im in your boat as i do have my mum and dad 20 mins drive away who has been amazing, and i know without very regular visits to them and the practical and emotional support ive had from them my experience of motherhood might have been very different. I am one of the few people i know who actually gets on very well with my MIL but she works full time and doesnt drive, and is 45 mins away. We've tried really hard to include her and take LO at least every fortnight for a family day there. She also has been to stay at ours.
In defence of your MIL i do think it might be a generation thing - my mum is just the same with comments, she thinks im over the top about wantng to bf and doesnt understand why when i go back to work when LO is 8.5 months i can't formula feed (i want to try and express and keep going). She also has never approved of me letting LO fall asleep at the breast even though we both love those special times, and she doesnt agree that my LO had no food until 6 months. Everything has changed so much since she had babies and i can sense her disapproval! I guess the difference is with your own mum, you can tell her to mind her own business, laugh about it and still be friends. And she ultimately has always respected im the mum and its my decision. My MIL is one of those people in life who always keeps the peace and never upsets anyone so ive never felt riled by any comments - but im sure she must think things all the time, things have changed so much and they of course dealt with babies long before us! She might not mean to upset you with comments like the milk being laid down in the fridge (you know her better though!) but when you're tired and hormonal sometimes even conversation starters can feel like criticism.
I feel really sad for you though as i can totally understand how you feel lonely - you are getting over major surgery without much support. I struggle with the housework too, I do a little bit here and there but i miss being able to devote a couple of hours to it and make the whole place look nice. Im always chasing my tail and cant imagine how ill fit in work as well.
from what i remember your LO is only very young though - have to say i never left LO until he was a month old and that was for one hour on my birthday, with my mum. Ive only ever done this occsionally right up to when he was 5 months as he wouldnt take a bottle until then. I had my hair done for a couple of hours and on another occasion left him for a couple of hours to go to a funeral. I think bf can mean you have very little time away from them - unless they are the sort of babies that feed 3 hourly or something. For months my LO fed hourly and wouldnt take a bottle.
despite having my mum around, I knew when oh went back to work id become too reliant on her and both my parents are getting older and didnt sign up for permanent care of their grandchild! I made myself go to a postnatal group run by the HVs - weekly for 6 weeks covering loads of topics to do with babies, for first time mums only. Half way through we had drinks and biscuits and got to chat. 6 months on we still meet weekly at the local pub catch up and compare babies. Some of them ive been for a cup of tea with on other occasions and ive felt knowing these people has really given me something that i needed.
As others have said, childrens centres do some fab free things. It takes guts to go along to them but it means you've been somewhere for that day and didnt have to spend money. I found in the beginning it was so important to spread some feelers out and make contact, even if it was just for one or two hours a day. When i knew we werent going to see anyone, I made sure we went for a long walk. Because LO fed hourly this meant going in the local coffee shop and bf him alone but i got brave and did this just to say id been somewhere. I also used to take LO swimming on my own which was hard work but sometimes i couldnt stand the thought of the four walls closing in on us!
Please dont be too hard on yourself - the beginning is tough, you're tired, its relentless, it feels like it will go on forever. It won't, 6 months on I still have a backlog of housework, and leaving LO with anyone is still a major stress as i have to faff about expressing and often cant get enough to leave him for long so it doesnt feel worth it. However, he is playing with toys, nearly sitting up and is much better at entertaining himself for short periods. We go places not just for my sanity but for him as he loves to see people and things going on. I think you do loose yourself when you have a baby -then you find yourself again as things get easier. Life still revolves around LO's routine, but we start to find things in life that replace going out like feeding the ducks as a family, cuddleing up with a DVD when LO goes to bed. And LO is so smiley and happy - I found it tough in the beginning putting so much into him without really getting anything back, now he has his own little character and it makes me feel i've done a good job.
Greymum makes some fantastic suggestions - i would second the cookpot and the cleaner, where possible! Ive not had a cleaner but will be having one when i go back to work. ??25 a week for a clean through will mean the world to me and will mean when im off i can focus more on LO. But i think if your shattered without much support and getting over a traumatic time, if you can afford it, its something worth thinking about now. It sounds like the house is a big stressor for you. And really (as much as I dont always take my own advice) try and remember your LO really doesnt care about a bit of dust or that the bathroom needs cleaning - you are being a fab mummy caring for your LOs needs and the rest will get done as and when.
I think its about putting one foot in front of the other in the early days, remember its normal to feel its monotonous and that it will lift. Really make the effort to find out what your HVs and childrens centres have to offer even if you dont feel like it. Its amazing what one or two things a week to look forward to and work towards can do for lifting your spirits.
Sorry for the major essay! xx
1320 forum posts
27/02/2012 at 12:14
Maybe, i do miss my mum and wish she was here.It does help to get out and defiantly helps your sanity.
I had a ultrasound today and all is well now so i am much more positive about everything and all the pain seems to have gone.
Oliver slept well last night for the first time so that helped (11-6:15).
I hope your starting to feel better tulip.
I understand re the money situation i don't work and it ids tight but we try and watch what we spend.
I will also re-read my post before posting them as i made so many mistakes in the last one, don't think i am very good on my iphone to post in here.xx
664 forum posts
28/02/2012 at 11:46
Funny how I always assume everyone has a support network except me! We live in central London and have no family close by and no one to babysit or help at all. Have only ever been away from my little man for 1 hour when my husband had him whilst I was at the hairdressers. He also has silent reflux pretty bad (managed now with medication and a fair few A&E visits) so means I am an absolute control freak and very protective!
TulipRose - you're doing a fab job - I've read your other posts and you haven't had it easy. You should be so proud of yourself
I think people in our situation who don't have the support at least have the confidence of knowing we can more than cope. We're strong mummies
I go out lots (mainly just 2 of us!) - used to be lunches and coffees but now I need to reign in the spending it's more parks and baby groups! Honestly, I walk for hours! I think it's important to just get out of the house, even if it's just for an hour a day.
Soon the weather will be better too so picnics in the park will be lovely.
I used to be envious of people that had family around the corner or a group of friends with babies but that's a waste of time - better to get out and make new friends with babies. I keep thinking before I know it I will be back at work - aargh!
Look after yourself X
396 forum posts
28/02/2012 at 17:18
Thank you so much ladies!
Alfie your advice is so helpful! So are your observations.
I'm currently working on the finances of going back to work so will see how feasible a cleaner is although I'm starting to chill out about it.
I'm realising the more I say I can leave it, the more I actually do without thinking! :lol:
1785 forum posts
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