Sometimes I wish I wasn't a mom :-(

Emma - posted on 02/17/2012 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I don't know if this counts as 'post-partum depression' or if it's something lots of moms feel but I just have to admit to someone that I sometimes wish I wasn't a mom. I get so frustrated with my baby sometimes when he's fussing and I can't figure out what's wrong or when he repeatedly wakes up at night or when I just can't get him to sleep or can't put him down. I love him but it's not always in the mushy kind of way. Sometimes I think my love for him is just more of a sense of responsibility in that I just so want what's best for him.

I sometimes just feel though that I am so trapped and I find myself longing for the days before I got pregnant. I sometimes (often) wonder what on earth I was thinking and wonder if maybe I was never cut out to be a mother.

I find myself feeling jealous of all the other moms I see who seem to have 'easy' babies that they can take out places and don't fuss. My baby won't take a paci, won't take a bottle, likes to be held or nursed to go to sleep.

I also find myself feeling envious of other women in my position who seem to be blissfully happy in motherhood. I wish I could take it all in my stride and not get so down about things but I guess I've always been inclined to worry/focus on the negative.

I trying constantly to battle this negativity with prayer. Thankfully I can talk to my husband too and he feels the same way (although sometimes that's not always a good thing because we end up making ourselves feel worse about the situation).

And now I feel the horrendous guilt that all of this makes it seem like I don't love my son. Do I love him enough? It's certainly not that fairy tale gooey feeling I expected.



Need some support. Anyone else feel this way?

Ps. Please don't tell me to go see a dr. I don't believe there is a chemical imbalance in my brain that needs fixing with drugs.

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Sarah - posted on 02/17/2012

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Emma, I think a lot of women feel the same way sometimes. I think the expectations we have of motherhood sometimes before we enter does not equate the reality. I think we expect to feel the romantic kind of love for our children and that doesn't always happen. Sometimes love is quieter and less consuming. It doesn't mean that you don't love your son, you just love him in a different way than what you expected. Motherhood, especially in the early months, is so difficult. You give so much and really don't get a whole lot back in return. You must know though that it's like a bank investment, you may not see the profit right away, but if you invest in it, in time, you'll see the wonderful person you have created. I also think it's normal to (for lack of a better word) mourn the loss of your pre-baby life. I think that sometimes we don't appreciate the freedom that comes without having the responsibility of children until we face having to pack up the kids to go to the grocery store or stay home because we can't find a sitter. It's never as easy as we expect. I wish I had some wise words of encouragement for you, but these things don't often get any easier when you have to miss out.



Having said that, I have some advice for you.

1. If you think you could be depressed, talk to your doctor. There is no shame in it. They won't take your baby away. But it can change your life. PPD is a very serious medical condition and treatable.

2. Take some "me" time. Once a day, every day. Maybe your hubby takes the baby for an hour, or when the baby is napping. Have a nice bubble bath. Read a book. Watch a tv show or movie. Do your nails. Whatever it is that you enjoy, take even an hour to remember that you are important too.

3. Join a Mommies group. Look on facebook, or meetup.com or try your public health unit or rec center. Something that gets you out of your house meeting other moms with babes the same age. Trust me, we all have similar concerns. It's easier to face them when you know you're not alone.

4. As a grandma or friend to watch babe for a couple hours so you an hubby can go for a date. Even if it's only once a month. Having a baby changes the whole dynamics of your family and can be devastating on a relationship. Keep talking, it's great you do. But take that time to get out, and not discuss baby or bills, but just be together and talk about adult things and focus on each other. My hubby and I don't have much money to go out and no family in town to watch the kids, so we do our own date nights a couple times a week when he's not working nights. We sit once the kids are in bed, no tv and play boardgames. It's just quiet time together and has been so beneficial in our relationship.

5. Stop feeling guilty. We all adjust to change in our own ways. And having a baby is probably the most major life change you will ever go through (whether it's your 1st or your 5th). The thing about motherhood is that just as you figure it out, it changes. It makes is it frustrating, but exciting too.

Kate CP - posted on 02/18/2012

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Wow. A person online tells another person, whom you obviously don't know either, that they may indeed have depression and that means they ARE sick and they should get help...and you take it out of context and get offended.



*slow claps* Bravo.



I'm incredibly offended that your attitude toward mental illness is so blase. Depression can only be diagnosed by a medical professional (READ: A DOCTOR) and I am not one. I never said I was. Perhaps I should rewrite my post so it's not so confusing for you, Alleah:



"Emma, mental illness is just that: an ILLNESS. If you have depression then you ARE sick. And that's OKAY!"



Is that better? Because the rest of the post I wrote goes on to say she should get support and help.



Or, should I just tell her to "buck up" and smile? Think that'll help? Don't know about YOU but "Oh, you'll get over it" worked just hunky-fuckin-dory for me.



And yes, it helps to know that others have been there before...but that doesn't make it any better, now does it? But, getting help from counselors or MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS (*gasp* medical intervention!) does help it to get better. Yes, we all have sad days. When you have depression (and you obviously have NO clue what that's like) it's like looking into a pit and not seeing a way out. It's like being in the dark and KNOWING there's a light switch some where but not having the power or the energy to find it. Just thinking happy thoughts won't make depression go away. You can't just snap out of it. You need help to find out how to cope with it and sometimes that means medication and sometimes it doesn't.



So my suggesting that she may need to get medication offended you, Alleah? Whoop-dee-doo. Your insinuating that a possible case of post-partum depression is nothing more than a "bad day" has royally pissed me off.

Elfrieda - posted on 02/18/2012

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I agree with everything Sarah Klauzer said, so don't have anything to add on that front.



Just wanted to let you know that I felt EXACTLY the same way. Just because you don't feel mushy-gushy doesn't mean you don't love him. If you are taking care of him because he is your responsibility and it's not his fault he was born (that was my mantra), that's still love. Love is an action. You'll get the fairy tale gooey feeling yet, don't try to rush it.



At 4 or 5 months it gets better, because the baby can smile and interact with you. Keep the door open to positive feelings, and in the meantime don't pile on the guilt. My son was 5 months old when a thought popped into my head as I was rocking him to sleep "This isn't altogether unpleasant". Those were the exact words! And I grabbed onto that, and repeated it every time I could for the next weeks.

"It isn't altogether unpleasant to sit in the dark and hold a sleeping baby and lean my head against the cushion. It's almost like resting."

"It isn't altogether unpleasant to give my baby a bath and see how he likes splashing. It's almost like fun."

and so on. Soon I was finding all kinds of things that weren't horrible about my life, and it got easier not to be frustrated when my baby was fussy.



Now he's 2 and I have SUCH a crush on him. Even tantrums don't really bother me, just because he's so delightful I can hardly help but giggle. Now I'm doing the "stern parent" routine not because I want to (he's so cute I have a terrible time not doing whatever he wants) but because he's my responsibility. That's love, too.



And you know, it's not always like this. Today my husband and I went to visit some friends and play board games, and it was totally doable. They have a son who's 1.5, and the two boys played together the whole time and were no trouble at all, even when we stayed past their bedtimes. The super-needy phase passes, it won't last forever!



check out janetlansbury.com, it's a blog that's really helped me relax as a parent (although she's got some ideas I don't agree with, too)

Jodi - posted on 02/20/2012

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I will tread into this conversation lightly by saying not all medical treatment has to be from medication.



Emma, I think it's fantastic that you find solace within your church. The first step in feeling better is knowing you have a great support system on your side to help you through the bad days, and celebrate the good ones.



I do think, however, that there is a big difference in seeking counseling from your church and seeking it from professionals. Of course it is such a big help to hear personal stories and opinions from others close to you, and identifying yourself with their struggles, but it is important to utilize techniques from professionals. I am a child and youth counselor and there are many amazing aspects to professional counseling..and there is nothing wrong with asking for help!



That being said, you know yourself better than anyone. If you feel that this low period is simply a phase and you start feeling better by finding help in your church, by all means, continue with it. My only hope is that if it continues to get worse or (at best) stay the same, I encourage you to explore other options despite you having a bad taste in your mouth about them. Ultimately, you deserve to be happy, and you should do what's necessary to find it.



I wish you the best in whatever you choose. You are a great mom by admitting "the negative" and it's great that you are opening up you emotions and looking for help instead of running away from the issue. Good luck!

Lindsi - posted on 02/20/2012

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You DO love your son...I can tell because you are so concerned. The first year is hard! You're tired, and learning to adjust to a new little person. Wild Yam is a natural remedy for hormone imbalance/stress or depression. Feed your body and take care of yourself, so you can be your best for baby. Blessings on you, keep praying! God cares, and loves your little bundle!!!

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Emma - posted on 02/14/2014

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I just wanted to update this post for any women that are coming across it now.

I'm am the original poster. My son is now 2 years old and I am so totally head over heels in love with him. When I look back now on that first year I think that yes I probably was depressed and/or anxious much of the time. However, I do not regret my decision to NOT take medication. I did seek professional help: both a clinical doctor and a family counsellor. The doctor barely asked me any questions before prescribing me an SSRI. He was quite impersonal and unsympathetic. I took the meds for about a week then decided I would really rather just get 'happy' on my own steam. That way I would know if I was really 'happy' not just chemically happy.
Looking back I can pin point a few things that may have helped reduce my stress and anxiety:
- I could have either pumped breast milk so someone else could feed him or I could have switched him to formula. At the time I was dedicated to breast feeding but this was also one of my major stressors.
- I needed more friends/social contact with people. I know that's easier said than done but it's important to note that I was much more lonely as a mum than I was pre-motherhood. Suddenly being alone for hours a day, which might have been enjoyable before, was miserable as a mother. I don't believe motherhood is meant to be a solitary activity. However, people live quite solitary and private lives these days - it is harder to find that sense of community (real, not virtual)
- if more people were honest about how hard and actually quite
miserable parenthood can be at first it would help to keep our expectations in check. The first year was mostly a hugely uncomfortable adjustment for us. And we have been honest with our friends who are starting their families about the trials we've experienced. Thankfully, I think they are all better prepared than us.
- parental temperament as well as baby temperament makes for a unique experience of parenthood for each family. My baby was pretty sensitive
He needed holding a lot, didn't eat/sleep easily. He was 'fussy' often - we couldn't just put him in a bouncer/play yard/etc. because he'd get bored/frustrated quickly - the only exception to this was the stroller (when moving) and the bath. I walked a lot!
Coupled with this, I am a sensitive person (that is, I have a sensitive nervous system). I notice (and can be bothered by) noises, smells, caffeine, alcohol, too much activity, too little activity. (If you are interested in this read up on the Highly Sensitive Person). This meant that our unique family experience was a particularly sensitive one. This is not an illness or anything that needs or can be fixed by medication. It's just a temperamental trait that needs understanding.

So, for anyone reading this now who may be in a similar situation, I hope that this update is helpful and that the post in general made you feel less crazy and alone!

Briana - posted on 02/21/2012

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I know how you feel. I had that problem with my first born. I raised him pretty much on my own. the father left when i was 3 months along and even when he was around he never really was. I remember feeling horrabal for feeling the way i did. i got to were i almost hated coming home from work cuz i had to deal with my son. But iv noticed that what helped me out the most is when he wouldnt laydown or would keep crying for no reson i got to were i would lay him down and walk out of the room for a little to gather myself and calm down i found that really helped me out

Joy - posted on 02/21/2012

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I have a son who took a bottle and now have a daughter that is the SAME WAY as YOUR CHILD. I too have felt how you feel. I also feel I don't need any dr. to tell me how to feel. I have found that I need to get out of the house more to feel better. I found that if I take some time for myself. Like a hot shower and put some lotion on once I kids are a sleep. I feel better about myself and are happier with my kids. Know you are not alone.

Donna - posted on 02/19/2012

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You have every right to open up and ask a question, especially when it's a question some mothers also feel. however I do get the feeling it a taboo thing to feel, it's almost like its not what a mother should feel.....we are not allowed to feel resentment that our life has changed, or that we are not coping as we should etc. but simply put that is not life, sometime with some motherhood does not come that easy. It does not make you a bad mother!

I spent years trying to get pregnant so I was more than ready to hang up my single status and become a mother, I craved it. But I don't know how I would feel if I just got pregnant naturally. Good luck Emma x

Emma - posted on 02/19/2012

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I'm really sorry that my post has caused so much antagonism. That was never my intention. I can understand both points of view. I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. Occasionally thoughout my life I've sought help from the medical profession before. I've had lots of different types of counseling and been prescribed (but never ended up taking) some antidepressants. I've also witnessed family and friends who've had anxiety and depression take drugs and/or go through counseling. For some people I know the drugs have been a life saver. For others they made things worse. I personally just don't feel comfortable taking drugs and I don't think my feelings are that bad. I think some weeks if I answered one of those questionnaires at the drs they would probably diagnose me as suffering from mild ppd. Other weeks I don't think I would come close. I am aware though that because these feelings are resurfacing and occasionally take ahold of me that I do indeed need to seek some help. I will do that first within a context that suits my (for want of a better phrase) 'world view' as that is more likely to yield success for me. (I can say this with some confidence given my previous experiences with the alternative).



Sometimes it's just helpful to vent, you know. To hear that you're not the only one. I know a few other mommies but don't feel close enough to any one of them to admit my true feelings, although some do know that I've been struggling from time to time and have offered comfort.

By posting on here I just wanted to hear from other mommies who'd gone through the same thing. It has been helpful to hear from all of you and to hear the different options and different ways you all coped. AND that it does get better!!



I love my son. It's just a MASSIVE life change that I'm having some difficulties adjusting to.

Donna - posted on 02/19/2012

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Seeing your Doctor is very good, but really what your feeling is normal at times. I am one of those mothers who had to hold my baby until they fell asleep and now they are 2 and 3 years old and I have to lie in bed beside them until they fall asleep. Its only natural to feel trapped sometimes, especially when you have children who are particularly clingy as mine are. I cant leave the room without them breaking there hearts and going to the toilet alone is a big no no for me, I get followed. The first year in my opinion is the hardest, your so busy trying to be perfect you forget to just be you and enjoy motherhood. No mother is perfect, you wont get everything right first time, maybe not even second or third but a good mother is someone who tries and always has her childrens wellbeing at heart. You dont need to be perfect, you dont need to be the woman you see on the street who gushes about her baby. No two mothers are the same but it does not mean you love your child less. I am the typical gushy mother, but my mum certainly was not, I cant remember kisses or hugs but I can honesty say my mother loves me and would die for me. She just is not all lovey dovey as she calls it. It never made her a bad mother. Trust yourself and dont judge yourself by other mothers. What you see is not always what you get behind closed doors.

[deleted account]

Emma, I just wanted to say that every single thing you said in your post, I felt too! I can't begin to tell you what to do. But to let you know, I struggled through all of those things without telling my doctor and without even attempting to get help and it was very hard and very dark sometimes. It did get better and eventually the cloud did lift but I know I would have felt better about motherhood for the first year if I'd gotten help. Not getting help made things harder. Help can come in many forms too. I think the first thing you need to do is to speak with your doctor. Be brutally honest as you have been here, maybe even print this out (your original post) and let him/her read it. Whether your doctor prescribes meds or alternative treatments, doing something is always better than doing nothing. I pride myself in having lived my life so far and having very few regrets. But not getting help after my son was born....I regret that decision big time. Take care and best of luck to you :)



Edit: I wanted to add that it's perfectly normal to not feel the warm fuzzies about your child all the time, depression or no depression. My son is 4 now and sometimes I look at him and am filled with so much love and pride that I could just burst. And sometimes I look at him and wonder A) What the hell was I thinking? and B) Would it be ok if I just ran away? LOL I assure you, most women feel this way about their child(ren) from time to time and it's perfectly normal. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that any woman who says they haven't ever felt like that is.....either in serious denial or flat out lying :) Babies aren't all rainbows and sunshine and happiness and everyone knows it.

Kara - posted on 02/18/2012

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I had ppd with my 1st pegnancy and I felt better just after talkin to someone one time. Having a child changes everything..I have a 3 year old and 1 year old twins I feel trapped all the time..lol It is hard to get out when they have to nap all the time and eat all the time. once the weathe gets better try going on daily walks..joining a mommy group. Maybe even stroller strides ( a stroller exercise group) Maybe get a book called the "baby whisperer" you don't have to follow her methods for sleeping..but she does tell a lot about how to read babies cues. It takes a while to realize that sometimes when a baby cries they are overly tired. You can get it used on amazon for inexpensive. It does get better...or else no one would have more than 1 child!

Stifler's - posted on 02/18/2012

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I felt exactly the same way when my first and second babies were born. This post could have been my diary. I hate being a mum, I just want to sleep, why did the kids have to wake up, my husband doesn't love me, the kids hate me. The second baby I saw the doctor and a psychologist and both if them said the same thing. My depression is environmental and did not put me on medication. Not enough sleep, no family around, having 2 kids is a shock to the system. Seeing a psychologist doesn't mean they will shove you on meds Nd see ya later. Having someone to talk to about how you are feeling and learning skills to deal with it is better than feeling this way abs things getting worse.

Heather - posted on 02/18/2012

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My 3 year old is the best! I love her fiercely now, but the first 6-8 weeks of her life were my darkest ever. I have anxiety problems, but have never been medicated. This was nothing like my anxiety from before. I was in a hopeless pit of darkness! I kept thinking, what have I done, would anyone else make a better mom for my baby, things I would have never thought I would feel! I lost 35 pounds in 5 weeks because I could not eat. I had to force myself to eat to nurse my baby. I tried medication but just got sick and threw it up, since I could not eat. Finally I talked to my friends and family and felt a little hope from their stories. I prayed and God gave me the strength to make it through. At abOut 6 weeks she began sleeping better, her collic improved some, and I just got more used to things, I felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm 3 months pregnant now and still a little anxious about baby 2, but my daughter was worth every second of pain I went through and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Hopefully this baby experience will be easier! Hope I have helped even a little, will be praying you get relief soon!

Isobel - posted on 02/18/2012

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I think that you both have valid points and are reading each others posts without giving them reasonable consideration.



Yes Kate, depression is an illness, and IF she has it she should get checked out by a doctor because SOMETIMES (not nearly as often as they are prescribed) they are needed. The OP said, though, that she doesn't think it IS depression.



I think Alleah is frustrated with the OVER prescribing of medications and to be honest I am too.



Emma, I have totally been where you are. It took time and support from my family to get through it, but if it persists and you find yourself unable to deal with it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeing a doctor IF you need to.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2012

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***MOD WARNING****



Ladies, that's enough, if you aren't here to answer the OPs question in some way (and it is OK to suggest medical intervention), and only here to slag off at someone else's response, go and find somewhere else to do it.



Thank you

Jodi

WtCoM Moderator

Kate CP - posted on 02/18/2012

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What the hell are you talking about? I never said that medication was the end-all be-all to psycho-therapy. But apparently it's a horrible way to treat mental illness in your book. Whatever.

Alleah - posted on 02/18/2012

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That is absolutely hysterical, Kate! Your reply has made my day... maybe I'm bipolar because you piss me off one second, and make me laugh the next? Whoops, lets go get me some Valium!



Also, you might want to think about not making the same mistakes over and over again. (and you obviously have NO clue what that's like) Really? You know ME inside and out too? After reading two posts? Amazing. You're like the Santa Clause of my emotional well-being. Do you also know whether or not I'm sleeping?



I won't bother telling you about my childhood, or my suicide attempts, because you'll probably just tell me my mother should have got me some ritalin, right? Keep up the good work, hun. Bring your message of medication to the masses. Evangelism is that much more offensive when it's based on pharmecuetical profit margins.

Mabel - posted on 02/18/2012

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Emma I know this is a personal question but I saw that no one asked it either.Are you on birth control right now and if you are what kind and the name please.I had the same exact problems you described and if you search hard enough on here you might find my posting of how I was feeling about my son.Please get back to me on this one.

[deleted account]

I had a medical professional tell me I needed to suck it up. She also told me to wean my son because nursing him was making me exhausted. I will no longer go back to THAT medical professional even though I had been seeing her for 10 years before that incident.....



I do agree that medication has helped a LOT of people. My best friend has been on Prozac for years and she's honestly a much happier person because of it. She still has bad days, but w/out the Prozac she is miserable for 'no' reason. Medication doesn't help everyone, however. In fact... trying it just about destroyed my life.



I am actually diagnosed w/ anxiety and depression. It IS a real illness and there is NO shame in it. I just can't take meds for it.

Alleah - posted on 02/18/2012

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@Katie CP Capeheart



wow, seriously I'm so not cool with what you just said. You are telling this person, whom I'm sure you've never met, that she HAS a mental illness. WTF do you know? If medical intervention has helped you with your struggles, awesome. DO NOT push it on others. Sad days are sad days and we all have them. Incredibly offended right now.

Alleah - posted on 02/18/2012

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I'm soooo glad you added that post script! We ALL need to be able to take these terrible sad days without some kind of chemical rebalancing!



And to answer your question I have so totally felt this way... even with my first who was a breeze next to the new one. Sometimes I think, 'what went through my head, deciding to have another one?' and then I get so guilty and down because both my babies are wonderful little people. I wouldn't change my life, but some days I would trade anything for a time machine to go back to college with, and party myself retarded with no worries whatsoever.



I'm sure you had awesome times before you were a mom. And it's important to take care of that part of yourself too. You shouldn't feel guilty about it. (but you will. you're a mom, of course you will! :P)

Gaynor-Marie - posted on 02/18/2012

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Parenting is hard, I often say it is the hardest and yet the most rewarding thing you'll ever do. You really do need support to get through, I think joining a mums group or playgroup are excellent ideas. Date night and mummy time are both great Ideas but I know they are hard at the start. I was hopeless at leaving my first son. I've had 6 children and I know that some babies are really difficult sometimes because they have medical issues sometimes just because. Make sure your baby doesn't have colic or reflux or a medical reason they are so fussy. My first was very challenging he had colic cluster fed and was bored. It seemed to get easier with each mile stone when he started smiling when he could sit which luckily was really early about 3 months when he could grad a toy when he started solids when he sleeper through the night. I really found it very hard at the beginning I found it helpful to remember what my mother in law said Mothers with babies need to focus on just surviving. She also said other people loved me and my baby and I should let them help they liked helping. I hope that helps

Sherry - posted on 02/18/2012

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It does sound like post-partum depression and it will pass. I had this same problem with my son. He went blind at a month old and became VERY fussy. It also didn't help that he had colic. I felt like a horrible Mother because I just wanted to get some sleep and would get aggravated when he'd keep me up all night. I did love him from the start but it did seem artificial for a while. That was due to the depression. Somehow I just muddled through and my son had such a hard time. He needed 5 eye surgeries and I was so worried about him. Once the depression finally went away, the love was much easier. Sometimes even now I'll wonder if I'm doing enough and being a good Mother to him but that's normal. All Mothers doubt themselves sometimes and things aren't always as they appear. Just because a Mother at the grocery store looks happy and her baby is quiet, doesn't mean it's that way all the time.



One thing that might help is (if you have access to a baby-sitter) to leave your baby with a sitter and either go out and do something by yourself or go out with your husband and just spend some time as a couple. No matter how much we love our children, we all need a break sometimes. That is perfectly normal.

Lydia - posted on 02/18/2012

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It's good you realize you need some help and i am sure that counseling in church won't hurt.



I think sometimes we also put a lot pressure on ourselves as moms by comparing with others. sometimes we just see the half an hour of absolute happy baby in the park and we don't see the struggles these moms may have at home. it really helped me to stop trying to copy other moms and find my own groove. who cares if somebody else doesn't agree with what works for you. the key to find out what worked best for me and my daughter was to dump all the methods and just go with her flow for a while, learn to read the cues. Once I stopped trying to "fix it" with a method and just went with how things were i felt much more relaxed and happy. Mainly this were sleep and feed related issues. My daughter didn't have a certain bedtime for a long time and as long as I tried to have her go to sleep at 7 I basically fought with a not-yet sleepy child that I tried to put to sleep. By the time she finally would go to sleep at 9-10 I was exhausted and not exactly full with positive feeling towards my baby. Once I stopped trying to put her sleep at 7 and just enjoyed my evenings with baby awake, we all were much happier. and than at some point she just started going to sleep earlier.



the same goes for feeding. try to feed a child that is not hungry just because it's mealtime... you are fighting a battle that's not necessary. just relax, wait until the child is hungry and feed him the easy way.



I don't know if this is what you go through, but somehow I felt to write it. Be blessed and I hope things get better for you and yo can enjoy being a mother. It is a huge adjustment and change that is not always easy! I am sure yo do much better than you feel.

Doris - posted on 02/18/2012

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I want to start by saying that you are not alone and that some moms are just more nurturing than others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Having a baby is a big change in life and a big responsibility. Not all newborns are 'easy' and some cry and fuss alot more than others. It does not make you any less of a mom becuase you feel frustrated when you do not know what he wants or needs. When you are sleep deprived, it's even harder. Sounds like you are a little overwhelmed and maybe feel like a failure for it. It does get better as time goes on and things will get easier. It might be as soon as he starts to sleep through the night or maybe when he learns to kiss and hug. Motherhood is hard sometimes. All you can do is the best that you can. Love your baby as much as you can. He won't be little forever.. Talking about it with someone or joining a support group may help make it easier to cope with. Talking to a counselor can't hurt. I wish you and your baby the best.

Kate CP - posted on 02/18/2012

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Emma, mental illness is just that: an ILLNESS. You ARE sick. And that's OKAY! You didn't do anything wrong, you're not a bad person, you're not a bad mom, and you're not weak because of it. The problem with western society is that we shame people who are sick. We tell them they're "crazy" for acting or believing a certain way, to "take a chill pill" if they're upset...and it's not something to make light of. Mental disease is very real and very serious.



I have survived bipolar disorder for the last 15 years and been treated for it for 10. The first five years the disorder made itself known was torture to me and my family. I self medicated with alcohol and vicodan. I finally realized that I needed help, that I couldn't do it on my own and I talked to my doctor. He put me on medication and sent me to a therapist and with those things together...I came out of the dark. I realized there is no shame in being sick. There is nothing wrong with needing help or needing medicine. You would take medicine if your doctor told you you had high blood pressure, right? Same thing. Being sick is nothing to be ashamed of. The only shame in sickness is not getting the help you know you need.



It DOES get better, Emma. And getting help and support makes it a lot easier to find the path that leads to health.

Emma - posted on 02/17/2012

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Thanks ladies. It certainly is a huge help just knowing I'm not the only person who has felt like this. It's such a taboo. No one wants to hear the bad stuff and I don't want to be judged by people or pitied. I will probably seek some counseling at church since I have more faith in and gain more help from spiritual based counseling than from medical based interventions. One of the reasons why I don't like to tell many people how I feel is BECAUSE people immediately say go to a doctor. I know myself and I know I'm not sick and I think in western society we over medicalise normal human experiences because its profitable to fo so (particularly for pharmaceutical companies). I'm just so encouraged to hear that others who have felt like this say that it gets better. I will keep on reaching out to make mommy friends near me and will seek out some counseling at church. Thanks for all your responses.

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I can soooo relate to what you are going through, Emma!



It was such a shock to the system when my daughter was born. She was incredibly hard work from the beginning and I simply hadn't been prepared for it. She had to be carried and rocked all the time, would only sleep on me (and did so for a VERY long time) and was generally just very, very fussy.



I had been prepared for not feeling 'the love' right from the start, but not for the kind of resentment you might feel when you don't even get to eat anymore because your baby won't sleep or even just be put down. When you can't handle your household chores anymore. When you have to ask your other half if you can have a shower now. When everything is difficult and your body and mind are simply exhausted.



I also used to look at other moms and wonder why they could push their babies around in a pram or go for coffee with a sleeping baby in the carseat.



Breastfeeding definitely helped me getting closer to my baby, even when at the beginning I resented having my personal space invaded like this.

La Leche League meetings were also great, as the leaders in group were incredibly supportive and understanding. I really felt heard there which made a huge difference.

A book that came recommended to me at the time and also helped enormously was 'What Mother's do' by Naomi Stadlen.



Like you, I also felt I didn't suffer from PPD but was simply incredibly overwhelmed. My public health nurse here was very good and helpful. Maybe where you live there is someone like that you can talk to? A doctor's visit is never a bad idea, you know best what you are comfortable with.



I wish I could say more to help you through this, I know it can be so hard.



All I can say is that, for me, the love for my daughter came ever so slowly and quietly, and grew and grew without all the big emotional stuff that you might have expected.

She is 2.5 now and every time I think I couldn't love her anymore, I do just that.



I wish you and your little family all the best. Hopefully you can find comfort in the fact that there are other moms out there feeling just like you do.

Amanda - posted on 02/17/2012

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I think sometimes mothers wonder what life would be like if we made a different choice, but not as much as you do. I know you dont want to hear this but you should speak to a doctor. This really does sound it needs to be looked at by a professional.

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2012

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I felt the same way at times after I had my first baby. She was "fussy" for lack of a better word. Had to be nursed to sleep, and then put in a swing so she would stay asleep. She was all I knew about babies and I found it so hard! Even when people took her out I spent the time she was away worrying that she needed me and I wasn't there, and I couldn't relax and be in the moment for "me". And then I did feel guilty all the time that I was so frustrated with her and with my life (or lack of it).



I am happy to say that it does get better. I was running on practically no sleep since my baby would only sleep with me, in my bed and usually attached to my boob, Now my second is 9 months and my first is 3 and life is fantastic. That's not to say it's not challenging, because it is, but having that older child who tells you they missed you when you weren't there, and asks for hugs and kisses all the time, and even my 9 month old has started giving kisses, it's fantastic! Nights can still be a challenge, but being on this community helped me a lot in the early days with my first...knowing that I wasn't alone, and my baby wasn't the only one that didn't sleep or ate every 20 minutes or whatever, that really helped me out.



I do agree with the other ladies, that talking about it can help. It's great you and your husband are communicating about this stuff. Your area may have mom groups you could look into joining. Even going somewhere like the library (mine has baby/toddler storytimes etc) where you will see other parent dealing with their kids can help you feel less frustrated.



Good for you for reaching out and looking for support. I found it hard to talk about my feelings (baby blues). I hope as your baby gets older you feel a little more confident and your love blossoms with your little one! :)

Kate CP - posted on 02/17/2012

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This does sound like PPD and NEEDS to be treated. Treatment can mean medication or seeing a therapist or group support. Sometimes what therapists and doctors may do is put you on a very low dose of an antidepressant for a short period of time while you go through therapy or group support sessions to learn coping mechanisms. There is NO shame in needing help. The shame is in realizing you need help and not getting it.

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Talking to your doctor IS a very good idea. That doesn't mean you have to be on drugs though.



How old is your baby? I'm sure a lot of what you are feeling is normal, but the doctor can recommend a good counselor to help you sort it all out.... or you could just be super sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can do 'crazy' things to a person (NOT saying you are crazy at all, so please don't take it that way). Hang in there!! Babyhood is tough!

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