Frustrated, angry and spiteful

[deleted account] ( 13 moms have responded )

My son is now 5 months old. He feeds every 2 hours like clockwork. I am a stay at home mother with no help except my hubby who works 8 or more hours a day, 5 days a week. Fact is, even when he is home he is terrible at helping with the kids. He is great for chores so it helps me in a good way, but he complains that the baby wakes him even though I am the only one to wake up and feed and change the baby. I know it's tiring to feed him all night, the wake ups are terrible, but I can honestly say I'm getting no support and when I ask for help he tells me to give the baby cereal already. I am tired, and angry and just so hateful of the hubby right now.

We have a 2 year old together and she is so demanding as is. But this baby screams when he's not held. It's colic and it seems to come and go. Everyone tells me he'll get better, that he should be on baby food, cereal and that he should be given supplemental formula but no one is willing to help and I'm breaking here. I wanna cry I feel so alone. I cannot leave the house simply because it's so much work to leave and I suffer from a social phobia. I need breaks from these kids and I just don't seem to be getting that.

What I need is advice. Please, what should I do with my son? The temps around here are getting hotter and I feel myself losing my temper more and more between the 2 year old tantrums and the constant needs of my bfing son. Tell me where the rewards of bfing are? I have yet to see any.

The baby feeding slave


Jennifer - posted on 05/23/2010




oooh mama. you're in a rough patch for sure.

introducing cereal early is unlikely to solve the issues you mentioned. In fact it is likely to create new problems. the recommendations to wait until 6 months to start solids are based on scientific research that showed problems when the introduction was earlier.

have you thought about going to a La Leche League meeting? ( it's a great place to discuss these issues (the difficulties with your kids and your husband) and get real life support. that's why I got involved 6 years (and 3 kids) ago. I wanted to connect with other moms and experience that village of support that we have lost in society. it met that need beautifully for me. Now I'm a LLLLeader trying to give back a bit.


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Kyrsten Analiese - posted on 05/26/2010




I'm really sorry to hear that you have to go through this. I completely understand though, because as others have commented back, it is truly a thankless job to be a mother. My baby is only 2 weeks old at this point and I'm already frustrated with her father. I understand that he works 40 hrs a week but being a parent is a 24/7/365 job, and as much as we seem like superwomen, we're not and we need help sometimes. I can't offer you much help towards the colic and feedings, but I can say that I ended up being put on anti-depressents because I was crying by the end of week one (I have a history of depression too). They have honestly really helped me to even out my emotions and sleep when she sleeps and be more patient with her crying and fits. Maybe its something to look into?

Anyway I hope I could help a little anyway. I hope things get better for you too : )

Roz - posted on 05/26/2010




Aw hunny I'm so sorry! I felt very similar with my first as my hubby wasn't as helpful or understanding of what I was going though. He did help, but because obviously he's not a new Mom he just couldn't understand what I was going through so I was SUPER sleep deprived and it was very hard...but it does not last forever! It seems like at about 6 months things start calming down and you are almost there :).

I will say that if you can get The Baby Whisperer book by Tracy Hogg you will LOVE how great her techniques work. She's very middle of the road but belives in not letting the baby cry it out. I can't tell you how well her techniques worked(works) on both of my girls.

She says that by about 4 months your baby should be eating every four hours. I thought back to my first who ate every 2-1/2 hours and I thought no way would my second who seems to be a much more eager eater. She says that after the first month or so your baby should eat every 3 hours and after I applied her suggestions that is just what my baby did. This is with EBF, no formula or cereal whatsoever.

Then I noticed she wasn't acting as great with her sleeping when she turned 4 months and at that time the book suggested to put the baby on a 4 hour routine which will help their sleeping habits. I did what it suggested and my baby EBF every four hours. My milk kept her happy for 4 FULL HOURS!! It was such a relief.

Her book is so awesome and it works well with how I feel a baby should be treated, so you'll want to make sure it fits with your philosophy too.

The one thing that I wish I knew about when I had my first was the dream feed. At about 11pm each night I would take my second out of her crib. I wouldn't change her diaper or anything and I would put her right on the breast and she would eat in her sleep. It would take about 6-7 minutes but she would eat probably about 4 ounces which would hold her the whole night until about 7am. After she ate then I would just put her back in bed and she wouldn't know the difference!

I'm telling you this book with it's suggestions she really deserves the name the baby whisperer lol.

My baby is just a week shy of 7 months old and is taking long naps during the day, doesn't have the 11pm dream feed anymore. With our going to bed routine that's about 8 minutes long she goes to sleep by herself without crying,

If you do get this book and follow the suggestions then just think in 2 weeks this can all be a thing of the past and you could be getting a full night's sleep! It could be shorter than two weeks but that may be the average. When you start to introduce these changes I'm sure he'll complain just because it's different, but it won't last long at all. He will be a better and happier baby because of it!

I would highly suggest getting him on a 4 hour routine first so he's getting enough food during the day. I feed on both breasts wheras with my first I only fed on one breast because she seemed fine after one breast...Once I offered the second breast with my second child she continued to eat even though she felt fine :)

Anyway, barring some sort of medical condition that book will REALLY help you. I hope it does!!!

Mandy - posted on 05/26/2010




I also have a 5 month old that breastfeeds every 2 2-1-2 hours, also like clockwork. I stay home also and he is a VERY colicky baby, I tried everything from prevacid to over the counter stuff.. then seen an all natural lady who told me to cut out wheat, yeast, limit sugars and flours, no chocolate and a few other things, but to say the least he it has been a HUGE improvement, he doesn't scream like he use to, now only when he's not being held, but I invested in one of those carriers to now I can still use both my hands :) Hope this helps, Good luck.

Lisa-Marie - posted on 05/25/2010




Everyone has given you great advise. I thought I would add that I put my eldest boy into day care one day a week. He and I love it - he gets to burn off some energy, socialize and have lots of fun and I get to spend the day with just my 9 month old - which gives me the oppurtunity to have some me time too. Maybe this could help you too.
Also you are doing a great job with the breastfeeding - formula feeding is hard with the bottles to wash, sterilize, make in the middle of the night, drag around with you when you go out, trying to find a way to warm it up, the cost, running out when the shops are shut and with that always knowing that it is not the best for your child!!! Even if there were no health benefits to you or your child if you can breastfeed then breastfeeding is the better way to go in my opinion!!

Nyssa - posted on 05/24/2010




I remember going on walks when I just had my two oldest. They are the same age gap as your kids. I have all boys, so when my Mom asked what I needed for the second one, I said a double stroller. (I already had what I needed from the first.) I would just get frustrated, and tired of the tantrums, so would put them in the stroller just to get out of the house. Sometimes we would stop at a park, so the oldest could play, but most of the time it was a good long walk. They really liked going for walks, too. Excercise can really help relieve stress, plus it's some quite time for you.

[deleted account]

Yvette, I feel for you - been there, done that! The frequent feeding will slow down, though we've all been through the stage when you feel you have this permanent appendage on your boob! He needs you right now.

As Jennifer says, it might be helpful to go to a LLL meeting. If LLL meetings are anything like the ABA meetings here in Australia, they'll welcome your kids, demanding toddler and screaming baby and all. And there'll be mums and other kids around, so you'll get a bit of a break. You really do need to get out, despite it's being so difficult to do so! Incidentally, Jennifer, I love that term "village of support."

As for your husband, it would be good if you could sit him down with a cup of coffee or something and tell him calmly what you're going through. Explain that giving your baby cereal too early won't necessarily make him sleep through the night. Explain what you have to do on a daily basis - feed, change nappies, play with toddler, housework, making meals, shopping, etc etc. Which means that half the time you don't eat, are still in your pyjamas at lunchtime, can't go to the bathroom etc. Try to be calm, buy be ready to burst into tears if that seems appropriate!

But you should also listen to his feelings.He might have worries and feelings of being put in second place because of your preoccupation with the babies, and it will help him, as well as you, to talk everything out!

All the best, Yvette. We've all been there, so we're alway here to listen!

Nicole - posted on 05/23/2010




Hi Yvette!
Oh, how we all echo your thoughts at one time or another :-). I'm sorry you are having such a rough time right now. Isn't it amazing how consuming breastfeeding can be in the beginning months? I promise it will get easier! It can also be incredibly challenging with more than one kid, and add the feeling of not being supported is just easy to send you right over the edge!! Everything you are feeling is totally normal, and we are here to vent with you, as well as offer suggestions that helped us. I know for me that getting a chance to blow off some steam goes miles in helping me to not sell my kids on ebay :-).
Seriously though, you are doing an amazing job. The lack of sleep along would knock over the strongest man, and yet, here we are, taking care of business on some of the most terrible and occasional nights sleep around! I completely understand what you mean about just needing a break! One of my best girlfriends told me a catch phrase that she used and it has helped me a ton..."If they are crying, they are breathing", meaning that it is ok to put the kids in their beds and run to the bathroom alone (what a concept!!), take a quick shower, or even flip through a few pages of a magazine!! Seriously though, I think our mental health is worth a few minutes of time, and if that means the kids howl for 10 minutes, then it is what it is....they won't be scarred mentally! You need to give yourself a break, especially if no one is around to help. Anyway, just know that you aren't alone. We all have incredibly rough days and weeks, and in the end we are still loving moms who have our kids' welfare at heart!

April - posted on 05/23/2010




he won't be feeding every 2 hours is only because he is so young. when he is a little older (it depends on the child) he will start to go 3 or 4 or 5 hours between feeds.

he isn't 6 months old yet, so he shouldn't be supplemented with baby food. most doctors recommend waiting until they're 6 months old. there is no need for formula.

also...maybe it would be helpful to you to make a breastfeeding goal. tell yourself you are going to do it for X amount of time and when you get and see if you want to do it a little while longer. it is recommended by the AAP that you nurse for at least one full year and the WHO (world health) recommends 2 years.

I recognize that extended or natural duration breastfeeding isn't for everyone, but just make a goal/plan. When you get there, you might surprise yourself and want to go further.

as for needing breaks...can your mother/father/ sibling give you one if you can't depend on hubby?

there are tons of benefits to breastfeeding: your child is sick less often than a FF one, you reduce your own chances of breast cancer, you reduce your child's chances of becoming overweight later in life, you develop a close bond with your child, you lose weight easier, you don't have to wash or clean bottles and nipples, and it's FREE!!

Sarah - posted on 05/23/2010




If you breast feed you can pump and add cereal to the breast milk in a bottle. I did with my son and he now sleeps through the night. I also have social phobia so I know what you are going through. I am so sorry. I don't have 2 children though just the one and he is now 4 months. I also ended up loosing all my breast milk resently and had no other choice but to put him on formula. I hate it. I so wanted to continue to breast feed. The benefits of breast feeding will be in there overall health hon, nothing you will see just there health. If you add cereal to the breat milk that you pump and give more ounces if you can then he will also last longer between feedings. My son is every 3 hours and sleeps through the night now, and started sleeping through the night on breast milk that I would pump and add cereal too.
Good luck hon.

[deleted account]

Thank you both so much. I really feel better sometimes just letting things out. Most nights I get some down time, and sometimes I don't. Today has just been one of those days. I hate tearing into the hubby, but he just doesn't get that I need alone time. I can't pee without my 2 year old daughter following me. I can't shower without a baby or a toddler in there with me, and we co sleep with the baby so I can't even sleep alone. LOL

I look forward to bed time when my 2 year old goes down no problem, but the baby never lets up. I really want to introduce food or something just to give myself some kind of break. Perhaps I'll got back to expressing a little and letting someone else feed him a bit.

Marabeth - posted on 05/23/2010




aww, you're so brave for doing as much as you have already done. this might sound cheesy but when it is the hardest to parent your children is when they need you the most. i'm an avid breastfeeder so i'd recommend keeping your son on breastmilk only until he's six months or older.. that's what all medical research groups recommend too (World Health Organization, AAP, etc). besides that i doubt cereal would do anything to make his temperament better.. it doesn't have more calories/fat/nutrients as breastmilk! maybe try wearing your son in a sling to help with his colic. if he gets too hot put cool wash cloths on his forehead. keep him naked! last summer it was *so* hot here so i filled our biggest pot with tepid water and just let my daughter sit in it once an hour to cool off. your two year old might dig on having 'pool party' outside.

when it comes to your husband he needs to know how you feel. even if you've been telling him all along you should sit down with him and let him know in a totally not-finger-pointing-kind-of-way how you feel. when women tell men something like that it usually comes off in a negative way. all men want is for their wife and children to be happy and when you tell them they are not doing that it usually hurts their pride. so just be genuine and tell him how what he says/does makes you feel and that you just need him to keep that in mind. maybe remind him that when he goes to work he gets alone time in the car, he gets breaks, adult conversation and doesn't always have to be killing himself with stress thinking about two small children's constant well being! tell him you feel like you need more uplifting even if it's just positive words throughout the night to keep you going. anythings better than negativity in the middle of the night with a screaming baby!

five months is still so little but also on the verge of being in that happy-baby stage! you just have a little bit longer until it gets heaps better i'm willing to bet. remember though you can always get some words of support on circle of moms!

[deleted account]

I'm so sorry you're going through this Yvette. My bub was the same and in the end it took me bursting into tears for my hubby to understand that I was really at my wits end.
You see, although he may work an 8 hour day, 5 days a week, you work a 24 hour day - 7 days a week. He gets designated toilet breaks and tea breaks and lunch breaks. Mum's are lucky if they get 5 mins on the toilet without harassment.
I'm not saying all this to husband bash, it's just sometimes I don't think they realize quite how hard it is. I think they suspect 'stay at home Mum' really translates to 'sit on the couch watching daytime TV Mum'.
You're a team and that means that sometimes Dad has to be the one to get up and do HIS share of night-time duties. Are you able to express so your husband can bottle feed bub and give you a little extra rest? Or if you don't want to bottle feed, just get up for the actual feed, but then let Dad take over to settle bub back to sleep so you can rest again. The alternative is to co-sleep, but I know not everyone is comfortable with that. If it's something you're considering - check out this link to make sure you take all relevant safety precautions.
I really believe that the first step is to talk to your husband, try to keep it a calm, non-accusatory discussion, but make it clear that you're at breaking point and really need some help.
Good luck hon. You are NOT alone. I went through this, and there are mother's the world over struggling with the same issue.

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