Monday, February 26, 2007

(Not) Living The Dream

Posted by Anonymous.


I feel terrible writing the things I said here, but I'm hoping that getting out the evil thoughts will feel better than letting it fester within me: I have a gorgeous little girl. She's bright, full of energy, and incredibly beautiful. The problem is, I hate being a mom. My career was just starting to take off when I (accidentally) got pregnant. Being newlyweds who eventually, probably wanted kids, we never considered NOT having the baby. I went into this thinking I would have a partner (I don't really), thinking my immature husband would start acting like an adult and taking some responsibility (he hasn't). He often works late. Yes, he's earning the money we use to pay for everything and that's a form of being responsible, but he works late because he goes in late and he goes in late because he stays up late playing video games or farting around watching TV (and ignoring the dishes, laundry, etc). So he's worthless in the morning and is often home too late to even see his daughter. I often wonder if he's not just stupid. I ask him to do something, he has to ask me a thousand questions to get the task done, and even then, he's most often fucked something up.

I'm exhausted. I'm sick of effectively having two children when I'm not sure I even wanted one. Now, I'm stuck. My career is sort of a strange one. Where we live, I can only really work freelance, so I'm trying to do that at home at night and on weekends to keep things afloat until I can work more. I keep asking my husband to just watch the baby and hang out with her so I can have a few hours to work at the weekends instead of in the middle of the night, but he doesn't really. He wanders off to play a video game or check his email. Or he brings her to me to say, "Hi." Of course, once she sees me, she doesn't want to just go back in the other room. Or he's suddenly inspired to do dishes and ignores the baby. Often he doesn't even know where she's gone (she's a year old so she gets around well and is into everything). I would leave the house to work but countless times he was supposedly "watching" her and then she's hurt herself, albeit not seriously, or he's forgotten what he was doing and then when I ask where she is, he says "she was in the bathroom with you!" (I wasn't in the bathroom) so I feel like I have to at least stay in the house to keep an eye on what's going on.

I know his shortcomings in this area have more to do with his discomfort with his role as a father than anything else, but I'm at my wit's end. I'm sick of staying up working until 3 am and in addition being the only person who gets up to comfort the baby when she cries at night. I'm sick of being the person who does nearly all of the work in the house, as well as nearly all of the work with our daughter. I'm sick of him acting like what I do all day is easy and all fun. I'm sick of telling him he's going to miss his train, which he almost always does, never mind that he should be taking one that's at least an hour earlier. I'm sick of trying to convince him that we can't afford to spend money the way he does. I'm sick of having to justify my needs and explain why I need a tiny bit of free time.

When I write down most of the stuff he does, it doesn't look like that big of a deal, but it's just the exhaustion of doing everything and having to redo or undo everything that he does and having to be the nag just to get him to even participate. It's his constant lack of attention to what's going on and why. Every day, he is eating away at my love for him. It's not unusual for me to think about how much I hate him and fantasize about being a widow. I try concentrating on the good stuff. I go away and come back filled with good feeling for him and the future and thinking I might even *gasp* sleep with him. He manages to kill those good feelings in less than 24 hours. For example, I stay up until the wee hours of the morn working several nights in a row in order to meet a deadline and at the same time take care of the baby all day and am the only one to do it at night. When the weekend comes, who gets up at 7 with the baby? Me. Who sleeps in? Him. When I insist he gets out of bed, he spends all day whining how tired he is (after 10 hours sleep) and insisting he needs a nap and is completely useless. I've tried being sweet. I've tried being mean. I've tried ignoring him being late and stupid. I've gone one strike and not done any of the housework. Nothing I do or don't do seems to change anything.

Enough about my husband. Like I said, I hate being a mom. I think it sucks. Yes, the smiles and the cuddles and the "mama"s and all that are great but I still think it sucks and is boring and sucks and sucks then is incredibly awesome then is boring and frustrating and sucks. I've finally come to terms with being responsible for someone else morning noon and night, but I had (have?) a career and I had a thousand things I wanted to do. I can't do any of those things any time soon, especially not without the support of a partner. It's driving me mad to be at home. I count the hours until my husband will arrive so I can have *a little* relief and adult conversation (though he's usually an hour or two later than he promises and often too late to even see the baby) and I count the time until the baby will sleep and I can just start working and ignore the man I never should have married.

I feel like I'm a terrible mother. I am just so bored. I don't think I talk to my daughter enough and I don't think I play with her enough. Maybe I'm just like my husband. I just don't know what to do with her. Every day I promise myself I'll do better tomorrow and every day, I feel like I'm falling down on the job. I can't muster the energy and enthusiasm to play and sing and come up with things to do. Whenever I look at old photos of her, I want to cry. She was so beautiful and spunky. She had this energy, like she just loved and was so excited about life. I'm afraid she's not like that anymore, or not as much as she was. I'm afraid I've ruined her. I don't know what to do. I feel like she'd be better off with someone else. Not my husband, certainly, but someone else. How can I be so awful when I'm fortunate enough to have a gorgeous, healthy, smart girl? How can I keep doing this and getting through every day?

I don't regret having my daughter because I love her so much. I do regret the rotten, resentful marriage I'm stuck in. I regret letting it get this bad and I regret that I don't think I even care enough to bother with therapy. And I regret that I can't be a better mother because my daughter deserves it.

If you got this far, and even if you didn't, thanks so much for allowing me to let off steam.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hate to state the obvious, but you may still be suffering from PPD. Mine lasted for over a year and a half.
I, too, wasn't ready to become a mom and I also grew resentful. I know exactly where you are coming from.
See your doctor, and soon.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to seek some help too. I'm not sure about PPD as I don't know enough about it, but I think you just need help to sort through everything. It's hard work but will be worth it in the end. Don't throw it all away because it feels hopeless. Who knows what the future will hold, but there is a much happier life for you...just get it (get help)...and have faith and hope that there is a happier life.
Good luck to you and thank you very very much for sharing. Just so you know, I share some of your feelings but for different reasons and different circumstances and it's slowly (very slowly) getting better.

Anonymous said...

The feelings of guilt and inadequacy you're describing here are very normal - the first year is really hard, and nobody feels like she's playing with the baby enough - everybody feels that need to escape sometimes.

Another statement of the obvious: some marriage counselling would probably be helpful here. I think you do need to take that risk of putting your husband in sole charge of the baby sometimes (i.e. leaving the house). It's too easy for him to evade the responsibility if you're there. Unless there are issues with drugs or drinking that you haven't mentioned here, I don't think there will be any actual risk to your daughter in leaving her in her father's care.

Good luck. Make whatever changes you need to - maybe some part-time day-care would allow you to achieve a more workable balance?

Mrs. Chicken said...

I am so sorry you are having so much pain. It is hard to be married to an immature man, and it is incredibly difficult to be a mother.

I think you should seek help from your doctor and a therapist (just for you at first). Getting these feelings out and figuring out how to cope with them - and the roots of them - will help you a lot. I know this from experience.

As for your daughter, you obviously love her. That doesn't mean you are cut out to stay home with her. Maybe, if you can afford it, you could look into getting a sitter for a few hours a week so you can do work outside your home. You can also find someone who is willing to do some light housekeeping to help lift your burdens.

Keep moving forward. Get help, and soon. Your daughter needs you, and remember, there is no such thing as the perfect mother.

I myself am a good-enough mom.

Peace to you, friend.

mrs P said...

You are not the only one who feels this way, I promise. Being a mom is so hard and trying to work at the same time is immensely difficult if you do not have any support. Nobody likes being a mom 100% of the time, it is a very demanding and thankless job. I am a married mom who feels like a single parent 90% of the time and works full time too. What is important is that you obviously love your daughter and want what is best for her. Don't give up, give your marriage time but be able to realize if it is not going to work so you can step out if you have to. Talk to your doctor about depression medication - it may help with your emotional burdens. And the basement is always here anytime you need the support you are not getting from your husband.

lala said...

Your husband sounds a lot like my 14 year old son who was just diagnosed with Autism. He's high functioning but really lacks the awareness to manage his own life. Can you get her into daycare during the day so you can work at your freelance assignments? This would give you a break from the monotony of the day to day stuff that gets you down plus you'd get your work done. Once you got yourself into a better spot emotionally then you could do what you need to with your marriage. If I were married to someone like my son I'd go bonkers and leave.......just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

In a lot of aspects I could have written that post when my son was 1 year old. My husband is more helpful than yours, but it didn't keep me from fantisizing about him dying and all the life insurance and where I would move w/ my son. I also had an unplanned but not unwanted pregnancy and felt and still feel like I'm missing out on the last days (literally) of my twenties. I didn't talk to my doctor or get a therapist or take any antidepressants. I toughed it out and went back to school and put my son in daycare. Just last week those feeling hit again, but in a modified form, and I was thinking I really need a therapist, but I probably won't do it because if I won't buy myself a pair of jeans I certainly am not going to spend $100 an hour to talk to someone.

Anonymous said...

I came back to read everyone's comments. For some reason, your post really stayed with me since 10:15am when I first commented. I think there are many many women who feel similarly to how you feel. Please take some of the advice given to you and get some help (and don't view it as a sign of weakness as often people do). I can say this from experience, the money you spend on a therapist will be the best money you'll ever spend on yourself. Think of it as an investment. An investment that will have a positive effect for yourself (and your child) for the rest of your life. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but my sense is that you need to talk to your husband and be honest with him.

You also do need to give him a chance to be the sole caregiver at some point. Even when he's supposed to be responsible for the baby when you're in the house, he's clearly relying on you. If you weren't at home, he'd probably be more engaged. But he has to be warned that it's not always fun to be the one responsible for her at times...it can be boring and it's not fun. You know that, why shouldn't he?

It's so hard because women are raised with the expectation that they will have so-called maternal instincts. Most men I know didn't even change a diaper before they had their own kid (some of them didn't, even then). Unfortunately, that means it falls on us to teach them what's expected of them. I know, that's a bigger burden on you, but at some point, you're going to have to answer his thousand questions and explain each process in detail so that he can get it and do it and you can trust him and he can feel ready for it.

It sucks. One of my friends told me that she never hated being a woman until she had a baby. That's really stuck with me. But in her case, and I think in yours too, it's less about being a woman or being a mom than it is about being a mom with little to no help from her partner. Once you feel like you can trust him with her, and you can have a little more freedom, you may find that being a mom is wonderful (although it's still boring and frustrating some of the time.

And if he's not willing to listen to you and care for you and take his role in stride, then you might find it less frustrating to be a single mom who is actually a single mom...with only one child and no expectations (and perhaps a little help from your friends).

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I felt a lot of what you are feeling during the first year--not about my husband, but about being a mom. I was convinced I sucked at it. My baby was wanted and planned for and I didn't even have much of a career to leave, but I still felt trapped a lot of the time. I think part of it was PPD and part of it was that the first year of motherhood is hard, hard, hard. Give me the toddler years any day over the newborn period. It is only in the second year of mothering that I've stopped worrying that every decision I make is going to ruin my child.

I would second the recommendations to talk to your doctor, or a therapist, and to get your daughter in daycare, at least part-time. I have a babysitter come for a few hours a week and it makes a world of difference in my sanity. Once you can get your head above water, you can evaluate the situation with your husband, but I would take care of your own situation first.

Her Bad Mother said...

Anonymous (and anyone else feeling the same pain) - TALK TO SOMEONE. Please. You don't necessarily need to spend $100 on a therapist - talk to your doctor, or to a local public health nurse, anybody who might be able to a) hear you, and b) point you in the direction of some useful resources. And, as others have suggested, seek whatever other support you can, in the form of household help, babysitting, whatever. Are there grandparents, friends, who can spell you off for a day off? Or two, or three, or a few hours here and there?

I was there, where you are, minus the neglectful husband. I was depressed, and I wouldn't have been able to pull out of it without support. Even if you just seek support through this online community, do it. Just *do* talk, let others hear you, and know that you are not alone, and that you ARE good enough, as a woman and as a mother.

E-mail me if you like, or write here again, whatever works. Just keep sharing, and seeking, and (I hope) receiving support.

Meira (comments AT voirdire DOT org) said...

Your husband needs a giant kick in the butt, that's pretty obvious. But even if he were doing his part, to some extent motherhood is boring and largely spent counting the hours until nap or the other parent comes home. A lot of the time, every day can look like the one before it. My favorite bit of advice is not to consider divorce (not that you said that) until the kid is at least 18 mos old. I bring it up not to push it on you, but just to point out that the first 18 mos are pretty rough, and it doesn't help that your hormones and/or thyroid is probably out of whack. So, yeah -- you're not bad. Really. (Really!!!) Every mom has these feelings but if it's overwhelming you, there is help. I don't think it's a matter of you 'not caring' enough to get therapy, I think it's a matter of you not having any hope that therapy can help. It's very hard to work for change if you don't have any hope. Zoloft was very helpful to me, as was seeing my therapist. A couples therapist could probably kick your husband into gear.

Karen said...

I just want to say that I'm so sorry you are hurting. Motherhood is so big, it has plenty of room for all of us. My husband and I went through different circumstances, but I was still left holding the ball with a one year old & plenty of my own emotions to deal with He was in a severe clinical depression. He simply didn't engage with us, take care of the baby, or help at all. It was painful, humiliating at times with friends and family. I forced myself to take the advice of people who loved me enough to give it to me - I left the baby with him ,I confronted him, I left no stone unturned (and I didn't feel up to any of it, I was just surviving, just doing what people said, so I'd have something to hold onto.) In any case all that support saved us. He got help, I got help, we got help. I didn't always know if our marriage would make it. I don't know how your story will end, but you'll never regret investing time in yourself so that you can re-frame your experience of motherhood, reevaluate your marriage and see if you can make it new in some unexpected way. Even if the result is not what you expect, you'll have spent time taking care of yourself...and that is good. Whatever brings life to you will make you more whole as a woman and a mother.
(he who installs batteries has given me blanket permission to share this story in times of need.)

Lena said...

Oh sweety. I SO UNDERSTAND. It could be PPD. Or it could just be loneliness.

Remember: this is TEMPORARY. Tell youself that every day. This too shall pass. I know it feels like it's never going to end, but it will. Soon.

Email me anytime.

GeekLady said...

Oh hon, I'm so sorry you're going through this. As many people have commented, it could be PPD, but I do think your experience is being compounded by an almost complete lack of support from your husband. I can't really offer you any sage advice, just my support:

You sound like you feel guilty that you hate being a mom, but I'm not convinced that motherhood is what you actually hate. It sounds more like you hate existing as a single mother, in fact if not in name. You certainly love your daughter! But you're trying to provide childcare, basic cleanliness and nutrition in the household, AND working from home for career maintainence, if for nothing else - and that's a heavy burden.

There is no non-lobotomized person in the world that doesn't experience frustrated with the tedium of life. Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with being a mother does not make you a bad one.

I second everyone who suggested some form of childcare, even a few days a week. Having the time to yourself, to work, run errands, have lunch with a friend, or even get a few chores done will help you get your equilibrium back. And feeling better will help you when you talk to your husband.

The constant frustration isn't good for you, you will need to address its source - your husband's behavior. He has a responsibility to be a father for his daughter, and a husband to you, and it sounds like he's doing his best to avoid both.

Lisa b said...

First of all you have not "ruined" your daughter. You love her, you take care of her 24/7 and you are getting no help.
Your husband needs a HUGE kick in the pants. My husband was very much the same for most of my daughter's first year. The one thing I had to do was to let him screw up and not help. It was really hard but it was part of the process. Yes you can do the job better but you need to figure out what will work for you. Maybe its help for PPD (if that is what you have), counselling for you both or just childcare so you can work.

braiding mommy said...

I really feel for you and understand where you are coming from - when you said you can't think of enough games to play with your daughter and you worry that you didn't talk to her enough, etc - I have felt all of those same things too. Like everyone has said - there are many, many, MANY of us out there who are not supermoms and feel the guilt of that - but are learning and have learned to just be good enough.

My daughter started daycare at 15 months. In a lot of ways it was a relief because I felt like I just couldn't teach her at home all of the things that she needed to learn. I hope you will take everyone's advice and find daycare/a home sitter/something that will give you relief for at least a few hours during the day. I also hope you will think about therapy just for yourself - I went to someone and I could bring my daughter. She played while we talked and it near about saved my sanity.

I will be thinking about you. You aren't alone.

Amy Jo said...

At times, it is so difficult being someone's mother. Even when everything was planned, it still seems overwhelming. I agree that talking to someone is a must. Even if you don't feel comfortable with therapy, sometimes talking to other mothers is really helpful. Empathy is amazing. I also started putting my son in daycare two mornings a week, jsut so I could have some down time. If you look around, there might be a church or something that has part time child care at an affordable rate. I pay $6/hour, which is worth every penny and then some. Good luck, and please come back and let us know how you are doing.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry you are hurting and that this year has been so hard.

You have been given a lot of wise words. Stay connected to others and invest in yourself.

toyfoto said...

You are a loving mom, and you should give yourself a break. Whether you have postpartum depression or not, you clearly are sad and overwhelmed. And you might do well speaking to a therapist about depression.

Sleeplessness, stress, life changes, responsibilities you hadn't counted upon and the lack of help and support are enough to make coping skills harder to access.

Don't hold yourself up to a mirror of what you think a good mother is, because good moms are just like you. They get frustrated, they yell, they wish the could run away to a dessert Island and leave the family to fend for itself. Good mothers are also people who are good to themselves.

Maybe you could think about hiring a person to take care of your girl while you work a few hours during the day?

Just hang in there.

Mimi said...

HUG. I'm so sorry for how you are feeling. You are not a bad mother: you are burnt out from doing too much. You are not getting your own quite reasonable needs met, and it doesn't leave you with a lot of good feeling for much else in life.

I acknowledge your pain and frustration, and that all your feelings are real and justifiable.

My sister is in the same marriage as you. Yes, you have two children--and no wonder you resent the one you married. Maybe you don't need therapy. Maybe you need a divorce or a separation. Reading your post, it seems the problem is not the baby, the problem is your husband. And you know what? Sometimes it's easier to be a single parent than a parent trapped in a useless marriage where a partner becomes more trouble than he's worth. What a drain on your emotional and physical energy.

Sure, the baby was unplanned. But you stepped up to the plate, and are trying to make a go of it: you are meeting your baby's needs, trying to advance your career, and trying to get your husband to grow up.

Your baby will get older, will go to school or into care part time. Her behaviour is temporary and age-appropriate. Your husband? When is he going to grow up and stop sucking up your precious energy? Stop souring your days with his uselessness?

I'm kinda harsh on him. I mean to be. You're in need, and you're doing the best that you can. You're getting, essentially, no help. And worse than help, you're getting an extra burden. It's not fair. But you can do something about it. I really don't think the problem is you and your lack of love for either your baby or your husband. You might not be depressed: you might be reacting quite appropriately to the shitty hand you've been dealt right now. But you can decide how you want to play those cards. And when you make your choices, think a little about what you want and how you can get it. You're important too.

And. Motherhood, a lot of it IS boring. That's ok to feel. But if you're too exhausted and bitter, you'll only feel the boring, not the great, and that's a real shame--not on you, but on the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

oh catherine i'm so sorry.how sad.do you think you are depressed a little?and as for your other 'child' not pulling his weight.i've been there.but that was our first and we now have 4 and hes so much better.i love my children but there are days when i'm so exhausted that i dream,fantasize about running away.but you know what i do without them.anyhow we all have those moments of exhaustion,despair,regret,longing for what could have been.but what matters is the here and now.i hope you can work all this out.LAVENDULA

Lydia said...

Your title is (not) living the dream. Just realize-- it is a DREAM. Reality is so very different than our dreams!

It's hard to be a mom. Especially full-time. And to be a wife and a person to boot!

Try to get some day care, even a few hours a day or week will do a lot to make you feel better.

No matter how "good" of a mother you are, you are still a person. Spending every waking and sleeping minute with another person is tantamount to torture--even if that other person is your own child.

Be strong and confident--and be happy!

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to be a mom. And when you are overwhelmed like you are, you focus on the negatives, such as your husband. I agree with whoever said that you need to leave the house and make him be alone with her - he really needs that. And it may do you both good as well.

First and foremost - talk to your doctor about PPD. And then talk to your husband - a heart to heart, calm discussion, as opposed to demanding/nagging/yelling. My husband shuts down when I have done that in the past - it doesn't work, and he may resent you for it. He may be feeling overwhelmed as well, and if he comes home to a negative atmosphere, he will continue to keep his distance from the family. Maybe he feels like he can't do anything right- that is exactly what I put my husband through when we had our first. I think back and good gawd I was such a monster to him. As hard as it may be, try to think of the positives that he does. Make a list if you have to. I'm not trying to defend your husband, but I think the hostility you feel towards him is leashing out onto your child.

Even though it doesn't seem like it will, having a baby (especially when you weren't ready) puts a huge, huge strain on relationships. I don't know anyone who has/had a perfect marriage. I admire any marriage that got through it smoothly.

Anonymous said...

Your husband sucks. You need to have a serious discussion with him, and he needs to start picking up the slack. Not just because it would help you, but also because he IS MISSING IT. They grow up so fast and he is spending all his time on computer games instead of enjoying his daughter. If he can't or won't agree to help out more, then maybe you should take your daughter and move. Do you have family you can stay with?
I second all the commenters who suggest you find a way to put her in daycare for a few hours. It is also true that motherhood is incredibly difficult and isolating so don't beat yourself up about it. You are doing a fantastic job, you just need to solve the husband problem. Hopefully he will be willing to meet you halfway.
I also think counseling for both of you would really help.

Good luck.

Her Bad Mother said...

Thank you for your sweet thoughts, Lavendula, but I didn't write this - it was submitted by an anonymous poster.

Jessica said...

I'm sure you've heard the saying if Mom ain't happy noone is?? Very true...it took me quite a while to really get this. My husband made me miserable and I was just a miserable person to be around. We separated and I was fully ready to get a divorce. I saw no changes coming my way and I was sick and damn tired of being so miserable. Another tired saying is you can't change other people just yourself. I'm feeling very Dr. Phil today...This is also so true! Once I decided to move on and really follow through (we were separated for 10 mos.) he saw the light. A lot of times men are just thick and it takes a real wake up call to get through to them. Or, it may do nothing and you may end up a single mom for a little while but, you will be in control of your life and that is probably what you are truly craving (sorry for all the grammar mistakes, I'm an accountant!). Good luck with everything.

jen said...

oh, sister. the first year is so hard, let alone weathering it unsupported.

no wonder you feel the way you do.

your daughter sounds lovely. you sound lovely. i hope you can find some peace, or at least some community. here is a good safe place to start.

kittenpie said...

In addition to echoing the many commenters above who suggest that you find someone to talk to, I would also offer this: Would it work for you to find part-time daycare and work during those hours? Even if your work only pays for the daycare, those hours of doing your own thing for yourself might be payoff enough to make it worthwhile.

Jennifer said...

Please realize you are NOT alone in feeling this way. As most everyone has already stated, motherhood is so hard. We are all doing the best we can.

Look into doing some things for yourself...go places with friends, join a playgroup, join a support group, get a job...anything that is for YOU!

Anonymous said...

Been thinking of you since I read this yesterday. You brought up a lot of feelings that I take a lot of courage to admit not only to yourself, but out there on the great wide world of the blogsphere. Congradulations for expressing your feelings. That's one step closer to becoming happy. Keep up the writing. I'll think of you and smile for you and wish happy thoughts your way.

Jaelithe said...

All SAHMs get bored, and lonely for adult conversation, and sick of being in the house all of the time, and sick of having someone needing your time and attention 24 hours a day. For WAHMs it can sometimes be worse, because you feel that not only do you have a child and a household constantly needing your attention, but also a job constantly needing your attention; you can never leave the office, and you can never leave the home. Everyone thinks its the best of both worlds, but in many ways it is the worst of both worlds.

But trust me, it can get better. As your child gets older, she will need you a little less often. You will be able to snatch more moments to yourself. You will also, as time goes by, start to forget what it was like not to have a kid around hanging off of you all the time (really, you will).

And I hope to high heaven you will eventually be able to get your husband to help.

A good quote that I often like to remind myself of is: "Women become mothers at birth, but men have to learn to be fathers." There were times during my son's first year that I really had murderous thoughts about my own husband, who really is a great guy, but took a long time to catch on to things like remembering to feed the baby at the right time, or keeping chokable objects out of a toddler's reach. And of course, there was the sleep issue. He could sleep right through our infant son crying, and I was up alone throughout the night.

But now? He gives my son his bath every night. He puts my son to bed every night. And if my son wakes up in the middle of the night with a nightmare? My husband goes in to calm him down. Every single time.

He says he owes me for that first year.

They CAN be taught.

What worked with my husband was just telling him, often, how I really felt. I told him I was depressed. I told him I was miserable. I told him his behavior was part of the cause. And I listened to what he had to say in response, and tried very hard to criticize him less for his minor mistakes, like forgetting a diaper change.

Of course, I do want to throw out there that though a lot of the above posters seem to think you may have PPD, it sounds to me like your husband may be the one who is depressed. The excessive sleeping he is doing, in particular, is a red flag. If you have the money for marriage counseling, I would definitely recommend it.

Lotta said...

You are def. burnt out and depressed. Get thee to a therapist. One that can prescribe as well as listen. Once you are feeling like your old self you can try to set some limits with your husband. If he's still being a wanker drag his behind into counseling!

Most importantly, get some part time sitter help. Even if you can only afford 3 hours on Wed. Do. It. Trust me on this one!

Andi said...

It is so hard to love motherhood (and your child) when you are stretched so thin. I suffer from clinical depression. My psychiatrist and I are working to find a combination of meds (and therapy and other things) that will help me. Not having heard your husband's perspective, it's entirely possible that he is also suffering from depression. (his sleep patterns are actually quite similar to my own, and it seems as though some of his behavior -- missing the train to work his behavior toward you -- may be self-sabotage.)

The best move we've made in recent history was joining our local YMCA. They have sliding scale membership rates and scholarships for families whose finances won't permit them to join otherwise. A Y membership would allow you to take advantage of 1 1/2 hours of childcare per day while you shower, swim, take a water aerobics class, etc... You may even find other women through the Y with whom you could exchange childcare or at least get some support and friendship.

Good luck!

karmickids said...

God bless you and your baby, and know that any mom who is so concerned about her baby is a wonderful mom...

lildb said...

Lotta and everyone else who said childcare, for even a minimal time, is what you need, first and foremost. then you can take the time you need to process what's going on, both inside and outside, in your life, and figure out how to get to point b. but point a has to be someone to watch the baby and give you that time to process and figure it out.

I just put my 19-mo.-old kid in daycare - he went for the first time on Tuesday, and he's going again today (Thursday), and I feel like I'm a new woman. and I've been suicidal for months. and that's just me trying to bear out some proof for you that it can get better, even if not within your marriage, then at least for you. and for you and your kid.

I hope for good things for you.

Felicia said...

I didn't read through all the comments, but wanted to say that as far as your husband's concerned, he (and you) might not be great "baby" parents. But that doesn't mean that as your daughter grows, parenting is the same. Your man might make a GREAT dad to a toddler, preschooler or school age kid. Maybe he needs sports or homework or video games or something to bond with the child over (perhaps like he did with his dad). It's harder to find those things when the kid is barely mobile. Just be patient. With yourself as well!

Anonymous said...

ooops sorry HBM i'm new to this and just realised my mistake.i'll be more careful to read next time i post on here.LAVENDULA

thesilentk said...

You know-I feel like this sometimes too, and I have a husband who does probably more than half the "work" If he were less present I'd be downright suicidal at times I think.

I can imagine how hard it must be feeling so alone in the massive job of parenting, and I certainly empathize with the desire to work, but feeling your job as a mother prevents it.

It gets easier though, parenting. the hardest time is when they are so little, so dependent on you.