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Old 05-29-2012, 01:20 AM   #1
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Attachment parenting frustration rant

I'm a new mom to a 5-month-old daughter and I'm into the whole "attachment parenting" thing. I breastfeed and cloth diaper and co-sleep and wear my baby, and I don't work outside my home. Well, right now I am feeling really discouraged with the whole thing.

I feel like nothing in my life is normal anymore. I live in a very old house (no insulation) in Texas and the temperatures are starting to climb into the 90's and 100's. All we have is a window unit in the nursery so I can't really leave that room unless I want to dehydrate or get heat exhaustion.

I'm going stir crazy. I don't mind spending long hours alone with my daughter every day - I'm very used to being alone. But I'm not used to the inactivity of my current lifestyle! I'm a healthy weight, a relatively fit 24-year-old. But everything feels like it's come to a screeching halt since the Arrival.

On-demand feeding means I'm constantly sitting in a chair nursing. I usually play a game online or something to pass the time and have at least some mental stimulation while I sit. A lot of times my daughter fusses if I focus on other things while I nurse, so I have to stare at/play with her the whole time. She's adorable and everything, but it's just so long! I've tried and failed at finding a carrier that allows me to nurse comfortably while doing something else. In my Boba 3-G, I really only have one hand free while nursing, since I have to raise my boob up with the other hand. Great carrier but not for breastfeeding.

Nursing constantly saps my energy. My baby can't seem to keep a schedule for longer than a month at a time, if that. It's so hard to plan anything outside my house because it messes up her schedule to the point where she's too distracted to nurse, won't poop all day, can't fall asleep without fussing for hours first, etc.

Honestly, we're pretty low income so I can't afford to go out to paid places very often. We live in a very small town where there's not much to do, so even driving to the next town gets expensive. I have some friends and relatives that invite me over, but I don't really relish the thought of sitting around on someone else's couch gossiping, either. I'm more of a loner, I just want to be active.

I've had to give up most of the clothes I wore before the Baby came because they're extremely inconvenient to nurse in. Now I'm always wearing a tank top with a shirt over it because this is the only thing I've found that's discreet and easy enough. But wearing two shirts makes me hot and I feel unfashionable.

If nursing doesn't rob me of all my energy, my sedentary lifestyle takes whatever I had left. The longer I sit and do nothing, the less motivated I feel to get up and get going. It's getting to the point that I can't sleep at night because my body is simply not tired from lack of activity. I don't live a great neighborhood, so I'm a little scared to go walking around here by myself with the baby. Besides, it's too hot to go for walks outside during the day and there are no free places to go indoors around here. I suppose I could go walking around inside WalMart or something, I was just hoping for something more fun. I used to love to go dancing - what a laugh that would be now! I can't really leave my baby with a sitter since I'm breastfeeding - I'm spacing my children with breastfeeding, so using a bottle kind of ruins that. So baby must go where I go.

Swimming is great in hot weather, but I have an infant with me who cannot afford swimming lessons. I'd just be watching her the whole time, worried about drowning and sunburn, and not getting my own physical activity in. I have exercise videos I can do at home, but I'm so bored with them already. The nursery is the only room with air conditioning, and there's barely enough room to walk through there, let alone work out in there. Going to the living room is like working out in a sauna.

My husband, who works outside the house all day to support us, doesn't understand At ALL. Since late pregnancy I have a very diminished sex drive, and being exhausted all day isn't helping. When he comes home from work, I just want a break from the baby and I want to go and DO something with my mind and my body. I want to be active and have fun. He wants me to stop everything and just sit and "be" with him. We're starting to get into fights about it when I try to explain.

I love being a mom. I'm happy about my choice to stay home and raise my daughter. But I'm starting to feel like all I am now is a pair of mammary glands. I've gained a wonderful daughter but lost everything else. I can't wear my normal clothes or spend time doing my favorite hobbies, it's so much harder to work out or even get out of the house, I can't drink, can't sleep, it's even stolen my sex drive! I feel like I'm just getting fat and lazy. I miss my energy and having a life! I know other moms do this, and they have more kids and everything too. I feel like there's something wrong with me since I can't handle it better.

That's my rant for tonight. It's 2 am and I'm not even tired. I went running a little while ago to let off steam from fighting with my husband yet again. It makes me feel like a bad wife and a bad mother, but sometimes I'd like to just run away and keep on running...

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Old 05-29-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

You are not a bad mother. You are an honest mother who knows exactly what you need and how to express it.

I'm going to just brainstorm some ideas, suggestions and thoughts. Take what you can use and leave the rest. It is 3:42 am and I am up for the very same reason you are up AND I cherish the time that I can actually be alone without having to attend the needs of others.

-You are not alone. I'm guessing that many mamas find themselves here on ds because they are looking for that something to do.

-Try an adjustable ring sling. It was the one way I could nurse and move. You might still have to support the breast with one had but baby can fall asleep in there very comfortably while you do other stuff.

-Hormones may be a party to play in how you are feeling. Keep that in mind.

-Instead of trying to swim how about actually just walking in the water with your baby. You would just stay in the shallower side if in a pool. You could also do some resistance exercises.

-You are both new to this so there is going to be growing pains. DH is probably wondering how you could be unhappy when you don't have to work and you get to gaze at the baby all day. I don't think he is being inconsiderate. He just has no idea how you may be feeling.

-Are there any mama groups or La Leche League groups you can try to attend? You might find a friend there to keep you motivated.

-Attachment parenting is very self sacrificial but I believe it pays off. But through the years I have found people who thought like I did and they helped me through the rough patches.

-I find that first time parents get really stuck on the schedule instead of the rhythm of things. I know I did and I really had to adjust when I had my second because there was no way I could keep to an exact schedule for two children and ever leave the house.

-Do you think you may be battling ppd?

-Walking in air conditioned mall is better than not walking at all.

-Babies especially attached babies will pick up the vibe you are giving off. So if you are stressed about going out you better believe they are not going to handle it well.

-Put the baby to sleep but slip away and have a picnic by candlelight with your dh. You can stay in the same room. Talk and touch him. Try and reconnect. You are feeling "touched out" from having a baby in arms all day. Give yourself a chance to remember how differently it feels to touch your dh. Maybe sit baby in the bathroom in a bouncy and slip in the shower with dh. Sorry if this too personal but getting your groove back will benefit everyone.

-She will not stay this little forever and they really do start becoming more independent.

I have 5 kids my eldest is 13 and I ap'd with all of them and I could have written part of your posts. We all get these times but you keep working at it and taking care of yourself and things get better.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:42 AM   #3
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

Leave the house every single day. This will force you to put on clean clothes and allow you to talk to adults. Even if all you do is walk to the supermarket, buy a tiny coffee and walk the isles in the ac. The magical thing about mothering is that everyone feels the way you do. If you can just get to a place with other mothers you'll feel better. Go to la leche, baby wearing meet ups, and the playground. 5 months is a great time to start swimming with your baby. She should have enough head control now that you can hold her in the water and splash about. If you go to the pool/beach/lake during the morning on weekdays you will have a good chance of meeting another stir crazy mother. What you feel is normal. :bighugs:
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:18 AM   #4
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I feel you are right on track feelings wise. I only have one child as well and at about this age I felt the same way. That there would never be a "normal" again. I was starting to go crazy. I would be home all day by myself and then DH would come home and want to do his stuff and I would get jealous. All I wanted was sleep. At 5 months this is about the point where you want to give up. Try to fun little thing to do for yourself. We went to target everyday around 10- 90% of the other people there? Moms with young babies. Seriously. Every mom is feeling the same way. Maybe try to save up for another window unit. Or get some fans do you can be in other rooms. Going for a night run is a good start. But this will pass. When baby starts to want to explore there will be no boring moments. You won't have time to play games online ( I was a angry birds and words with friends freak when dd was that age- now I NEVER play.) enjoy the down time. Try to find comfort in the stillness. As with most things in life it goes in a circle and a so active I need rest wave will come through and you'll wish for the days of a baby just laying there nursing. Hugs mama- you are not alone.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

I agree with a pp - get a mesh sling and got walking at the pool with baby - it's not the same as swimming but it is activity.

Maybe work it out with your dh that 3 nights a week, right after you nurse, you go swim for 30 minutes. Even with nursing on demand your LO will be fine for 30 min. As you get more active, your mood should hopefully improve and your dh should notice making it easier to help you more.

Don't rule out PPD - don't be afraid to get help if you need it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

I've been there and done that. When my oldest was around this age, I literally slept on and off all day with her on a upholstered rocking chair. I never left the chair. She would wake up, nurse, go back to sleep and I would wake up to nurse her and go back to sleep. Dozing, not heavy sleeping but yeah, that was what we did all day while DH was at work except when I would get up to get some food. Oh and maybe put her on the floor for some floor activities. I about went nuts. I did end up on meds around that time and my husband was absolutely unsupportive about the whole thing and we were not just low income, we were NO income because DH lost his job. Oh man, that whole year was rough. It did get better, she started crawling (once they get mobile, it DOES get better though you have another set of problems to deal with then as mobile babies find trouble to get into ) and then walking but it was rough for awhile and yeah, you do kind of start to feel that all you're there for is as a milk bar.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:02 AM   #7
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

mama. You are not a bad mother. And, you are not alone in feeling the way you do. It's hard and a huge adjustment, especially after you get out of the newborn phase, and the long days and nights kind of loom sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agla View Post
You are not a bad mother. You are an honest mother who knows exactly what you need and how to express it.

I'm going to just brainstorm some ideas, suggestions and thoughts. Take what you can use and leave the rest. It is 3:42 am and I am up for the very same reason you are up AND I cherish the time that I can actually be alone without having to attend the needs of others.

-You are not alone. I'm guessing that many mamas find themselves here on ds because they are looking for that something to do.

-Try an adjustable ring sling. It was the one way I could nurse and move. You might still have to support the breast with one had but baby can fall asleep in there very comfortably while you do other stuff.

-Hormones may be a party to play in how you are feeling. Keep that in mind.

-Instead of trying to swim how about actually just walking in the water with your baby. You would just stay in the shallower side if in a pool. You could also do some resistance exercises.

-You are both new to this so there is going to be growing pains. DH is probably wondering how you could be unhappy when you don't have to work and you get to gaze at the baby all day. I don't think he is being inconsiderate. He just has no idea how you may be feeling.

-Are there any mama groups or La Leche League groups you can try to attend? You might find a friend there to keep you motivated.

-Attachment parenting is very self sacrificial but I believe it pays off. But through the years I have found people who thought like I did and they helped me through the rough patches.

-I find that first time parents get really stuck on the schedule instead of the rhythm of things. I know I did and I really had to adjust when I had my second because there was no way I could keep to an exact schedule for two children and ever leave the house.

-Do you think you may be battling ppd?

-Walking in air conditioned mall is better than not walking at all.

-Babies especially attached babies will pick up the vibe you are giving off. So if you are stressed about going out you better believe they are not going to handle it well.

-Put the baby to sleep but slip away and have a picnic by candlelight with your dh. You can stay in the same room. Talk and touch him. Try and reconnect. You are feeling "touched out" from having a baby in arms all day. Give yourself a chance to remember how differently it feels to touch your dh. Maybe sit baby in the bathroom in a bouncy and slip in the shower with dh. Sorry if this too personal but getting your groove back will benefit everyone.

-She will not stay this little forever and they really do start becoming more independent.

I have 5 kids my eldest is 13 and I ap'd with all of them and I could have written part of your posts. We all get these times but you keep working at it and taking care of yourself and things get better.
Fabulous advice! And, remember, it will not be like this forever. You will have good days and bad days, but she will grow and life will evolve and you will barely remember this time as so hard. Take care of yourself, mama.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:18 AM   #8
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

My DD is 4 months old and I've felt a lot of the same things. I feel SO much better knowing that other moms feel this way too!
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: Attachment parenting frustration rant

I have 3 kids and I honestly believe the hardest transition was having number 1!!!! Yes not 1 to 2 or 2 to 3. It was most definately 0 to 1!!!!!!

I loved my ds more than anything but all the feelings you had I had. And it was not pp or depression it was a how do I do the things I need to. How do I cook for dh when I have a baby? How do I clean? How do I stay active? It was all so hard and I was so tired and nursing ALL THE TIME.

Well my advice is to sit and enjoy your dh sometimes even with baby bc everything will not always get done. You will get your sex drive back once you realize you can be mommy and sexy! And no matter how much your body has changed and the clothes you like do not fit dh loves you and thinks you are beautiful and can not imagine life without you.

I say DANCE DANCE DANCE!!! One of my ds favorite things was when I sat him down put on some music and danced like crazy in front of him. It helped me let out some cooped up energy and ds laughed like crazy!!!!

You need to find a a carrier you can easily nurse in, for me it was an ergo. Once I got that thing when ds was 8 months old parenting becam a breeze and I nurse every baby in that thing. I was extremely self conscuios without it bc in the begginig of nursing I went from an A cup to a D (I am still a D) and I felt like my boobs were all over the place.

I did layered tank tops from Target and they were the best investment I made. They were so much better than any nursing shirt I had purchased.

And you and dh need a date night or take baby and go on a day trip somewhere,

GL momma and know we have ALL been there!!!!
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:48 AM   #10
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It gets better! I felt the same way and would get so mad at dh for not understanding. He'd say things like "this is what YOU wanted" or "don't you know how lucky you are to stay at home?!?". Lol. I was definitely not always feeling lucky.

For me it got SO much better when ds could sit up by himself and play with toys... Even if it only lasted a few minutes. Then once he started crawling, it got SO much better again! And then when he started walking... And then when he started talking. Lol. The more they are able to interact with you the easier it gets. And when they don't nurse and start developing a schedule it's easier to leave the house. And then they'll enjoy playdates and you'll enjoy talking to other moms irl who really are experiencing the same issues.

Good luck mama!
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