Babies: 0 - 3 Months

I just need a break...

I absolutely LOVE my LO, but..

I'm feeling so overwhelmed lately being a SAHM and being by myself all day long while DH is out working. I'm an exclusive breast feeder and haven't started pumping yet (DH wants to hold off on a bottle). At night while feeding LO I just stare at DH sleeping away and get irritated. Even though I know he really can't do anything to help while I'm feeding LO. For the past 2 days LO has been very colicky and not been eating a lot and only sleeping in 2 hour segments at night. I just want a break.... just a small one :( And not to mention my family lives more than an hour away and has made to attempt to visit us, we always go to them, which is now a pain with having to get not only LO ready but myself. 

Anyone else feeling the weight of new motherhood? Or feeling that DH isn't sacrificing nearly as much as you are?

Re: I just need a break...

  • I think it is time you bring a bottle into the picture...and talk to DH about helping out a bit. This worked wonders for me, I was feeling the same way.
  • The beginning is definitely hard and it's normal to feel overwhelmed. Do you try to nap during the day while LO is sleeping?

    Remember that if DH took a bottle feeding you'd have to get up to pump anyway, especially this early while your supply is still establishing itself. Talk to DH and let him know that you're feeling overwhelmed. See what chores he can take over to help. When I'm feeling overwhelmed I have no problem asking DH to step it up, he'd never do it on his own accord. 

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  • I personally don't think your dh should have a say in when you start using a bottle.  They recommend starting it at 3-4 weeks but my ped said I could start at two weeks if I needed to.  At first my dh would give the bottle but I've given him a bottle as well.  I developed what I thought was a yeast infection on my nipples (although I don't see signs of thrush in my son's mouth) and I bottle fed him for a day to give my nipples time to heal.  Granted I did have to pump right after which is a pain but it allows you so much more freedom - you can feed outside if you want.

    This is my 2nd child so I'm not feeling completely overwhelmed like I did with my first but I have my days.  Tell your dh what you need/want and see how he responds.  Sometimes I find that my husband needs me to tell him what to do.

  • image BelhurstBride:

    Remember that if DH took a bottle feeding you'd have to get up to pump anyway, especially this early while your supply is still establishing itself.

    Although this is true, at least you don't have the responsibility of finishing the feeding and then making sure the baby is back to sleep.  I remember this being very overwhelming for me with my first.  Even if she has to get up to pump, being able to go back to bed and know that someone else is handling the baby is a huge relief.

  • I was also feeling very overwhelmed and somewhat resentful toward DH a week ago.  I broke down one evening and told him I needed help.  He has been offering to help in the middle of the night (FF) now and that helps a bit.  I also hand her over to him when he gets home for a little while so I feel like I get a break.  After seeing me cry and get frustrated, DH realized that it's a lot for one person to deal with.  Just be honest with your husband and tell him what you need from him.  He probably doesn't know.



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  • I know how you feel. I try to time a feeding around when my DH will be home, and when he gets home he knows I need a little time to myself. Whether it's to go walk on the treadmill, or go to target, or just sit in a room by myself, I try to take at least 30 minutes of alone time when he gets home. good luck!
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  • You just described my life (except DH sleeps in another room 4 nights a week because he works 6-5 and then has school from 6:30 - 10)!  I totally feel for you!  The only way I've been surviving is asking for help from DH - oh and our pedi recommended that we do a bottle of formula a couple of nights a week - having DH feed LO, that way I could get some extra sleep (he has a "happy mommy, happy baby" philosophy).  That's helped tremendously!
  • image shortms620:
    I was also feeling very overwhelmed and somewhat resentful toward DH a week ago.  I broke down one evening and told him I needed help.  He has been offering to help in the middle of the night (FF) now and that helps a bit.  I also hand her over to him when he gets home for a little while so I feel like I get a break.  After seeing me cry and get frustrated, DH realized that it's a lot for one person to deal with.  Just be honest with your husband and tell him what you need from him.  He probably doesn't know.

    I did break down shortly after coming home with LO and DH isn't much of a communicator to say the least. He is a work-a-holic, if he's not out working he is at home working on the computer. I feel bad handing LO over to him, especially when I am not working right now.  

  • I feel this way a lot.  I'm not a SAHM, but I had maternity leave and I teach so I've been home alone with LO 11 weeks now.  I had to go to a conference yesterday and I was dreading it and once I got there, it was so nice.  It can be very confining to sit home and feed a baby all day.  Sometimes I think DH forgets b/c he gets to go to work just how overwhelming it can be to meet an infant's demands all day.  Hang in there friend, and I would pump, get some bottles ready and then take a day off to go window shop or get your hair cut or something.  Seriously.
  •  

    Its time to bring a bottle into the picture- your DH will have to deal. I BF but have 2-3 bottles pumped for night feedings that my DH does. Yes, I still have to get up and pump but he takes care of LO and puts her back down and I get some rest. This is a team effort!


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  • image The Future Mrs. Rhodus:

    image shortms620:
    I was also feeling very overwhelmed and somewhat resentful toward DH a week ago.  I broke down one evening and told him I needed help.  He has been offering to help in the middle of the night (FF) now and that helps a bit.  I also hand her over to him when he gets home for a little while so I feel like I get a break.  After seeing me cry and get frustrated, DH realized that it's a lot for one person to deal with.  Just be honest with your husband and tell him what you need from him.  He probably doesn't know.

    I did break down shortly after coming home with LO and DH isn't much of a communicator to say the least. He is a work-a-holic, if he's not out working he is at home working on the computer. I feel bad handing LO over to him, especially when I am not working right now.  

    I'm sorry to hear that your DH doesn't communicate easily.  I'm not a SAHM but am on maternity leave through the summer (I teach) and I also felt bad handing her over or having him do a night feeding.  But quite honestly, I needed him to do it so I could keep my sanity.  I had to put aside the guilty feeling of not working while DH is.  I told myself that I cannot provide the best care for DD if I am not rested and well.  I hope you can figure out some sort of arrangement to give yourself some "you time." 



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  • Totally understand!  My DH travels for a living so he is only home about 25% of the time.  He does help when home but the other 75% of the time, I am by myself.  Between taking care of DD, dogs, cats, house cleaning, laundry, etc, I am totally overwhelmed!  I would just love to have one good 8 hour stretch of sleep!  Hang in there!
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  • image katesmom73:
    image BelhurstBride:

    Remember that if DH took a bottle feeding you'd have to get up to pump anyway, especially this early while your supply is still establishing itself.

    Although this is true, at least you don't have the responsibility of finishing the feeding and then making sure the baby is back to sleep.  I remember this being very overwhelming for me with my first.  Even if she has to get up to pump, being able to go back to bed and know that someone else is handling the baby is a huge relief.

    so so so so so SO this!!  we started the bottle at 2 weeks and i was really glad to have that second feeding of the night not be my responsibility.  getting up to pump for 15 or 20 minutes is easy because it's over quickly and then you go to bed again.  it beats nursing for an hour and dealing with a potentially fussy baby afterward.  especially in the beginning when you feel so overwhelmed by not knowing how to put the baby back to sleep, it's so important to get that mental break.

    i'm sure your husband is a wonderful guy and all, but your description of him makes him sound like a total slacker.  why does he get to determine when you start to pump??  seriously?  when he has a baby sucking on his nipples for 8-12 hours a day, he can make that call.

    if you're not willing to start bottle feeding yet, at the VERY least make your husband be on nighttime diaper duty and also responsible for putting the baby back to bed and/or holding him when the feeding is finished.  you don't need nipples or a bottle to do that.

    my best piece of advice is this:  NOBODY is well served when the mom is pissed off, overtired and resentful.  do yourself and your baby a favor by advocating for yourself and asking much more of your husband.  it's time for daddy-o to step up.  it's hardest now... it will get better and better each week!

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  • I know exactly how you feel. I am not a SAHM, but am on maternity leave. DH doesn't get up to feed or change LO's diapers. Sometimes, he even tells me to "quiet the baby down" when he cries. Um, how exactly do you do that?

    I felt bad at first because DH has been coming home from work only to continue working on remodeling our bathroom. But, I no longer feel guilty, because being a mom is 24/7 and I feel that DH should do his part as well, regardless if he has to work or not. I look at it this way, when I return to work, will DH start to help or does he get to have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep? It's only fair for him to help so that I can keep my sanity. That said, I would definitely ask your DH for help. Just talk to him about how you feel.

  • My DH is currently out of the country working but was giving DS the first two feedings each night. I don't get up to pump every time he gets fed, usually only once and my supply is just fine. Since he's been away I take care of all the nighttime feedings, obviously, but still give a bottle for the first two. I find that DS eats much faster from the bottle and I can get back to sleep sooner than I can when I BF at night. And we started bottles when DS was only a week or two old.
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  • The advice on nighttime parenting is good. I've had some trouble pumping so I mostly BF at night but even so, being able to pass off the baby to DH to swaddle and put down is awesome. Also DH takes him for 1/2 hour in the AM in the baby carrier while walking the dog, and will watch him in the evening while I cook. These are very small things, but you're in survival mode right now so every little bit helps,

    Also, it's counterintuitive, but starting at about 5 weeks, leaving the house to run small errands, visiting friends, or having  folks over is actually energizing for me. Just something to consider...hang in there!

  • Sorry if any of this has been said I didn't read the responses.  Is there a reason your dh husband doesn't want to introduce a bottle?  If it isn't something legit, sounds like he wants to avoid taking night time feeding responsibility.  However, with or without a bottle he can help.  My dh gets up and brings our son to me when he wakes up to feed, he also changes his night time diapers, and puts him back to sleep.  I'm a sahm but he realizes I need to sleep too & everything we do with our son is equal.
  • Bring on the bottle.  Even if DH doesn't feed it, it will make some night time feedings easier.  Sometimes I give DD a bottle at night while I pump because the bottle only takes 15-20 min and BF takes us about 45 min.  Also, I go to bed around 10 but DH stays up til around 12, so if LO wakes up in that time he gives a bottle and I just pump if I then wake up engorged.  I had a tough time too with the SAHM thing in the first 5 weeks or so.  It does get better.  In fact, we are now at almost 8 weeks and things suddenly got really good around 6 weeks.  We still have rough days but LO is sleeping longer and is easier to take out and about.  And if I were you I'd stop visiting family -- make them come to you.  It's ridiculous to travel that far with LO while you are BF.  I did travel cross country once to visit my grandmother on her deathbed, but otherwise all family has come to us because it's too hard otherwise.  Getting out of the house often helps me with the fussiness.  Just a walk or a drive or an errand seems to distract LO from her fussiness.  
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  • image The Future Mrs. Rhodus:

    image shortms620:
    I was also feeling very overwhelmed and somewhat resentful toward DH a week ago.  I broke down one evening and told him I needed help.  He has been offering to help in the middle of the night (FF) now and that helps a bit.  I also hand her over to him when he gets home for a little while so I feel like I get a break.  After seeing me cry and get frustrated, DH realized that it's a lot for one person to deal with.  Just be honest with your husband and tell him what you need from him.  He probably doesn't know.

    I did break down shortly after coming home with LO and DH isn't much of a communicator to say the least. He is a work-a-holic, if he's not out working he is at home working on the computer. I feel bad handing LO over to him, especially when I am not working right now.  

     

    I think if I hadn't broken down the day we left the hospital my husband wouldn't have known exactly the kind of weight I felt about motherhood. Luckily he only has a summer session class going on right now but parenting is overwhelming no matter what!

    And time out!  Taking care of his child is just as much work as the work he does.  He has a new role as a father and he needs to step up to the plate every once in a while. So don't feel bad about handing over your baby every once in a while. You deserve it.  He deserves it, he needs to bond too!  

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