Newly Frustrated Mother — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Newly Frustrated Mother

I gave birth to my son a little over a month ago. My husband and I are still trying to navigate this thing called parenting while living with my parents as we attempt to get our things in order and find a new place (old place raised the rent to an amount we were unable to afford and my parents offered to let us stay).  While we are incredibly grateful that our son is already loved immensely, we want to try and figure out our son and his cues. We do not want to rely or push things off onto anyone else.

With that being said, I have had some issues with my son in the recent weeks deciding that he doesn't want to sleep at night. The scenario plays out like this: I think my son is sleeping (eyes close & seems like he's already dreaming), I put him into the bassinet for the night, about 10-20 minutes later he wakes up crying/screaming. This goes on about 7-8 times over the course of a few hours. The only thing that seems to quiet him is to be held and/or rocked to sleep. The problem with this is that I cannot imagine holding/rocking him all night long, get no sleep myself, then try to take care of him the following day on zero sleep.

Now here is where the problems have begun. Every one seems to have THE solution on how to deal with this: swaddle him, warm milk, warm bath, warm bath then warm milk, try talking to him, etc. I have tried all of these options but when I tell people I have already tried their suggestion and it does not work I am met with some form of disbelief.

This past week when my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandmother all decided that they wanted to stop by at 8pm and my son was screaming crying in his crib, I attempted to console him by talking to him and rubbing his stomach and head while they were all outside chit-chatting. This did NOTHING to calm him. They all came back inside and while my grandmother was on the way to use the restroom, she talked to him from the doorway of his nursery and calmed down for a minute. Now I attribute this to the fact that he had been crying for a good 5-10 minutes already and was taking a breath. In that moment, my grandmother stated "See! You just need to talk to him." I became frustrated with having very little sleep, the crying from my baby, the family who came over late in the evening, and the constant advice. When I told them no, that wasn't the case, my grandmother told my mother "She doesn't get it" to which my mother replied "No, she doesn't." When they said that (in front of everyone), I was so hurt.

I talked to my mother about this comment the following day and she said that I always have some sort of reply when someone tries to offer advice. I explained that often times I have already tried the advice and it hasn't worked but they haven't seen me try it so they think I am just writing them off.

I feel as though I am not taken seriously because I am a new mother and I have no experience. I also believe that my mother was expecting me to be asking for her help more than I do. Could she be offended that I am not asking for help? Am I in the wrong because I want to try things my own way?

Sorry for such a long post but I had to vent. I am just so frustrated and don't know what to do.

Re: Newly Frustrated Mother

  • Sorry you're having to deal with this. I can imagine how frustrating that might be. Unfortunately unsolicited advice comes with the territory. While you're living in such close proximity to those people offer advice, it's important to set good boundaries and pick your battles wisely. Make sure they know you appreciate the advice and you've given it a try, but you're doing what works best for your child and you need them to support that. Make it clear that snide comments only undermine you and shake you fragile new mom confidence.

    Good luck.
    ME: 32  DH: 32 DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
    Steeepy
  • I'll second PP, it comes with the territory being a parent and takes some extra effort to communicate feelings. My DH and I live with my parents right now while he is in school and saving for a house together, and as first time parents as well, we've both had our share of issues with opinions with my family so I can sympathize with you. Two things I can suggest which are helpful are to have conversations regularly about miscommunications/your support needs during free/slower times where you have space and clarity...and then two, enlist your DH if possible to help fill in your family about your needs. Basically for him to communicate what support you need when you can't articulate it in moments of sleep deprived stress and snap at others.

    Hang in there, I am sure you are doing a great job. It does get better with sleep routines as they get older. I dont know how old your LO is, but what you describe sounds perfectly normal behavior for the first 3 or 4 months. Unfortunately until around 4 months, babies do not have much ability to soothe themselves so you may have to do lots of snuggling, rocking, etc. to get your LO to sleep. The sleep struggle (for both your LO and you!) improves, but changes to a new guessing game of sleep strategies to other new issues with sleep regressions, teething, etc. that come during the months to come. 
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  • Have you tried using a white noise machine my second had to have it on all night and now at 4 yrs he still needs it all night. If his brother turns it off he eventually wakes up and comes to my room to have me turn it back on. I'm surprised pp tell you to talk to your LO to put him back to sleep. That's always been something that made my LOs more aware and harder to put back to sleep. Shushing will let him know you're there without waking him too much, by the way I hated shushing until I realized it worked for my first. You could also try sitting in the room and as you hear your LO start to wake try soothing him before he's fully awake. What works for me is running my finger down the top of Charlotte's head,it's puts right back to sleep. As a mom of three I can tell you you'll find your groove and every baby is different. Try not to let pp get to you, everyone has advice and it seems that our moms and grandmas forget what it was like to be moms with babies. It gets better and you'll make it thru this, you're son is still so new that it might take a bit for you guys to find your groove. Oh I meant to ask is there anyway it could be gas pains? I had to use gripe water the first 2 months with Charlotte because she was having gas pains at night.
    jlangley1
  • My little guy liked to be held too when he was that tiny. One place he seemed to stay asleep was on his boopy. I'd swaddle him then lay him across it and he'd sleep. If you aren't tightly swaddling I'd highly recommend it. Babies startle themselves and to them it feels like they are falling so they jolt awake ( or something like that), the swaddle keeps them from jolting themselves awake.
    as for your Mom. She may be offended you aren't asking for help, maybe explain to her that you are trying to figure it out. And while you appreciate people's advice, you are tired and have already tried XYZ. 
    Missed Miscarriage 3/27 D&C 3/29/2012
  • If your (at the time of this post) four week old baby is crying, you pick him up and comfort him. Babies that young are not capable of self soothing, they need to be held. I know you're trying to figure it out on your own, but if your mother and grandmother (both obviously experienced) are butting in, there may be a reason. The first couple months are hard, and you aren't going to sleep much. Try swaddling, bouncing and shhhhing. 
  • Oh man how frustrating. Sorry you're dealing with this. My son is 5 weeks old right now and I can attest that this new mom thing is HARD, and feeling judged by others or having your struggles simplified and your fragile mothering undermined makes it all even harder. The truth for me is that all of those thing have worked SOMETIMES, but not every time. I think it's a good idea to have an arsenal of tools to try - like swaddling, shushing, swinging, rocking, chairs/swings, pacifiers, more milk, diaper change, bouncing, etc. Then be fierce about protecting your new family's space during this time. You need calm & quiet to pay attention & learn your baby's signals without worrying about "messing up" in front if anyone else. Personally, we have a strict visitstion policy in my house right now: call or text before coming, have short visits only, hold/soothe the baby only when offerred by mom or dad, and most inportantly - bring a meal! Yep. Your ticket to see my cute baby is a meal for the exhausted mom & dad. This is not a show. This shit is real and we need practical help, not judgy advice. Good luck, mama. Honestly it sounds like you are doing an AWESOME job.
    jlangley1
  • WildMama said:
    Oh man how frustrating. Sorry you're dealing with this. My son is 5 weeks old right now and I can attest that this new mom thing is HARD, and feeling judged by others or having your struggles simplified and your fragile mothering undermined makes it all even harder. The truth for me is that all of those thing have worked SOMETIMES, but not every time. I think it's a good idea to have an arsenal of tools to try - like swaddling, shushing, swinging, rocking, chairs/swings, pacifiers, more milk, diaper change, bouncing, etc. Then be fierce about protecting your new family's space during this time. You need calm & quiet to pay attention & learn your baby's signals without worrying about "messing up" in front if anyone else. Personally, we have a strict visitstion policy in my house right now: call or text before coming, have short visits only, hold/soothe the baby only when offerred by mom or dad, and most inportantly - bring a meal! Yep. Your ticket to see my cute baby is a meal for the exhausted mom & dad. This is not a show. This shit is real and we need practical help, not judgy advice. Good luck, mama. Honestly it sounds like you are doing an AWESOME job.
    I can't imagine demanding a meal from a loved one in order to visit my newborn. Ugh. 
    Sarcasm101
  • WildMama said:
    Oh man how frustrating. Sorry you're dealing with this. My son is 5 weeks old right now and I can attest that this new mom thing is HARD, and feeling judged by others or having your struggles simplified and your fragile mothering undermined makes it all even harder. The truth for me is that all of those thing have worked SOMETIMES, but not every time. I think it's a good idea to have an arsenal of tools to try - like swaddling, shushing, swinging, rocking, chairs/swings, pacifiers, more milk, diaper change, bouncing, etc. Then be fierce about protecting your new family's space during this time. You need calm & quiet to pay attention & learn your baby's signals without worrying about "messing up" in front if anyone else. Personally, we have a strict visitstion policy in my house right now: call or text before coming, have short visits only, hold/soothe the baby only when offerred by mom or dad, and most inportantly - bring a meal! Yep. Your ticket to see my cute baby is a meal for the exhausted mom & dad. This is not a show. This shit is real and we need practical help, not judgy advice. Good luck, mama. Honestly it sounds like you are doing an AWESOME job.
    I can't imagine demanding a meal from a loved one in order to visit my newborn. Ugh. 
    I can't imagine loved ones visiting busy, breastfeeding, new, exhausted parents without bringing a meal. Ugh.
    weeksyaw5stokesm21jlangley1
  • BlissB1987BlissB1987
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    member
    edited November 2016
    WildMama said:
    WildMama said:
    Oh man how frustrating. Sorry you're dealing with this. My son is 5 weeks old right now and I can attest that this new mom thing is HARD, and feeling judged by others or having your struggles simplified and your fragile mothering undermined makes it all even harder. The truth for me is that all of those thing have worked SOMETIMES, but not every time. I think it's a good idea to have an arsenal of tools to try - like swaddling, shushing, swinging, rocking, chairs/swings, pacifiers, more milk, diaper change, bouncing, etc. Then be fierce about protecting your new family's space during this time. You need calm & quiet to pay attention & learn your baby's signals without worrying about "messing up" in front if anyone else. Personally, we have a strict visitstion policy in my house right now: call or text before coming, have short visits only, hold/soothe the baby only when offerred by mom or dad, and most inportantly - bring a meal! Yep. Your ticket to see my cute baby is a meal for the exhausted mom & dad. This is not a show. This shit is real and we need practical help, not judgy advice. Good luck, mama. Honestly it sounds like you are doing an AWESOME job.
    I can't imagine demanding a meal from a loved one in order to visit my newborn. Ugh. 
    I can't imagine loved ones visiting busy, breastfeeding, new, exhausted parents without bringing a meal. Ugh.
    Well my momma raised me with manners. I would always bring a gift to new parents and a casserole, but I'm not rude enough to ask people for them or demand it. 
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