I'm feeling extremely sorry for myself - very very long, sorry.

I guess I'm in some "poor poor pitiful me" mode right now. Maybe I need medication. Or maybe just someone to talk to. But I'm feeling really sorry for myself, almost as though my life is just terrible these days. I guess it isn't terrible; it could be worse. But honestly, it's just harder than everyone's that I deal with on a regular basis, and I'm starting to feel a lot of jealousy toward people with "easier" lives.

I'm broke. Always. I make just a little too much to get any help besides WIC (thank God for it because Ava's formula is about $250 a month and probably about to go way higher - more to come on that...) but I don't make enough to pay my bills. Child care eats up over 1/4 of my net pay and that's the cheapest option. Way cheaper than all my other options in fact, about one-half the cost. I have all my bills except child care and car payment set up on auto-pay on a credit card with cash back and every week I pay my entire paycheck (after child care/car payment) and the balance keeps going up. When I take my pay less all my basic living expenses, I come out $800 short. This just includes rent, groceries, insurance, car payment, gas, utilities, phone/cell, internet, TV, child care, formula and diapers, and medication for Ava and me. That's it. I guess I could cut out my cell phone and my internet, but I drive a LOT and would worry without a cell, and the internet is literally the only "fun" I have. I'm only paying about $20 a month for it too because of my package deal... which I have to have since all of my family is long distance and my cell doesn't have service within about a block of my house. The bf pays for the Dish for the TV because he couldn't tolerate me not having it. These are my only luxuries. I'm way upside down on my car loan... the loan I got stuck with because I cosigned for my parents who later weren't able to pay. I took the car, they took mine, which I guess worked out because it's about to fall apart now. I have a great interest rate so refinancing isn't exactly possible.

On top of that, I'm to the point of really despising my job. Also a variety of reasons, but the raises have gone down, even though I do the deposits, etc and know that the bosses have given themselves pretty good raises and are taking in way more than they used to. We keep getting extra work with no extra pay, and the women frankly are being treated as worthless while the men make over 2x as much to do the same job. Not cool. I have panic attacks regularly and feel sick most of the day that I'm there. I alternate between feeling like I'm going to vomit and feeling like I'm going to punch someone. My blood pressure is probably sky high and my heart pounds, a lot.

I'm also not very happy in my current relationship. We've been having problems for months and I've told him how miserable I was and that I don't like my job and where I'm living and I need more support and help from family or friends or him or someone. I need a big change, but I can't control his end of things and I'm not going to move to his town until I know things are going to be okay with us and that he'll stay where HE is because he isn't sure either, and his town is about 3 hours from alllll of my family and friends. An hour is already bad enough sometimes. There are things he could do to better this situation, but he hasn't made the effort despite promising to do so over and over when I got to the ultimatum point. He helps me some with Ava, but he isn't here much, and a lot of the time when he is, we just fight over how to deal with her.

Speaking of dealing with her, she's not the easiest baby in the world. There's no consistency, despite my best efforts. She's moody, she has a terrible temper, she cries for "no" reason, she arches her back, throws her head back and screams one second after smiling and laughing. She's a "high needs" or "spirited" or "touchy" baby in every sense of the word and she absolutely exhausts me. I love her obviously more than anything in the world, but sometimes I feel jealous of people with "good" babies because I feel like I get so little good time with her. Because I went back to work, working 50+ hours a week, when she was 6 weeks old, I sometimes worry that we really didn't get to bond like we should have. She loves me and prefers me, but sometimes it's like even I can't make her happy. I feel like I must be an awful mother to ever even be frustrated with her or to wish she didn't have tantrums and reflux and stuff. I'm just so exhausted. I have to do most everything myself, financially and otherwise, and I am t i r e d.

Here lately she hadn't been sleeping. Ever. Naps were 15 minutes or so on the weekends, evenings were hell, and nights were 2-4 hours of trying to get her down and then her waking every 15 minutes, literally all night long. Not to eat, she hasn't ate at night since 2 months, but just wake up, cry, turn over, and then go back to sleep most of the time. Obviously though I couldn't sleep. We tried cry it out for just the first 5 minutes and she got frantic and sounded like someone was murdering her, or like a crazed wild animal, and then she vomited all over so I had to pick her up and change her and the bed. Afterward she clung to me like a sad little puppy and made horrible wheezing and hiccuping sounds. I couldn't go through with it. I'm not okay with CIO anyway really but I was at my wits end and hadn't slept an hour straight in days. I actually ended up collapsing or passing out... don't know, just woke up on the floor, thankfully on a night her Dad was here and had her. But that was my breaking point of okay, I have to do something, and I had tried pretty much everything BUT CIO. I've read that it doesn't help much with high needs babies and in fact can make it worse and she was worse for a couple days, even after just 5 minutes, but I haven't done it again. The past few nights have been perfect, which is the frustrating thing with Ava. You can do the same thing every day but every day will be different. You can have a day that is awful and totally different and here you are thinking Oh no, tonight will be bad and crap, I am so so tired and desperate for sleep, but then she goes to sleep and sleeps 10 hours without waking once, or wakes and gets herself right back to sleep. So I'm left scratching my head going WTF?! It seems that nothing I do makes any difference. It's always been like this with her, which I guess is why I bookmarked the 12 features of a high needs baby site when she was about 3 weeks old.

Of course, it doesn't help that she's had reflux since a few weeks old and I spend most of our time together cleaning up puke and doing laundry and trying to keep her upright so that she doesn't spit up her medicine or all of her food, and so on. It had gotten better after the ped suspected a milk protein allergy/intolerance and switched her to Alimentum a month ago, but after about 3 weeks she started developing symptoms again, and now has a bit of a rash like she had before too. I didn't even realize she had the rash until it was gone and I thought, man, her skin looks better. I think I always just thought it was related to spitting up. This recurrence of her issues started late last week and keeps getting worse each day. She's up to spitting up large amounts 15-20 times a day again, after being down to just dribbling 3 or 4 times a couple weeks ago. Now she's eating some foods and so the spit-up stains pretty bad. Her pediatrician thinks maybe she's in the group of kids that need the elemental/amino acid formulas, but is surprised because her growth is good and she actually keeps going UP the chart despite the spitting. Ped is referring us to a pediatric GI. Don't know when we're going yet, but probably next week. A lot of what I keep thinking is oh my GOD, I can't afford to pay $600 a month or so for formula and WIC won't pay for all of that obviously. And I'm not going to let them do the scope on her... she's growing and developing so I see no need to risk that.

I'm just miserable with the whole go to work and leave her thing because I really don't get to enjoy her much. In the morning she's always happy as can be, but I don't get to enjoy that time because I am getting us both ready and out the door. I am so tired and stressed by the time I drop her off, then I go to my job that makes me nauseous for 9 hours, then I pick her up 9 1/2 hours later, but by the time I pick her up, she's in grumpy evening mode. She has her medicine, eats, and takes a nap around 6:30 to 7:30 if I'm lucky, which allows me to get most things ready for the next day. I spend most of the evening with laundry/bottle washing/feeding us/getting clothes ready for the next day and so on. She wakes up fussy if she naps (and stays fussy if she doesn't) and is generally fussy the rest of the evening. She probably needs to skip the nap and go to bed super early, but then I would get NO time with her and she usually sleeps about 10 hours so she would be up way too early then.

<continued, wow, post too long...>
<part 2>

As though that isn't enough, her sitter, who I used to love, has taken on another baby that is crawling and pulling up at 7 months and she really can't handle all the kids (although she's still within state guidelines) so Ava isn't getting very much one on one attention there, which probably explains the increased clinginess with me. She's not getting the attention, or the assistance for naps (she's never napped well without a lot of effort, despite my best efforts, again) and so she doesn't get her naps a lot of days. She's also done some questionable things, like leave Ava, who is rolling like crazy, on a very high bed with a spacy acting very very immature 4 year old watching her. Yeah. She spends the majority of her day now in the bouncer or swing because the other baby is in the floor, and she needs floor time too obviously. I can tell a difference in her progress on sitting and such since the new baby started going there and dominating all the floor time/attention. So she pretty much sits there and watches the little boy play with toys and gets mostly ignored. The sitter is pretty proud of that and talks about how she doesn't hold her much so she won't spoil her. We have very different ideas of parenting... she thinks babies don't need much contact but then babies her kids (as in her 4 year old, almost 5, can't feed herself with a spoon/fork or drink from a regular cup at all) when they get older. She is always arguing with me on the things I say Ava can do/does by telling me "her girls didn't do that at 6 months" or that she is "too little" for that. Example being the exersaucer... Ava's been using it for over 2 months at my house but she refuses to put her in it because she says she's way too young. She doesn't think she can use the booster seat at the table but I've used it for weeks. She doesn't think she should try a sippy cup, but Ava has drank out of one for me a few times. She doesn't think potty training should be considered until a kid is 3, yet also thinks that you should spank them if they wake you up with a bad dream wanting to sleep with you. It's a strange way of babying them in some areas but being overly harsh in others and I just don't get it. I don't want her having that much control as Ava gets older, since we so disagree on these things. Other coworker's daughter also stayed there some during snow days from school and she begged her Mom, literally, not to take her back because she said the sitter yells all day at the other kids and it makes her uncomfortable.

I really despise it, but all the day cares around here really suck and are filthy, charge about 2x what she is charging, and won't even keep her the hours I work without charging extra. I know details about a couple and apparently their policy is "we don't hold the babies" so I really don't think Ava would be any better off there. And again, no family or friends here to help out. On top of all that good stuff, the sitter is preggo again, due right around Ava's birthday, and says she will be back working within a week, but there's absolutely no way she can handle her 2 kids, the (now almost) 2 year old she watches most days, and then the two babies, as well as a newborn, no sleep, breastfeeding, and so on. No freaking way. Plus, I have no one to fall back on if she has complications, or needs a c-section, or even if things go great but when she's off after she has the baby. None of the day cares in town allow you to pay by the day... you have to commit to a week and pay for that and they are frequently full, so sometimes it takes forever to even get a spot. This will be during Christmas break for school kiddies, so they'll fill up pretty quick and obviously I won't know when I'll need them. It doesn't help much that her husband is my coworker and so he'll be out at the same times she is, so if I miss too, we have virtually no help at work and get super behind, even more than now.

I'm just miserable. I know this is long and I appreciate anyone who got through it. It's just a lot of factors and all in all, I'm just so unbelievably tried. I feel like... rage, toward people. I would never hurt someone but I just get so frustrated I could throw things and I can't see straight. I feel jealousy toward people, I feel like things will never get better, and then I feel like a bad parent for not just appreciating my baby, difficult/fussy/high needs or not. I love her and I do appreciate her, but then I feel sorry for myself that I have so much to deal with and then guilty for feeling that way. That probably doesn't make sense at all.

I'm struggling in every sense and I just don't know how long I can keep this all up without losing my mind.
I can't type an adequate reply right now but I just wanted to offer you hugs and to let you know that I can sympathize with the financial struggle you are having. I know how awful it feels to work and work and have no time for your kids and not have anything to show for it at the end of the day. It sucks. I'm sorry you have all the rest of it on your plate as well. Hang in there, sweetie. I will write more later when (if!!) my kiddos go to sleep.
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,530
Oh, my poor Dear.

You are absolutely overwhelmed and need so much more help than you're getting.

Boyfriend has a daughter now and HAS to step up. Would you get more help if you lived nearer family or close friends? Could you find a better paying job?

I guess my approach to a bevy of troubles is to tackle them in order of importance: exhaustion; Ava; income; etc.

I'm so sorry this is all so hard. You need and deserve more than the people around you are giving.
I don't understand why you aren't getting any child support to help with your expenses?!?!? He needs to step up! F*ck the dish...he needs to pay the babysitter.

Is there any way you can find a different babysitter. The one you have isn't working. I understand that a daycare center won't work, but there has to be another private in-home situation that would suit you better.

The job...yeah that sucks. It's really REALLY hard to be a single mom, and it's all the worse when you hate your job too. I've been there. I hope things improve for you, or that you can find something else.

Your baby will improve. She's still really little, and the way they are as infants is often not a reflection of how they will be as toddlers/kids.

Back to the boyfriend...maybe it's time to sh*t or get off the pot. Either make a committment to each other to be a family, or make the separation official, complete with a legal order for child support.

I'm thinking of you. I hope things improve.
Banned
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Posts: 41,043
ita w/ rcw...I'm sorry you're going thru this girl..tons of (((hugs))).....vent to us anytime. I wish we all lived closer to help you out....know that it will get better.......

Yeah, def rethink wants vs needs.
The bf pays for the Dish for the TV because he couldn't tolerate me not having it.
What does this mean exactly?
He def needs to sh[i]t or get off the pot. Tell him I said so....grrrr

Last edited by Wile E Coyote - Nut Soaker; 06-22-2010 at 08:18 PM.
Banned
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 41,043
There are things he could do to better this situation, but he hasn't made the effort despite promising to do so over and over when I got to the ultimatum point.
I'm thinkin' it's time to move on...I'm sorry...this sucks....
Is it possible you may have some Post Partum Depression?

It's not necessarily something that comes immediately after birth.

I didn't start having PPD issues until D1 was somewhere between 6 and 8 months old. My head was constantly spinning, I was so overwhelmed but I felt like I couldn't stop, and sometimes I felt like walls were closing in on me and I was being swallowed up.

And I didn't have near the things going on that you do.

You can ask your OB/GYN for anti depressants. Usually 6 months to a year of Prozac or Zoloft will help you until you level out. You will probably have some side effects. You may be a little tired, and unemotional, but at this point that's probably a good thing.

Your baby is probably responding to how your feeling. I also know the guilty feeling of how you feel disconnected to your child at this time.

I remember one day, I had gone into Dunkin Donuts w/ D1 for a coffee. When I came out, the car was full of groceries. I totally forgot that I had gotten groceries in the time it took for me to get coffee and come back out. I would have little blackouts like this. Your panic attacks at work are certainly a symptom.

Really, please, just ask for it. They will give it to you. I am generally not an advocate for most medications, but I ABSOLUTELY think there's cause for it in situations like this.

You deserve to have a good experience with your baby right now. And you deserve to feel good.

Please take my advice. And good luck. Oh, and PLEASE PLEASE pm me if you want to talk.
I don't understand why you aren't getting any child support to help with your expenses?!?!? He needs to step up! F*ck the dish...he needs to pay the babysitter.

Back to the boyfriend...maybe it's time to sh*t or get off the pot. Either make a committment to each other to be a family, or make the separation official, complete with a legal order for child support.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
All of that!!! It might sound harsh but that's the reality. Your BF should be sharing at the very least all the baby related expenses.

I'm not saying run out and get married but it's time to live together or not be together at all. It isn't fair to you...period. You have been together over a year, have a baby together, and do the long distance thing. By now you know if it should be a long term commitment. If you aren't going to move in together he needs to pay you child support. Child support isn't just for people who've gone through a divorce or something you get from a deadbeat dad. He committed to having this baby and now needs to step up. If he wont do it on his own you need to fight for your child's quality of living.

Is it possible you may have some Post Partum Depression?

It's not necessarily something that comes immediately after birth.

Your baby is probably responding to how your feeling. I also know the guilty feeling of how you feel disconnected to your child at this time.

You deserve to have a good experience with your baby right now. And you deserve to feel good.

Please take my advice. And good luck. Oh, and PLEASE PLEASE pm me if you want to talk.
Originally Posted by iroc
My PPD with my first started about 3mo after she was born. It's something you should think about. So many outside factors could just be making it worse.

If I were you I'd move back near my family where I would have more support. I have been a single parent living far from support and it is HARD! I was much happier near family and friends who were there for me physically and emotionally.
High Priestess JessMess, follower of the Goddess of the Coiling Way and Confiscator of Concoctions in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

I know you have enough problems without people dumping on your boyfriend but he's the father, right? HOW can you respect a guy who isn't helping you pay for food and diapers for your baby? And who is watching you drown in all this? Cable, my ass. He needs to be taking the night shift once in a while and paying for things. I am sorry, I KNOW this isn't something you want to hear but get child support and think long and hard before moving in with him or getting married.

Also, go to the ped GI. It made a huge difference for us. I wasn't giving the Prevacid right and giving it correctly made a huge difference. He also recommended a very teeny dose of Malox Ultra for "breakthough" reflux and that often calmed her within minutes (and caused a lot of pooting). FYI, crying causes gas (I had no idea, an ER doc told me), Mylicon or Malox Ultra helped S. Sometimes they get so worked up, swallow tons of air, then they're crying because of the belly ache.

I thought I remembered you living close to your parents? If you have anyone dependable who could help you out, ask for help. If you're far from your parents now, would you consider moving closer? Do you have any family you could live closer to?

I am so sorry you're struggling. I wish I could help. The most immediate thing I can think of is that this baby has a father and this father should be helping out. I just couldn't respect a man who had to be asked, told, or hounded to help out (time and/or money) with a baby he helped make.
First of all... (((HUGS)))

I agree with everyone else that Ava's dad needs to buck up and start contributing more, A LOT more (like half the cost of diapers, formula, and sitter- at the minimum). Cable tv should be the least of his worries.

If at all possible, look into other home sitters. Ava's sounds terrible. If you boyfriend could pony up some extra money, maybe you could find a more flexible place. Could you have your mom come stay with you for a couple of weeks?

Is there any other way to cut corners? Move into a cheaper apartment? Cancel your land line? Get a roommate to help offset costs (risky though)?

Just know that she isn't going to cry and scream forever. It'll pass, hopefull soon. Have you ever tried wearing her? That might help her sleep a little bit, being snuggled up next to mama, nice and warm. Does she use a paci? Could she be teethign now?
First of all Rhe, I'm sending many many hugs your way.

Secondly, I agree with everyone else who said your BF needs to be contributing more to Ava's expenses, and if you have to get a child support order, so be it.

Thirdly, do you know if there are any moms groups in your area? You can check to see if there's a local MOMS Club, or you can go to Yahoo Groups and search for [your city] moms. If you find a local group, you can ask for recommendations for childcare and maybe even find a SAHM looking for extra money who could watch Ava for you.

I also second the recommendation of possibly moving closer to your family. You hate your job anyway, so I'd start applying for ones back home. I wouldn't take the risk of moving to BF's town, since you aren't 100% sure of his reliability. You know your family will be there for you, but you can't say the same about him.

Lastly, more hugs. And then some more. I can only imagine how hard this all is for you.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,530
I think it's clear that a lot of us are very concerned, and wish for the best for you.

Please keep us updated, even just to vent. People here really care about you, Rheanna.

Last edited by ninja dog; 06-23-2010 at 09:08 AM. Reason: the usual
So sorry to hear this. I, too, want to know why you aren't getting child support and why he can't help w/ your bills. I'm not sure if the bf is the baby's father or someone else but tell that deadbeat to get a second job or you're suing him for child support. Maybe consider moving back home to at least cut down on rent and utiities?

About your baby: of course you make her happy and of course you are bonding. You think she's going to remember this??? She's just a baby. She has no idea she's causing you this kind of stress. She doesn't mean to. That's just what babies do. Don't sweat that. You sound like you are going above and beyond in the mother department. Sounds like doing the work of about 3 people. Please go easy on yourself. She is just a baby; babies cry and scream.

((HUGS)) You are going thru A LOT. Give yourself a pat on the back for holding it down in ways 99% of the women on here couldn't even begin to imagine. Your daughter will realize all you went thru to make a good life for her and she will love you and be very proud of you for it!
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I agree with Pixiecurl's advice and most everyone else on the boyfriend front. But I was going to suggest like Pixiecurl to start looking for a job closer to family.

One more thing...many hugs to you. I know how it feels to be working with a high needs baby...although I had lots of support so I can't even imagine how you are handling it all.
The bf pays for the Dish for the TV because he couldn't tolerate me not having it. These are my only luxuries.
But he can tolerate you and the baby being overwhelmed financially and in every other way? How about canceling the Dish and asking BF to cover some other, necessary, expenses.

I was going to say the stress and emotional stuff might just be the life of a single mom. But I'm wondering if you might be suffering from post-partum depression a bit? Can you be tested for it or talk with a professional about that?
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Oh honey...please call your OB and let them find someone to help you. There has to be someone or some resource to help you, there just has to be. I was almost in tears reading your post, wishing I could come over and watch Ava for you and let you get whatever you wanted to do done.

You've been so strong but you should not have to do this alone. You need the bf to cancel his DISH and deal with it...and that money needs to go towards formula and diapers. He NEEDS to pay child support, take him to court if you have to. What is he watching TV for when he's at your place anyway, he gets time away from Ava to do his thing, so when he's there you should have some time alone too. Toughen up with him, don't let him walk all over you.

Moms are pretty hard on themselves...try to give yourself a break once in a while, it's not going to be perfect but if you love that little girl and she knows it none of the other stuff REALLY matters in the end. She'll be fine as long as she has mommy who loves her and does her best, which you are obviously doing.

This may sound stupid but when I get overwhelmed I sometimes sit in a completely dark room and do nothing, even for a few minutes. The darkness calms my mind from racing..plus I can't see all the laundry and dirty bottles! Last night I did this with a cookie and a glass of milk, just to turn my mind off for a couple minutes. It makes me feel much better.

Post again if you need to, I read the whole thing and I'd read another one if you need to vent.
3a fine hair (I think)

CoN poo and Biolage Conditioning Balm
I love CK and B&A gel...I like HETT Mousse
Rhe, I do not have time to type out of big reply but here are a few points, i will have a little more time early next week.

1. check for PPD, I have had boarderline with both kids, it hit me early with steven, later with Callie.

2. your boyfriend needs to split the cost of stuff with you. Formula is expensive, hell I understand that, Callie is drinking up to 50 ounces a day and has to be on hyperallergenic formula (that costs 27$ a small can). He should be at least spliting diapers, formula, daycare ect. If he is not stepping up, and you are not happy with your relationship, maybe it is time to move on and get your money from him legally. I know it sucks, but maybe that is what is best for Ava right now. Also, ask for samples at the dr. every time you go. I usually leave with about 5-6 small sample cans or premade bottles.

3. Check for daycare assistance. Here I believe it is called title 9?? The state will cover some of your daycare expenses. Call a center you like (they are only good at centers) and ask if they have financial assistance.

Know that it gets better. You remember, I had the hardest time with Steven. I do not sugar coat it and call him spirited, he was a hard baby who made me feel like I was going to pull my hair out every.single.day. There where days I had to just put him in his crib and I would sit outside his door and listen to him cry, and cry along. PLEASE know it gets better. Maybe not tommorrow, maybe not even this month, BUT it gets better.



Come swag with me!
2. your boyfriend needs to split the cost of stuff with you. Formula is expensive, hell I understand that, Callie is drinking up to 50 ounces a day and has to be on hyperallergenic formula (that costs 27$ a small can). He should be at least spliting diapers, formula, daycare ect. If he is not stepping up, and you are not happy with your relationship, maybe it is time to move on and get your money from him legally. I know it sucks, but maybe that is what is best for Ava right now. Also, ask for samples at the dr. every time you go. I usually leave with about 5-6 small sample cans or premade bottles.
Originally Posted by deezee02
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Ava being in child care doesn't just allow you to work...it allows him to work as well. He should be paying for half of everything.

Everyone here has such great words of wisdom and comfort.

Keep you chin up and know that we are are to vent to anytime!
Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

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