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Moving from relationship when kids are involved.


snoopygal
How to leave an abusive relationshi...
How to leave an abusive relationship and why it's so hard
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I need some advice on how to heal going forward. The story: We are not married, but were in a long term relationship. We have 2 kids, 3.5 years old and almost 3 months old. We broke up Monday and he has moved out. We've been fighting constantly for quite a while. I'm mid 30's and have had depression issues for a really long time, but I managed (not well) without meds but I felt ok. It spiraled out of control while I was home on maternity leave and it is getting worse. I have an appointment to talk with a dr about that, so hopefully that'll be taken care of soon. The breakdown of the relationship falls on both of us, and I don't expect reconciliation. Maybe in the future if we both get our own trials under control, but I'm not really thinking about that yet. We can't keep fighting in front of the kids and it's draining us both, so I know this is the right move. 

The first day after the breakup he told me he didn't love me, the second he said that he despised me, and today he apologized and said that he still cared and wanted a friendship relationship with me for the kids. Initially, the day of the breakup, I suggested counseling before officially breaking up since kids are involved. He didn't want to, I accepted that and haven't brought it up since. I have kept every text exchange short and to the point, and only about the kids or bills. When he's said mean things, I just didn't respond. I didn't engage it at all. Today after apologizing, we had a text conversation about how exhausted and depressed I am feeling and for now, the kids are still living with me full time since he's crashing at someone else's house. I feel like I am drowning, even though he will help with the kids as much as I need. It was the first time in a really long time that we had a conversation where we both felt heard. That almost makes it harder. Feeling heard is what I've needed for so long, and it finally happened after we broke up. 

Until he gets his house situation figured out and we have a kid schedule in place, he will be picking them up from daycare and bringing them to our house and spending time with them until I get home. Then he will leave. If I need help in the middle of the night with our infant, he will be available to help. The problem is, I'm fine when we are around each other, but as soon as he walks out the door, I emotionally lose it. It feels like being broken up with all over again. This can't be helping my worsening depression, either and makes me feel like I need even more help with the kids because I don't have anything left to give. This isn't like other breakups where I can go NC and move on. We have kids and will obviously be in each other's lives. How do I start the healing process? How do I deal with my emotions when I see him? I know it will take time, but any advice that will help!

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I'm sorry you are going through this.

This may be a long shot, but is there any way at all you can get some in house help with the kids by family, friends, or even a nanny? 

To be honest, the first thing that came to my mind reading this is that there's the potential here for this to be a safety issue for you and kids. Maybe it's better, to be on the safe side, if you aren't left alone while you wait to get the treatment and get the depression under control?

Any possibilities there? 

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Learn to accept that your ex's emotions are turned off so you need to learn to do likewise. 

Your time is limited so incorporate a healthy lifestyle.  Take walks with the stroller and your children.  Enjoy being outdoors weather permitting.  Dress accordingly for cooler weather.  Eat healthy even if it's over the kitchen sink.  When you are physically healthier, your mind has a better, clearer, smarter attitude.

Even though it's hard for you to see this now, count your priceless blessings.  Your children are healthy.  Your ex is willing to help you in so many ways.  He apologized to you.  He's willing to be a good father to your children.  He wants to do the right thing by helping the mother of his children!  Do you realize how many millions of fathers simply disappear from their child's life?  Count my late father as one of them.  He never helped my mother with anything.  It was all on her.  He never paid a penny of child support.  She worked 3 jobs 7 days a week to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.  She raised 3 children all by herself with nary any help from anyone.  She was the sole breadwinner.

Your ex communicates with you regarding bills and the kids.  He helps with the kids, transports them from daycare to you, spends time with the kids, if you need help in the middle of the night, your ex is available and willing to help you!  Be grateful for what you have.  He's being a devoted father by being good to his children's mother.  Look at this from a different angle and new lens.  Cast your emotions aside and focus on the positive instead of the negative.  You don't know how many mothers envy you because millions of fathers are never involved in their children's lives and helping the mother?  It's out of the question.  Feel lucky in that regard.  Take good care of yourself.  Your children need a tough and strong mother so be one. 

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One hour at a time - long range plans right now are just too overwhelming in your situation! 

Did both of you prefer not to be married or is this one of the sources of tension? 

I'm sorry you are struggling so and with a newborn.  I think you should take the time to contact a lawyer or sometimes the family court has an office staffed with attorneys to give legal advice -my friend who was going through a divorce told me this. Good luck.

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I'm sorry about your break up.

May I suggest therapy? Can you try out 1-3 therapists until you find the one with who you feel safe and can unpack?

Depression often comes from past issues/traumas and present lurking dissatisfactions. Your therapist will help you work through all of that. Let your family/friends stay with kids while you attend therapy. Perhaps you can ask them to help with the kids to give yourself some distance from the ex as he's naturally triggering a lot of emotions.

In these moments of darkness, please remember to take care of yourself everyday. Being compassionate and loving to yourself will ease the pain. Treat yourself to something yummy on the way back home, pick up a nice book/new skin treatment/clothing item, and compliment yourself. Everyday, you are going to your work and showing up to your kids. So give yourself grace and love. You deserve nothing less.

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I do have my parents to help, but they're older and can't often or for a longer period of time. They're in daycare while I am at work, and that is already so expensive that an evening nanny or someone to help with stuff around the house is completely out of the question financially. I don't really have an option for full time help while I seek treatment right now. 

I do appreciate him, and I am blessed in many ways. He might not be a good partner for me, but he is a good person and a wonderful father. It does help to look at it from that perspective, and I do think this is best, at least for right now, I'm just having trouble with seeing him all the time.

One hour at a time is helpful. Even thinking about tomorrow is stressful, so just getting through the current moments makes it less overwhelming. Initially we didn't want to get married, then we talked about it and covid happened and we kind of just didn't talk about it for a while. Once that ended we got pregnant with our second and started fighting more. We'll definitely be contacting an attorney, and while I understand it is important, we agree on all financial/kid stuff so I'm not worried about that stuff as much as I am worried about taking the next steps emotionally to move on while being a good parent.

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8 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

I'm sorry about your break up.

May I suggest therapy? Can you try out 1-3 therapists until you find the one with who you feel safe and can unpack?

Depression often comes from past issues/traumas and present lurking dissatisfactions. Your therapist will help you work through all of that. Let your family/friends stay with kids while you attend therapy. Perhaps you can ask them to help with the kids to give yourself some distance from the ex as he's naturally triggering a lot of emotions.

In these moments of darkness, please remember to take care of yourself. Being compassionate and loving to yourself will ease the pain. Treat yourself to something yummy on the way back home, pick up a nice book/new skin treatment/clothing item, and compliment yourself. Everyday, you are going to your work and showing up to your kids. So give yourself grace and love. You deserve nothing less.

Quote

 

This was so nice of you to say. I need to remember this, too. I would like to try some therapy. I was going to talk to my doctor about it when I go to my appointment. 

 

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@snoopygalhow about online therapy? This way you don't have to ask someone to cover for your per se.

9 minutes ago, snoopygal said:

I am worried about taking the next steps emotionally to move on while being a good parent.

You will be a good parent. Asking for help is the first and most brave step to start healing. Please, be proud of yourself. You're on a right track and you will heal with time and the right help.

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8 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

@snoopygalhow about online therapy? This way you don't have to ask someone to cover for your per se.

You will be a good parent. Asking for help is the first and most brave step to start healing. Please, be proud of yourself. You're on a right track and you will heal with time and the right help.

Online therapy is a really good idea. I can probably find someone after the kids go to bed, that will be less overwhelming than going to an appointment when I already feel like I am loaded down.

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12 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

I'm so sorry you're going through this.

What do you consider to be the top 3 or 5 things you fought about, and what were his positions on them versus yours?

What do you think prompted the breaking point?

Neither of us ever felt heard, we didn't communicate well so our needs were never met. It wasn't that we'd fight about anything specific, we're both drained and little things would set us off. This would escalate most times. The breaking point was a midnight screaming match waking up our kids after about 7 or 8 other arguments in a couple weeks. 

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Snoopy,

 

I just wanted to add my support here. This is so tough, I really feel for you.

 

I’m a 32 year old mother of 3 under 4. My eldest is a boy, my middle girl has just turned 3 and my youngest daughter has just turned 1. 
 

If I’m right, with your 3 month old you are still in the throes of the sleepless nights?This gets anyone, even well adjusted; stable relationship’d, wealthy; all help given people! 
 

I’m not separated or divorced, but I feel your pain a tiny bit because my husband works away a lot; which leaves me with our three very often, solo, with no help at all! I also don’t have a support network, babysitters, anything like that. I have always done all my own cleaning and cooking, and none of mine ever even went to nursery! (I have always been a stay at home Mum). I realise after a hard days work you will be exhausted, plus the toll a separation must take (you have all my sympathy there, I am so sorry). Putting kids to bed; a baby and a toddler by yourself when you are not feeling your best can be rough going. Facing lonely weekends when families do things together I imagine could be rough going too.

 

My dear, others have suggested therapy and I think this is a good suggestion for your situation. I liked Choco’s suggestion of always having something to look forward too.

 

If you don’t mind, can I suggest a few practical things that may ease the solo burden when it comes to juggling kids?

 

On a morning, I am presuming you have to get them ready and yourself ready to be out for daycare and work? To make this time easier, if you don’t already do it, I would set out your clothes and what you need in your bag for the next day in your bedroom. I would also set out your kids clothes and anything you need in your babies diaper bag, and anything your eldest needs in their bag for daycare.

 

Every morning, even if it is only 10 minutes, I would try to carve out some time where you just get to wake up and take a breather. If it means, get the kids washed and ready and put infront of the tv or your eldest, set them up with a book or a colouring pad or a puzzle, and put your baby in a rocker, bouncer! And I would just be in a room next door and simply, enjoy a cup of coffee, do your hair, get ready, or check online, or watch a quick comedy something on YouTube, or fold some laundry, or just sit there and stare into space if you have too! Not every time will the kids just quietly like angels play but, I think it is so important that you almost carve out regular slots in a busy day for stillness, stress relief or just to take a moment for yourself.

 

Have your baby maybe nap in the car if you commute to daycare? Or do you drop your baby also off? If they nap in the car, I would just simply drive around or park up. Take yourself a coffee or something nice to drink like a smoothie full of goodness, a nice snack, or breakfast to go. Have it in the car so on that run when the baby sleeps you can again, take a moment. 
 

If you are at home with the baby (maybe you only work part time?) I would try to get out at least once a day. Either for a walk with the baby in the pram, or to a playgroup or Mums group. I say this because you need fresh air (I always find it makes things better even if I have to drag myself out!) and you need solidarity, you need company, you need shoulders to cry on, and sometimes, other Mums or friends who are also in the baby toddler stages will completely understand. Maybe join an online support group for Mums? There will also be divorced and separated Mums. I would really reach out and get their advice and friendship. They could see you through something they have already been through or are going through themselves.

 

On an evening, I find with toddlers, and babies - they often get so tired. I recommend early bath and bedtimes I rushed rather than late ones. Use this time, I realise you are exhausted but, use it as a bonding, hugging, relaxing time. Obviously, no baby or toddler always goes to sleep like a scene from Peter Pan in Wendy’s house but, I find if you can try and stay calm and just enjoy that moment, your attitude and energy rubs off on your children. Again, if you can quickly bath your baby in with your toddler, dress them without leaving your toddler and have your baby in a chair or bouncer ready for bed whilst your toddler plays in the bath, I find again, you can sit and just take a breather! Have a bottle of water there. Just carve out those little moments for yourself.

 

Another thing I have found that reduces stress and that overwhelmed feeling! Once the babes are asleep, before you relax and, relax you deserve but, grab a basket, or large laundry bag. Just zoom round your house. Pick up toys, dirty laundry, thrown on the floor coats - anything! You want to scoop it all up and then put it all back quickly where it should be. Basically, doing a quick sweep of your house. Wash the dishes. Quickly wipe down the highchair. Be quick, you want it over because then you can relax in a clean and neat house for the rest of your evening! I would also suggest doing something then that relaxes you. Lighting a candle, doing a hobby, watching a movie, taking a bath, putting on a face pack, re-organising your closet! Doing some yoga (loads of free videos on YouTube!) calling a friend up to chat. Anything that unwinds you, it could be anything. And then, get to bed early, because you need your rest! 

You need to do whatever you can to lift yourself and enjoy yourself. People think having kids all day long is sacrifice every second of the way. No one can function like that. 
 

Another practical tip I have learnt the hard way is - kids are very bad over tired (naps or early bedtimes are important) they need a routine and structure (and it helps you as well!) and if you give them an hour, or a solid time, uninterrupted, without looking at your phone or talking to someone else - it improves their behaviour massively most days. I find it’s almost like they feel they have had your attention and are satisfied. More likely to play solo or be less whiny! 
 

Get your food shopping delivered if you can! Put re-orders every month on Amazon for essentials like powdered milk, nappies, toilet roll, cleaning products, bin bags, etc. This can save you last minute rushing to the shops for those “just forgot I have hardly any nappies left!” moments!

 

And, I’m so sorry to go on! But I would utilise the children’s Dad wherever you can. If he offers, please take him up on it. You need your breaks where you can. It is so important, even for parents who have full support networks and no other problems. If he can stay over maybe a few nights a week on a sofa bed, or spare room, to do a night shift with your baby (I’m not sure if you are breastfeeding, if not, he could definitely help there). Have him take them on the mornings sometimes if he could stay over. If you can remain civil and friendly, this will be the absolute best for your children and you. You need that help. There is no closer and better help than their Daddy. They love him too, they know him as well as you. Grandparents are great and do so so well, but I would try, and tell him in a peaceful and respectful way that you value him as their father, it is so important, you want the best for the children and you need to do this together, even if you are apart. You still need to be “together” on the helping for the children.

 

When you baby starts sleeping through, it may make a world of difference to your mood. Lack of sleep is an absolute killer for your brain and mentality. You need to carve out a nap or rest in your day if you can as well, be that a nap in your car on a lunch break, or have your baby nap in their crib and just get your head down for 45 minutes.

 

I am, snoopy, a massive believer in the nap routine. I’m not sure of your situation but it has been a life saver for me. I also suffer from low mood, you are not alone. I get high, I get low. You have to find humour and help where you can! But! I remember always knowing 1pm was coming, no matter how hard the day - where all 3 of mine would be put on a nap and I got two hours. It was like gold dust and I protected it and was regimented about it. I still am! My son is 4 and he still has “quiet time” where he reads whilst the other two girls sleep. 80% of the time he falls asleep too. It’s important for us and kids. Their moods lift and they are so much easier to handle.

 

If you ever want to discuss bedtime with a baby and toddler (oh man! Been there! Solo often! There is 19 months between my boy and girl!) or, any other tips and tricks, I am not the perfect mother, but I am happy to bounce ideas off you to help make your job easier, try and help us cope! It’s amazing. Your kids are amazing. Sometimes, if you feel down, just grab one and hug them to pieces. It sometimes has made me feel so much better! 
 

Anyway, I am so sorry to blab on. I really wish you all the best. Like others have also suggested, if grandparents can be scheduled in, even if it’s once a month, utilise that. I think the being able to look forward to a break, or know enforcements are coming! Is a relief. 
 

Do you have any close friends who you can turn too?

 

Sometimes you just need someone there who you can text or call if things go really bad. I have been in the worst, most horrible, dark moods, and texted or called my husband or, I have a friend who is also a Mum - it has been near a life saver for me. It allowed me to step out of the situation (kid tantrum, me feeling pregnant and so sick, feelings of parental guilt, all of that) to just be able to step out of there, shut the door for 5 minutes and call someone so I didn’t feel alone. 
 

Whether it is an online support group, a therapist, friend, your Mum - you need someone who can be called anytime, and for them to listen and not judge. That has also helped me in times of desperation when trying to handle kids and getting that “exhausted everything I know, now what do I do?!” Feeling.

 

You’re going to be fine Snoopy. This will pass. You just need little hacks, and big support, to help you. There is no shame in it. Parenting is so tough when things go right. So never feel guilty, or bad. You need to realise your feelings are normal - most people would feel depressed. There isn’t anything “wrong” with you. You can do it, it’s okay! You are going to have real bad days and some days are gonna be great. You need that support, in all the little ways and the big ways.

 

Best of luck,

 

I hope you can work out little niches and plans and routines and other practical and medical solutions that can get you over this very testing time.

 

x

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2 hours ago, snoopygal said:

I'm mid 30's and have had depression issues for a really long time, but I managed (not well) without meds but I felt ok. It spiraled out of control while I was home on maternity leave and it is getting worse. I have an appointment to talk with a dr about that, so hopefully that'll be taken care of soon. How do I start the healing process? 

Sorry this is happening. You have already started the healing by getting an evaluation for the depression. Also some space seems to be working, however you seem overwhelmed at the moment.

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He seems borderline abusive. Its not a good situation for you nore the kids. There is no "we" in this situation anymore except in regards of raising kids. He refused reconciling and even throws insults at you. "You" need to contact the attourney and figure stuff out. Because if you wait for him, he may want to use your situation against you. For example, your depression, no matter how hard it was on you, can and maybe will be used against you when it comes to divorce. So you need to be smart about that. Contact some good family law attourney and see what you can do about the divorce asap. 

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27 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Snoopy,

 

I just wanted to add my support here. This is so tough, I really feel for you.

 

I’m a 32 year old mother of 3 under 4. My eldest is a boy, my middle girl has just turned 3 and my youngest daughter has just turned 1. 
 

If I’m right, with your 3 month old you are still in the throes of the sleepless nights?This gets anyone, even well adjusted; stable relationship’d, wealthy; all help given people! 
 

I’m not separated or divorced, but I feel your pain a tiny bit because my husband works away a lot; which leaves me with our three very often, solo, with no help at all! I also don’t have a support network, babysitters, anything like that. I have always done all my own cleaning and cooking, and none of mine ever even went to nursery! (I have always been a stay at home Mum). I realise after a hard days work you will be exhausted, plus the toll a separation must take (you have all my sympathy there, I am so sorry). Putting kids to bed; a baby and a toddler by yourself when you are not feeling your best can be rough going. Facing lonely weekends when families do things together I imagine could be rough going too.

 

My dear, others have suggested therapy and I think this is a good suggestion for your situation. I liked Choco’s suggestion of always having something to look forward too.

 

If you don’t mind, can I suggest a few practical things that may ease the solo burden when it comes to juggling kids?

 

On a morning, I am presuming you have to get them ready and yourself ready to be out for daycare and work? To make this time easier, if you don’t already do it, I would set out your clothes and what you need in your bag for the next day in your bedroom. I would also set out your kids clothes and anything you need in your babies diaper bag, and anything your eldest needs in their bag for daycare.

 

Every morning, even if it is only 10 minutes, I would try to carve out some time where you just get to wake up and take a breather. If it means, get the kids washed and ready and put infront of the tv or your eldest, set them up with a book or a colouring pad or a puzzle, and put your baby in a rocker, bouncer! And I would just be in a room next door and simply, enjoy a cup of coffee, do your hair, get ready, or check online, or watch a quick comedy something on YouTube, or fold some laundry, or just sit there and stare into space if you have too! Not every time will the kids just quietly like angels play but, I think it is so important that you almost carve out regular slots in a busy day for stillness, stress relief or just to take a moment for yourself.

 

Have your baby maybe nap in the car if you commute to daycare? Or do you drop your baby also off? If they nap in the car, I would just simply drive around or park up. Take yourself a coffee or something nice to drink like a smoothie full of goodness, a nice snack, or breakfast to go. Have it in the car so on that run when the baby sleeps you can again, take a moment. 
 

If you are at home with the baby (maybe you only work part time?) I would try to get out at least once a day. Either for a walk with the baby in the pram, or to a playgroup or Mums group. I say this because you need fresh air (I always find it makes things better even if I have to drag myself out!) and you need solidarity, you need company, you need shoulders to cry on, and sometimes, other Mums or friends who are also in the baby toddler stages will completely understand. Maybe join an online support group for Mums? There will also be divorced and separated Mums. I would really reach out and get their advice and friendship. They could see you through something they have already been through or are going through themselves.

 

On an evening, I find with toddlers, and babies - they often get so tired. I recommend early bath and bedtimes I rushed rather than late ones. Use this time, I realise you are exhausted but, use it as a bonding, hugging, relaxing time. Obviously, no baby or toddler always goes to sleep like a scene from Peter Pan in Wendy’s house but, I find if you can try and stay calm and just enjoy that moment, your attitude and energy rubs off on your children. Again, if you can quickly bath your baby in with your toddler, dress them without leaving your toddler and have your baby in a chair or bouncer ready for bed whilst your toddler plays in the bath, I find again, you can sit and just take a breather! Have a bottle of water there. Just carve out those little moments for yourself.

 

Another thing I have found that reduces stress and that overwhelmed feeling! Once the babes are asleep, before you relax and, relax you deserve but, grab a basket, or large laundry bag. Just zoom round your house. Pick up toys, dirty laundry, thrown on the floor coats - anything! You want to scoop it all up and then put it all back quickly where it should be. Basically, doing a quick sweep of your house. Wash the dishes. Quickly wipe down the highchair. Be quick, you want it over because then you can relax in a clean and neat house for the rest of your evening! I would also suggest doing something then that relaxes you. Lighting a candle, doing a hobby, watching a movie, taking a bath, putting on a face pack, re-organising your closet! Doing some yoga (loads of free videos on YouTube!) calling a friend up to chat. Anything that unwinds you, it could be anything. And then, get to bed early, because you need your rest! 

You need to do whatever you can to lift yourself and enjoy yourself. People think having kids all day long is sacrifice every second of the way. No one can function like that. 
 

Another practical tip I have learnt the hard way is - kids are very bad over tired (naps or early bedtimes are important) they need a routine and structure (and it helps you as well!) and if you give them an hour, or a solid time, uninterrupted, without looking at your phone or talking to someone else - it improves their behaviour massively most days. I find it’s almost like they feel they have had your attention and are satisfied. More likely to play solo or be less whiny! 
 

Get your food shopping delivered if you can! Put re-orders every month on Amazon for essentials like powdered milk, nappies, toilet roll, cleaning products, bin bags, etc. This can save you last minute rushing to the shops for those “just forgot I have hardly any nappies left!” moments!

 

And, I’m so sorry to go on! But I would utilise the children’s Dad wherever you can. If he offers, please take him up on it. You need your breaks where you can. It is so important, even for parents who have full support networks and no other problems. If he can stay over maybe a few nights a week on a sofa bed, or spare room, to do a night shift with your baby (I’m not sure if you are breastfeeding, if not, he could definitely help there). Have him take them on the mornings sometimes if he could stay over. If you can remain civil and friendly, this will be the absolute best for your children and you. You need that help. There is no closer and better help than their Daddy. They love him too, they know him as well as you. Grandparents are great and do so so well, but I would try, and tell him in a peaceful and respectful way that you value him as their father, it is so important, you want the best for the children and you need to do this together, even if you are apart. You still need to be “together” on the helping for the children.

 

When you baby starts sleeping through, it may make a world of difference to your mood. Lack of sleep is an absolute killer for your brain and mentality. You need to carve out a nap or rest in your day if you can as well, be that a nap in your car on a lunch break, or have your baby nap in their crib and just get your head down for 45 minutes.

 

I am, snoopy, a massive believer in the nap routine. I’m not sure of your situation but it has been a life saver for me. I also suffer from low mood, you are not alone. I get high, I get low. You have to find humour and help where you can! But! I remember always knowing 1pm was coming, no matter how hard the day - where all 3 of mine would be put on a nap and I got two hours. It was like gold dust and I protected it and was regimented about it. I still am! My son is 4 and he still has “quiet time” where he reads whilst the other two girls sleep. 80% of the time he falls asleep too. It’s important for us and kids. Their moods lift and they are so much easier to handle.

 

If you ever want to discuss bedtime with a baby and toddler (oh man! Been there! Solo often! There is 19 months between my boy and girl!) or, any other tips and tricks, I am not the perfect mother, but I am happy to bounce ideas off you to help make your job easier, try and help us cope! It’s amazing. Your kids are amazing. Sometimes, if you feel down, just grab one and hug them to pieces. It sometimes has made me feel so much better! 
 

Anyway, I am so sorry to blab on. I really wish you all the best. Like others have also suggested, if grandparents can be scheduled in, even if it’s once a month, utilise that. I think the being able to look forward to a break, or know enforcements are coming! Is a relief. 
 

Do you have any close friends who you can turn too?

 

Sometimes you just need someone there who you can text or call if things go really bad. I have been in the worst, most horrible, dark moods, and texted or called my husband or, I have a friend who is also a Mum - it has been near a life saver for me. It allowed me to step out of the situation (kid tantrum, me feeling pregnant and so sick, feelings of parental guilt, all of that) to just be able to step out of there, shut the door for 5 minutes and call someone so I didn’t feel alone. 
 

Whether it is an online support group, a therapist, friend, your Mum - you need someone who can be called anytime, and for them to listen and not judge. That has also helped me in times of desperation when trying to handle kids and getting that “exhausted everything I know, now what do I do?!” Feeling.

 

You’re going to be fine Snoopy. This will pass. You just need little hacks, and big support, to help you. There is no shame in it. Parenting is so tough when things go right. So never feel guilty, or bad. You need to realise your feelings are normal - most people would feel depressed. There isn’t anything “wrong” with you. You can do it, it’s okay! You are going to have real bad days and some days are gonna be great. You need that support, in all the little ways and the big ways.

 

Best of luck,

 

I hope you can work out little niches and plans and routines and other practical and medical solutions that can get you over this very testing time.

 

x

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. One thing that stood out to me was taking time with them with no distractions. I often start to do this, then get distracted with something else I need to do. It's more important than ever that they feel like they have the attention they want and need. 

We are able to be civil, it's just hard emotionally to be around him right now 

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56 minutes ago, snoopygal said:

Neither of us ever felt heard, we didn't communicate well so our needs were never met. It wasn't that we'd fight about anything specific, we're both drained and little things would set us off. This would escalate most times. The breaking point was a midnight screaming match waking up our kids after about 7 or 8 other arguments in a couple weeks. 

What set off the arguments--a tone? a putdown? and over what kind of disagreements?

If you could win a million dollars to identify why your partner is angry with you, how much of that money could you win?

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24 minutes ago, snoopygal said:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. One thing that stood out to me was taking time with them with no distractions. I often start to do this, then get distracted with something else I need to do. It's more important than ever that they feel like they have the attention they want and need. 

We are able to be civil, it's just hard emotionally to be around him right now 

It’s okay Snoopy. It’s so hard to do, especially juggling two and also with everything in your plate and how you are feeling.

 

Sometimes just sitting down with your toddler in your lap and baby in a bouncer or rocking seat while you two read and chat about a book and cuddle for half an hour can get you out of your thoughts and then some time.

 

I know it must be so so hard. I wish I could help you first hand and say I have been through the same - so many other women or men have though, there will be support either in single parent groups in real life or online you could maybe turn too? For that support where they know exactly where you are coming from? Someone who has walked in your shoes, if you get my drift.

 

I always hope, for children’s sake, that when parents separate, it can be done as stable and respectfully and caring as possible. I understand we live in the real world, things don’t always go the way we planned. 
 

The kids as you will know need as much stress taking off them, as much normality and to have their Dad around as much as possible. If! If your relationship can be kept civil and respectful. I always secretly hope for some kind of working out. That you could go to counselling, maybe talk things through… but I understand there is a lot here between you both, it is hard. Maybe it isn’t right. Sometimes it‘s just not the right person, no matter how we mediated. I just hope you can both get on the same page with communicating nicely, especially from his side because it doesn’t sound good does it, and I hope he really can help you still. Your baby especially is so little, the first year is the most intense. 
 

Snoopy, I am rooting for you. I hope you can find some help - either through therapy, friends, breaks, practical things or a mixture of all of it. Finding what is going to work for you might take a little time.

 

As Choco said - you have to go easy on yourself, be kind to yourself. Same with the kids. It’s hard but understand some kicking off, some upsets may come up with your 3 year old. As tired as you are, remember they might be feeling some feels too. Be patient with yourself and them if you can. Hoping you get the right help for you. All the best, sincerely x

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32 minutes ago, snoopygal said:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. One thing that stood out to me was taking time with them with no distractions. I often start to do this, then get distracted with something else I need to do. It's more important than ever that they feel like they have the attention they want and need. 

We are able to be civil, it's just hard emotionally to be around him right now 

Oh and Snoopy, if you ever want to message about mum things, hey, I could also learn from you! I definitely do not know it all, not one bit!

 

Trial and error!

 

Anyway, you’re doing fine - chin up. Enjoy your children wherever you can. They are a blessing. It‘s gonna be alright.

 

Feel free to message or post, everyone here is here to support and try to help.

 

x

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18 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

What set off the arguments--a tone? a putdown? and over what kind of disagreements?

If you could win a million dollars to identify why your partner is angry with you, how much of that money could you win?

Yes, tone, putdowns, everything. For instance if he forgot to put the wet clothes into the dryer from the washer I'd fuss at him because I now have to rehash the clothes, I thought "x" would be dry and available for use, and it added something extra on my plate. On It's own, it really isn't a big deal. The laundry wasn't a hill to die on, but stuff like this from both of us constantly. Sometimes we understood the other was frustrated and other times it would escalate. This got worse with a colicky newborn. 

 

He's angry because I would fly off the handle and be mean over seemingly meaningless things. I didn't communicate my depression struggles with him like I needed to, so from his perspective I am grouchy, mean and disrespectful. Which is true, I shouldn't have treated him that way and I shouldn't have escalated arguments. 

 

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22 minutes ago, mylolita said:

It’s okay Snoopy. It’s so hard to do, especially juggling two and also with everything in your plate and how you are feeling.

 

Sometimes just sitting down with your toddler in your lap and baby in a bouncer or rocking seat while you two read and chat about a book and cuddle for half an hour can get you out of your thoughts and then some time.

 

I know it must be so so hard. I wish I could help you first hand and say I have been through the same - so many other women or men have though, there will be support either in single parent groups in real life or online you could maybe turn too? For that support where they know exactly where you are coming from? Someone who has walked in your shoes, if you get my drift.

 

I always hope, for children’s sake, that when parents separate, it can be done as stable and respectfully and caring as possible. I understand we live in the real world, things don’t always go the way we planned. 
 

The kids as you will know need as much stress taking off them, as much normality and to have their Dad around as much as possible. If! If your relationship can be kept civil and respectful. I always secretly hope for some kind of working out. That you could go to counselling, maybe talk things through… but I understand there is a lot here between you both, it is hard. Maybe it isn’t right. Sometimes it‘s just not the right person, no matter how we mediated. I just hope you can both get on the same page with communicating nicely, especially from his side because it doesn’t sound good does it, and I hope he really can help you still. Your baby especially is so little, the first year is the most intense. 
 

Snoopy, I am rooting for you. I hope you can find some help - either through therapy, friends, breaks, practical things or a mixture of all of it. Finding what is going to work for you might take a little time.

 

As Choco said - you have to go easy on yourself, be kind to yourself. Same with the kids. It’s hard but understand some kicking off, some upsets may come up with your 3 year old. As tired as you are, remember they might be feeling some feels too. Be patient with yourself and them if you can. Hoping you get the right help for you. All the best, sincerely x

I appreciate your kind words and once I get in a good headspace, I may take you up on your offer to chat!

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28 minutes ago, snoopygal said:

I appreciate your kind words and once I get in a good headspace, I may take you up on your offer to chat!

No problem. I don’t mind if you never do, just know it’s there!

 

It sounds like you both need to apologise to each other. Is there no way you think this can be talked through? If it was just not listening, things getting nasty and disrespectful - we have all been there in long term relationships where this happens. But the main thing is you make up and try to learn from it. I’ve done exactly the same as you Snoopy. I have lashes out at my husband so many times. You might even still be so hormonal, you only had a baby 3 months ago! Things don’t tend to settle down until a full year or 18 months has passed.

 

x

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10 minutes ago, mylolita said:

No problem. I don’t mind if you never do, just know it’s there!

 

It sounds like you both need to apologise to each other. Is there no way you think this can be talked through? If it was just not listening, things getting nasty and disrespectful - we have all been there in long term relationships where this happens. But the main thing is you make up and try to learn from it. I’ve done exactly the same as you Snoopy. I have lashes out at my husband so many times. You might even still be so hormonal, you only had a baby 3 months ago! Things don’t tend to settle down until a full year or 18 months has passed.

 

x

We got pretty mean with each other and both said things that we shouldn't have. It got to a point that we had explosive arguments in public and at home in front of our kids. I know arguments are normal in couples, but it got to the point of us getting so angry and unable to put it aside to hash out at an appropriate time. I definitely agree with you about the hormones, and it has certainly gotten worse since she was born. It had been going on before that too though. I think separating for right now is the right way to go. I've been depressed for a long time, and it's gotten worse. After having kids, buying a house, financial struggles that kids have brought, I think he's been depressed too. He and I never really talked about it, but I think he is. Different than me, I would say his is more situational and mine is more clinical. He's kind of hinted at it, but more in a daycare costs a pretty penny and we can't afford to do anything anymore so it's depressing kind of way. Since we never communicated these things with each other, where the other was actually listening, we both went so long with our needs not being met. I feel like if we both got our own emotions under control then went to counseling to learn how to communicate effectively we could get back together. I had an appointment today and will start meds and plan to start counseling on my own. When the breakup had just happened I suggested counseling and trying to talk through this, but he wasn't interested at all. I would really like that, but if he's not interested then there isn't much I can do about it.

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It could be fair to say he’s not a good person to support you when you’re struggling. 
 

lolitas advice looks like solid gold!

 

Ive been listening to this guy, Ram Dass. He’s a spiritual seeker I suppose and teaches a lot of the same lessons Eckhart Tolle teaches about bringing your attention to the present and detaching from your identification with your ego. Ram Dass would say your ex has ‘gotten you’ (that is to say, that interaction has triggered a reaction in you, it’s unearthed something you’re still attached to, an idea? A principle? An old wound that hasn’t been healed? And it made you go unconscious.) Try when your partner leaves and you see yourself getting upset by it saying out loud to yourself ‘ah, I see. That got me’ and then take some deep breathes, if your body is intensely experiencing the feelings associated with rejection, try submerging your face in ice cold water for 30 seconds (I haven’t tried this yet but it’s meant to reset the nervous system), do something really kind for yourself. Plan some really kind things you can do when ex leaves now when you’re calm. Maybe you eat a square of 95% dark chocolate (it tastes like ash, appropriate), maybe you do two minutes of yoga, maybe you listen to a song that really picks you up, maybe you give one of the little ones a cuddle if they’re willing. 
 

I’m sorry that you have to walk through this storm. I’m cheering for you and I know you’ll come out the other side evolved. The only way out is through!

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2 hours ago, 1a1a said:

It could be fair to say he’s not a good person to support you when you’re struggling. 
 

lolitas advice looks like solid gold!

 

Ive been listening to this guy, Ram Dass. He’s a spiritual seeker I suppose and teaches a lot of the same lessons Eckhart Tolle teaches about bringing your attention to the present and detaching from your identification with your ego. Ram Dass would say your ex has ‘gotten you’ (that is to say, that interaction has triggered a reaction in you, it’s unearthed something you’re still attached to, an idea? A principle? An old wound that hasn’t been healed? And it made you go unconscious.) Try when your partner leaves and you see yourself getting upset by it saying out loud to yourself ‘ah, I see. That got me’ and then take some deep breathes, if your body is intensely experiencing the feelings associated with rejection, try submerging your face in ice cold water for 30 seconds (I haven’t tried this yet but it’s meant to reset the nervous system), do something really kind for yourself. Plan some really kind things you can do when ex leaves now when you’re calm. Maybe you eat a square of 95% dark chocolate (it tastes like ash, appropriate), maybe you do two minutes of yoga, maybe you listen to a song that really picks you up, maybe you give one of the little ones a cuddle if they’re willing. 
 

I’m sorry that you have to walk through this storm. I’m cheering for you and I know you’ll come out the other side evolved. The only way out is through!

Not being a good person to support me is a really good way of looking at it. I hadn't thought of it like that before. Even though I failed to tell him how I was struggling, he failed to be a safe place for me to do so. 

 

I really like your advice on planning an easy pick me up activity when he leaves. I think I need to think of something for my 3 year old, too. She hasn't reacted poorly to him leaving for the night yet, but I know she's confused and it makes her sad.

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