I am at the very end of my rope with my new baby. My boyfriend has left me and I am scared that I am just going to pick the baby up and either hit it or smother it to stop it crying. I know that sounds evil but I worry I won’t be able to stop myself.
Working on the basis that you have chosen to write to me instead of Miriam Stoppard, I’m going to give you my very genuine and personal advice with the caveat that it probably isn’t what you would find in any conventional book on raising babies and also please bear in mind that I am not a mother so I do not speak from personal experience.
I could blather on at length about meditation and lavender baths but to be honest if you’re as close to the end of your tether as you say you are, such advice won’t cut it. So my advice, plain and simple is – go for a walk. If you feel you are in immediate danger of harming your baby, leave it in its cot and walk to the end of the road without it. Do this as many times as you need to. If you need to walk round your block fifty times a day – do it. Stress is a strange thing, the impact of removing yourself from a stressful situation brings immediate relief. Just those few simple minutes could save your child’s life.
Ignore the overcautious brigade who will warn you against about leaving a child alone in the house. What harm can it come to for ten minutes while you collect your thoughts? A damn sight less harm than it will come to if you do snap and turn on it.
Ok, so that’s my immediate advice. Longer term, beg steal or borrow somebody to look after the child for a few hours every week. If you don’t know anyone or have no family close, advertise for a “child swap” where you and another mother take it in turn to look after both kids periodically while the other gets a break.
Contact the Samaritans and talk to them about your feelings. They will not judge you. Many women feel exactly the same as you do. It is a hard situation to be in. I have a great admiration for any woman who brings up a child on her own. I know I couldn’t do it.
Try and join some local mother and child groups where you can discuss the frustrations you are having with those in the same situation. Sometimes, just knowing you are not alone can help. Try asking at your doctor’s surgery for details of local groups and if they can put you in touch with any organisations that can help. And while you’re at your doctors, tell him/her about the problems you are facing. There is no shame in taking anti depressants or other suitable medication for a while until you are back on your feet.
Magically there are certainly things you can do to help yourself. I would suggest you visualise a protective shield over your baby and focus your energies into maintaining this shield. As they cry a lot, I’d word any spell work you do to ensure that the shield strengthens as the baby cries. That way, your natural irritation at the sound of the crying will be focused into a more positive energy. I’d also suggest you make a witch bottle and seal your peace and tranquillity safely away so they will not be disturbed by the frustrations of your baby.
On a practical note – remember that the constant crying is not deliberately done to annoy you. Your baby is equally frustrated, it has no ability to communicate with you but it has needs and desires. Think how frustrated you would be if you suddenly lost all powers of communication.
But the walking is my key advice. Leave the house for five minutes, breathe and calm down before you return.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1407411 (k r anoop)
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