I Dont Know What My Problem Is :(

Updated on March 27, 2012
P.S. asks from Chicago, IL
23 answers

so a little background before i get to my issue.... i will be 29 in a couple weeks (easter to be exact) i am a single mom of an AMAZING three year old named parker. I work as a nanny for friends taking care of their 7 months old (been doing so for 6 months) the pay isnt great by any means and most baby sitters get paid way more than me but on the flip side i get to bring my son with me and we still have our time together.

my issue is that for the past month or so im just not feeling like "me" im not happy by any means im just giving up on things i always cared about and i dont like who i am becoming (crying) i dont want to be judged but i also dont want to talk about my problem so typing it seemed the next best step. on the weekends when im not watching my friends son i sleep in. I HATE THIS ABOUT MYSELF BUT I JUST REFUSE TO GET OUT OF BED. my son wakes up at about 7:30 and i use to make him breakfast and play go to the park just spend me and parker time but now i will lay out a poptart the night before for him and sleep untill nine or so. im not proud of this.... :( but i dont know how to change it.... i love my son and want to spend every minute i can with him but i just cant get out of this slump im in.... i aslo use to vacume every day and whipe things down daily and now ive been going two weeks sometimes longer with out doing that. does anyone have any advice? i could really use it please?

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So What Happened?

at abbie h um my sons father sees him about 12 hours a MONTH not hardly enough for me time.... maybe that is some of the problem but it never bothered me before... can it just spring up like that?....i havent had a child free day to myself like a full day since july 25th 2008

just wanted to add that i dont feel like im neglecting my son.... just like i do he needs time to himself and thats what he does for that hour and a half two days a week he just plays and ofcourse if he came up to me and said mommy can you play with me or read to me (wich he has) i do get up and i will play with him.... i just feel like my "zest for life" is gone

thank you everyone for your responses


More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to Mamapedia!!

this sounds like classic depression!!! Everyone experiences it at some point in their life. Please see your primary care physician and tell him or her what you have told us. Don't let them push you aside and say "you'll get over it" - get help!! It's OKAY!!! there is NOTHING wrong with getting help!!

Make a list of things that you are proud of about YOU. Not your son - but YOU...you CAN do it!!! Don't beat yourself up. And don't worry about what someone will think of you for getting help. It's OKAY!!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You sound burnt out. Is there any way you could get a child free day to yourself?

*eta* Is nannying new for you? I could see the burnout happening with the addition of another child to care for. Many moms have said that they find taking care of kids much harder than "going to the office".

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It does sound like depression to me. Nothing to be ashamed about! There IS help for you. Talk to your doc. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You are taking care of an infant which is the hardest and most vulnerable time woman become depressed. It sounds like your nanny job is sucking the life out of you because you are basically a single mom to two children with no one to ever step in and help you out. I personally would take a step back and ask yourself, "Is this job REALLY worth it for me to keep feeling like this and putting my son last?". You need to find a hobby for yourself, something that takes you away from always thinking about the baby and your son. Your mind isn't escaping to something else so you are stuck in a rut and your depressed.

This is what I'd do...Find another job that you can do that still allows you to bring your son. I have a girlfriend that works at a local gym that has a daycare and as a perk, she can bring her little boy and visit him all day long while she works. Also, if you are religious at all, go back to church, make friends and let others watch your son while you go do something just for you (nails, hair, shopping, whatever). Then, find a single moms club in your area, they are definitely out there, you just have to look. AND, if you absolutely CAN NOT leave your job, purchase a double stroller and join a Stroller Fit club in your area. That way you get out, get fresh air, exercise and great conversation with other moms.

There are answers, you just have to be strong enough to say enough is enough before your son starts taking care of you at the tender age of 3, he needs his mommy right now. Get yourself healthy, keep us informed on how you are doing:)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You sound depressed. Please go see your doctor and tell them what you have told us here. No shame in depression---Talking about it is the first step and getting treated is next. You can do it and you will feel better. I promise!!!!! I have been through depression and there is light on the other side....Hang in there and good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

i have been there done that. talk to your dr. you need to get evaluated for depression. also make a plan and stick to it. sleep in no later then 8 am on your days off. start doing the park (maybe a new one), make a cleaning schedual again. try and do some thing new every weekend. its hard to get out of the slump but it is doable.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I sounds like depression to me also. Are you on the Pill? I would get mind numbing depression from the pill especially near my period. but some months when I was busy and stressed I could be all the time. Someone suggested St john's Wort, try it it can be a wonder pill. Also try 5-HTP, take it in the evening because it relaxes you and may make you tired but it works on the serotonin levels in your brain.

Exercise is the best thing for stress and depression. Good old fashion heart pumping, heavy breathing exercise. Find someone to watch your son and go out for a run, bike ride, power walk, or put on some good dance music in your home and dance but get moving. It will elevate your mood faster than anything.

Do you have many friends? Having a support system and someone to laugh and cry with is essential.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

parenting and nanny-ing littles is hard work! and doing it alone....no wonder you're feeling burnt out and suffering what seems clearly to be a bout of depression. many of us have something similar happen. in my case it looked an awful lot like laziness, and only in retrospect can i see clearly what was going on.
a visit with your doctor would be a great place to start. it may be that you can kick this through a combination of discipline (flylady is a great resource), exercise and maybe st john's wort and extra vit D. it may be that for a little while you need to live better through physician-prescribed pharmaceutical help.
but please know that you're not alone, hon. this is a good time to reach out for help, jangle whatever network you've got and arrange to get a little solitary time when you can, even if all you do is spend it sleeping. and if you don't have a network, now's the time to develop one.
good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Go to the doctor and get a physical to make sure nothing physical is going on.. Also take what you wrote here and read it to the doctor..

All signs of a hormonal imbalance causing depression.

I am sorry you are not your self, but do know this can be helped.
Be strong and go..

I will be sending you strength.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

You are depressed. You may need to see someone about it, not just for yourself but for you son. You're neglecting him and that isn't goodfor either of you. Seek help.

Good luck to you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It's going to be alright. Sometimes women go through things and you are in a slump and should see a doctor and if possible get some counseling so that you have someone to talk to, sometimes just talking helps.
Also you need a support group of moms who are in the same situation as yourself to help you stay focused on your goals, help you with your son when you need the day to stay in bed and be by yourself. I was a single parent to a small boy before so I know how you feel, and I would get down in the dumps too, i had a really good support system of family and friends who cared about me and helped me through school, listened to me when I was stressed, took care of my son so I could have a break, i had a lot of rough patches, but always managed to pick myself up and got back on track and so can you! You sound like you're a good M., but like the saying goes you have to love yourself before you can love someone else, so make sure you find a way to make time for yourself. Ask your friend whose child you watch to help you with your son sometimes. A Friday night sleep over or something that way you have time to figure out a plan to get back to your old self. Don't feel bad, we all go through something in life its how you handle it from here that matters.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Number one, you need to find a different job as soon as possible. It sounds like nannying isn't for you. If you don't rely on the job to make ends meet, quit now. I suspect caring for a newborn is draining you emotionally and physically so you are unable to care for your own son. Not cool. Your son should come first. If you need work, start looking for something that pays better and won't use up your energy you need to properly care for your son.

Also, you may be dealing with clinical depression. It might be time to see your doctor and get a referal for a therapist. Not wanting to get out of bed isn't a good thing if your son is being neglected. You wouldn't want him to get taken from you. He needs to be cuddled, talked to, fed, kept clean, and to be in a clean environment. If you can't maintain the basics or take care of your own basic needs, you need to get medical/psychological help as soon as possible.

In the interim, exercise is an amazing natural anti-depressant. You should go for a short brisk walk with your son every morning or afternoon to get your natural endorphins (sp) going.

If possible, find someone to help you around the house with cleaning or to give you a break so you can have a little bit of freetime for yourself. Do you have relatives in town who could watch your son for an hour or two each week, so you can rest and relax or do something fun? Perhaps take an on-line course so you can find different job more to your liking.

I hope you talk to your doctor and get help. It's your best bet.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Bangor on

This sounds like depression. Most of the things you have described are very common depression symptoms. A visit with your doctor will confirm, and there are many treatment options including medication, therapy, support groups, etc. There are hundreds of resources online and through your doctor that can help you on your journey.

Depression is very common, especially among women. It doesn't mean you're crazy, that you're a bad mother, or that anything is wrong with you. It means that the natural chemicals in your brain have gotten out of sync. Tragic events, stress, some medications, even your environment can all trigger or add to depression symptoms. Know that you are not alone in ANY of your feelings, and there are hundreds of moms here and in your local community that would gladly be a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on if never needed. Best of luck to you and your family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I feel exactly like you do, but it's something I struggle with every day, not just on weekends. It is very, very common, so don't feel like you are alone.

One thing that helps me, is to take a shower in the morning and to try to make an easy, daily schedule. Set a timer to do a quick 15 minute wipe down in the morning and at night. Make it a habit. Also, try and have a night out once a week or every two weeks, even if it's just going to Barnes and Noble for an hour and reading a magazine while eating a piece of cheesecake. Get 30 minutes of cardio a day, evemn if it's 10 mins in the morning, 10 in the afternoon and 10 at night. Do a fun workout video like zumba or yoga booty ballet, use cans as weights.

Also, ask for more pay or find a different job. I had to nanny for a friend for awhile when I was a new mom and it was extremely difficult.

Take Saint John's Wort (get a good brand, like Standard Process b/c it's medically regulated) and Vitamin c... both are excellent for depression and are very effective. They help my husband with his bouts of depression amazingly, but I can't take them right now b/c I'm pregnant.

These other ladies gave some great advice!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

Hey there! That doesn't seem good. Although I haven't read other replies but I'm guessing that you may be battling depression. Please dont take offense to this. I'm not calling you crazy. If anything you can call me crazy for making a guess that it could be depression. But its actually a serious matter that requires treatment such as antidepressants. Its ok if you do. I take some and its makes me more level headed. Although each has side effects but your dr could find one to work with you. Have you thought that maybe this is a possibility? Sometimes moms just get wore down too and need a break or a pick me up. What about a girls night or a well rested night? Just some suggestions for you to ponder. Another thing on depression, it can make you fatigued and lose interest in things you once cared to do. I'm very curious as to whats going on with you. Even though we don't know one another. Please let me know if anything changes or if you chose to visit a dr. Atleast it wouldnt hurt. Take care and good luck!


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

At some point, all moms go through this. I agree with the other posters, you sound depressed. Make an appointment with your doctor and tell her what you told us. In the meantime, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and get some exercise. It's tough to get motivated, but you need to conquer that battle and get moving. I suggest getting up early, take a shower, eat a good breakfast full of protein and take a walk or do an exercise video. You'll get that energy and zest back.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think you need to see a Dr. We can all say it sounds like depression (and it does,) but you need a clinical diagnosis. I don't think it's a very good idea for your 3 year old to be by himself in the house for almost 2 hours. I know, he's not technically alone...but if you're sleeping, you aren't present. What if he fell, or choked on the pop tart or something else, or managed to find a way out of the house, hit his head, etc. You would be asleep in your room. That's just too much time for a toddler to be wandering and going on his own. Do you see what I'm saying? I'm not AT ALL saying you are being neglectful. It's just...I have a 3 year old. I can't imagine him being left to his devices with no supervision for so long. There is a difference between time by himself, and time with no adult supervision. It's asking for trouble, and I can tell you love and cherish your son and would never want that. When you can't get out of bed and take care of your child, it's NOT you anymore. It's something bigger. Something, that will get worse if you don't take care of it. Please see a Dr. Try to get some time for yourself. Get outside. The sunshine is a wonderful thing for you. Vitamin D deficiencies can contribute to depression. Most of all, please see a Dr. There is nothing wrong with you!! It's something most everyone goes through at some point, and we all need help sometimes. Good luck.

If I were you, I'd seriously consider a new job.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Sounds like you need a bit of "me time". You are a single mother who has your own child all the time and other little one that you care for...when do you get to go to the store alone, read a book, whatever?

BTW...it's ok to sleep in once in a while.

I suggest that the next time his father does have him, you take in a movie or read a book. Do something you enjoy. Plus see if a friend or family member will watch your son for a few hours once a week or at least every other week.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree that it could be depression and you really should see a doctor in case it is - you could inadvertently hurt yourself (or someone else).

My other thought is maybe taking care of this other child is not something you want to be doing and it's taking it's toll on you. Face it, some of us just aren't cut out to take car of other people's children. I know I'm not, I tried it and hated it. But, do make an effort to see a doctor and check yourself out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

is your son sleeping through the night? Are you? Are you getting at least 8 hours a night? I need more like 9 1/2 hours a night.

I started being like that when I was way overtired. Getting more sleep did help.

You are with your son ALL THE TIME, so do NOT feel guilty for having a lazy morning. I bet you also realized that you don't really NEED to do that every day cleaning.

Aside from making sure you are getting enough good solid sleep, I must say, that you just need to do one other thing - MELLOW OUT. Don't stress the cleaning and remember that you are teaching your child important independence skills by letting him get his breakfast once a week and self entertain one morning a week. It's ok.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Maybe one day a month you and your friend can "swap" a day of babysitting. She can not pay you for one day and she can watch Parker(which is my 13 year olds name!) on Saturday or Sunday. You need time to recharge. Even if you take that alone time and clean the house by yourself with the music blasting it will help!! I have found that time to yourself is important, no matter what you do with it :) Good Luck and hang in there! It is almost time for preschool!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It sounds like you are clinically depressed, it is not your fault! You need to see a therapist and maybe even get some medication for a short while until you feel like yourself. I am assuming you don't have insurance because of your job but many places have therapy on a sliding scale. Look for a mental health clinic near you and call for info. Also getting some exercise might help your outlook. Don't be afraid to feel your feelings, everyone goes through times like this, you may just need some help to feel better!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

((Hugs)) You're going to be ok!

Maybe this is just a time to reflect where you are at and where you want to go next. Even tho being a nanny has it's perk of being with your son, does it make you happy? What makes you happy? What if you could do anything you wanted each day...what would that be? What steps do you need to reach that? Baby steps don't overwhelm yourself, just start to explore some ideas and find yourself and your passions again.

I think we all sink a bit in the winter months...we are coming out of that now so get yourself outside and look around at the beautiful flowers that are coming up, the green grass, the leaves that are filling the trees again. Spring is so renewing, take it in.

Lastly, please don't beat yourself up for laying in bed. You described your issues as being for the last month so you might not be in that deep dark place of full depression. I know that place I have struggled with depression on and off since I was a child. Listen to your intuition, if you feel it is a place you can't get out of alone than do find someone to help you out.

But also consider that you are just tired! You are doing alot all on your own and you have no me time! You have to find a way to get some me time. What are you options? Perhaps the tired and not wanting to get up are your body telling you, "I need some time to just rest, relax, renew". Honor that you need it! And no guilt about it if it's truly what you need right now. But at the same time if what I am suggesting does not feel true for you than don't let yourself slip too deep without getting help.

Take care of you!

1 mom found this helpful
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