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Feeling very overwhelmed and depressed thinking about my kids growing up.

T

testudo

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Feeling very overwhelmed and depressed thinking about my kids growing up.

Hello,

I am a little embarrassed writing this. I know it's weird because there isn't anyone on here who knows me personally. Anyhow, I know that I will not make it through this post without losing it and blubbering like a baby.

I am a 39 year old stay at home dad with a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son. My daughter is in daycare and my son stays at home with me. My daughter stayed at home with me until she was 2. I am also a veteran diagnosed with PTSD, so I am sure some of this stems from what I have been going through.

Now that the introduction is over, I will move on to what is really bothering me lately. I have become overwhelmed with this sad and depressing feeling about my kids growing up, especially my daughter. She is my first born and the love of my life. I have always have felt a little sad when thinking about it, but this year after her birthday and the holiday season, I cannot seem to get it together.

Not only the holidays, but my daughter's birthday is on Thanksgiving (well, she was born on Thanksgiving), my wife's birthday is on Christmas Day and my son's birthday is on Jan. 05. It is like going at 100 MPH and then a complete stop. It is and absolutely horrible feeling.

I haven't felt it this bad until this year. My little girl is now 4 and my little boy just turned 1. I am so depressed I cannot wrap my head around why. Everything around my house is intertwined from the past four years. I cannot pass pictures, art work, look at videos, watch certain movies, listen to certain songs, go into a bedroom or just even think about anything without totally and utterly breaking down. It starts first thing in the morning and goes all day. It is overwhelming and crippling.

I feel that I have missed everything that I am remembering, but I was there. I know that doesn't make any sense, but neither does the way I am feeling. I have nothing but happy memories to remember. It is driving me crazy!

Just over a week ago, I was suddenly hit with this feeling that I couldn't shake. I tried to do things to keep my mind busy and playing with my son helped a bit (doesn't help that the look almost exactly alike and they play with the same toys and watch the same shows lol)...that is until I put on a show that we watch and the my daughter and I used to watch (Baby Einstein). I felt the tears build up.

I put my son in his crib to take a nap and went into my daughter's room to clean it. I started picking up and putting things away. I picked up a little pink woven fedora and that was it, I lost it (yep, I am tearing up already). It continued all day long.

All I could think about is how much time has passed, how I miss all of the things she used to do, the things she does now, how much I want that back and how I cannot deal with this growing up thing.

I mean, simple little things like the way her curly blonde hair would wildly bounce as she ran clumsily down the hall. The first time she said "I wub you.", and da-da. Her first dance recital at 2 years old where after wards she walked to the end of the stage and yelled out to me that she did it. She couldn't even see me, but she knew I was out there somewhere. The first time I asked her to slow down growing up and she responds with, "I am sorry da-da, but I have to grow up and be big." Okay, okay...I will stop. I think you all get the idea.

I keep thinking that I will never get those times back and it is really depressing and sad. They should be happy memories and I really want them to be and I don't know why the feeling completely overwhelms me. It is really hard to walk around the house because everything from the past 4 years are intertwined around the house. I mean, everything from photo books to artistic creations are everywhere around the house.

Of course, I want my kids to grow up and grow up right, responsible and independent and I think that we are doing everything we can to make it happen, but I really didn't think it would be this hard. I have talked to my wife about it and she is great and understanding. She says she felt the same way when our daughter was born. She went through some horrible baby blues.

Luckily, she still needs help with bath and bedtime. She always wants be to stay in with her, sleep on me, rub her back or come out in the living room and sit with me until she falls asleep. My wife and I try to have a routine, and it work until she was about 2 1/2, but it is really tough to get her to go to bed and my wife always puts her back in the room and tells her to go to bed. Me? Well, I just told my wife that I didn't know how much longer she would want to do all of that and I want to enjoy it while I can. I know that we need structure and discipline, but it is tough.

I guess there is just something about my first child. Maybe there is a special bond there between me and my little girlie-pies. I know, I know...but that is the first nickname that I gave her when she was born and it stuck lol.

I used to be a pretty positive guy, but that changed after my service...I guess. I think that it is why it is hitting me harder than I ever thought it would.

I don't know. I guess I am wondering if anyone here has experienced this type of feeling and would care to share how it was dealt with.

Okay. This has gone of for a while and it could go longer, so I will stop here. If you made it this far, applaud for reading and I thank you in advance for any and all help, advice and suggestions.
 
Shelter_Skelter

Shelter_Skelter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
185
Location
Scotland
Hi Testudo. First things first, it is obvious that you are an amazing dad to your kids. Hope you know this. I think a lot of what you are feeling is natural to parents. The extremities that you are experiencing these feelings can partially be put down to your mental health issues. No you will not get those early days back but what you will get are tonnes of new memories. Wait and see!

'I feel that I have missed everything that I am remembering, but I was there. I know that doesn't make any sense, but neither does the way I am feeling. I have nothing but happy memories to remember. It is driving me crazy!'

This does make sense. Yes, you were there but you can't sit back and appreciate those times until you have some distance from them. It's hard to appreciate and enjoy something while it's happening. Often, thinking about it after the fact brings home to you how special it all really was. You were in the centre of the hurricane, unable to take in the sheer magnitude of it until you were blown clear. If that makes sense. You feel like you missed it because you didn't/couldn't take a moment to think...'this is a special time'. You know when people go to a concert and record the entire thing on their phone? They know this is a great day and feel they have to record it all but at the same time they aren't really there living it. They're missing out. You lived it my friend :) Now you have all these great memories to look back on.

Also, your kids are still so young, you still have so much more to appreciate and love. You obviously love how needed you are by your kids. This won't stop! Sure, someday you won't be required at bath time but you will be needed in other areas. You will be an eternal best friend to your kids. You have been there every step of the way so far and will continue to be. You're doing an amazing job, please feel proud of yourself. You have so many more adventures in front of you. Take it easy my friend.
 
Nikita

Nikita

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
4,931
Hello Testudo and:welcome:

I haven't got children myself.I do have a niece though whom I looked after lots from birth until even now I see lots of her.I agree the time flies by and goes and it is hard to recall it all in detail.Especially my niece's childhood and birthdays which I went to a lot of effort to make extra special for her,they are hard to recall now.So I don't think it is anything wrong with you to feel the way you do and be unable to recall.My niece is 17 now, 18 in June and even the last three years are hazy and difficult to recall in detail.I am sad about that too.Your daughter and son are still so young though,there is every reason to focus on that and enjoy each day...don't worry about them growing up and fleeing the nest,they will still always need you,you can be sure of that...and they will remember and appreciate all you do for them.I know it is hard but remember no one else can fill that special place in their hearts where dad belongs and never will!God bless!Nikitax
 
T

testudo

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Hi Testudo. First things first, it is obvious that you are an amazing dad to your kids. Hope you know this. I think a lot of what you are feeling is natural to parents. The extremities that you are experiencing these feelings can partially be put down to your mental health issues. No you will not get those early days back but what you will get are tonnes of new memories. Wait and see!

'I feel that I have missed everything that I am remembering, but I was there. I know that doesn't make any sense, but neither does the way I am feeling. I have nothing but happy memories to remember. It is driving me crazy!'

This does make sense. Yes, you were there but you can't sit back and appreciate those times until you have some distance from them. It's hard to appreciate and enjoy something while it's happening. Often, thinking about it after the fact brings home to you how special it all really was. You were in the centre of the hurricane, unable to take in the sheer magnitude of it until you were blown clear. If that makes sense. You feel like you missed it because you didn't/couldn't take a moment to think...'this is a special time'. You know when people go to a concert and record the entire thing on their phone? They know this is a great day and feel they have to record it all but at the same time they aren't really there living it. They're missing out. You lived it my friend :) Now you have all these great memories to look back on.

Also, your kids are still so young, you still have so much more to appreciate and love. You obviously love how needed you are by your kids. This won't stop! Sure, someday you won't be required at bath time but you will be needed in other areas. You will be an eternal best friend to your kids. You have been there every step of the way so far and will continue to be. You're doing an amazing job, please feel proud of yourself. You have so many more adventures in front of you. Take it easy my friend.
Thank you very much for your kind reply.

I know that it is supposed to be like this, but when they were born I never thought it would be this hard. The memories make me sad and I don't want them to be sad. These past 4 years have been the happiest in my life and I really feel depressed and guilty thinking this way.

Hello Testudo and:welcome:

I haven't got children myself.I do have a niece though whom I looked after lots from birth until even now I see lots of her.I agree the time flies by and goes and it is hard to recall it all in detail.Especially my niece's childhood and birthdays which I went to a lot of effort to make extra special for her,they are hard to recall now.So I don't think it is anything wrong with you to feel the way you do and be unable to recall.My niece is 17 now, 18 in June and even the last three years are hazy and difficult to recall in detail.I am sad about that too.Your daughter and son are still so young though,there is every reason to focus on that and enjoy each day...don't worry about them growing up and fleeing the nest,they will still always need you,you can be sure of that...and they will remember and appreciate all you do for them.I know it is hard but remember no one else can fill that special place in their hearts where dad belongs and never will!God bless!Nikitax
Thank you for your response.

I think that I will always need them :p. I never thought it would hurt my heart so bad.
 
T

Topcat

Guest
I know what you mean :hug:
I have 4 kids and its scary how fast time flies, but at the same time it's like it's been forever.
I can't remember mine when they were tiny, it bothers me, because I loved nursing and their snuffly little face in my shoulder, I forget their first words (except my eldest - it all kind of blurs into one mess after a while).
I'm grateful for my photos and little video clips, hearing their little toddler talk that I forgot.
I think it's normsl, there's so much going on day to day, so many firsts and new things they do to be proud of I don't think it's possible to keep it all fresh in our minds.
My eldest is 15 soon :eek: but she still needs me, makes me proud, is facing new things, new challenges - she's just big, lol.
I'm scared of them all getting big too :( but it happens, and they will astound you in new ways all along the way.

Xxx
 
M

misssadness

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Aug 3, 2015
Messages
1,995
Hello and welcome to the forum. Reading your post just helped me see what a truly wonderful father you are. I so wish I had a dad like you. I think it is really hard when children grow up as things change and they do not need you as much but your children are still so young and you have so much joy to come and many lovely experiences.

Maybe therapy would help you come to terms with your low mood? I think it is worth considering as you sound very low right now. :hug:
 
T

testudo

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
I know what you mean :hug:
I have 4 kids and its scary how fast time flies, but at the same time it's like it's been forever.
I can't remember mine when they were tiny, it bothers me, because I loved nursing and their snuffly little face in my shoulder, I forget their first words (except my eldest - it all kind of blurs into one mess after a while).
I'm grateful for my photos and little video clips, hearing their little toddler talk that I forgot.
I think it's normsl, there's so much going on day to day, so many firsts and new things they do to be proud of I don't think it's possible to keep it all fresh in our minds.
My eldest is 15 soon :eek: but she still needs me, makes me proud, is facing new things, new challenges - she's just big, lol.
I'm scared of them all getting big too :( but it happens, and they will astound you in new ways all along the way.

Xxx
Thank you for your reply!

I can see how it seems like it has been forever. I guess it is just that one day in particular that you sit down and realize that it has been 4 years (or however many). It is all so sad to me and I don't want it to be this way. I am a very proud papa. I love seeing them grow up and how smart they are, I guess I just don't like the growing up part :p. I have not ever felt this way in my entire life.
 
T

testudo

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
Hello and welcome to the forum. Reading your post just helped me see what a truly wonderful father you are. I so wish I had a dad like you. I think it is really hard when children grow up as things change and they do not need you as much but your children are still so young and you have so much joy to come and many lovely experiences.

Maybe therapy would help you come to terms with your low mood? I think it is worth considering as you sound very low right now. :hug:
Thank you.

Yes, I am lining up appointments right now. I used to go on a regular basis, but that was before I had surgery on my shoulder. Therapy was too far and too frequent to do both.
 
S

Stray

Guest
You sound such a great dad. I'm sorry you're struggling with these intense feelings. I too was going to ask if you are having therapy. I have c PTSD, but from different experiences, and wonder if this past experience is impacting on how much you are almost grieving these amazing times with your daughter, children, before they are over? I'm not qualified to say but I just know in my own small way, that I feel an intense love, that almost knocks me over, for my small nephews, for animals that I love, and it seems to come from a feeling of true connection after years where my brain shut off all emotional connection as a means of coping in the past, so that it is now overwhelming. May not be the case for you, sorry for mentioning if so. xx
 
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T

testudo

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
5
You sound such a great dad. I'm sorry you're struggling with these intense feelings. I too was going to ask if you are having therapy. I have c PTSD, but from different experiences, and wonder if this past experience is impacting on how much you are almost grieving these amazing times with your daughter, children, before they are over? I'm not qualified to say but I just know in my own small way, that I feel an intense love, that almost knocks me over, for my small nephews, for animals that I love, and it seems to come from a feeling of true connection after years where my brain shut off all emotional connection as a means of coping in the past, so that it is now overwhelming. May not be the case for you, sorry for mentioning if so. xx
Thank you.

You don't have to be sorry, at all. I really appreciate your response and input. Yeah, without going into too much detail, the experiences that really cause distress in my life come from what I have seen and been through..and one massive nexus has to do children (child, really). It is hard for me to think about and, in fact, I am crying as I right this.

The love for my children is a feeling that I didn't know I possessed. It is insane.
 
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G

Gforster1979

New member
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
1
Reading your message is like reading about myself. I too find the passing of time hard to deal with. I have 2 boys, 7 and 5 years old. I find that i get very low and depressed at every birthday, Christmas, school year, etc. I get an overwhelming feeling that I'm losing my boys with every passing day. I'm now at the point where i feel that I'm spoiling the joy of these events and my wifes enjoyment. I found that these feelings really started about 4 years ago when i lost my father who was only 57. A couple of years later my wife and i lost a little girl at 22 weeks of pregnancy and this devastated us. I am convinced that my feelings stem from not grieving these loses in the correct way. I feel that i now mourn everything. I know that I'm a very lucky man. 2 beautiful boys, a beautiful wife and a good career that i really enjoy. Therefore it feels more frustrating when i feel that i don't enjoy a single bit of it because i know it will pass and therefore i mourn it instead. Some mornings it's a real struggle to get out of bed and i can't bare the thought of being in the house alone. Does this sound familiar?

I know it's crazy to mourn the passing of time. My mother is right when she tells me that the alternative to my boys growing up is unthinkable. I absolutely agree.

i think that what we feel is very common. I just think some have trauma in their lives that makes it go in to overdrive. i can't imagine what you must have been through and i won't try to. One thing for sure is that you sound like an amazing dad. It's being an amazing dad that is making you so sad.

My own father never changed in my eyes from the earliest time i can remember up to this point, despite losing him. I still chat with him in my mind and think about him everyday. Our children will be the same because of the amount of love they get. They will always need us and we will always be their fathers. That's an amazing thing. I still need my dad right now whilst writing this. This is what i tell myself on a rational day.

Keep your chin up buddy and seek the help you need. I'm in the process of looking for help and it gives me hope.

Take care
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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Messages
17,160
hello and welcome to Parenthood :hug:
 
Z

zii73

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1
Hi Testudo, I know your original post was from quite some time ago but I was wondering how you are feeling? I am struggling a lot with the same thing at the moment. My son has just started Kindergarten and I can't deal with him growing up. It hurts..! I cry a lot and have seeked help, which does help sometimes but once I start thinking about my boy, the feelings keep coming back. Please tell me it gets better.
 
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