Is this normal?

(62 Posts)
flippingebay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:48:54

After a week of introductions our 20 month old dd came home to stay..

Is it normal to feel utter UTTER panic? Burst into tears at a moments notic, panic I'll never bond with her??? I'm a mess and feel like I have the emotions of just given birth!

We have a 5 yr old birth dd and I even feel and cry over feeling guilty for her (even though she's been an absolute star)

Our new dd have really bonded with my DH and he's been brilliant ensuring he gives me time with dd and doesn't take over just because it's easier. But everything with me is either 'no' or tears and tantrums.,

Please be gentle with me hmm

Buster51 Mon 23-Dec-13 11:39:58

I still often find myself coming back to this post for reassurance, 7 weeks in now!

I have also got past the mad panic, depressive stage & now try to take each day as it comes. DH is back from forces leave & DS is admittedly more balanced with us both than he was before.

His issue is "closeness" "snuggles" "sitting side by side" he will actually say "mummy can you sit up" "mummy can you sit on the end of the sofa & me on your back" - he can sit on my knee or on my back but says "I don't like lying".

Perhaps this is more intimate for him? Or has never done this with a woman figure before? I do however find myself going crazy wondering why & how/if I should address it. I feel once he has 'cracked' being able to do that then he'll let me in more & more.

I have also noticed that every time he is out of routine/staying with family (granted only a few times) his behaviour is affected, he becomes distant or clingy! & wakes out of character in the night calling for me, but doesn't seem to actually 'enjoy' my comforting when there! But he does drop back off to sleep.

Any advice on this at all??

I realise this may come across as a small problem but it is still something that is always on my mind! Knowing if to act or not??

I couldn't thank these posts enough they help me feel more normal! smile

jamo1111 Fri 13-Dec-13 20:31:09

i felt very strange the first month I didn't have any feelings for the baby .then I put my self in his shoes and its all came together I would do anything that you can like cradle and sing to baby rock baby to sleep anything thay is bonding I did all these things and feeling started coming

flippingebay Mon 25-Nov-13 18:13:53

We had a bit of a family get together to celebrate an engagement recently, now I don't get on particularly well with my MIL, we tolerant each other, well who do you think DD2 has really taken to? Yep, you guessed it - her.

She was stuck like glue to her all evening, wanted to be picked up etc etc, at the end of the night I went to MIL to collect my DD and she wouldn't come back to me, tears and everything confused marvellous! They seem to know which person will really annoy you and zone in on them.. smile

flippingebay Mon 25-Nov-13 17:56:02

I must come back to this thread on a daily basis just to remind myself I don't have to look like those 'god awful' 'can you foster/adopt' posters they are sticking up everywhere.

I am pleased to announce that I'm past the mad panic stage (as you all said I would) and I'm now just taking one day at a time.

It's really helped that DH has gone back to work and I have a few hours on my own with her. I even get the odd giggle and laugh out of her. She still blatantly prefers my DH. The reaction he gets on his return is very loud and she runs up to him. Whereas I nipped out for a few hours on Sunday, when I walked through the door I got a minor glance lol. Yes, I do take it personally, but I'm starting to accept that's the way it is. DD1 prefers me and I've never really appreciated how hurtful it can be.

We have our first looked after review this week and I know they want to talk to us about submitting the court order, and this is what terrifies me now shock . It seems so final, but I always knew there'd be no going back anyway, but it's still scary. My DH seems to be taking it all in his stride - lucky bugger

Buster51 Mon 25-Nov-13 09:45:49

Kewcumber - yes DS didn't have a father figure around before he was placed in foster care, & since being with us he has never mentioned his foster dad either, so it could be that he has never ''been let down" by a man so he has no reservations in bonding with a man.
He lived with his (tummy mummy) as he now knows her, & a foster mum for two year, perhaps feelings of loyalties to her or being scared to attach in case I leave him too!

That being said he is much better during the week, sits on my knee & asks me to sit by him on his chair, this just stops as soon as DH is home (as mentioned above). He is very very comfortable with DH & could quite easily 'snuggle' etc for long periods of time.

X

Buster51 Mon 25-Nov-13 09:32:28

Aw thank you all, really helps a lot. DH has returned back to work for the week & DS is slowly starting to approach me again.
It's like when DH returns home he reverts back to how he was very early placement (very clingy & extremely distant from me). Although it is not as bad, he still seems to have his guard up suddenly with me. Mid-week when he is not around he sometimes even asks me to sit near him! So it is all very strange, we are unable to work out why he feels this way when DH is home at weekends.... It's almost like he feels it has to be one or the other, & goes to him as he is clearly more comfortable - I don't know??

I am just keeping my head high & trying to not let it get me down smile it is still very early days & he has came on so so well in that time.

I can't tell you how much it helps talking to others in similar situations smile

Lilka Mon 25-Nov-13 00:36:17

Maryz that's fantastic! Happy birthday! smile

Maryz Sun 24-Nov-13 23:51:58

He bought me a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate as well shock - he knows me well.

I'm thinking of starting a thread about it.

Devora Sun 24-Nov-13 23:50:32

Wow Maryz, that's great (and happy birthday) smile

irishe Sun 24-Nov-13 23:40:05

We have just passed our first anniversary of dd coming home and she still prefers DH! A recent example, I have just returned to p/t work, luckily dd appears to enjoy nursery (I still worry though, but I digress). DH and I both went to nursery to pick her up. Dd saw us coming in the door and came running over in excitement, I was in front of DH and bent down to pick her up, she dropped to her knees and literally crawled between my legs to get to DH! I must have been feeling resilient that day as even I laughed, along with every other adult in the room. . . .
It took months for dd to call me mummy and yet it was dada almost immediately (or so it felt). But despite my ongoing insecurities I have fallen hook, line and sinker for my little girl. I can still remember the morning I woke up and heard this little voice on the baby monitor calling "mama, mammy". I nearly vaulted out of the bed with excitement and shock, I think I had almost given up hope I would ever hear the words coming from dd. it felt so good!
I have taken a lot of comfort from speaking to friends with birth children who have all also felt rejected or at least felt the non favoured parent at times. I console myself that it is normal behaviour from toddlers. I also feel a lot of joy watching dd and DH play together. I am convinced my turn will come as dd gets older, and realises my chat is much better than dh's!
Which is a long way of saying, all your worries and emotions are normal.

Maryz Sun 24-Nov-13 23:01:06

[arf] at us all reassuring each other we are normal. It's all a bit "lunatics taking over the asylum" ish, isn't it grin.

As an aside, and on a good note, ds1 bought me a birthday card shock

Kewcumber Sun 24-Nov-13 22:57:26

Buster - if its any consolation DS wouldn't actually make eye contact with me for about 3 weeks - and I didn't even had a DH to compete against for attention! Way to go Junior, how to make your mother feel like a total loser!

My worry is I take it personally everytime, & I know I shouldn't. - well yes but that's because it is personal! DS seemed to understand for the outset that I was somehow different to all teh other random people he met and fought tooth and mail not to bond (IMO!), its almost like fighting against falling in love with someone because you know its going to make you vulnerable and the one thing almost all adopted children have already learnt is that shit things do actually happen, people you have bonded to leave and that it hurts.

It may be that because your DH is not around consistently in the week he doesn't feel that overwhelmed by him (if that makes sense) or maybe he hasn't ever bonded with a man before so is not so threatened by developing an emotional relationship with one - just speculating.

Anyway, knowing you shouldn't feel that way isn't really very relevant (though why on earth shouldn't you?!), what matters is that you are able to accept that the bonding and attachment process really does take time - months in my opinion. Marathon not a sprint and all that...

And be kind to yourself... its bloody weird being given a strange child and having to pretend they're yours for the best part of your waking day - its exhausting!

Lilka Sun 24-Nov-13 22:37:00

It took me a long time to feel love. Truly honestly, at first with my girls, there were days I disliked them. And not in the 'ever parent dislikes their child sometimes' way. There wasn't any love there, only bad feelings. First came protectiveness. Then came the slight change I can only describe as "I'm used to having you around now, I am struggling to remember the time before you moved in". Then came the time when I began to like having them around more often than I felt dislike and resentment. And so on and on. Till I didn't want them to leave. And then more time. And then I loved. And then more time. And I loved unconditionally.

I love the fact that this board is here, so you can say, and know there will be people reading who get it, how you are feeling. It's so normal to take a long while to bond.

Lilka Sun 24-Nov-13 22:31:40

Of course we did, we're very vicious vipers at that wink

You are 1000% guarunteed abolsutely normal, end of story

MyFeetAreCold Sun 24-Nov-13 22:23:48

Oh, thank god for you all and for this thread! Turns out I'm normal too! (And only a few weeks into placement.) You made me cry, you vipers.

Buster51 Sun 24-Nov-13 16:52:38

Reading through all of your comments has really helped me a lot. I am now 4 weeks into the adoption of our 4 yr old boy, & since my DH returned back to work our bond has got stronger (I think?!). That being said when he returns on weekends I/we take a step back (I feel this anyway). He has always been more comfortable with DH since day one, & when he returns he goes back to him constantly etc (I realise this is probably also an element of excited to see him). However, he is still yet to attatch to me in the same way. I have got as far as him being able to sit on my knee through a lot of play which is great progress.

My worry is I take it personally everytime, & I know I shouldn't. I just wondered how other mums have dealt with this as it does upset me sad advice is much appreciated smile

Maryz Sun 10-Nov-13 18:32:03

Did I ever tell you about our first family holiday with dd?

We had to cancel the holiday we had booked with ds when dd was placed (we got two days' notice, believe it or not, because the foster family were going on holidays). We hadn't been abroad for years, so when the final adoption order came through we booked a week in Tunisia, very cheap.

It was a night flight, she cried from the moment we got to the airport until the minute we got to the hotel.

Four of us jammed into a tiny hotel room. ds and I got d&v. dd cried every night, all night. We had to give her bottles to pacify her, and ran out of formula so we then had to give her half strength bottles at night.

(not to mention the freezing cold pool and revolting food)

She cried all the way home.

I told dh at least a dozen times every day that I had never wanted to have children anyway. I really, really resented her blush.

God, I did so many things wrong.

Kewcumber Sun 10-Nov-13 18:25:26

Good for you. The first time I took DS out once we were home - he was about 14 months and (obviously) still in a pram. I cried because it was a rear facing pram and the bloody wheels wouldn't go where I wanted them to! It was a bloody disaster and I howled for the 30 minutes we were out! So you're well ahead of me.

flippingebay Sun 10-Nov-13 18:11:24

We've just had our first proper day out as a family and I'm almost feeling human. DD2 was great and not at all grisly or grumpy and DD1 even managed to say 'it's not fair' when DD2 had something different which felt 'normal' smile

Last night was a real struggle with DD2 not going down or sleeping but DH insisted I saw to her and wouldn't even stay in the same room. It was bloody awful at the time but I think it's made a difference today and she even held my hand for a few minutes.

I'm clinging onto those few moments in a day when I'm feeling better and trying to remember them when it's not so good.

Thank you all for all your help and kind words, they really have made a massive difference

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 10-Nov-13 14:37:59

Ah, OP, frankly if you weren't feeling a bit overwhelmed at being a new parent again I'd say you weren't doing it properly wink

DD bonded with me quickly, but took much longer to get going with DH - probably because (unusUally) she was closest to her foster father rather than mother, so I was less of an obvious replacement, IYSWIM. Lots of games like tickling and peekaboo helped no end to help that bond along.

Maryz Sat 09-Nov-13 17:13:56

I used to bribe a bit too.

After the first few awful days I refused to let dh feed ds at all, working on the principle that if I was the only one who fed him he would eventually look at me.

Of course he didn't - he managed to look at the curtains, out the window, at the back of the chair, wherever he could hmm

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 09-Nov-13 15:44:19

Bribing sounds like a genius idea!

Hang on in there, I haven't adopted but have so much respect for those that have, it's not an easy ride and I can't believe people still think it is (except I can believe, as people think all sorts of stupid things!).

The people on this board are very wise and compassionate, great people to listen too.

flippingebay Sat 09-Nov-13 12:52:25

You're absolutely right Kew!

She's asleep at the moment, she's sleeping really well and a lot which I'm putting down to stress at the moment, but making the most of a few minutes peace.

I've been on my own with DD1 and DD2 this morning so we've had a trip to the park. A few tears from DD2 but I've put that down to being cold and tired. Everyone's words of wisdom on here I've been remembering which has really helped my sanity.

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 12:37:34

flippingebay - now you are in the know about why I roll my eyes when people have said to me "next time I'm doing it the easy way and adopting"! hmm

Maryz Sat 09-Nov-13 08:59:31

Oh, it's horrible.

ds's eyes used to follow dh, and when I picked him up they would slide away and he'd pull back - and he was only a baby sad

It's so hard, when you care so much and they seem not to give a shiney shite. But you just carry on, and it does ease a bit. It's very early days yet.

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