New baby but not feeling like a mum

(33 Posts)

I'm feeling really down and need to get it off my chest and see if anyone else felt this way?

We brought a baby home a few weeks ago. We love him so so much but I dont feel like his "mum". I feel like a fraud. I look at him and want to protect him but I also feel like there is a distance between us. That I am faking it so that he doesnt pick up on this.

Today I really struggled. It was hard getting him to sleep for his nap (even though he was tired) and I ended up crying outside his room afterwards feeling guilty. I feel as if because we had wanted this so long, I should be grateful for every moment when in reality there are times I cant wait for his nap time just to have a break. He is a very clingy baby, understandably from what he has been through, and I want to give him all the love, cuddles and reassurance I can but if it was his way he would be attached to me 24 hours which feels so overwhelming. Again making me feel guilty.

I feel like I am supposed to have overwhelming motherly love for him, know his every need and be grateful we got here which when I think straight I know is completely unachievable but when I'm down it gets to me.

I asked our social worker if there were any support groups with other adoptive parents but its dismissed as something not that important. I have been put in touch with one lovely adoptive parent but I dont want to rely on her. I'd really like a group to go to with others mothers in the same position. I joined a baby group today which Im sure will be nice and supportive but its not the same as talking to people who have been there and might understand these feelings with me. I feel so alone

Am I the only one who felt this way after placement? Please tell me it got better for you? When did you start to feel like a "mother"?

ShineSmile Wed 25-Jun-14 00:16:26

Honestly OP, every mother feels that way about three naps, don't feel guilty!

My DD is 1, I love her to bits but gosh I am so happy when she takes a nap, I finally get some peace! Motherhood is hard work, especially with a demanding baby, but it will get easier.

dibly Wed 25-Jun-14 09:46:36

We're off to matching panel next month, so not quite there yet. But just picking up what you said about local support groups, where abouts are you based? (PM if you prefer) We're in the Northwest, and would be happy to meet up if it's near.

prumarth Wed 25-Jun-14 16:25:05

Hi Mrs giggles, I hope you are ok? Just wanted to say - I'm also a new adopter and its bloody hard work! I agree and empathise with your frustrations - I think the key is just to keep pushing through the tough first few weeks and that it does get better and feel more natural. I posted last week with a similar exhausted panic and already it's getting better for us. Try to give yourself time and don't feel pressure to feel "things" - love comes in different forms and different ways for all of us. Nap time here is almost up so I can't say much more but I am thinking of you!

fasparent Wed 25-Jun-14 18:51:24

My two cry in tandem think they try too out do each other, nap time was in the park today flask of coffee some nibbles and a good book was bliss, met some other mums too, so some nice chats .

violetlights Wed 25-Jun-14 19:26:37

Oh OP you sound like a lovely very normal mother. Again, I haven't adopted but I could have written exactly what you have with my DS. I didn't feel like a mother for many months (although I felt very protective of him) and still sometimes find it hard to believe I'm a mother 20 months on! smile

And virtually every mother I know is desperate for nap time, especially when they are younger. (I'm still in tears if my toddler refuses to nap because I'm bloomin' tired!) There's no reasoning with the little blighters!

Some babies (all babies??) are just hard work. And it's very normal for some to be clingy 24/7 - it probably has nothing to do with his history but just to do with the fact he's a baby. (Remember babies are very good at living in the now. Learn from him and forget his history. I found it difficult to put aside my baby's history in terms of his traumatic birth - made me feel extra guilty about everything as I couldn't let go of how much he had 'suffered already'. I now realise he moved on straight away and I should have to). Please don't feel guilty about anything! You're doing a grand job and it'll get better week by week. flowers You will feel like a mother soon enough and you'll get more joy in your life than you can imagine. Hang in there.

GrubbyOldSock Wed 25-Jun-14 19:40:38

That feeling that you write about, that you are "supposed" to have? I had it after I gave birth and it's amazing. Everything just feels right and this is my baby. Unfortunately it was only after my third I had it hmm.

My first two? I remember just looking at dd and thinking who are you? When is your mother going to come and get you?

I think by the third child, I'd finally got my head around how this all actually works. So have heart that if you decide to adopt more you'll eventually figure it out grin hmm

in the mean time, you're doing a great job. Just remember that. Babies are exhausting and they suck everything you have out of you. BUt they are so worth it once the "feeling" kicks in.

Jenda Wed 25-Jun-14 22:15:03

OP just wanted to say I am sure you'll be a fab mum and you will get there! As a prospective future adopter I do some lurking round here and I dont think you can get better advice anywhere else!

Lilka, your post about your son made me weep at my desk blush

mineofuselessinformation Wed 25-Jun-14 22:24:58

Oh, you will get there! I've never adopted but know what hard work having a baby in your house can be.
You've waited so long for this....
Give yourself a break. Things are never perfect with a baby, you will learn to 'roll with the punches' so to speak.
You will get to know your baby, and they will get to know you - the same as any other mum and baby on this planet.
You have done something wonderful. Rest when you can, accept help where it's offered.
Sending you all my best wishes, OP, not that you need them.
The day when your baby gives you that smile, or lets you know it's you that they want will be worth all of the heartache.

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