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Oh god have I damaged DD forever?

(75 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:44:46

We have an 8 week old DD and it has been tough, no more so than anyone else coping with a newborn but tough.
DH and I have just had a screaming row right in front of her while she cried.
I feel physically sick with guilt.
It was a stupid row, I was trying to sleep after a bad night and DH was 'looking after' her... I know I am being unreasonable but he was not doing a stellar job, she woke up and was crying and for some unknown reason he decided to suddenly sterilise a load of dummies rather than just pour boiling water over one and give it to her to soothe her. I had managed fifteen mins sleep and all I could hear was wailing from the kitchen, he wasn't even talking to her, just waiting for the steriliser to finish. He is a good DH but I think he has no real instinct at the moment for the difficult moments of fatherhood.
I charged downstairs criticising him,I know it was unhelpful but I was just so desperate for a sleep and I couldn't believe he had only managed fifteen mins with her. He obviously felt defensive because he screamed at me which isn't something he normally does. I screamed back and whacked him on the arm sad
I am ashamed of myself and feel sick. Poor little DD she was crying even more.
I always swore we would not row in front of her, my parents did it a lot and it is frightening.
We have a great relationship usually but this is taking its toll. I just want to feel I can rely on him so that I can get the occasional bit of extra sleep, I am struggling with DD in the week as I am so tired.
Have I damaged poor little DD permanently? What can I do to make it ok for her?
DH has taken her off for a walk in pram which I think was the right thing to do to calm us all down
I can't possibly sleep now, I am scared of what impact this has had and am scared we will do it again and frighten her even more.
Sorry for rambling, am in a bit of a state here.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 05-May-13 15:48:12

Your dd will be fine, and completely unaffected.

But if you have been reduced to hitting your husband, your marriage might not be.

I think you should be thinking about that more than anything else tbh. A certain amount of unreasonableness is allowed when you are sleep deprived with a small baby, but you crossed a line there.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 05-May-13 15:48:33

No you haven't. If this were a regular thing throughout her childhood then yes you would, but a one off sleep deprived fight isn't going to ruin her.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Calm down and go and have a sleep. When you've had a nap you and your DP can apologise to each other for over reacting. It is difficult to let someone else do things with your child as you do feel like they are doing it wrong. You have to get past this. Even if she was crying whilst he was sorting dummies, its ok, it's not going to hurt her.

Please try and get some sleep smile

MajorBumsore Sun 05-May-13 15:49:27

It's fine, please don't beat yourself up. If it continues to happen, then start to worry, but we've all been there at the beginning, when terribly sleep deprived and unsure of what we are doing.
Get some rest, deep breath and start again when they're back.

GiveMumABreak Sun 05-May-13 15:50:43

You ave not damaged your DD for life! It happens, you'll do better next time. Rationally explain to DH how you feel, apologise for your outburst and....try to get some sleep it sounds like you need it wink

perplexedpirate Sun 05-May-13 15:51:38

She is eight weeks old! She will remember NOTHING of this.
DH and I had some corking rows in the newborn months. It's part of the reason we're only having one.
Get some sleep now, things will look so much better when you wake up, and then have some snuggle time with DC and DH.
And cut yourself some slack!

LadyVoldemort Sun 05-May-13 15:52:55

She'll be fine! And this probably won't be the last argument you have in front of her you know. As much as we all want to bicker and argue privately you don't always have that choice with kids around.

You're both going through a tough time right now, give yourself a break. Calm down, get some sleep or even just lay still and relax while he is out. When your DD gets back you can make it up to her by having some extra squooshy family cuddles smile

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:56:17

Yes you're right I definitely crossed a line sad I know that wasn't ok.

I am utterly ashamed of myself.

Ashamed of DH too for starting the screaming.

I shouldn't have criticised him, he was doing his best but it was just so frustrating as I had literally just dropped off.

I feel I make a tiny but of headway with DD in the week, I am knackers but she seems to start to settle.

At the w/e I feel that DH is too adult-centred, he adores her but doesn't seem to realise that her needs are paramount, he hopes she can fit in with our routines rather than the other way around. I worry that this unsettles her. When I tell DH this he just gets defensive and I am too tired to keep explaining in a way that will make him listen.

I can't believe we have just behaved this way in front of her. I am horrified.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:57:53

Thanks for reassurance everyone.
I will try to make things ok when they come back.
This has just been a shitty week tbh.

Notafoodbabyanymore Sun 05-May-13 15:57:53

I reckon most new parents have found themselves in very similar situations, please don't worry. Your lovely baby will not remember this at all, nor will she be scarred for life.

Use this as a good opportunity to talk through some of the differences in your parenting styles and ideas for conflict resolution in future so it doesn't become a habit. Obviously wait until your both calm to have that conversation!

And go easy on yourself and your dh. Having a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting and you will both make mistakes. Nobody's perfect, and your dd will be ok as long as she knows she's loved.

brew Try to get some rest.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 05-May-13 15:58:42

Your dd won't remember. The first weeks are a teeny part of motherhood. You got this wrong - DH got the dummy stuff wrong. Next time make sure there is a sterilised dummy in the fridge at least he was sterilising them - my DH wd have run it under the tap and I'd have been none the wiser (seems to recall ds surviving a bottle made in an unsterilised bottle and with tap water at that stage). As ds wd say now "chill ur bean mum"

All will be well - we all make mistakes.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:00:57

Thing is we are quite a bickery couple but we have been v v happily together for years and years and (honestly!!) have a great relationship. Bickering in front of her probably isn't great either so I do know we should work on that. It is a bad habit we have got into over the years. Screaming rows are just not ok though.

NaturalBaby Sun 05-May-13 16:01:30

You are both at the end of your tether and I very much doubt that it will be the last time you both scream and shout at each other in front of your DD. You have not damaged her forever, but you do need to support each other and be kind to each other.

When I'm at my wits end I do stuff like that - instead of stopping my dc's from arguing and fighting at bedtime I end up sorting the recycling downstairs then taking it out on DH the minute he gets home from work. Parenting is not glamorous, it'll bring out the very worst in you both, put your feet up and get some rest while you can!

GiveMumABreak Sun 05-May-13 16:02:21

It gets easier i promise flowers

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:04:24

NaturalBaby thank you, but the physical part scared me, I have a vision of poor DD seeing me hit her dad and I just feel awful. Ugh. I can't shake off how ugly it must have looked. I am trying so hard to give her a calm and relaxed little life. It is the thing that matters most to me and then I go and do the opposite sad

squiddle Sun 05-May-13 16:04:49

Oh OP, don't be horrified. My kids are 9 and 5 so it's been years since I realised I wasn't the perfect parent I'd imagined I would be. I have broken pretty much all my rules at one time or another... Mostly when tired and stressed. You and your dh are learning to be parents and it is tough. The odd screaming match or whack on the arm from you isn't going to affect your dd, honestly. And crying for her dummy isn't that big a deal - I never left mine to cry and always picked them up when distressed but there were times when for one reason or another they ended up screaming. It's the majority of your parenting that counts not the odd moment. And you sound like you are doing your best to love, cherish and care for your baby which is what really matters.

countryhousehotel Sun 05-May-13 16:06:39

She will be fine. DH and I had many rows like that when our first DC was born. I remember similar rows (when I was trying to catch up on sleep and she would just scream the house down in the other room, i would literally accuse DH of neglecting her or doing it on purpose to disturb my rest). It DOES get better and you will start coping better. Maybe ask him to take her out for a walk in the pram next time you need to sleep?

Nope, love her up she will be fine, she will love you unconditionally and you will work things out. She was just scared.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:07:12

Thanks sqiddle.
I just want them to come home now so I can cuddle her and apologise.

badbelinda Sun 05-May-13 16:08:36

Cut yourself some slack, you're knackered and DD is only 8wks old. But cut DH some slack too. As you say he's not doing it all week like you so he doesn't know your routines. He may have been panicking a bit and not thinking straight, faced with a screaming baby, but sometimes you've got to let Dads find their own way of doing things. If you keep telling him he's getting it wrong it will knock his confidence and he may just revert to letting you get on with it as a safer option (I've seen this happen with a few friends). As for arguing in front of DD - my parents never argued in front of us to the extent that I truly believed they never argued at all (which I'm sure now can't have been true) but it meant when I had my 1st argument with DH I thought it was the end of the relationship. If you can try and keep it from getting too out of hand and let DD see you can apologise and make up, especially when she's a bit older, I don't think you'll be doing her any harm.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:08:55

spoony, that's why I feel so terrible, I grew up scared of my mum because she was so unstable. I can't bear the thought that I have scared a tiny eight week old because I couldn't control myself

LEMisdisappointed Sun 05-May-13 16:10:05

Look, you are knackered, your DH is knackered - you have a new baby and its a massive shock to the system. You haven't had time to adjust to the sleep loss yet - its bound to be fraught. I'm sure she will have been distressed by the shouting, but its over and done with - i wouldn't make a big thing of it to be honest. Just write it off and move on. Then when you are calmer, talk about how you both like to do things - He probably just wanted to make sure the dummy was clean and wasn't thinking straight. It also wont hurt your DD to cry for a bit, not too long, i am not a fan of cry it out or anything like that but you have to remember that crying is the only form of expression a baby really has, they may not be as distraught as we think they are.

countryhousehotel Sun 05-May-13 16:10:50

emeraldgirl1 DH read an article when DD was very small, after a series of terrible rows, about how it's not unhealthy for children to hear their parents argue, in fact conflict is healthy (to a degree, obvs) - the most important thing is that they see and hear you resolve the conflict, so I have had terrible rows with DH within hearing of DD but one of us usually swallows our pride and says sorry, we make a big thing to have a hug and make up in front of the DCs. These are just everyday disagreements that can escalate to shouting....it happens, we're all human. If you feel the urge to hit him ( i so know that feeling, i have kicked walls instead ) just walk away until you calm down.

poozlepants Sun 05-May-13 16:13:42

She'll be fine. I doubt it will be the last time she hears a row.
You need to leave your DH to it. He may not be doing a stellar job but he'll cope. I found myself far too controlling in the early days. DH would do something wrong and DS would cry and I would feel I needed to sort it out. I didn't- I needed a pair of ear plugs and a sleep mask. I was so sleep deprived I was conviced if it was done right it was a disaster. I only realised when I saw other new Mums doing the same things and realised I had been a fecking idiot and should've just have let him get on with it.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:13:55

Thanks again everyone I so appreciate the advice. I logically know you are all correct but I can't shake off feeling dreadful.
I don't think I am going to feel better until I see her and cuddle her tbh.
I think DH and I need to be a bit kinder to each other.

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