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DP making me feel like a rubbish mum

(63 Posts)
stressednewmama Thu 22-Nov-12 23:16:41

I am a first time mum and my little boy is only a week old so I'm not sure if I'm just being over emotional but DP unintentionally is making me feel like a crap mum.

A few things he has said and done have really upset me. For example when I was trying to bottle feed him a little while ago he looked at me and shook his head. When I asked what was wrong he said 'You. You've got a lot to learn'. When I asked what he meant by it he told me I was holding him wrong. He then carried on criticising me til I handed the baby over to him.

Other times he has joked that he's the mummy and I'm the daddy. I don't think he realises but that really hurts. I already feel like he has bonded with DS more than I have and that little comment compounds it.

I'm sure there are more examples but you get the gist. Not sure what advice I'm expecting. Just needed a rant I think. sad

Reading it back I'm probably overreacting

LastMangoInParis Thu 22-Nov-12 23:21:59

And how does DP respond when you tell him that he's undermining your confidence and upsetting you?

LittleEdie Thu 22-Nov-12 23:24:17

My DH did this sort of thing and still does it. DD is now 4. It's a major part of why I think we're going to split up. It feels horrible to be undermined like this.

tribpot Thu 22-Nov-12 23:27:07

Does he have other children? If not, how the hell would he know better than you how to hold the baby? And even if he did, why should he tell you you're doing it wrong in such a patronising and belittling way?

Why do you feel he's bonded with DS more than you have?

NeverMindOhWell Thu 22-Nov-12 23:27:59

Has DP had other children? How does he know his way is the "right" way? Either way, you've had a week of motherhood and probably feel as though your world's been turned upside down, so it is not pleasant to have anyone tell you you're getting it wrong. You say you don't think he realises it hurts - tell him. If he cares about you he will stop with these comments.

goralka Thu 22-Nov-12 23:35:03

he sounds horribly undermining - tell him to shut it with the mummy/daddy thing.
As for the head shaking - what a tosser.
He should be giving you support and confidence not this.

TwinkleReturns Thu 22-Nov-12 23:37:58

I had this with my ex - for me it was the tip of an iceberg of really nasty emotional abuse and I dont know what the rest of your relationship is like. I can tell you what I wish I had done.

Tell him (full eye contact assertive and strong) that you do not wish to be spoken to in such a patronising and condescending way.
Tell him that you want his support and if he cant give it he needs to back off
Tell him you want some time alone with your baby, take DS up to bed, shut the door and just "be". If he comes in and starts making comments, trying to join in etc just state "No I want this time alone with DS, I need to rest and recover" End of.

Its not just that hes being a twat its the language hes using - how utterly disrespectful to shake your head at your partner like that and use such a patronising a vile phrase. Right now you are vulnerable and feeling it. You need to make sure he stops trampling all over you and backs off - do not make the mistake I did and allow him to ruin these early days with your baby. I can never get back the time I lost with DD due to my ex and it breaks my heart.

themaltesecat Fri 23-Nov-12 00:09:58

Your baby wants you! You are his mum and, though men's rights activists would have it otherwise, tiny babies just want to be close to their mothers, whose heartbeat and smell and voice have been with them since before memory began in utero.

"Bonding" is a load of bollocks. The baby needs you and loves you. When he gets his first little cold (God forbid!), it WILL be you he wants to cuddle up with.

Your so-called partner is an idiot. The mummy / daddy thing? What a weirdo.

Also- I had every bloody midwife I ever met tell me off for following the advice of the previous one. Everyone tells you you're doing it wrong, especially if you're younger (under 30). To hell with them. In four or five or six weeks he'll smile at you, his beautiful mum, and you'll really start realising that everyone apart from him can just bugger off.

Your baby is a week old. He was inside you for 9 months. I think he might be a teeny tiny bit attached to you. You have to have belief in your inner mother and tell your 'D'P how much this hurts and to stop doing it.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 23-Nov-12 00:17:07

A week after having a baby he's doing this to you?

This is emotional abuse.

What you need from your child's father, is support and love.

Any man who needs that explaining, is a piss-poor example of a man.

I'm so sorry you've got one like this.

I know it's only one small snapshot, but it is a really appalling view of your life. This man is behaving appallingly.

I don't know what you can do about his behaviour, having a week old baby is an incredibly vulnerable time, but you need to know that his behaviour is wrong and shit and don't let anyone tell you you're overreacting. You're not, he is absolutely out of order.

duchesse Fri 23-Nov-12 00:19:56

He's being an arse. Not the best timing but you need to have a discussion about it- he needs to know he's being a shit-head.

StuntGirl Fri 23-Nov-12 00:41:40

You're not over reacting at all. He being, as duchesse so delightfully described it, a shit head.

You need to tell him outright that his behaviour is unacceptable. And don't let his shitty patronising claptrap get to you.

Narked Fri 23-Nov-12 00:59:07

Arse. I think he needs reminding that for the past 40 weeks his input was about a teaspoon's worth. You've been looking after your DS for 9 months without any of his input, and less than 8 days ago you pushed him out. You are emotionally and physically drained, with hormones all over the place, and probably dealing with enough shit without him adding to it.

The next time he starts, tell him it's upsetting you and ignore him. Carry on and find your own way of doing things. It's good that he's hands on and involved with looking after his baby. It's great that he's bonding well. It's not ok that he's chipping away at your confidence when you are at your most vulnerable.

You will be fine, honestly. You'll get into the flow of it.

ErikNorseman Fri 23-Nov-12 07:02:53

What a nasty bastard.

AThingInYourLife Fri 23-Nov-12 07:18:54

Nasty bastard x2

Lovingfreedom Fri 23-Nov-12 07:38:17

So....a week after you've given birth to your son, your DP is more like the mummy? WTF????
Well OK, it's not going to be possible for him to experience the joys of pregnancy and childbirth. I'd be tempted to give him a taster though.
Shove a coconut as far up his arse as it will go...let him experience the natural birth of that...

Honestly...you can do without your DP being such an idiot a a time like this. You are not over-reacting. Get him on technical duties - sterilising, washing clothes, cooking etc - which he is probably great at too. You concentrate on the 'easy' stuff....like cuddling your baby, trying to get a bit of sleep, recovering from the birth and learning how your baby likes his bottle (they are all a bit different).

Longdistance Fri 23-Nov-12 07:48:39

Nasty bastard x3!

Chandon Fri 23-Nov-12 07:51:46

Wtf do people choose suche arsehoke partners, that is the bit I will never understand

mammadiggingdeep Fri 23-Nov-12 07:55:16

Firstly, a huge congratulations! You're a mummy! smile secondly, your post made me feel like your dp might be having a touch of the green eyed monster....jealous of you and your beautiful new baby- perhaps he is actually feeling put out at how well you're doing/happy you are and is trying to burst your bubble. Don't let him!!! You just remember that your ds needs nobody but you at the moment- you are his world. This time is so precious, don't let an idiot ruin it for you. Next time he says anything designed to put you down, tell him you won't stand for nasty/unhelpful comments and you are his mummy and you know best. End of. Congratulations again x

WaitingForMe Fri 23-Nov-12 07:56:19

They don't tend to demonstrate that behaviour on a first date you know hmm

mammadiggingdeep Fri 23-Nov-12 07:57:29

Haha....lovingfreedom....LOVE the coconut idea...although let's go with a watermelon smile

x4 i'm afraid.

stand up for yourself without stressing yourself. a simple comment, 'stop undermining me', for example can be said clearly and firmly.

have a nice day curled up with baby and hanging out. i think half of what's called 'bonding' is actually working out your relationship and how best to fit in around each other and get into a groove. the more stressed you are or the more other people are stressing you or getting in the way of that the longer it takes. if you are confident, believe in yourself and trust that the way that works for you and your baby is the best way you'll soon find your feet. hope that makes sense.

for me i was single and it was just me and ds so it was very easy to find our groove. i often wonder how the hell people cope with partners being difficult in the mix of those early days.

Aspiemum2 Fri 23-Nov-12 08:00:49

Because Chandon they don't show their inner bastard at first, which is why the outside world often sees the abuser as lovely angry

Agree that his behaviour is nasty, also agree that he might be jealous that he isn't the centre of your world. Mostly though I think he's a bastard

Congratulations on your baby boy, don't let anyone take him off you though - if you are feeding him then don't allow anyone else to take over no matter what they say/who they are. Pretty sure you must be able to feed him as he's already a week old!

Pickles77 Fri 23-Nov-12 08:03:25

Chandon, that's not very nice. hmm

They don't tend to show their true colours until its too late.

Op sending unmumsnetty hugs your way

diddl Fri 23-Nov-12 08:10:54

Yup he sounds abusive & it doesn´t sound unintentional.

All he needs to say for example is-baby doesn´t look comfortable/perhaps you should hold his head up a bit.

Strawhatpirate Fri 23-Nov-12 08:17:20

What was he like before baby ds was born? Nasty bastard x5

Sariska Fri 23-Nov-12 08:18:21

X5. You're not overreacting.

A few years ago a friend of mine was in a similar situation, albeit with a toxic MIL in the same house to deal with as well. She moved in with her parents when her baby was 6 weeks old and has never regretted it. Her DD (now 7) has a relationship with her Dad but friend does not. Which is how she likes it.

Anyway, good luck and congratulations.

TwinkleReturns Fri 23-Nov-12 09:21:08

Chandon its the nasty nice cycle. Abusive men who walked around being abusive all the time would be given a wide berth by all and sundry. It would be like dropping a frog in a pan of boiling water; the frog would quite sensibly jump straight back out. So abusive men are often very charismatic, very charming, say I love you quickly, make you feel incredibly special and wanted. They drop a frog into cold water and heat it very very slowly. So slowly that frog doesnt notice the water warming; abuse almost always starts with EA or controlling behaviours that you cant be sure are abuse. It really escalates when you are in a vulnerable state hence why so many women start to realise something is wrong when pregnant or following childbirth as this is one of the most vulnerable times for women.

It is something you might benefit from reading up on. Theres a wealth of information out there if you look for it.

NicknameTaken Fri 23-Nov-12 10:12:59

Horrible behaviour. A decent man supports you, not undermines you. As with Twinkle, mine did this as part of a wider pattern of emotional abuse. He tried to stop me breastfeeding because he claimed I was not giving dd enough milk to satisfy her, even though she gained weight steadily from birth. Jealousy definitely played a role - he was no longer the main focus of attention and he couldn't stand it.

I'm not saying you have to walk out the door straightaway (although I wouldn't blame you), but you need to take a cold, hard look at his overall behaviour. It's hard to think straight with a new baby when you're sleep-deprived, so if you can, keep a diary for yourself, or use Mumsnet to look for feedback every time he says or does something that concerns you. This could be the sign of worse behaviour to come.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 23-Nov-12 10:25:48

Put your foot down now and develop a 'look'. I'm sure he'll back off xxxx
Congratulations btw

Leverette Fri 23-Nov-12 10:27:50

Does he insist on being there when your midwife visits? Does he put on a good show of being happy and supportive for those appointments?

Start documenting it.

What happens if you say you want to speak with midwife privately?

Is he on paternity leave and due to go back to work soon?

He's doing a very nasty job at attacking your self confidence and happiness, which I am sorry to say makes him an enemy to your well being.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 23-Nov-12 12:20:00

What a patronising, miserable knob. And I bet this superior, condescending attitude is not isolated to your mothering skills.... I expect he tells you you're rubbish at other things as well. Sorry you're saddled with this arsehole.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 23-Nov-12 12:21:05

BTW... there's nothing 'unintentional' about it.

MooncupGoddess Fri 23-Nov-12 13:20:58

Ugh. Have you tried addressing it directly, e.g. 'Are you trying to make me feel shit?' These sort of people thrive on sly indirectness.

(Also, in the unlikely but possible situation that he is just being tactless, this will make him realise how insensitively he's behaving.)

NatashaBee Fri 23-Nov-12 13:26:08

He sounds awful. Does he go back to work soon?

Anniegetyourgun Fri 23-Nov-12 13:28:37

Is he actively trying to interfere with your bonding or what? Nip this in the bud straight away. About the only excuse I can think to make for him is that he wants to hold the baby himself so uses the "you're doing it all wrong, let me" as an excuse. But that doesn't really work, as there are nicer ways of doing it (like, for example, saying "I'd like to hold the baby", radical though that may sound!).

I bet you're holding it just fine, anyway.

Leverette Fri 23-Nov-12 13:30:07

Agree this is definitely intentional.

He's establishing a position of control within your family and relationship, by making you feel bad, weak, inadequate, not as good as him etc.

Has he been like this before about other things pre-DC?

AbigailAdams Fri 23-Nov-12 13:35:15

Totally intentional behaviour on his part. Really really nasty. Agree with Annie - I bet you are holding her absolutely fine (babies tend to make it known when they aren't being held properly!)

Does he help out with her? As in get up in the night, change nappies, do the washing, cook dinner, tidy up?

are you still out there OP? how are you feeling in light of the fairly unanimous responses?

mammadiggingdeep Fri 23-Nov-12 21:44:53

How are you op? Hope you're ok xx

ImperialBlether Sat 24-Nov-12 12:21:17

OP, to your baby, you are everything. You're his world, everything he's known.

You need time alone with the baby. Talk to him a lot, tell him what you're doing, what you're feeling. Tell him you love him. Stroke the baby and talk to him in a gentle voice. Hold him close against you, with his head on your chest, so that he can hear the familiar sound of your heartbeat. When he's awake, look at him and watch him try to focus. Hold your face against his and whisper to him.

Don't let this bastard prevent you from bonding with your child.

ThreeTomatoes Sat 24-Nov-12 12:38:34

fwiw, you know what, women's arms are actually designed differently to men's, in order to be able to hold a baby comfortably, men's arms bend in a different way that is actually a bit awkward for holding baby in the traditional way. true, dat, although i can't find any evidence online of this!! I think my mum told me. But seriously, try to watch a man holding a baby, on its back, in the crook of his arm, it's awkward!

In any case, he's talking utter shite.

Kundry Sat 24-Nov-12 12:59:27

Sorry but your mum was making it up about men's arms - however the Op's partner is still a shit.

Hope you're OK OP, could you talk to your midwife or health visitor privately about this?

Lovingfreedom Sat 24-Nov-12 13:38:45

Lol....my mum told me that men's arms are specifically designed for killing deer, taking out bins and masturbation. Tell the nasty git to get busy with one of those and leave you alone. Xx

ThreeTomatoes Sat 24-Nov-12 17:41:45

It might not have been my mum. It sounds like nonsense, but keep an eye out, you'll see what i mean. It doesn't mean they can't hold and cuddle babies of course. My male friends with children tended to hold babies in a different way, not curved on their backs in the crooks of their arms, but say on their tummy along their arm, or over their shoulder, or resting on chest, etc. You rarely see men holding babies in the crook of the arm. Am i just talking completely nonsense? grin

Anyway it's digressing from the OP - OP it sounds like your DP is on a mission to really undermine you and make you feel shit from the outset. sad Is he on paternity leave atm and do you have ML planned for yourself? If he's returning to work, don't worry before long you'll be the one with the upper hand wink

stressednewmama Sat 24-Nov-12 19:49:34

Yes he's back at work in a few days. Didn't get a chance to talk to the midwife today because he was here.

I told him I didn't like the comments he makes and that they upset me. He said he didn't realise and they were only meant as a joke. Then the next day he said exactly the same thing again hmm sad

Leverette Sun 25-Nov-12 08:52:56

That old chestnut.....so he can criticise you for not being able to take a joke.

He knows full well what he's doing.

Have a look at the emotional abuse thread - the links at the beginning.

Leverette Sun 25-Nov-12 08:54:03
Grumpla Sun 25-Nov-12 09:04:34

You've had a lot of good advice already and obviously a few days in is not the moment to be assessing your future with this man - but file this away to think about when you are stronger.

And believe me you will get stronger. Nothing like having a baby for that! smile

In the meantime treasure these first few days with your baby. You are your baby's whole world right now. You need to be tucked up in bed together gazing, feeding and loving each other.

And one day soon you can think about the kind of person who sees a mum with her new baby and instead of bursting with love and pride decides to choose that moment to stomp all over her feelings.

I think the only kind of person who would do that is a right fucking cunt, personally.

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 09:07:26

I imagine you are (understandably) fragile so maybe taking things too much to heart. We all know how BLUNT men can be in saying what they think are innocuous factual statements. And the mummy-daddy thing would just sound like a silly joke to me.

I hope you can find a way to help him realise how you're hearing & feeling his comments.

MonthlyAFIWish Sun 25-Nov-12 09:14:46

Nasty bastard x 7
Try and contact the midwife/hv saying you need to speak to her alone, tell her everything you have told us.

Agree you are feeding him perfectly as he has survived 7 days.

Leverette Sun 25-Nov-12 09:18:00

lljkk - he's been told already, denied responsibility "it's a joke", and did it again. A non-abusive person would be mortified that they'd hurt the feelings of their loved one, especially about something so important as care of the new baby, and make sure they didn't do it again!

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 09:24:42

It seems to me like OP has written precious little to base that on.

Snazzyfeelingfestive Sun 25-Nov-12 09:33:21

He has been told. Remind him next time. 'I told you I didn't like you undermining me, so why are you doing it again?' Then tell him something he can do to genuinely help, eg clean bottles, put a load of washing on, make you a cup of tea. He's not the expert any more than you are - you are both learning. And the first few weeks should be his time to be fully supportive and not criticise.

Sioda Sun 25-Nov-12 09:59:10

Sorry OP that's so callous of him. When my dd was born I worried about doing things wrong too and used to wonder if she didn't 'like' me because she took forever to make eye contact and smile. My mum could make her laugh much better than me so I did get a bit paranoid that I was a crap mum. I think that's pretty normal<hopefully>. Those first few weeks are so hard. It really does get better. She's 6 months now, things are so much easier and I don't worry about bonding anymore! She laughs and smiles and looks to check with me when she's worried about somethingsmile You'll get there too. I can't imagine dealing with those feelings when the person who's supposed to be most supportive of you is criticizing you instead and joking about baby being closer to him than you. Any normal person wouldn't dream of doing that. He's not your teacher he's your partner. Nasty bastard X 8.

Ignore lljkk and anyone else who comes out with sexist crap about poor men and their innocent facts and BLUNTNESS being taken up wrong by their hormonal hysterical wimmins... Posters like that haven't read what you posted because they don't care what you said. They just have an agenda and they like to SHOUT about it.

LaCiccolina Sun 25-Nov-12 10:15:34

If feeling very brave show him the thread. U have unanimous support here don't u? He's actually jealous I'd bet. This is a childish way of getting back at u because ur not his exclusive. Men do get weird around a newborn when they realise the time they take up.

Don't pander to it, or make excuses. Tell him u won't b spoken to like this. He's behaving like a child.

Aspiemum2 Sun 25-Nov-12 11:00:25

Seriously lljkk??? He undermined her until she handed over her son and made her feel like she was not capable of feeding her own baby and your answer is that she's taken it the wrong way?? A loving and considerate man would never treat the mother of his child that way.

Those first weeks are nerve wracking and hard enough without constantly feeling you are under scrutiny and the OP said quite enough to ascertain that this is precisely how she feels.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 25-Nov-12 15:25:01

lljkk is obviously a rabid man-hater who thinks men are too neanderthal to be able to communicate properly with the women they love.

Ignore.

Your man is perfectly capable of grasping how to communicate in a reasonable fashion with a woman he claims he loves who has given birth to his baby.

If he doesn't do it, unless he has a diagnosed or diagnosable condition, it's because he chooses not to.

Men are not inferior to women, they're perfectly able to function as human beings, not fucking monkeys.

it's amazing how many male poets and authors and artists there are given they're apparently incapable of subtlety and can only communicate like blunt, emotionally inarticulate imbeciles according to some confused

OP stay firm. you're not over reacting or anything of the kind. he is hurting you - you have every right to tell him and to expect him to give a shit and stop doing it. if he doesn't there are bigger worries in your house than the correct way to hold a baby to feed it.

lljkk Sun 25-Nov-12 17:13:30

I think that is quite possibly the weirdest thing I have ever read on MN.

Sure, go ahead OP, LEAVE the Bastard on the advice of what a bunch of strangers thought after readeing 300 words you wrote on the Internet. <<Nods Sagely>>. I'm sure that's a wise course of action.

FastidiaBlueberry Sun 25-Nov-12 17:18:03

Has anyone said "Leave the Bastard"?

Sioda Sun 25-Nov-12 17:33:28

It doesn't care what anyone said Fastidia. It just wants to SHOUT some more. Ignore...

Narked Sun 25-Nov-12 18:14:37

I hope you can find a way to help him realise how you're hearing & feeling his comments.

How might she do that? By telling him perhaps?

I told him I didn't like the comments he makes and that they upset me. He said he didn't realise and they were only meant as a joke. Then the next day he said exactly the same thing again

The OP posted that. The day before you made your comment hmm

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