struggling to bond with DP's DD(7 Posts)
DP's DD is almost 5 and I've known her since she was 2. We took things slowly at first and waited a long time before I met her. We went out for a few trips together and then gradually I started going over DP's for a few hours when she was there. It was good then, I really enjoyed seeing her. But since moving in I've really struggled to bond with her. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety and find it so hard when I'm having a bad patch. A couple of times in the last few months I've pretty much slept the entire time she was here as I was feeling so bad with my depression. Now I feel like when she is here I can't bond with her. She's incredibly independent and she's a really lovely polite little girl. I want so badly to bond with her but I feel like I've killed any bond we did have by barely seeing her. She used to ask for me but now she doesn't any more. I feel so sad about this and I've no idea how to repair things. I'd hate for her to grow up thinking I don't care about her and didn't want to spend any time with her DP has her one night every week (but I'm out that night) and one overnight at the weekend and it feels like just as I get used to her being around she's gone again. I don't really know what I'm expecting from this post I'm just feeling really sad this evening about it all and know I need to do something about it but I don't know what.
It feels like it's got to the point now where even when I try she doesn't want to know. She has quite an early bed time (6 pm) and has just gone to bed now. She didn't even want to give me a hug before going to bed like she used to. She didn't even want to say good night, just hid behind her dad
Sto beating yourself up about it - relationships change.
Explain to her that you get sick and have to sleep otherwise oyu get worse. When you are awake you would love to do things for her - don't hide away. be honest, you will be surprised how much empathy little DCs can have for someone who is ill.
I have a long term illness that when I am bad, life stops - DCs since they were little will come and put a blanket on me, bring me water ( now not spilt all over the floor) and go off and play quietly. I sed to hear the oldest one tell the youngest to be quiet mymmy needs to get better.
I think it is more common than we think for a step child to withdraw from the SM sometimes. And vice versa.
She's still young though, you have a lot of time ahead if you are going to be in her life, so think long term.
If you've been in her life and then not been around, then it is probably a very normal reaction from the child to be wary. Build up trust with her slowly, at a pace that she can handle. Don't expect hugs, or ask for them, when she wants she will. And even if it takes months, just be patient? Think of it in this way, with your depression you've had to step back and not have other people in your life for a bit, but it's not forever. Same with your step daughter. Be kind, consistent, in the background and build up a presence slowly. And don't worry! It sounds like you have very warm feelings towards her, so all is not lost.
You sound lovely op!! I mean that genuinely.
Please don't beat yourself up. 5 year olds change allegiance every 5 mins, you will be her best friend again next week!
I would explain in an age appropriate manner that sometimes you are poorly and have to sleep lots but that it's nothing serious and you are hoping to be better soon. Tell her that you are sorry it means you aren't about as much and ask her to think of an activity the 2 of you can do when you are feeling better.
Then when you are in a better mental position you can do the activity she wants to do.
Good luck! You are doing a great job
Thanks all. This weekend things felt a lot better and she seemed to want me around which is good. It probably doesn't help that I have really low self esteem and when she changes allegiance I tend to take it personally even though logically I know it's perfectly normal 5 year old behaviour. DP has trying his best today to help us bond after we had a chat about it. I've not told her about being ill but I think it's something I need to consider and need to chat to DP about his thoughts on talking to his DD about it all.
op you sound lovely.
Your not well. You needed to rest.
Don't force the bond just let it come naturally by being kind and caring to her when she is there and you can get up. My dd (3) changes who she likes daily and will tell me ! I take it with a pinch of salt.
Don't tell her about your depression, if you want to explain your time spent resting just tell her you feel poorly and are very sleepy but are always happy to see her lovely face.
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