...to think I'm not bonded to my child and be devastated by this?(53 Posts)
I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and I'm becoming increasingly doubtful that we're bonded. Or at best, I think we have a very weak bond. A bit of a back story is that she was an extremely uncuddly baby - so much so that it sent me into Pnd as I took it as a major rejection. That was when she was one. Everyone promised me she would become more cuddly and she hasn't. Consequently I am feeling increasingly disconnected from her and I'm genuinely worried about what's going to happen and if I can do anything about this? I actually posted on here about a year ago about it and got told to 'back off' 'give her space!' Etc which is fine, I did, and a year on I'm now feeling just so, so sad and that I'm just living with a child who I may as well just be child minding for. It occurred to me that if someone swapped me for another mother for her she probably wouldn't care less. That's the most horrible feeling.
When I take her to nursery she barely looks round. I pick her up, she looks disappointed. My heart breaks each time. If she falls over and I try to comfort her she pushes me off. I try periodically to cuddle her but she holds me at arms length. If I even sit next to get and lay a hand on her leg she peels it off.
I'm naturally an affectionate and loving person so I find this almost unbareable and take it as a massive rejection. I'm pretty sure I love her but I really don't feel we are bonded at all. An example being that now if she cries it doesn't particularly affect me. I used to get upset by her crying but I now just attend to whatever is upsetting her but it doesn't actually bother me as such if she cries. I think it's because I've had to force myself to disconnect from her emotionally as its been a daily agony for two years now. THIS is primarily what makes me think we aren't bonded. I can't stand that things have got like this as this is not 'me' at all. I'm a single mum (by choice) so no father involved.
I'm so so so sad about this so please be gentle.
(She's just had her 27 month check and all was normal- she's a very happy, chatty, sociable child with great eye contact so no autism etc suspected at all)
Did you post about this not long ago? About sitting close to her and crying about the rejection?
She doesn't see this as rejecting you. She would be upset if you were swapped, she does love you, she's just independent and not affectionate. Unfortunately, they aren't traits that you can change. You will need to come to terms with how she is and love her for her personality, because otherwise she'll feel stifled and like a complete disappointment in later life, and you'll have some tough teenage years.
I'm sad you feel like this. It does sound like you are not as close as many, although that may change.
There are two types of bond between parent and child. One is biological, often automatic, and nothing to do with either person, and feels strong, but can be pretty meaningless. it sunds like this is the type of bond you feel is weak.
The other type of bond is personal. This comes from getting to know someone, sharing experiences and building trust, like a friendship. This is the type of bond you will be developing as your child grows. This is the one that really matters, in my opinion.
You clearly have different personalities, that is fine, you chose to conceive, but you didn't choose who to conceive. This is the one you have got, and she isn't as physically affectionate as you. That is one area you will need to compromise on with her, every human relationship involves compromise.
I think I remember your original post. I don't think being unmoved by her crying means you aren't bonded, I am sometimes completely unmoved when my 3 year old dd cries. To compare, my dd will only tolerate a hug for so long, whereas my ds loves long cuddles and is hugely affectionate.
Did you raise your concerns at her 27 month check? She could just be extremely secure and not need affection in that. My sister was as apparently like this as a baby, she even flinches now if someone touches her, like they are about to batter her or something
Yes, did you post about this within the last month or two? You were incredibly focused on cuddles as a method of expressing love and had had a disastrously cold rel with your own mother?
I didn't bond well with dc1 after an emergency CS. She was a sleepless, crying baby and I hated the whole motherhood thing.
She is 24 now and we aren't close at all. It makes me sad but I just trying and keep the communication open. I don't think we will ever be close.
My ds2. -18 was never a cuddly affectionate child, placid and happy yes but never one for physical contact.
He is very independent and gets on with it, he still doesn't like much physical contact, at a push I get a hug occasionally.
He is who he is.
YANBU to feel sad about this, but physical affection is not the only way of showing love. I'd be interested to know if she plays games with you, interacts with you in other ways? She may just generally dislike closeness - is she like this with your friends, for example?
The thing that's disturbing about your post is that you say you've 'had to force yourself to disconnect emotionally from her' - why??? When in the next breath you're worrying about your lack of bond...?
I gave birth to a fiercely-independent son, now three, whose refrain is 'I don't need you, Mummy!'
My mum was bereft when she had me as I screamed every time she tried to cuddle me n hated all types of affection. It took until I was about 5 to show her any love or allow any back. I do not know why this was as I have no additional needs etc n am an extremely affectionate, cuddly adult n parent.
I also adore my mum. She is just everything to me n has been as long as I can remember. We r very very close n do hug etc.
On the other hand my second cousin was the same as me as a baby, rejected all affection etc n still does to this day. She is kind, close to her mum, a perfectly rounded person etc but "does not do touching thank u" .
Ur baby will either change or she wont but u can still have a close n loving relationship either way. Try not to fret too much, we r all different .
Ah yes I think I remember this too particularly the rejection you'd had from your mother iirc.
I suspect you're so focused on the issue that you see everything as rejection. She may not be cuddly or there may be something else at play but you can only change your own response not hers. Have you spoken to your GP? For yourself not her I mean. Even if there is some ASD going on it might be mild and not apparent at this age and tbh you'd have to live with it anyway so nothing would change.
My DC aren't particularly cuddly but I don't think that means we don't have a bond. They're just too busy playing and don't want to be squished by boring old mummy. They probably won't end up being touchy feely people. But that's perfectly ok!
Unless there are 2 of you having identical issues - which is fucking worrying!!
I think I remember your last thread, and I am sorry that things aren't better for you. I think the time has come to seek professional help about your feelings and the interaction between your dd and yourself. Although I don't believe that your dd is indifferent to you, the nagging feeling that she is is poisoning your relationship That's not your (or her) fault but it needs to change for both your sakes. There are a couple of clinics in the UK which deal specifically with bonding problems. Unfortunately I don't know their names but you could google or maybe someone on here will know.
I am so sorry you feel like this. Please ask for help because it doesn't need to feel like this.
I'm a long time learker and rarely post. However, reading yours OP, made me want to say you sound like you a wonderful mum. PND is hard, really hard but it happens and is so common. Most importantly its noones fault, yours, your child's or anyone else's, it just happens. It can however, make a connection hard. I'd urge you to speak to your HV or GP if you feel they might listen.
Hi there , myself and my daughter have been similar to as you describe. She is now nearly five and I have seen a gradual improvement over time. Not great but definitely alot better. I think it can be easier when you can have a proper conversation with them about how they are feeling. Hope things improve for you- just keep going with it xx
It must be very hurtful to feel constantly rejected by your child.
TBH, I've never come across this in RL. It's usually parents saying they can't go for a wee without their child wanting to come to, or parents complaining their child won't sleep alone.
Florencefan, I think you need to turn this on it's head and realise you have a fiercely independent DD who is can cope independently from a young age. All parents want their DC to achieve this eventually, but your DD is way, way ahead of the game. A bit like a child who can reading independently and no longer wants bedtime stories.
I totally get what you are saying re not feeling you have a bond, but give it time and you and your DD will be a special team against the world, even if that doesn't involved lots of physical affection.
I'm wondering if that, being single, you miss having lots of physical closeness of another human being. I can see how you would want that from a child, and yes it can be lovely when you get it, even though many parents go on to complain they get too much (child won't sleep in own bed, etc) , but it's not a child's responsibility to give it to their parent if the parents wants it.
Parent the child you have, not the one you want.
You have an independent, self-sufficient child. She is who she is. Watch her, take note of what she enjoys, and follow her interests. Engage with her on her terms.
She doesn't like physical contact so stop forcing it. What does she like? Does she like being read to? Playing alongside you? Playing with other children, while you sit and have a chat with their parents? Being left to do her own thing while you read/occupy yourself in the background? You need to shift your mindset to thinking about her needs and how you can meet them, not the other way around. Commit to trying this for a month and see what happens.
Your DD is still so young, OP. You can turn this around.
Are you the person who was crying in front of your child. If I you are I think you were given a lot of great advice on the thread.
I remember your last thread and you need to find a specialist to help you. You cannot continue this way or you are going to really harm your child.
I was your DD. still am a little bit but am more huggy with dh and really huggy with ds (he's only 2). I was desperately independent as a child and liked to sort myself out if I failed at something. BUT I loved my parents truly and utterly. They were always there for me, always non-judgemental (being fiercely independent means you make mistakes) and just solid and constant letting me do things my way but not OTT.
she's a very happy, chatty, sociable child
Young children who are un-bonded with their primary carer are seldom happy or sociable children. Somewhere along the line she feels a strong bond with you, she just doesn't feel the need to be cuddly. I have a DD who never cuddled me as a child, she seldom looked to me for help and was fiercely independent. He character traits haven't changed into adulthood but I am the first she contacts when she needs a chat or wants to seek advice.
This is a different poster to the one who was sat next to her child crying.
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