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Worried I don't have the 'right' feelings for my son

(5 Posts)
Ohnoredundo Sat 03-Sep-11 16:54:56

I have posted here quite a few times following the birth of my son and every time I've been overwhelmed with the response and each time I've been given such a boost. I'm hoping I can turn to Mumnetters again.

My son is now 5 months old. He is beautiful. He is still EBF (which has felt like a huge achievement for me) and I'm gaining confidence as a mum.

The first 8 weeks after his birth were like living in an actual nightmare. I had post natal anxiety disorder and it's only now starting to level out. I refused to take anti ds. Not because I in anyway disagree with them, just because my anxiety is that bad I couldn't read through the poss side effects without breaking into a cold sweat.

Now the nightmarish phase is over I'm fixated on the thought that I don't love my son enough. I feel it's ruining the joy I should be feeling as a mum. People presume I'm besotted and overwhelmed with love by him but I don't feel that way - I feel so,so guilty that he's not at the forefront of my mind and that I don't seem ecstatically in love which is how friends who have had babies come across.

I've tried to talk to my DH, mum, friends but they all just think I'm over thinking the issue. My mum and MIL talk of thinking of his face 24/7 which is lovely but as his mum why aren't I?

Any thoughts appreciated.

madmouse Sat 03-Sep-11 17:19:38

I'd be a little bit worried if you were thinking of his face 24/7 let alone your mum and mil hmm

Being ecstatically in love is not a necessity for a good mum and child relationship. I love ds to bits but did not particularly struggle to go back to work when he was 10 months.

The first thing you say about your ds is that he is beautiful, you EBF him, you worry about not loving him enough. Sounds to me like you love him plenty enough. Anxiety doesn't all disappear at once and you tend to get fixated on one thing don't you. I think it's safe to relax and keep cuddling and feeding your baby. It will be fine.

Ohnoredundo Sat 03-Sep-11 21:31:41

Thanks for your reassuring message madmouse. I'm just worried I'm a weird kind of person who is selfish in the extreme.

madmouse Sat 03-Sep-11 21:42:51

No you're not - if you were you would not think that because you wouldn't give a damn

natsyloo Sun 04-Sep-11 09:44:07

I could have (and probably did) post exactly the same thread a year ago when I had PND after the birth of my DS.

I became preoccupied with the idea of not 'feeling the right way'. Whatever that is. Mostly I realised it was the anxiety and hyper vigilance I suffered with that made me keep checking in on my feelings. Literally from minute to the next I would think 'do I love him now? how do I feel now?'

The truth is that when you're analysing yourself so much you can't even allow yourself to 'feel'. The fact you care so much for him and are upset how you feel means you DO care. Love is often latent, it grows over time and it's not infatuation - it's in the small things you do.

My feelings stemmed from fear - fear of the overwhelming sense of responsibility of becoming a mum and worrying I wasn't a good enough one. In reality noone is a perfect mum, but we're good enough.

I found CBT, talking and time were the healers for me. Be kind to yourself x

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