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non bio mum struggling - common experience (long and moany)

(20 Posts)
drivingmisscrazy Thu 21-May-09 11:32:55

I am the non-bio mum to a 4 month old baby girl, who is beautiful and wonderful and captivating. She is also not the easiest baby in the world - cries quite a lot, is often hard to settle, and I just feel like I can't cope. Neither DP nor I have had a full night's sleep since she was born, and everything feels like a battle. My partner is just a wonderful mum and I feel like I am ratty, impatient and leaving her to get on with it most of the time. I feel like there's not much I can do for my daughter, as she mostly just wants her mum, even though I am at home a lot. I do most of the housework and cooking and am trying to keep my end up professionally as well.

Sometimes I look at DD and just think yes, she's lovely, but what does she have to do with me? This was brought home to me at the weekend, when DP's (very supportive) family were all here and I suddenly realised that I was the only person in the room who had neither a biological nor a legal connection to her (I don't live in the UK and there's no civil partnership, or likelihood that I can adopt). I feel so down and miserable about everything that I sometimes think they'd be better off without me because I don't seem to be able to do anything helpful.I don't really know what anyone can do to help, just curious to see if my experience is common at all.

bethoo Thu 21-May-09 11:40:24

i am sure a lot of partners in heterosexual relationships also feel like that but i am sure that your role will become more defined once the baby is no longer dependent on your partner for feeds, i presume she is bf?

drivingmisscrazy Thu 21-May-09 11:47:08

yes, baby is bf and won't take a bottle - I'm sure you're right - just had a big cry on DP's shoulder and feel a bit better...

GypsyMoth Thu 21-May-09 11:50:15

have those first 4 months flown by? bet they have,by the time the next 4 have gone,your dd will be at the easier stage,and will be interacting so much more. and she will be attaching herself more to you also,believe me. sounds like you're doing well so far.

CouldYouWouldYouWithaGoat Thu 21-May-09 11:52:20

i think accept that this time is all about the baby and her bio mum. look after your partner. the older the baby gets the more you will be able to bond. good luck and congratulations

slug Thu 21-May-09 11:53:32

Honey, I felt like that about my daughter and I gave birth to her. It's not uncommon, nor is it unnatural. You are both exhausted and you don't have the benefit of the hormones that encourage bonding in a birth mother.
Biological connection or no biological connection, we all feel that way about our children at some time.

When the sleeping is settled and you, and your partner, are a bit more rested, it will probably all look different.

LesbianMummy1 Sat 23-May-09 15:26:13

just found your post my dp felt great when dd1 was born as she was the easiest baby I have ever known did everything by text book when ds2 came along completely different story he was the hardest baby to care for I can think of, we both struggled especially dp but now that is all forgotten and him and dp have the strongest bond imaginable she felt just like you did but nothing will ever change the fact she is his other parent try a find something special that can be your job and something only you two share? could you take over bath times you don't need milk for that? good luck hope you find your niche soon.

mumblecrumble Sat 23-May-09 21:16:06

It is quite amazing though that your link with your family is pure love! No blood or marriage oibligation. You are there becasue you are loved.

Please feel free to puke.....

P.S. First 4 months are very hellish. If you didn;t feel shite you'd be weird.

Get int he bath with your baba, or get a sling... lots of closeness and cuddles!

mumblecrumble Sat 23-May-09 21:16:53

P.S Your partener is probably thanking god you're there!

hester Mon 25-May-09 20:37:57

Oh, poor you. You know, I suspect my dp (the non-bio mum) would have said exactly the same thing through the first year of our daughter's life. It was a really tough time. We were shattered and at each other's throats, she found the lack of external validation/recognition of her role very upsetting, and she felt very much on the outside of the relationship between me and dd.

But HANG ON IN THERE: IT DOES GET BETTER. Our daughter is now 3, and absolutely adores her non-bio mum. She doesn't know or care what the outside world makes of our set-up; she just knows that she loves both her mums. And that love has allowed my dp to completely relax into her role.

New parenthood is tough for lots of couples. I think it's tougher for lesbian mothers, in lots of ways. All the lesbian parents I know have gone through what you are describing. You will feel better once you are getting some sleep. You will feel better once you and your dp have managed to reconnect a bit and offer each other some support. And above all, you will feel better once your daughter is looking at you with love. Then you will KNOW what she has got to do with you.

scottishmummy Mon 25-May-09 20:58:18

sleep deprivation and new parent stress will inevitability make you feel crap.most parents experience self doubt etc just people are reluctant to admit to it

ok so make some you and baby time
and you and lover time

with baby some cuddling out in sling,relaxing walks.let girlfriend catch up on her sleep. some baby massage (use olive oil or almond oil) large gentle strokes,calming music.
sing your fave songs to her.
be part of her routine eg story,night cuddle

dont beat yourself up about being perfect mummy just be good enough

ok,now girlfriend.get a takeaway in.some wine.cuddle up and congratulate yourselves getting this far. recall the good times.both pat your selves on the back

good luck

drivingmisscrazy Wed 27-May-09 11:52:32

thank you so much for all these replies which have helped me get some perspective. DP and I have just been to Italy for a long weekend with DD and it has really really helped with my bond with her - we had a lovely time, even though it was boiling hot, and DD was such a little trooper. So all improving in the daisy household - thanks again for your ideas and sharing your experiences

LeninGrad Wed 27-May-09 13:04:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flamingobingo Fri 05-Jun-09 17:09:14

Sorry that this is so late! Skin-to-skin contact makes both participants release falling in love hormones. It's not bfing helping the 'bonding' (cringy word - sorry!) but the inevitable skin-to-skin contact that your Dp and baby are getting frequently because of it.

Discuss you being the chief bather and get in with your daughter. Take your top off and wear your baby in a sling in the house skin-to-skin - bra on or off.

How would you and your partner feel about allowing your daughter to see if she can/is interested in latching onto your breasts? It doesn't matter if there's milk there or not - it's about the closeness rather than the milk.

pavlovthecat Fri 05-Jun-09 17:14:38

I am in a hetrosexual relationship, and my DH felt just like you did for the first 6-8 months while DD was breastfeeding, it was hard for him to build up the bond that I had, which I had as the birth mother and encouraged through bf. Give it time. It will happen, it just takes time for the non-birth parent to bond so closely.

cockles Fri 05-Jun-09 21:53:50

What they said. I am bio mum and felt utterly unrelated to our boy sometimes in the hard early days. Lack of sleep is a killer. Feed the breastfeeder. But also, it's very easy to let the bio mum take the superior parent role in the first year - she knows best how to comfort etc - just don't get stuck like that. Around 7-8 months it will change a bit, and again around a year when bf is no longer so central. Bathing is a biggie you could do. Also if you have a sling make sure you have mastered it! Lots of naked bonding time is good. Do you get any time alone with your baby? it's around this time it got a bit easier for us for dp to take him out alone, or for me to go out by myself for 10 mins (literally!)

liahgen Fri 05-Jun-09 21:57:59


I'm not in a same sex relationship but can I just say you are describing exactly what my dh goes through every time we have a new baby, (we have 5 and are ttc#6)

Tis all perfectly normal, and as others have said, it does get easier. One day she'll come to you and will turn away from your dp, some days will be the other way around.

I'm sure your holiday was lovely. Enjoy, these first few months go by so very quickly. grin

cockles Fri 05-Jun-09 22:18:36

PS Breastfeeding does make it a bit easier to cope with lack of sleep ime, esp if you cosleep & can sleep through feeds, so if you are dying from lack of sleep, do whatever you can to get a bit more at least sometimes!

rodnes Mon 08-Jun-09 10:57:38


I am a (lesbian) filmmaker currently working on a short fiction film about the excitements and anxieties of a same sex couple of mothers-to-be.

The film will follow them on their navigation through the herternormativity within the establishments that provide antenatal care. I want to focus mainly on the experiences of the non-biological mother and how her diminished external recognition as a birth-parent effects her and her relationship to the process.

As I don't have any children myself, I would love to hear from mothers who do and have been through the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and birth in a same sex couple.

I want to hear about your experiences, good and bad, as I am aiming for an honest portrayal that highlights, rather than judges.

Please feel free to post your stories here or email them to me at

Many thanks


LeninGrad Tue 09-Jun-09 22:33:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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