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Am I a bad parent

(20 Posts)
Christibelle87 Sat 20-Oct-12 09:42:07

I have a 7 week old baby and whilst I care/look after him no matter what I don't feel I am connecting to him like I should be or see other mothers connecting to their babies. I am thankful when I can hand him over to some one else for a while and hate being on my own with him for long periods of time.

Will this change?

I don't think I have PND as do not feel depressed but just can't seem to connect with my son, this is beginning to make me feel very guilty.

Meglet Sat 20-Oct-12 09:53:16

I was like that. I loved my DC's very much but was quite happy having someone else cuddle them and yes, I would go up the wall being on my own with them. I just wasn't very good with those newborn days (probably too tired!) and wanted them to get a bit more robust.

I would look at other mums doing the whole'coochie coochie coo' thing at baby weighing clinic and never got that at all. Same goes for mums who can't bear to be parted from their babies, I was ok with my family looking after my babies for an hour or so.

Newborns can be hard work. You sound pretty normal (unless I'm really crap and never realised).

UsingAPsuedonym Sat 20-Oct-12 09:59:41

We had been separated at birth and were similar. It's one of those things that isn't talked about often. I was advised to do lots of skin to skin, curling up in bed with top off and naked baby, in bath etc and to use a sling. At the time having her that close was the last thing I wanted but I'm glad I perseved. For us I managed being sat up in bed with her naked on me (apart from nappy) and I began to feel a bit more for her.

10months down the line and I do love her but it's been very different to my first child who I adored from birth. I think it's important to resist giving baby away at every opportunity (I was trying to!) to make time to bond.

Good luck and no you're not at all a bad parent!! How was the birth? Is it your first?

UsingAPsuedonym Sat 20-Oct-12 10:01:27

Oh and I actually found my hv helpful in that she referred me to the maternity counsellor for a couple of sessions and also sent the maternity nurse around to teach me baby massage (another good way to have physical contact) one on one.

RandomMess Sat 20-Oct-12 10:04:56

I think that adoring instant bond thing is kicked in by a hormone thing so it's not because something is wrong with you - I certainly had it with my first but not my younger ones. The bond does grow especially as they get more interactive and respond to you.

I would advise/recommend/consider "acting" the part, give cuddles, look directly at your baby in her eyes etc etc but meanwhile acknowledge to yourself and you partner if you think he will be understanding and supportive (if not come to MN!) that you haven't got that full emotional connection yet

Give it time and don't think it's just you, again I think it's much more common it's just another motherhood myth that isn't talked about enough IMHO

oopsiforgot Sat 20-Oct-12 10:05:50

I remember when my first Ds was born not having that instant loving bond that I'd expected. I looked after him well but didn't feel any more for him than I did anyone else's child. Think it was just a shock to my system and he's 3.9 now and I really really enjoy being his mummy and I'm sometimes a but overwhelmed by how much I love him!
At 7 weeks they don't do much I hope it gets easier for you as his little personality develops.

colditz Sat 20-Oct-12 10:06:23

Right, put him tummy down on your tummy, wait until he relaxes, then stroke down his spine.

His whole body will twitch, it's really funny.

ZombTEE Sat 20-Oct-12 10:07:25

Just because you don't feel depressed doesn't mean it's not PND.

Do ring your GP or HV. Let them help you.

VeremyJyle Sat 20-Oct-12 10:27:41

I remember with DD1 thinking "this is such a thankless task" there were no other words for it and I was right, there was never any thanks for everything I did for this tiny bean, all she did was scream morning, noon and night, however.....
She is now an absolute star and there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel

lola88 Sat 20-Oct-12 10:46:57

I was like this with DS i also remember when my niece was born (she lived with us) not really liking her i loved her and would care for and protect her but didn't like her much she was a job or responsibilty but as she got older i totally fell in love with her, i think about 6mo she just started to be so funny and cute i enjoyed being with her.

I always assumed i felt that way about her because she was my niece and not my child but i felt the same about DS he's 8mo now and i'm one of those annoying people that can't stop talking about their child he's just so amazing now. If your anything like me you will gradually fall in love with your son once he starts to develope a personallity.

Ragwort Sat 20-Oct-12 10:51:52

I was like that too, more than happy for someone else to cuddle my baby, didn't feel I needed to hold him all day long; put him to bed in his own room for every nap and at night time - despite all the rules about keeping your baby with you at night blush.

I remember being desperate to just read a book or even do housework shock rather than sit and cuddle a newborn all the time.

I think this is more common than people realise, just not the sort of thing we are meant to acknowledge.

waterrat Sat 20-Oct-12 11:06:28

look at it this way - you don't know your baby yet - why would you have a bond? I didn't I'm sure - just look after it and take care of it's needs and see the bond as something that grows as you learn to know each other - you can't love someone you don't know yet....take the pressure off yourself x

greenbananas Sat 20-Oct-12 12:21:33

I think motherhood takes different people different ways - we are all different people! It's too easy to compare your feelings to what you think you should feel.

I was the opposite to you, in quite a frightening way - I felt overwhelming (very hormonal!) love and responsibility for DS1 from the very first moment, and couldn't be parted from him for a single second. I could hardly bear for my mother-in-law to hold him and, while she dealt with that like a saint, I know it was hard for her. I wasn't able to get dressed in the mornings because I wouldn't put him down at all. Although maybe it's great that I felt that bond straight away, it was also very stressful. I don't think it has made me any better as a mother now that he is older. Also, I came in for a lot of criticism because people thought I was too attached.

Speak to your health visitor if you are really concerned, but please don't worry that you're a bad mother. Many mums do need time to 'connect' with their babies.

carocaro Sat 20-Oct-12 12:30:26

I totally agree, I found all that skin to skin/sling stuff really creepy to be honest, I felt overwhelmed and claustrophobic buy all that and did it affect my bond with my children, no! It had the opposite effect, I did what I felt I needed to do, felt being the key word in. Not what others said I should do to bond. I felt better when I had time away, even a walk round the block or a drive, just to be on my own for a short time. It made me a better Mum. My DS's are now 5 and 10 and we have a very close cuddling relationship. You have a good connection with your baby, don't compare to others or stupid cooing advert of new mother bliss, you are doing a good job.

Meglet Sat 20-Oct-12 13:01:15

yes, I had the much suggested skin-to-skin bath with my baby once. I lasted about 30 seconds, it was almost un-bonding it was so forced upon me.

We are very cuddly these days. DS is almost 6, very tall and I still pick him up and cuddle him. They both get rugby tackled for hugs after nursery and school smile.

Fluffanstuff Sat 20-Oct-12 14:17:00

Talk to your health visitor , and your own mum if thats a possibility.
Don't start reading about things you should and shouldn't be doing or trawling the interenet , although thats hard it can just start a downward spiral or feeling guilty because your not doing things the same way etc.
He's your son , he will love you , your his mum , trust that you will know what he needs.
Its okay to want a bit of time away from him of you have another half or a family member ask to watch him for an hour while you have a long bath and prepare yourself for resuming duties.
Make coffee dates with friends and dont forget that your still you.

PurplePidjInAPointyHat Sat 20-Oct-12 14:25:17

I have no experience with babies (yet!) but wrt what you see other parents doing...

Chances are they're faking it a bit for the audience, as it were. Covering their own insecurities by pretending to be confident, oh yes little Caspian slept through from 3 days old, my little princess rarely whimpers no screaming, Persephone said her first word at 8 weeks, Arcturus is walking already at 4 months, blah blah blah wink

Quadrangle Sat 20-Oct-12 23:46:44

Something I've seen on adoption boards to help with bonding is "Fake it til you make it." ie. act like you imagine you would if you had a bond and in time a bond will grow. I had to do that a bit with my second. (I found co sleeping helped me, although it's not for everyone.)

Iwillorderthefood Sat 20-Oct-12 23:55:45

I had this with my first. Birth was a shock plus the sheer responsibility and the total rejection of my milk by her (every time I tried to bf she screamed hysterically scratched and pushed herself away.). I could not settle her, just wanted to sleep and in some ways felt scared my feelings would go further and I would do something awful to her. She's 7 next week, and a real handful but I love her very much. DP did not / want to understand.

SomethingOnce Sun 21-Oct-12 01:42:22

No, OP, you're not a bad parent smile

It's definitely worth talking to your HV/GP, to be on the safe side - it can be hard to see depression from inside it, so talking to somebody who deals with it a lot is a good idea, if only to rule it out.

You say you don't feel depressed - that's good. But how are you feeling? Tired, happy, not much at all? Seven weeks is early days so if the answer to this and any other questions is a sleep-deprived "I don't really know" then I can relate - I didn't know if I was coming or going for ages, but it does get easier.

If you don't mind me asking another question, what do you find hard about being on your own with your baby - is he crying a lot or is it that you don't feel that you know what to do with him? Either way, if you're up to it, going out walking to a café for cake with baby in a sling might help with the crying or just passing the time.

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