No bond between DS and me(43 Posts)
I am a regular poster but I have name changed (I hope!) because I don't want to be outed for obvious reasons.
DS is nearly 5 months old and he doesn't like me at all. I posted under a previous name about him smiling at everyone else but looking through me. It is still happening and in fact it is getting worse. Yesterday he screamed when I picked him up so I actively avoided him and DH did bed, bath etc. This has started me thinking that it would be better if I moved out.
Bit of backstory - my DM has moved in as our nanny. She is fantastic with DS, but despises me and whenever I am home I face a barrage of criticism about not doing enough around the house and being a crap mother because I went back to work too quickly. She creates high drama out of nothing, changes her mind constantly and then gets abusive when challenged over her behaviour. The main reason I went back to work is because I couldn't tolerate being in the house with her. We do also have high outgoings for various reasons and I have no visibility of the household finances or any clear idea what DH earns, which worries me.
DH did not want a baby and I suspect he only agreed because he thought I was too old and it wouldn't happen. He spends most of the time moaning about what a disappointment I am, how much I have changed since we married and reminded me that I quit a lucrative international job in order to be a mum and why am I not happy?
I am aware that since everyone around me has a problem with me, the issue is probably me (not them). However, I don't want to actively screw up my DS's life and would love to fix our bonding issue. I just don't know how. I am reaching the point where the best solution - for DS wellbeing and my own sanity - seems to be for me to move out and leave DS with DM and DH. However, just typing that makes me feel like Cruella de Ville.
Has anyone fixed a bonding problem and if so how?
It sounds to me like the person who needs to leave is your mother.
She seems toxic. Your DH is no prize either. Far from leaving your son with them, I think you need to be alone with him.
You are not the problem you are stuck between an abusive mother and husband. You need time with your son to bond
You sound depressed, and your mother and husband sound absolutely awful and totally unsupportive. If your mother is this critical of you, long-term she will be like that with your son, too. Your husband didn't want him. How can you think that he'd be better off without you when the other two people in his life are such arse holes? I think the bonding issue could be depression and I think you should see your GP in the first instance before making any irreversible decisions.
I don't think your DS dislikes you. I think it's your perception because of how you're feeling. But I think you need to talk to someone.
Thanks for the replies. I can't spend more time with DS. I am the person in the house he likes least and it would not be fair. I already spend more time with him than DH and DS adores him.
He never smiles when I am in the room and I am scared to pick him up because is unhappy/cries. I have accepted that I am the problem, I am just wondering whether I can fix it or whether I should just give up.
I would manipulate your D(?)M's opinion that you went back to work too early. Tell her you've been considering what she said and that as a result you feel you need to spend some one on one time with your DS.
Obviously at first he may not be used to you if his main care giver is your mother but stick with it. He may be picking up on your (understandable) anxiety around this whole issue. Maybe don't try to do bed time etc as you may feel judged by others (who think they do it better) - perhaps take him to the park etc. Read a book to him, interact with him, play peek a boo etc - I'm not assuming you're not already doing these things, they're just suggestions.
I work with young people who have attachment disorders. You can turn this around and bond well. Don't give up. You can totally be the mum you want to be (and probably the mum you would be without such negative influences in your daily life).
The main thing to remember is that just because both your mum and husband seem to have a problem with you at this time - this does not mean you ARE the problem at all. Please don't believe this.
Wow, you have zilch confidence in yourself and it's no surprise why when those closest to you put you down like that. If my own mum was rude and nasty towards me like that and my husband told me I am a disapointment, i would find it hard to hold my head up high.
Is it possible your mums attitude is rubbing off on your husband and he thinks because you allow her to treat you like this then why shouldn't he? Sounds like your mum should move out of your house imo, she sounds a little bit toxic to your mental state and marriage. Could you afford childcare instead of her being a nanny? If you are totally reliant on her it's a struggle I guess.
As for your son hating you, yeah right. My daughter was like this until about 14 months, she would smile at strangers and family members more than me on some days. It's because she sees me all the time! Sometimes I would take her to baby group and she would be so amazed by other mums and pay me no mind. Once she sat on another mums lap for a bit! I felt so crap about myself for a long while, I played with her all the time and cuddled etc but some days I felt she hated me. But she's just a confident, happy little thing and she isn't my performing monkey. She's a right mummy's girl and loves me and her time, but equally still she has her days where I'm 'not her friend' lol. Don't beat yourself up. A 5 month old cannot hate you.
Your mother is undermining your attachment with him.
You really need to spend more time with him and radically reduce her contact with him and you.
Sorry, cross posted to see you say you've accepted you're the problem. This doesn't have to be your truth.
You've said how you think your baby feels about you. As I said, he is probably picking up on your uncertainty. He wants to feel safe and secure that his caregivers are predictable.
Could you take him out in his buggy to point at birds, flowers etc?
You need to go and see your GP. The way you are feeling sounds very very much like post natal depression to me. (I had it so I know).
You are the only mother this baby has. He needs you. Please go and get help
I couldn't just read your message and not reply. Please listen to everyone who is going to reply and be clear about this: you are not the problem.
Babies tend to cry if they've not seen the person they have the strongest bond with, then they reappear. So you go to work, come home and your baby cries - that isn't him not liking you, that's him crying with relief that you're back. They cry because they've realised that they were missing you!
Some practical things for you to try:
1) give your son a some milk, a kiss and a cuddle as soon as you get in from work.
2)If he cries, just keep cuddling him, walk around and sing to him. Be as calm as you can, even if inside you feel awful.
3) don't hand him over to anyone else or put him down if he cries, even if he keeps crying. Babies cry. It's better to be cuddled up by your mum when you're crying than being given to someone else or not getting that cuddle.
4) Nursery rhymes, cuddles and kisses. Repeat until you both feel calm and settled. It might take two minutes, it might take two hours. But it's time you're together, and as a mum, sometimes you have to help kids get through anxiety and unhappiness. That's the same when they're five months old or five years old.
You're his mum, no-one else. Take no notice of your mum. And if you feel like you're struggling, please go and see the doctor. I waited a year with my second before getting some help for PND and I really regret it. Good luck.
I can't spend more time with DS. I am the person in the house he likes least and it would not be fair.
This is depression talking.
You are not the problem. You are vulnerable and struggling and have toxic people around you who exploit that vulnerability. That is the problem. Leaving your son to them is terrible for him and no solution for you.
Please see your GP and tell them how you feel. Have you ever thought about splitting with your husband and how you might go about that? Nobody should speak to their spouse like he speaks to you.
And you also need away from your mother, like urgently. I am willing to bet a lot of your vulnerability and struggles stem from growing up with her. Consider checking out the Stately Homes thread in Relationships about emotionally abusive parents.
Your son loves you and needs you. You are his only, irreplaceable mother. Hang in there for him.
YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. Sorry for the caps but that message really needs to get across to you. I agree with a pp that it sounds like you may have PND exacerbated by your mother and husband. They are undermining your ability to parent. No wonder you have no confidence when the two people you should be able to rely on to build you up are instead tearing you down.
I know you think it's a bad idea but more time together is how you will bond. Babies cry, it's what they do best. I promise you your son does love you but your own state of mind is preventing you from seeing that. Time with your son away from your mother and husband will help. I promise.
I had PND with DS2 and I genuinely believed that he hated me. When I started to get better I realised that was ridiculous because of course he loved me, I just felt so low (and a lot of the time numb) that I couldn't see it.
Please see a GP and consider getting away from your abusive mother and husband. Some counselling to help you work through the awful way you've been treated will help too.
When I had PND I absolutely thought my baby hated me and was much happier with other people. It is part of the illness
He cries because you are scared and he picks up on it. He is 5 months he has not formed the idea of liking and disliking he just st wants comfort.
I once calmed down a friends baby (she was occupied with the other 4 (2 each) far easier than I remember calming my own because I was relaxed and not anxious. I knew I could pass her back if I had to and she picked up on it and it calmed her.
Your worry and anxiety may well be the issue but not your bond with your son. You don't need her as a nanny, you don't need to be in the dark about finances
I felt like my son didn't bond with me and hated me. Turns out I had fucking severe PND. Like life-threateningly severe. Please speak to your GP
A 5 month old cannot possibly 'not like' anyone especially his mum. Perhaps he is picking up on your anxiety/avoidance around him which is why you think he doesn't smile at you etc. You are definitely not the problem here and I definitely agree you should speak to your gp or health visitor about this so you can get some support. Your mother needs to leave the house immediately and you need to source alternative childcare/nursery etc.
Your DH and DM are the problems here - not you!!!
I imagine your baby is picking up on your anxiety vibes and that unsettles him.
It's probably not practical in real life but it sounds like you need to ditch the two toxic people in your life and focus on your baby who needs you.
Op please please listen to everyone. Your mother is undermining your relationship with your son. Completely unforgivable, and she's not 'fantastic' with him if she's causing his mother to feel like this in his presence.
When you say he doesn't like you, I think you're projecting. He doesn't have the capacity for those sort of thoughts. Can you gradually but firmly take over his primary care from your mother (whether or not you use other childcare?) She should move out immediately imo but could be there a bit initially so it's not too much of a shock fir him.
Also, sometimes children cry with those they feel comfortable to cry to/with.
Thanks everyone. I am listening and will talk to my GP. I am already on AD's and have been throughout my pregnancy (on medical advice) so I am not sure where that leaves me if I do have PND.
The problems with DS started very soon after he was born. We both really struggled to breastfeed and I gave up too easily I think. It's hard to explain but he doesn't seem to know I am his mum.
I second the crying more around you or the one they trust/love the most, although I never believed this when my child was younger either. Just want to add that even when your child is a toddler they will probably cry more around you than anyone else! My daughter throws huge tantrums around me, but I'd golden at nursery and with mil. She even has fits with my mum but that's because I spend a lot of time with my mum together with her, where as i don't actually spend time mil or nursery.
As mentioned and as said by others, your mum is a big issue!!
Didn't see your update. Glad you will speak with GP. P.s I don't think anyone's gave up breast feeding as quick as I did, lasted all of 7 hours and I thought forget this!
Same here I was on antidepressants anyway but we upped the dose
He does know you are his Mum. Babies cry for all sorts of reasons but not liking you is not one of them.
Please definitely seek advice from your GP as you plan to do.
I did not have PND but there was no such thing for me as a massive rush of love and magical instant bond as soon as my DD popped out. It is something that has grown over time and with each day and I found the early months very hard. I used to worry that meant something was wrong with me. There isn't and the problem is not you either.
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