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terrible mother

(57 Posts)
biosphere Mon 20-Aug-07 16:52:05

My 11 week old ds won't stop screaming. I feel like he doesn't like me (or at the very least doesn't know or care who I am). I can't help him. It isn't hunger or dirty nappy. He just screams like he's furious all the time. I thought I would be better at this. I am awful. I just don't think I can do this. I am not bonding with him. I don't feel like a mother at all. I am at the end of my tether. I don't know what else to do. Now I can hear him screaming upstairs and I feel cruel but I just don't know what to do with him.

wildwoman Mon 20-Aug-07 16:53:34

You are not a terrible mother! You have a screaming baby and trust me we have all felt like this. Can anyone have himfor a bit so you can have a break?

EnormousChangesAtTheLastMinute Mon 20-Aug-07 16:54:37

it's not you, you are not a terrible mother.

is there anyone you can ring who can come round and help/give you a break?

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 20-Aug-07 16:54:51

You are not a terrible mother! You have a screamy baby. This is what some babies are like and it is jolly tough on their mothers.

There are probably lots of possible reasons and solutions that people on here will suggest.

And you're not cruel at all - you've done the sensible thing in putting him down for a while when you feel at the end of your tether.

HAPPYMUMOF5 Mon 20-Aug-07 16:55:14

Oh bioshpere some days are pants arent they? Have you tried a dummy for him? I know some people are anti them but 4 of mine have really settled with them

biosphere Mon 20-Aug-07 16:56:28

Thanks wildwoman (I am crying now!) There isn't really anyone who can take him for a while. He is always fine when other people are around. It's just me on my own that he goes like this. It just feels like he hates me. (Stupid and melodramatic, I know).

EnormousChangesAtTheLastMinute Mon 20-Aug-07 16:57:30

if you're stuck and no-one to help try putting him in buggy and going for short walk. change of scene might break the cycle and just being outdoors can help you both.
don't blame yourself or feel bad. every parent feels like this at some time.

oneplusone Mon 20-Aug-07 16:58:33

Could it be wind? I remember my DC's used to get loads of wind and would scream blue murder when they had it. You are not a bad mummy at all, babies scream, it's a fact, nothing to do with you (IYKWIM).

marthamoo Mon 20-Aug-07 16:58:41

Oh you poor thing. Have you got anyone else around who can give you a break - while you go for a walk and clear your head? Alternatively, can you put him in his pram and take him for a walk? It might stop him yelling (didn't always work with my two though) but you may feel calmer if you get out of the house.

New babies are hard work - you get a whole lot of screaming and sleepless nights for not a whole lot of return. I promise you that it is not you - babies aren't capable of "not liking" and he does know who you are; he just can't express himself any way other than crying.

Some babies do cry a lot more than others (my first did) and it's so awful - I know a lot of people recommend cranial osteopathy, maybe someone will come along who knows more about it.

Do you have any happy times with him or do you just find it all unremittingly dreadful? You mention not bonding - that can take a long time too, it's not always instantaneous. Oh, I bet I'm not helping at all - just wanted you to know you're not alone in feeling like this.

biosphere Mon 20-Aug-07 16:58:50

Thanks so much everyone. Yes, I have tried his dummy (I am not anti anything at this point!!) but he won't take it.

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 20-Aug-07 16:59:30

LOL at him always being fine when other people are around - little bugger, that is so typical of babies!
My dd was also a lot harder to handle when it was just me and her - she much preferred to have other people to look at.
Do you take him out of the house much? A walk in the buggy can really help when they are like this.

Oh, also, read this thread and have a laugh (it's not quite the same but it will convince you that most other mothers are not supermums).

wildwoman Mon 20-Aug-07 16:59:54

Well for starters he is too young to have taken a dislike to you (that's what five year olds are for ) You are doing the right thing by putting him in the cot before you reach breaking point, it used to scare the hell out of me when I got like this with dd1.

Doodledootoo Mon 20-Aug-07 17:01:11

Message withdrawn

luckylady74 Mon 20-Aug-07 17:03:54

this is the hardest time and i promise it will get better. babies this young give very little back - he certainly isn't capable of disliking you - that happens when they're 2!
have you a sympathetic health visitor you can have a chat with?
what i did with my 3 was very basic - feed, wind, change, overtired?, warm enough/ too hot? - if all fine then take out for a walk immediatly - makes you feel better too.
it's really hard to bond with a screaming tyrant, but i promise you will eventually - give it time.
you are a mother and you're doing your best and that was a very sensible thing to do - take 2 mins time out.
make a loose routine for yourself each day, take deep breaths , get out of the house - just to the shop or for a walk, read the mumsnet book -it really helped me - and listen to all these lovely ladies that tell you you are not alone.

EnormousChangesAtTheLastMinute Mon 20-Aug-07 17:04:02

i know it feels like it's 'just you' but it's not. he knows you, he recognises your smell and you two do have a bond - he just can't express it. i'm guessing you spend more time with him one on one than anyone else to of course you get the brunt of crying.
you can do this - you're doing it. and as someone has said, you've done the right thing by putting him somewhere safe while you feel this frustrated.
you're not melodramatic or stupid. you're normal!

how long until someone can be with you? are you friendly with a neighbour? if not going for a walk how about a drive?

paddingtonbear1 Mon 20-Aug-07 17:04:57

do you drive?
when we couldn't think of anything else, a car ride always worked!
I sometimes used to drive somewhere, and dd would go to sleep. I'd go in a car park and just sit there with the radio on and my newspaper!

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 20-Aug-07 17:05:10

Doodledootoo is quite right.
And as we don't tend to live in extended families any more, it's harder to deal with as you're stuck on your own with no-one to help. (Which is why we need Mumsnet )

marthamoo Mon 20-Aug-07 17:06:44

Gosh, I wish I'd had MN when mine were little. It wasn't invented when ds1 was born.

Troutpout Mon 20-Aug-07 17:10:43

Aww Bio..haven't got anything to add.. (everyone else has said much what i would have)
But...You are most definitely not a terrible mother
I was in exactly the same position as you 10 years ago...i could have written your post.
New babies are blardy hard work...and screamy ones are even harder.
It will get easier..honestly

biosphere Mon 20-Aug-07 17:12:26

Thank you all. I just feel like such a failure. It doesn't help that I just read a post from someone on another thread who said that it is NEVER ok to leave young babies to cry. I have him here with me now, rocking him in his seat which stopped the screaming for about a minute but he's started up again. I am shaking. I just feel drained and miserable. I am going to put him in the pram and go for a walk. Thank you for the advice and kind words. I do think I am not a good mother though. I am pretending and everyone else thinks I am great but I know in my heart that I am terrible. I feel like he'd be better off with someone else.

GooseyLoosey Mon 20-Aug-07 17:13:30

I used to keep ds in his sling a lot of the time at that age just to stop the screaming and would wander around singing incessantly.

I did not bond with ds either for many months so please don't feel bad. Motherhood is not initially a pleasant or intuitive experience for many of us.

Two things which helped me:

1. Get out of the house as much as possible. Local toddler groups are great as hopefully you may get to know someone who will babysit.

2. Leave him with your other half for a while and get out of the house. Explain to other half that you just need to get out or you will go nuts.

Also, if you have the money, consider using a babysitting agency staffed by childcare professionals who will give you and your dh a chance to have a night out and can cope if things don't go smoothly.

wildwoman Mon 20-Aug-07 17:14:04

go out for a walk, good idea but please come back later so that people cn convince you you are doing a great job.

AngharadGoldenhand Mon 20-Aug-07 17:14:11

I second the walk outside. You'll get fresh air and exercise and he might fall asleep!

If he's asleep when you come back, why not have a nap yourself?

PeachesMcLean Mon 20-Aug-07 17:16:52

Hey bio, poor you. I really do sympathise, my boy just cried and cried. it's really hard work isn't it?

In our case a regular sleep routine during the day calmed him down. Was very limiting on my social life but it was better than listening to him scream. HTH

marthamoo Mon 20-Aug-07 17:23:16

You are not terrible and he really wouldn't be better off with someone else. But I remember feeling exactly the same myself. And leaving him to cry for a bit is the best thing to do when you are at the end of your tether - I remember shutting myself in the kitchen and holding the oven gloves over my ears so I couldn't hear ds1 crying (sobbing hysterically the whole time myself).

You won't believe me, but it does get better - not all at once, but a little bit at a time.

And - as no-one else has mentioned it yet - if you feel this awful all the time, I would go and have a chat with your GP. I had PND with both my babies so I think I have a tendency to 'see' the signs in everyone (possibly because I can't quite believe that anyone actually enjoys having a new baby ) and it may be that how you feel is a perfectly understandable reaction to having a baby who cries a lot and feeling overwhelmed. But it may also be that you do have PND - and if you do, there's no shame in admitting you need help: it doesn't have to be this bad.

Hope the walk helps.

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