I don't think I like my DD1 age 6...v v long...(18 Posts)
When I was pregnant I wanted everything to be perfect. I had an epidural for labour because my mum told me (terrified me) with tales of horrific pain. DD was born via ventouse & was fine, but i remember feeling very removed from it all. I remember her crying in the hospital & wishing she would be quiet because I was so tired.
I'd absorbed GF & thought I'd be doing this. DD1 seemed to cry all the time & was permantely attached to me (BF). I spent the first 3 mths trying to put her down. I feel terribly guilty because i suspect she had a headache from the ventouse & she had an odd shaped head for months.
Fastforward me going back to work - again, quite removed from it. DH used to take her to nursery, after dressing her, giving her breakfast. Every night he bathed her & read her a story. It was almost like I was trying to spend the least amount of time with her...
DD2 was born when DD1 was 3 & thinking I never cuddled DD1 enough, I wanted things to be different.
DD2's labour was fast & quite fantastic. She was very chilled & I feel immediately in love with her. We had a lovely time in hospital & I just love being with her.
DD1 on the otherhand, is really a very bright spark, but lots of her 'qualities' are my DH - things that really irritate me . Unlike him though, she talks non-stop. Tonight I've screamed shut up because I had 2 hours of yakking.
DD1 is very high maintenance & almost has a self important way with her. She is very sensitive & so loud at home. She is very good at school & fairly quiet.
peacocksuit, have you spoken to anyone about the birth? do you think it mnight help to debrief over it?
anyway, I've changed my name because I'm ashamed of how I feel, but I wanted to get this off my chest, because I think about it most days.
I want to be patient & loving ( I do cuddle & kiss her & tell her I love her) naturally, without it being forced.
I'm a little afraid of talking to the HV in case they take her away, which having written that is, I think, riduculous.
The bottom line, I suppose, is that we didn't bond & it's such a shame
no, i haven't, I'm not sure who I'd speak too ?
i have to admit i don't know either, but have seen people talking about it on here before!
if you have a nice HV or a GP that you like i def think it would be worth talking over iwth someone. they really, really, really won't take her away!
please don't be ahsmaed of your feelings, it is NOT your fault.
It really is not your fault
I had a horrific birth with ds1 and I felt as though I had been hit by a train. He was intensive care for a week but when I did finally get him in the room with me I was so, so exhausted and miserable I just wanted him to shut up. Breastfeeding was difficult, everything was painful, NOBODY would have enjoyed it. When we came home I felt flat, I had the weird feeling that I had actually died in the hospital, that my life had been exchanged for his, and that I would just be time-serving in this awful half-light for the rest of my life.
My ds1 is 6 too and I am NOT over it - it's not so very long, really, when something as important as the birth of your first child has traumatised you.
He has Aspergers and I sometimes do wonder whether there is a connection to the early trauma and separation.
We will never know what things could have been like and we could go mad trying to work it all out.
If you can get some counselling or someone neutral to talk through the birth with, please please do - MN filled that gap for me and it has made all the difference in the world.
You don't sound like a cold uncaring mother, not one bit. I think you do love your dd1 very much but there is a wedge between you because of what heppened to you. And it is NOT YOUR FAULT, and it can get better. 6 is not too late to fall in love with a child.
So sorry you are suffering like this
You are not alone in feeling this way. I also have 2 DDs and feel just like you about them for similar reasons. My DH doesn't understand even though I have tried to explain it to him. It is not your fault or your DDs fault it has just happened. I have to keep reminding myself that I am her mother and I "have" to love her because that is my job. I have no idea how to get over this, I have been through DD1s birth with a midwfe and do feel better about that now but I can't undo the fact that we never bonded with each other in the same way DD2 and I did.
This is completely a lay opinion but I dont think its uncommon to find it easier to bond with second children more immediately than the first. I felt it with mine, I've seen it with friends, I am watching it with my sister at the moment. I am not saying most people dont bond with their first, I just think it often comes more quickly and more easily the second time.
All I can think is that with the first, the shock of having a baby, and having to look after the baby all day every day, often having breastfeeding issues, the lack of sleep etc can be pretty overwhelming. I think usually by child two, you have a handle on parenting and you are almost 'primed' to love another one straight away.
What you went through with your first birth is an added and very specific and significant layer of trauma.
You have bonded with your second child so clearly you can bond with children, and you want to feel more bonded to your DD1 so that is all positive. I think the point that it is not too late even now is a good one. You may never get that feeling that she is 'your little baby' (- I am so guilty of babying my second child in a way I didnt do with DD1) but you can get to know her and bond with her for who she is now.
When you say she is high maintenance do you mean 'attention seeking' and if you do, do you think she is looking for your attention and affection because she subconciously feels the distance? Is she jealous of her sister? Can you think about setting up some quailty time with her doing something you both like so you build up your feelings for her?
I think the older child often suffers from our unrealistic expectations of their emotional maturity- I expected a lot more of DD1 at 2 and a half than I now do of her sister. At some basic level I am better at parenting DD2 because I have had more practise at parenting, I am more tolerant with her generally than I was with DD1 at a comparable age.
I suspect talking to someone would help, but I am afraid I dont know who to suggest. Just talking about it at all it probably a very positive step.
I didn't like my dd very much when she was 6/7ish. I was thinking about this the other day (now she's nearly 10). She only has half my genes and the other half are dh's. She will have qualities which she clearly gets from me (her looks, intelligence and charm, of course) and others which she gets from dh, and others which are a result of the mixture of the genes. That's before nurture kicks in too.
What I thought was, that she was becoming independent from me and some part of that separation meant that I was more aware of the differences - the bits that were more like dh than like me (and I have no vices ).
Not only that but some of what she's inherited from us have to be vices/weaknesses/less attractive qualities as well as all the lovely stuff she's got from us.
As her personality developed some of these were either poking up their ugly heads, or I was becoming more aware of them.
Just thoughts expressed rather badly, but you probably get the gist.
I was having some psychological sessions earlier this year - talking about my dominant mother, but I never thought to bring up these feelings about my DD.
Because of the way my mum was/is I had very fixed ways on how I would be. My mum made me very dependant on her & perhaps I subconsciously set the path for my DD1 not to depend on me....? Although with DD2, I don't have any of those thoughts.
High maintenance in a 'the label's itching me' legs are hot/tights itchy. Can never brush her hair without a fuss. She can't walk around B&Q without lolloping around the aisles (!). I think she has a sort of nervous energy/boredom.
I've posted before, about things to do to help with bonding, but didn't get very far. The trouble is, she's fairly bossy & insists she knows about everything & is a bit her way or the highway (just remember our latest cup cake making session when I was trying to show her how to put the mixture in the cake holes & she got very cross & didn't want to do it. She can also be incredibly rude first thing in the morning (generally resolved by an oatcake by her bed) & after school, so when I pick her up without DD2, instead of a nice walk back, she can be really awful.
Definetly attention seeking, not sure about the affection - she's not one to sit & have a cuddle, more a squirmer. DD2 will sit & snuggle.
Interesting about the unrealistic expectations, that's spot on.
I've had a bit of a cry reading the replies, it's good & bad you know what I am saying...
...& the other thing is, I could never understand how a mother could leave her children. Now I completely understand. Sometimes, I seriously think, I would pack my bags & go if I could.
Now I'm sounding depressed & I'm not, the situation just gets too much sometimes. I do suffer very badly from PMT & am off to the drs tomorrow to talk about it.
Going on a bit here, but good to let it all out...
I have one dd who sounds very like your dd1 - stressy, high maintenance, demanding, shouty, bossy. And two who are chilled out and calm. At times I have struggled with the stressy one, so has DP, sometimes I just think, life would be SO much easier with just the other two.
She was harder to bond with as a baby and toddler in some ways, partly because she never sat still, never just snuggled gently, always wanted more, now, quicker.
She's still like that but it has go easier as she gets older, she's nearly 8 now. I think she'll always be demanding and stressy and competitive (and these can be good qualities, she has a strong sense of justice and will make a fuss for things she believes in, she is bright, lively, argumentative, feisty).
It helped with us that I can see myself in her, more than I can in my laid back slacker children. I like to argue and strop about the place too so I'm quite sympathetic to those traits even though it's an utter pain a lot of the time and she's still capable of making the whole household miserable by constant whingeing and screeaming. but it has got a lot better. And I sometimes think she'll be the one I'll be closest to in the end. She's intense, but as she grows out of the tantrums and constant agitation (slowly, oh, too slowly) it does get better.
Peacocksuit - any of these services might help you.
The effects of birth, feelings about birth, feelings about our parents are important and have a major impact on relationships with our children - you are right to take it seriously. It is not at all 'too late' to get help for this, nor should you (or your daughter) have to accept this is the way things are.
You can break the effects of the relationship with your mother (which may go back to her own childhood in turn, and then back...and back). This may be a contributing effect of what is happening now. You have a chance to change and you need to be brave enough, now you have had the courage to put it into words, to take the next steps.
6 years is long enough for both of you!
thanks for your replies - you've all made me feel a bit better & I think it's a relief to have finally said it, rather than keeping it in.
I did mention it to the Dr this am, who, not surprisingly was VERY unhelpful.
I've had a look at the links & will be contacting my hv (she is nice) to see if she can refer me.
You're right - 6 years is long enough to have been holding on to this..thanks all.
Please come back and tell us how you get on - I am having the same trouble as you and crucify myself on a daily basis. I feel so sorry for my DD who is an utter treasure. I look at her and just feel so dreadful for how I am with her. I am in tears writing this but I just can't seemt to stop getting irritated with her and it's always far more than she deserves. Every day i swear I'll be different but I'm not. I shout and hiss at her several times a day because she hasn't stopped doing what I've asked her to do - I feel like aqn uncontrollable control freak. It's hell.
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