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I don't love my child

112 replies

IrisMurdoch · 05/10/2008 21:20

Hello, haven't posted on here for years. Wondered if anyone has any (kind) advice. Whilst I mostly live in a state of total and utter denial, the truth is that I have nothing but negative feelings towards my four year-old ds. I am mortified by this. I am totally shocked at what a dreadful mother I am. My life has nosedived since I had this child. I used to be happy and have a sense of purpose, now I limp through bitterly, largely aided by enormous quantities of wine.

I have just spent the most dreadful day with him. He started whining at 7.30am and the day limped on for the next 12 hours. I don't know what you are supposed to do with a four-year-old or where the fun is. Every activity I try to do with him goes wrong. He doesn't listen, he can't bear it when I try to show him how to do things. Hence playing games, painting, making things, reading etc are so fraught with tension and so utterly unenjoyable that I don't really bother any more.

I would rather be anywhere else. I would rather sit in bed for the whole day with a newspaper and the cat. I'm not interested in a single thing he says, I don't enjoy his company. There is nothing in this for me.

He's totally unaffectionate, he argues with me, he knows best about everything, he orders me about. He is rude and noisy and charmless. I am bored with telling him to speak nicely to me or putting him on the naughty step or taking toys away or threatening to call his Dad. What's the point? It's the same old bloody same old, whatever I do.

Sometimes I let him watch television for three hours at a time just so I can do something - anything - else. I know this is wrong but I need a semblance of life. It's intolerable.

I hate leaving work to get him from school, it's like I'm leaving my personality and life behind. I can't wait for him to go to bed. The weekends without him (alternate due to amicable separation) are a total joy and keep me going.
Mostly all I do is cook and clean and iron f school uniform and fake interest. It's exhausting.
I never thought that motherhood would be so profoundly empty, boring, one-sided and depressing.
I don't know what to do, I feel like I've got 14 years of a prison sentence in front of me and I'm just going to grow old and bitter. Does anyone know where I'm coming from? Is there a way back? Sorry to post such awful negative stuff, I realise most Mums find this rather appalling, that's why I never talk about it. X

OP posts:
Saturn74 · 05/10/2008 21:23

You sound exhausted by it all.
Do you have any friends that have children of a similar age?

PussinJimmyWhoooos · 05/10/2008 21:24

Have you considered the fact that you may have Post natal depression - it doesn't have to be right after the birth you know

CarGirl · 05/10/2008 21:25

Please have a big hug.

Motherhood is very hard work.

I would really recommend getting some proper therapy to deal with how you feel and where it comes from. You are probably very depressed about the situation & how you feel and you need to address it for your own sanity!

I would also recommend getting some immediate help to stop the negative cycle you are both in, I know the PCT where I live has family therapy and stuff like that.

I used to suffer from severe depression since it has gone I now enjoy my children in a way I never thought possible.

Is there anyway your ex could have him for the majority of the time with you just having weekend contact so you can start enjoying the time you spend with him?

You have been very honest and I hope other posters respect that.

Janos · 05/10/2008 21:26

What you are describing does sound a lot like how I felt when DS was a baby and I had appalling PND.

You also sound completely exhausted. What sort of support do you have around you? Friends and family?

lilymolly · 05/10/2008 21:26

that is a very sad post.

Could you be suffering from some sort of depression?

I know sometimes its very very hard looking after young children- but do you not get any moments of joy from your ds?

I sometimes wonder if I am cut out to be a mum and find looking after dd very hard and sometimes dread a day with her

Hope someone els comes along with maybe some better advice. x

controlfreakinfreaky · 05/10/2008 21:27

if you really mean all you say....then either you

a. are depressed and should seek professional help to treat that or

b. should be telling your ex how you feel about his and your ds so that perhaps he becomes the primary carer.

i feel v sorry and sad reading your post. your life sounds miserable.... but i feel much much sorrier for your ds who needs warmth and interest from his carer in order to flourish.

IrisMurdoch · 05/10/2008 21:28

No, I have friends with younger kids and none very close. Finding it quite hard to relate to other mothers anyway at the moment. Everyone in the world seems delighted with their offspring and motherhood and I feel like I am very, very alone.

OP posts:
Janos · 05/10/2008 21:29

BTW putting your DS in front of the telly is not the worse thing in the world and long as it isn't Robo-Zombie-Alien-Death-Kill or summat!

wessexgirl · 05/10/2008 21:29

I agree with Puss.

You sound depressed. Was he difficult as a baby? You've had to adjust to single parenthood as well. Perhaps it's grief about your life just not turning out the way you had hoped.

Janos · 05/10/2008 21:30

How would you feel if DS went to his Dad as main carer? Is that a possibility?

noddyholder · 05/10/2008 21:30

Agree withcontrolfreak please get help and give him and you the life you deserve.

WideWebWitch · 05/10/2008 21:32

I'm sorry you feel like tihs, it sounds so sad for both of you.

I think 4 is when they JUST start getting to be lovely company but maybe you just haven't got to that bit yet. I know that feeling of finding it all a grind and hard work and little joy (I don't feel that now, but I did once). It sounds like you need to find ways of dealing with him so you are both happier when you spend time together and to find some joy in him.

He needs you and he loves you and I'm sure you do love him too, you just haven't found ways of enjoying his company. Do you have friends with the same age children? What happens when you spend time with them?

What happens if you do things he wants to do? Like the park or football? If he's rude, it's your job to teach him not to be. And 4yos don't know much about charm, they are finding their way around the world still.

I tihnk you also might want to think about whether you're depressed, do you think you might be? Not finding any joy in anything is sometimes (often) a symptom.

chipkid · 05/10/2008 21:32

I had similar feelings about my ds at 4, some of the time. He was really hard work. The best times with him were when we went out for the day-with other children where he vould run and roam. In the house he too was dificult to entertain. If you feel like this for most of the time then maybe you do need some external help.

Please don't think that it will always be like this. My Ds is now 7 and utterly gorgeous. I love to be with him. School was a big turning point for him along with a better grasp of empathy and understanding the effect of his behaviour on others. It will get better-the only thing I can really advise is that you force yourself to engage with him-to find some way that you can enjoy him. Big hugs though I know how thankless it can feel

lilymolly · 05/10/2008 21:32

do you get any help with your ds? or do any nice activities like swimming, soft play, etc etc

CarofromWton · 05/10/2008 21:32

Don't feel bad posting this - you've told us because, actually, you DO love your DS and you do want to change things for the better.

I agree with Pussin - you do sound depressed. When I had PND (with both my DDs) I felt very much like you have described. I remember thinking "I've made a terrible mistake. I've got a prison sentence". Nobody around realises what you are going through because, on the surface, you smile and your child is fed, clean and cared for.

Go and see your GP asap. It's unlikely to go away all on its own. Whilst I'm quick to agree that some aspects of parenting are exasperating, please don't miss out on the good times. Act before your DS is grown up and you're left thinking "why didn't I enjoy that?"

Sending lots of hugs.

twinsetandpearls · 05/10/2008 21:34

I felt exactly the same as you until about two years ago, maybe less.

My dd and I now have a very close relationship. I was very very depressed and isolated. I had a very difficult start to motherhood, divorce, homelessness as well as reliving my own difficult childhood.

It took me to be honest with dp and we worked togther,with some counselling for me. As wessexgirl said above I just struggled to deal with the fact that life had not panned out they way I had hoped. I was almost grieving for the life I was not getting but had planned for.

You need to address this as primarily it is not fair on your ds just as I was not being fair to my dd.

You can CAT me if you like

WideWebWitch · 05/10/2008 21:35

Is he your only child?

I found my first child difficult partly because he was my first and I didn;'t know what I was doing and I regret that I didn't enjoy him more when he was younger, he was LOVELY but I found parenthood tough going and I think small boys can be hard work.

You say he was 'whining' - what do you mean? Was he just asking for things and if so, what happened when you gave them to him? Are there any times you love being with him?

winegoddess · 05/10/2008 21:39

There is so much more than you seem to be experiencing, could you be in such a black place that perhaps you need a bit of extra help to get you out? Being a mother is such hardwork and there is no denying that everyone at some point finds it extremely difficult and have bad days that feel like eternity. Are there no good times that you can focus on? Has there been no little phrase or gesture that has made you giggle or smile? Do you think your ds feels loved and happy or do you think his behaviour might be due to negativity that he is sensing? Like i said, being a mother does have diffcult times but almost certainly more when you have had to adjust to a break down in a relationship too. Could you go and see your doctor? it would be worth a try to see if there is another cause for this feeling. It must be awful for you, i really do feel for you. It's not what anyone imagines feeling about their child and must be terribly hard.

Habbibu · 05/10/2008 21:39

If you truly were a dreadful mother you wouldn't care about this - you wouldn't have posted, you wouldn't be mortified, you wouldn't be shocked. You do sound very very sad, and that is probably putting both you and ds into a vicious circle. I'd second all the other posts suggesting you seek help - if you were finding things difficult because you had a broken leg, you wouldn't think twice about looking for help - try to treat how you're feeling in the same way.

Szyslak · 05/10/2008 21:40

you need to address this.

Are you a single parent? Do you you work? what support network do you have?

This situation has not occured beacuse you are a bad person, or beacuse your DS is a bad child.

Things go wrong in realtionships, even parent child relatioships and can feel impossible to rectify, but things can be done.

You need help. It sounds very likely you are depressed. You need to address that first.

You can love your DS, first of all try to belive that that can happen, and then think what you need to do.

anniebear · 05/10/2008 21:41

I really think you need to go and see your GP, so you can start enjoying your son and both having the life you should have

Print what you posted on here off and take it with you


chubbymummy · 05/10/2008 21:42

I'm sorry you aren't enjoying motherhood. As a sufferer of depression I can honestly say that you sound like you are suffering from severe clinical depression and really need to seek some professional help as soon as possible.
I agree with other posters who have suggested that if possible your ds and you could benefit from him spending more time with his dad. This doesn't have to be a permenant arrangement and he would still need lots of contact with you but until you feeel more able to cope it could be for the best.
Try planning ahead how you will spend your time with ds, boredom creates resentment. Get out the house as much as possible, take him to soft play or the park and if you have friends with children meet up with them and have a natter while the children play. You may feel like all your friends are too busy with their own lives but I'm sure if you let them know how you are feeling (the edited version if you are more comfortable) they will be there for you.
Well done for being honest about how you feel, that must have been really difficult for you!

Janos · 05/10/2008 21:44

OP, please keep posting for support.

It is hard to admit to having these feelings (I hated myself for having them and thought I was unnatural). I agree with those who saying you aren't a bad mum - if you weren't you wouldn't give a toss.

I think it'd natural to want and need time for youreself but as a single parent that is one thing you often don't get.

Szyslak · 05/10/2008 21:45

Are you with him alot? Alone?

There are many mothers who would find this tedious and depressing and who need to be away from their children for times doing other things, working and enjoying other non child activities. It does not mean they don't love their children.

There are many ways to be a mother. As many as there are different types of women. Maybe you need to find a way that suits you.

countingto10 · 05/10/2008 21:46

Please go and see your GP/someone about how you feel - you may be depressed.  Have a word with your ex to see if he could take him more to give you a break and get out more.  I was a single mum for 6 years with an ASD son, it is hard and 4 yr olds can be very trying.  I have a 3yr old DS at the moment and it isn't easy.

One of the reasons for saying get some help is because my sister gave her son up at 3 yrs old to go and live with his father as she thought he was "cramping her style", the ramifications 16 yrs down the line for her son are terrible (his feelings of rejection have not gone even though he went back to live with her at 11yrs and he has unresolved anger towards her.  He has also tried to commit suicide twice and has now been diagnosed with severe bi-polar). 

Agree with noddyholder, give him and you the life you deserve.

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