Can post natal depression make you reject your parnter's child instead of your own?

Roxy - posted on 02/10/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hiya,

Im a new mum, I gave birth to my gorgeous little boy Lincoln on Saturday 05th february! Ever since then all I hear my partner go on about is his other son who is two years old, all I hear day in and day out is how much they look alike and how he wishes that my son would turn out like his and he keeps going on and on about his other son and how cute everything is that he does, Yet he is a really naughty child that my partner wont tell off like he does his daughter and its absolutaly doing my head in. To the point where I really am starting to resent my partners son. My partner even calls our son by his other son's name, its as though my son is constantly going to be living in this child's shadow even though there is nothing special about him. Its driving me crazy to the point where I really dont want anything to do with this child and Im starting to hate him! I know it sounds really bad, but the child doesnt want to know me either now since my son was born and to be quite honest I dont care.

Everythign was fine with my partners son before the baby came along apart from the fact that it seemed my partner favouritised him over his daughter. I really dont know if im just hormonal and am feeling like my sons second best to his first son or whether I am getting minor post natal depression that is making me reject my partner's child instead of our own.

Its really starting to get me down and i dont want it to come in between me and my partner because he really is just amazing and our son is fantastic. Please can anyone help me???

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Lissa - posted on 02/10/2011

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I think having just had a baby you are feeling insecure about you and your sons place in your partners life. This is your first baby and he is your entire world, you have to understand that your partners world is all of his children, one is not more important than the other. It is perfectly normal for him to look at your baby and remember how is son was at that age and recognise how they are alike, we all do it. As for accidently calling your son his other sons name this is something that happens when you have more than one, I often find my self saying Lily oh no I mean Josh, my father used to call me Annabel, Alister I mean Lissa :)

You also have to think of this from your partner ans his sons point of view, your partner will not want his little boy to be feeling pushed out by a new baby so will be giving him lots of attention and praise, this is a sign of a great Dad who cares about his childrens feelings.

Talk to your partner, tell him how you feel, you are not a bad person, you are a hormonal woman who has just given birth. Please try and be positive about your partners son and get him involved with you and the baby, he also needs to know at this time he is still loved.

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Alison - posted on 02/10/2011

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Sounds like it's time for a little counselling. If you don't sort these issues out, your whole family is going to end up MISERABLE. Hormones will definitely make you more iritable and less tolerant, but this does not sound like ppd.

Call a social worker and make an appointment. If daddy doesn't want to join you, go alone. But you both need some help.

Laura - posted on 02/10/2011

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Here's a different point-of-view based on what you have described: You don't seem to have post-natal depression. It is possible that your partner DOES favor the 2 year old, especially since you indicate that he does not discipline him as he does with a daughter. This is your partner's "first-born" son you are talking about and some men still favor older, out-dated attitudes toward their children. First-born sons are first and foremost in their mind, followed by any other sons, with daughters bringing up the rear in importance. Your partner may very well hold these out-dated attitudes.

With that in mind, you need to understand that it is your partner's behavior, not his son's, that seems to be at issue! Transfering your negative emotions onto the child isn't going to help and will only create resentment (which it is already doing). Recognize that your emotional response is with your partner's behavior! Only then can you make appropriate decisions on how to handle your situation.

The only way to know if any of what I mentioned is accurate is to communicate with your partner. He may not be aware that he is interacting with the children in this disjointed way. You need to let him know that his behavior toward the kids (how he seems to treat them) concerns you. This does not mean that he is a bad father! You need to share your observations of his behavior and your emotions with him. Share with him your expectations of his behavior with the children--how do you see him intereacting with them? Favoritism WILL hurt the emotions and mental well-being of children if allowed to continue. Your partner may not be aware that he is behaving in such a manner perhaps because he was raised in a similar fashion and knows of no other way. Share your ideas of specific ways he could change his behavior. Start with small insights and suggestions. Don't blame him for his actions; use "I" statements such as "I have noticed that (fill in the blank) and that (concerns me, scares me, etc)". Offer to help him make better choices with how he interacts with the kids because you want him to be a great dad, not just an okay one! Try to encourage him to share his feelings about fatherhood, including how he perceives being a good dad. Between the two of you lies the answer to the problem and only by communicating with each other will you be able to find it! Hope this helps and good luck!

JuLeah - posted on 02/10/2011

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This is not about your partner's son or daughter. They are little kids, not bad, not naughty, and not to blame for this. They have nothing to do with your partner's behavior and no control over it. They are just little kids.
Talk with your partner and tell him how you feel. Lissa make some really good points.

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